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Two Souls, One Heart

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 TARA POV

I keep having these dreams; they seem so real, so totally bizarre. I've had them for as long as I can remember. I've never told anyone, never really had a reason too. The dream starts out well enough, I'm swimming, I love to swim, but that is a luxury I have little time for in my crazy life.

In the dream, I jump into the clear, cool pool, immediately it changes into the dark, icy blue ocean. I can feel the coldness of the water as it chills my skin.

Even though my local pool had turned into the vast ocean, I still feel at home. My surroundings are still familiar to me, and it wasn't because I'd had the same crazy dream so many times. It was as if I'd actually been there like I belonged there...

I continue to swim even further out to sea and that's when things really get strange. I feel a change deep within myself, it's hard to describe other than my whole body feels like it's transforming...

The wildlife is such an amazing sight; I see exotic plants and colorful schools of fish. I swim over, under and beside cute groups of dolphins, large and small turtles, long eels and frightening stingrays.

As I submerged deeper into the depths of the sea, my eyes began to adjust to the darkness. I venture even further into the abyss, my soul is telling me I have a destination and to use my heart as a compass. Now it is completely dark, but I'm not afraid, my eyes are now completely adjusted to the pitch blackness, and I see unique creatures that illuminate light from their own bodies.

I twist and turn about in the water, observing the different sea animals as they curiously approach me.

Out of nowhere, I'm attacked by these things.

They move so fast, all I see is a blur and I can't tell how many of them are attacking me. I feel arms grabbing me, pulling me, hauling me off and away from their world and before I can blink I'm being shot out of the water like a missile.

That's when I wake up to my wretched, depressing life...

My love life consists of screwing my boss Sam Merlotte. What I like about him most is that he made my crazy ass feel normal...at times. And, I truly believe he's a good guy, but I really know little about his past or where he came from. He just showed up a few years ago and bought the local bar.

Recently, I gave Sam my two weeks' notice and he seemed okay with that. I'll always be grateful that he was nice enough to give me a job when all of my opportunities had run out. I know Sam is still in love with my best friend Sookie Stackhouse. They dated when he was new in town, but she was never happy with him. For over a month now, Sookie's been dating a vampire named Bill Compton. I'm not sure what to make of that mess. She said she's happy, although I can't see how she could be with a vampire; still, I wish her the very best. Sookie and I grew up in the prejudice, racist town of Bon Temps as an outcast. I'm an outcast for obvious reasons, but for Sookie...She has this strange ability. She can read people's thoughts and that really freaks people out.

I don't mind her though.

Sookie's brother, Jason, and grandmother Adele, Gran as she would have me call her, are like family to me, I cannot count how many times Gran Stackhouse has taken me in, fed me, and clothed me when my mother was too drunk to even get outta bed. For as long as I remember, I went to school hungry and dirty. As a young child, I got taunted and teased because I always looked a mess. That's because my mornings were spent cleaning up Mommas puke off the floor and helping her piss soaked ass in the bath.

Now, I'm done taking care of my pathetic excuse of a mother and after another fight, I'm forced to leave home. Well, it really wasn't a fight, because the drunken cow hit me in the back of my head with an empty Captain's Morgan bottle. Wish I could say that was the first time I'd been assaulted by her. Needless to say, after twenty-five years, I'm fed up with her constant physical and verbal abuse; I don't think things will ever change either.

My dad left my mom and me when I was seven, so I ask my one and only cousin if I can stay with him for a couple of weeks. Thankfully he agreed and welcomed me in. A week later my mom tells me she's a religious woman, who found God. Well good for her, cause she's lost me.

My cousin, Lafayette Reynolds is a handsome, strong black man with a heart of gold. He's cool, sharp-witted and I love him with all my heart. He also wears makeup that would make Ru-Paul proud. Don't get me wrong, La-La is nobody's fool and he'll beat your ass within an inch of your life if you disrespect him in any shape, form or fashion. Still, you can just imagine the bullshit he's dealt with on a daily basis in this hick-town.

A couple of weeks spent at Lafayette's have been a real eye-opening experience. He has this webcam and the things I've seen... Christ, I so wish I hadn't. One day I saw fine ass Jason Stackhouse dancing in a George Bush mask with nothing on but tighty-whiteys...

That was some crazy, freaky-shit.

Staying with Lafayette allowed me to save up enough money to get me to Shreveport. My cousin wanted to know why I was moving so far away. I voiced to him that I honestly feel that I've no life in Bon Temps, never had much of one, to begin with. I for damn sure, have no future here. I felt the need to go away in order to find myself. I feel there is something out there waiting for me to discover it, claim it and make it my own.  He kept asking me to stay, but I flat-out refused, my mind was made up. So my cousin gave me a big hug and promised to keep in touch and he has. He calls me every Monday.

Now that I'm living in Shreveport, I plan to find better work and save more until I can finally settle in New Orléans. My plans are to further my education at a junior college and eventually have a respectable career; I've always wanted to own my own business...

I'm just hoping one of these places will hire me. Nonstop for weeks I've been busting my ass looking for a job. But none of my previous employers besides Sam will put in a good word for me. Not that I'm surprised, I hated all my jobs and the only boss I ever liked was Sam. He told me he did the best he could when one of these bigoted business owners called him for a reference.

It's been three months since I left Bon Temps and my money is running low. My car broke down last month, so I scrapped it in order to pay rent. If I don't find a job by the end of this week, I won't have money for food and barely enough to pay rent this month. The only place I haven't tried is that vampire bar. The place has had a 'help wanted' sign up for the past two weeks. I've heard so much about the nightclub from my new neighbors, the weird, the bad and the totally fucked up. But at this point, I've run out of options.

So I'm going tonight...

 


Club Fangtasia, Shreveport Louisiana

 

ERIC POV

Despite the fact I no longer needed to, I took a deep breath.

Unbelievably, I could smell the familiar aroma of the Baltic as she walked in. I could have sworn I felt the sweet mist of the sea fill my lungs and the cool ocean breeze becomes entangled in my hair. I focused only on her as she strolled her way through the crowd of my club; her unique scent reminded me of a time long ago. Pleasant memories filled my mind, visions of my childhood days spent fishing with my father, glimpses of my baby vampire nights along with fond glances of Godric as we sailed the night seas in search of undiscovered lands flashed before my eyes...

How can this be?

All humans have a natural scent, some better than others, but nothing like hers.

Why does she smell so fucking good?

Her scent is so unique, so tantalizing, not even her cheap lotion and perfume could mask it. My eyes fixed only on her as I observed the mystery walking closer towards me. She moved across the floor as graceful as a ballet dancer.

The lights above played with her long, raven mane, such a rich shade of onyx, just as the moonlight shines upon the dark waves of the night sea; her eyes, framed by long dark lashes fluttering against high cheekbones. With a perfect nose and full rosewood lips- she seemed the picture of perfection. I admired her supple curves and smooth, mahogany-hued skin glistening with perspiration.

I cursed the gods for making her skin so beautiful.

She appeared to be alone and out of place, yet, I was pleased to observe the young woman giving a valiant attempt at not showing it. She was tough, strong in body and mind, definitely more than any human I've encountered in ages. She didn't seem to be looking for a vampire and no one, human or vampire seemed familiar with her.

Why is she here?

Entranced, I continued to regard the lovely woman. My eyes flitted over her sexy frame; she wore snugly-fit black jeans shorts, a deep purple midriff-baring tank top, and matching canvas shoes. A pleasant change from the countless pale and sickly thin humans who lined up for me, she was closer now, her enticing scent filling my body with arousal. At the same time, the lovely woman was becoming more conspicuous; other vampires detected her scent. They wondered which lucky vampire she belonged too.

Including my child; Pamela Swynford De Beaufort.

I used my ability as her maker and called upon my progeny through our blood bond, I was able to stop her just before she neared my guest, but not before I noticed her lustful gaze. She was certainly about to flirt with her. Instead, I gave her the signal to summon the raven-haired beauty to my side. No one was going to talk to the mysterious woman of my club before I got a chance to do so first.

 


 

Tara made her way through the bar; unsure where she was going, she searched for an empty seat to rest after her long walk. She wandered with caution, uncertain about who to approach or how to ask for a job in a vampire bar. She was halfway through the club when she was unexpectedly approached by a tall blonde woman. The golden-haired stranger was strikingly beautiful, dressed in a shiny black leather cat-suit, her lips and nails were fire engine red. Tara thought her whole look screamed 'vampire' until she realized she was a vampire.

"You've been summoned Cupcake," The blonde drawled apathetically as she stood with both hands on her trim hips. Lustfully, she ogled Tara from head to toe, at the same time indulging in her amazing scent. The former Madame felt an instant attraction to the pretty, doe-eyed human and hoped that her Sire was willing to share.

"Excuse me?" Tara defensively scoffed. She had no idea what the 'dead-chick' was talking about, none the less, she did not like the sound of it.

"See that fine vampire sitting up there, Cupcake." The leggy woman turned her head towards the stage.

Tara turned in the same direction, his green eyes locked onto her brown ones. "Yeah..." she mumbled unable to remove her eyes from his. He was the first 'thing' she noticed when she walked in. It was as if his very presence commanded a response from her. He was impossible to overlook. Pam was not surprised by Tara's reaction to her maker, lots of women and some men have similar reactions.

"He and I own this fine establishment," she drawled dryly "so if you would kindly join us."

Tara figured the owners would certainly be the best ones to ask about the job. "Uh Okay..." was the only words she managed. She was a nervous wreck, her heart beat rapidly accelerated.

"My name is Pam, what's your's Cupcake." Pam's icy blue eyes peered unblinkingly at Tara's cleavage.

"Tara..." The petite woman replied with as much attitude as she could muster; she was taken aback by Pam's bold behavior and annoyed at being called 'Cupcake'.

Pam liked the name 'Cupcake' better and decided, that is what she would call her; she said nothing more as she made her way to the stage. 

Tara hesitantly followed.

As she got closer she noticed the expression on the pale man's face, it was that of one who had been mildly inconvenienced... Like a customer waiting for a tad too long for a servant to return with some fetched item. His long legs stretched out in front of him, a lazy, sexy slouch filling the seat. He wore all black, dark jeans, a black wife-beater, and biker boots. For a moment, she ogled the strange little talisman on a cord around his neck. Looking into his big, jade eyes, told her a different story, he wanted something from her, but what?

Tara squinted and cursed to herself. 'Goddamn, he's sexy.'

"Eric, this is Tara, Tara Eric." Pamela drawled lazily, pulling her from her thoughts.

"Please be seated ...Tara..." The way he said 'Tara' was slow and deliberate, his voice was profound.

As she primly sat in the seat on his left side, without thought, he reached over and gently took hold of her hand. He pressed his lips against her indulgent, fragrant scented flesh and a blast of desire coursed into his entire body, her heat transferred directly into him; he felt a warmth, which he had never felt before. He wondered how a mere touch would have that effect on him. 'Jag vill ha dig...' When fully aroused, it was in a vampire's nature to feel pure animalistic lust, involuntarily his fangs fell. Although difficult, he resisted all his primal urges.

The vampires' kiss and the site of his fangs caused Tara to gasp slightly. She was surprised his hands were not cold to the touch, but that did not stop her whole body from shivering. Her cheeks burned and her stomach did somersaults. She gulped, placing her free hand on her chest. Her heart was beating at such a rapid pace. The feel of his smooth face and cool soft lips on her skin gave the young woman cravings she did not want to have towards a vampire. She felt foolish letting a vampire touch her like that and even more foolish for enjoying it.

Pam was hysterically staggered by the scene. Her thousand-year-old Sire just 'dropped fang' like a horny baby-vamp. She was beside herself with amusement. She smirked, self-gratified that her nickname for the new human was a perfect fit.

'Cupcake- Sweet, little and just plain sinful...One bite is never enough.'

A mortified Eric could feel Pam's overexcited hilarity from within. She didn't need to laugh or say a word out loud, her expression showed it all. He was just as surprised as her at his involuntary reaction and with a low grunt he retracted his fangs.

"Pam, would you be a doll and get Tara a drink," he asked without taking his eyes off the dark-skinned beauty.

"Fine," Pamela drawled as she rose from her seat. "What'll ya have Cupcake?"

"Uh, I'll have a vodka and cranberry." Tara answered she could use the 'courage' juice. 

Now that Pam was gone the Norseman could proceed with his plan to glamor her; he glared into her big almond eyes. The vampire's gaze was unwavering, his stone cold stare and silence made her uneasy, causing her to shift awkwardly in her seat. Her throat was suddenly dry, she didn't realize how dry until now, she could barely swallow. She could have sworn that Eric seemed to be totally aware of what he was doing to her. He had an all-knowing look in his eyes and a devious smirk on his unbearably handsome face. They eyed each other evenly for several moments, or so Tara assumed. Eric was relentlessly attempting to glamor her. Tara sullenly, glared back at him, with one eyebrow cocked as she fidgeted in her seat.

"Tara, what brings you to Fangtasia?" He asked; masking his confusion by breaking the silence. The ancient vampire was not sure what to make of this human puzzle.

"I saw the 'help wanted' sign and thought I'd ask about the job," She answered, however, unsure if she still wanted the work. The whole vampire scene was too strange for her liking. But this was the closest she had gotten to an interview since she arrived in Shreveport. "Are ya still hiring?"

Eric recalled Ginger's whining about needing help with her daytime duties. He believed Tara's peculiar admittance and inquiry, even though he was unable to glamor her into knowing for sure, he could sense the woman's sincerity. The Viking mused at the notion of Tara being the first human at Fangtasia who wasn't seeking a vampire for sex or blood. He presumed she had never been with a vampire before and actively thought about changing that. Before Eric could respond Pam was back with Tara's drink.

"One vodka and cranberry for Cupcake," Pam handed the glass to Tara and sat back down beside Eric, her eyes returned to Tara's cleavage. "I made it myself," she added proudly.

"Thanks," Tara mumbled as she took hold of the cold glass. She was too thirsty to be offended by Pam's bluntness. Her lips quickly wrapped around the red straw as she sucked in the ice-filled beverage. Shutting her eyes, she allowed the refreshing drink to ease down her throat, gulp after delicious gulp. Once the glass was empty, she opened her eyes.

Startled, she flinched at the sight. Several vampires had all gathered around the edge of the stage, peculiarly staring at her; she was rarely without words, but for the first time in her life she was shocked into silence. All of the vampires in the bar had congregated in the general vicinity, silently gawk at the startled woman, their eyes voracious and immodest.

Before Tara could think otherwise she blurted out. "What the fuck are ya'll lookin at!?" She quickly took her free hand and slapped it over her mouth. She cringed inside at her outburst.

'Great, you're yelling at the customers already, they're never gonna hire you now...'

