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Blood Thoughts

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"Chase, come on."

I shook my head at her whining, refusing to look up, knowing that if I did she would be gazing at me with her big blue puppy dog eyes. If I did that I might give in to her ridiculous request.

"I want you to come with me. I know you will have fun!" She continued.

I huffed, finally looking up at my friend Cassandra, the girl I had known since I was seven. Her curly blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail and her blue eyes were bright with want. I was sitting on the couch in the house we shared, trying -and failing- to study. She wanted to take me to Fangtasia and I would rather do anything else than go to Fangtasia. People around Bon Temps already thought I was weird. I didn't need word to get out that I was associating with vampires. It wasn't exactly going to enhance my image.

"Cassandra," I sighed avoiding those wanting blue eyes and looking back down at my text book. "You know I love you and any other time -or place- I would be more than happy to come along with you; but I need to study and I just don't want to go. Me and vampires? Not a good combination."

"Oh come on," Cassandra begged, plopping down on the couch beside me and leaning her body onto mine. "Ever since we moved to Bon Temps you haven't done one single thing that's fun. I have sat here and watched you with your head in these damn books and I think it is time that I take you out."

"To Fangtasia?" I asked looking at her with a raised eyebrow.

She nodded excitedly. "Just because there are vampires there doesn't mean you won't have fun. I thought with your... talent...you might fit in there. Vampires understand what it's like to be different."

I rolled my eyes. The talent she was referring to would be my ability to get inside peoples head. One single touch and I had access to everything, emotions, thoughts, memories, secrets. Whatever was in there was mine for the viewing. I considered it a burden; anyone I ever wanted to be close to could not keep a secret from me. I sometimes found things inside people's heads that I never wanted to know, but I had no control over what happened with the first touch. I tried to keep myself withdrawn from people, hence why people thought I was weird. I tried wearing gloves in the beginning which only made me stick out even more, a girl wearing gloves in the hot Louisiana weather definitely attracted attention. The only true friend I had was Cassandra and my family was back in Austin, Texas, which was where I was born and raised. I had come to Louisiana at Cassandra's beckoning, while she was very excited to go to school in another state I had been content to go to my local community college. It was only after a lot of begging, like she was doing right at the moment, that I agreed to move away from home with her and attend the same school. It put my over protective parents at ease to know that I was moving with a close friend, who they had known since I was a little girl, but I still missed the familiarity of home desperately. But I also loved being on my own, without my parents breathing down my neck. I was learning to be my own person for once, even if I kept to myself. 

"Cass, I really don't want to," I repeated. "And the fact that I have a 'talent' at all is even more reason for me not to go. They might smell it on me or something."

Cassandra rolled her eyes. "Jesus Christ, don't be such a psycho," she snatched my text book from my hands and tossed it on the floor. I frowned at her. "Psychology will still be here tomorrow and you need to go have some fun tonight. Now come and get ready with me, dammit. You are going and that is it."

I put my head in my hands suffering in my defeat.


An hour and half later, I was sitting in the driver seat of my car reluctantly leaving Bon Temps. I had to borrow one of Cassandra's dresses because I was a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl and dresses were not a part of my wardrobe. While I had initially went for a innocent looking blue sundress, Cassandra insisted I wear a little black dress. It was a short, had a very low neck line, and barely reached the middle of my thighs. It hugged and accentuated every curve and inch of my body that it covered. I hated it.

While I didn't have anything against vampires, it didn't mean that I wanted to hang out with them. They were natural killers and they drank blood which rightfully made me a little squeamish. I was all for vampires being able to live in the main world and have rights and such, but I wanted them to do it as far away from me as possible. Yet, here I was driving my little mustang to a fang bar, wearing a dress that was tighter and shorter than any dress should be, with my dark hair falling around my face and black high heels on. I hated high heels.

"Look, there it is!" Cassandra said excitedly as she applied another coat of lip gloss. "Park in the back."

I followed her directions, parking near the rear of the building and grabbing the small black clutch I had brought along. I had put my I.D., a twenty dollar bill, and the can of pepper spray my father had given me inside. I knew that pepper spray would do nothing against a vampire, but it still made me feel better to have it on hand. I knew that silver had an effect on vampires which is why I had put on the silver chain and cross that my mother had given me. I had no sense of religion whatsoever, but my parents did and it made them feel better.

"You ready?" Cassandra asked checking herself in the visor mirror once more before closing it and looking at me.

"As ready as I can be to go into a bar full of murderers and their worshipers," I answered with a forced smiled.

Cassandra chuckled, ignoring my cheekiness like usual. "Come on," she said pushing the passenger door open and climbing out.

Cassandra had always been the wild child party girl. Even when we were younger, she had always been more adventurous than I was. At twenty-two years old I was still a virgin, where she had already had a few sexual partners. We were almost the exact opposite of each other, but despite that we had always been the best of friends. She got on my nerves some of the times, but I still loved her.

I followed Cassandra through the parking lot, watching all the various people that were heading into the bar. It surprised me that so many people of different age and race were going into a bar full of potential murderers willingly, and I was also one of them. A tall blonde woman stood in a leather outfit, manning the entrance to the bar, her blonde hair a wild mane around face. I knew she had to be a vampire. Her extremely pale skin and dark eyes were some big clues to it. A chill ran down my spine as we got closer to her.

"I.D. please," she said flatly looking at me. "Cassandra, I know you are of age."

I looked at Cassandra and frowned. I knew she had come to Fangtasia before, but I didn't know she was on first name basis with vampires. I pulled my I.D. out of my clutch and handed it to the woman, careful not to make any skin to skin contact with her. She eyed my identification card before looking at me and then handing it back. She gave Cassandra a weird look that I couldn't recognize and I resisted the urge to touch her to find out what she was thinking.

"Welcome to Fangtasia," the woman said dryly.

Cassandra led the way into the bar past the blonde haired woman and I felt my heart began to race. The bar was full and the music was loud. I immediately regretted not wearing a long sleeve coat, knowing that I would get an onslaught of thoughts and images at any bare skin contact that I made. This was not a good idea, I thought as Cassandra beckoned me toward the bar.

I avoided contact with others as best I could, bobbing and weaving through the crowd, my bare arms tucked in towards my chest. I sat on an empty stool at the bar, looking at Cassandra who stood beside me swaying to the music. I followed her gaze taking in the inhabitants of the bar, making out who was a vampire and who was not. Some people were dancing, others were all over each other. I forced my eyes away from a particularly touchy couple and found myself staring at a man sitting on a throne like chair at the edge of the room on a stage. I felt my breath leave me as I took in the beauty of him, shocked by how appealing his pale skin, long blonde hair and deep blue eyes were. An expensive looking black on black suit hugged his body in all the right ways. He was too busy staring and texting on his phone to notice my lingering gaze.

"Who is that?" I questioned, leaning closer to Cassandra, bringing her attention to the magnificent man across the room.

Cassandra's smile widened and she licked her lips as if she could taste him in the air. "That is Eric Northman," she answered still staring at him. "He owns the bar. He's some big important vampire here in Shreveport, I think. Isn't he something?"

I nodded slowly, unable to remove my eyes from his pale beautiful face. "He is something alright," I whispered. My hands began to tingle. They always did that when I saw someone I was interested in and wanted to know more about.

"Stop staring and let's dance," she said nudging me.

I slid off the stool, following her onto the dance floor. I couldn't help, but keep looking back at the vampire in the chair. I tore my eyes away as we reached the middle of the dance floor and Cassandra grabbed my hand. A flood of images rushed me, everything she had done, thought, or said that day filled my head and I broke contact immediately frowning at her. She looked apologetic. She sometimes forgot. I had been in her head so many times that I was able to block her now, but I had been unprepared.

"Sorry, Chase. I forgot to warn you...didn't see anything too bad in my head did you?"

"No...But you can touch me now. I'm ready," I said holding my hand out.

She took my hand and we began to dance. I hated to go out, but I loved to dance. Whenever Cassandra did manage to drag me out of the house, we usually went dancing. Our dancing tended to attract unwanted attention sometimes. Cassandra had no problem wrapping her arms around me or dancing against me. It didn't bother me when she grinded against me. It was just dancing and helped to keep the guys from trying to dance with us. Normally I was so wrapped up in the music that I didn't notice anyone watching, but the amazing vampire sitting behind me was still on my mind. I couldn't resist turning to look at him one more time, startling when I noticed his eyes on me. I turned my back on him quickly, feeling butterflies in my stomach and noticing that he wasn't the only one staring. It seemed every other vampire in the near vicinity was watching as well, with fangs extended.

I jumped as I felt a hand tap my shoulder and was thankful that my hair was there to protect me from unwanted thoughts. I turned quickly to find it was the blonde from the entrance.

"Eric wants to see Cassandra. And you too," she said nodding towards me.

My stomach dropped and Cassandra's face spread into a smile. She took my hand without a moment's hesitation and pulled me toward Eric Northman. Her smile grew as we reached him and he looked up from his phone and directly at me. I felt sparks shoot up my spine when our eyes locked, it was unnerving. He slid his phone into the inside pocket of his suit jacket. I swallowed hard.

"What is your name?" he asked his tone soft and even. He was still gazing at me. I couldn't look away. It felt as if he was seeing right into my soul.

"Ch...Chase...Chase Morgan," I stuttered. Pull it together for god sake, Chase.

One blonde eyebrow arched. I got this reaction often from people when they heard my name. It was a "boys" name after all. My mother had thought that I was a boy while she was pregnant with me, and even after finding out I was a girl she liked the name so much she refused to give it up.

"How old are you?"

"Twenty-two."

"And how long have you known Cassandra here?" he questioned further. His eyes made a brief reprieve of looking at me, to glance at Cassandra and then they were right back on me. He watched me as if I was the most interesting thing in the world.

"Since I was seven," I answered, finally finding the ability to look away and at Cassandra.

She was looking at him the way that he was looking at me, like he was the very air she breathed. I was beginning to understand why she liked to come to this vampire bar so much, they must have had some history together. Or she had a deep infatuation. I reached out and took her hand, wanting to know what she was thinking. She flinched as I made contact and the images and sounds flooded my brain. It was of her and Eric rolling around in a bed that I didn't recognize, her moans filling my head as his mouth and hands explored her. I hadn't ever seen this before which surprised me, she somehow had hid this from me. It only took me a second to realize that it had never actually happened and it was just a fantasy. She yanked her hand from me, pulling her eyes away from Eric long enough to give me a glare. She could only hold the glare for a few seconds before her eyes were back on him. I felt a hint of jealousy creep up in me as I watched her gaze at Eric. I swallowed it down hard. How could I be jealous over a vampire that I didn't even know?

"That is quite a long friendship," Eric said, snapping me out of my thoughts.

I said nothing. I didn't know what to say. I forced a nod.

"Why have you come here tonight?" he asked tilting his head as his eyes continued to take me in.

"Cassandra forced me to come," I replied. "I don't get out much...and she insisted."

He turned those penetrating eyes on Cassandra and gazed at her for a long moment before he spoke softly. "Cassandra...please go back to the dance floor and enjoy yourself while I speak with your friend."

A dreamy look came over her face and she nodded obediently before turning and walking off. I felt my jaw drop a little as I watched her walk off. My best friend had just left me alone with two vampires, one of which was watching me like I was dinner.

"Chase," Eric said making me look back at him. My name on his lips caused an unexpected thrill to rush through me. "As the owner of this bar, which I am sure you are aware of, I have two things to ask of you."

I raised my eyebrows in anticipation. "And they are?" I asked with a hitch in my voice.

"One being: that you take off that weapon around your neck," he said motioning to my cross. "Silver is harmful to vampires and not allowed in here."

I reached for my cross without even thinking twice. I gripped the clasp in the back and it fell from neck into my hand. I placed it into my clutch and had it closed in less than ten seconds. Eric looked pleased. Crap, I thought, I just followed his orders like I am a regular fang banger. What the hell is wrong with me?

"The second being that I be allowed to speak with you in private," he continued.

"Why?" I blurted.

"I need to ask you a question," he replied with a hint of a smile on his lips.

I felt uneasy. Eric looked at me expectantly, awaiting my answer. I looked at Cassandra, who had already found someone else to dance with. I didn't know what to do. A part of me was intrigued and felt like doing anything he asked, while the rational part of me wanted to tell him to go to hell.

"Sure," I said quickly. The rational part of me sighed inwardly.

He smiled and I melted. I watched him rise to his feet, buttoning his expensive coat before he moved past me, his faithful blonde right on his heels. Everyone cleared a path for him, like the god I assumed he was, and I followed behind them trying to steady my fast beating heart. He pushed open a door marked 'employees only' and ushered me through. I stepped through and turned back to him as the blonde tried to follow me. He held up a hand to stop her.

"Pam...Go watch the bar," he ordered. "I can handle this alone."

A sly smirk spread across her face and I felt uneasy all over again. She turned on her heels and returned to the bar, leaving Eric to shut the door. I tried to look casual as I looked around his office, stepping further into the room. I wondered absently if Cassandra had noticed that I had come back to his office and if anyone would be able to hear my screams. The sound of the lock on the door sliding into place snapped me out of my thoughts. I pivoted to look at Eric, trying not to show the terror I felt on my face.

"You can relax," he said softly. He took a step toward me. "I have no intentions of harming you... Have a seat."

I hesitated, but sank down onto the surprisingly comfortable black leather couch. I set my clutch down, but close in case I needed that pepper spray. I did my best to look casual and nonchalant. This is fine. You are going to be fine. Just hanging with a vampire…Did I eat any garlic today?

"Look," I blurted suddenly. "Just tell me what it is that you want…That way I can get back to my friend."

Large arms crossed over his chest. He looked down at me as if I had insulted him. "Are you uncomfortable?"

"Yes, I am..a little..I am uncomfortable," I admitted straightening my back so I sat up, my eyes never leaving his. "So that is why I would rather you ask me what you want to know so I can get back to my friend-."

I blinked my eyes and he was sitting next to me, very closely. I let out a yelp in surprise, feeling my face turn red in embarrassment at being startled so easily. He smirked, finding amusement in scaring me and tilted his head slightly, regarding me as if he found something about me curious. I felt my hands tingle again. I didn't know if I could read a vampires mind. I hadn't ever been close enough to even wonder. I resisted.

He finally spoke. "I hear you have a special...talent. You can...read minds?"

I blinked in surprise. How the hell had he known? And who the hell had told him? No one besides Cassandra and my family knew about my ability, I kept it a secret for a reason. I didn't want to be a freak in other people's eyes, and people knowing that with a single touch I could see everything they ever thought about or any secret they had hidden would make me seem like a freak. I wasn't too sure that I wanted a vampire like Eric to know about my gift either.

"Who told you something like that?" I asked.

"This is not the first time that your lovely friend Cassandra has come into Fangtasia," Eric answered softly. "She is quite talkative once she has had a couple drinks. I have heard her speak of your talents with other vampires before. Luckily for you, most of them think your friend is crazy...a vampire knowing about a talent like yours would make them crave the taste of your blood. I believe it might make your blood taste different...sweeter…"

I shivered as he said those words. "How would you know?"

"I can smell it on you," he whispered leaning in closer to me and taking a whiff. He sighed deeply like it was the most intoxicating thing he ever smelt. I felt liquid pool between my thighs. "You are a virgin too...that makes your blood even sweeter."

I felt fire race through me suddenly. I was getting hot, very hot.

He reached forward and touched my face. Skin met skin and a flood of images swept through my head. I felt myself gasp, my head lulling back as the visions of blood, sex, and death flashed in my mind. I could hear the sounds of people crying, pleading, or moaning his name, begging for more. There were countless faces of victims and sexual partners. It surprised me just how many of them he remembered so clearly. The emotions that he felt were overwhelming, the hunger, the lust, the need. Soon came the thoughts of me, how I looked as I danced, how sweet I smelt. I reached up blindly and pushed his hand away, breaking the connection with another gasp. I found myself panting, I felt like I had just run a mile.

"Please don't touch me," I said looking him in the eye. "At least...not without warning or permission."

"It is what triggers your...talent is it not?"

The cat was already out of the bag. "It is. I can see things in peoples head...sometimes feel emotions if the connection is strong enough. I can't see what's in anyone's head unless I touch them," I admitted looking down. "Or unless they touch me. The first time its automatic. I see whatever is in their head...in like a flood...usually just the thoughts that are in their head at the time... any time after that I can look for what I want...dig deeper...I can know anything."

"What did you see in my head?" he asked slowly.

I hesitated, but answered with the first and simplest words that I could find. "Death...and sex."

He swallowed hard and pulled away from me as if he were surprised by my revelation. It was the honest truth though, that is all I had seen. But I didn't expect much more than that from a vampire after all, especially not one as old as him. For some reason this did not frighten me as much as it probably should have. I found that my thudding heart had slowed down and my breathing had returned to normal. I was calmer now. He intrigued me. He was inviting and I had to admit that his charms were working on me.

"Is that all that you saw?" he asked. He licked his lips.

That action was more distracting than I anticipated and I found myself focused on his lips. I wanted to know what his lips tasted and felt like. I wanted to see what his tongue would feel like if it swept across my lips like it did his. My hands tingled again with the urge to touch him, but I resisted. I definitely was not going to try and push boundaries, especially not with a vampire.

"I saw me," I answered softly. He seemed closer, was I leaning towards him?

He let a small smile spread across his lips as he gazed into my eyes. "May I touch you now?" he asked politely bowing his head once again.

Such a gentleman, I thought as I nodded before even considering it. He brought his hand upward, reaching for my cheek, before stopping half an inch from my face. I sucked in a deep breath, my skin tingling from anticipation. "Tell me what you see now," he whispered.

His fingers made contact with my skin and I felt electricity between us. The images came in a wave and heat flooded through me as I saw myself through his eyes, beautiful and moving across the dance floor, taking in all my curves, the dark silk of my hair. Cassandra's hands caressing me in a more provocative way than it had actually occurred. I realized then that this must be a fantasy in his head. The image changed quickly. Suddenly it was him and me, his arms around me, his mouth on my skin, my soft moans filling my head. We were on a bed with red silk sheets, his hand in my hair, my legs around his waist. A flood of emotions swept through me with an intensity that had me panting again, it was all urge and want and need, consuming and burning me. The connection with him was more intense than anything I had ever felt with anyone else. It was almost indescribable.

When he pulled his hand away from me, taking his thoughts with him, I was forced back to reality. I found myself lying on the couch, my breath coming out in heavy pants, my heart pounding. The feelings I had shared with him were lingering, the want and need still rolling through me. His body was atop mine, fitting perfectly against me, our noses practically touching. Somehow during our mind meld he had moved me into this position and I would be lying if I said his body didn't feel incredible touching mine..

"So," he whispered across my lips. "What did you see this time?"

I couldn't find the ability to speak. I could only stare into his blue eyes. I hadn't been this close with many men before, in fact I had only been this close to one man before and it definitely hadn't felt like this.

"Eric..." I breathed finally my eyes moving down to his lips. I didn't know what to say, but I felt the need to say something.

I awaited a reply with baited breath, but one never came. His head bent and his lips found mine. I felt my heart explode. His lips were full, soft, and supple, and when they parted and his tongue snaked into my mouth I was shocked to find the taste of him so exhilarating. I was getting lost in his kiss, my fingers curling around the material of his jacket, pulling him closer. My tongue met his, dancing artfully. I finally pulled away when I couldn't hold my breath any longer, panting for air. Eric was panting as hard as I was, even though I knew vampires didn't need to breathe.

How did we get to this? I questioned myself trying to rationalize everything that had led to this point. This wasn't like me. I wasn't normally this person. Up until tonight I had wanted nothing more than to stay far away from vampires. It was him, there was no other explanation, I had been in his mind, shared his emotions and feelings, they were lingering within me.

I heard a strange sound, like a small click on a keyboard and then I saw his pearly white fangs. I couldn't stop the small yelp that escaped my throat and I pushed against him hard, making him sit up as I lunged off the couch to my feet. This suddenly wasn't fun anymore. I did not want to be a vampire's dinner. I had already let it go too far. I turned for the door, almost tripping on my high heels, seeing an opportunity to leave. I froze when I saw him already standing at the door, blocking my exit. God, he was fast.

He raised his hands as if I had him at gunpoint. "I did not mean to frighten you," he said apologetically. His fangs were gone now.

"Then what was with the fangs?" I asked taking a step back.

"Sometimes when I get excited they come out of their own volition," he answered honestly.

"Excited?"

"You excite me, Chase," he admitted taking another step toward me. We were close again and another wave of heat rushed through me. "You intrigue me. I want you."

I excited him? He wanted me?

He reached for me before I could stop him, his thoughts invading mine once more. I could see myself in his mind again, I was lying on the very couch that he and I were just on. My dress was on the floor and my hands were doing a very intense exploration of my body. I yanked my arm from his grip, forcing myself out of his thoughts.

"I can't do that," I said quickly. "I am not just some...chick that sleeps with any guy or vampire."

"And I never said you were," he replied with a slight frown. "But there is a first time for everything."

I huffed. Not tonight pal. "With your permission Eric I would like to leave now, thank you."

His frown deepened, but he bowed his head graciously and stepped aside. I hesitated, surprised that he was actually letting me leave. I didn't think that it would be that easy. I reached for the door knob and jumped when I felt his cold fingers grip my arm. There was another flood of images, emotions, anger and lust all rolled up into a ball inside him. He really didn't want me to leave. I could see he wasn't used to rejection. I froze immediately, he stepped closer and I felt his lips at my ear.

"Chase Morgan," he said softly. "I was not lying when I said that I wanted you. And what I want, I get. So do not be surprised when I call on you sometime soon. You intrigue me...and I wish to study you further and I don't just mean that talent of yours."

I shivered as he said those words, feeling a chill that ran through me as his fingers grazed over my arm. I didn't know how I was supposed to take that. Was it supposed to be a threat or an assured promise? Either way it made an odd mix of fear and excitement creep up my spine and I didn't like it.

"You will be mine, Chase Morgan," he assured as his lips brushed my ear. "That I can promise you."

 

Chapter Text

I awoke with a gasp, sitting up straight in my bed. I looked around my darkened room, finding myself alone and in a cold sweat. Images from the dream I had were still fresh and vivid in my mind. It had been two very long weeks since I had been to Fangtasia and met Eric, and he had been on my mind, night and day. All the dreams had been the same, him kissing me and touching me, fire burning through me until he sunk his fangs into my neck, which always woke me up.

I just couldn't get him out of my head. I tried to keep myself busy during the day to keep my mind from wandering off into Eric land. It worked for the most part, but when the night came he was in my dreams with such an intensity that I thought sometimes I would actually wake up and find him in my bed. I could always hear his voice loud and clear and his touch felt so real that my skin still tingled long after I awoke.

"I need a shower," I mumbled aloud to myself, rising from my bed and trudging to the bathroom. I glanced at my clock along the way, sourly finding that it was only 9:30. I had only gone to bed thirty minutes ago. I sighed as I hopped in the shower and scrubbed myself, wanting to wash the imaginary feel of Eric away. When I got out of the shower and redressed in fresh pajamas I wasn't surprised to find that Cassandra was awake and sitting at our kitchen table with a spoon in a tub of vanilla ice cream. She turned to me as I came out of my bedroom toweling my damp hair. I plopped down in the seat opposite her and sighed heavily.

"Another Eric dream?" she asked looking at me.

I frowned at her. I sometimes imagined she had mind reading powers as well, that or she just knew me so well. I had told her everything that had happened in Eric's office. I didn't have to touch her to know that she was jealous, I had seen it in her eyes, but I hadn't said anything about it. She admitted she was sorry for blabbing about my talent to a room full of vampires, but she was drunk while doing it so I didn't give her too much shit for it. Luckily no one had believed her...except Eric. And while his interest in me excited me in ways that I did not expect, I was not ready to let him study me as he so eloquently put it.

"I just can't get him out of my damn head," I growled holding my head in my hands. "He's like a sickness that you can't get rid."

Cassandra huffed. "Yeah…that's Eric for you," she mumbled before taking another spoonful of ice cream and offering me a spare spoon she already had waiting.

"How did you get mixed up with him anyway?" I asked tossing my towel over the back of my chair and taking the spoon from her.

She sighed and ran her hand through her curly blonde hair, looking at me with her baby blue eyes. She had always been the prettier one in our friendship, not dramatically, but she usually caught the attention first. It had never bothered me because I was not that interested in guys or relationships. I wasn't really surprised that Eric had taken notice of her, most guys did.

"I went to Fangtasia with some friends from one of our classes awhile ago and just like you saw he was sitting there in that chair…looking like…a god," she said her eyes glazing over as she looked past me. "He had Pam, the blonde, summon me over and we were talking for awhile before he invited me back to his office and...he fed on me."

I felt that hint of jealousy again and forced it down with a big swallow. "Did you guys...sleep together?"

She shook her head. "No...and I am not going to lie and say I didn't want too. He mostly seemed interested in talking about you...and getting the occasional snack out of me."

I was kind of surprised to hear that things hadn't progressed to sex between them. I had been sure that they had been intimate with each other. Cassandra was beautiful after all and with all the sex that I had seen in Eric's head it seemed almost certain. I blinked in surprise but said nothing as I ate another spoonful of ice cream and she yawned sleepily. There was a long silence until she spoke.

"You should just go and see him," she said making me frown.

"What would I need to see him for? I know what he wants," I answered. "He wants to sleep with me and probably snack on me."

Cassandra frowned at me. "You don't know that."

"And you don't know that he doesn't."

She chuckled lightly and took the spoon back from me. "Maybe you should stop being so damn dramatic and just ask him," she replied.

I shook my head.

"Chase what is the worst thing that could happen if you just go and talk to him?"

"Um let's see… I could be killed!"

Cassandra rolled her eyes and sighed. "We're going. Go get dressed."

I shook my head and frowned. "No. Not this time," I said. "You can't make me."

"Fine, I will just call him and ask him to come here," she replied shortly and rose to her feet. "I do have his number you know?"

I frowned at her, arms crossed over my chest. She was bluffing. She squinted her eyes at me, determined. She shrugged slightly and then turned on her heel to retrieve what I assumed would be her phone. "Wait! No!" I said jumping to my feet as well and grabbing her arm.

"So we're going then?" she asked me with a small smirk and a raised eyebrow.

I sighed. "Fine we can go."


I went with more casual attire this time. I wore a pair of my blue jeans, a tight black button down, and the same heels I had wore the last time. I felt much more comfortable in my regular clothes even though I still did not like high heels. Cassandra insisted I add a little 'flare' to my outfit by wearing them. I left my hair flowing down my shoulders and didn't bother with makeup. I wasn't trying to impress him, I wanted to know answers. And how was I going to find that out if I was distracting him with my looks? He would tell me why he was so interested in me and just why it is that he wanted to study me.

I drove again to Fangtasia's and found the parking lot nearly empty. I wasn't that disappointed. I hated large crowds. Cassandra led the way into the bar, holding my hand as I blocked her thoughts. There was no one guarding the entrance so we just went right in finding the bar nearly as empty as the parking lot. There were a few vampires and humans sitting around the bar, and the vampire Long Shadow was tending bar. The place was dead. No pun intended. I looked immediately to the stage in hopes to see Eric sitting there. I had no such luck.

"Well coming here was pointless," I muttered looking at Cassandra who was frowning as well.

"I'll go ask Long Shadow if Eric is in the back," she said squeezing my hand before releasing it and moving toward the bar.

I put my hands on my hips and sighed, feeling a chill run up my spine as I felt a shadow creep over me. I turned quickly jumping when I found a man standing behind me, only a few inches taller than me and his hair longer than mine. His eyes were brown and when he smiled I saw fangs. I gulped so loud I am sure everyone heard.

"Hello...," he said, his tongue sweeping over his fangs with practiced ease.

"Uh…hi," I breathed taking a step backward from him.

He took a step toward me, gaining back the space that I had just put between us. "And who are you?" he asked his smile widening.

"I'm uh…" I started, there was a hitch in my voice and I looked over my shoulder quickly to find Cassandra in deep conversation with Long Shadow. "My name is Chase."

"Chase, hmm? Interesting name for a girl…" he said leaning in closer as he breathed in deeply and sighed as if I was the greatest smelling thing in the world. "Virgin huh? Even more interesting..."

I swallowed hard as I took another step backward. "I uh..."

"You what?" he said raising his eyebrows as he stepped towards me.

He was so close now we were half an inch from touching. I stepped back, trying to gain space between us when I hit a crack in the floor and felt my heel give. I lost my balance almost sending me falling backward. Mr. Vampire caught me quickly, his bare hand touching mine, sending a flood of images my way. They were of me of course, covered in my own blood, lying across a coffin that I assumed was his. My throat was torn out and I was completely naked although my body didn't look like how it really was. My breasts were bigger and I had a little more meat on me. My eyes were open in a dead stare and my arm was curved around my head. I broke contact with him with a gasp feeling myself continuing to fall backward.

I was about to hit the hard floor when strong arms caught me making me yelp in surprise. I heard a low growl and looked up to find that it was Eric who had caught me and he was glaring at Mr. Vampire, fangs exposed. The world blurred around me as he set me back on my feet. His hand was on my stomach protectively pushing me behind him. I placed my hand over his, invading his thoughts, allowing me to see him thinking about ripping Mr. Vampire's head off in his mind. I gasped in surprise removing my hand from his.

"Eric..." I started.

"Shush, Chase," he ordered still not looking at me. His complete attention was focused on the long haired vampire. "Justin...do we have a problem?"

The vampire, who I assume was Justin, shook his head before bowing it respectfully. "No, Sheriff. I did not know that she was claimed by anyone...I apologize, Eric."

Sheriff?

Eric frowned. "She is my human and she is not to be touched, understood?"

I frowned next. His human? I was my own person thank you very much. But I still felt a little thrill at the thought of him claiming me. I glanced toward the bar and found Cassandra watching the whole event. I beckoned her over with a wave of my hand and she walked toward us slowly. When she reached my side she gripped my arm tightly.

"Yes, Sheriff, of course," Justin said with a nod finally looking up and right at me. "I will not touch her."

I couldn't help, but get the feeling he was lying. "Perhaps it is time you head home for the night, Justin," Eric said lifting his chin. I could tell it was a command and not a suggestion.

Justin nodded once again and turned to leave without another word. I saw him glance back at me once again as he frowned before he disappeared out of the door. I took a deep calming breath and felt Cassandra release my arm as Eric finally turned to look at us and I saw that he was frowning.

"Cassandra…Chase," he said calmly as his frown disappeared. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

I opened my mouth to answer and found that nothing came out. I was nervous and suddenly at a loss for words. Cassandra swooped in to my rescue.

"Chase would like to ask you a question," she said glancing at me from the corner of her eyes. I didn't know whether I wanted to thank her or kill her.

Eric raised an eyebrow as he took his eyes from Cassandra and gazed at me. I almost melted right there in front of them both. I blushed and became interested in the floor.

"Very well then," he said as he turned and headed for a door marked 'employees only', looking back over his shoulder to beckon me with two fingers before disappearing behind it.

I hesitated, looking at Cassandra who gave me a little shove and mouthed 'go' as she pointed toward the door he had disappeared behind. I smiled at her weakly before I moved toward the door quickly, finding that I was once again in his office. It was small with only a desk , some shelves with various things on them, and the black couch. I hadn't taken much notice the first time I was in there seeing as he had distracted me. I looked around until I found him. He was sitting on the edge of the desk, arms crossed as he watched me shut the door behind myself. I felt my heart beginning to thud in my chest and tried to calm myself by taking a deep breath as I looked him over. He was wearing a pair of black jeans with a blue shirt and a black leather jacket over it and man did he look good. He was watching me intently and it made my hands tingle as I wanted to know what he was thinking. I clenched them into tight fists to keep from reaching for him and put them at my sides.

"So..." I said leaning against the door, trying to be casual. "I am 'your human'?"

He uncrossed his arms and put his hands at his sides on the desk. "If I had not claimed you, you would be dead. Didn't you see what was in Justin's head?" he asked softly.

"Of course I did, but how did you?" I asked him.

"I don't need to be a mind reader to know that he was thinking about killing you or raping you...or both," he answered with a small shrug, his eyes darkening.

"So what does that mean? Me being your human?" I asked pushing myself off the door and crossing my arms.

He tilted his head as he gazed at me. "It doesn't mean anything seeing as we do not share a blood bond," he answered slowly. "I was merely saying that to protect you."

"Oh," I said my eyes dropping. I felt disappointed and did not know why. I pushed the feelings back down and lifted my chin proudly. I had come here for a reason and still intended to gather my information. "Before when you said you wanted to 'study' me. What did you mean?"

He smiled slowly, those delicious looking lips curving across his face to reveal white teeth beneath. I felt myself melt on the inside. God how I wanted those lips. He pushed himself off the desk and took a single step toward me, making me have to tilt my head back to keep holding his gaze. I felt my body tense in anticipation of his touch, but forced myself to relax. I was going to resist this time. It wasn't going to be easy this time for him to touch or kiss me. I was determined to resist.

"As I stated before, you intrigue me... and I have use for your talents," he answered honestly.

"Is that all you want me for?" I asked with a frown, feeling offended. "To understand and use me for my power?"

"I would think that after being inside my head and seeing my thoughts of you, you would know that is not all that I want you for." His eyes went darker if possible and in the blink of an eye he was right in front of me making me jump.

I walked backwards, my eyes still on his until my back hit the door and I gasped as I realized I was trapped. Shit. I looked up at him. He reached for me and I didn't stop him, because god help me I wanted him. I gave up on resisting and opened myself to his embrace, wanting to know his thoughts, wanting to feel his touch. His hand came up to caress my cheek, I took the flood of images that rushed me with a gasp.

I was naked on his bed, face down as he trailed kisses down my spine, his hand curving around my ass as I moaned and begged for more of him. He rolled me over onto my back, his hand tangling in my hair as his lips brushed over mine and he brushed himself against me. He was in me with one thrust making me throw my head back and let out a pleasure and pain filled cry. His fangs unsheathed at my exposed neck making him moan as he leaned forward, his teeth scraping again my flesh before he plunged them into my artery.

"Oh god!" I breathed withdrawing myself from his brain and looking up at him.

He was smiling devilishly, fangs exposed. I was panting from the vision, still feeling his want and need mixed with mine. I couldn't figure out where his began and mine ended. His hands cupped my face as he leaned toward me, his lips finding mine. His fangs retracted just as my tongue slid into his mouth and massaged his. I let my hands explore him, not caring about boundaries any longer. I pushed his jacket off his shoulders letting the material fall to the floor as he reached down and cupped my ass before squeezing it.

I came up for air after a moment, reminding myself that he didn't need to. "Do you still think that your talent is all that I want you for now?" he asked me, his lips brushing against mine.

I whimpered, unable to answer him as my blood boiled with want for him. He gripped my hips roughly pulling me against him so that I felt every inch of hard muscle he had. I gasped at the feel of it, my hands gripping the material covering his body, wanting to rip it off. I didn't know what was happening to me. I clearly had lost my mind. I was making out with a vampire, who had been clear in his desire to use me for my talents and my body. I wanted him in return, which made it worse.

"I know you are a virgin…but have you ever been touched by a man?" he asked pulling away from my mouth as he looked into my eyes.

I know he didn't mean in general which made me shake my head quickly as his hands slid up from my hips, brushing over my chest before caressing the smooth skin of my neck. "Never…" I whispered, a low groan escaping my throat.

"Do you want me to touch you?" he asked huskily, his thin fingers beginning to unbutton my shirt.

I don't think I had ever wanted anything more in my life. "Yes," I moaned as his fingers reached my final button and spread my shirt open revealing my black laced bra beneath.

His eyes fell to my breasts, letting out a low sigh before one hand reached up and squeezed my right one. I let out a moan making him look into my eyes, his own full of passion and want. He pulled the material of my bra cup aside revealing my hardened nipple, his eyes never leaving mine as he bent his head and sucked it into his mouth. I gasped at the coldness of his mouth, his other hand squeezed my breast. I felt something well up inside of me quickly, stronger than any thing I had ever felt and it quickly consumed me. I threw my head back with a small cry, gripping the doorknob tightly as the feelings continued to sweep through me.

"Eric…oh my-."

I didn't get to finish. The feeling within me burst with an intensity that had me shaking in his arms, his name rolling off my lips in a cry as fluids gushed from me. Every muscle in my body tightened for a moment as I felt a throb between my legs leaving me gasping before slowly all my muscles relaxed and I leaned against the door. His mouth finally left me and I gazed up at him in shock as he straightened.

"Did I just...?" I began slowly looking up at him as his lips slid into a smirk. I blushed, embarrassed. I had just had an orgasm and he hadn't even touched me that intimately. If he could do that just by playing with my breast, I didn't know how I was going to manage actually having intercourse with him.

His smile widened and he pressed himself into me allowing me to feel the hardness of him, it made me shiver as it pressed into my stomach. "Allow me to check," he whispered holding my gaze as his hand slid down my side.

"Wait…Eric?" I started as I felt his hand slide toward the top of my jeans. I was suddenly very nervous and scared. This was getting real all too quickly. I had never been this far with someone before, the guys unabridged thoughts usually turned me off by now. I had been told it would hurt and I wasn't good at dealing with pain.

He didn't stop moving his hand even as he spoke. "Yes, Chase?" he said so politely as he dipped his hand into my jeans.

I moaned at the feel of his fingers, my panties officially soaked as my eyes rolled and he pressed his fingers against me. "I just...I'm not sure if...oh god..." he pushed the material of my panties aside his fingers brushing in between my folds and right over my clit making me let out a small cry. Pleasure consumed me once again and it over took me, leaving me vulnerable to his thoughts as I let my guard down. I saw myself in his head, laying on the black couch of his office, my hair framed around my face, my pants and panties off as he leaned beside the couch, his face pressed in between my legs. I was moaning loudly, my hands tangled in his long blonde hair, my body trembling as I was just about to-

He withdrew his hand from me quickly; breaking the connection and making me look up at him in surprise. "Stay out of my head," he said sternly, I knew it was an order. "I want everything I do to you to be a pleasant surprise." He didn't even give me the chance to respond before his fingers were back against me, rubbing me back and forth. My body took over, moving involuntarily against his fingers. The pleasure began to build up again, right from where it left off, sending me tumbling toward the edge.

'That's it," Eric egged me on, fully aware of just what his fingers were doing to me. "Cum for me."

The pleasure was slowly consuming me this time, my eyes rolling as my head lulled back and I reached forward to grip his shoulders to steady myself. All my muscles tightened again, and he quickened his pace, brushing his fingers rapidly back and forth over my clit. I gasped as the pleasure filled me up, rushing me like a tidal wave as my body began to tremble. I could feel the orgasm creeping up behind it and I braced myself for impact biting my lip as his head dipped to my neck and I felt his lips caressing my skin.

"Eric!"

I jumped at the loud yell of his name on the other side of the door, snapping me out of my erotic state and making my orgasm recede back to wherever it came from.

"Go away!" Eric ordered, not bothering to stop his handiwork.

I struggled to refocus, trying to ignore the interruption as my body craved release. A pounding on the door stalled me again, making Eric growl in anger as he withdrew his fingers from me and eased me away from the door. He pulled it open, fangs exposed and I stepped back to see a woman on the other side of the door. She looked older than any of Eric's other employees and her hair was short and blonde. She wore a black tank top and a miniskirt with black heels and she looked absolutely horrified. I quickly closed my shirt to hide my exposed flesh.

"Ginger, what do you want?" he growled through clenched teeth.

"There's a dead girl in the parking lot! Someone called the cops too!"

Eric frowned before turning back to me. "Chase, stay here," he ordered before he was rushing out of the door past Ginger.

I sighed and began buttoning my shirt as a cold feeling swept over me and I froze. I felt my stomach sink and was bolting out the door before I had finished buttoning all my clothes. The bar was empty now as I ran through it and burst through the entrance door finding a small circular crowd. I could see blue and red lights coming from the distance and stopped short just outside the door, my heart pounding. Eric turned to me from where he stood in the crowd, his face dropping.

"Chase, stay back," he commanded sternly, looking at me with a frown.

I ignored his commands and came forward, pushing people aside to see the body that lay across the pavement. I saw her curly blonde hair first, such a contrast against the black pavement, then the blue eyes open in a dead stare. Her body was twisted, her skin pale and her throat an odd mix of blue and purple. I felt tears falling down my face as I realized I was looking at the dead body of my best friend Cassandra.

 

Chapter Text

"Can you just tell me one more time what you were doing here?"