A humiliated Tara glanced at both Eric and Pam. They were smirking, eying each other, genuinely amused by her actions. Tara's outburst had sent the other vampires strolling away from the stage and back to mingling again. The tall blond vampire found himself in a rare place, unconditionally intrigued by her. Eric stood from his throne, as he did; he extended his hand and without thinking she took it.

She couldn't resist touching him once more and her stomach did that funny thing again. Her heat surged through his body and all his cravings began to evolve a new. The pale man positioned himself dangerously close to her. He beamed two large, emerald eyes, filled with hunger and lust for her. She made an unsuccessful attempt at not looking back at him with the same hunger and lust and found herself out of breath. 

"Tara, you're hired."

 

Chapter Text

 

 


"Yes!" Tara beamed. The young woman was thrilled at finally landing a job, even if it was at a vampire bar; she was tired of looking. "When do I start?" She asked her new boss while observing how grossly understaffed they were.

"I'd be pleased if you could start tonight." The former Viking quickly replied.

"I think I can do that, but first I'll need to know my schedule, what my duties are and how much I'll be paid." The newly appointed barmaid replied just as quickly; she did not trust anyone when it came to money and there was no way she'd take a vampire's word that she'd be treated fairly, she wanted an agreement in writing.

"Of course, " Impressed with her grit, he obliged," Shall we discuss all the details in my office." he gestured towards a dark hallway while entertaining the idea of glamoring her again. This time, he would have no distractions; not that distraction ever stood in his way with any human before her.

"Oh... well, umm..." she stuttered, her eyes; blinking while shifting awkwardly, "I'll wait for the paperwork out here." The idea of being alone with a vampire, especially one who was an alluring as Eric made her very nervous.

Picking up on her trepidation, he held the opportunity to tease her, "You're not afraid to be alone with me are you?" a noticeably mischievous smirk emerged on his face. The alluring and fragrant woman had every reason to be afraid of him, she made him feel ravenous, he wanted to penetrate and devour her flesh with unruly savagery.

"Nah," she lied to save face, "First night on the job jitters is all."

"Follow me then," Eric called her bullshit as he sauntered through his club.

His presences intimidated most of his patrons into silence. Humans and vampires scurried out of his path and beheld the tall beautiful man as he made his way through the crowd. A group of women who appeared barely legal enough to drink, but seemed highly intoxicated just the same, shouted out lewd comments to the bar owner.

"Oh, take me to your coffin..." Two girls shouted in unison.

As they passed another belligerent group, they cackled out. "I taste better than True Blood..."

Another scantily clad woman exclaimed. "I'm type- Oohhhh positive..!"

Another girl lifted her shirt to show Eric her pierced nipples, and her friends cheered at her brashness.

Tara noticed the vampire was without airs by the behavior, not uttering a single word to anyone. His expression remained emotionless as he ignored them all. Tara, on the other hand, was disgusted; she found their behavior downright foolish and disapproval marred her lovely features. As she passed by, she scoffed at them all.

Nasty fang-bangers...She thought to herself while striding close beside him.

Eric's office is located in a hallway, past the restrooms. Tara sat down in the leather chair while Eric sped around to his large desk. He took a seat and began filling out forms. While he wrote, she used the time to glance over his cluttered office. She noticed all the business licenses and certifications; they hung neatly on the wall behind him. They looked legitimate, similar to the ones in Sam's office. In less than a minute Eric finished preparing the paperwork, he signed and printed his first and last name. Then, swiftly, but gently placed two sheets of paper in her hand, along with three crisp one-hundred-dollar bills.

"In good faith, I'm paying you in advance." He thought she was worth a lot more; he would have given her any amount she asked for. But he figured a few hundred dollars was most likely the amount she was expecting and accustomed too.

"Well, thank you, I promise to keep my end of the deal. I'll work tonight until close."

Tara could not believe her luck. She had just been paid a week's wages, without lifting a finger. Besides being totally out of her comfort zone, the night was starting to improve.

"Very good, It is also required that you aid Ginger during the day with her duties, will that be a problem?" He knew her scent would linger in his establishment the next evening.

"No problem at all," she nodded, working during the day with no vampires around sounded like music to her ears. There was not much Tara would say no too for $300.00 a night, as long as there was no biting or fang-banging involved. Tara glanced at the papers, the documents looked official. And the contract was on company letterhead, the name Fangtasia was written in bold, blood-red letters across the top. She began to fill out the tax forms and read over the contract to see just what she was agreeing to. Uniquely, he inscribed the start and end of her shift down in Roman numerals. His handwriting was noteworthy, she thought, it looked as though he had a very long time to perfect it.

Eric patiently watched her as she reviewed the documents. As he did, he realized it was not just the scent of her flesh that enraptured him. It was the maddening elixir of her blood. The aroma was driving him insane with curiosity and lust.

As she read the document, she noticed a part of the contract that gave her an unsettling feeling. The contract stated:'Tara Thornton is property under safeguard to the owner of Fangtasia'.

W hy would I need to be under their protection?

Tara swore she would stake who ever tried to put their fangs in her, she was no vampire's blood-bag and most of all nothing was going to stand in between her three hundred dollars a week. She decided not to fuss about it, for now at least and continued reading. At the end of the contract was his name.

'Eric Northman... Fuck, even his name is sexy, if that's really his name...' She did not see a space or line indicating where to sign her name, so she asked, "Where do I sign?"

"Sign your name next to mine." He stood slowly from his seat and leisurely made his way around the desk. She found his walk gallingly seductive. Quickly, she wrote her first and last name and shoved the papers back at him before he got too close.

He glanced at her signature...'Tara Thornton, a regal name, fitting for such an excellent woman...' Hiring and claiming Tara as his property pleased him. Even if the new barmaid was unaware of what she was agreeing too, he believed she would see things his way eventually.

"Now, I shall make a copy for you and keep the original for legal and tax purposes." He became a blur again as he sped over to the corner and made the copies and in less than a second he was on the other side of the office. He placed the original in a folder in a file cabinet. His rapid movements made her dizzy. He sped over to her and suddenly he was in her personal space again. "This is your copy Tara," He did not allow an inch of space between them; he was so close, he could feel her warmth on his skin. So close, she inhaled, taking in a deep whiff of his fresh, woody, spiced cologne."Now that the formalities are concluded, I'd like to ask you a few personal questions...Tara."

Tara struggled to gain control of her trembling knees as her mind and body screamed with yearning. She looked up at him nervously as she folded the papers and put them in her back pocket. His emerald eyes penetrated her onyx ones. And it was the moment Tara realized Eric was glamoring her...trying to glamour her. Instantly, her fright shifted to fury, "Well, got a few questions of my own...Eric..." She was uncertain why he was unable to glamor her but was thankful that he could not. She began to wonder if the money in her pocket was worth all the trouble and for a split second considered walking out. But it was important that she keep her word. In the past, she had always run at the first sign of trouble. She desperately wanted to change that. And even though Eric was not playing nice, she was even more determined to not run away and earn the money she had just received.

'Vad är hon...' The Viking muttered to himself. Befuddled and completely dumbfounded at the fact the human was certainly immune to his powers.

"Eric, why the fuck did you summon me in the first place?" She snapped while taking notice of the look of confusion look on his face. She was certain that confusion was an emotion Eric was not used to feeling. For the first time since she walked into Fangtasia, Tara felt in control, an emotion she was not used to feeling.

The vampire remained unremitting; again, his eyes locked onto hers with all the ferocity within him. Still, his efforts were in vain, his inexorable attempt failed. Instead, the grip of his control was lost, becoming infiltrated, captured, and compelled into a spell-like influence.

Tara peered back at him with equal ferocity and the more Eric tried to glamor Tara, the more vulnerable and inundated his mind became with her will. Suddenly Tara started to see flashes of colors, flashes of reds, waves of purples, swirls of yellow, and she could feel her mind transcending into his. She could feel his carnal emotions, his sexual passion, his unquenched thirst, and his blinding rage. 'My God! He's a monster!' A river of emotion swept through her. She was horrified, frenzied, but at the same time empowered. So many emotions made her soul feel feeble and resilient simultaneously. Without warning, her entire body tingled, her sex began to moisten, being in the mind of a vampire was like intoxication, and instinctual she took another hit.

"Answer me Eric Northman, why did you summon me?"

"Because you're beautiful, you smell sweeter than anything I've ever known and I'm going to make you mine..." His voice slurred in his trance-like state.

Tara's breath-hitched, shocked by his confession, her mind swam in hysteria. Before she could ask for more detail about his inexplicable admission or even figure out how she was glamoring a vampire, the door swung open. She turned and in the doorway stood Pam.

"Sorry to interrupt," the blonde drawled lazily, "but Chow finally showed up and asked to speak to you."

The split-second break in eye contact was all the time Eric needed to break free from her 'mind control', still, he stood motionless, his mouth ajar, and confusion displayed on his handsome face.

Pam sped over to Eric; she could sense something was amiss with her maker, "Did you hear me, Eric?" She asked firmly. Pam could not recall ever seeing her Sire look so disordered before. She was a bit vexed but discerned that his odd condition most likely had something to do with the unique smelling human. She did not dare say; since he seemed physically fine. She made a mental note to ask all about it later. Pam knew her maker well. The Sheriff of Shreveport had to always appear in control, especially around other vampires. A solid appearance was everything in the vampire world. Being fragile was not an option for a man in his place.

Eric quickly collected himself. He nodded to his child, "Send him in." His stone cold scowl was back. But on the inside, the vampire remained occupied by the fact he had just been glamored by a human.

"Hey, Chow!" Pam shouted and a heavy-build Asian vampire in a black-track suit appeared in the doorway.

"I want you to meet a new member of our staff. Chow, this is Tara, she's our new barmaid. Tara, this is Chow, he's our gate-keeper or bouncer as you may say."

Tara turned and reached out to shake the large man's hand, unlike Eric's his was freezing... Great, more vampires... Chow politely shook her hand and made his way towards Eric as Pam passed him on her way back to the door.

Pam smirked, "I'm headed back to cover the door; there's been a shit load of underage pricks tryin to get in tonight." She pointed her gold-ring clad finger at Tara. "It's time to get to work Cupcake, follow me..."

Tara made a bee-line towards the door, "Fine by me..." She was more than eager to leave the small office full of vampires.

At the bar, Pam introduced Tara to Longshadow. A Native-American vampire, clothed in a black leather vest, no shirt underneath, blue jeans and cowboy boots, he seemed annoyed by the brief introduction. Tara cordially extended her hand for him to shake and he folded his arm while disdainfully glaring at her in response. Pam seemed blasé by his rudeness, so Tara paid him no mind.

The two women crossed the bar and approached Ginger, a gaunt, bleach-blond woman who appeared to be in her mid to late thirties. She wore a scanty, black tube top and a hot pink micro mini skirt with matching heels. She stood at a booth in the corner, chatting with a vampire with long dark hair. The vampire was seated, glaring out into the crowd while sipping a True Blood. Tara tried not to judge, but could not help but assumed that Ginger was a fang-banger. The woman had several bite marks all over her body. Pam stalked up to Ginger, startling the woman.

"Hey Ginger, you wanted help... you got it..." Pam gently smacked Tara's behind and vamp-sped away.

"Hi There...I'm Ginger!"

"Hello Ginger, I'm Tara."

Tara shook the overly excited woman's hand, gladdened that at least one of her coworkers was human.

"So glad you're here. I thought no one would ever get hired! Pam and Eric are so picky!"

Tara could not be more proud of herself. She was actually chosen out of who knows how many applicants. But she quickly remembered Eric's confession about his attraction to her. His words played in her mind again and she wondered why she smelled so good to him. At the same, she was flattered that he found her beautiful, but she quickly pushed that thought away when she remembered his last confession. It infuriated her that he considered her as something he could 'make his'. She was no one's property, especially not a vampire.

I can do this job... Without being a fucking vampires snack!

The bubbly-blond tilted her head to the side and queried, "Have you ever waited tables before hun?"

Tara realized she was staring off into space. Unlike all of her other jobs, she was going to give this job a real shot, she confidently replied, "Yep and I'm good at it, which section do ya want me to cover?"

Ginger handed Tara a few empty bottles of True Blood. "I like coverin the booths and the VIP section, that's where the vampires sit. Will ya cover the tables by the stage and near the poles?" She handed Tara a hand full of empty bottles. "And could ya toss those too hun..?" The giddy barmaid went back to flirting with the vampire who resembled Antonio Banderas.

"I sure will..." Tara threw away the True Blood and Budweiser bottles into the trash behind the bar. She spotted an apron and tied it around her petite waist.

The red digital clock on the wall said midnight and the club is packed. She tapped the $300.00 in her front pocket and that was all the motivation she needed to work tables until three am. While she labored, taking drink orders and serving customers, she could not resist the urge to glance at Eric from time to time.

While the fair-haired vampire sat on his throne, his eyes trailed her like a cat following a canary. He made her feel like she was the only person in the room; despite herself, she was flattered by his unyielding attention.

At the same time, her observations confirmed that dozens of women sought Eric's attention. The fang-bangers at his bar lined up to gaze at his beauty. All types of floozies threw themselves on him, and the vampire on the throne let them. She figured he was required to do so; people paid for the odd pleasure of being scorned and ignored by him while they drank his overpriced drinks. Tara cringed at the overheard comments of what they wanted Eric to do to them. Bleed them dry. Fuck them in the most perverse way. Turn them into vampires. Snuff them out. He didn't need to glamor those idiots, they all glamor themselves just thinking about him. Eric watched as Tara eloquently shifted her body, so her cleavage hung over the bar when she had to grab bottled drinks from behind the bar. Her ass, which she was very proud of, curved tantalizingly in her denim jeans as she gracefully wiped down empty tables for the next group of people who waited patiently to be seated. He was enamored; there was nothing she could do that would not elicit a reaction from him. All the while the events in his office played over and over in the pale man's head like a movie he was watching in slow motion. He exclusively remembered not being in control of his mind, speaking words that he did not choose to say.

After a few hours of non-stop work, Longshadow called 'last call' and the crowd started to slowly disperse. Pam took her place behind the register; she counted the money and handed it all to Eric.

She sat down beside him, her eyes fixed on Tara. "Goddamn Eric, Cupcake is sexy and smells fucking good...after you're done may I have her?"

"Pamela..." Eric replied in a threatening tone. She knew the answer was 'No' when he called her Pamela.

"...You will not touch nor taste her..." he ordered. 'Nor will I...for now...'

After about fifteen minutes, most of the customers were gone; a few vampires remained back with their humans. And Tara watched it all; Eric summoned Chow and Longshadow. They conversed with Eric before they both exited the bar. That's when Tara realized she neglected her chance to leave with the crowd undetected by her attentive boss. She rushed out the door and took a deep breath as she scanned the almost empty parking lot. Pleased that she had worked the night and earned her generous pay plus another hundred dollars in tips, she glanced up at the moon, the twinkling stars and took in another satisfying breath of cool fresh air.