I rolled my eyes at the question and looked up at the young deputy through my tears. He was standing over me from where I sat near the entrance of Fangtasia, Eric’s coat around me. I had barely just stopped my sobbing fit, tears still rolling down my face. He looked at me, his eyes bright with disapproval as he held his pen poised to write down just what I was doing at the bar in his notepad. I looked away from him, back to where they were bagging up Cassandra's body. It made my stomach wrench. I was tired and ready to go home. I didn't want to answer any more questions.

"We came to see someone okay? That guy right there," I said pointing to Eric, who stood with arms crossed, speaking to another officer with Pam right at his side. She had arrived just a little after the police had and hadn't left Eric's side since. "I was in his office talking to him while my friend waited at the bar. I would like to go home now."

The deputy hesitated before closing his notepad and nodding. "I am just wondering what two human girls like yourselves would need to talk to a vampire bar owner for?" he said softly leaning down closer.

I rose to my feet surprising him. "That is none of your damn business and has nothing to do with why she is dead, which is what you should be figuring out and not trying to pry into my personal life!" I shouted making him flinch as I forced back sobs.

"Are you alright, Chase?"

I jumped as Eric's voice surprised me and I turned to find him standing beside me. His face was blank as he looked from me to the deputy, who was suddenly cowering where he stood, and back. I put my head in my hands for a moment, trying to compose myself, furiously wiping away my tears. I was so sick of crying.

"I just want to go home, okay? We're listed in the phone book under Chase Morgan or Cassandra Wright from Bon Temps; you can call me if you have more questions. My best friend was just murdered and I can't deal with this right now…"

The deputy blushed, looking apologetic. "Okay ma'am I apologize…but is there someone who can come stay with you? There's been a murder over in Bon Temps too and it may not be safe for you to be alone."

I sighed and shook my head. I had heard about the first murder over in Bon Temps, but Cassandra and I were together most of the time or in Shreveport at the college so we didn't think much of it. We were usually only home to sleep or study. Cassandra was the only one of us who really went out.

"I have no one," I answered. "All my family is in Texas and Cassandra is-was-the only friend I have out here…"

"I will escort her home," Eric piped up making me look at him. "I will see to it that she is watched over for the rest of the night as well."

The deputy didn't look too relieved by that and turned to look at me, not bothering to hide the disgust on his face. "If it is alright with you ma'am, I can send an officer home with you instead if you wish. You may feel more comfortable with a human person rather than a vampire," he said glancing at Eric who frowned deeply. I could see his jaw clench and it made me reach out and touched a clothed part of his body. I didn't need to read his mind to know that he wanted to rip the deputy's throat out.

"I am fine with Eric taking me home," I said looking at Eric whose face softened. "I will be safe with him."

The deputy frowned but nodded. "If you insist."

I turned and headed for my car, feeling Eric walking behind me. I unlocked my car doors and was about to slide into the driver's seat when Eric grabbed my arm making me look at him. He said nothing, holding out his hand. I gave him my car keys without a word and walked around the car, climbing into the passenger seat.

We drove in silence until we reached Bon Temp and I had to give him directions to my house. The house was a small one story with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It had belonged to Cassandra's parents before they had moved to Texas which is where I had met her. When Cassandra and I had both decided that we wanted to go to school away from home they renovated the house so we could move into it. I didn't even know if I would have a place to live after they found out. I couldn't pay the household bills all by myself. My student allowance just wasn't going to cover it. I would probably have to move back home or find a roommate.

Once Eric pulled into the driveway beside Cassandra's car I reached over and grabbed the keys from the ignition, unbuckled myself and climbed from the car, not bothering to wait for him. I went to the door and unlocked it before going inside and turning on the lights. I tried to keep myself from crying as I gazed at the furniture that Cassandra and I had purchased together and the pictures of us on the wall. The house felt empty without her and I didn't know how I was going to be able to stand it. I was staring at a photo of us when I heard Eric clear his throat and turned to find him standing outside the house, right in front of the doorway.

"What are you doing?" I asked taking a step toward him.

He cleared his throat again. "I cannot come inside unless I am invited," he said tilting his head. "If you do not wish to invite me in then I understand and I can watch you from outside…"

I walked to the doorway and gazed at him from the inside. I had heard rumors that vampires couldn't enter without being invited, but I thought they were just that, rumors. I raised my eyebrow as I looked at him. "What happens if you try to come in uninvited?" I asked.

"I am physically incapable of even trying.”

I couldn't help the smirk that slid across my face at knowing that he wanted to come in and it was in my power alone to invite him. "Mr. Northman, are you going to behave yourself if I invite you into my home?" I asked raising an eyebrow.

He smiled. "I will. If you do…"

I felt a thrill rush through me at those words and swallowed hard. Now is most definitely not the time for this, Chase. "And if you don't…can I take my invitation back and make you leave?"

"Yes," he answered.

"Then…will you come in Eric?" I asked taking a step back and looking into the house.

He gave a simple nod before he stepped through my doorway, looking around my living room and dining room area. I shut the door behind him and locked it, even though I felt safe with him here. He was a vampire after all and what was more deadly than that. He paused right in the middle of my living room gazing at a picture of me and my brother, Isaac, on the wall. Isaac was two years younger than me and lived back in Texas with our parents.

"That's my brother," I said before he could even ask. "Isaac, he lives in Texas with my parents. He wanted to move to Bon Temps with me and Cassandra, but my parents didn't want him to. He would have only been coming for Cassandra anyway; he's been in love with her since he was a little boy and now-."

I broke off as my stomach sunk further as reality hit me more and more. My best friend was really gone. More tears streamed down my face and I wiped them away quickly before heading for the kitchen. I wasn't hungry or thirsty, I just wanted to escape being in the room full of pictures and with Eric. I didn't want to talk about Cassandra; it was bad enough that I was surrounded by her things that filled our house. I would have to call her parents in the morning and explain everything then pack her things and help with the funeral preparations and answer more questions. All of which I didn't want to do. I wanted to lie in my bed and sleep everything away and hope to wake up and find out that it was all a dream. I felt guilty and overwhelmed with emotions. If I hadn't been in the back with Eric maybe I could have-.

"Chase?"

I turned quickly finding Eric standing right behind me in the kitchen making me jump. I was starting to hate that he did that. I pushed stray strands of my hair out of my face as I looked up at him. I hated that he had such a blank face that was hard for me to read, most people I could tell what they were thinking just by their facial expressions, but not him. He hid it all very well. I shut the fridge that I had opened in my daze.

"Are you alright?" he asked raising an eyebrow.

I wiped away more tears that had escaped from my eyes. “I'm sorry I just…I don't really know how to deal with this. I have never had any one close to me die and I haven't ever had a vampire in my house either so there is a lot of firsts going on for me."

He looked sincere even though he said nothing and I wiped at my eyes some more. I hated to cry. I had lost my best friend, the only other person in the world who understood me. I didn't know how to think or feel about the matter and being near Eric only made things worse. I still felt desire for him in the midst of the grief. I wanted him to hold me in his arms and comfort me, but I wasn't going to press that. I got the feeling that all Eric Northman wanted from me was to get into my pants and use me for my power and I wasn't going to fool myself into thinking that it was anything more than that.

"Maybe you should just go," I said finally looking at him as I felt my throat tighten. I didn't want him to leave, but I didn't want to get too wrapped up in him either. He almost looked hurt for half a millisecond before his face went blank.

"If that is what you want," he said evenly, straightening himself as he clasped his hands behind his back. "Although it would make me more comfortable to watch over you tonight…to make sure that you are safe."

I felt myself blush at him voicing his concern. I almost felt like he cared for me more than just using me. "Fine you can stay…but I just want to sleep," I said crossing my arms.

He nodded once and stepped aside so I could move by. "Whatever you like," he replied.

I moved past him toward my bedroom, stopping as I gripped the doorknob to open it. I turned to looked back at him and found him still standing in the entrance to the kitchen. "I am going to change…into my pajamas…and then you can come in, okay?" I said hesitantly.

He nodded once again and crossed his arms as he leaned against the wall. "Take your time, Chase," he said softly gazing at me with his dark eyes. "I am not going anywhere."

I smiled weakly and disappeared into my bedroom, shutting the door behind me. I walked to my closet quickly, purposefully not looking at the section in my closet of clothes that I had borrowed from Cassandra as I looked for something semi decent to put on. I was still upset over my friend, but I was having a man in my bedroom after all. I went with a tank top and some boxers that I had, had since I was a teenager. I skipped the undergarments and brushed my hair before climbing under my covers. When I called his name he was opening the door to my room not even a second later. I blushed at the sight of him and he paused in the doorway to my bedroom. I saw that he had turned off all the lights in the rest of the house and after quiet moment he stepped into the room and shut door behind himself. I thought for a moment that he was coming to get in the bed with me, but instead he walked to my desk and took a seat in my desk chair. I didn't know whether or not to be offended by it, so I said nothing.

"Goodnight, Chase," he said looking at me with those deep eyes.

"Goodnight Eric," I replied softly turning to face the opposite wall and snuggle under the covers as I laid my head on my pillow. Seconds later the light in the bedroom clicked off and I heard him sit back down in the chair.

I closed my eyes and embraced the darkness, wanting to forget this night ever happened. I was immediately assaulted with the image of Cassandra's dead body on the pavement outside of Fangtasia making me gasp. I couldn't help the wave of tears that came rolling out of my eyes next and I tried to force back the sob that came with it, but I couldn't stop it. I was full on crying now against my pillow with a vampire in my room watching me.

"Chase."

I felt the weight of the bed shift and rolled over to see Eric leaning over me, his face glowing in the moonlight pouring through my window. He almost looked concerned, but I could tell that he was trying to hide it. I used my pillow case to wipe my face and choked back my sobs as he continued to watch me.

"I'm fine," I whispered, it was a lie and both he and I know it.

"No, you aren't," he said looking at me.

"Fine, I'm not," I admitted with a huff.

He said nothing. I sighed and sat up on my elbows slightly making him sit back on the edge of the bed as I ran a hand through my hair.

"I know this may be against your nature and all, but can you just lay here with me," I asked hesitantly. "I just want to get some sleep and I think I can do that if you lay with me."

He hesitated for a moment, before he slid his jacket from his shoulders. I pushed the covers back, allowing him to slide under them before pulling them over us both. There was a brief awkward moment of positioning ourselves and I found myself laying against him with my head on his chest with his arm wrapped around me. I sighed deeply and placed my hand on his still chest, closing my eyes and embracing the darkness that I found behind them.

"Goodnight Eric," I mumbled with a yawn.

I felt him shift just a fraction of an inch and then he was still again, his arm curved around my hip. "Goodnight Chase."


When I woke up the next morning he was gone which hadn't surprised me that much. I knew he slept during the day like all the other vampires so I imagined he needed to get back to his coffin. But the emptiness and silence that surrounded me upon my awakening was deafening. With Eric gone and Cassandra's death, it had me feeling sad and hollow the minute I climbed out of bed and didn't find Cassandra's blue eyes, bouncing blonde curls, and bright smile greeting me in the kitchen.

The calls started just as I was stepping out of the shower. The first was from my parents, they had heard about what happened from Cassandra's parents and wanted to know if I was alright and what I planned to do next. I couldn't afford to live alone out her unless I got a job, which was going to be hard to manage with school. Although I wasn't entirely sure I ever wanted to go back. I told them I didn't know what I was going to do and they said they were coming to Bon Temps with Cassandra's parents to collect her body.

The call from Cassandra's parents came next and it was the one that brought tears to my eyes. They wanted me to know that they didn't blame me for what had happened even though they had no idea that Cassandra and I hung around with vampires. I couldn't help but apologize for what happened because even though they didn't blame me, I blamed myself. If I hadn't of gone to see Eric and been so wrapped up in him then maybe she would still be alive.

I placed a call to the college, spending an hour explaining that I was going to have to take a leave from school. Which they were happy to grant if I filled out the necessary paperwork and sent it in. That took a lot off my mind, but I still had a lot of other things to worry about.

I finished getting dressed. I didn't really want to go anywhere, but I couldn't stand to just stay in the house. I decided to go for a drive instead. I drove around Bon Temps for almost two hours, thinking about what I was going to do and how I was going to manage to survive on the student allowances and living alone. I would need to get a job, soon, or my parents would want me to move back home and I honestly didn't want too. I went back home and started to clean after realizing that my parents and Cassandra's would be there the next day and the house was sort of a mess. Cassandra had never been up for cleaning and I had been too busy to keep up with it.

By the time the house was spick and span the sun was setting and my stomach was rumbling. I decided to go out to eat and I found myself parked outside Merlotte's. I had never been to the restaurant and bar before, but Cassandra had and she said the food was pretty good. Plus there was a bar and I could definitely use a drink.

I parked and climbed out of the car, entering the restaurant to find it pretty full with the dinner crowd. It was a fairly large place with lots of decorations. It felt like a calm family place and I smiled softly as I looked around. Nearly all eyes turned on me because after all I was a fairly new face in town and hadn't spoken to many people which of course made them think that I was weird. I felt myself blush. I hated when people stared at me.

"Good evening. Welcome to Merlotte's," came a southern accented voice that made me jump slightly. I turned to find a petite blonde standing next to me with a bright friendly smile. She almost reminded me of Cassandra except her eyes were brown and her hair wasn't curly. She was wearing a white t-shirt and a black pair of shorts, an apron, and there was a small green name tag above her breast that read Sookie . I forced a small smile on my face.

"Good evening," I said softly after a brief moment of hesitation.

"You okay?" she asked me.

She looked at me curiously for a long moment and I found myself staring into those brown eyes. She squinted as if she was exerting some sort of effort and then she frowned slightly which made me frown in return. What the hell was she doing?

"I'm fine," I answered. "Can I just get a table please?"

Sookie nodded and her smile returned. "Of course, sorry come on and follow me," she said leading me to a booth on the right side of the restaurant.

I slid into the booth and took the menu she handed me. Her fingers grazed mine as she placed it in my hands and I braced myself for the onslaught of her personal thoughts. When nothing came I gasped slightly and looked up at her, making her pause and stare back at me. That had never happened to me before. I had always seen something whenever I touched someone, whether they were currently thinking of something or not. There was always a flash of a memory or something, but with her I had saw nothing. I didn't even feel the normal rush of making a connection. I stared up at her wide eyed for a moment and she looked at me equally confused.

"You okay?" she asked me again, touching my hand gently. I actually searched this time, tried to make a connection with her and found something blocking me. I couldn't get inside her head.

I nodded quickly and she hesitated, but withdrew her hand from me. "Okay…I'll be back to take your order in just a minute alright?" she said softly. She still had that weird look on her face that made me feel a little uncomfortable, even more uncomfortable than being unable to read her thoughts.

I watched her walk away and looked back down at my menu. I couldn't help, but keeping glancing at her trying to figure out what made her so special that I couldn't read her thoughts. I had never ever met someone that I couldn't read and not being able to read her mind just made me want to even more. I focused on the menu, picking to have the cheeseburger and fries right when Sookie the waitress returned.

"You ready to order?" she asked.

I nodded. "Yeah I'll have the cheeseburger and instead of fries can I have salad?"

Sookie nodded. "Of course."

"And I'll take a Rum and Coke to drink," I finished and she smiled at me.

"Okay I'll have it right out to you," she said turning.

"Hey...Can I ask you a question?" I called making her turn back to me.

"Sure," she said tucking her order pad into her apron.

"I know this is a totally random question, but are you guys hiring?" I asked blushing crimson. I had never had to have a job.

Sookie hesitated, looking at me for a moment before looking over her shoulder at a shaggy sandy blonde haired man with a blue button down and jeans on that was tending the bar with an African American girl. "Actually we are pretty low on staff," she admitted with a small frown. “One of our waitresses was killed last night,” she said in a low and somber voice. 

"Oh," I said my face falling. Another murder in this town? Jesus Christ. "That's what the third murder now?"

Sookie blinked. "Third? Only other person that was murdered recently here in Bon Temps was Maudette Pickens."

I frowned. They must not have heard about Cassandra, maybe because it was in Shreveport. "My friend Cassandra was murdered down in Shreveport last night," I said looking down.

Sookie's face fell as she looked down at me, completely apologetic. "I am so sorry," she said quickly. "I've seen you two around before. You're new to town right? Your friend is the one with the curly blonde hair?"

I nodded. "Yeah, that's her."

She took my hand again and gave it a squeeze. I still got nothing from her. "Look, I'll go ahead and talk to Sam Merlotte for you, he's the owner, and see if he can get you hired. Go on and write your name and number down on this napkin and I'll tell him to call you when he makes a decision," she said handing me a napkin and her pen. "Do you have any experience?"

I shook my head in honesty. "No, but I can learn quickly," I said as I scrawled my name and number across it.

She gave me a small smile and took the napkin. "I'll put in a good word for you," she said giving me a small wink.

Suddenly the room around us shifted and it was like cold overtook the room. Everything went silent and Sookie and I both turned to see a tall dark haired man walking into the room. He was wearing a dress shirt and dress pants and all eyes followed him as he walked in and hesitated for a moment before moving to a booth. I heard all the customers in the room whispering about vampires and when I looked back at Sookie I had seen that her expression darkened and she was frowning.

"I'll talk to Sam for you okay?" she repeated and I nodded watching her saunter away.

I turned my eyes back on the booth the supposed vampire had sat at and found a red headed waitress tending to him. I could tell by her posture and the way that she was shaking slightly that she was nervous about this vampire. Apparently people in Bon Temps weren't as used to vampires as the people in Shreveport. This brought me to Eric.

I had managed to avoid thoughts of him today, but now they were full blown in my mind and my hands began to tingle with want for him. I wanted to just to Shreveport and see him, thank him for staying and watching over me last night. I knew it had been out of his nature to be kind, and it had really meant a lot to me. I had him to thank for my blissful night's sleep. Just go see him, a voice in the back of my mind said. It sounded oddly like Cassandra's voice. What's the worst thing that can happen, Chase? I huffed at the sound of her voice being the voice of reason in my head.

"Are you Chase Morgan?"

I jumped slightly and looked up to find the man Sookie identified as Sam Merlotte standing over me holding a tray with my cheeseburger, salad, and coke and rum sitting on it. I smiled immediately trying to seem friendly and extended a hand bracing myself for the onslaught of images from him I was about to receive. He reached forward, smiling kindly and took my hand. I forced the normal gasp that came out of my mouth back as images of the forest and the smell of trees and grass rushed me. It was unusual for any man to only be thinking about the forest and the smell of trees, but it was better than him thinking about anything perverted or gross. I took my hand back and continued to smile.

"Yes, I'm Chase," I said with a nod as he set my food down in front of me.

"Sam Merlotte," he said placing my coke and rum down in front of me and holding the tray at his side. "Mind if I sit?"

I shook my head. "No…please do."

He smiled wider and sat down opposite me causing a few other people to look our way. I noticed the black haired African American woman who was tending the bar, watching us as she wiped the bar down. I ignored the looks and looked at Sam who set the tray aside and placed his hands together.

"Sookie tells me you are looking for a job?" he asked me carefully, raising his eyebrows.

I nodded quickly. "Yeah, my living situation just…changed so I could use the income," I admitted. "Now I don't have any experience, but I learn fast and I will work hard."

Sam nodded as he looked at me for a long moment and I assumed he was judging me, trying to get a feel for my personality. "You live in Bon Temps?" he asked.

"Just moved…only been here about six months," I answered. "I live in the old Wright house near the cemetery. I go to college in Shreveport."

"Won't that interfere with a work schedule?" he questioned further.

I shook my head. "I um…I’m taking a break from school. I don't know when or if I am going to go back. I need to work more."

Sam remained silent for a moment still looking at me. He seemed like a nice guy, he had a nice open smile and he was pretty handsome for most of the men I had seen in Bon Temps. He let out a small sigh and I felt my stomach sink. An employer sighing during an interview was never a good thing.

"Can you do a four hour training shift tomorrow?" he asked me.

I felt a wide smile spread across my face, and I let out a low sigh. My parents and Cassandra's would be here in the morning, but I could deal with that later. I needed this job. "Yes, I can."

"Great, then I will see you tomorrow around noon?" he said raising an eyebrow.

I nodded again and smiled wider. My face was beginning to hurt. "I will be here," I promised.

We both heard small gasps from other customers in the room making Sam and I turn to see Sookie dragging the tall vampire who had just come in out of the bar by the hand. I frowned slightly; more intrigued by this girl whose thoughts I couldn't read and turned back to see Sam frowning deeply. He watched them walk out before looking back at me and recovering his smile.

"It was nice meeting you, Chase," he said rising back to his feet and pulling the tray with him. "I'll see ya tomorrow, okay?"

I nodded again and watched him walk away, looking around at the other patrons to see them talking desperately amongst each other. I began to pick at my food, eating halfway through my burger and salad before I got full and pushed the plates away. I downed my rum and coke and rose to my feet, determined to get over my fear and go see Eric. As I rose from the table, placing a twenty on it to cover the meal and tip, I noticed Sookie approaching.

"Hey, thanks for talking to Sam," I said looking at her with a relieved smile.

"You got the job?" she asked raising an eyebrow with a small smile spreading across her face.

I nodded. "Yeah…I start tomorrow."

"Well that's great," she said excitedly. "I am Sookie Stackhouse by the way."

I reached out and took her hand to shake it politely. I still got nothing. "Chase Morgan. I guess I am your new coworker."

Sookie's smile widened. "I am sure it will be fun."

"Yeah well I'll see you tomorrow. It was nice to meet you," I said again offering a small wave before heading out of the restaurant.

I walked to my car quickly, noticing that the same tall vampire that Sookie had dragged out earlier was still outside. I locked eyes with him for a moment before I tore my eyes away and climbed into my mustang. Not only could I not read Sookie Stackhouse's mind, she consorted with vampires as well, but she seemed like a very nice girl. I wanted to find out what her secret was, I wanted to know why I couldn't hear her thoughts, but I couldn't very well go up and ask her. I pushed my concerns about Sookie to the back of my mind and started the mustang before pulling out of the parking lot.

I decided to stop home on the way to Shreveport to take a shower and change my clothes. I was still wearing the jeans and t-shirt I had been cleaning in and I didn't want to go into Fangtasia in a pony tail, wearing clothes that smelt like pinesol. I decided to wear shorts and a tank top, it was still warm tonight and I could get away with it. I pulled on my leather jacket to protect my arms from being touched and I left my hair down around my shoulders. I made it to Shreveport around eleven thirty and wasn't surprised to find that the bar was full.

I pushed my way through to get to the bar and was greeted by Long Shadows scowl. "What can I get you?" he asked.

"Can I just have a coke please?" I asked him with a raised eyebrow.

He gave a single nod and turned to get my coke as I looked around for Eric. I found him in his chair as usual with Pam standing over him, but what surprised me more was that Sookie and her vampire friend sat on either side of him. He was gazing at Sookie as he had when he first saw me and I couldn't ignore the pang of jealousy that swept through me.

Long Shadow cleared his throat behind me.

I turned to him taking the cold can of coke that he offered and took a long drink, using it as a chance to calm myself. As I looked back over my shoulder at Eric, Sookie, and her vampire friend I found that Eric had spotted me and the amused smile that had been on his face had disappeared. Sookie and the other vampire's eyes soon followed and soon the whole group was staring at me and I set my coke back on the bar before moving off into the crowd out of sight.

I was heading for the door, wanting to leave as my brain wandered just what Sookie and her vampire were doing here in the company of Eric when I heard a loud banging and turned to find police officers in riot uniforms bursting in.

"This is the Shreveport Police," came a loud voice that made me jump. "Everyone freeze." Oh great.

Everyone scattered with random screams and shouts and curses. I stood frozen in my spot unsure of what to do. I looked back to Eric's chair to find it empty and him and the others who had been near him gone. I frowned, trying to keep my footing as people brushed and pushed past me, before I bolted for the front entrance and was stopped by the same frantic woman who had come knocking on Eric's door the other night. Ginger.

"Come with me," she said quickly pulling me back toward the bar.

"Ginger, wait-," I started looking over my shoulder at the front entrance.

"We can get out this way," she said pulling me through the crowd of cops and Fangtasia customers toward the back of the bar.

I allowed her to drag me toward the back of the bar until she pulled me through a door until we went through what looked like a storage area and through a door which led into the back of the parking lot where thankfully I had parked. I rushed to my car, unlocking it and allowing Ginger into the backseat since thankfully she had rescued me.

"Don't go out the main entrance," Ginger ordered as she buckled herself in and I shifted to reverse. "Head towards where the dumpsters are back there and go through the alley it will take you to the main road. It's small but you will fit and the cops don't know about it, so it won't be blocked."

I nodded and followed her directions, everything going just as Ginger had said. I came out on one of Shreveport's main roads and turning to head for Bon Temps. I let out a relieved sigh and turned to Ginger who was panting in my passenger seat.

"Thanks…Ginger for helping me get out of there," I said making her look at me and smile. "Can I drop you off somewhere?"

"Anywhere is fine," she answered with a shrug. "I need to get back to the bar and clean up before the morning."

I nodded and pulled over at the next place I could before letting her out. I thanked her again and then watched her walk down the street before heading for home. My mind raced with questions as I drove. What had Sookie been doing there? Why was Eric looking at her like that and further more why couldn't I read her mind? My hands tingled with the want of everything that I wanted to know and I tried to keep the jealousy and anger and confusion that was threatening to take me over at bay.

When I pulled onto my street I was surprised to find an unknown black corvette parked in front of my home. I raised my eyebrow at the sight of it and when I came closer I was even more surprised when I saw Eric standing on my porch. I felt my heart skip a beat and avoided eye contact with him as I parked next to Cassandra's unmoving car. I turned the car off and pulled my keys from the ignition, opening the door to find him standing right beside it, making me jump.

"Eric, what are you doing here?" I asked not bothering to hide the irritation and anger in my voice as I climbed from the car and shut the door behind me.

"I wanted to make sure you got out of the raid and made it home safely," he answered as I brushed past him and headed for my front door.

"You didn't seem too concerned with that when you were saving your own neck at Fangtasia," I mumbled pushing my key into the door and unlocking it. I felt him come up behind me and I ignored the shiver that rushed through me. I turned to him and found him gazing at me with his deep blue eyes.

"There was a murder at my bar last night and then a raid tonight," he answered calmly. "I’m certain that was not a coincidence and for my own safety I had to get out of there. There would be no reason that you would be bothered by the police so I wasn't too concerned that you wouldn't get out."

I rolled my eyes at him and pushed my front door open and stepped inside turning to find him standing right in the doorway trying to come in, a frown on his face. I held up my hand stopping him. "Don't come in. I'm not sure that I want you too.”

"Chase, why are you so upset?" he questioned his voice calm and even as he looked at me.

I hesitated. I didn't want to tell him that I was jealous of the way he was looking at Sookie or that I was really angry that he hadn't come to rescue me from the police and had just disappeared. I would rather just keep it to myself rather than admit I was hung up on a vampire. I swallowed hard and looked down as I spoke softly.

"Eric, just go," I said quickly, still not looking at him. "Please."

There was silence on his part, before I felt his hand underneath my chin and he was lifting it making me look into his eyes. His face was blank, but his eyes held so much emotion that I could not read. I stopped blocking his thoughts and forced my way into them searching past the death and the sex and the blood until I found the thoughts of me. He didn't want to leave me although he would never admit it aloud. He was a man of pride after all. I was pushing past that trying to find his thoughts of Sookie when he pulled his hand from me.

"I asked you to stay out of my head," he said through clenched teeth.

I startled in surprise, blinking up at him.

"What are you searching for in there? Why do you not just ask me out loud?" he asked sounding irritated.

I hesitated again, looking back up at him and finding him waiting almost impatiently for my answer. "What was Sookie doing sitting with you at Fangtasia?" I blurted before I could stop myself. "Is she another one of your humans?"

Eric blinked, obviously taken aback by my questions. He gazed at me for what felt like eternity before he did something that surprised me. He laughed. It was soft laughter like a chuckle and the smile that came with the laugh had me melting on the inside as he shook his head. "Chase…are you jealous?" he asked making me frown.

"What? No!" I said turning and heading into my house. I could hear his footsteps as he followed. I knew he could be completely silent if he wished, he wanted me to know he was coming in. I stopped in my kitchen and turned to find him standing in the doorway, that devilish smile was still on his face. It made me want to punch him.

"You are jealous," he said sounding assured.

I blushed from embarrassment. Me jealous over a vampire, a vampire who was not afraid to tell me that I was jealous either. "No, I am not," I said again turning away from him and opening my fridge.

I jumped when I felt him come up behind me, one arm reaching out to close the fridge and the other wrapping around my waist and my pulling my body against his. I let out a surprised gasp as I felt the hardness of him against my back. His other hand smoothed up my stomach and to my neck. He leaned in close to my ear and I felt his lips press against it before he was whispering.

"If you wish to be my human, Chase then all you have to do is tell me," he said. I whimpered as his hand slid down from my neck to the button of my shorts which he undid easily, sliding inside and brushing over me as I let out a moan. "I will take care of you…" his fingers pushed my panties aside and I heard him let out the softest moan as he found my wetness. "You will be mine forever…" I was panting now as I felt the pleasure beginning to build. "All you have to do is just say the words…"

"Eric…" I started; I didn't know what I was going to say.

I heard the small click of him unsheathing his fangs and his other hand slid from around my waist to reach for my chin and turn my face to the side, revealing my neck to him as he continued to work me with his other hand. I felt his lips against my neck first and then his fangs scraping ever so lightly against my skin making me gasp.

"So Chase Morgan," he breathed against my skin. "Do you want to be my human or not?"

Chapter Text

I reached for the cold hand that was down my pants, doing things that could only be described as erotic. My whole body was trembling with want and ache as I burned for release, but I wasn't going to let him fool me into sleeping with him because he was hot and I was jealous. I had held onto my virginity this long, the least that I could do was make sure that it was a special occasion under special circumstances.

But Eric was persistent, the moment my hand touched his wrist, he released my chin and grabbed my hand, holding it by the wrist to keep me from moving. I groaned, but I wasn't sure if it was frustration or pleasure.

"Eric, stop it. You can't…Mmm….make… me…say yes… by making me have an orgasm," I gasped.

“I am very persuasive, Chase,” he cooed in my ear.

He increased the speed of his strokes and I felt my wall of resolve beginning to crumble, the orgasm building quickly inside of me. I panted, trying to hold it at bay, biting my lip as I used my other hand to reach for his wrist. He stepped forward quickly, pushing me along with him until he was pressing me face first into the wall, using it to block my other hand from taking his out.

"Eric," I moaned as my legs began tremble, it was no use.

"Don't fight me, Chase," he whispered firmly in my ear. "I know you want me just as much as I want you, and I am done with the teasing."

I came as his last words flowed through my ears; my whole body trembling against him as my orgasm rushed through me. I cried out with the force of it, throwing my head back against his shoulder and digging my fingers into his wrists. He continued to work me through it until I finally came down, almost collapsing to the floor. He withdrew his hand from my shorts, sweeping me into his arms as if I weighed nothing and turned out of the kitchen.

By the time I came down from my post orgasm high, we were in my bedroom and he was setting me on my feet, kicking my bedroom door closed as he slipped his jacket from his shoulders. I felt like I was prey caught by the predator, his blue gaze intense and heated as he stared me down. I was panting as I leaned against him, my body still on fire as he pulled his shirt over his head. I let out a low sigh at the sight of his firm chiseled chest and stomach. Nobody should be allowed to look this good.

He kissed me with passion and urgency, his tongue sweeping over mine. I wrapped my arms around his neck, his hands tugging at the hem of my shirt, finally pulling away long enough to pull my shirt from my body and go for my shorts. As soon as the material of my shorts hit the floor he was pushing me backward, both of us falling onto my bed with him on top of me. I slid my hands up the front of his chest, over hard muscle and cold flesh before reaching his neck and smoothing my hands in his hair.

He continued to kiss me as I burned, his tongue dueling mine for control before I submitted and let him ravage my mouth. I was panting when he pulled his mouth away from mine, my fingers digging into his skin as his hands began to roam me. His eyes followed his hands everywhere they went as I tingled beneath him, his hands sliding up my thighs. He bent his head and kissed my stomach, his hands gripped the sides of my underwear and began to pull them down my hips.

My whole body tensed in response, snapping out of the sex that I was in as panic seized me. My eyes snapped open and I sat up quickly, gripping his wrists and halting his movements. He looked at me, puzzled with a hint of irritation, as I shook my head and pulled his hands away from my body.

“Eric, no, we can’t do this,” I said moving off the bed. “Not like this. You have to go.”

Eric frowned, straightening his body while I moved to gather my clothes. “What? Why not?”

“I’ve held onto my virginity for this long and I want the first time to be special, not because I was jealous that I saw you in the bar with some other girl or because you want me to be your human to which my answer is no. I’m not property,” I said pulling on my shorts.

He remained unmoving, his face blank, watching me pull my clothes back on.

I continued my rant while I fixed my shirt. “And besides we barely know each other. I know nothing about you besides the frankly somewhat scary things I saw in your head. I don't want to lose my virginity to some guy- vampire - just because he thinks I smell like delicious food,” I finished with crossed arms. “So thank you for being there for me about the Cassandra thing and for watching over me last night and checking on me today, but I’d like for you to go please.” I pointed to the door.

With no warning he blurred around me, stopping in front of my bedroom door completely redressed. He was gripping the door handle, his jaw clenched, but his eyes on the floor.

“Goodnight, Chase,” he said through clenched teeth. 

He pulled the door open and slipped through it, closing it behind him. I sighed and ran a hand through my hair as I heard a corvette starting outside before screeching away. I trudged to my bed and fell down face first onto my bed. I had officially pissed Eric off and left myself high and dry.

"Shit," I muttered to myself.


 

My parents flight arrived at 8:30 in the morning. Cassandra’s parents had taken a separate flight and were staying at a hotel. They weren't comfortable staying at the house, the situation being understandably too fresh for them. I had told them that I understood and offered to see them if they wanted before they left, but also understood if they didn't want to see me. I would just be a reminder of what they lost, and though they hadn't said it, I got the feeling that they blamed me a little bit for what happened.

I met my parents at the gate trying to hold back tears as I spotted my mother and father. My father, Christopher, was a tall man who looked well for his age, his hair was a mixture of black and grey and his eyes were the same bluish-grey that mine were. He had spent the better part of his life as an engineer and had made a lot of money doing it. My mom, Mary Morgan, on the other hand was a dark haired brown eyed woman who had spent the better part of her life being a housewife raising my brother and me. They both were retired now.

"Oh sweetheart," my mom said as she wrapped her arms around me and brought me into the warmth of her. I sighed as I breathed in a scent that my brain interpreted as home and ignored her thoughts. I didn't like going in my parents heads. I had learned the hard way that they thought bad things about me sometimes. They were always worried too. I couldn't stand it. "How are you?"

I pulled away from her and went into my father's arms next; he was wearing a jacket so I was lucky enough to not have to put my block up. "I am fine," I answered after pulling away and offering a weak smile. "How was your flight?"

"The flight was fine," My father answered looking around the airport as if he were searching for something.

"How is Isaac?"

"He is fine," my mother answered following me as I lead them to the baggage claim.

"That's good," I said with a nod shoving my hands into my pockets. "I got a job." My parents shared a hesitant glance before putting on matching frowns. I raised an eyebrow. "What?" I asked.

"We want you to come home," My mother said quickly making me look at her. My father nodded in agreement. "I don't think this Bon Temps place is good for you. There's vampires running around and we have been following the news, we know about the other murders..."

I shook my head. "No, mom, I want to stay. I know that things are crazy, but I am trying to be an adult and live my own life. I'm in the middle of school and I plan to take a break, but I will go back eventually and I just got a job. These things are part of being an adult and I need to learn to manage myself."

My parents shared another look before they both turned to me frowning. "Chase," my father said stepping forward and putting a hand on my shoulder. "You can't expect your mother and me to be okay with you living this far away from home in the town where your best friend was murdered, all by yourself."

"Actually dad, Cassandra was murdered here in Shreveport, not in Bon Temps.”

My parents frown deepened. This was going to be a long two day visit.


 

I pulled into the Merlotte's parking lot with a screech, jumping out of my car and running in through the door. I was two minutes late, not a good first impression to make, but my mother and father had decided to give me a hefty lecture on my decision to stay in Bon Temps, which ran long. I still hadn't won yet when I left, despite being twenty two years old my parents still treated me like a child and felt that their decisions were always best regardless of what I wanted.

I spotted Sam behind the bar as I burst through the door, standing next to a red headed waitress and immediately put on my apology face.

"Sam I am so sorry," I said quickly walking to the bar, noticing Sookie standing by it filling in the ketchup bottles as she talked to the red head. "I know I am late and that is definitely not okay, but my family came to town and I had to pick them up from the airport-."

Sam smirked and held up a hand making me fall silent. "Its okay, Chase. I am not a hard ass. Just don't let it happen again. You know Sookie already and this is Arlene. Arlene, this is Chase," he said motioning to the redhead standing beside him.

I smiled at her and she smiled hesitantly at me in return. "It's nice to meet you," I said politely before turning to Sookie and seeing that she was giving me a weird look. I wanted to ask her just what she had been doing with Eric at Fangtasia's, but thought against it. I doubted I would see Eric again and there was no point in bringing it up. "Hi, Sookie."

"Hi Chase," Sookie said cheerfully with a small smile.

Sam got my attention again by reaching under the bar and handing me a white t-shirt with the Merlotte's sign on it along with an apron. "Go change your shirt. Your shorts will do for now, but you need to get a pair of black ones. The employee bathroom is in the back. I am going to have Sookie show you how everything works round here."

I nodded at him before looking at Sookie who was still smiling. "Okay, great."

I moved around the bar in the direction he had pointed and headed toward the back. I found the bathroom and walked in, stopping when I saw the same African American woman, who was tending the bar with Sam the previous night, standing inside looking in the mirror. I hesitated in the doorway as she turned to me with a slight frown.

"You must be Chase," she said with a southern accent as she put a hand on her hip. "I'm Tara."

I smiled and extended a hand, bracing for the impact of her thoughts. She took it and I gasped at the waves of anger that were rolling off of her. She was thinking about Sam Merlotte, which didn't much surprise me, I figured they had a thing from the way she was eyeing me the other night when Sam sat at my table. I released her hand quickly and found her staring at me as if I had just sprouted a tail. A look I was used to getting.

"You alright?" Tara asked me.

I nodded and ran a hand through my hair. "Yeah...sorry...it's nice to meet you. You are the bartender?"

She huffed and turned back to the mirror. "Until I get fired which will probably be real soon," she mumbled. “So you’re the new waitress huh?”

I nodded, holding up the uniform. “Yeah.”

She huffed again and smirked. "Yeah well good luck with that."

I moved into the stall, locking it behind me just as I heard the bathroom door swing open again and the click of heels on the floor as someone entered. I peeked through the crack and saw red hair and guessed it was Arlene.

"Guess what, Tara?" she said.

"What, Arlene?" Tara replied sounding irritated.

"Sam and Sookie are going out!"

"What?!" Tara answered quickly.

"I know right! I gotta go; my orders are up, I just wanted to tell you!" Arlene said.

I heard the bathroom door swing open again and then I heard Tara sigh softly. I changed my shirt quickly and stepped out of the stall seeing Tara still fussing with her hair. I didn't know what to say to her so I opted to say nothing and headed out of the bathroom just in time to see Sookie coming towards it.

"Hey," I said folding my shirt in my hands. "I’m ready for waitressing 101."

“Great, just hold on one second I need to talk to Tara, meet me out front okay?" she said moving past me and into the bathroom.

I nodded and was headed for the front when Sam stopped me. "Hey come here," he said beckoning me over with a wave of his hand. "I want to show you something." I followed him into the back and into a room that I assumed was his office. He shut the door behind us and motioned toward shelves that sat in the corner. "We don't have lockers so this is where everyone puts their stuff. You can put your shirt and purse or whatever you have with you up here on top."

"Thanks, Sam," I said with a smile moving past him to put my shirt on the top shelf. I turned back to him and found him looking at me. "So you taking Sookie out on a date huh?"

He blushed, looking down as he leaned against the door. "Yeah...I've uh been waiting to ask Sookie out on a date for a long time.”

"Well that's great," I said with a nod. "Where you going to take her?"

"To the DGD meeting in town. There's gonna be a vampire speaking there about the old war," he said rolling his eyes. "You going to go?"

I huffed and pushed my hair back. "No, I am just going to stay home with parents. They flew in today that's why I was a little late."

”Oh...well I'm sure you won't be missing out on much anyway," he said stepping back and pulling the door open.

I followed him out of the office. "Yeah, but good luck on your date."

"Thanks I'm going to need-."

We both stopped short as Tara came thundering past us. "Keep that girl away from me!" she shouted before heading towards the bar.

Sam sighed and put a hand on my shoulder. "Welcome to Merlotte's."

I huffed. I got the feeling that this was going to be an interesting place to work at.


Four hours flew by faster than I anticipated. Sookie taught me the ins and outs of Merlotte's and told me about the other employee's. I got the hang of things pretty quickly and managed not to drop anything which Arlene commended me on. I also managed to get by on not touching anyone and getting some thoughts that I didn't want to see. Sookie and I seemed to get along pretty well aside from the fact that I couldn't read her mind and I still wanted to know just what she was doing at Fangtasia. But I still hadn't mustered up the guts.

"You did pretty good to have had no experience," Sookie said with a smile.

I sighed and leaned against the bar with a smile. "Yeah. It's not as bad as I thought it would be," I said softly. "But...hey Sookie can I ask you a question?"

She hesitated, but nodded. "Sure, Chase go ahead."

"In private though," I said looking around. Tara, Sam, and Arlene were in hearing distance as well as a few customers. I could tell they were eavesdropping.

Her eyes followed mine, taking in all the people whose ears perked up at my wanting to ask her something. "Sure, come on, Sam we are going outside," she called over her shoulder before taking my hand. I was beginning to enjoy the silence I got from her. It was refreshing not to have to block someone out. It took a lot more effort than you would think.

I let her lead me outside and around the back of the building by the dumpsters before she stopped and turned to me. "What's up?" she asked.

I hesitated and swallowed deeply before I just blurted it out. "I saw you at Fangtasia the other night with that brown haired vampire and Eric...mind if I ask you what you were doing there?" I said making her falter.

"I was doing a little investigating about Dawn and Maudette Pickens," she answered. "You know Eric Northman?"

"I met him the other night when my friend Cassandra and I went there. The next time I went she was murdered in the parking lot and he drove me home and kept an eye on me overnight."

Sookie blinked, obviously taken aback by what I had said of Eric. "Well that was the first time I ever met him. Him and Bill are old friends I suppose," she said shaking her head. "But other than that I do not know him and would really rather not."

"And Bill is the brown haired guy you were with?" I asked.

”Yes, but I’m not sure how much longer he and I will be friends ."

I took a deep breath and mustered up some courage to ask the question that had really been bothering me. "So please dont take this the wrong way or anything, but do you know of anything abnormal about your brain?”

Sookie didn't bother hiding the offense on her face. She frowned deeply and put her hands on her hips. "Now what on earth do you mean by that?" she asked in a high pitched tone.

"No, I don't mean anything in a rude manner," I sighed. How was I supposed to explain my talent without looking like a maniac? “I am...a telepath of sorts. I can read minds and emotions through touch.” Her eyes went wide. “I know it sounds crazy, but it’s really true. But when I touch you I get nothing. Not one thought or emotion, just silence. And it’s never happened to me before. So I’m curious why.”

She didn't say anything for a long moment. She just stood there staring at me as I looked at her, impatiently waiting for an answer. She surprised me when a little smile showed on her face and then her jaw dropped.

"You aren't making fun of me?" she said slowly.

I blinked. "What?"

"You really can read minds?" she asked stepping towards me.

"Yes...?" I frowned.

"Chase, I can read minds too," she said as she grabbed my hand, sounding as if she were in awe of me. "Granted I can't read yours and now that you tell me you can't read mine it kind of makes sense. Maybe we block each other because we are both telepaths although I read minds just by hearing it and not by touching like you. I have never met anyone else who can read minds too unless you are playing some sick joke on me-."

I felt my face fall. I instinctively tried to read her thoughts to see if she was telling the truth and remembered I couldn't. Great , I thought. "So..you’re being serious right now. You can really read minds?”

She nodded earnestly. “And while normally I’d read your mind to find out if you were serious, I can’t.”

I chuckled. “And I can’t read yours.”

Two mind readers unable to read each other's minds so we both had no way of knowing if the other was telling the truth. That sounded like a sitcom.

"So what do we do?" I asked her.

"Well...do you believe me?" she asked raising an eyebrow. "Cause you can ask anyone in this town and they'll tell you that I can."

"People know about your ability?"

She nodded. "Most of them don't believe me, they just think that I am weird," she said. "Tara knows. No one knows about you?"

"Well my parents of course. And Cassandra," I said softly my head dropping. I missed her.

"Maybe we should meet up later and talk about it more," she offered with a small shrug.

"Sure...but no one knows what I can do and I would like for it to stay that way," I added quickly.

She nodded and pretended to zip and lock her lips. "Your secret is safe with me.”


Sookie and I exchanged numbers and we promised to discuss our mutual abilities some more later. I finished my shift feeling quite accomplished for someone who had never had a job and whose parents were convinced she was incapable of doing anything on her own.

On the way home I got a call from Cassandra’s mother, apologizing or not being able to see me before they left. They were completing the paperwork and making arrangements to transport her body and would be returning home the next day. They didnt want to stay any longer than they needed too and I didn't blame them. They planned to cremate Cassandra and hold a memorial service for her back in Austin, which they timidly invited me too, but I had no intention of attending. Cassandra had been Ms. Popular and I had been her polar antisocial opposite. How we had been best friends had been beyond me, but I hadn't gotten along with any of her other friends. I couldn’t show my face at the memorial and see the blame for Cassandra’s death. I’d say goodbye to her in my own way. I was thankful that Cassandra’s parents understood and didnt blame me for not wanting to attend.

“Hi sweetheart," my mother said as I walked through the door, setting my keys and apron aside. She was cleaning. I wasn't surprised. My mother was the cleanest and neatest person I had ever met. It irritated me mostly.

My father sat on the couch, watching television, some news show with two people talking back and forth on a split screen. I placed a kiss on my father's cheek and headed for my bedroom. "I am going to shower and get changed," I called before shutting my bedroom door. I showered and changed into another pair of shorts and a tank top before heading back into the living room. My mother was in the kitchen cooking which made me raise an eyebrow as I headed in to look over her shoulder. I saw steak cooking in the pan and the smell of it reminded me of home

"You went grocery shopping?" She nodded, looping her dark hair behind her ears before moving to another pot and stirring its contents. "Your fridge was devastatingly bare, dear. If you insist on living out here alone then you are going to need food to eat," she said turning to look at me. "I'm going to make you a few things and freeze them so you have and Isaac have a few meals when he gets here."

I frowned. "Isaac? What are you talking about?"

"Isaac is going to move in with you," she said with a nod.

My face fell and the frown on my face deepened as I gazed at my mother. My brother was two years younger than me and was a much handsomer spitting image of my father when he was younger. He was fit and averagely smart and had been a star athlete on the football team. He was a nice guy, to just about everyone else but me. He had tormented and teased me relentlessly pretty much from the time he could talk. I had never felt the brother-sisterly bond with him. And I knew there was no way that I wanted to live with him again.

“No," I said shaking my head. “There is no way in hell I am letting him move in here.”

My mom let out a small gasp. "Chase, watch your language," she said sternly. "And neither your father, or your brother or I want you living out here alone. There's vampires running around and a murder happening every other night. I heard people talking in town. Do you know they have a vampire talking at a church tonight? Your father and I are going to go and see him speak. I was invited by a nice woman and I really would like to see what it would have to say-."

I ignored my mother's comments about the vampire speaking at the DGD and cut her off. “I thought Isaac was going to a university in Austin?"

My mother's face softened and she leaned closer to me as she glanced at my father. "He didn't get in," she whispered. "He's really hurting right now. With not getting accepted and then finding out about Cassandra, you know how he felt about her..."

I managed to feel slightly bad for my brother, but not enough that I wanted him to move in with me. I loved my brother, but I knew that it would end in disaster. He had never liked being the brother of the weirdo in school, that weirdo being me. There was also the fact that I had a life that I wanted to live without my mother’s spy being my roommate.

“Mom-.”

"It's either your brother stays here with you or you come home," my mother said giving me the "it's final" look. "Your father and I would just feel better that way."

I sighed heavily and glanced down the hall, formulating my next argument about just where he would sleep when I noticed Cassandra’s closed bedroom door. I had left it open just like she had the night she died. Her room was always a mess, but that just what kind of person Cassandra was. But even though it was messy it always smelt like her favorite perfume or something sweet. She liked to smell good and it comforted me to walk by and smell her. The sight of it closed made me angry for a reason I did not know and I turned to my mother quickly.

"Why is Cassandra's door closed?" I asked.

My mother hesitated, wringing her hands. She always did that when she was nervous. "Well...I cleaned it out and boxed up her things ya' know?" she said quickly. "Ashley asked me too because she just couldn't and I wanted Isaac to be able to stay in there once he flies in-."

My frown deepened and I moved into the hallway before she finished, pushing Cassandra's door opened. I was immediately assaulted by the smell of pine-sol and cleanser. There were stacks of boxes in the corner and everything that belonged to Cassandra was in them, even her bed sheets and comforter. Her room looked as bare as the day we moved in except her bed, dresser, TV and stand, and her desk still remained. The sight of it made everything sink in further and I felt like I had been stabbed in the chest. She's gone , I thought reaching up to put a hand over my aching heart. My best friend is really gone. I felt something behind me and turned to see that it was my mom. I reached up quickly and wiped my eyes as the tears threatened to roll down my face.

"I didn't know it would upset you this much, Chase," she said putting a hand on my shoulder. "I'm sorry sweetheart."

I shook my head and leaned against the doorjamb. "I just...it's just really sinking in now that she is...gone..." My mother remained silent as she looked at me. "Sorry...I'm just going to go lay down. I'm tired...from work."

I walked to my room and shut the door behind me, leaning against the door with a sigh. I could see the sun beginning to set over the trees through my window and it had my mind wandering to Eric. I wondered if I would ever see him again, if he had grown frustrated and bored of me already because I was resisting his vampiric charms. I wasn't sure of how I really felt about him or if I wanted him to be my first or if I wanted to be his human. Honestly, I was sure of very little these days. I wasnt sure that I’d see him again.

I pushed Eric to the back of my mind, crawling into my bed, snuggling deep into my comforter and covering my face with my pillow. I wasn't tired, but I needed some peace, some solitude, some darkness, just to let everything truly sink in. I shut my eyes and let the darkness consume me.

Chapter Text

I awoke the next morning to the smell of pancakes and bacon wafting into my room. I groggily rolled over in bed, shielding my eyes from the bright sunlight that shone through my window, sitting up slowly. My stomach rumbled with hunger at the smell giving me enough motivation to go to bed. I slid out of bed, pushing my bed hair out of my face, shuffling out of my room to the kitchen.

“Good morning, Chase,” my mom greeted me as I trudged into the kitchen. My father sat at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper. It all felt very familiar, like I was back home in Austin. “I made breakfast. Do you have time to eat before work?”

I kissed her cheek and made for the coffee pot. “I am off today.”

“Have a seat honey, I can get you a cup of coffee,” she said motioning to the table.

I sat down, opposite my father who greeted me with a smile. My mother brought me a plate of eggs, bacon, and pancakes, causing my stomach to rumble again at the sight. I hadn’t had a decent home cooked breakfast, or any meal for that matter, in a long time. It made me homesick at the thought.

"Thanks, mom," I said before forking some eggs and taking a bite. It was delicious just like I thought it would be.

She nodded and handed my father his plate before taking a seat. She took a deep breath and straightened her back and a familiar feeling ran down my spine. She was about to tell me some news that I probably wouldn’t like.

"There was another murder last night.”

I choked on the eggs I was currently swallowing, making them spew out of my mouth and onto the table. Both my parents jumped in surprise, before my mom was rising to get a towel and clean up the bits of food. I swallowed hard and then took a drink of orange juice that sat beside my plate.

"Who?" I asked once I recovered, clutching my chest.

"That poor nice woman who held the DVD meeting last night," my mom answered shaking her head with a sad frown.

I raised my eyebrow. "You mean the DGD meeting?"

"Yes. Your father and I went to see the vampire speak, he was actually very kind. It was a real emotional meeting, I would have thought he was going to cry towards the end, but then I remembered vampires can't cry. His name was Bill…Bill…Copperton or something of that nature," my mom continued.

I held up my hands making her fall silent. “Mom, the woman who ran the meeting, what was her name?”

“Her name was Adele Stackhouse. She was so kind and nice to us last night-."

My face fell and a cold shiver washed over me. I recognized that name, Stackhouse . A relative of Sookie. It had to be. Sookie had mentioned that her grandmother would be running the meeting and that meant that she had been the one who was murdered. I rose from my chair, leaving my breakfast behind as I headed for my bedroom.

"Where you going?!" my mother called.

"I'm getting dressed and I am going to see Sookie," I said stopping at my bedroom door and turning back to her. "She's my co-worker and that was her grandmother who was killed last night."

I showered and dressed in an old sun dress I had borrowed from Cassandra a long time ago that still remained in my closet. It was bright blue and Cassandra always told me how it made my eyes popped. I didn't want to wear black, it would be too depressing. I left my hair falling down my shoulders and wore a pair of white sandals. My mom handed me a frozen casserole that she had prepared the other night as I was walking out the door and told me to be back in time to take them to their flight which would be that evening. I felt bad for not spending much time with my parents but everything seemed to be going topsy turvy around me.

I drove to Sookie's house which I didn't know the complete address of, but she had mentioned it was near the cemetery and once I saw all the cars parked out front I knew I was in the right place. I took in a deep breath and grabbed my frozen casserole off the passenger seat as I headed towards the house and knocked on the door. I was surprised to find it was Sam who had opened the door and offered a weak smile.

"Hi, Chase," he said returning my small smile. "It's nice to see you."

I nodded and stepped through the threshold allowing Sam to wrap an arm around me and squeeze me against him for a moment. He smelt like the trees and dirt, but not in a bad way. I blocked his thoughts from entering my brain, not wanting to know what he was thinking and pulled back from the hug.

"Sookie is in the kitchen, you can take that in there," Sam said motioning toward the kitchen.

I nodded and moved into the house, holding my casserole tightly as all eyes turned to me. I was so glad that I couldn't hear their thoughts out loud. I put a small smile on my face and was relieved when I made it into the kitchen and saw Lafayette and Tara standing near the sink. Sookie sat at the table talking to a hefty woman with a large pink shirt on. Lafayette offered me a small smile and beckoned me over with a wave of his hand.

"Hey, Chase," Tara said in greeting.

"My mom insisted I bring this," I said handing the casserole to the Lafayette who frowned, which I ignored. “How is Sookie?"

Lafayette and Tara both sighed at once. "She is hanging in there, but I don't like all these people round here just squatting. And look at Maxine Fortenberry right there just gabbing her ear off," Tara said softly, shaking her head as she looked at the woman in the pink.

"I'll go rescue her," I said stepping forward and coming into Sookie's view. Her eyes lit up slightly as her attention turned from Maxine to me.

"Chase," she said in surprise. "I wasn't expecting to see you here."

I offered a weak smile and stepped past Maxine to lean over and give her a hug. "Excuse me Ms. Fortenberry. Sookie…I know you have been hearing this all day, but I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother," I whispered into her ear as I hugged her.

Sookie released me and nodded. "Thank you, Chase. And thank you for coming," she said with the smallest of smiles.

I nodded in return and stepped back. "Let me know if you need anything."

She nodded and I stepped back to stand next to Lafayette and Tara just as Arlene came bursting into the kitchen to grab Sookie and pull her into a hug. They exchanged words for a moment as Tara and I watched and out of the corner of my eye I saw Maxine digging in the refrigerator. I opened my mouth to ask if she needed help when Sookie turned.

"Maxine Fortenberry you put that pie down right now!" Sookie shouted angrily making us all jump. She stalked over to Maxine quickly and snatched the pie from her hands before stalking back over towards the back door. "This is Gran's pie!"

"I'm sorry," Maxine said quickly. "I was just making some room for the casserole."

All eyes turned to her and silence over took the room as Sookie stood there looking flustered and overwhelmed. I could imagine all the bad thoughts she was hearing and me and Tara shared a glance before Tara moved forward and took Sookie by the shoulders.

"Ya'll excuse us," she said beginning to lead Sookie towards the stairs. "I need Sookie upstairs." They moved through the foyer past Sam who stepped forward, but Tara gave him a look. "We need a little girl time. Come on Lafayette. You too Chase."

I was surprised to be included, more eyes turned to me as I headed past the group of people and followed Lafayette up the stairs. We reached a room that I assumed was Sookie's and Tara shut the door behind us. Sookie sat on the bed and Lafayette laid at the foot of the bed, Tara moved to sit beside him. I leaned against the desk in the corner and looked at Sookie who stared off in a daze. I could say that I knew how she felt. Losing someone you have known pretty much all your life that was really close to you. It was like an empty desperate feeling that filled you without an end and swallowed you whole. I felt bad for her.

"I shouldn't have lost it like that," Sookie said softly finally refocusing and looking at Tara.

"Don't you be sorry for yelling at that snoopy old bitch," Tara said quickly shaking her head. "She been sticking her nose where it don't belong for far too long."

Lafayette nodded in agreement. "Say it. I mean if she talked any more shit she would be shaped like a turd."

I couldn't help the snort that I let out at that statement and Tara and Lafayette looked at me before bursting into laughter. We all laughed for a moment as Sookie stared off. When she finally spoke, we all fell silent at her words.

"Gran's gone," she said as if it had just dawned on her. "She's really gone."

Tara hesitated, sharing a glance with me and Lafayette before nodding. "Yeah she is."

Sookie shook her head slowly. "I don't even know what I'm supposed to do," she said hesitantly. "I can't even think straight."

"Well of course you can't," Tara huffed. "How can you with all these circling bugs? You know you aren't their entertainment. You don't have to dance for them. You just gotta feel whatever your feeling."

Lafayette and I nodded in agreement as Sookie shook her head again. "I'm not sure…I'm even feeling anything," she said slowly. "I'm just numb."

"Numb is good," Tara said with a nod. "Numb is probably what you need right now. Stop worrying about being so damn appropriate. This is not an appropriate event."

"Yeah, Sookie," I said making her look at me. "You don't have to worry about anyone else, but yourself right now. Feel how you want to feel and grieve the way you want to grieve."

"Yep, and don't let no one's thoughts get you down girl," Lafayette said reaching forward to touch her leg.

Sookie nodded. "Thank you guys for getting me out of there. I haven't had a single minute of silence. I can't seem to block anything out right now," she said slowly. She turned her brown eyes on me. "I wish my telepathy worked like yours…only hearing thoughts when you touched someone."

My face fell slightly as Lafayette and Tara turned wide eyes on me. I blushed crimson. "Jesus Christ you are a telepath too," Tara said with a frown.

Sookie gasped and covered her mouth as I looked at her. "Oh Chase, I am so sorry, I forgot you didn't want me to tell anyone," she said quickly.

I shook my head. "It's okay Sookie…and yes Tara I am a telepath apparently," I said with a sigh. "But I can only read someone's thoughts if I touch them so therefore I tend to keep my hands and body to myself."

Tara and Lafayette shared a glance. "That's all we need in this town is one more damn telepath," Tara mumbled making me frown. "No offense Chase, really. This town is just getting weirder and weirder is all I mean."

I huffed. "None taken and I agree with you."

"You want me to tell everyone downstairs to shut the hell up, Sookie?" Tara asked turning back to her.

Sookie huffed and shook her head. "I wish it was that easy."

Lafayette smiled as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a plastic baggy with a few pills in it. "It is. Your wish is my command."

Sookie shook her head. "Oh…I don't do drugs."

Lafayette frowned. "Sookie this is not drugs. This is a valium," he said holding up a small white pill. Sookie still looked hesitant. "Here just put it on the nightstand in case you feel like taking it later."

Sookie nodded and took the pill from his hands. "Okay."

Lafayette stuffed his little bag back into his pocket and looked at us. "I am going to go check on the circling buzzards," he said with a sigh as he sat up on the bed.

Tara nodded. "Okay."

"Lafayette," Sookie said making him stop and turn to her.

"Yes ma'am?"

"Can you please take this back down stairs?" Sookie asked handing him the pie.

Lafayette nodded. "I will guard it with my life."

I watched Lafayette walk out of the bedroom before taking his place on the bed and sighing. Sookie sighed and lay across her pillows. I didn't know how long I was supposed to stay or what to do to comfort her really, but I felt as though I should leave.

"Sookie, I have to go home now, but you have my number," I said giving her another hug. "Call me if you need anything okay?"

Sookie nodded. "Are you gonna come to the service tomorrow?"

I hesitated. I hated funerals. I never liked going there was always too much skin to skin contact and bad thoughts. "If you want me to," I answered hesitantly.

She nodded. "I would like it if you were there. I know my Gran would have liked you."

I hesitated again and shared a glance with Tara. "Okay…I will be there."

She nodded again. "Good."

She offered me a smile that barely made her lips move and I waved to them both before heading out of the bedroom. I moved down the stairs catching sight of Sam standing in the foyer. He excused himself from whoever he was talking to and came towards me just as I reached the landing.

"How is she?" he asked looking up the stairs.

"She is dealing," I said with a sigh. "I have to get home though."

"You coming to the service tomorrow?" he asked.

I nodded. "Sookie, wants me too so I will be there."

He nodded. "Okay, I'll see you tomorrow then."

I moved past him and headed for the door, slipping through and walking to my mustang. I climbed in and headed for home appreciating the silence around me as I drove. With the death of Sookie's grandma that was three murders now in this small town and I was starting to think this wasn't random violence. I felt uneasy at the realization that I now lived alone. I was going to have to get a security system or something. Maybe my brother coming to stay wouldn’t be such a bad thing.


 

I found my parents sitting at the kitchen table when I got home. I noticed their bags were repacked and sitting by the door. That was my mother, always prepared. I set my keys aside and shut the door behind.

"How is your friend honey?" my mother asked.

I sighed and ran a hand through my hair joining them at the table. "She is...grieving," I answered with a small shrug. "Like most people in this town."

My parents shared a glance. "You sure you don't want to come home?" my father asked, reaching over and taking my hand.

I hesitated. There was so much going on in Bon Temp that now I reconsidering staying. But I seemed to fit in more in Bon Temps than I ever had in Austin. I could make this into my home. I nodded and looked back up at my parents.

"I want to make Bon Temps my home," I said with as much conviction as I could muster. "I'm going to turn this situation around somehow. And if you want to send Isaac here to stay with me then so be it. We both can make this place into a second home."

My parents blinked in surprise, but they both nodded. "Okay then, Chase," my father said squeezing my hand.

I hung out with my parents for the last couple hours they had before taking them to the airport and seeing them off. I cried as they headed for their gate because I really had and would continue to miss them. They told me Isaac would be coming in three days after he settled his affairs in Austin and I promised to be there to pick him up from the airport.

I wasn't ready to go home and sit in the emptiness of my house, but I truly had nowhere else to go. I spent the rest of the night watching television and trying to keep all the thoughts about Cassandra, the murders, and Eric in the back of my mind. It worked for the most part and I fell asleep draped across my couch, the remote in my hand.


I woke up extremely late the next afternoon and immediately had to get up and get ready for the funeral. I was already late and I had nothing black to wear except the black dress that I had borrowed from Cassandra that was too short and too tight that I had worn to Fangtasia the night I met Eric. I put on my long black pea coat over it and put my hair up in a bun with a few bangs hanging down over my face. I put my silver cross back on and some silver earrings to match. When I finally arrived at the cemetery everyone was already there and I stood off to the side and out of sight as Sookie approached the podium to speak.

I stood in the shade of the tree and watched as she unfolded a piece of paper from her purse and looked at everyone in the crowd. She spotted me in the distance and I offered a small smile and a wave to which she nodded in return before she began.

"Adele Stackhouse was everything to me. She wasn't just my grandmother. She was…my parent, my teacher, and my best friend," she hesitated for a moment looking at everyone before she continued. "To say she'll be missed…just doesn't cut it because…I can't even imagine a world without her in it. She was always there with a kind word…and a hot meal…and a shoulder to cry on…not just for me, but for everyone who knew her…"

She broke off and a mixture of emotions overwhelmed her face as her eyes darted across the faces of those who had attended the funeral. She looked as if she was about to explode and she did.

"Shut the fuck up! Everyone just shut the fuck up!" she shouted making everyone jump as she gripped the podium tightly.

She looked at everyone for a moment longer before she balled up the piece of paper she was reading from and went running from the podium. I hesitated looking at the others and then at Sookie who ran past me. No one moved, just sat stunned and glancing at each other worriedly. A young man who Sookie had been standing next to rose and ran after her. The reverend retook the podium and looked around nervously as I turned to see where Sookie had run off too. With a sigh I went after her.

By the time I caught up Sookie and the young man were a good distance away and Sookie was yelling. "You invited Uncle Bartlet?! How could you do that?"

"He has a right to be here!" He responded making Sookie frown. "I know he and Gran had their problems, but whatever they were they don't matter no more…cause that's what family does. They forgive each other."

"You have no idea what you are talking about," Sookie responded angrily.

"Sookie…please…we're all we've got," his tone was pleading and desperate.

Sookie shook her head. "We've got nothing," she said before she turned and headed off.

"Sookie!" I called making her stop and turn back to me as I moved forward to stand beside the young man, who looked at me in surprise.

"Chase…thank you for coming…but I just need to be alone for awhile okay? I'll see you later," Sookie said quickly, she took off into the cemetery.

I sighed and turned to the man beside me. He was sweating profusely, his loosened tie nearly falling off. His sandy blonde hair stuck to his forehead, and his brown eyes, that resembled Sookie’s, were bloodshot. Stubble lined his jaw and there was a tiredness to his face. He was still a handsome guy.

"Are you okay?" I asked hesitantly.

He nodded and looked back to where Sookie had run off too. "Yeah…I just….yeah," he shook his head. He looked back at me, looking me up and down with interest. "Who are you?"

"I'm Chase," I replied. "A new friend of Sookie's and the new waitress at Merlotte's."

I offered my hand to him and he took it carefully as I braced for the impact of his thoughts. They came in jumbled waves that I couldn't decipher like his brain was overrunning itself. Every thought was pounding through his head and I could feel the pain from it. I was surprised he was even functioning. It made me gasp in surprise and I took my hand from his, he looked at me confused.

"You alright?" he asked.

I nodded quickly wiping my now sweaty hand on my dress. "Yeah. I'm fine. And you are?"

"Jason...Jason Stackhouse," he answered with a sigh. "Sookie's brother and apparently a big jerk."

I offered a small smile. "You okay?" I asked him again. "You look like shit."

“No actually I am not alright. It's hot as shit out here and my fuckin' head is killin' me," he mumbled running both his hands through his hair.

I sighed and looked back towards where the funeral was being held, people were beginning to leave. "I think your guests are leaving…” I said motioning to the patrons.

“Maybe you should go say bye?”

Jason rolled his eyes and mumbled something underneath his breath before putting his hands on his hips and looking at me. "You gone come with me?" he asked raising an eyebrow.

I hesitated. "Maybe I should go check on Sookie…"

"You heard her she wants to be alone and trust me, she needs it," he said looking back over his shoulder to where Sookie had ran off too. "So you should come with me."

I blushed even though I wasn't sure why and nodded. "Okay," I said softly. "Sure."

I followed him back over to the crowd of people and stood next to Jason as people walked by and passed on their condolences. He seemed out of touch as he nodded at them going "mm hmm" and "thank you" every other person. He kept blinking his eyes quickly and wiping the sweat from his brow even though it returned as quickly as it was wiped away. I recognized the symptoms after awhile, Cassandra had gone through a rough party period after high school and gotten addicted to coke. I had helped her through a detox, put her back on the right path and helped her keep it from her parents.Jason Stackhouse was having withdrawals. And he was withdrawing hard.

As the last few people passed and said their goodbyes Jason turned to me, looking flustered. "Look, I gotta get the hell out of here," he said sweeping sweat soaked hair back from his face. "I feel like I am going to explode."

"You’re having withdrawals aren't you?" I asked with a frown.

He hesitated and looked at me as if he were ashamed. "Yeah….I am….I did some V and man it's got me wanting to crawl out my skin now that it's wearing off," he said scratching his neck. "God, this shit sucks."

"Come on," I said grabbing his hand and blocking his thoughts.

"Where are we going?" he asked as he stumbled after me.

"We are going to get you home and by that I mean I am going to make sure you get to your car safely," I said heading for the area of parked cars. "Which car is yours?"

"The black truck," he said blinking through the sweat that was dripping down his forehead. He fished keys from his pocket and handed them to me. "Look why don't you just drive me?"

"Jason-," I started shaking my head.

"Look, Chase I can barely even see alright? I just need your help okay? I promise I won’t do nothing to you. Please drive me home," he said cutting me off. He looked so pitiful and desperate that I couldn't say no.

I raised an eyebrow and stared into his desperate eyes, before I relented with a sigh. “Fine. Let’s go.”


I sat on Jason's couch while he took a cold shower and watched a news report on the local debate about vampire rights. I had driven us to his house carefully and once inside I urged Jason to take a cold shower to help him relax and deal with the heat waves he was getting.

I still felt slightly uncomfortable. I hardly knew Jason, and he was withdrawing from V, but I couldn’t turn away a person in need. My good and christian parents would have a fit. I also took into account that he was Sookie’s brother, and helping him was helping her too by extension. I also figured he needed a friend right about then and judging from his encounter with Sookie he must not have had many.

"Oh man that felt so good," I heard him say from behind me.

I turned and found him coming out of the hallway in nothing but a pair of jeans, his skin still glistening from the shower. He was toweling his damp hair, a shirt clutched in his free hand. I felt my throat dry at the sight. He was chiseled perfection. A walking Adonis. Good lord. I turned away quickly before I let any dirty thoughts creep into my mind.

He moved around the couch and came to sit beside me with a heavy sigh. I smiled hesitantly at him. He looked a little better. His eyes weren't as beady and I saw that he had shaved even though small stubble still lined his jaw.

"Thanks for coming here with me, Chase," he said seeming sincere as he pulled his shirt over his head. "And coming to my Gran's funeral."

“You are welcome..."

"You want a beer?" he asked pointing behind himself to where his kitchen was.

I hesitated. “Jason, that’s sweet, but maybe I should be going…”

He shook his head. “Nonsense, you came to my grans funeral and helped me out, least you could let me do is offer you a drink and some southern hospitality before you rush off.”

He offered me a quick smile before rising to his feet and moving toward the kitchen. I heard the refrigerator open and close before he was back and retaking his place on the couch. He twisted the caps off both bottles before handing me one and tapping the neck of his bottle against mine.

"Cheers," he said before taking a long swig.

I stared down at the beer for a moment, thinking about how this was probably a bad idea before I shrugged. Screw it . I took a drink, my face scrunching up at the harsh taste. Jason caught the look on my face and smirked.

"Not much of a drinker huh?”

I shook my head looking down at the bottle. "Yeah…not really," I said. "You feeling better?"

"Much," he said running a hand through his damp hair. "My head is still killing me, but my skin isn't on fire anymore."

"That's good," I replied.

His brown eyes studied me, making sweeps across my face and down my body. I tended under his gaze, but said nothing, taking another drink.

"Where you from?"

"Austin, Texas," I answered. "I moved here about six months ago. But I don't spend a lot of time in Bon Temps, at least not as much as I have been lately. I was going to school over in Shreveport, but…my friend died so I am taking a break."

"Oh," he said with a slight frown. "Your friend huh?"

"Yeah," I said taking another swig, I grimaced but it went down easier than the first sip. "Her name was Cassandra. She was my best friend and roommate."

"Cassandra huh?" he said taking a drink too. When he withdrew the bottle from his mouth, he blinked and looked at me in surprise. "Oh my god, not Cassandra Wright?"

I raised an eyebrow. How did he know Cassandra? "Yeah…?"

"She is dead?!" his jaw dropped.

I nodded. "You knew her?"

"Yeah we-," he broke off and his eyes dropped, his cheeks flamed red.

I didn't need him to continue to know where he was going with it. They must have slept together which wasn't really surprising; he was handsome and had a great body which automatically made him Cassandra's type. He looked at me apologetically.

"I am sorry to hear that," he said seriously. "She was a fun chick. I met her at Merlotte's. We hit it off pretty good."

I smirked. "Yeah, that is Cassandra for you. She hit it off with everyone. She was so...fun.” I had always envied that about her.

He frowned slightly, but nodded. "Yeah…how did she die?"

"She was murdered. At Fangtasia."

Jason's frown deepened. "Wait a minute? She was into fangers too?”

I frowned. Too? “What do you mean?”

Jason shook his head. “Nothing. Nevermind.”

I could tell that information meant something to him and I wanted to know what, especially if it was about Cassandra. “Jason, what did you mean?”

He glanced at me apprehensively, spinning the beer bottle between his palms. “Well… I slept with Maudette and Dawn and they both were fangbangers and I slept with Cassandra too," he replied. "Just seems like someone is trying to set me up,” he noticed the surprise look on my face and raised his hands. “I really didn't kill those girls, Chase. I swear it."

I put my block down and took one of his hands in my own, invading his thoughts seeing they were much calmer now. As I searched through his brain I found that he was telling the truth. He had not killed Maudette, Dawn, or Cassandra. I didn't bother looking for memories of killing his grandmother because I knew that, that was impossible. I could see all the love he had for his Gran and I wasn't going to even imagine him doing a thing like that. I could tell he was a kind guy at heart and I saw that even though he put on a front, he doubted himself in his head. I felt bad for him.

He had been taken aback by me taking his hand, eyeing me curiously. "I believe you,” I said squeezing his hand.

"You do?" he said.

I nodded.

"So you will stay then? Just for a little bit I kinda like having you around," he said quickly when my face fell.

"Sure," I said with a shrug.

We sat and talked for a long while, so long that I lost track of time. He told me all about himself and I told him all about me. I found him funny, surprisingly smart despite what I had heard about him. Arlene who had given me the scoop on pretty much the whole town had told me he had a reputation for being a womanizer, but as a man in general I could categorize him as a decent guy. He managed to make me smile and feel special, and I found myself crushing on Sookie's older brother.

"Wow, you know it's past ten?" he said looking down at his watch.

I yawned as I looked at the television and saw the credits rolling from the movie he had put on but we hadn’t watched. "Is it?" I said leaning over to look at his watch myself. He was right. It was almost ten thirty. "Wow I have been here for over five hours."

He nodded as he smiled at me. "I guess you and I just get along well enough that time flies."

I smiled in return. "Yeah…I have been having a good time. How is your head ache?"

He blinked as if he had forgotten about it and touched his head. "Oh…uh it's gone…or it was until I just thought about it. But it is tolerable," he said as his smile returned. "You must have distracted me from it."

"Jason…if you don't mind me asking…why are you doing V?" I asked.

He blushed crimson, his tan skin going beet red right before my very eyes. "Well uh…honestly it was for Dawn…" he said looking at me before his eyes dropped. "I was…doing her and I went limp right in the middle because I kept picturing her and this bald headed vampire…" he saw me raise my eyebrow in suspicion and shook his head. "I found out she was a fangbanger and after that it just kind of turned me off…anyway I went to a buddy of mine and he told me that if I did a little V that I would have a hard on for days and it would be like the best sex ever."

I nodded. "Okay…"

"Well I was told to take two drops," he held up two fingers to emphasize his point. "And when I went to the girls house Sookie had found her dead…I was automatically arrested because one of the neighbors had heard us fighting after…you know…and I drank the whole vial so the police wouldn't catch it on me."

"I see," I said slowly.

"And everything after that is a horror story that I don't want to relive," he said shaking his head and holding up his hands. "But anyway I went back to my friend and he gave me just a little and I experienced it the way that its supposed to be and…"

I raised an eyebrow. "And?"

He smiled at me. "It's amazing…and apparently addicting…cause I am jonesin for some more real bad right now…"

"Jason, that V stuff can't be any good for you," I said shaking my head. "Maybe you should leave the stuff alone."

"No you have to try it first, Chase," he said suddenly making me jump. He sounded so sure about everything.

I huffed. "No thanks Jason. I will pass."

He shrugged and looked at me hesitantly. "You’re right. I’m sorry. ‘Sides with you around I don't think about it much anyway…maybe we should spend more time together."

I felt myself blushing and I looked down at my hands. "I should head home it is getting late. "

He sighed and nodded as he looked back at the television. There was silence for a moment and then he leaned toward me, his hand touching my cheek forcing me to block his thoughts out. "Or you could stay," he whispered just before his lips found mine.

His kiss was so different from Eric's. Hell, everything about him was different. Eric was taller and he was so cold while Jason may have been shorter, but his mouth was so warm and inviting. I gasped as his tongue slid over mine and his hands came up to squeeze my breast making me moan into his mouth. He pushed me back on the couch pulling my body so that he was lying over me, his hips in between my thighs as I felt the bottom of my dress hike up. I could feel the hardness of him as he grinded himself into me.

"Jason, wait," I said pulling away from his mouth with a gasp as I pushed against his chest.

"What? What's wrong?" he asked me, panting as he raised an eyebrow.

"I'm…I'm a virgin," I said hesitantly.

He surprised me as he smirked. "You're joking right?"

I shook my head. "No."

His smirk faded and he hesitated for a moment. "Okay well I'll be gentle alright?"

His mouth was back on mine in seconds and I had to push against his chest with my hands once more. "Jason, stop. This isn't how I want my first time to be alright? There are usually a few dates involved and some courting before sex, at least in my head. I don't want to just sleep with you because we hit it off."

He frowned and sat back allowing me to sit up as I pushed the bottom of my dress back down. "Then what do we do?" he asked.

I hesitated as I looked at him. "Well…we exchange numbers and if you want to take me out on a date or something you call me and we go out…and it goes from there," I reasoned with a shrug.

He hesitated, but nodded and smiled at me. "Oh….okay then," he said as I rose to my feet and grabbed my coat. "Where you going?"

"That's my cue," I said with a small smile. "I should go so we both don't do anything stupid."

His smile faded slightly, but he nodded. "Yeah…yeah okay," he said rising to his feet as well.

"You have to drive me back to my car remember?" I said with a raised eyebrow.

"Oh right," he said.

He dropped me off back at the cemetery where my mustang sat and even though I was hesitant I let him kiss me goodbye. I drove home in my own car and parked in the driveway. I pulled my keys from the ignition and was climbing out of my car when I heard it. A rustling coming from the brush surrounding the yard. I froze instantly and gripped my car keys tight as I looked around in the darkness. The house sat in the middle of a semi wooded area. The nearest neighbor was a good quarter of the mile away, which usually wasn't a problem because Cassandra and I never really needed anything and we had each other if the one of us got scared, but Cassandra was gone now.

I hesitated for a second longer before I stepped away from my car finally and shut the door, pressing the remote to lock it. I heard the rustling again and felt my heart skip a beat. I tried to ignore it, telling myself that I was being paranoid and to cut it out, walking quickly to my door, fumbling with my keys as I tried to find my house key. The rustling continued and I started to pant as fear gripped me firmly in its grasp. I stopped right at my steps and turned looking around once more.

"Hello?" I called as a chill ran down my spine. Of course there was no answer and I turned for the door in a hurry.

I dropped my keys as I rushed up the stairs to my porch and cursed as I bent to retrieve them. The rustling grew louder and I grew more panicky before I finally grabbed my keys off the steps and made it to my door. I turned as I heard the rustling grow nearer and let out a small yelp as a cat jumped from the bush nearest to my porch. I let out a low sigh, putting a hand over my chest trying to calm my thudding heart as I began to laugh at myself.

"See Chase, nothing to worry about, just a damn cat," I mumbled as I watched the cat run across the yard and off down the road. I turned the key in the lock and was gripping the door handle to push it open when I heard the stairs to the porch creak under the weight of someone.

I froze again, another chill running slowly up my spine as I heard the click of fangs. I turned slowly hoping and praying that it was Eric standing behind me, but it wasn't. I recognized the long hair, the brown eyes and the tall frame almost instantly. It was Justin, the same vampire from the bar that Eric had saved me from. My heart skipped a beat and I swallowed hard as he smiled, wide and big so I could see his fangs clearly.

Shit .

Chapter Text

"Hello, Chase."

I am going to die.

I was frozen to the spot, staring wide eyed at his fangs, one hand holding my purse and the other gripping the doorknob. I knew if I could just turn the knob and push the door open and climb over the threshold he would not be able to touch me because he had never been invited to my home. But in all the time it would take to do that he could grab me and rip my throat out. I still was wearing my silver necklace and earrings, but it would mean I’d have to get near him to use them as a weapon and I had no interest in that.

"I am sorry to drop in on you like this Chase," Justin said, his voice dripping with politeness as he put the tips of his fingers together in front of his chest. His tongue slid over his fangs before he continued. "But I just haven't been able to get you out of my head since that night I saw you."