"Leaving without saying goodbye?" Eric asked casually. Inside he was thwarted; the constant eye fucking was the highlight of his night. He hoped she wanted to stay in his presence for a little longer.

"Shit!"Tara let out a startled gasp when the door suddenly swung open and Eric was standing in front of her. "You looked busy, didn't wanna bother ya..."

"No, bother at all." He said, moving in closer, closing the space between them.

"Well, goodnight Eric." She mumbled, she scuttled backward giving herself some space, then turned and began to slowly walk away.

"Will you allow me to take you home, my Porsche is parked in the back."

She halted and turned to face him, for a fraction of a second she considered accepting his offer. Her feet ached, but his brooding intent look gave her butterflies. Tara's big dark eyes shifted from side to side. "Uh, that's okay, it's a nice night, and I don't live far." Tara had had enough vampire dealings for one night.

"I insist, I would not otherwise, but your scent piqued the interest of the vampires tonight, thus the reason they gathered around you."

"Is that why I am under your protection in the contract?" She asked, unsettled at the thought. She also could not see herself as some pathetic damsel in need of a bodyguard either.

Rapt by her intelligence, Eric silently nodded.

"For fuck's sake..!" Livid, Tara threw her hands into the air, "I've landed a good paying job, but now I'm vampire bait." She crossed her arms. "I'm really not safe?" She clipped, unwilling to believe what he was implying. Tara could not believe her rotten luck. She sighed, lowering her head in disbelief.

He nodded again in confirmation. "Did you notice the vampires watching you all night?" He asked assertively. 'Det sätt som jag ser på dig...'

She did not want to admit, but it was only him that she noticed. "But, I knew a vampire before I moved here and he didn't seem interested in my scent and that Longshadow asshole practically ignored me all night. Chow and Pam seem alright too, those other vamps are just fucking weird."

Pam, Longshadow, and Chow were the least of his uncertainties. He had spoken with them and knew they all respected his power as Sheriff. But the elder vampires were sometimes a task to keep in line. He wondered if the ones that remained in the bar tonight may be lingering in hopes of having a taste of the delightful smelling girl. He would not stand for that. "Those other vampires are close to my age and very powerful, " He rasped, "now come back inside so that I may protect you," Eric predicted his new special human would be a challenge. Such a strong spirit in that little sexy body, the thought of her yielding to him was thrilling.

"Hell no..!" She snapped at his audacity," I'm tired of this shit and I'm going home!"

Tara was now faced with yet another big obstacle. So, she reacted the only way she knew how, with anger. She briskly stomped off and ran away from Eric as fast as her athletically built legs could carry her. She did not dare look back, Tara wished she had never opened the crimson doors and stepped foot into Fangtasia. She was not sure if she would ever return, even if it was the best paying job she ever had. The young woman muttered angrily to herself... 'Goddammit...! I should have known working at a vamp bar was a fucked-up idea.' In a matter of minutes, she had managed to walk halfway home, by making a shortcut through St. Louis Park. She could not stop thinking about the incident in Eric's office, his admission of attraction and the way he looked at her... 'How on God's green earth did I glamor him?'

Abruptly, her thoughts were broken up by a rustling noise; the noise was coming from a massively sized bush a few feet ahead of her. She halted in her tracks, whatever was in that tall bush was of ample size, she desperately looked around the dimly lit trail for something, anything she could use as a weapon.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

She desperately searched the nearby ground to no advantage. Disbelief and dismay coursed through her, the park was clean, not a stone, nor brick or fallen branch in sight. The panicky woman had nothing, absolutely nothing she could use as a weapon. Her heart was racing again; it felt as if it would leap right out of her chest.

Suddenly the rustling halted, making Tara believe whatever was in the bush spotted her and was ready to attack her. Paralyzed with fear, she halted all movement; while contemplating running the opposite direction or standing her ground.

The shrubbery began to bustle again, inside the bush, a guttural growl echoed out into the vacant park.

Abruptly, two dogs galloped from behind the bush. One was trying to mount the other. The two stray mutts whimpered, then scampered away when they saw her.

She let out an exasperated sigh, her fright left just as fast as it came, but it did not stop her legs from shaking, still, she continued home at a hectic pace.

Once inside her tiny studio apartment, she quickly slammed and locked the door. Finally, feeling a sense of safety, she was finally able to shake all the dreadful thoughts out of her head, thoughts of bloodthirsty vampires. She held against the rickety door, letting out an immense sigh of relief. After a moment, she made herself a large glass of water and drank every last drop. Next, undressed down to her matching lacy black bra and panties and fluffed her new white pillows.

The exhausted lady plopped down on her lumpy mattress and quickly drifted off to sleep.


 

ERIC POV

Pam had almost reined me in. "Why are you going after her?" She queried me, disappointment splayed across her face.

She'd procured two fairly attractive women for the night and wanted me to stay and feed with her, but not even the sexiest fang banger could satisfy me tonight.

They couldn't possibly make me feel the way she does.

The way she could...

I pulled in an unnecessary breath. I could not understand why I felt this way.

My child also wanted to know what happened in the office but I couldn't explain it myself. So I told her that I was unable to glamour the petite barmaid. What I didn't tell her is that Tara's unique scent isn't the only thing special about her. Telling Pam a half-truth was better than nothing at all.  Simply put, I wanted Tara, her body, her blood, and I won't share her with another.  Not even her...  I kissed my child on her forehead and bid her farewell.

"Well, hurry back then..."She warily asked me.

And I was off, fuck the car, my feet are faster.  I caught up with my sexy mortal in less than a minute. She was walking as fast as humanly possible down a path in St. Louis Park.  I inhaled without thinking and remained hidden in the shadows. I could smell that sweet aroma of hers and my body responded accordingly. I steadied myself on a nearby tree as I collected myself.  My lovely human obviously took heed to my warnings. She appeared guarded, impressively aware of her surroundings. I was now certain that she did not belong to any vampire. If she did, he or she would be indulging themselves on that taut body and her sweet smelling blood well into dawn.

After she entered her run-down apartment building, I knew she was safe from any of my interested patrons and I was satisfied with that. If my notions are correct she will grace me with her presence next nightfall.  I returned to the bar, Pam had dinner waiting for me. After I had my fill, I went straight to my coffin. I thought of nothing but the beautiful, mysterious, honey coated Tara Thornton before I finally died for the day.


 

After a good night's rest and paying her rent the next morning, Tara weighed out her other options.

She had none.

So she made the choice to go back and give Fangtasia another try. She couldn't deny, the money was great, and due to the continuous crowd, the time went by fast, making it easy work. The rough no-nonsense woman had no problem keeping the humans in line and was determined to learn how to deal with the vampires too.

However, Tara refused to admit her core reason for returning, even though the moment she shared with Eric in his office played in her head like a broken record. The experience with the beautiful vampire was cryptic, earth-shattering and she would never forget it.

Besides the Gothic decor and macabre ornate design, the bar looked almost normal during the day, Tara mused as she entered the cherry colored doors of the infamous nightclub at 10 AM. Inside, Ginger merrily greeted her with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The carefree barmaid was just as bubbly as the night before.

"I'm so glad ya came back!" Ginger exclaimed while stirring sugar into her coffee. "I was thinkin to myself this mornin and I figured you were a keeper - you did great last night." She chirped in a thick southern accent, elated at having someone around to talk to her during the day. "You didn't scream- not once."

"Uh-Thanks." Tara smiled awkwardly while rationalizing the appraisal Ginger just provided.

"Ready to get this place all clean?" The platinum blonde asked and before Tara could answer, she began to explain how Pam demanded the liquor stocked a certain way behind the bar. "Eric does not allow certain brands unless its lemon scented," She chatted while showing Tara where to find all the cleaning supplies, which were located in the locked closet next to the restrooms. "Vampires love the smell of lemons, so that's all I buy for my house these days." The verbose woman indicated in length. "Eric doesn't mind me cleanin with natural cleaners like vinegar and bakin soda, but never use Clorox or anything like that, he hates it."

Tara blinked rapidly, as she tried to imagine having senses that keen.

I wonder if I smell like lemons…

While deep in thought, Tara began to clean the bar in silence. Ginger continued to babble on about how much fun she had last night with a vampire named Hector and how cool it was shopping with Pam last weekend. Tara found it absurd the way Ginger lived to please the 'dead-things', but she said nothing about it. In actuality, Tara really didn't mind Ginger, she was not much different than most of the people in Bon Temps. The difference was to Tara, Ginger truly seemed to regard her as an equal.

The girls finished in less than two hours. Tara was satisfied with their work, and as they left she thanked Ginger for the coffee and assured her comical co-worker that she'd return and work the night shift with her. With Tara's assistance, Ginger set the alarm and locked the doors. Ginger offered Tara a lift in her old Volkswagen Beetle, to which the dark-skinned beauty decline.

The waif blonde slid a pair of gaudy shades over her eyes, waving her hand out the window of the car, "Hey Tara," she shouted, "if ya thought Friday night was wild, wait till ya get a load of the Saturday night crowd."

Tara chortled at her giddy- co-worker. She did not expect anything less at Club Fangtaisa. "See ya tonight Ginger." Tara smiled and waved goodbye, as Ginger pulled out of the parking lot.

The day was sunny and cloudless, making it a quite pleasant walk and visit to the market. At home, in her small kitchen, the famished woman made herself a 'muffuletta' sandwich with a side of salt and vinegar chips. She poured a big glass of sweet freshly- squeezed lemonade and took her lunch out to her modest balcony to eat it.

She let out a disappointed sigh as she glanced at her cellular- no one from home had tried to reach her all week, not even Lafayette. She thought about reaching out to him; she wanted to tell him the good news about finally finding a job, but promptly changed her mind. He'd ask where she worked and Tara was ashamed to tell him only vampires were willing to employ her. She pondered more about it more and reckoned 'Laffy' would be fine with it. He didn't seem to have a problem with vampires or anyone else unless they had a problem with him.

But once word got out to some of the vampire-haters and religious bigots, the news would spread around town like wildfire. Her mother would be the first to cry out and have the entire town's pity and sympathy for her 'poor lost child'. Tara would be regarded as just another 'fang-banger'. Feeling already treated out-of-sorts because she's an underprivileged black female, there was no way she would ever be ready to be treated any worse.

She was certain her best friend would call her a hypocrite once she found out where she was working. Many Bon Temps residents, including Tara, were not very welcoming to Bill Compton, the first vampire in to live in the small rural town. When the time came, Tara anticipated she would explain to Sookie that working for vampires and dating one is totally different. After lunch, she plugged in her cellular next to her bed so it would get a full charge for the night. Then, she set the alarm to avoid oversleeping; and took a nap, so she would be well rested for work. 

Several hours later the sound of the alarm woke her. "And still no missed calls," She said with a frowned, as she sprung out of bed. She dragged herself to the kitchen area and made a cup of hot raspberry tea and microwaved some popcorn. Following her snack, she drew herself a nice hot bubble bath. About thirty minutes of soaking, the water had become room temperature, so Tara bathed and stepped out of the tub, wrapping her body in a clean white towel.

Afterwards, she conditioned, blow-dried and flat ironed her tightly coiled hair until it was silky straight. She made sure to skip the Japanese Cherry-Blossom body spray and lotion.

Don't want to be lemon scented tonight…

Thereafter, she dabbed on a touch of makeup- jet black eyeliner, mascara, and a little red lip-gloss were all she needed to feel sexy and ready for the night.

 

ERIC POV

I was in conflict with myself, having her close is what I wanted, but it certainly was not enough. I wanted her; needed her, all of her- completely. I cursed in my ancient tongue the moment she looked at me with her dark shaded eyes; I nearly fall apart at the beauty I see in them.

She wore a little lacy halter blouse, displaying her perfectly toned arms and tantalizing cleavage. The way she swayed in her skin-tight jeans as she sauntered in, undoubtedly made my cock hard as granite.

I lustfully observed her lean over the bar to greet Ginger. Her wavy midnight colored hair was straightened tonight; a single strand fell erotically on her face, the rest on her shoulders and down her back. Her naturally flawless face was made up to perfection. The heavy coal on her lashes and around her eyes made her look breathtakingly seductive.

I choose to believe she got dolled up just for me; soon I plan on showing her how much I appreciate the gesture.  Of course, I never show it on my face. I've perfected my brooding indifferent expression.

So when I beckoned her, she had no idea of the inferno of yearning and desire in my soul...


 

 

 


 

Her heart beat wildly and her stomach did somersaults the moment Eric beckoned her. Tara walked exceptionally slow as she made her way to his throne, she knew behind his icy stare was a lust that he desperately wanted to be fulfilled.

She sat beside him avoiding all eye contact, instead, she stared out into club; it was practically empty besides a hand full of human customers and an envious looking Ginger behind the bar.

"You look beautiful tonight." He cajoled her, his hands tented, his posture slouched.

Unable to contain an affectionate smile from showing on her lips, she replied, "Thank you," she was not used to being regarded as beautiful, some said pretty, a few called her cute, but never beautiful.

Thrilled that his admiring comment made her beam, he lifted a questioning eyebrow and asked. "Do you require your pay in advance tonight?"

"I don't require it, but I sure ain't turnin it down," Tara hoped that getting her pay in advance did not entail going back into his office again.

Eric reached into his pocket and drew out a wad of $100.00 bills. He handed Tara three, and his long pale fingers touched her warm tiny ones. The unexplainable surge of warmth and familiar-smelling aromas, coursed through his body yet again, deepening his desires for her. Unable to resist, he boldly grabbed her hand, pulled her succulent flesh to his mouth kissing it, just as he had done the night before. This time Tara was prepared to object to his advances. She quickly jerked her hand away from him; his lips curving up into a playful smile at her actions.

He considered her protest delightful foreplay.

"Look, I appreciate you givin me a job, but I'm here to work, not screw around," She scowled, but respectfully kept her voice to a low whisper.

"That's because you've never screwed anyone like me before," He smirked; with that same all-knowing smirk that Tara found unbearably sexy and insufferable at the same time.

"I'm gonna see if those customers wanna drink," she stood fast from her seat. Feeling his eyes on her ass, she quickly strolled away from him…"I could sure use one..."

What a cocky old bastard..!

He leaned forward, his forearms coming to rest on his knees. He wanted her close, so close he did not know what to make of it. He thought the feeling would wan after a few weeks and several sexy encounters with seductive women, but frustratingly it has not.

The doe-eyed beauty strived at not thinking about her vampire-boss, no matter how hard she tried, she could not think of anything else. To make matters worse he was not helping her deal with her attraction.

While she worked the bar, Eric gave her these long intense stares that screamed 'I can ease that throbbing between your thighs if only you'd let me.' And throb she did; at every glimpse of his face, the mention of his name, and the memory of his touch. Her body warmed and melted in places that were invisible to those nearby. And knowing that he yearned after her the way he did send ripples of awareness coursing through her veins. The already pebbled peaks of her rounded mounds stiffened even further. A slight twitch in his frame told her that he was ready to pounce. Just one word; one softly uttered expression and she would have him falling apart at her feet.

It was a full moon the following Saturday night, Tara's 30 day anniversary and by midnight she was wondering if the full moon caused vampires to act strange...well, stranger than usual. Tara was approached several times by a vampire who called himself Martin; he looked like your everyday librarian or school teacher, that was if the typical school teacher or librarian sported designer sweater vest, slacks and of course had a pulse. His hair was bright auburn; the style, very short, neat, with a perfect part on the side. She remembered him from her first night working; he was one of the vampires who stood at Eric's throne gawking at her. Martin patronized Fangtasia every Thursday's and Saturday's, so Tara considered him a regular. She never noticed the average build, conservative looking vampire with anyone before and found it odd when he requested that she join him and his sire Paul in the VIP area.

The VIP section of Fangtasia was simply a large area adorned with plush crimson booths, the section was separated by black velvet curtains that could be pulled shut for privacy. Tara made sure to overstate her politeness when she turned him down. Earlier, Martin had given her a $100.00 tip for leaving her section and personally serving him and Paul a couple of True Bloods. That was the best tip she had gotten since she started; that was the best tip she had ever gotten in her life. She'd never seen Paul before, Martin told her that his Sire had just arrived back in town tonight after being gone for a long time and wanted to celebrate his return with her.

Paul reminded Tara of the character Scarface, the way he dressed. He wore a black flamboyant, expensive designer suit, with no tie and several buttons undone on his grey silk shirt, displaying his dark hairy chest. His hair perfectly coifed, polished black and slicked back, his olive toned face and short physique strikingly resembled the character. She cheekily assumed Paul was of Italian descent.

Martin signaled her over again and asked her for another True Blood. She did not hesitate to oblige, hoping for another big tip. Just as Tara set the bottles down, Paul put his hand over hers, causing an unnerving chill to rising up her spine. His deep dark eyes held a lustful eerie gaze that terrified her. She saw pure malevolence in them and she gasped.

Without warning the vampire felt a wave of Tara's heat and was overwhelmed by her opulent scent. The sweet aromas of jasmine, violets, and dahlias blasted his senses, making him feel blazing hot desire for the barmaid.

He needed to taste her.

She got a sense of Deja-vu when Paul's fangs flicked out in response and she gasped. Without warning, Paul seized her neck, pulling her to his hungry, opened fanged mouth. Tara wheezed out, "Let go of me!" pushing his chest and struggling in his arms, trying desperately to break free from his strong grasp. Ginger was at the adjacent booth. She screams frantically at the sight of her co-worker being attacked instead of tipped.

Eric was off his throne and at the booth in less than a second. "RELEASE HER!" The Viking bellowed out, his roar was ear-splitting.

The music stopped.

"PAUL!" Eric growled, barring his ivory blades, glaring menacingly at the two intrusive vampires.

Paul and Martin rose from there seat, snarling and growling back at him. Paul's grip remained firmly around Tara's throat. Pam, Chow, and Longshadow sped to the VIP area; they all stood behind Eric, ready to strike at their Sheriffs command.

The entire bar was silent now.

Tara could feel the vampires' sharp nails digging into her flesh, as she groaned, struggling to breathe and wriggling to free herself from his painful grip. Eric halted his attack only because he knew Paul could snap Tara's neck before he could stop him. Paul tightened his clutch raising the dark-skinned beauty off the ground, her feet swung helplessly.

"I want you Aether."

"SHE'S MINE- RELEASE HER!" Eric shouted, wanting to rip Paul's throat out for his infraction; however, it was forbidden to kill a member of the AVL (American Vampire League) council. Eric would not have cared if not for the witnesses. Another challenge was Paul's age; he was older than the Norseman. A vampire Paul's age would be a formidable opponent, even for Eric. Luckily, Paul was outnumbered.

Paul knew his chances were slim to none that he would escape with Tara without Martin suffering the consequences, Chow alone could easily kill his child at the Sheriff's command. And if not for Martin, Paul would never have known about Tara in the first place. So he reluctantly released her. He let go and Tara dropped to the floor like a discarded rag, coughing and gasping for air. She crawled away from Paul and the VIP booth and ended up behind Eric's legs, still too weak from the lack of air to stand.

"She's yours you say… do you even know what she is?" Paul scoffed, "I'm sure if you knew, she wouldn't be working as a barmaid."

Ginger randomly screamed again and rushed over to help Tara to her feet. At the same time, a herd of customers rushed toward the exit.

"I found you Aether…" Paul casually leaned his head over to look pass Eric, and the fleeing patrons and then back to the creature who amazed him with her beauty and intoxicating scent.

"You and your progeny are no longer welcomed in Fangtasia. As your Sheriff, I order you to get the fuck out!" Eric shouted clinching his fist so tight, his nails dug into his hands causing them to bleed.

"I never thought in all my years that I'd encounter Aether but here you are," Paul said grinning wickedly, inside he regretted acting so hastily. But he'd never been the type to control his urges. All the while, he schemed on a way to procure Tara. He knew it would be a challenge if she belonged to the Sheriff, but he did not care, he had to have her.

He held out his hand, "Come with me chosen one or I will come for you."

"I won't ask again, Paul..." Eric snarled.

Paul continued to leer at the frightened woman, "It was a pleasure to meet you, see you soon." His words and the way stared at her made her skin crawl. She shuddered as one arm held Ginger's scrawny arm for balance, struggling to steady her trembling knees. She held her middle finger high up above her head. "Fuck you," she replied with a shaky, raspy voice.

Paul let out a vigorous laugh as he and Martin sped away, "Você vai ser meu Aether..." Paul's voice echoed throughout the now empty bar, leaving the doors swinging wide open.

Ginger sporadically screamed once more, pried herself away from Tara, and ran to the door drawing it shut, latching the locks. Tara was too upset to comprehend the entire situation and as the dread seeped into her; she had a feeling that would not be the last time she'd see that frightening vampire.

"Now what..?" Pam's concern exposed on her impeccably made-up face. No vampire had ever been bold enough to behave that way in Eric's club before.

Eric was silent due to his shock at the turn of events; he stood quietly; at the empty booth that Paul and Martin had accommodated. When the Viking was confused he chose silence, so the remaining five were unobtrusive while Eric thought to himself.

Paul is a chancellor, so I must seek my father's advice…but first I need to get her to safety before dawn.

Eric finally spoke, "Pam, compensate Chow, Longshadow and Ginger…double their pay for tonight. Thank you all for your loyalty. I shall not forget it."

After Pam shuffled out a wad of cash to Ginger, Chow, and Longshadow, Ginger went to the bar and grabbed her purse. The two vampires simply nodded and sped towards the exit, they were gone in a second leaving Tara who was trying to exit the building.

Eric caught her movement out of the corner of his eye. "Tara, you shall not leave my side…" Tara ignored him and quickened her pace, so he sped over to the door and stood, blocking her escape.

Annoyed; he waited for Tara, she had only made it halfway there. With her only exit blocked, she halted in her tracks.

"Bullshit!" She huffed. "You can't make me stay here!" Worn-out, and aching from her assault, the wary bartender just wanted to run home and forget about it all.

"I can and I will now come with me." In any other circumstance her stubbornness would be cute to the smitten vampire, but in this scenario, it was downright irksome.

"Why the fuck can't I go home!?" She figured since Eric was some kind of vampire Sheriff he could just arrest the vamp-tard if he made trouble for her again.

"You really have no fucking clue, you infuriating woman…" He shook his head, "Well I have no time to explain it to you."

Tara's eyes widened at his words. His conviction scared her to death and that pleased him, he needed her to be frightened. He hoped it would unleash the fight inside of her.

He peered into her eyes and they widened even more. "I know I am asking a lot of you, but you must trust me."

To Tara, he was asking a lot, "Can Ginger stay too?" she trusted no one, especially not vampires.

Ginger stood silently next to Pam grinning like a Cheshire cat. Pam rolled her eyes and shook her head; annoyed that Ginger did not leave after being paid. She always had to be forced to go home.

"Yes, if you stop resisting and allow me to protect you."

Tara nodded; she didn't really want to agree to anything like that. But at least having a human around made her feel a little better. Eric walked toward his office; Tara reluctantly followed. At his desk, he picked up the landline and made a call. He spoke in a foreign language. Tara had heard many languages on television before, but this one was wholly unfamiliar, it sounded ancient. He made two more calls after that on his cellular. With each call, Eric spoke in a different language, one was certainly French, his demeanor, even his accent seem to change. She wondered how many languages he spoke and how long it took to acquire them.

And then the severity of her situation hit her like a ton of bricks.

What does that evil -Guido-looking- motherfucker want from me? Is it because of the way I smell?

After Eric finished his calls, he slowly made his way around the desk towards her. "Tell me the truth," he urged, needing to be undeniably certain that she was oblivious to what is happening, even though he was not fully aware himself. He did not believe it possible for one to not know a single thing about their origins.

She bobbed her head in agreement, "K…" conjecturing where his questioning was going.

"Are you Aether?" He asked, unknowing himself of what an Aether was.

Tara thought that his question was odd; she had no idea how to answer him. As far as Tara knew she was a human, female, African-American, and perhaps naturally lemon scented.

Oh yeah, I guess I can glamour vampires too…Is that what Aether means?

"I have no idea what the hell you're talkin bout." she drawled dryly, but it was all a façade, inside, the young woman was terrified. She had no idea what was going on or why.

"This is not a fucking game." He swore darkly and sped close to her, not giving her an inch of space.

Tara rolled her eyes; she knew she was in for a very long night.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

"Look, I don't know how to answer your crazy ass question, Eric." She sharply replied, not taking kindly to his harsh words.

He crossed his arms, intensely glaring at her. His body thrummed with anticipation as her heat and scent nearly drowned him. The strained silence that descended between them confounded Tara. The air was so thick with sensual tension that she could practically taste it on her tongue. There had been interested in her eyes along with a healthy dose of trepidation but the vampire could plainly see that she wanted him just as much – or more than he wanted her. The problem was he didn't know how he was going to reach her. He felt Tara was at war with herself; despite the weariness in her eyes, he also saw within her a fiery, sensual animal that was desperately clawing for freedom. She was an enigma, a puzzle, one Eric was anxious to solve.

He did not pry further, instead summoned Pam, in less than a second his seductive progeny was at the doorway entrance awaiting his orders.

"So Cupcake is Aether...What the fuck is an Aether and why does Paul Di Arezzo have such a hard-on for her?" Pam drawled apathetically in Swedish, even when speaking a foreign language, it was obvious to Tara that she was the subject of their conversation.

"We're leaving tonight, and going to Godric's New Orleans home."

Pam was momentarily staggered, "So we're running?" She questioned. Fleeing was unlike her Sire. At the same time, she was thrilled at the chance to see Godric; it had been decades since her last visit.

"Never..." He snapped. "I asked Godric the same question you just asked me and he immediately summoned me."

"What about Ginger, must we drag her along?" Pam knew better than to question her maker in a situation like this. But this 'move' was a big inconvenience to her. She had exotic dancer auditions this week.

"Of course not, send Ginger home and then we're leaving." He flicked his hand, giving Pam the signal to leave the room.

A swoosh noise was heard and Tara saw a blur, felt a breeze and smelled Pam's designer perfume as the diva, sped away.

Eric calculatingly paced the room; glancing at Tara from time to time. He hated not having the answer to his progeny's questions. He thought if only Godric would have told him more over the phone. But his maker emphasized that he would only speak to him in person.

Listening to her bosses' cryptic conversations and watching his erratic behavior made Tara a nervous wreck. She wondered why the vampires seemed so interested in her, more than any other human in the bar.

'Especially, Paul, he went plum-fucking crazy. What do they see, smell or feel that makes me different?'

 Tara realized the confession Eric made under her hypnosis was significant. She struggled to comprehend how she was able to glamour him. She was always told to beware of their glamour powers.

Only the Norse man could hear Ginger's car starting up from the far side of the parking lot and knew the loyal, but a trying woman was finally on her way home. He sauntered towards Tara who was nervously squirming on the black leather sofa. He held his hand to her; she took hold of him and he pulled her to her feet. Standing face to face, his icy eyes sealed onto hers. He leaned in close, savoring the wonderful feeling of her warmness as it radiated off her body. He anticipated she would back away but was pleasantly surprised when she did not. He smirked slightly; her elevating heartbeat expressed her anxiety.

Still, she refused him any response.

"It is time to go Tara."

He took her hand in his and led her to the back of the nightclubs parking lot. He opened the door for her and Tara slid into the front seat of Eric's black Porsche. She now realized, Ginger was long gone and she was all alone... with him.

She was pissed that Eric had sent her human co-worker away without her knowledge. His silence pissed her off even more.

"You can at least tell me where the hell we're goin?" She spat, after a few long moments, compelled to break the uncomfortable silence.

"New Orléans." He dryly replied, keeping his eyes fixed on the road.

"New Orléans!" Tara sat up from her slumped position in her seat, her heart was in her throat. "Well, that's just fuckin peachy!" She snapped irately and heaved a deeply troubled sigh, then gazed out the window. "Can I at least go home and get a change of clothes?"

"We haven't the time; besides, your accommodations and necessities have all been arranged."

Tara huffed her disapproval and sunk back down into her seat.

A little over two hours passed when Eric pulled into a gas station. Tara had no idea what town they were in but estimated, they were about halfway to New Orleans. A white, two-door Mercedes-Benz pulled in right behind. Pam jumped out of that car and the vampires began to converse in Swedish while filling their cars with gasoline. The vampires spoke so low, Tara eavesdropping was useless; she could not hear anything but faint mumbles. As she got out of the car to stretch her legs, Eric and Pam halted their conversation.

Tara scowled at them." I don't speak Swedish, so you can carry on," she walked towards the filling-stations restroom.

She used the facilities and took a moment to examine herself. Thankfully she did not look as bad as she felt; her neck revealed no wounds from her attack. In the sink, the tap dripped and even though the water did not look the best, she was so thirsty, she did not care. After washing her hands thoroughly, she used her hands as a cup and began drinking from the faucet. Once her dry mouth was somewhat quenched, she wiped her hands and face with a rough paper towel. After that, she reapplied her lip gloss, put her hair in a high ponytail and headed back to Eric's car. Eric and Pam both sat in their cars, patiently waiting for her.

Speeding, merging in and out of traffic, Eric sped down the interstate as if he were being chased. Making an effort to take her mind off his fitful driving, she reached for the radio dial and turned it on. Nothing but country and classic rock music stations were in range. She was hoping for some jazz but settled for the classic rock.