He took a step toward me and I flinched, letting out a small cry that made him smile wider. I choked back the tears and sobs that wanted to come out, and instead of pleading for my life like my body was telling me too, I put my chin up and looked him square in the eye. I couldn’t show fear. I had to remind him that I was Eric’s, which wasn’t true, but he didn't know that.

“Have you forgotten that I am Eric's?" I said with a frown and a glare.

His smile widened and I felt my courage failing. "You know…I was considering that as I have been watching you and following you here, but there are a few things that occurred to me," he said holding up a finger. "I may smell Eric's scent on you…but I don't smell his blood." I felt my face drop and he chuckled as he saw it too. "You are not bonded to him are you?"

"I am still his," I said trying to hide the hitch in my voice. "He has claimed me and I am his and his alone, even though we do not share a blood bond."

Justin raised an eyebrow as his smile remained. "And does Eric know that you have been with a human man for the past few hours and that you reek of his scent?"

Shit .

"What I do in my spare time away from Eric is none of your concern," I said mustering up the last of my courage. I turned the doorknob just a little as I distracted him with my bold statement. He didn't seem the slightest bit phased by my show of courage. "Eric knows of all my activities and I answer to him and him alone."

Justin smirked crossing his arms as he looked me up and down and licked his fangs once more. I wanted to move right then, but I hesitated. "The thing is, Chase," he said shaking his head slowly. I jumped as he moved too quickly for me to see and gripped my throat tightly careful to not touch the silver hanging from my neck and making me let out a strangled yelp. My first instinct was to grab his arm that was holding me, but I resisted and kept a firm grip on my other lifeline. The doorknob.

"I think you are lying," he continued his smile growing as his grip tightened and I felt my airway begin to constrict. "I intend to take you. And even if Eric has claimed you and gets mad about me taking you, I really don't think I will care. Cause you smell like heaven, baby, and I can't wait to taste you."

I gave up on the boldness and went to pleading as his other hand reached up to slide down my chest. I cringed. "Please…you…don't have to do this," I coughed.

Justin nodded as he leaned in close. "Yeah that's right…beg. I like it."

I let out a loud scream then and turned the doorknob, kicking him hard right in the shin as I pushed against my door at the same time making it swing open and bang against the wall behind it. He let out a small grunt and his hold on me loosened slightly, but he did not let go. He held me firm so that I could not run into the house. I used the slim millisecond it took for him to realize what I was trying to do to, to reach up and grab the chain around my neck and yank it hard, breaking the clasp on the back. I shoved my hand towards his face, trying to push the silver against his skin, but he released my throat and grabbed my wrist twisting it away from him to make me let out a pain filled cry.

"You clever little bitch," he said through clenched teeth.

I let out a blood curdling scream as he turned his head and sunk his fangs into my wrist. Pain shot up my arm and through the rest of me. I tried to yank my wrist from him, but he gripped it firmly with both hands as he moaned, drinking me in. I could feel the pressure of his mouth increase as he begun to suck my blood hungrily, blood escaping from the corners of his mouth and sliding warmly down my arm. The silver chain and cross slipped from my hand, leaving me defenseless as my eyes closed.

No. Fight dammit. I told myself.

I felt a surge of adrenaline, my eyes snapping open. I straightened my legs to keep myself from falling, bringing my other arm up to yank the silver hoop from my ear. I ignored the pain and thrust my hand forward pushing the silver hoop right into the side of his head. I pulled my wrist away from his mouth, feeling his fangs tear the skin and sending tears right to my eyes from the sharp pain. He released me the moment the silver touched his skin, sizzling and screaming, he stumbled backwards. I fell down, right into my house, scooting away from the door and kicking it closed. I crawled forward and pressed myself against it, reaching up to lock the door.

"Shit. Shit. Shit," I mumbled wrapping my hand around my bleeding wrist, applying pressure as I heard Justin continuing to scream and curse outside my door.

Okay, Chase, calm down. You’re inside. He’s outside. Call for help before you bleed to death. 

I felt around in the darkness, trying to find my purse to get my cell phone and realized I must have dropped it outside. I cursed as I got to my feet, rushing to the kitchen to get a dish towel and wrap it tightly around my wrist, holding it against my chest to keep it in place. I ran for the house phone next, my fingers shaking as I held them over the numbers unsure of who to call. I knew there was only one person who could help me immediately and made up my mind and shakily dialed 411.

"What city and state?"

I tried to keep my voice calm as I spoke. My blood was pooling in the towel quickly. "Shreveport, Louisiana," I answered. "It's a bar called Fangtasia."

"Please hold. I'll connect you."

I listened as the call connected, forcing myself to keep breathing slow and deep, to remain calm, to hold the pressure. The sounds of Justin’s screams and curses had stopped, but I was too scared to look outside to see if he was still there. I walked backwards until I felt my back hit a wall and I sank slowly to the floor, feeling dizzy.

I didn’t know how much longer I could remain conscious. I could feel the blood flowing from my wrist, the once white towel with little chickens on it, now drenched in blood.

"Pick up. Pick up. Pick up.”

It was Pam’s voice, monotone and dull. “Fangtasia, what do you want?”

“Pam, I need to talk to Eric. Now ,” my voice was full of urgency.

“And this is who exactly?”

"Dammit. It's Chase. Chase Morgan! Please put Eric on the phone!" I shouted.

I heard a loud click on the line and for a moment I thought she hung up on me, but I could still hear the loud music blaring in the background. I assumed she had slammed the phone down. Soon I heard another noise and then the velvety voice of Eric Northman.

"This is Eric.”

"Eric," Tears slid down my face warmly as I choked back sobs. “Something happened-.”

"Chase?" I heard him say, realization heavy in his voice.

"Yes. It's me…I…I was attacked by a vampire. Justin! The one with the long hair. He bit me. And I am bleeding and I didn't know what to do or who to call-."

"Where are you?" he cut in.

"I’m home. I'm like bleeding everywhere and I think he may be outside still," I said letting go of my wrist to wipe my tears away quickly before applying pressure again.

"Don't move.”

The line went dead.

I leaned my head back against the wall, too scared to move or even turn on the light. Everything is going to be okay. Eric is coming. Eric is... My eyes felt heavy, the room starting to swim dizzily around me. Blackness creeped into my vision and I struggled to keep my eyes open.

Stay awake, Chase. Stay awa-.


"Chase?"

I couldn’t open my eyes. They were too heavy and my head was pounding. I tried to move, but my limbs felt heavy and numb. I just wanted to sleep.

“Chase, can you hear me?” It was that voice again. That velvety shiver inducing voice that was so familiar.

Eric.

"What should we do with her?" This was a different voice. A female voice. It took only a second or two for my brain to catch on that it was Pam.

There was a brief pause and then I heard Eric's voice again. "I don’t know. I have healed the bite, but she has lost a lot of blood."

"Perhaps we should just drain what is left," Pam offered.

"No," Eric growled in response.

"Then give her your blood and save the blood bag for god sake," Pam answered irritably, as if it were the most logical explanation.

Another pause and then Eric answered softly. "I am not sure that she wants that."

"All of this over a human? Really? Between you and Bill I think soon we all will go human crazy," Pam sighed. "Either you give her your blood or she dies. I believe she will be thankful in the end. Trust me. Just do it already."

I heard a low hiss and then Eric's cold voice. "Ledighet, Pam Jag kommer att göra detta."

"As you wish, Master," Pam replied the sarcasm in her voice heavy.

There were the soft pads of footsteps and then the sound of a door closing. I felt a cold hand slide up my arm before reaching my cheek. "Chase," he whispered.

I mustered up what little strength I could find within myself and forced my eyes open slowly, seeing nothing but blurry gray before Eric's face came into view. His blue eyes gazed into mine and for the first time I saw an emotion on his face: concern.

"Eric," I whispered. My throat ached with the effort of speaking.

"Do not speak," he ordered softly. "I know this is not what you want, but there is no other choice. I am going to give you my blood. If I don't you will die."

I didn't know what to say so I said nothing. I knew that there was no other option. I watched him open his mouth and unsheathe his fangs, lifting his wrist to his lips. His fangs broke his skin with a soft squelch , his blood gushing against his lips. His wrist hovered over my mouth, drops of blood splattering on my chin prompting me to part my lips. He lowered his wrist, my lips closing over the wound and the blood flowing freely into my mouth.

It was surprisingly cold, but the moment it touched my tongue my taste buds came alive, sending shockwaves throughout me. His blood flowed like silk over my tongue and down my throat. A fire rushed through me on the second swallow, flooding my system. The taste of him was sweet and salty all at once, my hand coming up to wrap around his wrist and hold him to my mouth. He groaned loudly as I sucked at the wound hungrily, the irresistible flavor making me moan in return.

I was getting lost in the taste of him when the burn of his blood turned to a tingle. Every nerve inside of me was tingling and buzzing, creating an odd sensation in my stomach. I hesitated, unsure whether or not the feeling was normal when my heart began pumping two times faster and I felt a rush of energy sweep through me that had me pulling away from his wrist with a gasp as I sat up straight.

Something was happening and I wasn’t sure that it was a good thing. All I could hear was the pounding of my own heart, my vision blurring again, my breaths coming out in heavy gasps. I opened my mouth trying to tell Eric something was wrong when a flood of images and the sounds of screams and chanting in a language I did not recognize burst through my head. The images moved to fast for me to make anything out, the sounds of the screaming and chanting increasing in volume until it was so loud that I was clutching my head in pain. I felt myself fall backward and I hit something soft before just as suddenly as it came the energy drained from within me and darkness consumed me.


My alarm woke me, shrill, beeping, and far too loud for whatever time it was. I opened my eyes slowly, reaching blindly over to my bedside table and hitting the clock until the sound stopped. I sat up slowly, rubbing my face with both hands and took in my sunlit room. I felt energized and rested, something that was foreign to me, yet I couldn’t remember falling asleep.

Like a flood it all came back, rushing over me. I looked down at my wrist, the one that Justin had tore into, seeing that it was healed over. I touched skin, taking in its soft texture. There wasn't a mark or anything, nothing left behind to remind of what had happened. It was almost like it hadn’t happened. 

I kicked the covers off of my body, realizing with a blush that someone had cleaned all the blood from my body changed me into one of my nightgowns. The someone most likely being Eric, meaning he had seen me naked. But given that he had saved my life I figured I’d give him a pass on changing my clothes without my permission. I remembered then  what had happened after he had given me his blood. The flood of images, and screams, and chants that had made me pass out.

What the hell did his blood do to me? I thought as I entered the bathroom connected to my room, turning quickly to the mirror to gaze at my reflection.

I still looked like the same old me, but my skin looked more vibrant. My eyes were brighter and my hair was shinier which made me lean in to examine myself closely. I felt exhilarated and alive as I gazed at myself. I knew that his blood would heal me, but I didn't know that it would make me feel and look so great. I was alive and it was only because Eric had saved me, even after I had gotten angry with him and resisted him. He may have been a jerk, but he had come through when I needed him which surprised me more so than anything. Maybe Eric wasn't a complete jerk.

I had to work that day and was thankful for the energy boost from the blood. I had to get ready or I would be late. I had time for some breakfast and made for the kitchen, jumping when I heard the sound of pots clinking in my kitchen. I froze and pressed myself against my hallway wall. I didn't know who it could have been or how they got in, but I wasn't to sure that I wanted to find out either.

"Shit!" came a southern accented female voice that I recognized.

"Ginger?" I called in confusion, removing myself from the wall.

Silence hung in the air and she came around the corner wearing a jean skirt and one of Fangtasia's t-shirts with some high heels. She looked frantic as always and was holding one of my pots in her hand and a carton of eggs in the other. I raised an eyebrow as I looked at her and let out a relieved sigh.

"Chase," she said with a smile. "I wasn't expecting you to be up for a while. I was trying to make you breakfast."

"Ginger, what are you doing here?”

"Eric sent me," she said simply.

"For?”

"He told me to come here and watch you. I guess cause you had a complete freak out last night and he didn't know if it was in reaction to him giving you his blood. He had to leave because it was dawn and you still hadn't woken up but he didn't want to leave you alone."

I frowned. "Freak out?" I questioned putting my hands on my hips. "Define freak out?"

Ginger frowned and shrugged. "I don't know really. I didn't get here till after Eric called me. But you are a lucky girl indeed to get to share blood with him," she said with a small smile.

"It definitely wasn't by choice at the time. He did it to save my life.”

"Either way you have a thousand year old vampires blood rushing through you," she said taking a step toward me. She got real close, close enough so that I actually took a step back. "I…am…jealous. You look fantastic by the way. Vampire blood looks good on you."

My frown deepened. "Ginger, maybe you should just leave."

She blinked, obviously taken aback before she shook her head fiercely. "No. No. No," she said turning back to head for the kitchen leaving me to follow. "Eric says I have to stay till he gets back so I am not going anywhere."

I sighed. "I have to go to work at five."

"Then guess who is coming with you?" Ginger replied, her smile widening.

I got the distinct feeling that I didnt have a choice in this. Ginger wouldn't disobey Eric meaning that I was going to be stuck with her all day. I appreciate Eric’s concern, but this was too much. Ginger was too much. I’d have to tell him that when I saw him later. I would also have to come up with a way to thank him in the meantime. I doubted they made hallmark cards that thanked a vampire for saving your life. I had little experience with vampires, and little in common with other people, save for Sookie. Maybe I could talk to her about it.

"I am going to go get dressed alright?" I said. "I have somewhere to go and I guess you are coming with me."

“Okay."

I turned and was about to head into my bedroom when I stopped. "Ginger?"

"Yes?"

"Stay out of my kitchen."


 

I pulled onto Sookie's property an hour later. Ginger was in the passenger seat beside me, still talking, something that she hadn’t stopped doing. I was trying to be polite, to grin and bear it, she was just doing what Eric had commanded her, but I also felt seconds away from a mental break down if I didn't get a second of silence.

“Ginger!” I snapped cutting in with a forced smile parking my car next to Sookie’s. “I am going to go inside and talk to Sookie. I’ll be out in just a minute. I’ll leave the keys so you can roll down the windows and listen to music. Okay?”

I expected her to protest, but she didn’t to my surprise. She only nodded and immediately began fiddling with the radio to find a station as I exited the car. It was then that I saw a black truck parked on the other side of Sookie’s car. A truck that I knew belonged to Jason. I suddenly felt a little nervous, but ignored it and walked to the door. I reached the door and brought my hand up to knock when the door swung open and I came face to face with Jason.

He paused, staring at me as if he was unsure if I was really standing there or not,  a weak smile on his face. He looked like he did yesterday at the funeral, sweaty and in need of a shave with a blue baseball cap on backwards and a grey tank and jeans. He was holding two large silver candlesticks in his hand. He blushed crimson and I raised an eyebrow at him.

"Chase, what uh…what you doing here?"

"I came to talk to Sookie," I replied. "Is she home?"

"Uh yeah, she’s in there," he said looking back over his shoulder before stepping past me. "Look I'm gonna call you later alright? I just…I gotta go right now."

I watched him walk down the porch steps and nodded. "Oh…okay."

"I promise," he called over his shoulder. "I'll call you tonight."

He headed for his truck before speeding off. I stepped hesitantly into Sookie's house and saw her crouched on the ground as she picked up jewelry and silverware.

"Sookie?”

"Chase," she said looking up at me in surprise. "What are you doing here?"

I went to help, gathering some of the jewelry and a silver cup into my hands. "I uh…needed to talk to someone…I figured we could have that talk we have been meaning to have…Plus…to be perfectly honest there are some things that I need to get off my chest and I don't know who else to trust in this town besides you…so I was hoping we could get to know each other…" I said looking down. "But if this is a bad time-."

"No. No. No," she said shaking her head as she gathered the last of the jewelry up and placed it on the coffee table, taking what was in my hands and putting it with the rest. "That sounds great! I was just…getting into it with my idiot brother."

"What happened?"

She rolled her eyes and sighed. "I don't know really…"

I nodded and looked her over realizing suddenly that she was only wearing a large blue button down shirt that clearly wasn’t hers. I raised an eyebrow. "Late night?"

She turned beet red and smiled, the embarrassment written on her face. "Look let me just go get changed and then we will talk okay? Just go ahead and make yourself comfortable and I will be right back.”

I nodded, watching her head up the stairs before taking a seat on the couch to wait for her. I didn't wait long, she was back downstairs in a pair of shorts and a tank top with her hair in a ponytail. It was then I saw the fang marks on her neck and let out a small gasp.

"Sookie are those fang marks?" I asked before I could stop myself.

She turned red once again and that same embarrassed smile crossed her face. "Yes…" she joined me on the couch.

I turned to her eagerly. "Who bit you? Was it that brown haired vampire? What's his name?"

"Bill," she answered suddenly as eager as me. "And yes it was him…we also uh…" she trailed off and looked down, but her smile grew.

I hesitated for a moment as I looked at her and suddenly it dawned on me just what she was talking about. I knew right then that given my situation with Eric she would definitely be the only other person who could relate to me at that moment.

"Oh boy," I said shaking my head. "I think we have a lot to talk about, Sookie."

She wanted to start from the beginning, allowing both of us to open up and share with each other. She opted to go first and she told me everything that was needed to know about her including the details of her relationship with Bill. When my turn came I surprisingly found myself opening up to her about everything. I explained my ability to her in depth, told her where I came from and about how I met Eric and what had transpired between us including the attack that happened last night and the fact that we shared blood. She sat quietly and listened to me, not one ounce of judgment crossing her face as she listened. When I was finally finished she reached forward and squeezed my hand which surprised me.

"I can say that I am glad to finally meet someone who understands what I go through," she sighed in relief. "And even though I personally get a bad feeling about Eric, I am glad that he saved your life."

"I know, but…what is having his blood in me going to do to me?"

"Well," Sookie said with a sigh. "He will be able to sense your emotions and be able to find you wherever you are. You guys will be connected…and your sexual attraction to him will probably double…and you'll probably have dreams too."

I huffed. "Great so it's like he implanted a sex dream inducing mood detecting tracking chip in my body.”

"He also saved your life, Chase. And judging from the kind of character I saw in Eric that has to mean something."

"…I think he cares about me in his own sick twisted vampire way. I could see it in his head amongst the blood and sex and death."

Sookie gaped at me. "Wait. You can read vampires thoughts?"

I nodded, looking at her confused. "Yeah….can't you?"

"No," she replied shaking her head.

I blinked in surprise. Why could I read vampires minds while she couldn't? And there was still the big gaping question of why I couldn't read her mind or her read mine. I sighed inwardly. It was probably something neither of us would ever be able to find out because it was not like there was manual to telepathy.

"So what are you going to do about Eric?" she asked, a smirk spreading across her face. "Are you going to thank him for saving your life?"

I raised an eyebrow as I smiled. "Why do I get the feeling that by 'thank him' you meant sleep with him?"

She giggled. "Well…."

"Oh gosh, Sookie. Just because the man gave me blood doesn't mean that I am just going to give him my virginity. I'm not even sure if I really like him yet. He has a tendency to be an ass."

She tilted her head to the side as she thought about it for a moment and nodded. "Well…yeah that is completely true…but…I know you like him."

"And what about you and Bill?" I asked trying to change the subject. "What now? Do you love him?"

Sookie hesitated for just a second before she nodded and smiled. "I think so," she answered honestly. "I really do. I just…feel so great right now and it's all because of him. I mean with everything going on around here I thought I would be incapable of ever feeling this good again and now…because of him I feel…alive."

"I know the feeling…" I was still buzzing from Eric’s blood. I hadn’t feel this good in ages.

"I think Eric at least deserves a thank you…even if he is a demanding jerk," she said making me frown. "And you should thank him however you see fit. If you don't want to sleep with him then so be it, but still…"

I nodded with a sigh and looked down at my watch. I felt my jaw drop as I saw that Sookie and I had been talking for almost three and a half hours. I had completely forgotten about Ginger.

"Shit!" I said jumping up.

"What? What's wrong?" Sookie asked rising to her feet as well.

"Nothing. Someone is waiting on me is all," I said grabbing my purse. "Thank you so much for talking with me Sookie, but I have to get going."

Sookie nodded and hugged me quickly. "Of course. I'll see you at work tonight."

I nodded. "Yeah…and maybe you should wear a scarf or something to cover your bite…you don't want people being nosy."

She smirked. "Yeah that would probably be a good idea."


 

I was going to start calling Ginger ‘easy going’ because she made no complaints about me leaving her in the car for so long. I had found her asleep when I made it back to the car and apologized profusely, something she scoffed at and waved off. I continued to apologize despite that and offered to buy her dinner once we got to Merlotte’s, something she didn't refuse. I rushed home to shower and change and made it to work on time.

Merlotte's was packed and Sookie, Arlene, Lafayette, Terry, and Sam were all working. I got Ginger situated in a booth, asked Arlene to take her order and wen to put my things in Sam’s office and clock in. When I finally made it out onto the floor I caught Sam's irritated look.

"What's wrong, Sam?" I asked pulling out my order pad and checking my apron for a pen.

"Tara ain't coming in and that's gonna leave us short," he grumbled as he filled a pitcher with beer. "You got tables four to eight alright?"

I nodded and saluted him. "Aye aye, captain."

He smirked at me despite his bad mood and my smile grew before I turned and came face to face with Sookie holding a tray. She had taken my advice and had a scarf around her neck covering her fang marks perfectly. I smiled at her and offered her a wink before heading to my first table and taking their order. I made my complete rounds before heading back to the bar to fill in the drink orders. I caught Arlene in mid rant to Sam and her boyfriend Renee.

"Suppose she gets pregnant? How is she going to nurse a baby with fangs?"

I raised an eyebrow as I set a tray down on the counter and looked from Arlene to Renee and then Sam. "What in the hell are you talking about, Arlene?"

"I'm talking about Sookie sleeping with that darn vampire Bill," she whispered glancing at Sookie.

I frowned. "Arlene I really don't think that is any of your business nor do you have the right to tell anyone," I said sternly making her frown at me in return. "Perhaps you should just keep your mouth shut. Sam I need three Dixie drafts and some ice tea."

I turned and headed for the kitchen window wanting to move away from Arlene before I said anything further when I saw Sam stalking toward Sookie from the corner of my eye. I turned back quickly watching as Sam ripped the scarf from Sookie's neck revealing her fang marks for the whole bar to see.

"Hey you keep your hands to yourself Sam Merlotte; you have no right to touch me!" Sookie barked pushing his hands away as he reached up to turn her head so he could see the marks better himself.

"You are a damn fool you know that?!" he shouted making the restaurant go quiet.

"What I do on my own time is no concern of yours. Or any of y’als'," Sookie replied looking around the room. "Yes, I had sex with Bill. And since everyone of you are too chicken to ask it was great! I enjoyed every second of it! And if you don't like that you can just fire me!"

She slammed her empty tray right into Sam's chest to emphasize her last words and stalked past me for the bathroom. Sam sighed and turned, his eyes catching mine. I shook my head before turning back to Lafayette.

"What the hell is wrong with everyone?" I asked him as I placed my order sheets down. "No one can mind their own business around here?"

Lafayette huffed. "Honey, everyone around here is nosy as hell. Sookie just needs to watch who she be tellin’ her business too," he said pointing at me with a large silver spoon.

Things started to pick up a little more as the hours went by though the air in the restaurant felt tense after the outburst between Sam and Sookie. Especially Sam. I was cleaning off one of my tables checking my watch to see that thankfully my shift ended in minutes, when I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned and found that it was Ginger, purse in hand.

"Time to go," she said holding up her cell phone as if it was supposed to mean something.

"Time to go where?"

"Fangtasia. Eric is waiting for us."

“Give me a few minutes to finish up and I’ll meet you outside.”

Ginger nodded and made her way outside. I finished up the last of my duties and said my goodbyes, noticing that Sookie had removed the scarf from her neck and was baring her marks for all to see. I winked at her on my way out.

I didn't feel nervous about seeing Eric until I was in the driver’s seat, minutes away from Fangtasia. I still hadn’t decided on anything to say to him besides a lame ‘thanks a lot for saving my life. Would he expect something from me in return? Was I automatically supposed to give him what he wanted because he had saved me? I was thankful, but I certainly wasn't ready for that.

The Fangtasia parking lot was packed. I could hear the music blaring from outside the building, a long line formed just outside the door and stretching around the building. Pam stood at the entrance checking I.D.’s, her eyes brightening a bit when she saw me approaching with Ginger at my side.

"Hello Chase," she said as she looked me over. "And how are we feeling?"

"Fine, thank you."

"Eric is waiting for you in his office," she said before turning to Ginger with a frown. "And Ginger…the bathrooms need cleaning."

Ginger, the ever obedient vampire lover, beamed and nodded. “I’ll get right on it.”I went into the club, leaving them both behind and immediately regretting that I didnt go home to change. The music was pounding and the floor was crowded, with so much exposed skin. I was still wearing my Fangtasia uniform, my short sleeved Merlotte’s shirt and black shorts which left me vulnerable to any one’s thoughts. I made my way carefully through the crowd, I wasn't entirely lucky and caught contact with a few individuals, my mind filling with the imagines and feelings of blood, want, and sex. I pushed through, trying to ignore until I reached the bar, seeing Long Shadow serving drinks. I took a few moments to recover when I heard someone say my name in surprise.

“Chase?”

I recognized the voice before I saw who it belonged to. Jason was standing at the bar, looking jittery and sweaty, just as he had before. “Jason? What are you doing here?”

"What are you doing here?" he countered with a frown that matched mine.

"I am…here to…see someone," I answered softly.

"A vampire?" Jason asked eagerly leaning in closely to me.

I knew what he was there for. V. And if the wrong vampire found out it could get him into serious trouble. I leaned toward him, whispering low and into his ear in case someone was eavesdropping.

"Jason, if the vampires find out that you are here for V they are going to kill you!" I whispered.

"How did you know-?"

"Not important. Now we need to get you out of here before you end up dead," I said looking at him sternly.

"Alright…just let me sit here and finish my drink at least," he held up his beer. "I will stay out of trouble and then go right home."

I wanted to believe that he would, but I didn’t. “Jason-.”

“Chase, I promise, alright? Now gone meet your friend or whoever it is. I will be fine,” he insisted.

I was reluctant to go, but Eric was waiting for me and I still owed him my gratitude. “You promise you’ll go home?”

He nodded. “Yes I do. And a southern promise is a guarantee.”

“We’ll talk later?” I offered.

“Yes, I meant it when I said I’d call.”

I gave his shoulder a squeeze and went for Eric’s office. I paused at the door, taking a deep breath and gripping the doorknob, feeling like butterflies were swarming my stomach. I turned the doorknob and pushed it open, stepping into his office.

“Eric, I-.”

The words died in my throat at the sight before me. Someone, a woman, in a very skimpy desk was draped across Eric’s desk, legs spread wide, to accommodate the wideness of his shoulders. His head was buried between her legs and the girl was moaning, loudly , and gripping the desk for dear life. I felt my face fall and an anger sweep through me with an intensity that I had never felt, my fists clenching. Without warning or my touching it, the door slammed shut behind me, making me jump. What the hell?

It was then Eric lifted his head, looking at me in surprise.

“Chase?”

Chapter Text

"Chase?"

I felt my mouth open, but nothing came out instead I just stood there looking like an open mouthed idiot. I felt angry and upset though I had no right to be. Eric wasn't mine. I honestly had no idea what was happening between us. But I knew at the moment that I needed to get out of that office.

"I-I'm sorry," I stuttered, blindly pulling the door open behind me and rushing out.

I kept my head down and did my best to ignore the strong urge that I felt to cry. There was no reason to cry. Eric was free to go down on anyone that he wanted, whenever he wanted, wherever he wanted. He wasn't my boyfriend. He was just a vampire that I had made out with a few times and might have feelings for.

Okay I did have feelings.

But I hadn't fully processed what that meant. Or what feelings they were exactly. They ranged from lust to anger and everything in between.

My legs had never moved faster and it seemed that in seconds I was nearing my car. I didn't make it. A cold hand wrapped around my arm and I was whipped around to see Eric looming over me. He was wearing dark jeans and a tank, and as usual he looked delicious. His blue eyes seemed bright as ever, his hair framing his gorgeous face perfectly. I could see the muscles of his arms beneath his pale skin and they flexed and stretched the skin as he crossed his arms over his chest.

God help me. I shivered, want rushing through me despite my valiant efforts to act like he didn't affect me.

A smile crossed his face and I remembered then that he could feel what I felt. Meaning he could feel my want for him. Greeeaaaat. It made the impassive look I tried to put on my face pointless.

"You're here sooner than I expected."

"I was told to come by Ginger. And I didn't mean to interrupt your… your…" I huffed in frustration as a clever response eluded me. "Your… whatever the hell that was. Now if you'll excuse me…"

I brushed past him, only to feel a whoosh in the air around me and find him standing in front of me once again. Damn vampire speed.

"Eric."

"You're upset."

"I'm not upset."

"A side effect of sharing blood with me is that I can feel what you feel."

"I'm aware. Sookie told me."

"So there is no reason to lie. I can feel it."

My teeth clenched. "Okay. Fine. I'm upset. There are you happy now? May I go now please."

I sidestepped.

He followed.

"What you saw, Chase, was me enjoying my evening meal," he explained, his voice calm and collected.

I couldn't stop the snort. "Your head was between her legs, Eric."

Eric arched one eyebrow, a smirk on his face. "Jealousy is unbecoming on you, Chase."

My eyes narrowed. I was done with this conversation. "Goodnight, Eric."

He didn't let me take the step I planned to take, he took hold of my arm and pressed me back against my car, his hands gripping the vehicle on either side of my body, effectively caging me in. He leaned in close to my face, so close that our noses nearly touched and my breath caught in my throat.

"I was drinking from her femoral artery. The blood flows easily there, meaning less effort on my part. I was feeding, nothing more than that."

Oh. My face fell a little as I looked up at him. I was an idiot. I was making a fool of myself. I had been jealous, for no apparent reason, and he knew.

"Eric, what are we doing? What do you want from me?" I asked exasperatedly putting my hands on my hips. I needed to know what we were doing. And just what he expected now that he had given me his blood.

He stared at me silently for ten long seconds, wearing that smirk. I shifted uncomfortably under his gaze. "Do you want the inappropriate answer or the appropriate one?"

I scowled at him. "I'm being serious, Eric."

He chuckled softly. "For now, Chase, I would like an apology for your inaccurate assumption and for you to calm down a bit… then we can go from there."

"Do you always do that?" I blurted.

"Do I always do what?" His head tilted to the side as he regarded me.

"Feed from humans? You don't drink TruBlood?"

"Yes I prefer fresh blood rather than synthetic blood in a bottle. TruBlood does not fit my tastes, but if necessary I will drink it," he shrugged. "But there is rarely a night where I don't have a human, or a few, offering themselves to me."

"You mean women?"

"Men as well. I rarely accept their offer though, I prefer a more feminine taste. Does it matter?"

"I didn't walk and find you with your head between some guys legs now did I?"

He chuckled again, soft and darkly, stepping closer again so that we were less than an inch apart. My instinct was to step back, but I was already pinned between him and the car. There was nowhere to go. I was stuck staring up into his stunning blue eyes that sent a rush of warmth through me.

"Chase are you unhappy with my eating habits?" He whispered.

"N-No," I stuttered.

Okay that was a lie. I was unhappy with his eating habits, the thought of him sinking his fangs into a woman that wasn't me filled me with an irrational anger and jealousy. All of which he knew now because of the blood bond. I was getting worked up over a vampire who had basically barged into my life, fed me his blood (yes to save my life, but still), and now I was some love sick, jealous, sex starved person. None of which I had been before Eric. I was done with this.

"Eric, I don't care about your eating habits. They aren't really my business. I came to talk about last night."

"Justin is being searched for, and when he is found I intend to make him pay for harming you and going against vampire law. I will be having someone watch over you at night to make sure he does not attack again."

"Thank you, but that's not what I'm talking about… I mean… the other thing."

"You mean when I gave you my blood?"

"Yes…" I shifted against the car, crossing my arms over my chest.

"What about it?" He asked finally pulling back to grant me some space.

"What happened to me? After, I mean. Ginger said I 'freaked out'?" I accented the words with air quotes.

"I don't know," he admitted. "I have never seen that reaction in a human before. I suppose it has something to do with you being a telepath."

That didn't help to answer my questions. In fact it only left me with more questions. But I decided to change the subject again and do what I had come to do. Thank him and go home.

I took a deep breath that made Eric eye me curiously. "You were there for me when I needed you last night. If you hadn't come then I would probably be dead. So I came here to thank you for saving my life. Even though I don't really know what you giving me your blood means for us, but I owe you my life. And I have a feeling that means I owe you a favor which I am certain you will cash in on in some way," he smirked at that. "But until the debt between us is settled all you get for now is a solid 'thank you'. Now again, if you'll excuse-."

He cut me off with a kiss. A deep, passionate, bone tingling kiss that abruptly had my knees feeling weak. He stepped forward, pressing his body into mine, while he took control of my mouth. I could do nothing, but kiss him back and cling to him desperately to try and remain on my feet. I could taste blood on his tongue, tangy and metallic, but I soaked it in as our tongues danced. His hands came for my hips using them to pull me closer as if he were trying to meld our bodies together. I was immediately flooded with a heat that surged through me and settled right at my core leaving me aching and wanting.

It all hit me in that moment, blaring and obvious. I was falling for him, ready or not. And falling hard. And there probably wasn't a damn thing I could do to stop it now. Just as he promised the first night we met, I was going to be his.

The kiss turned hungrier, his hands leaving my hips to slide up to my breast, leaving me gasping into his mouth. I moaned when he pressed himself into me harder, allowing me to feel the erection right against my stomach, hard and long and intended for me. I was forced to pull away for air, Eric's mouth going for my throat without hesitation.

"Eric," I moaned feeling his teeth scrape along my skin. "I… I should go…"

We were making out in a parking lot, outside of a very public building, where anyone could see. And as aroused as I was I had no desire to lose my virginity in a parking lot or on this night.

He grunted negatively, placing open mouthed kisses along the column of my throat. "No, you should stay."

A loud gasp that mingled with a moan left my mouth when his hand slipped into my shorts and palmed me. He lifted his head, looking feeling into my eyes with purpose.

"Stay with me tonight," he whispered huskily. He looked into my eyes harder. "Come home with me." It sounded like a suggestion, but it felt like it was an order.

I frowned when his unblinking gaze didn't waiver and realized just what he was trying to do with a frown.

"Eric, are you trying to glamour me?"

His face fell and he looked taken aback.

"You were!" I growled shoving against his chest.

He didn't budge on my account, but moved on his own, withdrawing his hand and stepping back from me.

"You cannot be glamoured," he said, realization dawning in his eyes.

"Apparently not, but why the hell would you even try?" I snapped.

He ignored my question. "Why can't you be glamoured?"

I hesitated. I wasn't sure. Perhaps that was due to my telepathy as well. But it was beside the point.

"I don't know! But again, why would you try? Were you really trying to glamour me into sleeping with you?"

He said nothing in response and I let out out a heavy sigh, putting my face in my hands. "Just when I start to think that you might actually be a nice person- vampire, whatever- you try and glamour me into sleeping with you," I shook my head angrily.

I turned away from him, pulling my keys from my pocket and opening my car door.

"Chase," he started behind me.

"Nope. No. We are done for tonight. Goodnight Eric."

He had a way of ruining every good moment we had and reminding me just who and what he really was whenever I tried to forget.


 

I drove in silence the whole way home, opting to gather my thoughts instead of listening to the radio. It had been a hell of a day and I needed to process. Everything had changed in a matter of days. My normal world was shattering around me and reassembling itself in new way that I wasn't sure I liked. I was being stalking by a vampire that almost killed me and was falling for another vampire whose blood was running through my veins. The Chase before Cassandra's death would never be in this predicament.

God I miss you, Cass. I missed her a lot. And I missed the way our life had been before it all went to hell.

I pulled into my driveway twenty minutes later, shutting off the engine. I hesitated before exiting the car, I was being stalked by a vampire after all. I shut the car off and pulled my keys from the ignition. I was debating on whether or not I really wanted to be alone when someone knocked on my window prompting me to scream. My head whipped toward the window to see the face of my baby brother outside the glass. My face fell in surprise and I was out of the car and in his arms in seconds.

"Issac! I am so glad to see you," I breathed holding him tightly.

I felt him tense against me, he and I were never that close, in fact we normally declared we disliked each other, but he returned my embrace, giving me a gently squeeze. He pulled back and looked me in the eye with a frown. "Chase, what the hell happened to you? Didn't mom tell you to pick me up from the airport?"

Had it been three days already? I counted back to when my parents had left and realized it hadn't. "I thought you wouldn't be here till tomorrow?"

"I caught an earlier flight, mom and dad were worried about you. She said she'd call and let you know."

I pulled out my phone and saw the eight missed calls and accompanying voicemails from my mom. I sighed and hugged my brother once more, he tensed again.

"I'm sorry, Isaac. I have been out of it lately with… everything going on." The vampire attacks and the feelings and my friends death, was what I wanted to say. My eyes suddenly felt watery.

"Chase are you alright?" He asked into my shoulder giving me another squeeze. "You never hug me. It's kind of freaking me out."

"Yes, I'm sorry. I've had a long week, but it really is good to see you," I released him and offered a smile. "Please come in. How did you get here?"

He picked up two large duffels I hadn't noticed before and followed me to the door. "I called a cab when you didn't show. I tried to call you, but there was no-."

He stopped mid sentence behind me, making me turn to see what was wrong. His grey eyes were on the ground, my own following to see he was looking at some dried blood on the porch. There was a lot of it. He lifted his gaze and met mine.

"I cut myself," I offered before he could ask. "It was an accident. I'm fine."

I opened the door and stepped in ushering him inside. I went in after him, shutting and locking the door. There were two heavy thuds, my brothers bags hitting the floor as he looked around.

"Which room is mine?" He asked.

"Well the third door on the right is mine. The one next to it is Cassandra's and the other is a guest room. You can choose between hers and the guest room, but the guest room has no furniture."

"I'll take the couch," he answered. "Until we can get some furniture for the guest room."

I knew he wouldn't want to take Cassandra's room. He had been in love with her since we were kids and everyone knew it. My mom had mentioned how he had taken her death kind of hard.

"Yeah, of course, I understand. Are you hungry or…?"

He shook his head. "No. I ate at the airport. I'm honestly just exhausted. Do you mind if I hit the hay?"

"Yeah, sure, of course. I'll be going to bed too. I have to work in the morning, but we can catch up tomorrow and I'll show you around town?"

"That sounds like a plan," he shrugged.

I got him some spare linens to make the couch into a bed and made sure he was comfortable before saying goodnight.

"The bathroom is on the left and if you need me I'll be in my room."

He nodded again, pulling off his coat and kicking off his shoes. I went to my bedroom, stepping into the darkness and flicking on the lights. I nearly jumped right from my skin, letting out a loud scream, when I saw Eric sitting on my bed, legs extended and arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the headboard. I scowled at him when he smirked at my reaction.

A knock sounded on the door behind me. "Chase? You alright?"

"Yeah I umm saw a bug. No big deal," I lied.

"Okay," came his hesitant reply before the sound of his footsteps shuffling down the hallways.

I turned back to Eric with a frown, saw the smile still on his face. "Have you lost your ever loving mind?" I hissed in a whisper. I stalked towards the bed. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"I told you that until Justin is found someone will be guarding you at night and tonight that someone is me," he answered.

"My brother is here. I am fine. You can leave."

"No."

"No? What do you mean 'no'?"

"No as in I'm not leaving."

"Eric," I growled in frustration.

"Chase," he replied his smile widening. He was clearly enjoying my irritation.

"I am serious, Eric."

"As am I, Chase."

"My brother cannot catch you in here. He is not a big fan of vampires and if he finds you in here he'll have a heart attack and then tell my parents and they'll have heart attacks as well. That is not something I need right now."

"He will not catch me. I am very fast remember?"

I sighed in defeat. "You aren't going to leave are you?"

He shook his head once.

I had lost the will to argue and as much as I hated to admit it, him being in my home with Justin out there lurking somewhere did make me feel better. Even if I was upset with him.

"Fine, but keep your hands to yourself and I am not speaking to you."

"As you wish."

"And don't think that because I am letting you stay I'm not angry anymore."

"I don't."

"I am going to shower now. And don't even think about coming into the bathroom."

"Duly noted. But there is one thing I have to say," Eric said stopping me from heading to the bathroom.

"And what's that Eric?"

"I wasn't trying to glamour you into sleeping with me. I was only trying to make you stay with me, something I felt that you want to do anyway. I was only attempting to get you to relax. I don't need to glamour women to get them to sleep with me. I'd never make you do anything against your will."