Eric did not seem to mind her actions; his eyes focused on the road. Another hour and a half passed and Tara could feel her eyelids becoming unbearably heavy. Fidgeting in her seat, she desperately struggled to stay awake. She made out a fuzzy 3 am on the dashboards digital clock and longed to be home in her bed. She turned her gaze to Eric. He drove with one hand gripping the steering wheel, enjoying the view of his profile; the bridge of his nose rose and dipped slightly in a deliberate sort of way like a Greek sculpture. The adrenaline had dissipated; she felt her eyes become unbearably heavy and before long, Tara was asleep.

 

 

 


❤❤❤

ERIC POV

She fell into a slumber once the excitement of the night waned. I felt lucky being witnesses to such beauty. Her long lashes fluttered against her high cheeks, her sexy body perfectly curled in my heated leather seat. It was a pleasant chore keeping my eyes on the road.

There was a mix of minx and innocents that pulled me in and made me want to rip her apart; while all the while protecting her from the world. My fascination with her still confounded me. My idle hand wanted to roam, but I fought back my craving to touch her. I dared not interrupt her peaceful rest for my selfish wants.

Moreover, I could not choose where to start my exploration of that incredible body. I could spend hours running my fingers and mouth all over every blessed inch of that beautiful woman. I can say with absolute authority that there is no part of Tara that is not a wonder to behold.

Fuck, she's wicked and divine.

Before our hasty departure, I'd made a call to my personal stylist in Chicago; she made the arrangements with her connection in New Orléans, everything I ordered would arrive via express delivery. I have no doubt that I got her size right; I've studied her body, like priest study the bible. Unquestionably, she would look sexy in everything I picked out for her.

I drove faster; dawn is quickly approaching, all the while visualizing Tara wrapping her arms around me, smothering me with sweet kisses, thanking me for surprising her with such pretty things. I'd ask her to model the panties first. She'd happily oblige, prancing around while I lay on our bed. She'd eye my cock twitching with need, but pretend to take no notice of it. I'm unable to restrain myself for long and through my own raging lust; I'd rip off the thin lacy material. She would scold me while I insincerely ask for her forgiveness. She'd hesitate on her willingness to absolve me until I offer to buy her a dozen more.

If not for my Sire's orders to leave Shreveport, I would have gladly taken her to my cottage in Winston Parrish. Few people know that I reside there and it is more secure than Fort Knox. Regrettably, this state of affairs was something I cannot resolve alone. As a warrior, I know when to retreat and gather reinforcements. And as Sheriff of Area 5, it's my duty to ascertain as much information as possible about all the vampires who reside here.

Paul Di Arezzo is unquestionably the oldest vampire in my area and has a ruthless reputation that precedes him. Arezzo is an AVL chancellor and the current enforcer in charge of all the V –Feds in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia. If a vampire is arrested and sentenced, he would carry out the 'punishment' or 'true death' sentence with sadistic pleasure. He was just as brutal, if not more, with humans who were charged with crimes against vampires. Most of the idiots on the AVL Council have no idea that Paul has no interest in equal rights for vampires. Even fewer realized his hunger for more control over the vampire hierarchy. But, I've always known that he'd do whatever it takes to acquire it. It's crucial for me to find out how my Tara plays into his plans for power.

No doubt his plans are twisted as fuck, my Tara shall have no part in that.


❤❤❤  

Tara was gently awakened when the hum of the engine came to a halt. Her drowsy eyes peered warily up at Eric as he opened the car door for her.

"What time is it?" She drew herself up and out of the car taking hold of Eric's waiting hand.

"It is 5:37 AM, follow me."

Eric's Porsche was parked next to Pam's Benz in a vast, brick driveway with several other highly expensive modern and vintage cars. The two walked together, while Tara rubbed her eyes, not quite believing what she was seeing.

"Whose house is this?" She asked gawking at the huge, snow-white, antebellum-style mansion.

"The King of Louisiana." he coolly responded.

The large door swung open as the couple approached, they were greeted by an older woman dressed in a classic housekeeper black and white uniform.

"Hello." Tara was relieved to see another human, she let out a little sigh of relief.

"Welcome." The woman gave Tara a warm welcoming smile and Tara returned her kind gesture.

"Would you like to go to the ground with me?" Eric asked, hoping Tara felt weary in her unfamiliar surroundings and wanted to cling to him.

"You mean sleep in a coffin?" Tara hastily glanced over at the maid, nervously wondering if she perceives her as Eric's fang-banger. "Hell No!" She snapped, hoping her angry comeback was convincing to the housekeeper.

"Perhaps, I could join you in a vampire-friendly room." He requested, smitten with Tara's resistance to his advances.

"A vampire friendly room...uh No..." she scoffed, even though she did not know what a vampire-friendly room was, "Dude, the sun is coming up, so get your vampire ass in a coffin; I don't want you getting crispy on account of me," She assumed he needed to go to ground now or suffer the results. "Besides, I'd like to sleep in my own human-friendly room."

"Very well..."

He took her hand in his and lifted it to his mouth." We shall meet at dusk then," he said before pressing his lips to her knuckles. Her concern for his well-being took him by surprise and he did something he has not done in a long time...he smiled. She was right after all; he could feel his energy diminishing. Still, the vampire wished he had more time to sway his sexy little doll; he did not want to leave her side.

"Cathy, please show Tara to her quarters."

"Yes Mr. Northman," The pleasant woman replied.

Eric sped away. A sense of accomplishments reigned within. Stage-One of his mission was complete; the woman who was full of surprises was safe from Paul.

Tara was in awe of her surroundings. The foyer was triple the size of her entire apartment; she could only imagine how immense the entire house was. She followed the salt and pepper-headed woman up the wide and lengthy set of stairs and down a hallway that seemed to go on forever. A very tall, muscular man with dark, collar-length hair and full beard stood at the last door on the left.

"Alcide, this is Tara. Need I remind you of your orders?" She spoke firmly to him.

"I got it Cat; He sharply rolled his eyes. "All I have to do is stand by the door and call you if she needs anything."

Cathy said nothing more, leaving Alcide and Tara in the hall. He smiled flirtatiously at her, eyeing her lustfully from head to toe.

"Hi," she chuckled inwardly, besides his constant nostril flaring, Tara thought the dark-eyed man was cute. She thought about Sam, he did the same nostril flaring thing when he was near her.

"Hi," He said and paused; waiting for Cathy to disappear down the stairs, Alcide whispered, "Hey, Tara, if there is anything you need, just tap on the door, me or one of my brothers will be out here, but my orders are to lock you up in this room until the vamps wake up tonight." his already deep voice sounded baritone. He was making sure no vampires could hear him.

She rolled her eyes in annoyance, "Goddamn! Is all this necessary?"

Alcide gave no response as he pulled a key from his jeans pocket, unlocked and opened the door. Tara let out an audible gasp at the site of her room; the lavish room was enormous. He shut the door and Tara heard it lock, she went on to explore. The petite woman walked across the vast room to the curtains and pulled them apart. The huge window had a lovely view of lawn that spans out several acres. Her eyes lit up when she noticed the outside window ledge was wide enough for her to stand on. She unlatched the lock on the window and pulled up, trying to open it, but it would not budge.

'Damn, I think its bolted shut! If I break the glass, the King's bodyguard Alcide will hear it and come in after me.'

Seeing that there was no way out, the young woman decided to stay put until she could figure something out. She began to explore her surroundings, opening a double door on the right side of the room. It was the bathroom. But it was no ordinary bathroom, it was enormous. It had a beautiful Venetian design with a marble shower, an enormous tub equipped with jets, a commodious, well-lit vanity with mirrors for viewing every angle. She wandered back to the room and peeked through the peephole. The burly man was seated in front of the door across the hall and talking on his cell. Tara pulled her cellular out of her pocket. It displayed two missed calls, one from Lettie, and the other, Lafayette. Tara let out a sigh as she plopped down on the plush king size bed, deliberating if it was wise to call either of them at this point.

She lowered her head and set the phone down on the nightstand.


 

  ❤❤❤  

TARA POV

No way I'm gonna drag them into my shit. Besides, what could they do anyway? It's not like they can drive down here and spring me out. Momma wouldn't do it anyway. I'll never forgive that tramp for letting me sit in jail for a week.

To take my mind off my current situation I  searched for the remote to the flat screen TV mounted on the wall. After flicking through the 200-plus channels, my mind still went there and it roamed into the uncertainty that awaited me at sunset and instantly I became deeply troubled.  Nervously I paced the enormous bathroom at times, stopping to look at myself in the huge mirror; I certainly look a little bushed. Hell, who am I kidding, I look worn the fuck out. After the night I had, I need some serious sleep, gather my strength and senses. And during the day was the safest time to sleep in a house full of vampires. I patter back into the bedroom and peeked out the window, as comfy as my prison-room is I just can't unwind. I went back into the bathroom and explored a little more. I'm opening drawers, full of fluffy white, neatly folded towels when I make my way to the medicine cabinet. Inside, was an unopened box of sleep aid...Eric came to mind and I smiled, he had assured me that he had everything arranged. I took two pills and was asleep within fifteen minutes, and I slept for several hours; I suppose it was a combo of exhaustion and the pills. I dreamt my usual crazy-ass dream. Until now, I never put much thought into the bizarre dream. 

Would if my dreams were connected to why vampires are fixated on me?

It was a little after 3 in the afternoon when I woke up, yawning and peering around the room. I notice a little black envelope, sealed with red wax, placed neatly on the nightstand. I know damn well that envelope was not there before. Nor was the fruit basket that I now see on top of the mini-fridge. I'm a little freaked out cause I didn't hear anything, but obviously, someone was in here. Curious, I opened the envelope inside was a little white card, all it said was...

'Wear -the black dress'

Huh?

I'm not sure of what to make of the weird ass note, so for the moment I ignore it and go to the mini fridge. I grab one of the bottles of water inside while noticing the refrigerator is packed with little bags of tasty candies, nuts, cookies, and cracker snacks. The fancy little fridge also has mini bottles of juice, soda and alcohol beverages.

It's a shame, cause my nerves are still shot; I had no appetite and was not in the mood for a cocktail, so off to the bathroom for a quick shower.  I didn't want anyone walking in on me so  I made sure to lock the door behind me.  turn on the light and instantly notice several items placed tidily on the marble counter. Crazy thing is, none of this stuff was there when I first arrived. Now I see Chanel makeup brushes, Bare-Minerals loose-powder sets, MAC lip -glosses, Lancôme mascara, and eyeliner, all of which complement and match my complexion.  I couldn't help myself...I was smiling from ear to ear...more of Eric's arrangements...  The bathroom was stocked with the necessary toiletries, and included, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and deodorant. I noticed everything was unscented and there were no perfumes or body sprays. Well hell; Eric really does adore my natural scent! I find that fact odd and flattering at the same time. And then the weird note starts to make sense. Somewhere in this room is a black dress that the handsome vampire wants me to wear.

I think I wanna wear it too.

I unlock the bathroom door and make a mad dash across to the other side of the room and swing open the double doors of the large walk-in closet. The closet was empty before I went to sleep, but not anymore. Inside are several articles of clothing hung tidily on fancy hangars.  First thing I notice was this kick-ass black, leather, Michael Kors jacket. By far; it is the coolest jacket I'd ever laid eyes on. If someone had told me to describe the perfect jacket, the jacket I was holding would have fit that description, no doubt about it.

I put it on... and I'll be damned; it fits me!  Perfectly!

The next article of clothing is a little black Armani dress, by the looks of it; it is a bit short for my liking, but the material felt incredible. When I tried it on all my worries disappeared. The dress is arm's length; it showed off the right amount of cleavage and dipped dangerously low in the back.

Flawless...

I look above on the top shelf of the closet and grab the fancy black and gold Gucci clutch. Inside the little handbag, a jewelry box with a pair of gold rose petal earrings, with matching necklace and bracelet. There's a wooden hanger with a white Christian Dior vintage T-shirt. Next to the T, a pair of True Religion jeans. Finally a pink Victoria Secrets shopping bag, inside, a black and a white, lace panty and bra set. I try on the black set...

Sexy...

On the ground below the black dress, inside a large Louis Vuitton duffel bag is a Gucci and a Nike shoe box. I hold up the size-seven pair of three-inch, shiny, black Gucci pumps.

Sleek...

And then the blue and black, Air Jordan high- tops, with white Nike ankle socks inside.

Sporty...

I just can't get over the fact that everything fits perfectly. All the tags were removed, but I know this stuff is more expensive than anything I could ever afford.

How could I repay him? Well, I know how he'd like for me too. I tried not to do it, but I giggled. I giggled like a little girl and I'm grinning like a loon and it's all because of Eric.  Soon, I come to my senses. Eric had to do this, he didn't allow me to get my stuff before his crazy, scary vampire customer ran us off.

So he sort of owes me.

But damn, it's not his fault Paul attacked me and Eric had my back and so did all my co-workers...And this stuff is several steps above a bar of soap and some hand-me-downs.

Hmm, So do I owe him?

Hell, I'll just wear the black dress and give him all the other fancy stuff back when we leave tonight... minus the leather jacket, and call it even. I have a feeling that tonight I'm going to meet the King of Louisiana, and I plan on looking worthy.

The hell with a shower, I run me a bath and soak myself in some hot bubbly luxury, I ate some Godiva chocolates and drank a glass of vintage red wine.

Just a few more hours until twilight and its official; I've become a fang-teaser.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

I placed my cell phone, lip-gloss, ID, and the one-hundred and fifty-eight dollars in tips that I made last night in the Gucci purse. The stunning designer clutch was on the list of things I planned on returning, but I need it to carry my things tonight. Next, I place my worn clothes, and my new jacket into the leather duffel bag. I make sure to leave everything I didn't use the way I found them. For no good reason, I decided to take a picture of myself and send it to my cousin.  After that, I look out the peephole. Damn, the big fellow is still out there. I'm thinking it was the maid Cathy who brought all those things inside while I slept. 

Suddenly my phone rings and I jumped for joy cause I knew it was Laffy-taffy. I don't get a chance to say hello before I hear... 

"Got-Damn Hookah, you look hot!"I'm chuckling as I put him on speaker phone. That way, I could carry on with the vain admiration of myself.

"Thanks, La-La" It was good to hear his voice, but I wish I could see the look on his face too.

"Shreveport is sho treatin yo ass well. That jewelry is the real deal. And is that an Armani dress you got on?"

"Why yes, it is..." It didn't surprise me that Lafayette knew the dress was a designer. He keeps up with all the latest fashions.

"What kind of gig you workin, and can I get a hookup?" I knew he'd ask this and I still wasn't ready to tell him, but now is as good of a time as ever.

"Promise this is between you and me. Don't go blabbin around town and whatever you do don't tell Lettie Mae."

"Oh shit! This -sounds- juicy..."He said slowly, "Lemme take a sip of mah drank..." he slurped loudly in my ear.

I take a deep breath before I speak... "I'm workin at Fangtasia..."

"Say what now!?..." He coughed.

"I make three hundred a week plus a few hundred in tips and I earn every damn penny."

With mocking in his tone he replied, "Hold on hookah...You- 'Ms. Tara Mae - I -hate- vampires -Thornton' is working at Fangtasia- a vampire bar?"

"Well, yeah... it was kinda my last resort. Nobody and I mean- nobody would hire me. Everything was goin well for me too."

"Very well by the looks of you; that bad-ass dress cost twelve hundred Benjamin's."

I shouldn't have taken a sip of water, cause all of it flew right outta my mouth and all over the vanity. I ran to the bathroom to get a towel and started dabbing my mess up. I figured my dress may have cost one or two hundred dollars. But goddamn, Eric had to buy me a dress that cost more than I paid for my last car.

"Still there heffa... Don't be pressin mute on me..."

I continued to dab up the water. I didn't say a word; I wanted to hear more of what he had to say about what I just told him. Depending on his reaction, I may keep the rest to myself.

"I know you Tara Mea and you ain't spending that type of dough on no clothes. And ya said the job 'was' goin good. So how you fuck it up?"

Damn, my cousin knows me too all too well. But that was the old Tara... "I ain't cursed or punched nobody out and even if I did, I don't think Eric would fire me." Now that I think of it, he'd probably be turned on.

"Good to hear, sound like a good gig. Now tell me, who brought you that bangin-ass dress?"

"Well, my boss did." I cringed at my admission.

"Vampire Eric..." His surprised tone confirmed how messed up it was.

"Yeah..." It sounded strange hearing Lafayette say his name. Until now Eric was my little, well big secret. Our 'relationship' and I use the term loosely, was surreal. Now I had to acknowledge it.

"Sugar–daddy- Eric," He practically sang. "Now this shit is startin to make sense." He chuckled and it annoyed the piss out of me.

"It's not like that, I ain't fuckin him. I'm no fang-banger." I reassured only myself. There was no convincing Laffy if his mind was made up.

"Not yet." He chuckled some more and I heard the click of his lighter, I knew he was lighting up a fat ass joint. I could use one of those right now.

"Not ever!  He bought me a few things because of the situation I'm in." More self-encouragement...

He inhaled, "A situation huh, so that's what the 'was goin well' is all about..." and then exhaled. No doubt about it, Lafayette Reynolds is the sharpest knife on the table.

"Don't leave me hangin Tara Mea, what's this 'situation' all about."

I just didn't know how to tell him the rest. No matter what I said, it was gonna sound crazy as hell so I took a deep breath and just spit it all out. "Lafayette, no shittin you...for some strange reason I smell really good to vampires. My boss Eric, the manager Pam and almost all the other vampires flirt with me constantly, other vampires just stare a lot, trying to figure me out, and last night this one crazy ass vampire attacked me."

"A vampire attacked you..! Did the sonofabitch drink ya blood!?" He asked, clearly concerned.

"No, but he went all wild and almost choked me to death, now I'm here in New Orléans at the King's house."

"Back yo ass up cuzz. You got attacked on the job last night and you ran away to New Orléans? Sounds like ya ass quit to me, not that I blame ya... And who the fuck is King?"

"Lafayette, for the hundredth time, I didn't quit. Eric and I left together. He's a vampire Sheriff and I guess when vampires get out of line they have to tell the King. The vampire that attacked me had all the other vampires scared shit-less so Eric brought me here."

"Oh, hell naw, that's all types of fucked up!" He sounded worried making me realize I should be more worried than I am.

"I know. I've been locked in a room all day waiting for Eric and the King to tell me what the fuck to do next."

"I'll tell you what the fucks next, bring ya narrow ass home or I'm commin ta get ya. Fuck it, give me the Kings address, I'm on my way."

There is no way my kin getting mixed up in whatever I got myself into. "No La-La, I can handle this. I just wanted you to know I'm alright."

He let out an apologetic sigh. "Sorry, I haven't called you in a minute, I've been busy workin doubles this week. Terry dun ran off somewhere. Imma call yo ass every day now, and if you don't answer, I'll show up. I know where you live tramp."

"Fine by me, I'll be back in Shreveport tomorrow."

"Cool, in the meantime, sounds like Sheriff-sugar-daddy got ya back." He warily chuckled at his own wisecrack. I chuckled, but only on the inside. I wish I could reach through the phone and smacked that bald head of his.

"Eric ain't my sugar-daddy, fool! And don't worry bout me cuzz, I'll be fine."

"I know you tough girl, but that doesn't mean I won't go 'Blade' on they ass."

I chuckled out loud, picturing Laffy with black shades, a trench coat, yielding a sword. I've seen it with my own eyes and that man can fight. "Talk to you tomorrow Lafayette Marquis...Loves you."

"Loves you more Tara Mae..."

After my much-needed chat, I realized I'd forgotten to ask how everyone was doing. It's been over three months since I left Bon Temps and moved to Shreveport. Since working at Fangtasia, the time seems to fly. Hell, I doubt if anyone but Lafayette even gives a damn how I'm doing anyway. And I'm just fine with that. 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

She looked out at the sun as it drowned in the horizon, knowing it would not be long; she smiled a cheerful smile, took a seat and waited. The sound of the key being inserted in the lock caused her to straighten in her seat, as she thought to herself while the tall, blonde haired man winsomely sauntered his way towards her.

'He always walks in like he owns the goddamn place!'

The besotted woman smiled confidently at the handsome vampire. His shirt hugged his chest and biceps closely. With a gleam in his eyes and the most tastefully dirty smile she'd ever seen, Eric was making Tara's mind consider things she didn't want to consider.

The vampire cursed himself. Tara is a cascade of lovely, supple brown skin that glowed beneath the lights. The glowing skin on her face made her look so much younger than her age. With her sultry eyes half-mast, she was a sight to behold.

"Thank you for the dress and all the other nice things." She said humbly, truly appreciative of the provisions Eric had taken, for her well-being. She questioned if her gratitude would be enough for his trouble. He had the most expressive eyes she'd ever seen and the look in them was heartbreaking. Undoubtedly he expected a little more than just a 'thank you'. Tara took a deep breath as she rose from her seat and closed the space between them. The vampire is so tall, even in her 4-inch high stilettos; she still had to reach high and stand on her tiptoes to wrap her arms around his neck. And she pulled him in and held him close in a firm, tender embrace.

He steadied himself; her actions sent bolts of pleasure straight into his core. His body, a wall of solid muscle, reacted instantly to the affections he had longed to receive from the beautiful woman. His trousers became unbearably tight as he fought back his primitive impulses.

"Eric Northman, you're supposed to say you're welcome," she whispered in his ear. 

Eric could have sworn his dead-heart began to beat again, the way she said his name, no woman had ever made him feel so virile, so eyes lustful roamed over her smooth face and her petite frame.

"I've never looked upon anything as breathtaking as you, Tara Thornton."

Her cheeks burned as she beamed at the Viking vampire. His words made her feel, so special, so chaste. The attraction was clear to both of them. Eric believed, he felt, they shared more than just physical attraction. And as much as Tara tried to contest it, she felt it too.

He leaned in to kiss her.

Tara resisted, turning her head away, she abruptly tried to break away from their embrace. In response, Eric wrapped his arms firmly around her waist, securing them.

"Kyssa mig..." A raspy growl escaped his throat; he felt a rush of excitement as he held her. He seized her mouth hungrily, tasting her sweet lips.

His kiss was breathtaking, her resolve was instantly crushed and her lips parted allowing him entrance. His fangs involuntarily flicked, causing her to lean back slightly, just enough to set her gaze on them. He matched her gaze, enthralled by her curious appraisal. He gasped in surprise when she touched his fangs with her fingertips. No longer startled or inhibited by the sight of Eric's daggers, she leaned in slowly and brushed delicate kisses onto his deadly, heart-shaped incisors. Eric stifled a lustful groan. He knew she had no idea how incredibly arousing it was for a vampire to be kissed that way.

Suddenly, the door swung open, startling Tara, causing her to pull away from Eric and he reluctantly released his hold on her. Tara was expecting the housekeeper or the guard; to her surprise, it was Pam.

"Godric sent me..." The vixen announced dryly while moseying in with her hands on her hips.

Dressed in an extravagant, and form-fitting, red satin dress, her long golden hair curled and pinned up in a fashionable style, she took notice of Tara and approved. "Lookin good Cupcake..." She winked an eye.

"Ditto..." Tara replied with a smirk, she'd given up on Pam ever calling her by her name.

Eric had heard Pam' approach long before she tapped on the door. He thought his nosy child had come to eavesdrop outside his door as she often did when he entertained company and did not invite her.

"Very well, give us a moment." He clipped, annoyed that she had interrupted his intimate moment with Tara.

Pam gave her eyes a brief roll in response as she began stalking back and forth in the room.

"Get out!" Eric growled, crudely dismissing his child.

Pam paused, huffed and glared at Eric before storming out in a blur, cursing him as she did. The door slammed behind her.

"We were followed the moment we left Fangtasia; Paul sent wolves to track you." The tranquil and sensual vampire Tara was just kissing had vanished. Now, the Viking warrior stood in front of her, ready to continue protecting her.

Her eyes narrowed, showing her displeasure. But she did not speak; she did not know what to say. Tara only knew how to run from her troubles and at that moment, that was all she wanted to do.

"Do not worry; my father's house is secure. And I will never let Paul touch you again."

Tara had no doubt he meant what he said, still her heart lay heavy with fear.

"Your father is the King?" She asked.

"Yes, over a hundred years or so he was appointed." He nodded.

Tara wondered why he had left out that detail; this raised more questions. With her head tilted to the side, she asked. "How old are you Eric?"

"I stop counting after a thousand years..." He turned his gaze towards the door, his Sire was summoning him, but he was not ready to go. "...That was several decades ago." He finished.

Tara's butterfly lashes blink rapidly, captivated, as she looked at Eric's face, a face that has not changed in over a thousand years.

"My father is growing impatient with me..."

She reached out, taking his hand in her own. "Is he summoning you as you do with Pam?"

He nodded again.

She wondered what if felt like to summon, to be summoned."Tell me more please?" She asked.  A trace of a smile swept her lips.

He was more than willing to oblige. "A maker can always summon their progeny. Sometimes we can feel what the other is feeling, especially when under distress or pleasure. It becomes weaker with time, but never fully goes away."

"Do you think the King felt what just happened with us?" She asked.

He confirmed her question with a simple nod and again he peered towards the door. Tara's cheeks began to burn as she slightly lowered her head.

"Tara, we must go to him."

She grabbed her purse off the vanity. "Okay, I'm ready."

He politely motioned for her to lead and she strolled towards the door. Hungrily his eyes ran over Tara's lithe frame, his gazed unblinking as her heels clicked and her hips swayed hypnotically down the hall.

"I was beginning to think you were ignoring me, child," Godric said as the couple reached the bottom of the marble set of stairs. When Godric had awakened for the evening, his curiosity ran wild. He sought to meet the woman who cast such a fragrant scent throughout his home.

Tara peered curiously at the adolescent looking, male. He was shorter in stature with neatly cut brown tresses, standing straight and relaxed, outfitted in a white, loosely fit, button up shirt and black tailored slacks, he appeared to be no more than 16 or 17.

"Aldrig far..." Eric promised as he reached the bottom of the stairs.

"Tara, meet Godric, my father, the King of Louisiana." Eric proudly announced.

She cordially bowed to The Vampire King.

"It is an honor to meet you King Godric." She said sincerely, hoping what she said and did was the proper thing to say and do to a king.

"It is an honor to meet you as well Tara..." he replied and the moment the ancient vampire made contact with Tara, the distinct aroma of a land that no longer exists became infused into his senses.

"-Gaul..." he muttered smiling and then cleared his throat to speak clearly. "Tara, I hope you do not mind, but I must ask you to be game for an experiment."

To her, his baby blue eyes beamed with sincerity, his smile was the most human out of all the vampires she had met thus far and she wondered was it because he looked so youthful.

The way Eric looked at him with such admiration was endearing to her and she wondered, what would life as a vampire who appears as a teen be? Centuries passing, everything altering, aging, and changing, except you...She was instantly in awe of Godric.

Eric could feel Godric's enchantment, his desire for Tara; but was not bothered by this; his sire was a master at self-control. Godric has grown to value humans like no other vampire and he would never harm anyone unless provoked. The fair-haired vampire was positive that Tara had that same effect on all vampires; the older vampires are more drawn to her than the younger ones. He now realized his father had quickly guessed the same.

"Okay...I- I mean, yes your majesty." The nervous woman agreed. The night was still young and Eric had plenty of time to get her back to Shreveport.

"Very well, Tara, please call me Godric and follow me to the library."

She shadowed behind him while taking in all the splendor of his home. The antique arts, rare pottery, lavish furniture, even the fixtures were magnificent. Everything was spotless and well maintained. The library, a grand room with hundreds of books that lined mahogany wood shelves. In the center of the spacious room was a large circular table.

Pam was seated with a laptop in front of her; she was shopping online while keeping a diligent eye on the security cameras at Fangtasia. Next to Pam, was a human woman, she looked to be in her early thirties, with shoulder-length, brunette, mane, and stunning cerulean eyes. She had a pile of old looking books in front of her and a pair of spectacles in her hand. The cherub-faced woman sat next to an attractive, pale, scruffy face vampire with jet black curly locks and icy, silver-blue eyes. He wore a black button up shirt and an impish smirk on his face. She whispered in his ear and he playfully pecked her on the cheek.

On the other side of Pam was another human female. She is Asian, with stunningly beautiful, olive-skin. She looked to be in her mid to late twenties and dressed in black also. The heart-shaped faced woman had alluring slanted eyes and her long onyx ringlets fell down her back. Seated next to her, in a form-fitting white T-shirt, a gorgeous, bald, muscular, black vampire, he had the most sensual hazel eyes. The caramel-skinned vampire and the Asian woman smiled charmingly at one another, her palm placed firmly in his.

"Tara, please allow me to introduce you to my progenies..."Godric began, "This is-"

Before Godric could continue, the fortyish looking vampire with the scruffy face and black curly hair rose from his seat, he had on black jeans, was slender and approximately six feet tall.

"Hello-Tara, I'm Franklin,"  Franklin said, made sure he was introduced first. She noticed he has a distinguished British accent.

"This is Franklin Mott; I met him over three hundred years ago in the 'Great Northern War," Godric explains.

"Fighting against the Swede's..." Eric irately murmured. The Norseman was not pleased when Franklin became Godric's charge. For over seven hundred years it had been he and Godric, back then, he did not think that would ever change.

Godric placed his hand on Eric's broad shoulder, "There will be none of that my child, that is all behind us now. Your brother Franklin was a brave captain in the navy. He would not leave any of his men behind on that sinking ship. Because of him, over forty men lived to see their families again; which brings me to Eggs..."