His voice was surprisingly sincere and I felt an odd sensation in my stomach. Butterflies. I'm guessing in a sense this was his form of apology.

"Well...You shouldn't glamour people in general…"

"It is sometimes a necessity," he reasoned.

"It will never be a necessity with me. I like free will."

"I promise to never try and glamour you," he said surprising me. "Not that I could if I wanted too. Nor will I pressure you into anything," he added.

I hesitated. "Thanks…"

"Enjoy your shower."

I grabbed my towel and went for the shower in the bathroom connected to my room. I made sure to lock the bathroom door, not that I really thought that would stop Eric if he truly wanted to come in, but it made me feel a little better. I took my time, trying to wash away the day before I finished up and shut the shower off. It was then I realized I had forgotten to bring a change of clothes.

I wrapped my towel around myself and unlocked the door, finding Eric right where I had left him. He was looking down at his phone, but his eyes immediately found me when I stepped out of the bathroom. I saw his jaw clenched, his eyes roaming my dripping wet form, before a smile spread across his lips.

"I do believe you're being a tease, Chase," he said huskily, a lusty glimmer in his eye.

I ignored him and the heat that I felt at his words and retrieved a pair of sweats and a tank from my dresser. I made sure not to make eye contact with him, going back to the bathroom and shutting the door again. I changed and brushed my hair and teeth. Eric still hadn't moved when I left the bathroom, turning off the lights and making sure to lock my bedroom door.

Eric looked at me expectantly when I approached the bed. I gave him a pointed look. "I am not in the mood for games, Eric. I just want to sleep."

In a vampire second he was off the bed and sitting in the desk chair. "Understood."

I climbed into bed and pulled the covers over myself before rolling over to face the opposite direction of him. I hadn't felt tired at all until that moment, a yawn escaping my lips while I got comfortable. Doing my best to ignore Eric I shut my eyes and embraced the darkness.


 

I didn't know how long I slept for, but when I woke up again it was with a gasp as I sat up straight. I'd had a nightmare, but I couldn't remember it now. I was covered in a cold sweat, noticeably shaking, a feeling of dread sat heavy in my stomach. Almost instantly Eric was at my side. I was panting, struggling to catch my breath, blinking at him in the darkness.

"Are you alright?" He asked.

I shook my head, being honest for once.

"What can I do?" Eric asked me softly.

I paused in surprise at the sincerity and tenderness in his voice. I wasn't accustomed to hearing it from him. I was swept with emotions, strong ones, for him, ones that included lust. I found myself wondering why I was fighting him? What was the point in denying my feelings about him when I was a grown woman and I wanted him? And I knew the moment he felt everything I did through the bond, because his eyes darkened.

"Eric," I whispered feeling an unfamiliar boldness rush through me.

"Yes?"

The words were on the tip of my tongue hanging there as I chewed my lip worriedly, wondering if I could really say them and what would happen after I did.

I said them.

"I want you. Right now."

Chapter Text

“I want you. Right now.”

Eric didn’t hesitate or need further explanation. He was on me in seconds, his body finding its way between my legs and his lips crashing down on mine. I was flooded with fire, the coldness of his tongue dominating mine as he kissed my breath away. My thighs tightened around his hips when he thrust forward allowing me to feel the arousal waiting for me in his pants. Every nerve in me sparked with want and impatience, my hands gripping the material of his shirt to hold him to me. I worried that I would feel apprehension, but I didn’t, I was ready and willing.

That was until I felt his teeth scrape against the skin of my throat. Panic seized me suddenly, making me push against his chest until he pulled away, hovering above me on his straightened arms.

“Wait, stop,” I panted, trying to catch my breath.

He froze, looking down at me with his disheveled hair and desire in his oceanic eyes. “What is it?”

I hesitated, feeling the anxiety (and a little fear) finally sweep through me. I was about to lose my virginity to a vampire. You want this, Chase, I reminded myself. You’re a grown woman and it’s about time you started taking charge of your own life. I took a deep breath and forced myself to relax, though my heart was pounding in my chest.

“Will you go slow?” I asked him softly, biting my lower lip. “It’s my first time, remember?”

Eric’s face softened a bit, his fingers coming up to caress my cheek. He didn’t say anything, just kissed me slower and gentler this time. I felt my body melt into him, the kiss gradually picking up speed until we both were panting and writhing against each other. He withdrew long enough to pull my tank top off my body. Sighing longingly at the sight of my breasts, he took them in both cold hands and went for my throat. I tensed when his teeth scraped against the skin again, pushing against his chest once more.

“What now, Chase?” He sighed, looking at me irritably.

“I don’t want you to bite me...At least not yet ,” I said with a blush.

He sat up and removed his jacket, tossing it on the floor before his shirt followed. I was so distracted by the broad expanse of his chest that I almost didn’t hear what he said.

“I won’t bite you if you agree to some conditions.”

“Conditions?”

His finger traced my jawline. “Yes, the first being that you relax ,” he ordered.

“I can do that,” I breathed licking my lips, feeling the fire of desire take me over again.

“Good,” he replied, his finger left my jaw and trekked down to my clavicle until it reached my cleavage. “The second condition being that you keep quiet.” His hand smoothed down the valley of my breast, pausing to trek over them both before both hands were at the waistband of my sweats. “Your walls are incredibly thin,” that was true. I had to wear headphones whenever Cassandra had company. “And we don’t want your brother to catch me in here remember?” I let out a soft sigh when his hand slid into my sweats and brushed over the outside of my panties. “And I am sure that he will, if he hears your loud moans of pleasure,” he applied pressure right to the sensitive bundle of nerves and I moaned loudly, proving his point.

I clamped my hand over my mouth.

“Can you adhere to these conditions?” He questioned with an arched blonde eyebrow.

I nodded eagerly and impatiently. I’d do whatever the hell he wanted if he’d do more .

He kissed me again, finally, and I felt like the planets were aligning. He coaxed my tongue into his mouth, massaging it with his own. I was melting and squirming beneath him, barely able to form a coherent thought besides damn. Being a thousand year old vampire I imagined he had extensive experience with women, and probably some men too, and it was showing. He was a damn good kisser.

He continued kissing me, stealing my breath and swallowing my moans, his hands roaming and exploring, sending tingles and sparks through me. I tugged desperately on his belt, wanting to get him undressed and finally get this over with. I was halfway to getting it undone when he grabbed my wrists and pulled them away. He forced them gently to the pillow on either side of my head.

“I would like to be doing the touching now. Keep your hands right there until I tell you to move them,” he commanded in a husky growl. 

I tensed at his order, but nodded, locking onto his eyes and licking my lips. I was going to be at his mercy, which thrilled me and terrified me all at once. I forced myself to relax back into the pillows as he sat up on one elbow and used his free hand to roam me. He started at my throat, his fingertips tracing lightly over my skin as they traveled down over my breasts and to my stomach. I moaned in anticipation as his fingers slid past my waist band once more, right inside of my panties and right over my wetness, setting the fire in me ablaze. He picked up a slow torturous rhythm, sliding his forefinger and middle finger back and forth right over my clit in a never ending circle.

His mouth found my throat again, nipping and licking at my skin before moving down. I arched into him, gripping the pillow beneath my head as my hands tingled with the want to touch him. His mouth continued to travel right over the mounds of my breast until he found a nipple and pulled it into his mouth, sucking it with expert care and coaxing more moans from my throat before moving to the other. I gasped as the rhythm of his fingers increased and he continued to lap at my nipple with his cold tongue. I squirmed and trembled beneath him, feeling pleasure roll through me from head to toe.

"Eric," I gasped as my fingers dug into the pillow.

"Shh," he breathed against my breast. "Remember the conditions, Chase…"

Right . I bit my lip as I remembered his ‘conditions’ and shut my eyes as the pleasure build up neared its peak. I felt close to bursting, seconds away from falling completely apart. I braced for impact, feeling my stomach tighten like a coiled spring.

"Eric," I moaned, trying to warn him that I was about to explode. "I'm…I'm-."

I didn't even get to finish my sentence.

I burst around his fingers, trembling and gasping. I couldn’t stop the cry that escaped my lips, the intensity of the orgasm sending my eyes rolling. He worked me through it until I was a limp heap of bones on the bed, trying to catch my breath and regain my sight. It eventually returned allowing me to see him looking down at me with a wide smile. I blushed crimson.

"Clearly you do not understand the 'quiet' part of our second condition," he whispered playfully as he began kissing a trail from my breast, right down the middle of my stomach.

"I couldn't help it," I admitted, shaking my head.

In a single swift movement my panties were dragged down my legs. Taking a handful of each thigh he spread them wide enough to fit there, exposing me to him. My hands came down on instinct, covering myself to hide from his deep eyes as I felt my cheeks flame. He looked up at me with a slight frown on his gorgeous face and raised one eyebrow.

"Are you having second thoughts?”
I shook my head.

"Then would you mind removing your hands and placing them back where I asked you to keep them?"

How could he manage to sound so demanding and so polite all at once? I removed my hands slowly, sliding them back up my body until they reached the pillow. I shut my eyes, shuddering nervously and waited to feel him, panting in anticipation for what was to come. He gripped my calves, sliding both my legs up into a bent position allowing him a wide view of me before I felt his lips on my right thigh. Fireworks erupted under my skin where his lips touched, shooting through my whole body, making every nerve ending in my body pulse. He trailed kisses and licks down my thigh stopping right at my inner thigh, so close to my wetness that I inched over trying to bring his mouth to me.

"Be still, Chase," he ordered.

I intended to reply to his statement, but the words died right in my throat and were replaced with a moan as his tongue slid up my sex. He followed it with another lick that had me throwing my head back and a moan escaping my lips even though I tried to hold it back. A pleasure fog overwhelmed my brain, his tongue swept over me long and thick in a steadily increasing rhythm. My hips rolled against his mouth, disobeying yet another one of his orders, my body having a mind of its own. One of his hands slid up my side, curving across my rib cage to grip my breast which upped the pleasure tenfold.

"Eric…please…I…fuck-."

His tongue swirled around my clit before he sucked it into his mouth and sent me soaring up into oblivion. I cried out and shook as I came again, my hands coming down to grip locks of his hair as my legs went tight and threatened to close on him. He gripped my thighs, keeping them open as he increased the pressure of his mouth, continuing to suck on the bundle of pleasure nerves, alternating between swirling his tongue around it and sucking some more. I lost all hope of being quiet, my moans growing louder and louder as another orgasm burst through me, followed closely by another and then another. They came so fast that I didn't know where one began and the other ended, and he continued relentlessly.

He relented finally, lifting his mouth and allowing me the chance to recover from the onslaught. “Oh my god,” I breathed looking down to find him with a devilish grin on his face. 

He moved up my body, his mouth easily finding mine as he fitted himself between my legs. I kissed him heatedly, my desperation pouring into the kiss while my thighs tightened around his hips. I was done with the foreplay, and despite the multiple orgasms I still wanted more. Sliding my hands down his body I reached into his boxers and timidly touched him, managing to suppress the gasp that wanted to leave my lips when I felt just how big he was. It was going to be a lot to handle, but it didn’t deter me.

“Eric, please,” I whimpered struggling to get out my demand.

With vampire speed he pushed his boxer briefs down his long legs and settled back in position. Kissing me again, I felt the tip of him rub against me sending my hips jerking toward him. I was throbbing in anticipation, no longer scared, but anxious to have him inside of me.

His lips were at my ear. "This may hurt, Chase," he whispered.

I didn’t care. I nodded quickly and braced for it, feeling the tip of him pressing at my entrance as a low throaty growl escaped his mouth. I bit my lip; knowing that it was finally coming and I would have all of him-.

And then I heard the distant sound of a toilet flushing coming from the guest bathroom.

My eyes shot open immediately and Eric froze above me, both of us looking toward my bedroom door as I heard the bathroom door open and close. The small sound of footsteps shuffled toward my door and I heard the sound of my brother gripping my doorknob. It turned and halted, I let out a relieved sigh as I remembered that I had locked it. A soft knock came next and I groaned quietly in frustration.

"Chase…you awake?" I heard Isaac's sleepy voice ask through the door.

I looked up at Eric, seeing that his jaw was clenched so tightly I thought his teeth were going to break. I opened my mouth to answer my brother when Eric's hand came over my mouth before I could get a single syllable out. I looked up at him as he shook his head. We both remained quiet, listening until we heard my brother's footsteps shuffling back toward the living room.

I sighed in relief, moving Eric’s hand away from my mouth to kiss him again, and lifted my head, wanting to pick up right where we left off. He kissed me in return for a moment before his mouth pulled back and sat up on his hands pulling his body away from mine.

"I have to go, lover," he whispered regretfully making me frown.

"What? Why?" I reached for him, wanting to pull him back.

He came forward to kiss me once more before he slid from my bed and in a blur he was fully clothed and pulling on his jacket. "It's almost dawn," he said after securing his jacket on his shoulders. He motioned to the window and I saw that the sky had grown slightly lighter. "I have to leave now to make it back to Shreveport in time to not turn into a charred husk."

I sighed and laid back on my bed with a huff. I was hot and bothered and was now being robbed of my grand finale. I felt the weight of the bed shift as he kneeled on it beside me.

"You will come to me tonight," he whispered leaning in and brushing his lips across mine. "And we will continue where we left off." That definitely didn’t sound like a request, more like an order.

I put my lip out in a fake pout, but nodded. "Fine."

He smirked. "I’m sure I’ve given you enough to tide you over till then, haven't I?"

I blushed crimson, but nodded again. "You have," I whispered.

He kissed me, a quick peck on the lips, and pulled the blanket up over me as if he were tucking me in. "I’ll see you tonight," he promised with a firm look before he was heading toward my window. I watched him pull it open and slide out gracefully and then he was gone.

I sighed and rolled over trying to get comfortable. I was going to kill my brother.

Chapter Text

"Rough night?"

I couldn't help the glare that I passed my brother as I shuffled out of my bedroom, rubbing my face sleepily. If a rough night consisted of starting a steamy sex session with a thousand year old vampire, only to be interrupted by your annoying little brother waking up at an ungodly hour and knocking on your bedroom door then yes that was a rough night for me. I supposed I should thank him though, if he hadn't of interrupted us, Eric wouldn't have realized that it was almost dawn and he would have been burned to a crisp. Not exactly mood enhancing.

Isaac was already dressed, draped across my couch, remote in hand with cartoons playing on the television. I wanted to spend the day in bed sleeping until I got to see Eric again, but I was scheduled to work an eight hour shift at Merlotte’s. After Eric left I’d had trouble falling asleep and had barely managed to get three hours. It was going to be a long day.

“I didn't sleep well,” it was a partial truth. The truth being that I hadn’t slept much and the rest I did get was definitely not enough. “I had a nightmare.”

“I heard,” he mumbled, his eyes still on the television. “I could hear ya’ moaning and groaning all the way out here. I went to the bathroom and tried to check on you, but got no answer.”

I felt the heat of a blush on my cheeks and tried to hide it by looking away and changing the subject. “How were things going in Austin? Mom mentioned that you didn't get into the university that you wanted.”

Isaac shrugged nonchalantly. “It ain’t a big deal. I didnt really like that school anyway and besides I would rather be here protecting you, than at some dumb school,” he huffed.

“Protecting me from what exactly?” I questioned.

“Vampires?” He scoffed. “This town is crawling with em’. You should know...Cassandra was killed by one after all.”

I frowned. "Isaac, you don't know that.”

"She was killed outside of a vampire bar, Chase," he replied with an equally matching frown. "Which brings me to askin' you just what in the hell you were doing at a vampire bar?" The question made me hesitate. How was I supposed to answer? I couldnt tell him the truth, he’d die of shock. He was just as adverse to vampires as I used to be and as my parents currently were. If he thought for a single second that I was a fang banger he’d be telling our parents which would only stir up trouble with them that I didn’t want. They’d be demanding that I come home straight away, fearing for my safety, and while I was grown I still found it hard to disobey my parents wishes.

“Cassandra liked to go there. She went there a lot actually. She begged me to go and I went with her, something I regret now, but you know Cassandra. She made her decisions and she didn't take no for an answer.” That was the truth. 

He huffed. "Yeah well…look what that got her and you."

I was frowning again. As much as I loved my brother he was an asshole at times and this was exactly why we didn't get along. He was rigid in his thinking, very ‘his way or the highway’ and full of judgements when he’d barely had a view of the world. A part of me wanted to get angry, to tell him off, but I didn't have the energy. And if he and I were going to be living together, we needed to get along. I’d have to pick my battles and try to make this work. Instead I took a deep breath and forced a smile onto my face.

“You want to come into work with me?” I changed the subject.

“Is there anything better to do out here?” He asked.

“Not really. Merlotte’s is pretty much the happening spot around here. Shreveport is where all the clubs and fun stuff are.”

“Guess I’m stuck with you then huh?” He answered with zero enthusiasm.

“Gee, dont sound so excited,” I rolled my eyes. “I am going to get ready. I want to stop by my friends and then I can show you around town.”

He saluted me before nodding and I headed to the bathroom.


Half an hour later I was showered and dressed in my Merlotte’s uniform with my hair in a ponytail and a full stomach. We pulled into Sookie’s driveway, parking beside Tara’s car, which I wasn't that surprised to see there. I climbed out of the car with my brother on my heels, both of us stopping when we heard yelling and Tara stormed angrily out of the house.

“Uh...hey Tara,” I called when she practically ran down the porch. “Everything okay?”

She stopped in front of me, the anger radiating off of her in waves until she turned her eyes on my brother and the frown on her face disappeared. Isaac smiled politely at her and I swore that I saw Tara blush. My brother usually had this effect on girls, he was pretty good looking by societal standards and was tall and muscular. He picked up chicks with basically no effort, but I was surprised that Tara was affected.

“This is Isaac, my brother,” I introduced when the silence lingered.

She smiled, a rare thing to receive from Tara Thornton I was learning. She extended a hand to my brother, which he took and shook. “Hi, I’m Tara.”

“Isaac,” my brother repeated, his disarming smile widening. “Nice to meet you.”

This was going on far too long. I cleared my throat calling Tara’s attention. “Is this a bad time to see Sookie?” I asked thinking back to the yelling.

Tara's frown returned as if she had forgotten about the whole experience and it had just come back to her. "I don't know. She is on some crazy rampage because she let that vampire Bill make a meal out of her," she growled putting her hands on her hips. "She was tryin' to tell me I wasn't a good friend. I'm not dealing with her, but if you wanna, go right ahead and be my guest."

I sighed, something must have happened, because the last time I had seen Sookie she had been as chipper as a butterfly. "You mind keeping my brother company for a moment while I go inside and talk to Sookie?" I asked looking at my brother for approval, who shrugged in response. "If she is upset I don't want to bring someone she doesn't know in to meet her."

Tara looked back at my brother and smiled weakly. "Of course…"

"Awesome," I mumbled heading for the house.

I went in through the back door and found Sookie leaning against the stove with her head in her hands. She looked up as I hesitated in the doorway, looking on the brink of tears.

"Sookie…what's wrong?" I asked softly.

She came forward, wrapping her arms around me, making me tense in surprise. I wasn't used to being touched, but I hugged her back in return and I felt her tears wetting the shoulder of my shirt. "It's…it's…Bill.”

"Look, come sit down," I said walking her to the table and sitting down next to her. "Bill? What about him?”

I listened as she told me about the trio of vampires who had come into Merlotte's after I had left and about Bill leaving with them. Apparently now it seemed that he had died in the fire that some rednecks had set off at the house the vampire trio had moved into. She seemed distraught about it and I felt bad knowing that I had come over to gush about my night with a vampire while she had been up all night waiting for hers.

"I am so sorry to hear that," I said trying to sound sincere. I was trying to imagine how I would feel if it were me and Eric in the situation and almost immediately felt sick to my stomach. I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind quickly.

She smoothed her blonde bangs back and sighed. "I just…just can't think about it. Seems like everyone that is special in my life just keeps on dying…I just never thought-," she broke off and shook her head with another sigh. She looked at me and suddenly sat up completely. "Chase…did you come over here to tell me something? I am sorry I've just been rambling on and on about Bill."

I shook my head. "Oh...uh no…it's not important. It can wait.”

"No," Sookie said shaking her head. "Please tell me…it might take my mind off Bill…"

"No it won't."

"Then tell me anyway,” she smiled encouragingly.

I sighed and put my head in my hands as my cheeks burned. I had come over to tell her what had happened between Eric and I, given that she was my only friend and that she was seeing a vampire herself and would understand, but after hearing about Bill I felt bad. I looked at her bashfully. "I uh…did stuff…with…Eric last night."

Sookie's jaw dropped and I covered my face with my hands again. "No, you didn't.”

I nodded. "I did..."

"And? Define stuff?" she said.

"Well...he mostly just did stuff to me…and we were about to...do it," I said looking down. "And then my brother woke up and knocked on my bedroom door."

She laughed. Loudly, and honestly it was nice to see her not crying anymore. "Wait," she frowned in confusion. "Your brother?"

As if on cue there was a knock on the back door and we both turned to see my brother stepping in. He smiled hesitantly and paused in the doorway. "Hey…Tara had to leave…Is this a bad time?" he asked.

I shook my head and Sookie did as well. "No, come in. Isaac this is my new friend, Sookie. Sookie this is my baby brother, Isaac. He just came from Austin, he is going to be living with me."

Sookie rose to her feet and reached forward to shake his hand. "Nice to meet you," she said smiling weakly.

"It's nice to meet you as well," my brother said politely. I could see his eyes drop to the fang marks on her neck and a small frown took over his face. I sighed and rose to my feet. That was our cue to leave.

"Well…I should be going. I have to go show Isaac around town, before my shift," I said hugging Sookie again. "Let me know if you need anything okay?

Sookie, nodded. "Of course. I'll call you later."

I headed for the back door as Isaac waved a short goodbye to Sookie and followed me out. He didn't say anything until we reached the car and we both were inside and buckled. He waited until I had pulled out of Sookie's driveway and was driving down the road before he turned to me.

"Are you associating with vampires, Chase?" he asked me sternly sounding like my mother. "And don't you dare lie to me."

"Isaac," I sighed with a frown. “Can we please not get into this right now.”

"Chase, c'mon. I mean the first 'friend' you introduce me too out here just so happens to have fang marks on her neck after your best friend dies at a vampire bar?" he said trying to sound reasonable. "I don't want you hanging out with the wrong kind of crowd, which is exactly why mom and dad sent me out here."

I hit the brakes on the car quickly making us both jerk forward as my car halted right in the middle of the road. Isaac turned to me with wide eyes after mumbling a string of curses. He opened his mouth to speak but I held up my hand.

"Look, Isaac I am twenty two years old and two years older than you. I am a big girl and I can make decisions for myself," I said sternly as he looked back down at me with a frown. "So don't start trying to act like dad or otherwise this isn't going to work and I am going to end up murdering you in your sleep. Just trust that I know what I am doing."

He continued to frown at me as I turned back to the road and I put my foot on gas, continuing on down the road. There was a long awkward silence from him before he sighed and turned to me again.

"I know you and I don't get along most of the time. I mean hell we tortured each other growing up and there were tons of times that I told people that you were adopted, and I do happen to be younger than you, but… you are my big sister," he said suddenly serious. "I don't want you dead."

I took that for what it was worth, which was a lot coming from my brother who used to actively call me weirdo for five years of his life instead of calling me by my name. I reached over and gave his clothed forearm a squeeze before placing my hand back on the steering wheel.

"That means a lot, Isaac," I whispered. "And trust me…I won't end up dead."

At least I hope not.


 

I showed Isaac around town and introduced him to the few locals that I saw before taking him back to the house where he opted to spend his time settling in while I worked my shift. By the time five o' clock rolled around my body started to tingle with anticipation. I was growing anxious knowing that dusk was coming and I would be heading to Shreveport as soon as my shift ended. This was becoming the longest day of my life and when ten o'clock rolled around and my shift ended, I nearly bolted out of the building.

I rushed out into the warm night air, hooking my purse on my shoulder and fishing my keys out of my pocket. I had butterflies rushing around in my stomach. I considered heading home to change into something fancy, but I didn't want to waste any time. I drove to Shreveport, making sure to send Isaac a text that I was going to be hanging out with Sookie late tonight as a cover.

I was surprised to find Fangtasia was closed and the parking lot empty, save for Eric's corvette, a beat up Honda, a white BMW, and a silver Subaru station wagon. I parked my car and climbed out hesitantly, unsure of whether I should go in or not. I made my way to the door, staring at the closed door sign, before reaching for the handle and pulling. It gave way and I stepped through, stopping when three pairs of angry vampire eyes turned to me.

It was Eric, Pam, and Long Shadow standing over a balding overweight middle aged man with glasses, who sat in a chair looking terrified for his life. Pam was blank faced as usual, but Long Shadow and Eric looked extremely angry. I immediately found myself wondering what the balding man had done, when he turned his eyes, full of desperation and fear, on me. I felt myself frowning as I shut the entrance door behind me.

"What’s going on?" I asked.

In a blur, Long Shadow was in front of me, fangs bared and his hand on my throat. I let out a surprised gasp as his grip tightened, cutting off my airway and a flood of his thoughts rushed me. It was the usual vampire carnage, blood, death, and sex, but there was also thoughts of a large sum of money. I put my block up instantly and brought myself back to reality where I could barely breathe.

"Long Shadow!" Eric called. He still hadn't moved from where he had been standing when I walked in and I felt a pang in my stomach at the thought of him doing nothing.

Long Shadow froze, but did not remove his hand, he tightened it to the point where I couldn't breathe at all. "What?" he growled through clenched teeth.

"Release her," Eric said calmly.

"Obviously this little blood bag cannot read the sign that says we are closed," Long Shadow growled looking down at me.

"I said release her," Eric said sternly, still not moving.

Long Shadow released me with an angry huff. I barely managed to stay on my feet, gasping for air as I clutched my aching throat. I turned my eyes to Eric and found that he was staring at me blankly.

"Leave, Chase," he ordered harshly, not sounding in the least bit sincere or kind. I didn't move I just stared back at him in shock, feeling my heart sink in my chest.

"Eric-," I started.

"Now!" He barked angrily making me jump.

I scrambled for the door, pulling it open and rushing out as tears welled in my eyes. I had no idea what I walked in on, but I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to end well for the man in the chair. And Eric doing nothing while Long Shadow hurt me made me feel sick to my stomach as I thought of what I had come there to do and what I had almost done last night.

I was still crying when I reached home, startling Isaac, who was on his feet the moment he saw my tears. His arms were around me in seconds, making me tense. He held me to his chest with an unexpected kindness, which only made me sob harder. He urged me to the couch, sitting me down before grabbing tissues to hand me. He knelt in front of me while I wiped at my eyes and runny nose, it was then he noticed my throat and his eyes widened.

"Chase, what the hell happened?" he lifted my chin so he could see my throat better. "Your throat is purple!"

I pulled my head away from him, wiping at my eyes again. He looked at me impatiently and waited for an answer. I sighed deeply and shook my head. "It's nothing," I tried to lie.

Isaac wasn't buying it. He shook his head angrily. "No. Something happened. Did some guy do this to you? What's his name? I'll kick his ass!"

I huffed at the thought of my brother kicking Long Shadow's ass and shook my head once more. "It was just…a misunderstanding between a friend and I…" I said softly. More lies, but I couldn't tell him the truth of what happened.

"Chase, don't lie to me," he said his voice and expression suddenly soft as he took my hand. "Just…tell me what's going on."

I decided to lie. There was nothing better I could do. I knew he just wanted to protect me and he wasn't going to let it go until he found out what was going on. "You know the blood you saw on the porch?"

He blinked, but nodded. "Yeah?"

"I was attacked the other night, by a vampire named Justin. He saw me at Fangtasia, the vampire bar, and became obsessed with the way I smell I guess," I said keeping my eyes down, that was the truth so far. "I got inside the house and he couldn't come in of course because he hasn't been invited and he left. Well I saw him tonight when I got off work and he tried to attack me again, but Sookie came and helped me."

I looked down at him as I finished my lie and saw the fury written all over his face. "Chase, why didn't you tell me this when I first got here?”

"Don't make it into a big deal and please don't tell mom and dad alright? I don't want them to come down here and I don't want to move," I pleaded squeezing his hand. "Please…just let me deal with it."

"You were attacked by a damn vampire! You could have been killed twice now!"

"I know. I know, okay? Just trust me…It's being taken care of," I insisted.

"How? Who is going to keep this vampire guy from hurting you or worse murdering you?"

"Look just…you have to trust me okay? I promise everything is going to be okay now." That seemed like a lie too. I didn't know for sure that everything was going to be okay. The one person that could protect me had just stood by and done nothing as I was being choked; right before he kicked me out like I was yesterday's garbage.

He frowned at me, saying nothing, his eyes surveying my throat again. "If he attacks again Chase, we have to tell mom and dad. This isn’t about control, this is about keeping you alive and if they decide they want us to move back home it may not b a bad thing if it means you are safe.”

I didn't want to argue so I simply nodded. I knew that he meant well and I hoped that Justin would be found before he could make his second attack. I felt bad using Justin's attack as my cover and had a feeling that it would be coming back to bite me in the ass, but I had no other options. How else was I supposed to explain my throat without telling him about Eric? And a part of me began to think that moving home wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Chapter Text

I went to bed with a lot on my mind.

I was happy to have the next day off from work, which would give the bruises on my throat that I woke up with some time to heal. I was in no mood to answer anyone’s questions about them, especially when I couldn’t do so honestly. I opted to stay in my home for the day, reconnecting with my brother, and finding that I liked him a lot more now as an adult than I ever did as a kid. Spending time with my brother helped me keep my mind off Eric, and while I was still pissed about the situation, I opted to put it all behind me instead. Including any further relationship between Eric and I. I was done dealing with Eric Northman and vampires in general. My life had been much simpler before he had come into it and that was the life that I wanted to go back to.

When night fell and I excused myself to bed, a part of me hoped that I would find Eric in my room or that he would show up and explain himself, or at least apologize. But he never did, which only made me feel better about my decision to live a vampire- and Eric- free life. I laid in bed convincing myself that this was all for the best, that I could put an end to this before I got to attached to him or did anything stupid, like sleep with him. He and I were very different, from very different worlds. I wanted a normal life, or as normal as I could get, and I couldn't have that by being in love with a vampire.

I was scheduled to work an eight hour shift the following day and left Isaac home to fend for himself. I went to the pharmacy before work and bought some concealer, using it to cover the slightly less purple bruises and wore my hair down around my shoulders to add some more cover.

Merlotte’s was busy and basically full when I arrived, my coworkers bustling around, the music ambient in the background and the patrons talking loudly. I put my things in Sam’s office and headed for the bar, seeing Sam behind it filling pitchers with Dixie.

“Hey Chase,” he smiled warmly at me. “Did you enjoy your day off?”

I nodded and forced a smile onto my face. “Yeah I just stayed home and hung out with my brother. How have things been here? There hasn’t been anymore vampire trouble has there?”

Sam shook his head. “Nah, I guess some people lit the house the vampires were squatting in on fire. They cant be much of a problem if they are dead-dead.”

I sighed, shaking my head. “I know, Sookie told me about that. Poor Bill.”

Sam huffed. “Poor Bill? Bill is alive, Chase. Well… not really, but he’s alive as a vampire can be.”

“He is?” I blinked.

“Yeah, Sookie didn't tell you?”

“I haven’t talked to her since the day before yesterday, but this is great news!”

Sam frowned, but nodded. “Yeah, if you say so,” he grumbled. “Go ahead and take your usual tables. Sookie already took their orders for you, so just pick ‘em up at the window.”

“You got it boss,” I smirked at him and headed for the pick up window, catching sight of Lafayette cooking. “Hey, Lafayette, how are you?”

“I am doing just fine, Ms. Chase,” he answered with his southern drawl, looking at me sweetly as he placed a basket full of onion rings and a cheeseburger in the window. “Where you been?”

“I was off yesterday. I spent the day with my brother.”

“Now don’t that sound like a nice day,” he answered with a sly smile. I got the feeling that he was making a joke, but chose to ignore it. “This is for table six.”

“Thanks.”

I took the onion rings and cheeseburger quickly trying to get out of his gaze and headed to place out my order. I checked in with my tables and took two orders, ending up at the pick up window at the same time as Sookie. She smiled at me when she saw me.

"Bill's okay huh?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.

She nodded eagerly. "He got my warning messages and slept in the cemetery underground. We are going out tonight."

"That's great, Sookie," I said sincerely. "I am so happy for you."

"And where have you been missy?" she asked me quietly as we walked back toward the order window. "How are things going with Eric?"

I felt my stomach drop. "Don't mention Eric Northman to me, please. I don't ever want to see that vampire again."

Sookie frowned. "What happened now?"

"I don't want to talk about it," I replied handing my tickets to Lafayette.

"Talk about what?" he asked raising an eyebrow.

"Nothing, Lafayette," I said with a forced smirk. I gave Sookie a look I hope she read well. "I just want to forget about it."

She continued to frown. “Well alright then.”

I spent the rest of my shift dodging Sookie’s curious looks, knowing that she wanted to know more about Eric, and talk of Arlene’s engagement to Renee. I was happy for Arlene and Renee, but if I had to hear her gush about it anymore I was going to scream. I knew that my bad mood was stemming from my encounter with Eric, and tried to keep to myself so that I didn't lash out at anyone.

When ten p.m. rolled around I felt relieved. I quickly made sure that all my side work was done and that Sam didn't need anything else from me before clocking out and gathering up my things. A hot shower and a beer, which I’m sure was in my fridge now thanks to Isaac, was calling my name and I was eager to get home to it. I left out of the back of the building, walking towards Sam’s trailer where I normally parked to leave space in front of the restaurant free. I was digging in my purse for my keys when I felt a gush of wind whip up around me and a cold shiver race down my spine.

I didn't need to turn around to know who it was. I sighed.

“What do you want, Eric?”

“I came to apologize to you for what happened the other night at Fangtasia,” he answered.

I did turn then, spinning quickly and feeling my throat go dry at the sight of him. He was stunning as ever, his hair perfect, clad in dark jeans and a leather jacket with a black t-shirt underneath. He stood less than a foot away, his presence overwhelming and looming over me, his arms crossed over his chest. His expression was passive, his voice insincere.

“Apology not accepted,” I answered, summoning up my courage to turn away and continue searching for my keys.

The wind whipped up around me again, Eric standing before me in the blink of an eye. I frowned at him and tried to side step past him, only for him to follow and block me once more.

“Eric, I am not in the mood nor am I happy with you right now. You said you're sorry, very unconvincingly might I add, and I don't accept your apology. So tell me what else it is that you want or just leave,” I ordered with a glare.

"My apology is quite sincere, Chase.”

“It doesn't seem like it.”

“You arrived at a bad time that night.”

"Yeah I figured. You should really tell your employees to work on their people skills. Just what exactly did I walk in on in there?" I questioned raising an eyebrow.

"Some money has gone missing from our books and we were interrogating our accountant, Bruce.”

"Is he dead?"

"Excuse me?"

"Is the accountant dead?"

Eric hesitated as a smirk slid across his face. "No…not yet anyway. And that is where you come in."

I frowned. "What are you talking about?"

"You are coming with me to Fangtasia."

"I am?" I huffed indignantly.

"I want you to read some of my employee's minds so we can find out just who exactly is taking the money," he elaborated. "It would be a great favor to me."

"And why on earth would I want to do you any favors after what I have been through with you the past few days?" I asked putting my hands on my hips.

His smirk widened and his eyes darkened. "I would return the favor to you in any way you saw fit," he said huskily leaning down towards me.

I was ashamed at the immediate bodily response I felt at those words. There was a rush of heat and throb at my core, a vivid image of him kissing his way down my body flashing in my mind. I swallowed and shook my head to clear it. I wasnt going to do this. I wasn’t going to let him get me wrapped up in him again. I stepped backward from him and he frowned.

"I am done riding along with you on your emotional rollercoaster, Eric," I said firmly. "I am not some toy for you to play with whenever you feel like and put me back on the shelf when you get bored. I am a human being with a life and not your puppet that is just going to do as you please because you promise me sex. I just want to be a normal person for god sakes. So find someone else to do it."

I wasn’t going to give him the opportunity to argue it. I moved past him as quickly as I could, but barely made it half a step when I felt his cold fingers wrap around my arm, halting my escape. With a swift yank of his arm I was stumbling backwards towards him, looking up to find him staring down at me irritably. I felt a rush of anger at the nerve of him man handling me, my skin started to tingle with what felt like electricity, the hairs on my arms standing up.

"Eric, let me go," I growled through clenched teeth.

"I do not take kindly to being walked away from," he said calmly, though there was a burning irritated look to his blue eyes.

I yanked with all my strength and pulled my arm away from his grasp, scowling at him. "And I don't take kindly to being man handled, least of all by a stubborn, egotistical, selfish vampire," I spat.

His face fell and I made my retreat, making it to my car. By the time I had climbed in and locked the doors he was gone from sight. I stuck my key in the ignition, my heart beating fast and a myriad of emotions swarming me. I struggled with a part of me, a very stupid part, that wanted to go after him, and bitterly found that my eyes were watery. I wiped at them with shaking hands.

You will not cry over a vampire.

You will not cry over a vampire.

I was in no state to go home and deal with my brother and the barrage of questions he would ask once he realized I was upset. Nor did I want to go back into Merlotte’s and deal with my coworkers. But I knew that I could not be alone. Justin was still on the loose and being alone put myself in danger. I had to go somewhere where I would be safe and not alone, and there was only one place that I could think of, though the idea surprised me.

I pulled into the driveway fifteen minutes later, parking near the house. I walked to the door, feeling nervous, and knocked, chewing my lip worriedly while I waited for the door to be answered. When the door opened I was surprised at how relieved I felt to see him.

"Chase," Jason said looking at me in surprise. "What are you doing here?"

Chapter Text

"Can I come in?"

Jason blinked, shaking his head, stepping back and pulling the door open as he did. “Y-Yeah, of course. Come in, please.”

I stepped into the house cautiously, a part of me expected him to have company, but looking around his living room I knew he was alone. Jason shut the door behind me, looking concerned while his eyes surveyed me. He was in his usual jeans and t-shirt, though his skin was clear and his pupils a normal size. He was sober. He looked a lot better than the last time I’d seen him. This realization made me relax a bit, I felt comfortable enough to step further into the house.

“You alright?” He asked. “You look like ya’ been crying.”

I nodded, wiping at my slightly puffy eyes. “Yes, I just… had a rough night, honestly the whole week has been rough. I’m sorry to just show up like this… but I didn’t want to be alone.”

“It’s no problem. You can stay as long as ya’ like,” he motioned to his couch. “Take a seat. Get comfy. Mi casa su casa. You hungry? You want a beer?”

I moved toward the couch and sat down, toeing off my shoes before pulling my feet up onto the couch and hugging my knees. I caught his eyes as he moved toward the kitchen ready to get me anything I needed. "I could have a beer," I said with a nod. "I'm not hungry though."

Jason nodded and pulled the fridge open. "Okay, one beer it is."

He approached with two cold beers, taking a seat beside me. Opening both he handed me one and took a long swig of his own. I took a sip, suppressing a grimace at the initial bitter taste, but swallowed it down. Ignoring the taste I took a longer drink, finishing the bottle rather quickly. I caught Jason’s raised eyebrow when I set the empty bottle on his cluttered coffee table, smiling nervously.

“You uh, you sure you don’t want to tell me what’s going on?” He asked glancing at the empty bottle.

I shook my head. “There’s… so much going on. Too much to talk about and honestly I want to put it all behind me. I just… needed to get away tonight and I found myself here.”

Jason nodded slowly, taking a drink. “Yeah, I know that feeling.”

I looked at him, studying his face for any signs of V or withdrawals and found none. He noticed my lingering gaze, a faint redness touching his cheeks, a nervous crooked smile spreading on his face.

“What?”

“Sorry, I’m just kind of surprised. You aren’t…” I trailed off hoping he’d pick up on my meaning. I didn’t want to offend him.

He looked momentarily puzzled and then realization dawned on his face. “Oh. Oh. Yeah I, uh, well I gave it up. It wasn’t doing me any good. I’ve been sober since that night you brought me home from my Gran’s funeral. I’ve felt like shit the past few days, but this morning I woke up feeling great. Just like my old self.”

“That’s great, Jason. You look good,” I complimented.

“Thanks,” he grinned. “I’m… well I’m really glad you came by, Chase.”

I felt a blush on my cheeks, but nodded. “Me too.”

His grin turned to a smirk and his brown gaze held my own. I was blushing, feeling it creep along my skin and my heart flutter in my chest. Unable to hold his gaze any longer, my eyes dropped nervously to my clasped hands. There was silence and tension in the air, but not awkward. Butterflies swarmed in my stomach when I looked up again and caught his eyes still on me, intense and kind, that smirk still on his face.