The fetching black man rose from his chair. He stood practically as tall as Eric, at least six-foot-four and he too had on black jeans. He nodded to Tara and bowed to Godric.

Franklin interrupted, "Godric, must you call him that; I know you love that silly nickname, but really..." Clucking with his thick British accent perfectly masked how rude his comment actually was.

"Very well Franklin, I met Benedict Talley during the Civil War. He was a union soldier, fighting bravely in the Army of the Potomac. He rescued several wounded soldiers that fateful night. He saved dozens of his comrades and single handily killed over a dozen confederates. While Eggs was just a baby vampire I became King of Louisiana." The eternally youthful Sire proudly gazed upon all three of his progenies. It was rare to have them all under one roof. He had Tara to thank for that. She was the link that completed the chain. 

"That brings me to my enchantress friends; this is Nora Gainesboro and Naomi Lin." He motioned towards the two human females, "I've known these women for a long time, so don't be fooled, Tara..." A big playful smile emerged from his childlike face. "They are a lot older than they appear."

Both women stood, Tara noticed, they were both dressed in the same long, sleek, black dress and long gold-link necklace, with multicolored gems that hung from their necks. They held a look in their eyes that radiated with joy, they graciously beamed at Tara. "Welcome Tara," they both said in unison, gazing perceptively at the dark-skinned beauty as if they already knew her.

Naomi gave Eggs a quick, sweet kiss on the lips before she briskly neared the door. Nora merrily stated, "We'll be right back Godric," and the two women then left the room.

Godric simply nodded and smiled. Tara noted Godric's attitude and treatment of humans pleased her. He certainly had the presence and grace of a King. Most of all, she never believed vampires were capable of kindness Godric has displayed. Tara thought vampire's nature was to be intimidating, controlling and downright scary. 

Godric stood at the side of the table nearest to Tara, "Tara, I would like to begin my experiment. I will ask my progenies and my grand-progeny to tell us what you smell like to them. Is that alright with you?"

"Ummm...Alrighty then..." She was curious about her mysterious aroma and why vampires seemed so drawn to her and so far his little experiment seemed harmless.

He motioned at Pam, "Good, Pamela, I shall start with you."

The sultry vampire lightly shut her notebook and joined the conversation, "Cupcake, smells like my favorite perfume Shalini." Pam drawled indifferently. 

" Of course, the most expensive perfume in the world," Godric chuckled, "How about you Benedict," Godric turned to his youngest son. "What did you smell when Tara walked in?"

"I could have sworn I smelled all the things I enjoyed in my human days, an autumn day in the apple orchard, fresh cinnamon, and nutmeg." Godric beamed at his answer. 

Franklin abruptly chimed in, "She smells like freshly roasted almonds and sweet tobacco, but how can that be?" 

"That's because she's Aether," Nora declared as she and Naomi re-entered the room, their hands full of items, "and smelling like one's fondest memories or wildest desires is the signature of her presence."

Naomi pulled the lavish Oriental rug back from the hardwood floor and began to draw with white chalk an intricate symbol. The design is a large circle, inside spheres, intertwining spheres that overlapped one another. When she was done with her drawing Tara gasped at the sight, involuntarily her palm slapped her chest; she had seen that pattern before. 

She was born with it. Her quarter- dollar sized birthmark is barely visible. Tara often thought her mother or father had branded her as a baby. But it was no burn, it was apart of her.  

"Your right, you were not branded and birthmark is not really a birthmark at all, it is called the Vesica Pisces." Nora read her thoughts as if she was reading a menu at a restaurant.

Stunned, Tara began to stutter, "How did you... I mean... wha..."

"The Vesica Pisces is the symbol of balance, nature, and spirit." Nora finished with a smile.

"Please Nora, enlighten us," Godric curiously requested.

Nora opened the aged old book she had been studying before she left the room and placed it in front of him. Tara stood by Godric as he sat and she peered over him at the book, she was drawn to the picture of a woman who bore a striking resemblance to her. The shapely, dark-skinned, nude figure hovered above a large body of water and on her chest,  in the exact same spot was the same birthmark as Tara. In the background, a solar eclipse was in the sky. The young barmaid briefly reminisced about a time when her mother told her an unscheduled, impromptu solar eclipse occurred the day she was born and that the birthmark on her chest even baffled the doctors.

Everyone made their way closer to Godric, as he slowly turned the pages in the book, observing pictures of statues, effigies, and symbols from every culture in human history. The ancients believed Aether was an entity that protected and preserved the earth's balance, a controller of all four elements. Without her, the earth would become unbalanced, barren and eventually consumed with evil. The book contained ancient symbols and scriptures written in Egyptian, Aramaic, Sumerian, Greek, Gaulish, and Hebrew. The King studied the drawings and took notice of his tribal water symbol in the book and fondly recalled the day he was tattooed with the sacred symbol.

Tara read a few verses that were in English, "It says here, one becomes Aether because of the day they are born?" Tara questioned skeptically, trying diligently to grasp it all.

"Implausible I know- an Aether is a female born the very second the celestial bodies are perfectly aligned." Nora explained, "You've lived many times before, but every few hundred years your physical form returns to the light and Aether is reincarnated. That is why you have no recollection of who you are."

"How do you know all of this?" Tara crossed her arms, probing Nora for more answers, hoping she could somehow disprove her.

"Naomi and I are natural-born witches; we are your progenies, you are our elemental maker, our elemental tap, our powers come from you and yours comes from Isis." She answered while lighting candles, we are High Priestesses appointed by Isis and have the ability to train those who want to become practitioners of Wicca.

"So you chicks fly around on brooms, with black cats, stirring cauldrons and shit." Tara quipped, trying to mask her incredulity with sarcasm.

"It's true, we like the color black, the void of color represents darkness." Naomi chuckled at Tara's sass, "Many fear darkness, since in the darkness lay the unknown. However, if you take a moment to notice, our entire planet and the solar system is surrounded by darkness. When we close our eyes to dream, we are left with vast darkness, a magnificent backdrop for our dreams, fantasies, and desires."

Nora added. "A witch practices magic rituals that can be focused on many various effects... Tara, we are an endangered species...we are hunted, slaughtered; only a few hundred of us remain in this world...but now that you've returned..." The brunettes, aqua colored eyes began to swell with tears; her voice hitched as her sentiments overwhelmed her, "...our protector, our Supreme, the light shall remain."

"Pull yourself together..." Tara scoffed at the woman's emotional display.

"Tara, you are a ruler of all life-sustaining elements, "Naomi spoke as she continued to light candles.

"But vampires don't need water," Tara countered and set her gaze on Eric, he gazed back at her lovingly.

"True..." Nora sniffled, wiping a fallen tear away. "But you control all life-sustaining elements, including blood, the life source for all vampires, thus your connection to them..."

Naomi placed several hand-sized black stones on the white chalk lines of the outer circle. "...And once the ushering ritual is complete, all four elements, including blood will belong to you, they will be yours to command."

The whole room was silent; Eric, Pam, Franklin, and Eggs intensively regarded Tara, as Godric stood and approached the very reticent woman.

"Tara, how are you feeling about all of this?" Godric thoughtfully asked. He was fascinated, a feeling long-lost to the ancient being.

"To be honest with you, I don't fucking believe it." She answered bluntly, masking her wariness. Besides her odd dreams, she never recalled feeling different or special in any way. Now there is a room full of people calling her a deity. She let out an audible sigh and shook her head in disbelief.

"I must warn you, the man who attacked you...Paul, he and I are close to the same age and we share a similar past. But unlike me, he refuses to evolve. He was once an explorer and world-renowned scholar. Now, he is a zealous, shrewd, predator who may know more about you than you know about yourself. He will try to procure you. I believe he feels it is acceptable to own you against your will." Godric replied, his voice conveyed great concern.

"Why Godric," the doe-eyed woman was horrified by his words. Paul was the scariest thing she had ever encountered, "...why does he want me?"

"That is what Nora and Naomi will show you," Godric took his seat with the rest of the vampires, "Ladies, please continue..."

Nora dimmed the lights so that nothing but the flickering of the candles surrounding the outer ring of the Vesica Pisces circle on the floor could be seen. Naomi asked for Tara's hand. After a moment, Tara hesitantly relented and took hold of the woman's hand. The women in black led the wary beauty to the center of the circle and swiftly jumped out. Naomi and Nora kneel, knees to the floor, closing their eyes, they begin chanting, while holding the gems firmly in their palms.

"We call upon Isis, our celestial Supreme bestow your human daughter Aether, invoke-usher-bring forth her elemental spirit!"

Straightaway, Tara became bombarded with a burst of energy sending an electric surge through her body, a light emitted from her palm and the marking on her chest began to glow bright white matching the white chalk drawing on the floor. An unseen force hit her, knocking her off her feet. She gasped, bracing herself for the fall. But she does hit the ground; instead, she levitated within mere inches above. The effervescent visualizations of her recurrent dream blasted her mind. Vibrant colors cascade through her mind's eye. She felt hot electrical heat striking her veins like a lightning rod as an invisible gust of wind billows through her hair. Terrified, the young woman screamed. Her panicked cry instantly paused the magic spell that was occurring. Her body painfully crashed into the floor; with a grunt, she quickly picked herself up and scrambled out of the circle and into Eric's waiting arms. She sat on the blond vampire's lap, panting, still trying to understand what just happened.

"Tara, you must take your place as Aether." Nora encouraged her, grabbing hold of Tara's hand.

"Back off Mary Poppins..!" Tara jerked her hand away and grabbed her purse from the table, clutching the designer bag tightly.

At that moment Alcide entered the room; Godric greeted him and motioned for him to take a seat at the round-table.

"Must we have this mutt in here stinking up the place?" Franklin impolitely complained again. He loathes wolves, especially Alcide, because of Godric's friendship with the pack leader. And although Alcide respected Godric, it was in his nature to dislike vampires; the wolf growled menacingly at Franklin, his grumble is distinctly canine. Tara stifled back another scream when she noticed Alcide's brown eyes spark a bright glowing amber hue.

'Holy shit, he's a werewolf! I gotta get the fuck outta here...!'

"Silence Franklin or leave us," Godric mandated to his uncouth progeny. "Our friends need him, for Tara."

The British vampire smirked tauntingly at the snarling man-beast.

"Yes, we need him so that Tara can see how a wolf's signature will look different from a human or vampire. Naomi explained, "As a telepath, reading minds is only a portion of your ability, you can also feel emotions of different supernatural creatures. Wolf and Shifter portray emotions as well as color signatures. Vampires have a 'void' as their signature, and telepaths cannot read their mind. However, Aether can travel into the blackness; you have the power to not only read their minds; you and only you can glamor anyone."

Tara's cheeks start to burn. She gazed at Eric and those expressive bright green eyes, recalling how exhilarating it felt briefly living in his mind.

"I kinda knew I could do that." she shyly admitted. 

Franklin burst into a peal of hysterical laughter. The thought of the old Viking, being glamoured by an unproven-witch had him in stitches. In a fraction of a second Godric was on the other side of the round table scowling at Franklin, he was finally fed up with his progeny's rudeness.

"You are dismissed." The King commanded his child. "Leave us, replace Alcide and guard the perimeter."

Franklin winked at Nora, she smirked flirtatiously at her rebellious vampire. Franklin constantly sought Godric's attention, no matter if it was good or bad. She watched adoringly as Franklin coolly sauntered out of the room.

"Sorry, Eric..." Tara mouthed; as she came to the realization that the vampires must have an unsavory history with each other.

Eric's face remained empty of emotion, he never allowed his younger brother to upset him. Only one thought lay on his mind: the vampire longed to see the woman of his dreams become the goddess she was destined to be.

"Never be sorry Tara, now get back in the circle."

"HELL NO..!" She snapped. "This shit is fucking crazy - I come from crazy and this is by far WORSE."

Tara quickly stood from Eric's lap, dashed out of the library, sprinted to the foyer and bolted out of Godric's house.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

TARA POV

Not gonna lie...It felt nice sitting on Eric's lap... But he's got me fucked up if he thinks I'm gonna get back in that circle. I certainly didn't need a room full of weird witches, weirder vampires and a big ass werewolf staring at me -like I'm some kind of freak. And I told him so right as I ran on out of there.

I ran- I ran past a couple of big goons at the front door...Until I was off the property and on the road. I paused for a moment to catch my breath, I was kind of surprised no one tried to stop me, considering all the fuss but I was relieved none the less.

I removed the Gucci pumps from my aching feet and carried them as I briskly walked barefoot on the grassland. New Orleans is south of Shreveport so I headed north. When I called the information line, they gave me the address to the nearest bus station. I began to panic when the operator said it was 12 miles away.

My goodness, I have a helluva walk ahead of me, but at least I had plenty of cash to catch a bus and get my ass home.

'Aether...'

Outta nowhere I hear a voice echoing.

'Aetheeeer...'

What the...

For a split second, I think I'm losing my mind; as far as I can see, no one was anywhere near me.

'Taraaaa...' The voice is even louder... the voice is in surround sound, but directly in my ears, like I'm listening to Beats by Dr. Dre.

'Taraaaaa...'

That's when it hits me; the sound was in my head, and I recognize the voice, it's the British chick, Nora.

'Aether, claim your place as our Supreme.'

Her echoing voice becomes louder hauling me into madness.

"GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HEAD!" I shouted out, her response is immediate.

'Make me Aether, I am your subject...command your subject...'

"JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!" I scream, thankful that no one's around, I know I look fucking bonkers shouting at myself.

'...You can't because you have no control over your own powers...you must take control...'

Totally confused and completely freaked out, I took off running, only to get a few yards before I feel like my lungs are going to explode. I stop to catch my breath, taking a deep inhale-exhale.

'Wicca Protector...Supreme...Aether...Daughter of Isis... Elemental Goddess...'

Now I hear more than one voice, I think it's the Asian chick. They are chanting again and I'm frantically trying to take back control of my own head, seeking my lost wits, I suck in another huge intake of crisp southern air.

'Taraaaaaaa...'

And I notice immediately the voices become fainter. That calmed me considerably and I'm able to concentrate more. Focus girl...I snap my eyes shut, focusing only on the quietness that's actually around me. I take a deeper breath; I feel the breeze cooling my clammy skin. I inhale more air and empty all thoughts from my mind.

'Taraaaa'

The voices sound like only a whisper now; I could barely make them out anymore.

'Tara...'

And just like that, the voices are gone. Okay, Tara Mae, stay cool and you'll be outta New Orléans in a few hours. After walking for several minutes on the dark road, in the far distance, I see the lights of a car. I put my thumb out and hope for the best. The vehicle is closer now and I see it's an old pick-up truck, so I waved my hands like I just don't care, begging whoever is driving to stop. For a fraction of a second, the truck begins to slow down, then speeds away, leaving a cloud of dust in my eyes and gravel on my toes...