It hit me all at once that I liked the guy. I couldn’t deny his good looks and he was sweet. And probably as normal as it was going to get for me. I felt safe and comfortable in his presence. And he wasn’t Eric.

We picked up a conversation when our moment passed, sharing likes and dislikes, finding commonality between us. Soon he offered to turn on tv, picking something on the nature channel that was really just background noise to our continued discussion. I found myself yawning when a few hours passed, reclining back into the couch as Jason did. I was unconsciously scooting closer to him with each minute that passed, feeling drawn to his inviting warmth, but too chicken to just outright do it. Jason, a confident guy who clearly had no issues putting himself out there, wrapped his arm around me the moment he noticed, easing me against his chest where I rested my head. His heart thudded steadily in my ears and I soaked in the sound and the warmth, the feel of his chest rising and falling as he breathed. It was a such a not a thing, but when compared to the stillness and cold when I was in Eric’s embrace, the difference was startling.

This was normal.

This was what I wanted.

I shut my eyes and snuggled in closer.


The sound of buzzing woke me.

I blinked against harsh sunlight pouring in from the windows, rolling onto my side and looking up at an unfamiliar ceiling. Where the hell am I? I sat up on my elbows, taking in the messy room and the bed beneath me with black sheets. Jason’s room. It all came back to me then, looking over my shoulder I saw him behind me, shirtless and fast asleep, one arm tucked under his head. He must have brought me to his bed when I’d fallen asleep. Lifting the sheet I saw I was still fully clothed. The buzz sounded once more and my eyes found my purse on the nightstand, it was my cellphone. Reaching inside I pulled it out and answered it.

“Hello?”

“Chase, thank god, where the hell are you?”

“Sookie?”

“Yes it’s Sookie. You are thirty minutes late for your shift and your brother is here, worried sick,looking for you. Said you ain’t been home all night!”

Shit.

“Sorry I overslept at a...friends house. I’m on my way!” I said in a hushed whisper sitting up completely.

"Are you okay?" she asked worriedly.

"I'm fine," I said quietly sliding off the bed. I didn't want to wake Jason.

“Well should I tell Isaac anything? He is really worried."

I rolled my eyes as I moved out of Jason's bedroom. "Tell him I am fine. I will be there in a little bit.”

"Okay…" Sookie replied. "You sure you okay?"

I nodded even though she couldn't see me. "Yeah, Sook. I’m fine. I promise."

"Well hurry up and get here. I've got something to tell you," she replied.

I raised an eyebrow, curious as to what she could have to tell me. "Okay I'll be there."

I said goodbye and hung up the phone before heading over to the couch and retrieving my shoes. I was slipping them on when Jason came trudging out of his bedroom, rubbing his eyes sleepily. I finished tying my shoes, looking at him with a smile.

"Good morning," he mumbled. "How'd ya' sleep?"

"Good," I replied. It was better than I had slept in a long time actually. "Thanks for letting me stay."

He waved my statement away. "It was no problem. You’re welcome anytime. I'm sure you would do the same for me," he said stepping towards me and sitting on the couch. "You leaving?"

I nodded. I actually felt sad about having to go. "I am late for work actually," I said rising to my feet.

He rose with me, a sudden nervousness and hesitance in his eyes. I raised my eyebrows at him and felt a shy smile spread across my lips. 

"So… You wanna hang out later?" he asked me finally seeming as if those six words were the hardest words he ever had to speak.

I felt those butterflies again and nodded. “Yes. I’d love that. I get off at eight. Meet me at Merlotte’s?”

He smiled. "Yeah, that would be great."

Walking me to my car, I had a sneaky suspicion he was going to try and kiss me. He didn’t though, instead he gave me a long lingering hug, his body pressed fully into mine that sent tingles to the right places. I promised to see him later, rushing straight to work, thankful that I was already in my uniforms. I noticed Cassandra’s car in the parking lot when I pulled in, my brother must have found her keys to get to Merlotte’s. I parked next to it and all but, ran inside catching sight of my brother sitting at the bar talking to Sam. They both turned to me, looking relieved. Isaac slid from the barstool and stalked over to me.

“Chase, what the hell? Where have you been?” He asked with a frown as he hugged me. “You had me worried sick.”

“I’m fine, Isaac. I just stayed the night at a friends. I should have called,” I answered. “I have to start my shift, but I’ll see you later at home.”

“Chase, wait,” he grabbed my arm. “I think given your…” he paused, eyes darting about, his voice lowering. “ Vampire problem , you should let me know where you are at all times.”

I sighed. “Isaac, I appreciate your concern, but I told you I have it handled.”

“Well I don’t think-.”

“Isaac,” I snapped in a hushed whisper, feeling irritated. “I appreciate you trying to help, but please let it go. I’ve got it handled. I’ll see you later.”

I turned and walked off, giving him no chance to respond. I appreciated his concern, but given I wanted to take some control of my life I was no longer allowing others to butt in. Including my overprotective brother. I went into Sam's office to leave my purse and don my apron and heard the door close behind me. I turned and found Sookie, a very irritated looking Sookie, standing in front of the door with crossed arms.

“Umm hey Sookie…”

“What is going on with you and Eric?” She asked sternly, arching an eyebrow.

I huffed, finishing tying my apron around my waist. “Well there is no ‘me and Eric’, so absolutely nothing.”

“I figured since he asked me to do him a favor last night.”

That caught my attention. “A favor?”

"He asked me to read some of his employees minds to find out who has been stealing money from Fangtasia," she answered. "I almost got killed in the process. I got vampire guts all over me. Then I go home and find my damn cat headless and swinging from my fan. I am just wondering why Eric didn't ask you to do it when we literally have the same power, just manifested differently."

My face shifted to surprise and I shook my head. “Eric did ask me, but I told him no. I’m done with vampires, as of about ten p.m. last night actually, but I didn’t know he’d ask you. I’m sorry about Long Shadow and your cat, but I am done with Eric.”

Sookie frowned at me. "What happened?"

“I don’t really feel like getting into it, honestly.”

Sookie's frown remained on her face. "So if you don't mind me asking, where were you all night? Your brother was worried sick."

I hesitated. I wasn’t sure about telling Sookie that I was spending the night with her brother, but didn’t feel like it should be a secret either.

“I was with Jason.”

Sookie blinked. “Stackhouse? As in my brother?”

I nodded. “Yes, we’ve been spending some time together.”

She huffed and let out a surprised laugh. “When did this start? Are you sleeping together?”

“No,” I answered quickly. “We met at your Gran’s funeral. And we aren’t sleeping together, not that it is any of your concern.”

“Chase, sweetie, I know we just met and I consider you a friend. So trust me when I say to stay away from Jason,” she said in an earnest tone. “He’s all sweet and charm in the beginning and then once he gets what he wants from you he is moving on to the next willing girl. He goes through women faster than he does underwear.”

That news surprisingly didn’t bother me. “Sookie, I think there’s more to your brother than you think and I’d like to give him a chance, which is again none of your concern.”

She looked incredulous and reached for my hand, the seriousness leaving her tone. “Just be careful okay? I mean it.”

I knew she meant well so I tried to smile at her. “I will. We better get to work.”

She nodded and I followed her out of the office after placing my things on the shelf. When I reached the main dining area I found that Isaac had left and Sam was behind the bar. I approached it bashfully coming to stand in front of Sam as he gave me a look that was mixed with concern and irritation.

“Sam, I’m very sorry,” I started slowly. “Am I fired?

He sighed. "No, Chase, I ain't going to fire you. Just don't make us worry like that."

“I won’t, Sam."


 

My shift was uneventful, save from a particularly interesting out heat by Sookie at Andy Bellfleur for his incompetence as an officer and lack of finding the killer that was on the loose. I came to his rescue, suggesting sternly, that Sookie take a break. I knew she was on edge because clearly she was being targeted by someone and I sympathized. I didn’t want her getting in trouble.

When night fell I grew anxious with excitement, usually something I felt for Eric, but for Jason. A part of me expected him not to show, Sookie’s words ringing in the back of my mind, he did. At eight p.m. on the dot he strolled into Merlotte’s, a smile spreading across my face when we locked eyes and he grinned with a wave. I moved around the bar to greet him.

"Hey," he said as I reached him, his grin widening even further.

"Hey," I could feel butterflies swarming around in my stomach. "You wanna eat here? My shift is over in a few minutes. I can put our orders in."

Jason looked around nodding. "Sure that sounds good."

"Okay...uh just go ahead and take table four," I said pointing to the empty table in my section. "You know what you want?"

"Yeah I'll take a cheeseburger with everything and a Dixie."

"Okay."

He winked at me heading for the table I and I went to place our order. I ordered the same thing for myself, handing my ticket to Lafayette, who looked at the order with a raised eyebrow then up at me.

"You going to eat with Jason Stackhouse?" he asked as if he were surprised.

"Yes...is that a bad thing?" I asked with a frown.

"Since when you and Jason Stackhouse been fooling around?" he asked me with a smirk.

"We aren't fooling around," I replied, my frown deepening. "He and I are just...enjoying each others company."

"For now..." Lafayette mumbled.

"Just because I am hanging out with Jason doesn't mean that he and I are sleeping together or even going to. And if it does somehow lead to that then that is my business and no one else's okay?"

Lafayette smirked mischievously. "Okay hooker...go on with your bad self then."

I smiled a little at him and went to join Jason. I slid into the seat beside him and caught his smile. I wasn’t sure whether or not this was supposed to be a date or if were eating as friends, but the butterflies had returned. I felt my cheeks flame as he watched me, then he finally spoke.

“Look, uh, is this supposed to be a date?” Jason asked leaning closer to me, sounding just as unsure as I felt.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged with a timid smile. “Do you want it to be?”

“Do you ?”

I hesitated for a moment thinking about what that would mean. Jason was a normal guy with a normal job and a normal house. He was handsome, had a job, and his own car and even though he had just recently gone through a drug addiction and withdrawals, I knew he was a good person. What more could I want in a guy?

"Yeah...I want it to be," I answered finally reaching forward to take his hand after I put up a mental block.

I’d never seen him smile so wide, his mouth opening to say something when the room fell silent abruptly. I felt a chill run down my spine, looking up to see Bill walking in. He wasn’t alone though, Eric, Pam, and a large Asian man were coming in right behind him.

My heart stuttered in my chest at the sight of Eric, his deep blue eyes finding me in the crowded room too easily. He looked as good as ever in his blue tee and tight dark pants. The want and heat that rushed me made my stomach flip. Panic seized me momentarily, though I wasn’t sure why. Jason frowned at my expression, turning to see what I was looking at. Eric’s eyes left me to briefly take Jason in and then they were back on me, penetrating me with intensity.

“This place is even more depressing than I thought it would be,” Eric said to Pam. She laughed watching him walk further into the restaurant. He was walking right toward me.

“You know that guy?” Jason asked snapping me out of my trance.

I tore my gaze away from Eric. “Yes, I do... unfortunately.”

Bill mumbled something to Eric and headed towards the back, the Asian man following closely behind. Pam pulled a stack of postcards from her trench coat, separating the stack and handing half to Eric. His eyes remained on me as he began walking around handing out the cards, his gaze on me never wavering. The closer he came, the hotter my skin grew, I desperately tried to ignore it and the want. I knew he could feel it through the bond, the smug smirk on his face giving it away. Damn him. I forced myself to look away. You’re done with that, Chase.

"I'm sure some of you have heard that there is a vampire bar down in Shreveport that I own," Eric said still continuing his approach to me, passing out cards as he moved. "Simply present this card at the door when you get to Fangtasia. First round is on me."

He came to a stop at our table, towering over us both. Pam started talking, but her words were distant. Jason looked up at Eric with a frown, but Eric’s attentions were still on me. He placed his hands behind his back, my hand tightening around Jason’s. Eric’s eyes fell to our entwined hands, his lips in curving just the slightest bit that was hardly noticeable.

“Hello Chase,” He said softly. “Who is your… friend?”

“None of your business,” I answered through clenched teeth. “Please leave me alone.”

“I’d hoped that you’d calmed down after our last encounter, but I see that you have not.” There was a hint of disappointment in his tone.

“Clearly, I haven’t. My mind hasn’t changed,” I said pointedly.

“Look buddy, I don’t know who are,” Jason said leaning forward in his chair. “But I don’t think she wants to be bothered.”

“Jason, don’t. I’ve got-,” I started.

“Yes Jason, don’t ,” Eric cut me off, turning his cold blue eyes on him.

Jason frowned, the mild irritation I’d seen in him had suddenly turned to anger. Rising quickly from his chair he barely reached Eric’s neck in height, but what he lacked in height he made up for in confidence.

“Do we have a problem, buddy?” He asked, the anger clear in his voice this time.

Jason’s attempt at defending me was sweet, but Eric was a thousand year old vampire. This wouldn’t be a fair fight by any means. I stood then too, moving between them as Eric turned to Jason. I put myself right in the middle, my back to Jason’s chest, glaring up at Eric. My hand rested on Eric’s chest, an attempt to hold him back, though I knew if Eric wanted to really hurt Jason nothing could stop him.

“Eric, stop it,” I said sternly.

Eric didn’t move, his blue eyes on Jason, who was breathing heavily behind me, his heart thudding against my back. I worried for a moment that Eric was really going to do something, but he stepped back finally, walking toward Pam. She was handing one of the cards to a young man with a bandaged arm. Eric snatched it from Pam’s hand quickly, staring blankly down at the man. I chose that moment to turn and take Jason’s hand, pulling him behind me to escape the situation into the Louisiana air. I could feel Eric’s eyes on me as we moved, which only made me move faster.

Once outside Jason turned to me, his face full of mixed emotions. I felt bad for having put him in the situation. I figured my past with Eric might come up, but I had planned to be able to explain it on my terms.

“Did you sleep with that thing?”

I blinked, not expecting such a bold question. “No, Jason I didn’t,” I huffed in answer.

“Then how the hell do you know that thing?” He questioned further.

“Look, his name is Eric. And yes, we were involved. But I don’t want to be involved with vampires any longer so I ended things with him. I wasn’t expecting to see him again.”

Jason sighed, putting his hands on his eyes, eyes trained on the ground. He stayed that way for a few seconds that felt way too long, finally looking back up at me with another sigh. My stomach twisted while I waited for him to speak. I hoped this hadn’t ruined whatever Jason and I were about to start.

“Chase, I like ya’,” he said surprising me. “Like a lot.”

I blinked again. “I… I like you too.” That was the truth. I liked him for all the reasons that I hated Eric. He was the safer choice. He was normal.

"And I wanna go on dates with you," he continued.

I nodded further. "I would like that..."

"So the vampires are out?" he asked raising an eyebrow. “Because with my recent V problems I’m trying to stay away from vampires too and if you want to be around vampires that’s fine, but for me-.”

“Jason!” I cut in stepping closer and taking his hands “I promise. No more vampires."

He looked relieved, nodding. “Okay then.”

He pulled his hands gently from my grip, taking hold of my face in the warmth of his hands. I felt his lips next, making me tense momentarily in surprise, my eyes slipping closed when mine parted in invitation. His hands felt to my waist, drawing me, my hand finding purchase on his shoulders. The kiss was deep and warm, better than our first, leaving me moaning into his mouth.

When he pulled back I was breathless, eyes opening slowly to see him smiling down at me. “Well that was….”

“Yeah,” I breathed.

Another chill raced down my spine and I looked to see that Bill had lead Sookie outside, both talking heatedly a good distance away. Eric, Pam, and their Asian companion had followed, and as expected Eric’s eyes were on me. His expression was blank and he caught me looking he turned away. Jason noticed the presence of vampires and released me, his arm coming around my waist.

“Let’s go back inside,” he said leading me back inside.

I nodded, allowing him to, doing my best to keep my eyes from traveling over to where Eric stood.


We finished the rest of our date, avoiding talk of vampires and instead discussing mutual interest, enjoying our food and having a few drinks. Jason invited me over and while I was kind of tempted, I declined. I was tired and in need of a shower and my bed. It’d been a long and eventful day. And while Jason and I had a good time, I couldn't stop thinking about Eric in the back of my mind.

Jason walked me to my car, saying our goodbyes before I headed home. Cassandra’s car was back in place when I pulled into the driveway, meaning my brother was home. Turning off my car and pushing the door open I stepped outside. That was when I felt a blunt object impact with the back of my head, pain ripping through my skull before darkness overtook me.

 

Chapter Text

Pain.

That was the first thing that registered when I slipped back into consciousness, pain reverberating through my skull. Something warm was sliding down the side of my neck, a steady throb of pain right on my temple. I groaned, attempting to reach up and cradle my aching head only to find that I was restrained. I lifted my head slowly, eyes blinking open, I was in a chair, my hands tied behind my back with rope. It took a few more blinks for my living room to come into focus, each blink causing sparks of pain behind my eyes.

 “Ah, you’re awake.”

My head whipped to the side at the sound of an unfamiliar voice, pain shooting through my head. My heart seized in my chest, eyes going wide at the sight of Justin standing in the entrance to my kitchen. Panic took hold of me, wrapping me tightly in it’s embrace and stealing the breath right from my lungs. I couldn't help, but think of Eric in that moment, my only protector...or rather he had been my protector. I hoped and prayed that wherever the hell Eric Northman was, he felt it, and would come to my rescue, but a part of me knew he wouldn't. Not after how we’d ended things. And I didnt blame him. I was going to have to rescue myself.

“How did you get in here?” I asked Justin with a frown.

He smirked. “I was invited.”

It took me a moment to realize just who had invited him, noticing that my brother was not present. My stomach twisted violently at the thought of him being harmed and tears hit my eyes, my lip beginning to tremble.

“You...killed my brother?” I whimpered blinking past the tears.

“Not yet,” Justin answered shaking his head. “I wanted you to be awake for that.”

My blood ran cold at that statement, watching Justin disappear down the hallway only to return in vampire speed, dragging my brothers limp body behind him by the leg. Justin tossed him at my feet, Isaac groaning in pain when he hit the floor. His eyelids fluttered, a shaky hand reaching up to touch his forehead. I could see a bleeding cut on his head, a little river of blood running down his head.

“Isaac?” I called as he moaned pitifully and attempted to sit up. “Isaac, dont move. Do you hear me? Stay down.”

Justin chuckled, sauntering towards us and reaching down to grab Isaac by the collar of his shirt. “Not moving really isn’t going to help him,” he pulled Isaac to his feet, his fangs unsheathing with a click. “Baby brother here is going to die. But he’s just the appetizer darlin’, you are going to be my dinner and dessert.” He grinned at me, tongue sweeping over his fangs and malice in his eyes.

I felt bile rise up to my throat at thought of him touching me, but forced it back down. I couldn't let him hurt Isaac. I couldn't live with myself if he was harmed because of me. “Please,” I pleaded. “I will do whatever you want just...don’t hurt him. You can have me. I won’t fight. Please.

Justin hesitated, truly considering my plea, he let Isaac fall to the floor again, stepping over his limp body to get to me. He gripped my chin, forcing my head back so I had no choice but to meet his gaze. He leaned down until we were eye to eye.

“I can have you huh?” He asked raising an eyebrow. “And you’ll do whatever I want?”

I cringed at the possibilities of what that would mean for me, but nodded. I would do whatever he asked if it meant that Isaac would live, though I was sure Justin didnt plan on letting me live. I would not live with my brothers blood on my hands.

“Yes, I will. I swear it. Just let him go.”

Justin’s grin widened, his eyes dropping from my own to take me in. His grip on my chin loosened, his hand sliding down my throat until he reached my blood stained shirt and took hold of my breast. I shivered in disgust, his body leaning in, nose tracing my jaw until it met the blood running down my neck. The cold wet of his tongue licked along the trail of blood, a deep groan of satisfaction rumbling from his chest.

“Fucking hell, you taste good,” he drawled licking my flesh clean. He withdrew from my neck with a shudder, licking his lips, his eyes opening to find me. “You going to be a good girl? Don't think I’ve forgotten that little stunt you pulled last time.”

I bit my lip to keep from vomiting and nodded again.

The grin left his face. He leaned  in again until his nose was a breath away from mine. “Say. It.”

I swallowed. My voice shook as I spoke. “I’ll...I’ll be a good girl.”

The grin returned, wide and white. “Now that’s what I like to hear,” he growled in answer.

Reaching for the collar of my shirt he ripped it right down the middle, the material separating as easy as wet paper. I let out a startled scream, which only made Justin’s grin bigger. Cold fingers traced my exposed cleavage and the hem of the cups of my bra.

“You know, since you’re being so good and all, I just might let the twerp live,” Justin sighed. “At least until I’ve had my fill of you.” His hands trailed my sides, taking hold of my hips and pulling my body forward till I slumped in the chair. I fought the urge to scream again biting down on my tongue. He undid the button to my shorts, my tears spilling warmly down my cheeks. “And if you are betting on Eric coming to your rescue, he won’t be.” I felt my face fall, his hands yanking on the sides of my shorts to force them down my legs. “He is on his way to a tribunal and his attendance is mandatory . Not that he would come anyway...I heard about your little fight and you asking him to leave you be. Bet you’re regretting that now ain’t you, darlin’?”

I shut my eyes and turned my head away, my shorts pooling at my ankles. I bit back sobs, trying to twist my wrists against the ropes that bound them and only succeeded in getting rope burn. I was securely tied. There was no getting out of this. And Eric wasn't coming. Justin was going to do whatever he wanted, whether I consented or not, but if my consent kept Isaac alive I’d do it.

His hand grabbed my chin again, turning my head back to face him. I kept my eyes shut, I didn't want to look. I couldn’t look. “I am going to fuck you,” his fingers hooked into the sides of my panties. “And if you keep being a good girl, you just might enjoy it.”

“HEY!”

My eyes snapped open to the sound of my brothers voice. I only had a split second to see that he was standing over Justin, a large and heavy decorative vase that belonged to Cassandra’s parents held high above his head. He let it drop right on Justin’s head, the vase shattering into pieces, and momentarily disorienting him. Isaac followed it up with a swift kick to Justin’s side, the vampire growling in anger. I started struggling in the chair, wiggling and trying to free myself while Isaac delivered kick after kick to Justin, incapacitating him. I knew we didn’t have long before Justin recovered, but if I could get free and get to a phone or a knife-.

Justin’s angry roar echoed through the house seconds before he recovered, grabbing hold of Isaac’s leg. There a loud crunch in the air, Justin twisting Isaac’s leg and pulling him to the floor, Isaac yelling in agony.

“No!” I shouted, watching in wide eyed horror as Justin crawled up Isaac’s body, grabbing hold of his hair and pulling his head to the side.

Panic hit me, my heart thudding and my breath stopping, Justin’s fangs extending and his head leaning in towards Isaac’s throat. I felt it then, an energy that started with a tingle in my nerves and then rushed through me like a tidal wave. I felt it crackle along my skin like lightning, the pressure from the energy filling me up before it burst out of me. Justin went flying backward, away from Isaac, soaring through the air and crashing through my living room window in a flurry of glass and wood. My face fell in shock, my eyes wide and staring at the gaping vampire shaped hole where my window once was. The energy drained from me then, just as quickly as it had come, leaving me spent and slumped in the chair.

Isaac sat up slowly, breathing heavily, his face a matching mask of shock. “What the...Chase? Chase!”

I didn't realize my eyes had closed until I heard my brothers frantic cries, I struggled to open them, feeling exhausted, the urge to drift off to sleep strong.

“Chase? Chase, dammit, open your eyes!”

Isaac sighed in relief when my eyes snapped open. “Chase, talk to me, are you okay?” He asked, attempting to stand only to fall back down with a pained groan. “Fuck, I think my leg is broken.”

I took a deep breath, forcing my body to sit up and be alert despite my body’s sudden and desperate desire to sleep. “Can you get me untied? We have to get out of here before he comes back.”

He nodded, using his upper body to slide toward me. He pushed the broken glass of the vase of out of his way, pausing to find a big sharp piece to cut through my ropes. I watched the window for any signs of Justin while he cut me free, rubbing my aching wrists when the ropes fell. I jumped to my feet and pulled my shorts back up, shucking off the tattered remains of my shirt and ignoring the embarrassment I felt to be so exposed in front of my brother. I ran to the window, expecting to see Justin and instead found nothing but the shattered remains of my window framing and glass.

He was gone. Again.

Isaac groaned in pain behind me calling my attention and I rushed back to his side, kneeling next to him. His pant leg was pulled up, I could see the bruising had already begun beneath the skin. It was broken alright.

“Is he gone?” He asked through clenched teeth.

I nodded, looping my hair behind my ears. I could feel myself shaking. “Yes. He is.”

“Good….Fuck,” he groaned in pain again, gripping his thigh.

I sat helplessly beside him, unsure of what to do. I knew he needed medical attention, but how would we explain this to the police.

“Isaac, I am so sorry, this is all my fault,” I sighed, another tear falling down my cheek.

He gripped my hand tightly, halting my words. “Chase, I love you, but get me to a fucking hospital. Apologize later,” he cut in apologetically.

“Right.”

I moved to help him up, figuring driving him would be faster than calling an ambulance.

That was when I felt a change in the air, a cold hand gripping the back of my neck. I screamed, feeling my body being yanked backward away from Isaac, who reached out for me and narrowly missed, and right against a hard chest. I could hear Isaac scream as a hand tangled in my hair, yanking my head to the side, exposing my neck. I kicked and fought, but an arm slithered around my waist, locking me in, fangs sinking into my neck.

There was a blood curdling scream, my mind beginning to swim from the sudden blood loss. Darkness edged toward my vision, my heart starting to slow in my chest.

The last thing I saw before my vision went black was my brothers panicked face.


 

“Chase?”

Not again, I thought as I came back into consciousness with a groan. My head ached, my body was limp and weak. I just wanted to sleep. My eyelids were too heavy to open.

“Is she waking up?” I heard Isaac’s voice, distant and full of fear.

“Shush,” another voice answered in a short clipped tone. This one I recognized. It was a cold velvety voice, one that haunted my dreams not too long ago.

It made my eyes open.

Eric came into focus after a few heavy lidded blinks, stunningly handsome as usual, his blonde hair framing his face. I felt a hint of shock to see him above me, wondering briefly if I was dreaming or not. Relief rushed me when I realized I was awake, my heart fluttering as I thought, he actually came. I hadn't expected him too. Justin had said he couldn’t. I had fully expected to die.

Another face came into view over Eric’s shoulder. Bill Compton’s face.

What the hell was Bill doing there?

“She’s awake,” Eric said, his eyes trained on mine, holding my gaze.

“Is she going to die?” Isaac asked from somewhere to my right. “Shouldn’t we be getting her to the hospital?”

Eric lifted me into his arms, hugging me to his chest with one arm, his other arm raising his wrist to his lips. He bit into it, blood gushing against his lips, my own parting in anticipation of what was to come. I was t going to protest, I knew just what he was doing. Saving me.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Isaac shouted.

“Saving your sisters life,” Eric replied, watching me intently as he brought his bleeding wrist to my lips. My mouth closed over the wound, a soft moan followed, I drank him in hungrily, feeling the healing effects almost immediately. “She will die if I do not give her my blood. Pam, take Isaac to the hospital. Chao bring Justin back to Fangtasia and lock him in the cellar, I will deal with him later. We will meet again at the tribunal.”

“And what am I to do?” Bill’s voice questioned.

“You are to stay here with me. I am not letting you out of my sight,” Eric answered through clenched teeth, his gaze parting from mine long enough to pass him a glare. “You are still going to see the Magister. Pam, Chao, go now.”

“What? No! I am not leaving my sister,” Isaac protested.

“If you do not have your leg taken care of soon, you will die,” Eric assured. “You are bleeding internally. I can smell it from here. Pam will take you and your sister will follow after she recovers.”

There was no more talk from Isaac, just the sounds of him grunting as Pam helped him to his feet. I heard more footsteps, the sound of the front door opening and closing. I was lost in the taste of Eric during all of this, my eyes remained locked on his as I drank in his essence. It wasn't like before, there were no images or chanting this time, though my nerves tingled and buzzed as before. The energy did come, swirling within me, pulsing with each swallow, but remained contained.

He pulled his wrist away with a soft grunt, watching me with calculated eyes. I licked the lingering blood from my lips, feeling vibrant and alive. He looked paler than usual, and I wondered if I’d taken too much.

“How are you feeling?”

“Good…” I admitted.

He nodded once, his eyes traveling down from my mouth to my chest, my skin heating up when I remembered my shirt was gone and I was exposed.

“You have blood on your chest,” Eric whispered. His eyes transfixed on it.

My breath caught in my throat, my eyes casting down to see two streams of blood had rolled down over the swell of my breast right into my cleavage. They must have come from Justin’s bite, the pain of which was now gone.

“Oh,” I whispered reaching up to wipe it away.

Eric’s hand caught my wrist in a vice like grip, a gasp falling from my lips. He held my wrist firmly in hand, his eyes still on the blood. There was a gleam in his eye, as if he were mesmerized by it, his nostrils flaring. He didn’t speak a word, leaning in to me, his lips pressing against my skin right where my breasts touched, cold tongue slipping out to taste it. I tensed in surprise, but my eyes slid shut, a shiver racing through me, his tongue licking flatly up skin till he reached my neck and his lips closed over my pulse right where Justin’s bite had been. I couldn't stop the moan that escaped my parted lips.

And that was when Bill cleared his throat.

Loudly.

I startled in Eric’s arms, sitting up. I’d forgotten that Bill was there. Eric lifted his head, eyeing Bill irritably with a low sigh. Perhaps he’d forgotten too? Bill didn't look very pleased himself.

“With your permission, Sheriff , I’d like to wait outside until this matter is done with,” he said through clenched teeth.

“Wait directly outside the door. If you try to run-.”

“I won’t,” Bill snapped striding for the door and slamming it shut behind him.

I got the distinct feeling that I was missing something.

The tension hung heavy in the air now that Eric and I were alone. His eyes found me once more, watching me with an intensity that had me tingling, though that could have been from his blood. My heart was still pounding though I was calm and I got the feeling that it was most likely due to being so close to Eric again. I knew what i had said, what I wanted, normal, which was something that Eric was not, but I couldn’t ignore what I felt whenever he was near. And I didnt know if it was the blood or if it was real.

“You should shower and change,” he said simply after the silence lingered, nodding his head in the direction of my bathroom.

He said it so business like, as though we’d just completed a transaction and he was done with me now.

“I didn't think you would come,” I admitted ignoring his suggestion. I didn't know why I said it, but felt the need to let him know. “Justin said you were going to a...trial thing? And I know that I also told you to leave me alone…”

Eric’s jaw set, his eyes searching my face. He opened his mouth and then closed it again. His eyes left mine. “Go and shower, Chase. I need to take care of this mess,” he unwrapped his arms, leaving me sitting on the floor, rising to his feet and straightening his suit jacket. “And you should hurry. I imagine the hospital will want an explanation and there might be paperwork for you to sign.”

His rejection to answering my question felt like a punch in the gut. My eyes were suddenly watery though I wasnt sure why. I’d made up my mind already, I was done with him and all the vampires. This shouldn't have hurt, but it did. I ignored it, swallowing it down, cataloging it as another reminder of just why he and I would never work and rose to my feet.

I took quick steps to the bathroom, turning on the shower as hot as it would go hoping that I could sear the events of tonight from my body with scalding water. While I waited for the water to warm I took in my reflection, pulling my hair up I saw no bite wounds on my neck, my skin clear and soft to the touch. Eric’s blood did was truly a wonder and now that I’d had it again I was even closer to him now than before on a cellular level. Whether I liked it or not. I did appreciate what he’d done, he’d saved my brothers life and my own. I owed him our lives.

I climbed into the shower and washed myself quickly, throwing my hair into a bun and pulling on some sweats and a tank top once I was out. I brushed my teeth quickly to remove the taste of blood from my mouth and came out of the bathroom to the sounds of a heated discussion between Eric and Bill coming from the living room. I paused in the hallway, craning my neck to be able to see them without giving away my presence, listening.

"All I am saying, Eric, is that I hope that you will tell the Magister to show some form of mercy upon me, as you engaged in the same activities tonight that I am going to trial for," Bill said through clenched teeth.

"Justin is very much alive, Bill," Eric replied dryly. "I did not kill him."

"But I know you will," Bill snapped.

"You have no proof of that," Eric answered tilting his head.

Bill huffed, shaking his head. "He attacked your human and nearly killed her. I know you take that as a great offense. You do not like anyone or anything messing with what is rightfully yours."

"Chase is no longer mine," Eric replied calmly. "She asked me to leave her be, and that is what I plan to do. I will not bother an unwilling human you know it is against the rules."

"Then why did you turn back from going to a tribunal to save her?" Bill retorted raising an eyebrow.

Eric hesitated.

That news surprised me.

He did care.

Eric must have sensed my presence then, his head whipping toward the hallway. I stepped out of the shadows then, acting as though I hadn’t been listening. Bill shifted uncomfortably and Eric cleared his throat.

“A repair man will be here to replace the window as well as someone to clean the carpets,” Eric said gazing at me. “It will be charged to my account.

My face fell in surprise as I looked at him, wondering why he was being so generous when he no longer considered me his. Saving my life was one thing, perhaps it was proof that he had a glimmer of humanity that remained, but paying to fix my home was another.

“Eric,” I started slowly, unsure of how to express my thanks. “I-.”

“Do you feel well enough to drive?” He interrupted.

“Yes, but-.”

"Then I will be taking my leave," he said coldly, turning for the door. "I still have a tribunal to get too. Come on Bill."

He pulled the door open and had slipped out of it before I could even get another word in leaving me standing there stunned as Bill turned brown eyes on me.

"Have a good evening Chase," he said before following Eric out of the door.

I took a deep breath to try and recover from him brushing me off yet again. It took several moments before I even managed to take another step.

Chapter Text

My brother was in surgery when I arrived at the hospital. He had told them that he’d been hit by a car, that he hadn’t seen who was driving or the make of the car, and that a Good Samaritan had brought him in. They classified it as a hit and run and I signed whatever paperwork was needed before making some important phone calls. The first to my parents to let them know what had happened, it sent my mother into a panic of course and she promised to be on the first flight that she could find. The second call was to Sam to let him know that my brother had been injured and I wouldn't make it in, and the third to Sookie. She didn’t answer, so I left her a pretty detailed, and probably frantic sounding, voicemail about the nights events.

 

Isaac’s surgery lasted three hours and it was another two hours after that before I could see him. I felt an immense relief when I stepped into his room. He was groggy, but awake, his leg in a full cast which was suspended in the air by a hanging device. He smiled weakly at me, beckoning me closer until I came to a stop at his side. 

 

“The nurse said that your surgery went great, you’ll make a full recovery in a few months,” I said, taking his hand in mine and squeezing it. “How are you feeling?”

 

“I feel fine, just a little tired from the anesthesia,” he mumbled looking up at me. “How are you?” He blinked a few times and looked more alert. “That vampire gave you his blood,” he added in a much lower voice. 

 

“I’m fine…” I answered my tongue tingling at the mention of Eric’s blood. 

 

Isaac hesitated, looking behind me. “What the hell happened back there?” He questioned softly. “Since when can you move things with your mind?”

 

I froze, thinking back to the swarm of energy I felt before Justin had gone flying out of my living room window. I had never done anything like that before, nor I had ever felt that kind of power. It scared me to know that something new was happening to me, something that I didn’t want. I was weird enough being able to search someone’s thoughts with just a touch, I could only imagine peoples reactions if they found out I could move things with my mind. I’d never questioned my powers before, or why I had them, but with this new ability I suddenly was. I had a million questions running through my mind, the most prominent one being ‘ why me? ’, and I would have to get answers somehow. I needed to know how and why I could do these things.

 

“I’m not sure,” I answered finally shaking my head. “That’s...never happened before. What happened after Justin bit me?”

 

“Well Justin was feeding on you and I seriously thought you were a goner, but then Eric guy came bursting in, and he...lost it. I’ve never seen anybody so furious, he nearly ripped Justin to shreds, but he made sure to keep him alive, minus an arm. He ordered me to invite Pam and the two other vampire guys in and then he ran to you and...you know,” he motioned to me with a wave. “I...I don't remember inviting Justin in. He just knocked on the door and said you were a friend of his and then...everything is kinda fuzzy after that.”

 

“You were probably glamoured, Isaac. And there is no need to apologize. None of this is your fault. I put your life at risk by being involved with vampires in the first place. I should have never gone to that vampire bar, I should have listened to my gut.”

 

Isaac looked hesitant once more, his mouth opening and closing then opening again when he found the words. “Were you and Eric...a thing?”

 

“We were,” I admitted. “ Briefly. But we aren’t anymore.”

 

“He came to save you anyway though huh?”

 

“Saved us ,” I corrected. 

 

Isaac nodded. “Tell him I said thanks will ya?”

 

I smiled. “Of course. I am going to go check in with the nurse. I’ll be right back.”

 

He nodded again and I moved for the door, stopping when he called my name. “Chase, I’m sorry that I came out thinking I could control your life.”

 

My smile widened. “And I am sorry that I almost got you killed.”

 

He smirked at me and I stepped out of the room, making my way to the nurses station. The doctor wanted to keep Isaac in the hospital for observation and a cycle of antibiotics and other post op meds. He wouldn’t be coming home for at least a week, possibly two. Isaac wasn't happy about it in the least, but after I offered to stay the night with him, his mood changed. 

 

It was the next morning when he insisted that I go to work and not spend my day cooped up with him. I was hesitant to leave him, and I’d already told Sam I wouldn’t be able to come in, but Isaac’s insistence was unwavering. I promised to return after work and went home to change and have breakfast. Just as Eric had promised workers showed up to clean the blood from the carpets and fix the window, knocking just as I had sat down to enjoy some yogurt and coffee. My mother called just a few hours later, just as I was about to head to my evening shift, in a panic and in the middle of purchasing a plane ticket. I knew she’d insist on coming, Isaac was her baby of course, and while I wasn't happy about having my overbearing mother return, I knew she wouldn't take no for an answer. Arguing would be pointless. 

 

Merlotte’s was closed to prepare for Arlene’s engagement party, but I had already volunteered to work to set up with everyone else. I wasn't in a celebratory mood, but I needed the money. Plus I had missed a lot of work to begin with and I didnt want to be fired, Sam was a very forgiving boss, but I knew that would only last so long. The last thing I needed was to lose my job which would send my parents into another fight about coming home to Texas. 

 

By the time I got to work everyone was out back setting up tables and chairs, putting up decorations and setting up a stage for the band. When Sam spotted me he came over immediately, setting aside a tray of champagne flutes he’d be holding, looking concerned. I let him give me a one arm hug, careful to avoid skin to skin contact. 

 

“I thought you weren't coming in today? I got your message about your brother,” he said softly. 

 

“He’s fine for now and I don't want to miss anymore work.” 

 

“Chase, you don't have to worry about your job-.”

 

“I appreciate that, Sam, I really do…” I shifted nervously. “But I could really use the distraction right now if you know what I mean…”

 

A knowing look crossed Sam’s features, he nodded. “Yeah I do, why don’t you go inside and get the glasses off the bar to set up the outside bar.”

 

“Got it, Boss.”

 

I went back inside the building, nearly bumping into Sookie who was on her way out. She blinked at me in surprise, smiling sadly before wrapping her arms around me and holding me tightly. I assumed she’d heard my message. 

 

“Are you okay?” She pulled back to look me in the eye. “I got your message. How is Isaac?”

 

“Isaac is in the hospital, but recovering nicely. He’ll be fine.”

 

“And…Justin?” She asked hesitantly. 

 

“Eric took him,” I shrugged. “I don't know what he will do with him and I don't think I care to know.  I am just happy to be out of danger for the time being. How are you holding up?”

 

Sookie gave me a look like I had just asked her the most outrageous question in the world. "Bad as normal. There is someone out there trying to kill me and the police around here don't seem to give a rat's ass about it. If they don't do something I am going to wind up dead like Maudette, Dawn, Gran, and Ca-," she broke off as she had started to say Cassandra's name. She looked at me apologetically and I waved her statement away. She recovered after a moment and shook her head. "And then Eric took Bill last night and I still haven't heard a word from him."

 

"I know...Bill was there last night when Eric came to save me."

 

Her face fell. "He was?"

 

I nodded. "I guess they were on their way to some tribunal or something and Eric turned back to save me."

 

Sookie took that in for a moment before she sighed and shook her head. "Well I am glad that he rescued you."

 

"Yeah," I huffed. "Me too…anything else going on with you?"

 

Her eyes immediately went to Sam and she gazed at him with a frown for a long moment as I raised my eyebrow at her waiting for her to go on. She shook her head after a moment and looked back at me. "Let's just say that I am sick of surprises. Everything around here is just getting too weird too fast."

 

I nodded in agreement. "Seriously."

 

"So what are you going to do now?" she asked me crossing her arms over her chest.

 

"Meaning?"

 

"About Eric?" she continued. "Are you guys going to be okay now since he saved your life?"

 

I hesitated. I didn't know what was going to happen between him and I. He had saved my life twice now, but I knew that he and I were just two different for anything to work between us. He was night, I was day, and while I knew that I felt something for him, something strong, I didn’t think it could ever work. 

 

“I am going to see him at Fangtasia to thank him for saving my brothers life as well as mine, he left before I really got the chance. But I don’t think my stance on a vampire free life has changed. He told Bill that I was no longer his...so I guess he is finally giving me what I wanted.”

 

“So that means you and Jason are really...a thing?”

 

Jason was easily the safer choice. I didn't have to say that the only thing I could count on him for was to save my life from rogue vampires. He was a normal guy who I could introduce my parents too and be around during the day. He was a good looking guy, he was kind, and while my feelings for him were just in the beginning stages, they were certainly there. 

 

“I think Jason and I are going to give it a shot…” I said in answer. 

 

Sookie didn't look as though she approved, but nodded. “Okay then.”

 

I hesitated again thinking about how I tossed Justin out of the window with just the power of my mind that I didn't know I had. I wasn't sure if I should tell her or not, hell I didn't even know where it had come from. I had skipped over that part in the message.

 

"Did…Bill say anything to you?" she asked me snapping me out of my thoughts. "Or did Eric mention when they were coming back?"

 

I shook my head slowly. "No, Sookie…sorry."

 

She deflated before my very eyes and I instantly felt bad. I was reaching to comfort her when I heard Sam's voice yell from outside. "Chase! Where are the glasses?"

 

"We gotta get to work," I said with a frown. “We’ll talk more later okay?”

 


 

By the time my shift ended I was sick of Arlene. She was overly anal about her decorations and there was one point where Sookie literally had to keep me from pouring ice water all over her. I finished helping to set up for the party, but opted to go back to the hospital and spend the night with Isaac so he wouldn't be alone, instead of staying to enjoy the party.

 

I had planned to go to Shreveport, but after calling in to Fangtasia to see if Eric would be there tonight, Ginger informed he wouldn't return until tomorrow. I went home instead to pack some things for Isaac, including his iPod and a few books and loose fitting clothes, as well as an overnight bag for myself. Isaac was happy to see me when I arrived, thanking me for bringing his things and offering me his pudding cup he’d received for dessert with dinner. We talked amicably for awhile, then watched some television until Isaac fell asleep from his nightly medication and I settled into the chair at his bedside and attempted to get comfortable to sleep. 

 

I was almost asleep when I heard a soft knock on the room door, looking up to find Jason standing in the doorway. I hesitated in surprise, rising to my feet slowly and tossing my blanket on the chair. He smiled as I approached, taking my hand once I got closer and pulling me into the hallway so we wouldn’t disturb Isaac. His arms came around my waist once we were clear of the room, pulling me into his warm embrace. I felt my body relax into his, my face pressed into his chest and my arms around his neck. 

 

“Are you okay?” He asked me after a moment, pulling back to look me in the eye. “I thought I’d see you at the engagement party, but Sookie told me you were here with your brother. He got hit by a car?”

 

I nodded. “I’m fine and Isaac is fine. I didn't feel up for the party, it’s been a...stressful few days. Thank you for stopping by though, it’s nice to see you.”

 

“Of course. I had to see my girl,” he grinned making me blush slightly. “I tried calling first, but it went straight to voicemail.”

 

“The nurses won't let me keep my cell phone on if I am going to be here past visitor's hours. It’s boring, but I manage.”

 

“Well do you want some company? I can stay here with ya’ for awhile…”

 

“No, it’s okay. I’m just here for Isaac and you shouldn't have to suffer with me. Thank you though.”

 

He looked a little disappointed. “When can we see each other again?”

 

"How about tomorrow? I have to work, but after I get off and check on Isaac, I can swing by."

 

"Sure, do you want to go out and do something?" he asked.

 

I shook my head a. "I kind of just want to stay in…maybe we can watch a movie?"

 

"Yeah, that sounds nice," he said with another nod.

 

"I'll swing by after I wrap things up tomorrow," I said. "Probably around ten or so. I have a few things to do after I get off work." I wanted to go to Shreveport and see Eric. I needed to say my thanks and end things officially, not that I hadn’t already, before I really took the next step with Jason.

 

"Alright, I'll see you tomorrow," he said before leaning forward to kiss me. I allowed him to and waved goodbye to him as he walked off.

 

I spent the night in the uncomfortable hospital chair and woke up the next morning with a back ache. I freshened up and dressed in the bathroom, promising Isaac to stop by again after I got off work and bring him some food from Merlotte's. He wasn’t very fond of the hospital food and had complained to me multiple times. 

 

Merlotte’s was a madhouse when I got to work. Only Terry and Arlene and myself had shown up for work, Tara was MIA and so were Sam and Sookie, prompting me to give Sookie a worried call. I felt relieved when she answered, that was until she explained that she had been attacked during the party and it had inspired her to search for a way to identify the killer. She and Sam were out of town working on a lead. I made her promise to keep me informed and to be careful, not liking the feeling in my gut that I got when I  hung up the phone. 

 

With just Terry, Arlene, a few busboys and I working we were extremely short staffed and overworked. The lunch rush was a mess, but we persevered and Arlene commended me on my help. Luckily once word got out that we were understaffed and service was slow it deterred customers from coming in and dinner time was slow. I felt bad about leaving Terry and Arlene to work alone with no relief when my shift ended at eight, but I was done with customer service for the evening. They both insisted it was okay despite my reluctance so I rushed home to prepare for my date with Jason and my ending with Eric. 

 

I stopped by the hospital on my way home as promised to bring Isaac some dinner and then went home to shower and change. I put on a cute summer dress that had sat in the back of my closet for months after Cassandra had given it to me and wasn't too dressy and just the right amount of casual for a night in. I  pulled my hair from its ponytail and washed my face, forgoing make up, and slipped on some sandals. 

 

After a short pep talk in the mirror I drove to Shreveport. Fangtasia was busy as usual when I arrived, a long line at the door and Pam manning the door. She gave me a deceivingly bright smile as I approached, one that made me uncomfortable because I wasn't sure I’d ever seen her really smile. I smiled hesitantly in return, ignoring the uneasiness I felt.

 

“Good evening, Chase,” she greeted me whenI came to a stop in front of her. “How are you feeling?”

 

There was genuine concern in her tone, it made me hesitate again. “Fine...thank you, Pam.”

 

“And. How is that delectable brother of yours?” She asked raising an eyebrow. “Alive and well I presume?”

 

I frowned. Delectable? “Isaac is fine also. Still in the hospital, but recovering nicely. Is Eric in?”

 

“He’s in his office,” she answered stepping aside. “You can go in.”

 

I nodded in thanks, moving past her and into the bar. I weaved through the crowd, careful to avoid contact, and paused at Eric’s closed office door. I opted to knock this time, remembering what I’d walked in on before. I heard his muffled command to enter from the other side and pushed the door open, stopping when I saw him sitting in his office chair with Bill Compton and a red headed girl in company. 

 

The red head’s face brightened when she saw me, jumping to her feet from where she had been sitting on the leather couch. While she wore a pretty dress, she was covered in dirt from head to toe, looking as though she had taken a run through the woods. 

 

“I get to feed on her?” She asked incredulously, looking to Eric. 

 

“Ummm...what?” I breathed in confusion as she stepped toward me, breathing in my smell and letting it out with a long sigh, her fangs unsheathed making me flinch.

 

“She smells amazing,” she sighed taking another step. 

 

“Jessica, sit down,” Eric barked. “She is not your meal.”

 

The red head, Jessica I presumed, sat down with a huff, looking very much like a petulant toddler. She crossed her arms and leaned back into the leather mumbling to herself. I was very confused. 

 

“What’s going on?” I asked. 

 

Eric looked at Jessica irritably. “This is Jessica. Bill’s child. Jessica, Chase; Chase, Jessica.”

 

“Bill’s... child ?” I frowned looking at Bill, who suddenly looked very guilty. “As in…”

 

“He turned me into a vampire,” Jessica answered glaring at Bill. “ Without my consent.”

 

I looked to Bill in surprise. “What? I thought that was against the law?”

 

“It is against human law, not vampire law,” Eric sighed. 

 

“And it was required of me,” Bill answered through clenched teeth, passing Eric his own look of disdain. 

 

I was struggling to keep up. “Bill, does Sookie know about this?”

 

Bill opened his mouth to speak, but it was Eric’s voice that sounded. “Chase, is there a reason that you are here? I am sure it is not to meddle in vampire affairs.”

 

I blinked at him surprise, feeling like my face fall. Clearly he was in a mood, it only reminded me of why I came here. To thank him and end our...whatever we had. This just reaffirmed my need to stay out of vampires and their messed. 

 

“Yes, actually, I was hoping we could speak...in private,” I added glancing at Bill and Jessica. 

 

“Bill, Jessica, get out,” Eric said flatly without a moment's hesitation. 

 

Jessica huffed again and Bill turned to Eric quickly. “Do we have an agreement or not?” 

 

“Yes,” Eric replied his eyes still on me. “Leave her with Pam.”

 

“Thank you, Eric,” Bill looked relieved. “Come on Jessica. Good evening, Chase.”

 

I stepped aside to allow them room to leave, nodding at Bill in return, and catching Jessica’s frown. The door closed behind them and there was a tense silence in the room, accented by the muffled pounding of the bass from the music in the bar. Eric was still watching me with his stunning blue eyes and I forced myself to hold his gaze. I was here for a reason. I needed to do it and get out. His eyes brows rose in anticipation. 

 

I cleared my throat and stepped toward him. “I came to say thank you for what you did,” I started. “You didn't give me a chance to do it properly. You not only saved my life, but also Isaac’s and that means so much to me.”

 

He stared at me blankly until I fell silent. He nodded once when I did. “Your welcome,” he answered simply.

 

It was like I had thanked him for nothing meaningful at all, his response cold and callous. Another reminder and reason for what I had done. 

 

“Is that all?” He asked when my silence lingered, his tone impatient.

 

I was beginning to feel foolish for coming at all. How silly of me to think he would care about my thanking him? He was clearly taking my asking him to leave me be to heart and no longer cared. I shifted nervously, squaring my shoulders. 

 

“I am starting a relationship with Jason Stackhouse-.”

 

“That’s nice,” he cut in boredly, his face blank.

 

“And now that Justin is taken care of I see no reason for us to see each other,” I continued feeling my hands clench into fists. “I rescind your invitation into my home.”

 

Again he waited until I fell silent, his expression bored and impatient. “Is that all?” He repeated. 

 

I shook my head, wondering why I was so surprised by his callousness when I should have known. He was a vampire, his heart didn't beat, so why did I expect him to use it? I regretted bothering to come at all completely now. 

 

“I guess so. Goodbye, Eric.”

 

I turned on my heel making my way to the door, smoothing down the skirt of my dress and wondering just why I had the sudden urge to cry. This is what I wanted. I wanted to be done. I wanted normal. I wanted Jason. How Eric acted should have no effect on me. Eric and I were different. It wouldn’t work-.

 

His hand landed loudly on the door in front of me, pushing it closed before I could pull it open all the way. I jumped, turning around quickly to see him standing right behind me, his hand still bracing himself against the door, his face a mask of anger, his blue eyes ablaze. I froze in surprise, wondering what had happened in the few seconds it took for me to walk to the door that had him so angry. 

 

“Tell me, Chase, why do you insist on torturing me?” He asked through clenched teeth. 

 

“Torturing you?” I frowned. “What the hell are you talking about?”

 

“You keep telling me to leave you be, yet you keep showing up around me,” he continued placing his other hand on the door on the opposite side of my head, effectively caging me in. “Was it truly necessary for you to come here tonight?” 

 

“I was just coming to say thank you!” I stuttered, feeling flustered by his accusations. “I thought it was the courteous thing to do when someone saves your life.”

 

“A phone call would have sufficed, yet you show up here, wearing this ,” he nodded to my dress. “Rubbing it in my face that you are starting a relationship with that pathetic human-.”

 

“I was not trying to rub it in your face!”

 

“Which is it Chase? Do you want me to leave you be or not ?”

 

I hesitated again, the word yes on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't say it. And I wasn't sure I wanted too. 

 

Say it, Chase. Say. It. 

 

“I am leaving, Eric. And you won’t ever see me again.”

 

My voice broke as I said the words and I forced myself to turn and reach for the door before I could see his facial expression in response. His hand gripped my arm, spinning me around to face him again, sending my heart pounding in my chest. In a blur his hands were on my hips, pulling me into him, his mouth finding mine in a searing kiss. I couldn't stop the moan that rumbled in my throat at the taste of him, the kiss deepening and my back hitting the door, his body pinning me there. His body pressed into mine, the hardness of him against my stomach, his hands in my hair, holding my head to his. I panted for air when his kiss finally relented, his lips traveling to my throat, tasting my skin, teeth scraping needily over my pulse. I trembled between him and the door, trying to remember to breathe, trying to keep my heart from pounding right out of my chest. 

 

“You have no idea what you do to me, Chase,” he whispered huskily in the midst of kisses and licks that journeyed up to my ear. 

 

A throaty moan burst from my lips without permission. My body was betraying me, soaking up all the sensations he was providing. 

 

“Eric,” I breathed. I struggled to find my voice, the words, to tell him to stop, that I was done with this and him. 

 

He pressed himself into me harder, his hands descending to the hem of my dress. He gripped the material tightly, bunching it in his hands just as the sound of ripping echoed in the air. The sound snapped me out of my sexual haze, my eyes widening and my hands going for his chest to push his distracting mouth away from my skin. My head was shaking, my breath coming out in heavy pants. 

 

“No. No. Eric, I can’t.” 

 

This isn’t what I wanted. I wanted normal. I wanted nothing to do with vampires anymore. I had the chance to get out right then and there, and if I did this I’d fall into Eric’s clutches and I knew I’d never get away. 

 

“We can,” Eric released my dress to take hold of my wrists and hold them against the door, his mouth resuming its tasting of my throat. 

 

His leg pressed between mine, his thigh pushing upward right at my core making me gasp. My traitorous body moved with a mind of its own, hips rolling on his thigh and feeling a burst of pleasure through my abdomen. I could feel his smile against my skin. 

 

“See, you want it just as much as I do,” he released my wrists, using his knee to nudge my legs apart and replace his thigh with his hand. His fingers brushed right over the thin material covering my lips, my knees started to tremble. “We’ve both waited long enough don’t you think?”

 

My resolve was crumbling, I was losing the will to fight with every touch, kiss, and nip. Nimble fingers worked their way past the cotton barrier and slipped between my folds, Eric letting out a soft groan at the wetness he found there. I reached for his shoulders, needing something to anchor myself to, my eyes rolling as the pleasure swirled through me. My control on my power slipped as I lost myself in him, opening up a connection, allowing his want and lust to wash over me and mix with mine. I didn’t know where his began and mine ended. 

 

No. 

 

No. 

 

No.  

 

The last shred of rationality within me was still protesting. And I tried once more to deter him. My hands fell from his shoulders, pushing against his chest weakly. “Eric...p-please...” 

 

It sounded nothing like a deterrent or protest, it sounded like begging. Pitiful begging. 

 

“It’s time to stop fighting, Chase,” Eric whispered, two fingers slipping into me with ease, brushing right over a spot that had stars bursting in my eyes. “I want you…” Just as quickly as his fingers had slipped in they were gone and I was ashamed at the petulant whine that fell from my lips with want to have them back. “And you want me…” My eyes widened, watching Eric raise glistening fingers to his lips, pushing them slowly through his lips, a soft moan coming from his throat. “I can taste it,” he added withdrawing his fingers from his mouth. 

 

I was speechless with lust, panting and frozen. 

 

Eric knew he had me. I could tell from the bright look in his eye. “Give yourself to me,” he ordered looking me deeply in the eye as though he were trying to glamour me. 

 

It was useless to fight any longer. I couldn't deny my feelings or desires, and with his mixing with my own I lost myself and all sense of rationality and resistance. When he kissed me again, the taste of me still on his lips, I returned his kiss with fervor. My arms wrapped tightly around his neck, pulling him down to me, my body pressing into his. I let myself drown in our mixed lust and desire, surrendering once and for all. And for the time being I wasn’t going to be ashamed. 

 

I came up for air, my hands taking hold of his face and my eyes finding his smoldering gaze. "Take me," I whispered. 

 

A triumphant smile spread across his lips seconds before his mouth was back on mine. With vampire speed he took hold of my thighs and lifted me against the door. I clung to him as the room blurred around me and after a quick sweep of his arm to clear it of all items atop it,  I was suddenly on his desk. My butt teetered on the edge of it before his hand was on my chest pushing me flat on me back. His lips were back on my skin and his hands were everywhere, my dress bunching in one hand while the other fumbled in search of the zipper. 

 

“Here,” I groaned, arching into his touch, unzipping the dress myself. “The zipper is here.”

 

With a soft growl he stripped the material off of me, leaving me in just my panties for only seconds before they followed and were tossed over his shoulder. I felt a blush take me over, my cheeks flaming, and my chest heaving with soft pants as I watched him take in the sight of my naked body with hunger in his ocean blue eyes. I grabbed him by the shirt pulling him down to meet me and kissed him hard. 

 

I was burning beneath him, clinging to him, feeling the ache in my core growing by the second. His mouth blazed a trail down my throat, hands kneading my breasts, teeth nipping along the way. I arched off the desk into his touch, pushing into his hands and mouth, tightening my thighs around his hips. 

 

“Eric, please,” I panted impatiently. 

 

“Patience,” he ordered in a husky growl. 

 

I could hear him undoing the buckle of his belt, feel his hands moving between us, the sound of metal against metal. The cold skin of his hips met my thighs, a stark contrast to the warm denim once there, moving into position. His thick length brushed my folds sending a sense of urgency through me that had my hips wiggling and angling to try and get him inside of me. Gripping my hips, he pulled me closer, my ass hanging off the edge of the desk, leaning back over my body, he caught my mouth and I savored the taste of him. I gripped his forearms in anticipation while he held me steady.

 

"It will hurt," he warned in whisper against my lips. 

 

"I don't care," I moaned desperately. "Just do it quick."

 

Heeding my order he surged forward, filling me completely with one thrust. A cry of pain burst from my lips, pain reverberating through my core, burning and aching as I stretched around him. He stilled with a groan, giving me a chance to adjust to his size, only granting a brief reprieve before he was withdrawing and sliding home with painful slowness. He repeated the action again, withdrawing and thrusting, filling me and doing it all over again. The pain and burn slowly ebbed away with each well placed thrust, pleasure taking its place and building and building. 

 

"Am I hurting you?" he whispered, surprising me at the amount of concern in his voice.

 

"No, not anymore," I moaned, shaking my head feverishly. It wasn't enough. The pleasure was intense and overwhelming, but it still wasn't enough. I needed more. "Eric, I need more…please…"

 

He didn’t need telling twice. He gripped me harder, changing his rhythm and depth, hands holding my hips down to the desk leaving me no choice but to take it. I relented to his dominance, allowing him complete control, a slave to his ministrations. He moved with the certainty of a man with a thousand years worth of sexual experience, knowing exactly what to do, which spot to hit, where to touch, the perfect speed and rhythm. I was approaching orgasmic bliss quickly, something stirring inside of me, a spring tightening and tightening, ready to snap. 

 

The pleasure reached its breaking point, my back bowing off the desk. My voice shook while I attempted to warn him. “E-Eric...I-I’m gonna…”

 

The orgasm hit me, knocking the air right out of my lungs, making the words die right in my throat. I spasmed, squirming and squeezing around him, my eyes rolling as I came undone, drowning in pleasure. Eric didn’t give me a chance to recover, spurred on by my orgasm, pulling me closer and going deeper than before, starting the process all over again. 

 

His hand tangled in my hair, pulling me up, bringing us chest to chest, tilting my pelvis and hitting new spots that had stars shooting in front of my eyes. I started trembling again feeling another orgasm stirring within me. I gripped Eric tighter, his rhythm picked up, the pleasure buildup steadily climbing upward. My head lulled back and I chased that pleasure on, waiting impatiently for it to explode so I could experience sheer bliss again. I heard the distant sound of click and then felt something sharp run across my pulse. Eric's hand twisted in my hair and my head went back further at Eric's urging. His teeth sunk into my flesh without warning, sparking a new mixture of pain and pleasure in me as he thrust deeper. Another orgasm hit me, more intense than the first, sending me into an oblivion of bliss. It rolled through me like an overwhelming current of waves, pulsating in me with every draw of his mouth, never dying down. Eric tensed against me, his commanding hands gripping me to hold me in place again. The thrusts changed, getting deeper and longer, until his mouth pulled away from me. I came again right as he erupted inside of me, his name rolling off my lips as he let out a deep throaty string of Swedish words. I fell back down onto the desk with a heavy thud as I tried to catch my breath.

 

My eyes fluttered open as the orgasm dissipated and I met Eric's steely blues as he held himself up against the desk panting unnecessarily. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks and the shame that I refused to care about before lapped over me.

Chapter Text

I sat up, arms crossed over my bare breasts, my skin bright red in embarrassment and shame. Eric stepped back, moving out of the way and tucking himself back into his jeans. I slid off the desk, cowering in a futile attempt to keep myself covered, like he hadn’t just seen it all. I searched frantically for my dress, feeling the burn of Eric’s steely blue gaze on the back of my neck. I sighed in relief when I saw the material of my dress sticking out from underneath the desk. 

“Chase.”

Eric’s voice sent a chill down my spine, it was soft and void of emotion. I ignored him, not wanting to talk, not wanting to look at him. I just wanted to get out of his office. I couldn’t believe I’d let it happen, that I had lost my virginity to the vampire who had a history of hurting me. To the very vampire I had said I wouldn’t see anymore, that I was ending things with. 

“Chase.”

There was a little urgency in his voice now, but I refused to look at him. Instead I pulled on my dress, zipping it up. It was a wrinkled mess, a noticeable rip at the bottom. I tried to smooth my hands down the dress, to rid it of the evidence of what we’d done, but no amount of smoothing would get the wrinkles out. I groaned in frustration and began the search for my underwear, still avoiding eye contact. I could hear him zipping his jeans, buckling his belt, no doubt getting irritated by my ignoring him. I didn’t care. 

"Chase! Look at me dammit."

I jumped at the bark of his voice, turning to him on impulse, finding him staring at me intensely. “Just don’t, Eric,” I said holding my hands up, avoiding eye contact to scan the room for my underwear. “I want to find my underwear and leave.” 

“Chase-.”

“Eric. Don’t,” I repeated. 

Another quick pass of the room and I found my panties next to the door where he’d carelessly tossed them. I ran for them, snatching them up from the floor and bending over to pull them on. It was then I saw the blood dripping to the floor which made me freeze. I put my hand out to catch the crimson drops, feeling a trickle down the side of my neck, my eyes widening as I stared at the blood in shock. I brought my hand to my neck which sparked with pain. What the…?

“You bit me?” I said in surprise, spinning around to face Eric. Somehow in the midst of it all I’d forgotten that he had. I knew it was common during sex with vampires, but I remembered asking him not too. Hadn’t I?

Eric remained silent, continuing to stare at me. I sighed at his lack of answer and finished putting on my underwear, slipping on my sandals next and grabbing my purse. I had made it to the door before he stopped me again, pressing his palm flat against it and keeping me from opening it. He took hold of my arm to spin me around to face him. 

I wasn't going to do this again. 

I’d been manhandled enough for one evening. I yanked my arm from his grasp and attempted to turn back to the door when he grabbed my wrist, stopping me. I finally looked up at him, really looked, a swarm of emotions accompanying my gaze. My eyes brimmed with tears and they slid warmly down my cheeks. I felt like an idiot. This had not been the plan. I was supposed to be ending whatever it was that we had going on between us and I had only sunken myself in deeper. I had given him something I’d never get back. 

“Why are you crying?” He asked, eyes searching my face. “Did I hurt you?”

“No!” I shouted feeling anger sweep through me. I tried and failed to yank my wrist from his grasp. “I just lost my virginity on a desk for god sakes and you bit me after I specifically asked you not too!” 

“You seemed to enjoy it at the time if the response I felt within your body counts for anything,” Eric reasoned, the hint of a smile playing at his lips. 

I seethed inwardly, scowling at him. “Let. Me. Go. Now.”

He didn’t budge. Unbothered by my implied threat.

I sighed and tried a different approach. “I need time to process this. Please let me go.” I’d softened my voice and had spoken the truth. I did need to process this. I needed to figure out what the hell it all meant. 

The hint of a smile faded from his face. His grip tightened on my wrist, almost nearing painful, and his face twisted in frustration as if he were dying to say something, but couldn’t find the words. I waited with bated breath for him to say something or release me so I could bolt out of the room like every cell in my body wanted me too. 

“Let’s sit down and talk about this,” he said softly, surprising me. 

Eric Northman, the emotionless vampire, wanted to talk? What was happening to us?

I shook my head. I didn’t want to talk. I wasn’t ready. “I want to go home, Eric.”

“Chase,” he growled. 

“No, Eric, you don’t get to be in control of this. I don’t want to talk right now. I want to leave.” 

His jaw clenched so hard the muscle throbbed in his cheek, but his icy grip relented and he stepped back. I turned my back on him, pulling the door open and bolting out without a backward glance. 


I reached Bon Temps faster than usual, no doubt due to my almost frantic speed and desire to put as much distance between Eric and I as possible. I wanted a shower, a hot one. I could feel the soreness between my legs, smell the tangy scent of blood and sex wafting off my skin. It made me feel as if my skin were crawling. I needed to scorch the memory and feel of his touch off of my body. I tried to ignore the flashes I got, remembering the pleasure of it all, how lost I had been in him, the feel of him all around me, the whisper of my name on his lips. I shuddered in my seat and shook my head. 

I tried to think back to the moment I’d given in, to figure out why I’d let my guard when I come to do the exact opposite. He’d used my own power against me, opening himself to me, allowing his pleasure and feelings to overtake mine. He’d pushed me until I reached a point of no return.

Or that’s what I was telling myself. I didn’t want to think about the other possibility. The possibility that I’d wanted it, that I’d practically begged. 

It was too much. 

There was too much going on and this being added had me at my breaking point. With Cassandra's death, Justin's attacks, and finding out I had some new power, and now giving Eric my virginity, I was one more big event away from having a nervous breakdown.

I felt immense relief when I turned on the dirt road that led to my home. That was until I saw an unfamiliar black truck parked in front of my home. I frowned at the sight of it until I drove closer and saw Jason sitting on my front porch. 

My stomach twisted into a knot before sinking. I’d completely forgotten about him and our plans. And how was I supposed to face him like this ? After what I’d done? I pulled into the driveway, parking the car and seeing Jason rise to his feet, looking relieved. I looked to my reflection in the rear view mirror. My eyes were red and puffy, the bite marks on my neck clearly visible with two dried trails of blood down my neck, my normally tanned skin paler from the blood loss. That along with my wrinkled dress and otherwise disheveled appearance told me there was no hiding this from Jason. I’d have to tell him the truth and deal with the consequences. 

I shut off the car and opened the door as he approached, already feeling my eyes brim with tears at the thought of confrontation. 

“Chase, thank god,” he sighed with a smile. “I was worried as hell. I’ve been callin’ ya-.” He stopped short when he saw my appearance, the smile disappearing, his face falling into concern. “What the hell happened to you?”

“Jason-,” I tried to find the words to explain myself, though none of them seemed right. “I’m sorry-.”

He came closer, taking hold of me by the waist, cutting me off. “Are you alright? Did someone hurt you? What the hell happened?” 

I shook my head. “No, I wasn’t hurt-.” Not physically anyway.

He saw them then, the fang marks, realization dawning on his face. “Are those… fang marks ?”

My stomach twisted tighter, I looked up at him, feeling like a coward for not being able to tell him what happened. What I had let happen. 

The concern on Jason’s face was bright. “It was that vampire wasn’t it? Did he do this to you? Did he attack you?” 

I hesitated, but shook my head. “No, he didn’t attack me. I went to his office to… tell him something and...” I trailed off suddenly unable to look him in the eye. 

He stepped backward from me then, the concern on his face being replaced by disgust. I reached for his hand, wanting to make it right, but he recoiled from me, yanking his arm out of my reach.

“So you wanted this to happen…” he said softly, eyes on the ground. 

“Jason, I’m sorry. I truly am. I wasn’t planning for any of this to happen. It was a mistake.”

Jason huffed. “Here I am, sitting here worried as hell about you, waiting outside your door to make sure you get home okay, because you’re over an hour late to meet me and you’re out screwing around with some vampire?” He barked angrily.

I didn’t think Jason would hurt me for one second, the energy flared at his outburst. I was flooded with emotion; anger, humiliation, sadness, panics. My fists began to tingle, clenching tightly at my side. The swell of energy started to flow through me, my skin starting to feel like it was sizzling with power. I tried to force myself to calm down, scared that I’d end up hurting Jason, if the new power of kind kicked in. I shut my eyes, breathing in deep and willing myself to calm. 

I heard his voice then, loud and clear in my head. 

Why do they always do this to me? What the hell is wrong with these women? How come every one that I end up liking turns into a fang banger? 

My eyes snapped open with a gasp, seeing Jason frowning down at me. He hadn’t spoken aloud, I could tell from the way his voice echoed across my consciousness. It sounded just as it did when I touched someone to read their thoughts, but I hadn’t touched Jason. 

“You know what Chase, you can have your damn vampire. Just leave me the hell alone,” Jason spoke bitterly, shaking his head as he turned away from me. 

“Please, wait,” I started following after him, catching him by the arm. “Can we talk about this?”

“Talk about what?” He snapped turning back to me. “Talk about how you make me like you and then tell me that you had a vampire ex boyfriend-.”

“Eric is not my boyfriend.” 

He continued on, ignoring my comment, seeming to grow angrier by the second. "And then you promise me that you are done with all the vampire bullshit and then turn around and stand me up for one?"

I deflated as I found no answer. "I’m really sorry. I really didn’t mean for any of this to happen, Jason. I never wanted to hurt you."

“Yeah, well you did,” he growled, turning his back on me as he put his hands on his hips and hung his head. His thoughts raged through my head as quickly as they went through his. I’d established a connection with him somehow, one that was funneling his thoughts and feelings right to me without my touch. I felt the anger and hurt within him, it only made me feel worse. 

First Maudette, Cassandra, Dawn, hell even Sookie is a fang banger. What the hell is happening to this town? 

The anger flared and with it his fists clenched. Propelled by my guilt and a desire to make things right I reached for him again, wanting to calm him, to talk him down and express my regret and sincere apology, but he wrenched away from me, unintentionally elbowing me in the face as he did. I felt the pain as sharp as I had felt his anger, falling backward from the force. I landed on the grass hard, touching my burning cheek. 

Jason turned to me then, freezing when he realized what he’d done, eyes wide. His thoughts raged through my mind as well as remorse. 

Shit, shit, shit. I hit her. Holy shit. 

“Chase, shit, I’m sorry-,” he started before he broke off, his face falling once more. 

Oh my god…I’m a monster. I got so mad that I hurt her. What if… What if it was me? What if I did hurt those girls? What if I did kill Dawn? Maudette? Cassandra? Fuck I was so messed up on V I don't remember half the shit I did when I was on it. 

He shook his head, shame and horror enveloping him, he started to back away from. “Chase, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” he whispered. 

“Jason, it was an accident,” I rose to my feet. 

There wasn’t a bone in my body that believed Jason would actually hurt me. I knew he hadn’t meant to. Just as I knew he hadn’t killed anyone. 

“NO!” He shouted when I stepped towards him, holding up his hands, moving backward. “Stay away from me. Please. I don’t want to hurt you.” 

"I know you don't. It was an accident. Just come inside, we can talk about this-."

"No!" He repeated.

He ran for his truck, leaving me standing there. The truck started with a loud rumble, speeding off with a loud screech down the road. I sighed again, hugging myself and wondering just what the hell I was supposed to do now. 

Chapter Text

I trudged into the house slowly, hugging myself and trying to reel all my emotions in. Too much had transpired in one night, more than I was prepared to deal with. I instinctively locked all the doors and windows, though Justin was no longer a problem. I ignored my ringing landline, thoroughly done with everyone and everything for the day, and made a beeline for my bed. I stripped out of my dress and crawled into the bed, pulling the covers over my head and curling up into the fetal position. I closed my eyes and willed the darkness to take me over and quiet my mind. 

I wasn’t sure how long I had been asleep, but I awoke to the sound of my landline ringing once more. Groaning I rolled over and ignored it again. 

I didn't wake up again until the next morning, feeling no better than I had the night before. It was early, barely past 6 a.m. and I considered trying to go back to sleep, but after laying there for while I knew it was a lost cause. I slid out of bed and went into the living room with the intent to try and eat something. I couldn’t remember the last time that I had, figuring that something to eat might make me feel better. I noticed two messages on the answering machine and pressed play before heading into the kitchen. There was a beep followed by a familiar voice. 

"Chase, it's mom. I am just reminding you to pick me up from the airport in the morning.” I groaned out loud and cursed. I’d completely forgotten that she was coming. “I want to go straight to Isaac after you get me and I hope that you have taken the day off because your brother is probably in a really delicate state and could use both of our support. Remember, my flight arrives at 8. So please be there at 7:30. Thanks sweetheart. Love you."

I rolled my eyes at the end of my mother's message. My mother was coming to stay with us to take care of Isaac, and I was actually glad that she had called because she would have been stuck at the airport while I slept the morning away. The machine clicked and announced the next message that had been left after midnight, as I pulled some orange juice out of the fridge and drank straight from the carton. It was just heavy breathing at first until a dark voice that I didn't recognize spoke quietly.

"I know what you are you. You are a filthy fang banging slut. I got your friend and now I am coming for you."

I choked on the juice, leaving it to sputter all over myself, turning wide eyed to the machine. What the hell? I stalked to the machine and replayed the message, listening intently to the threat. My blood ran cold as I heard it the second time, realizing just who it was. All this time I’d never considered the possibility that the person who killed Cassandra, and the other women, would come after me. He did have a type, girls that have had sex with vampires, but how could he have known that about me?

I briefly thought about calling the police, but what good would that do me? That could be anyone’s voice and when checking the caller ID it had of course been a private number. I thought about calling Eric next, but it was the morning and he would be asleep by now I was sure. He probably didn't want to talk to me either and I wasn't sure that I was ready to face him. I couldn't help, but feel that the way I gave myself to him was all wrong. I knew that I felt for him, hell I probably loved him, but everything around me was just too complicated. Between losing my virginity, the fight with Jason, gaining new abilities and now the threat of another person wanting to kill me, I felt very overwhelmed. 

I made the decision to tell the police about the phone call after thinking it over. They would know what to do and probably offer some protection. I would just have to go down to the station and let Andy listen to the tape. I dressed quickly in sweats and a t-shirt and left my hair down to hide Eric’s fang marks, rushing to the airport to get my mother. I met her at the baggage claim and went into her arms once she was close enough to me. She held me tight before she pulled back to look me in the eye. 

She frowned. “Chase, are you alright?”

“Ye-.”

“Don’t say yes, because I know it’s a lie. You look terrible.”

I pulled away from her embrace. “Wow, thank you mother,” I mumbled. 

“You look very pale, are you feeling alright?” She questioned further. 

I picked up her bags and started for the door. I was sure my paleness stemmed from Eric’s drinking of my blood, but I really did feel fine. I dodged her further questioning and took her straight to the hospital. She was less than pleased that I had to work that day, but Isaac distracted her with fake complaints of pain which allowed me to slip out. My shift wasn't till noon, but I wanted to go home and properly shower and eat breakfast. 

I was enjoying eggs and much needed coffee when I heard a knock on the door that made me freeze. I briefly thought of grabbing a knife, just in case it was a killer, but shook my head at my own negative thoughts. To my surprise it was Sookie at the door, looking upset with desperation bright in her eyes. I frowned worriedly at her. 

"Chase, I need your help," she said urgently before I could ask what she was doing. 

"With what?"

"With finding whoever is killing people here in Bon Temps," she said, stepping into the house after I waved her inside. "Jason turned himself in last night saying that he did it, but I know my brother and he ain't a killer."

My face fell. "Jason turned himself in?" 

"Yes, I mean even in the short amount of time you've been in Bon Temps and spent with Jason, I know you know that he is not a killer," she insisted. "He is as dumb as nails most of the time, but not a killer."

I felt my stomach sink. He had turned himself in because of me. I had upset him and stupidly allowed him to leave last night thinking that he’d really hurt me. This was my fault. I looked at Sookie guiltily. 

“I am the reason Jason turned himself in,” I admitted.

Sookie blinked, taken aback. "What are you talking about?" she asked. "That doesn't make sense."

I sank down on my couch, Sookie stood over me with crossed arms, impatiently waiting for me to explain. “Jason and I had plans last night. I was supposed to meet him after work, but I went to Shreveport. I wanted to end things with Eric properly before starting anything else and…” I felt more guilt wash over me and found it hard to look Sookie in the eye. 

“And? What happened?” She raised her eyebrows. 

I pushed my hair away from my face and neck revealing Eric’s bite. She let out a small gasp of surprise and covered her mouth. I felt my cheeks flame with embarrassment, readjusting my hair back over my shoulders. 

“You slept with Eric?”

“It just happened. It wasn't what I went there for. I didn’t mean for it to happen. And it’s not important really, but I felt terrible because Jason was waiting for me here when I got back.”

Sookie sighed. “I’m guessin’ he wasn’t too happy.”

“No, he was not. I read his thoughts and he was so angry that he was comparing me to the other girls that he’s been with that were killed. And when he tried to leave, I grabbed his arm and he accidentally elbowed me. And his thoughts just went nuts. He thought that if he could hurt me, that he could have hurt all the others and not known because of the V and…” I let out a slow breath. “I feel terrible that he’s done this. This is my fault.”

"Well don't and it’s not," Sookie said sounding determined. "We are going to go get Jason out of jail and I know who the real killer is."

I raised an eyebrow. "You do?"

She nodded. "Remember when I told you, Sam and I were going out of town to find out some information?"

"Yeah…"

"Well when I got attacked the other night at Merlotte's I saw the killer thinking about someone he murdered a while back. I saw her name and the place she worked at, so me and Sam went to Bunki to find out more about her. Her name was Cindy Marshall and she was associating with vampires and they think her brother, Drew Marshall killed her," she explained. "I think that Drew Marshall is here in Bon Temps, killing people he thinks are fang-bangers."

“That explains why he is after me now,” I sighed.

“After you? How do you know that?” Sookie questioned. 

I pushed off the couch, going to the answering machine to play the message for her. Her face fell as she heard the voice, eyes widening. “Jesus,” she breathed looking to me. 

“Yeah, but it sounds nothing like Jason. We can use this to prove that.”

“The police from Bunki were supposed to fax over a photo of Drew Marshall. The photo and the tape should be more than enough to get Jasons name cleared and they can finally catch this guy.”

“Well I’d love to help, but my shift is at twelve. Sam is going to fire me if I miss another shift.” 

“No he won’t. This is way more important than waitin’ tables and if clearing my brothers name makes us both safe from this killer then Sam will understand,” she reasoned. “I am scheduled to work the afternoon shift too. If we go in at the same time I can drive us both after we stop at the police station.”

I rode with Sookie to the police station, calling Sam on the way to let him know the situation. As expected he was more than understanding, stating he would cover for us both until we arrived. Sookie and I sticking together was our best bet, with the killer after us both now and his attacks against Sookie getting more aggressive, being alone wasn’t safe for either of us. 

When we arrived at the police station, we had to fight with Kevin, Sheriff Bud’s deputy, to allow us to see Jason. He was being kept in the holding cells, and after a brief argument we were allowed back. Renee was there, talking to Jason through the cell bars. I hung back while Sookie approached feeling unsure of how Jason might react to my presence. 

“Jason!” Sookie called running over, reaching through to give him a hug. 

“Sookie, I’m sorry,” Jason sighed, shaking his head and gripping the cell bars tightly.

“You have nothing to be sorry for, you didn’t kill anyone. I just wish you would have talked to me before confessing to all this mess.”

Jason huffed at her with watery eyes. “I don't even remember doing any of it. I had no idea.”

Sookie’s brow set and her voice lowered. “You need to shut up. Chase and I are real close to finding out who the real killer is,” she nodded towards me. 

Jason noticed my presence then, his face falling when our eyes met, my stomach twisted. I stepped forward and Sookie moved back so that I could come closer. I reached through the bars and touched his shoulder, feeling him tense at my touch.

“You didn't do anything Jason. I know it.”

“But I did,” he sighed exasperatedly. “I don't remember how or when, but I did .” He reached through the bars and touched my cheek. “I knew it the minute that I hurt you.”

“That was an accident! You have to see that this makes no sense-.”

“Well if I didn’t, then who did? Who else knew all the girls? Who else slept with them and had reason to be upset?”

“Being a man whore doesn't make you a murderer,” Sookie cut in. “We know who the killer is. It’s Drew Marshall. He killed his sister Cindy first. He strangled her just like Maudette, Dawn, and Cassandra had been.”

Sookie must have read something in Renee’s mind because her head whipped around abruptly, staring him down. “Because I have already tried that and so far the cops have done diddly squat to protect me and my family and friends,” she said crossly to him. “Besides that I don’t have any evidence, yet. I don’t know what Drew Marshall looks like unfortunately.”

Renee shrugged indifferently. “Then you cant be sure that he is the killer.”

"I've seen what's inside his head," Sookie replied as if that was justification enough.

"Sookie, Chase, I know you guys want to help me, but that’s cause you guys can't accept the truth," Jason said. He looked so sincere and serious as he spoke softly. "I am a murderer and I am going to hell, plain and simple-."

"Jason!" I said angrily making him look at me. "You aren't listening to us. Sookie and I are going to find Drew Marshall and get you out of here."

"Andy!" Jason yelled. Sookie and I frowned.

"Listen to me," Sookie said gripping the cell bars. “Don't be stupid."

He ignored us both. "Andy! Andy!"

"Jason," I tried trying to reach through the bars and touch him. He dodged my grasp.

Andy came around the corner, his face set in a deep scowl, irritation written all over him. “What’s your problem, Stackhouse?”

“Make Sookie and Chase go away,” Jason demanded looking away from us both. 

"Do I look like your fucking butler?" Andy remarked to Jason's statement, putting his hands on his hips.

"Just get them outta here," Jason pleaded. "Please."

Andy sighed. Sookie and I continued to look at Jason in disbelief. "Fine…come on girls. Zoo time is over," Andy said coming forward to take us by the elbow and walk us out of the holding cells. I looked back over my shoulder and saw Renee watching us go with a blank face.

"Wait!" I said making Andy stop just as we reached the exit to the holding cells. "The tape."

"Yes! Chase has a tape with the killer's voice on, threatening her," Sookie said pulling her arm out of Andy's grip as he huffed.

"And just where the hell is this 'supposed' tape?" he asked looking at me with a raised eyebrow.

I pulled it out of my pocket and handed it to him. "There isn't anything 'supposed' about it. I received a voicemail last night from this guy and it sounds nothing like Jason."

Andy didn't look convinced as he pocketed it. "We'll see how it sounds later, for now you and Sookie here need to leave," he ordered taking my arm once again.

"Wait, did you get the fax from the Bunki police department about Drew Marshall, who probably is the real killer?" she countered crossing her arms.

"Look, I never heard of no fax from Bunki PD or about Drew whoever, but I will tell you one thing," Andy replied holding up one finger. "The real killer is right there where he belongs."

I groaned in frustration and could see Sookie seething with anger. "You are one sorry excuse for a cop and a human being, Andy Bellefleur and it's just a matter of time before everyone knows it," she replied through clenched teeth.

She turned on her heels and grabbed my arm pulling me along after her as she stormed out of the building.


After a quick stop at Sookie’s to get her work clothes, we arrived at Merlotte’s. It was slow, something that I was thankful for as I was in no mood to be courteous and hospitable to customers. I got the feeling that Sookie wasn’t either. I kept my block down as I worked, wanting to listen in on people’s thoughts. I was paranoid once again, but this time my killer wasn’t a vampire who was confined to only night time outings, he was a human man that could walk around and be anyone, which made it all the more frightening. 

With some polite touches and a friendly smile I got into every mind that I could, but found none of them were Drew Marshall in hiding or knew anything about him. It only added to my growing frustrations and fear. I had to figure out who the killer was and fast, before Jason was taken to some maximum security prison or Sookie and I ended up dead. 

Andy had sauntered into Merlotte’s an hour after he had rudely kicked us out of the police station. He walked with a proud and smug air around him. He was soon joined by others, eager to hear him recount how he had caught the ‘Bon Temps Strangler’ and Jason’s confession, to their gullible ears. I grew angrier and more frustrated as each moment passed, listening to Andy’s lie and slander Jason’s name. My blood was starting to boil when I felt a hand on my shoulder, stopping me from filling my pitchers with Dixie for Andy and his group. 

“You okay, Chase?” Sam asked, no doubt sensing my tense mood. 

“Yeah, I just have a lot on my mind and I didn’t get much sleep. I’m fine,” I lied. 

“A lot on your mind like Drew Marshall?” Sam probed with a knowing look. “I didn’t realize that you and Sookie had so much in common.” I felt my face fall. Had Sookie told him about my ability? “I meant with you both dating vampires and all,” he added making me huff a small sigh of relief disguised as a laugh. 

“Well, I didn’t really date one,” I admitted. “I was just involved with one.” It was the best term that I could come up with. “Apparently that’s enough for this killers criteria.”

Sam gave my shoulder a squeeze. “You don’t have to worry. I know we barely just met and we haven’t known each other long, but I am going to make sure that you and Sookie are safe. Us here in Bon Temps like to stick together and keep our people safe,” he assured with a smile. “If you need to talk or anything, you just let me know.”

I smiled at him, feeling a friendly warmth in my belly. I opened my arms to hug him and he embraced me tightly. “Thanks, Sam. You are a pretty cool boss.”

He chuckled, releasing me, opening his mouth to say something when he looked past me and saw something that made him fall silent. I turned, my gaze following Sam’s  until I found Sookie. She was standing in the middle of the dining area, her eyes watery and her face scrunched, she was clearly upset. I knew what it was the moment I saw her, could only imagine that terrible thoughts about her brother that she was hearing from the patrons of Merlotte’s. I’d heard quite a few myself in my search to see who knew Drew Marshall. I moved to go to her, but Sam stopped me. He moved around the bar, walking to her he wrapped an arm around her. He ushered her to the back, talking to her in a low whisper.

I let Sam handle it and finished filling my drink orders before taking them to my tables and noticing that Renee had come in and taken one of the empty tables in my area. I pulled out my order pad and walked to him as he pulled his orange working vest off and set it aside. I forced my lips into a smile. I hadn't talked to Renee much and all I knew about him was that he worked with Jason and was Arlene's fiancé, but he had always been polite and kind to me when we did speak.

"Hi, Chase.”

"Hey, how was Jason when you left him?" I asked pulling out my pen.

"He was fine...as fine as a man can be when in jail for murder ya know?" he replied with a shrug.

“It’s real terrible that he was locked up for something that he didn’t do,” I sighed. 

“Maybe he did do it,” Renee said looking up at me curiously. “How can ya’ know he didn’t? When the people you care about hurt you it can drive you to do crazy things.”

I suddenly felt uneasy, wondering if that comment was directed at me. I knew Renee was a close friend of Jasons. Had he told him what I’d done? I didn’t get the chance to question why Renee didn’t think he was innocent or the meaning of his comment, someone called my name from behind. 

"Chase!"

It was Sam, beckoning me over with a wave and pointed look to where he stood with Sookie at the pick up window. 

“Excuse me for a moment, Renee.” 

He nodded at me and I made my way over to Sookie and Sam. "What's up?" I asked.

“Sookie needs to go and given the current circumstances she shouldn’t be alone,” Sam explained. “ Neither of you should be. So you should both take off and keep an eye on each other.”

I hesitated catching on to what he meant and nodded. "Yeah...okay."

"I'll take your tables," Sam finished. "Just be careful and stay together."

We both nodded and I handed him my order pad as Sookie and I headed into his office to get our belongings. "You okay?" I asked her as I followed her out of Merlotte's.

She nodded, wiping at her eyes. "Yeah...everyone just has such negative thoughts," she said with a frown. "They are thinking such horrible things about Jason."

I nodded in understanding and climbed into the passenger seat of her yellow car. She put the keys in the ignition hurriedly and turned it. We both frowned when the engine turned over and nothing happened. She turned the key back with a deepening frown and tried it again. She repeated this three more times without a change.

"Shit," she muttered. "Please, Jesus, don't do this to me."

"Try it again," I offered with a shrug.

She nodded and turned the key back and tried it again, growling when she got the same result. "God dammit! Motherf-!"

"Hey."

We both jumped turning to the driver side window, seeing Renee's smiling face leaning down to peer in at us. "What's wrong guys?"

"Just uh...some car trouble that's all," Sookie replied with a small smile. "Me and Chase were just trying to get out of here."

"Want me to take a look?" he asked raising an eyebrow, looking between the two of us.

Sookie nodded, exiting the car to raise the hood for him. I leaned into the passenger seat, rubbing my tired eyes. My caffeine high was starting to wear off and I could feel the exhaustion of the overwhelming past few days setting in. I tried to blink past the tiredness, forcing myself to alertness. I slipped out of the passenger seat to see Renee staring at the engine. 

"Maybe we should just stay here," I offered. I didn't have much faith in him fixing the problem.

Sookie shook her head. "I cannot keep listening to those people think bad thoughts about my brother. I’ll go crazy.”

I nodded in understanding. "Well maybe I can call a cab and we can go to my place."

Renee cleared his throat making us both look at him. "Well don't tell nobody, but I don't know that much about cars," he admitted with a smirk. "Sorry."

"Thanks for trying," Sookie sighed. "I guess we should call a tow."

"Well...why don't you let me give you each a ride home?" Renee replied with a nonchalant shrug. "I'll get my buddy, Hank, down at Auto Haven to look at your car on my way back, Sookie."

Sookie and I shared another glance as we hesitated. "We can't be alone," I said as Sookie looked down. "So we have to stay together at one of our houses."

Renee nodded slowly. "Right...of course you guys can't...well how about I take you to your house and I will stay with the both of you until Sam gets off," he countered.

"Oh Renee we can't take up your time like that-," Sookie started shaking her head.

Renee huffed and waved her statement away. "Oh stop...your brother has been real good to me Sookie...and Chase...well you have been real nice to me ever since you started working here and I would like to return the kindness ya' offered to me."

Sookie looked to me for confirmation and I shrugged. There was safety in numbers and Renee was harmless far as I knew. Sookie nodded at Renee. 

"Well, thank you, Renee," she said with a nod. "That's real nice of you."

The rumbling sound of an engine approaching called our attention, all of us seeing Terry’s truck come to a stop near us. I hadn’t interacted much with Terry outside of work, but I liked him, he was certainly odd, but in a funny way. 

"Hey Sookie, Renee, Chase," he said nodding to each of us.

"Hi Terry," I said waving.

"Sookie...I just wanted to say that I told Andy that I know killers and Jason ain't no killer," Terry said shaking his head.

"Thank you, Terry," Sookie said with a nodded.

"Nobody ever listens to me," Terry sighed. "But they should."

Terry drove off and Renee turned to us. "Ready to go?"

Chapter Text

"Ooooh weeee," Renee said slowly, shaking his shirt. "It's hotter than hell on Sunday in here."

I smirked as I followed him inside of Sookie's house and shut the door behind us. The air in the house was thick and warm, immediately wrapping around us like a blanket, I understood his complaint. The car ride from Merlotte's hadn't been that long, and we had made amicable small talk on the way. Renee asked if Sookie could really read minds and even though she had admitted what she could do I remained quiet about my talents. I still didn't want people knowing what I could do, and even though Sookie was more open, I wasn't.

"Yeah," Sookie replied looking around the house. "Gran used to keep the windows and stuff open to air it out, but I haven't been too comfortable doing that lately." Renee and I both nodded in understanding as Sookie sighed. "Why don't you guys go sit down? I'll make us some iced teas."

Renee nodded. "Okay."

"I'm gonna use the bathroom. Which way Sookie?"

"Oh it's by the kitchen, follow me," she said waving me along.

Renee headed for the living room and I followed Sookie into the kitchen where she pointed me to the bathroom. I went in, shut the door behind me, not really having to use it, but wanting to take a breather and splash some cool water on my face. There was so much going on that it seemed like I never got a minute to take a breath. I was worried about Jason, and feeling bad about running out on Eric.

As much as I didn't want to think about it, my night with Eric kept replaying over and over in my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about the way he had made me feel, the emotions and desire he’d shared with me through my power. He’d wanted to talk after, was trying to possibly open up to me and tell me how he felt and I had run out. 

Despite the lies that I told myself, I had feelings for Eric and there was no denying it. Deep down I knew that it was my fear of those feelings and what they’d meant that had me fighting him and attempting to pursue a normal life. But I wasn’t normal. I never had been. And I was growing more abnormal by the day. A normal life probably wasn’t in the cards for me. And for all his faults Eric Northman got me, and even though he had put me through the ringer, when I ignored everything else I was truly comfortable with him. I could be myself

I was beginning to see no point in fighting him or my feelings for him anymore. I had to go talk to him, to finish the conversation he wanted to have the night I had run out. I didn't want to play games anymore. I would go talk to him and lay all my cards out on the table and demand to know where we stood, plain and simple. No more cat and mouse games. I was going to tell him how I felt and deal with the conse-

A blood curdling scream echoed outside the bathroom door, startling me. A heavy thud followed and heavy footsteps coming right for the bathroom door. I turned to the bathroom door, my heart started pounding, watching wide eyed as it swung open. I let out a heavy sigh when I saw that it was Sookie and frowned at the desperate, panicked look on her face. She had a shotgun in her hand and I could see blood dripping off the butt of it.

"Sookie, what the hell is going on?" I asked feeling panic start to slither up my spine.

She didn't say anything. Just reached for my arm, gripping it so tight that it felt like she was cutting off the circulation. She yanked me from the bathroom, running through the house. I stumbled after her, frantically trying to keep my footing as she pulled me through the foyer. I gasped when I saw Renee rising from the floor slowly, gripping his head, cursing under his breath. It all clicked in my brain.

"Renee is Drew Marshall," I said aloud in shock, more to myself than to Sookie.

"I saw it in his head! He killed Gran, Maudette, Dawn, and your friend!" she panted tossing the shotgun into some bushes before looking back over her shoulder at me.

"Get back here you fuckin' bitches!"

I jumped at Renee's-Drew's-angry shouts close behind us. I was too scared to look and see how close he had gotten, feeling the increasingly familiar stir of energy within. I hoped that Eric could feel my panic and fear, and then internally kicked myself as I remembered it was broad daylight. Even if he did find the will to make him want to try and come to my rescue, he wouldn't make it out of Shreveport alive. I just trusted that Sookie was leading us to a safe place or help as we ran hand in hand down the path.

"Where are we going?" I asked in between heavy breaths.

"I…I don't know! We just need to keep moving!"

I could hear Renee's shouts growing closer. I didn't know how we were going to be able to fight him off if he did manage to get a hold of us. There were two of us and just one of him, but I had no experience fighting anyone and I doubted Sookie did either. I didn't know how to control whatever ability I had used to get Justin off of Isaac, and wasn't sure if it would spring up if I tried.

Sookie came to a stop abruptly, making me run right into her back nearly knocking us both down. I recovered and put my hands on my knees trying to catch my breath, she looked around desperately. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I was really out of shape.

"What…now?" I panted looking at her.

She looked around flustered; her eyes moving rapidly until she saw something that made her perk up slightly. "The cemetery," she said grabbing my hand again and yanking me towards it. "We can hide in there!"

I groaned and ran after her, weaving through the headstones, both of looking around for a place to hide amongst them until I spotted an empty grave. "Sookie! Look," I breathed pointing to it.

She stopped running and it was my turn to drag her. I ran towards the grave, jumping down inside and moving out of the way so Sookie could follow. She gripped my arm tight as we huddled together, pressing ourselves against the head of the grave. We both were panting now; I could feel Sookie's pulse pumping under skin. My own heart was pounding and I brought my free hand up to cover my mouth to keep my loud pants muffled. A few long seconds of silence went by above us.

"Is...Is he gone?" I whispered looking at her.

Her face scrunched in concentration and her eyes closed. I could tell she was listening to his thoughts and after a second she put a finger to her lips to signal to be silent, shaking her head. I put my hand back over my mouth and shut my eyes. Renee's footsteps coming softly toward the grave.

"Sookie….Chase…..come on…let's…let's be friends...I…I was just kidding," I heard Renee say somewhere up above us. He sounded close, really close; I gripped Sookie's hand tighter and held my breath. "Guys…come on… I didn't mean to scare ya'll…seriously…"

It went silent above us and all I could hear was my thudding heart. My skin prickled with goosebumps. Sookie remained quiet beside me, listening to his thoughts intently until she let out a soft breath which made my eyes open.

"He thinks he lost us. He went back to check if we were in the woods.”

"We need to get help. We need to get to a phone or somebody-."

"I know. I'll check and see if he is gone for real. If he is then we run like hell to Bill's," she said nodding urgently. “He has to have a phone and even if he doesn’t he can protect us.”

"Okay."

I remained crouched as she rose to her feet slowly, her hand still in mine. That was when I heard Sookie scream above me and her hand was yanked from my grasp. Renee let out a gleeful cry, his hand gripping her blonde hair, pulling her out of the grave.

"Sookie! No!" I cried trying to grab her ankle and pull her back down to me. I almost succeeded until Renee reared back and kicked me, right in the face.

I hit the dirt hard, holding my aching face, rolling onto my stomach with a groan. Something warm trickled down the side of my head, looking down to see my palm smeared with red. Damn it. Sookie was screaming somewhere above the grave, Renee shouting curses and names at her, doing god knows what to her. I forced myself to my feet, bracing against the wall, kicking my foot hard into the dirt to create a foothold. I used all my strength to pull myself up and crawl out of the grave.

I spotted Renee leaning over Sookie, her back pressed against a headstone, his hands around her throat, choking and shouting in her face. Her face was turning a deep shade of red, her eyes rolling back in her skull. I was on my feet running toward him without a second thought, anger surging through me, the energy returning and swarming in my stomach. I collided with Renee’s back, hearing him grunt in pain, releasing Sookie when my arms wrapped around his neck. 

I clung to his neck with one arm and threw my other fist at him blindly and wildly. I managed a few hits to the side of his head before he managed to throw me off. I hit something, something hard and made of stone, pain shooting up my back, blurring my vision. Large hands grabbed hold of me, a scream escaping my lips. I felt his fist next, punching me in the face so hard I saw stars. My brain fogged, darkness threatening me. I tried to fight, kicking my legs and struggling against his hold, but his hands locked onto my throat, cutting off my airway. I gasped for air, struggling to stay conscious as my vision started to go black. I could feel my body giving up, the fear that I was going to die gripping me tightly. I tried to scream, but no sound came out. 

A loud growl sounded nearby and Renee’s pain filled scream followed, his hold on my neck relenting. I fell back against a headstone, gasping for air, clutching my throat. I recovered slowly, looking around to see what had stopped Renee’s attack, when I saw it was a brown and white collie. The same dog that I had seen hanging around Merlotte’s a time or two. The collie was on top of him, biting into his arm.

I took advantage of Renee being distracted to look for Sookie. We had to get to Bill’s. She was in the last place that I had seen her in, lying unconscious against the large headstone. I crawled to her, taking her hand to check her pulse. I sighed in relief when I felt it. I grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her as gently as I could in my frantic state. She moaned in response, reaching up with one hand to rub her head before he eyes opened and she looked at me groggily.

"Sookie! Get up!" I urged looking down at her. "We have to go-."

I stopped abruptly when I noticed that Renee’s pained shouts had stopped. I dared a glance in his direction and felt my eyes widen when I saw Sam Merlotte, laying naked at Renee’s feet. I hesitated in surprise, sharing a confused look with Sookie, who was sitting up slowly. Sam was the collie? It wasn't until Renee began kicking Sam that I came out of my shocked confusion. Sam’s unconscious body jerked with the force of the kicks and I felt myself growing angry.

"No!" I shouted jumping to my feet.

The energy rushed me like a like a tidal wave, taking me over with no abandon and coming out of me in a blast aimed right at Renee. He went flying away from Sam, hitting the ground a few feet away in a heap. Just as quickly as it came, the energy dissipated, draining right out of me. I sank to my knees, breathless and weak, struggling to maintain consciousness. Sookie was suddenly in front of me, looking into my eyes with a mixture of confusion and concern. 


"Chase, how in the hell did you do that?" she asked me breathlessly.

Renee began to recover before I could answer, something Sookie noticed and made her rush to her feet. She ran for the dirt mound nearby, one with the shovel precariously standing atop it. I tried to get up, to help her, Renee coming for us both with anger burning in his eyes, but my legs were still too shaky. Renee lunged at me, leaving me to scream and bring my hands up to shield myself on impulse. After a second went by with nothing and my eyes opened slowly searching for Renee.

I found him on the ground a few feet away from me, coughing up blood as Sookie panted above him, her hands shaking. She was looking down at him, her breath coming out in short pants, the shovel still in her hands, poised to strike again. I let out a relieved sigh, hesitantly feeling like we had won the battle, when Renee lunged again, grabbing Sookie’s leg. 

"You fuckin' bitch!"

Sookie screamed, bringing the shovel down, driving the pointed edge right into Renee’s neck. I cringed at the sound of a squelching crunch, feeling sick and looking away immediately when the blood spurted out of his neck. I swallowed down the nausea and allowed myself to truly feel relief. There was no way that he was coming back from that.

Sam awoke, rolling over with a groan. His eyes went wide when he saw me, getting to his feet, he rushed to me. "Jesus Christ, Chase, you okay?" he said softly gripping my face in his hands. My skin tingled with pain as his fingers brushed over the skin of my forehead and I winced. "Where's Sookie?"

I pointed behind him, nodding that I was okay, making him turn to look for Sookie. He looked back at me for just a second and rose to his feet. I averted my eyes quickly, remembering he was naked, and focused on Sookie instead who was still standing over Renee. She was looking down at him in shock, her mouth agape and her eyes wide, and I wasn't too sure that she was breathing. Sam put his hands on her shoulders, Sookie remained unmoving, and then his eyes were moving past her and me, gazing off into the distance.

"Uh…Sookie?" he said softly making her turn and look in the direction of which he was looking.

My eyes followed, frowning when I saw smoke rising off the grass a good distance away. My heart skipped a beat, my stomach sinking, one thought crossed my mind. Eric ? I was about to rise to my feet when I forced myself to stop. There was no way in hell that could have been Eric, but I still felt fear in my gut at the thought of it being him.

"Bill!" Sookie cried finally moving to run past me and Sam.

I tried to get to my feet to go help her, but my body disagreed and I fell back to the ground with a soft curse. Sam came to my aid, picking me up by my underarms and supporting my weight as I felt myself blushing. Even though it had been a near death situation, Sam was still buck naked and also my boss. And then there was still the matter of him being a dog a few moments ago which meant I didn't know what he really was.

"You okay?" Sam asked me again as I made sure to keep my eyes above waist level.

"Yeah…I just uh…hit my head really hard," I lied. I really didn't know what was wrong with me. Using the new ability really knocked the energy out of me. But I was feeling slightly better now that I was on my feet and moving. Sam helped me walk toward Sookie and what looked like a charred body.

"Oh no…Bill?" I said softly looking at Sookie, who nodded as tears slid down her face. "Oh Sookie…"

I knelt beside her, wrapping my arms around her. She fell into me, sobbing. I looked to Sam wondering just what the hell we were going to do when he answered my question out loud.

"We have to get him out of the light," he said lifting Bill into his arms.

I rose to my feet and pulled Sookie up with me, keeping my arms around her and holding her against me. Sam carried Bill to an empty grave and dropped him in as carefully as possible. He grabbed the bloody shovel that had been Renee's demise and used it to toss dirt on Bill's body. I held Sookie and she sobbed against my shoulder, watching Sam bury Bill in the ground. I couldn't help, but feel somewhat relieved. There were no more killers and no more danger. I felt bad that Bill was badly injured and possibly dead, and that Sookie had to murder a man in the process, but now it was over.

"Shh, Sookie," I said softly, running my hand over her blonde hair. "It's going to be okay now."

I didn't know that if it was true for her, but for me I hoped that it, finally, would be. 


We finished burying Bill and Sam got dressed before we called the police. Andy and Sheriff Bud took our statements and combined with the tape of the voicemail, the photo sent by Bunki PD, and matching Renee’s belt marks to the victims, Jason was released. 

We were taken to the hospital by ambulance, my mother meeting me there after I called to tell her what had happened. I had escaped another near death experience with a serious concussion, three bruised ribs, a sore trachea, a busted lip and a black eye thanks to Renee's handiwork. Sookie hadn't gotten off much better either. Sam promised to take Sookie home and watch over her, while my mother took me home after the doctor released me. My mother was upset, both her children had been hurt in a matter of days, but she thankfully skipped the lecture about how dangerous Bon Temps was. 

Once home I showered and took the pain medicine I’d been prescribed. With the adrenaline gone the pain from my ordeal was finally catching up with me and all I wanted to do was sleep it away. I encouraged my mother to go back to the hospital with Isaac, promising her that I intended to sleep and that I would be fine, and she reluctantly went, telling me to call if I needed anything. I crawled into bed once she was gone, letting my aching body ease into the softness, closing my eyes and embracing darkness with no fear for the first time in weeks. 

 



BANG. BANG. BANG.

I was abruptly dragged from unconsciousness by a loud pounding. Blinking in the darkness of my bedroom I realized that it was coming from the front door. I rolled over, hissing in pain, my whole body ached, my ribs and head aching the worst. The digital clock at my bedside told me it was eight p.m., meaning I’d been asleep for more than five hours, plenty of time for the pain killers I’d taken to wear off. I wanted to sleep more and thought about taking more pills and doing just that.

BANG. BANG. BANG.

I groaned, remembering the reason why I’d been woken up. I pushed myself into a sitting position slowly, my body screaming with pain in protest. I slid off the bed just as slowly trying to avoid as much pain as possible and not having much luck. My body throbbed with each step I took, and I had to resist the urge to run back to my bed and fall back into darkness.

BANG. BANG. BANG.

"I'm coming," I called as I shuffled through my living room and finally reached my front door. I was surprised it had not caved in from the force of the banging.

I turned the locks carefully and released the chain, pulling the door open slowly. My face fell when I saw Eric standing on the other side. His hands were on either side of the door jamb and when his eyes landed on my face, his own fell and he looked both relieved and angry all at once. The last time I had checked the bruise around my right eye was a large mixture of blue, black, purple, and a few different shades of yellow. My throat was also a nice shade of purple and my bottom lip was slightly swollen. I’d be sporting Renee’s handiwork for awhile.

"Invite me in, Chase," he ordered, his eyes darkening as he gazed at me. " Now ."

I took a deep breath and pulled the door open wider. "Will you please come in?" I said softly. My face and throat hurt with every word that came out of my mouth.

Eric was in my house with the door shut and his arms around me in less than half a second. I gasped in pain as he pulled me towards his chest, I could tell he was trying to be careful, but it still hurt like hell. I gritted my teeth against the pain and let my head rest on his chest, sighing when the pain in me finally died down enough for me to enjoy the embrace. I shouldn’t have been surprised at how much relief I felt at being in his arms again, but I was. It felt right.

"You really don't know how happy I am to see you," I whispered.

I pulled back to look him in the eye, surprised at how much emotion I saw in his face. I thought about asking him what was going through his mind at that moment, but knew better. I slid my hand up instead, it landed on his cheek. He didn’t stop me. I formed a connection with him, my brain invading his to take in his thoughts.

He had been asleep when Renee attacked me, lying in his king sized bed with soft dark sheets, one arm curved behind his head. His blue eyes had snapped open the minute he had felt my panic. He had been out of the bed and redressed in less than five seconds, ready to rush out the door to my rescue when his own survival instincts kicked in and made him stop. He knew he wouldn't make it out of Shreveport alive if he went out into the sun and as much as his brain urged him to go, his body would not allow it.

He couldn't sleep after that. He stood pacing back and forth in his large bedroom, fists clenched tight as he willed the sun to set faster. He felt like a tiger trapped in a cage and it was driving him nuts. He could feel my fear and pain, knowing that he couldn’t stop it had him feeling anxious and angered. By the time my encounter with Renee was over he knew I was alive, but also badly injured. When the sun finally set he couldn't get out of the door fast enough.

I pulled my hand away from him, breaking the connection and looking up at him. He had been up all day, feeling all my emotions and pain, and feeling trapped because he could not get to me.

"Did you find everything you needed to in there?" he asked raising an eyebrow.

"You can feel me inside of your head?”

"I am aware of your presence inside my head," he replied.

"I'm sorry…I just wanted to see what you were thinking about…I saw how worried you were about me," I said, seeing his jaw clench. "I am fine."

He frowned at my statement. "You are not.”

I shook my head carefully. He was wrong. I was fine. There were no killers after me and no psychotic vampires either. For the first time in a long time I didn't feel like I had to worry about looking over my shoulder and I didn't want to dwell on it anymore. I wanted to move on from those crazy experiences and put them in files in the back of my mind never to be seen again. I didn't want to think about how Renee's neck sounded when Sookie shoved the shovel through it or the dead look in his eyes. And I also didn't want to think about how I felt in that moment when I thought I was going to die at Renee's hand. It was over and done.

"Yes, I am, Eric. It's over," I said looking into his eyes letting a small smile spread across my face. "I just want to forget about it. I'm alive and safe."

He didn’t look convinced and let out a small breath. He reached up and brushed his fingers across my cheek with a surprising gentleness. I still flinched in pain and he growled softly. The pain resonated through my head and then dimmed when a few seconds passed.

"Drink my blood," he ordered. His fangs unsheathed with a click.

"I can't," I said shaking my head.

His fangs retracted. "Why?"

"Because when my mother left me this morning I was a beaten pulp and if she comes back and I am miraculously healed she is going to have a heart attack," I replied with a sigh. His frown remained on his face. "Besides that I want to heal like a normal human being. Pain reminds you that you are alive ya know."

He didn't reply, only stared at me blankly, not catching the intended humor in my statement. I sighed and turned my back on him, walking slowly toward my bedroom. Eric caught me wincing with each step and picked me up in his arms carefully, carrying me the rest of the way. Once inside my bedroom he laid me on my bed gently and sat on the edge beside me. I rolled over onto my side, letting out a groan as pain erupted through me from adding pressure to my bruised ribs. Eric frowned down at me as I tried to relax against my pillows.

"Just let me heal you Chase," he insisted. "You will feel much better."

"No, Eric. I am fine,” I reached for the painkillers and glass of water at my bedside, taking two and leaning back into the pillows again. “See, I’ll be fine when they kick in. This is a normal thing that humans go through when they are injured," I replied with a sigh, shutting my eyes.

"Chase, you are not normal," he reminded.

"I know, Eric."

"Then why not take advantage of using my blood," he countered. "How often is it that you have a thousand year old vampire around to give you his blood when you need healing?"

"Eric, please, for the love of god, just shut up and lay down with me."

He didn’t move, and it crossed my mind that he may be too stubborn to follow my orders. But he rose to his feet then, pulling his leather jacket from his strong arms and tossing it to the foot of my bed before sliding on the bed next to me. His body curved around mine, fitting perfectly against mine with my back pressed against his chest and one of his arms over my waist. I lay there silently beside him, imagining that he may have been just as tired as I was since he had been up all day.

"I am sorry that I bolted the other night after we…," I whispered after a long stretch of silence. "I should have stayed like you wanted."

"It does not matter," he answered sleepily behind me.

"Yes it does," I replied turning my head to look at him over my shoulder. His eyes were closed and his head was resting on his bent arm. I was surprised at how relaxed he was. "I should have stayed to talk so we could have figured out where we stood."

His eyes remained closed. "Where we stood?"

"Yes," I said rolling over fully to face him, his arm still wrapped around my hip. "What are we, Eric?"

"Well I am a vampire and you… are human…as far as I can tell," he answered.

I smirked, nudging him with my hand, making him open his eyes and look at me. "Eric, I am being serious. What are we doing here? Are we in a relationship? Do you really care about me? Or am I just another one of your humans that you play with when you want and now that you have taken my virginity you are just going to toss me aside? Because I…have feelings for you and if I am going to do this with you I need to know exactly what I am doing and how you feel."

"Chase, the fact that I am here lying in bed with you, after you ran out on me should be proof enough that I have some…emotions invested in the involvement I have with you."

And in Eric speak that means: Chase, I do care about you.

"So we are…boyfriend and girlfriend then?" I asked him slowly.

Eric chuckled. "It has been centuries since I have had a girlfriend and as tempting as it sounds, Chase, I am not one to meddle with the idea of human relationship labels," he answered honestly.

"So what is this then?" I asked with a frown sitting up on my elbow. "What am I to you?"

He mimicked my movements, so that my eyes had to lift to keep contact with his. He reached forward to touch my cheek gently, I barely winced this time. "We share a blood bond which is far more intimate than any human relationship could ever be," he said softly before leaning forward to kiss my lips gently making heat rise in me. "You are mine ."

He kissed me fully, his lips pressing against mine. My lips parted in response, my tongue daring to seek access to his. My face hurt as he deepened the kiss, but I ignored it. I filled with want and desire. As much as I had fought it, I ended up being his in the end just like he promised me the first night we met. And I was perfectly fine with that now. I kissed back feverishly, my body scooting closer to Eric as my hands began to tug at his clothes.

The mood suddenly went from hot to cold when his arm wrapped around me tightly and his body rolled on top of mine as he let out an excited growl. My body screamed in agony and I pulled away from his kiss with a pain filled gasp. He was off of me in barely half a second as I remained still, waiting for the pain to die down. When it finally did die down I sighed heavily. I saw him looking at me concerned.

"I am fine, Eric. Don't get your panties in a bunch. But we are going to have to postpone…this…until I am better," I said reluctantly.

He sighed and dropped back to the bed beside me, his blue eyes gazing up at my ceiling. "Are you sure you do not want me to heal you?"

I laughed. "No, Eric. You are just going to have to wait."

"Then I think it is wise that I stay away from you until you are healed," he replied looking at me.

I frowned. "Why?"

"Well now that I have had you, I am going to have a hard time resisting the urge to take you again," he admitted.

"You mean ...like you want to drink my blood?"

Eric shrugged. "That…and I also meant taking your body."

I blushed crimson and tried to keep the smile that spread across my face small. "Do I…taste different?" I asked tentatively.

"In what way?"

"I mean my blood…." I clarified.

He paused for a moment before nodding once. "Your blood is by far sweeter than any other humans that I have tasted and nearly irresistible," he answered.

I blinked, taken aback by his statement. "Was that because I was a virgin?"

"I would have to taste you again to truly know, but you smell just as sweet as you did before I took you. I think it is because you are something more than human."

"Eric…something's happening to me," I confessed.

One blonde eyebrow arched. "What do you mean?"

I took a deep breath and explained about the energy I felt when my emotions were strong or if I was in danger. I told him about being able to toss Justin out of the window and then Renee off of Sam as well as being able to hear Jason's thoughts without touching him. He stayed silent until I was finished and his eyes dropped, his face scrunching up in thought. I waited patiently for him to say something and when he didn't I started to panic a little.

"Have you ever heard of anyone else being able to do these things?" I asked him cautiously.

He shook his head. "No. At least not being done by a mere human anyway. Can Sookie Stackhouse do these things as well?"

I shrugged. "I don't know and I haven't really asked."

"I am aware that she cannot read vampire thoughts, but you can," Eric said sitting up completely. "Interesting…"

I sat up with him, ignoring the pain that sparked in me. "Do you think I am something else…?" I asked making him look at me curiously. "I mean do you think that I am not... human?"

"I do not know."


Despite my new fears about me not being human, I had a good night's sleep in Eric’s arms. He slipped out before dawn, brushing a kiss across my lips, promising to see me when night fell again. I woke up again a few hours later, took more of my pain killers, showered and dressed before leaving my bedroom to find my mother in the kitchen cooking. The house smelt like pancakes and bacon and my stomach rumbled in response. That was going to be one of the only good things about my mother staying with us until Isaac was healed. Her cooking.


"Chase, honey, what are you doing out of bed?" she asked me in surprise as she caught me shuffling into the kitchen. "Go back and rest."

"Mom, I am fine. Im feeling better," I replied leaning against the counter.

She frowned at me in disapproval, but didn't say anything about it further. "How did you sleep? I tried to come in and check on you when I got back last night, but your door was locked."

"I slept great. Vicodin really helped," I answered. "How is Isaac doing?"

"He is going nuts being stuck in that cast of course, but the doctors say that he can come home in two days," she replied. "Go sit down. I will serve you."

I followed orders and moved to the kitchen table, easing down into the chair as my mom came out of the kitchen with a plate full of food. My stomach rumbled again at the fresh smell of eggs, pancakes, and bacon and I dove in greedily. I ate in silence while my mom cleaned up the kitchen before coming to join me with her own plate of food. I finished up as she started eating.

"That was really good, mom," I said scooting my empty plate away. "Thank you."

"No problem," she said between a large bite of pancakes. "You should go back to bed now."

 

I didn’t plan on going back to bed. I had questions that needed answers. Questions that I assumed my parents would have answers to. I’d had my ability for as long as I could remember, but my parents never explained where it had come from. In fact they preferred I didn’t talk about it at all. But with my developing a new per and being an adult now I needed to know.

"Mom…I need to ask you some questions," I said, clasping my hands together.

She hesitated, her brown eyes looking up to find mine. She seemed nervous already and she dropped her fork and crossed her arms. I could see her tense, but her face remained calm. I could see panic in her eyes. I didn't understand why she was so immediately defensive, but it made me even more curious.

"Go ahead, sweetie.”

I took a deep breath. "Where does my telepathy come from?"

She frowned and her arms dropped. "Honey, you know that I have no idea where that…gift of yours comes from. It was a miracle I suppose.”

"There has to be some reason that I have this ability," I said leaning forward to put my arms on the table. "There has to be some distant relative in the family that had something similar or some genetic reason for this."

"Well there isn't, Chase," my mother answered as her face twisted towards an angry expression.. "You are just…special."

"Mom, there has to be something more to it than that," I replied refusing to accept her answer. I could see it in her eyes that she was hiding something, she knew something.

Her lips went tight and her face paled. "Why are you suddenly so interested in finding out why you have this gift, Chase?"

I hesitated. I wasn't sure that I wanted to tell her what was going on with me. It would only worry or frighten her and when my parents got worried they had a tendency to try and lock me down. But she was my mother after all, and even though I felt she was hiding something from me, maybe my telling her might make her reveal it.

"I have developed a new ability," I admitted. "I have been…moving things with my mind. And I am starting to think that something is wrong with me."

My mother gasped, looking at me wide eyed as one hand came up to cover her mouth. I didn't move or say anything as she stared at me for what felt like hours before her hand dropped and she recovered. She swallowed several times before speaking softly in a high pitched voice.

"Well, Chase, that's uh…that's…ridiculous. How could you think something like that? There is absolutely nothing wrong with you," she broke off shaking her head and rising to her feet, beginning to clear my plate and hers, which was still full of food. "Let's not discuss this anymore. Go lie down and rest now."

I rose to my feet following her into the kitchen. That was my mother's thing, when she was nervous or stressed, she cleaned. A lot. She once pulled all the furniture out of every room in the house so she could clean every speck of dust on them and wash the walls. It was somewhat scary. My father, brother, and I all knew to leave her alone when she got in those moods, but I wasn't going to let her off that easy. I needed answers. She began scraping the food that still remained on her plate off into the garbage.

"Mom, what are you hiding?"

"Nothing, honey. Are you still hungry? Do you want more food?"

I ignored her. "I know you know something."

"Chase, I’m not hiding anything," she replied dropping the plate into the sink and beginning to scrub the counters down with a sponge.

I sighed and came forward, forcing eye contact as she tried to look away. "Mom," I said softly, but making sure to keep hold of the seriousness in my voice. “Tell me."

She sighed heavily in defeat and leaned against the counter, putting her head in her hands. "I never wanted to have to tell you this, Chase," she mumbled into her palms.

I felt my stomach sink. "Tell me what?"

She sighed again, wiping at her eyes before looking at me and crossing her arms. "The reason why I can't explain what is happening to you is because…" she broke off shaking her head, her eyes dropping as my fists clenched tighter.

"What's the reason?" I asked. I needed to know.

She looked at me then, deeply, then she finally answered me. "It's because you were adopted, Chase."