"ASSHOLE!" I shout out.

Suddenly I hear the snapping of twigs accompanied by a low guttural, growl. I get a very bad feeling in the pit of my gut and I see a red flash of light in my eyes. I don't know how I know, the road is pitch black, but something is coming towards me and fast. Not a second later, I get knocked off my feet and onto my back; I hit the ground hard my entire backside makes a loud whack sound, the hit was so hard it knocked the breath right out of me. My eyes struggled to focus in the dark, but there was no mistaking; a big black werewolf has me pinned down, it's sharp claws are digging into the flesh of my shoulders and it hurts like hell!

"ALCIDE..! ALCIDE! GET OFF ME!"′ I shout at the drooling, glowing-eyed beast. "ALCIDE GODDAMNIT...AHHHHHH..!" I keep shouting, but the wolf wouldn't budge and then three more wolves, move in, surrounding me, growling and snarling.

"PLEASE ALCIDE DON"T BITE ME!"

The wolf that is on top of me shifts into a butt naked man who is not Alcide after all. He is a buff, dirty-blonde, scruffy-faced man with horrible breath.

"Stop calling me that pussy- ass wolf..."

The sonofabitch slapped the hell outta my face and says, "I'm Cooter bitch!"

He slapped me so hard, my entire face stung, my tooth cut the inside of my cheek; the taste of the coppery blood oozing inside my mouth.

"You're cute, but I really don't see what all the fuss is about." He lifted himself from me, yanking my arm, pulling me up with him. He grunted as he lifted me up and threw me over his shoulder. My face is staring right at his butt -naked ass. I start pounding the hell outta his sweaty back with my fist.

"Put me down!" I hissed.

"Screamin and strugglin turn me on hot chocolate." He chuckled and I instantly quieted and halted my defense.

A truck pulled up and parked on the shoulder of the road; I could have sworn that was the same damn truck that just passed me.

"Here Cooter..."

The driver was a chick with a heavy southern accent, she tossed a pair of jeans out the window.

"Thanks, Debbie..." He chuckled, and caught the jeans with his free hand; the other hand was still on my ass. Effortlessly, he tossed me into the truck bed like a piece of trash; I land hard on my head. Shaking off the pain, I lift my head over the truck bed just in time to see a black minivan going at least 70 MPH down the road. Whoever was driving- is not slowing down for shit.

Cooter had managed to get his jeans pulled on as all the other wolves scrambled and leaped off the road. One unlucky wolf was not fast enough; he was turned into bloody mangled, roadkill. I leaped outta the truck bed, but lost my footing and hit the ground hard, rolling down the embankment on the side of the road. My head is pounding, my back is aching, but with the adrenaline pumping, I kept moving and managed to find a bush to hide behind.

The one working front end light of the totaled minivan give me a clear view of the driver; it's the nice housekeeper Cathy... she's slumped over the steering wheel; the airbags deployed and she is clearly knocked out. A tall, teenaged girl, with long, bright red hair hopped out of the passenger side. She had a wild expression on her face and a lighter in her hand; she's chanting something in a language I've never heard.

Cooter clearly looked startled and swiftly shifted back into the big black wolf. At the same time, the teen calmly placed her palm on the flame, the small flickering candle magnified bellowing out blue hot flames. When Cooter-wolf leaped for her, the flame turned into a huge fireball setting him on fire! I felt like Ginger screaming the way I did. While burning, the wolf involuntarily shifted back into a man. All the while attempting the 'stop-drop-and-roll' technique, but it's too late. The woman in the truck jumped out screaming at the kid while trying to put crispy- ass Cooter out.

The strawberry blond woman kneeled over his smoldering half-human, half-wolf remains and cried out, "YOU KILLED MY COOTER!"

Swiftly, the teen fire- blasted the remaining wolves; and they all shifted back into, shrieking men on fire. As she took out the wolves, I quickly duck in the passenger seat of the totaled minivan and retrieved Cathy who was coming too, but still very disoriented. I helped her into our getaway truck, out of the corner of my eyes I see Debbie, the wild-eyed woman pulled out a gun and with shaky hands, pointed it in the teen's direction.

"Watch out kid!" I shriek and she quickly ducked for cover, running fast toward the driver's side of the truck and dodging the shots fired. I move over, so the brave girl could drive. We jacked her truck and left that redneck bitch and her char-broiled wolves in the dust.

"Thank you so much," I said, hoping my voice conveyed the gratitude, I was feeling towards the young woman. She was totally amazing with her 'fire throwing-trick'. "I'm Tara; I just met Cathy this morning." I look over at Cathy who still looks frazzled, she's holding her head and groaning.

That's when it hits me... I've lost my purse and those sexy ass shoes Eric brought me. And my twelve hundred dollar dress is dirty and torn too.

Godamn! I grumbled to myself. I have no money!

"I'm Jessica; Cathy's my mom and you're welcome," she says. I then notice Jessica resembles Cathy.

"Where are we headed?" I'm at her mercy now that I'm broke and shoe-less.

"Our place ain't far. I figured you'd want to go there and get freshened up, then we need to go back to Godric's."

"Did Eric send you?" I asked, totally surprised by her suggestion to go back to Godric's although I shouldn't be, that is obviously where they had come from.

"Nope," she shook her head. "But your hot vampire boyfriend really wanted to come after you himself -Godric used his vampire powers and commanded him to stay put."

"Whoa...What...Why does everyone think Eric is my man?" I throw my hands in the air. I was done.

"Well ..." She started... with a smirk.

"Never mind that..." I cut her off..."If Eric and Godric didn't send you- who did?"

"Nobody... I was picking mom up from work like I do every night. I saw the Porsche and the Benz, so I went in hoping to meet a hottie. Instead, I hear everyone fussing about coming after you. But no one was doing anything. Well, as I said, hot Eric really wanted too. But Godric made him stay, they argued in Old Norse. The Elders were pissed and crying to Frankie and Eggs about losing their psychic link with you. Alcide's yelling at Tommy and Hoyt because they let you run off the property. Mom and I couldn't believe it. They're all bitching at one another while they know the Shreveport wolves are hunting you! So Mom said we ain't gonna wait around for them to decide what to do." She giggled, "Didn't think I'd be barbecuing wolves..." letting out a cute little snort of a laugh. I have to admit, she is impulsive like me, I like that.

"Hey Jessica, can we just stay at your place for tonight? I don't like all the fuss over me, I'll call Eric later and let him know I'm okay." I lied, I'd get cleaned up and hitch a ride to the bus station. There was no way in hell I was going back to that mess.

"Sure." she nodded and floored the gas on the loud old truck. "But you should think about going to Godric's, it's much safer there."

Just a mile down the road, we drive up to a quaint, well-lit, log cabin house. It has a big front porch, a nicely manicured front yard, and a beautiful garden full of flowers. As we pull up to the gravel driveway, Cathy still appeared disoriented, but otherwise alright. We help her into the house, Jessica walked her to the couch and I prop her mother's feet up.

"Mom, are ya alright?"

"Yes Jessie," Cathy answered with a feeble nod. "Just get me the healing seeds."

Jessica walked swiftly to the kitchen and came out with an ice pack, a glass of water, and an odd little burlap bag for her mother.

"Good job sweetheart." The older woman smiled sweetly at her daughter, Jess smiled back lovingly and swept away a few strands of Cathy's silver hair from her brow. Jessica covered her mother with a fleece blanket and kisses her on the forehead.

"Thanks, mom, rest your eyes now."

Cathy nodded again and closed her eyes while Jessica dimmed the lights.

"That was amazing Jessica." I agreed.

The gal squealed like a...well, I guess she is a teenaged girl. "Thank you Aether, that means so much!"

"How did your mom come to work for Godric?" I ask, ignoring that she too addressed me as Aether.

"Let's talk..." she says and I follow her into the dining room. I take a seat, resting my feet and aching back. We had a long moment of silence, it wasn't awkward, we were both coming down from the adrenaline rush and we were just chilling.

"For all of my life, mom and Dad worked for Godric. Mom as the housekeeper and Dad as his grounds-keeper. A few years ago Dad got really sick...colon cancer. Dad's doctor bills got really expensive and we almost lost the house, so Mom asked Godric for help and he helped us." She began, sighing deeply. "When dad died Godric paid for us to go to Ireland. Dad's last wish was to be buried in his homeland. When we came back, Nora and Naomi asked if I wanted to join the coven and she welcomed my mother too, even though she is not a natural witch, Nora trained her and now she can perform Wiccan spells." Wow, so some people knew of vampires before they came out. And I have more confirmation that Godric is truly a generous and caring vampire. And it seems Nora and Naomi are witches recruiters. Everything she told me was insightful. I was growing fond of her innocent and open honesty. I thought I'd lighten the mood with a request.

"Would you show me that flame-throwing deal? I'd like to cook food and entertain my guests at the same time."

She laughed hysterically at my corny ass joke; I guess the kid doesn't have many people who can relate to her, hell, I can relate to that.

"Sure, let's go to my room."

In her room, I take a quick glance over. It's the typical teenage girls' room, lots of pink things, stuffed animals, and posters of rock stars. What was not typical was the replica of my birthmark drawn in white chalk on the hardwood floor. She has new and previously lit candles everywhere and the most beautiful little white stone fireplace I'd ever seen.

"Tara, you don't need a candle or any source of heat, the Vesica Pisces book says it's inside of Aether." She smiles while clicking a lighter.

"Do you have a copy of the book?"

"Of course, The VP is a witches Bible." She went to her nightstand and handed me a book. It looked like a perfect replica of the old book Nora had.

No doubt about it, I'm curious, I open the book and start reading.

"Why are there so few witches? I remember Nora saying it's only a few hundred witches in the whole world."

I look over to see Jessica opening a bag of Cool-Ranch Doritos. "You can thank Salem for that." She sighs before popping a few chips in her mouth, crunching loudly.

I walk over to the circle, with the book. I open it to the page that has the picture of 'me' and I take a deep breath while waiting for the crazy shit to happen. Nothing happens and I'm totally fine with that.

"So you need a little fire magic to make stuff happen, but I don't," I ask just for clarity...

"Yup, I need a source, you are the source." She nodded.

She grabbed one of the many candles she has all over the place and hands one to me. "K Aether, do your stuff." She stares innocently at me and in return, I look at her as if shes lost her mind.

"Come on, we've got nothing else to do." she implores.

"Speak for yourself, I could be drinking adult beverages right now," I say, giving in and grabbing the candle. Taking a deep breath, I clear my head as I did earlier. I look at the candle and take yet another deep breath as I focus on the wick. The candle just sparks up! I'll be damned it really–just- lights- up!

"Awesome!" Jessica cheered me with and we high- five.

"I wanna learn how to make the fire shoot flames," I request.

"Well, the way do it is I touch the flame. The pain gives me a rush and I harness it. I focus it into the flame and it makes the flame grow. So, whatever passion you have, project it on the fire, on the water, on anything you want. You control all of the elements."

I focus on the candle and breathe in, emptying my head of all thoughts and then I breath out. Beyond my wildest dreams, the flame sparks up, blazing like a torch. The flames flare out with billowing plumes accompanied by a loud pop and a crackle.

"Whoa, I'm ushering in Aether, the girls at the coven will freak!" She sings and starts dancing if you wanna call it that.

"So what else does the VP say Aether can do?"

"Well, you can make stuff move. I wish I could do that, Oh yeah and teleport!"

"Tele-What..."

"You can disappear and reappear wherever...like anywhere." She says confidently as I tried to imagine it all.

"The book says I can do all that?"

"And so much more, your powers are freaking awesome."

"I think that moving stuff would come in handy." I could also turn into a fat lazy slob, I thought.

She chuckles at the thought, "Practice, you can move whatever you want. My mom is the coolest."

I'm looking around for something to focus on. As I 'm doing so, Cathy walks in, smiling big. By the looks of her, she is feeling much better. She plopped down on Jessica's pink and white bed, all the while munching on some kind of seeds from the burlap bag and washing it down with a tall glass of ice water. I get so thirsty just looking at ice float around in the water.

"Jessica, may I have a glass of water, no ice."

"Sure."

"Thank you so much for helping me, Ms. Cathy. Are ya feeling any better?" I make small talk with Cathy, who seems like a supportive mother, the total opposite of Lettie Mae. "If my mom saw me throwing magical fireballs, she would call me the devil and damn my soul to hell.

"You're welcome." She said brightly. "I'm fine, thanks for asking. My healing seeds work faster than any over the counter or prescription pain pills."

Jessica returned with the glass of water. I thank her and take a huge gulp. Then, I hold the glass tight with both hands -arm's length away. I start my concentrations, focusing on nothing but the water in the glass. Inhaling and exhaling... I want the water to flow into my mouth like a water fountain. I breathe in big, and exhale; I'm holding the glass with my mind. Now, the glass is floating inches away from my face. Focusing on the glass, I breathe again, and I commanded the water to flow up. Amazingly the water is slowly rising from the glass; a steady stream of water is floating in the air like a water fountain. I open my mouth and drink. After I have a sip, I guide the glass across the room, to the table. It lands neatly next to Cathy's glass on Jessica's nightstand. Cathy cheers and claps, while Jessica walks like an Egyptian.

I take a bow. Suddenly my magic lessons are interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell. I have that weird uneasy feeling again, it's accompanied by red flashes in my eyes. It looks like police lights in my minds -eye. That can't be good.

"What's wrong Tara?" Jessica asks, noticing the frown emerging on my face.

"I'm seeing red sparks and I can't shake this horrible feeling."

"It's another one of your powers, your mind is physically warning you of impending danger," Cathy quickly explained.

"That means, trouble is knocking at ya door," I replied. "Stay put and lock this door behind me."

"NO!" Jessica flat out refuses me. "I can help you!"

"Please Jessica, the Shreveport wolves are after me so let me handle this," I demand and finally after a few thoughtful moments, both reluctantly agree.

I walk out into the hall, a second later, I hear the door to Jessica's room lock behind me and I step cautiously down the hallway. My stomach began turning, while those odd, red sparks fly wildly in my eyes. But I move forward anyway. I won't let anything happen to these good people. I slowly make my way to the door and peek into the peephole. Instantly my heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. It's that scary bastard, Paul! He has a big ass, shit-eating grin on his evil face and a big gray wolf is prowling at his side.

Fuck me!

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

"Come out right now little Aether, or I'm gonna send my little wolf in to get you. Ohhkaaay..." That sonofabitch was absolutely gleeful. I watched him through the peephole as he paced back and forth on the porch, petting the werewolf. He'd pause from time to time and sniffed the air, not for oxygen, but for scent.

"Go fuck yourself asshole..." I yell at my stalker through the door. God his accent irks me. I'm not sure how, but I can hear his thoughts, clear as day; the bastard wanted everyone in the house ripped apart by the wolf, who is actually Debbie. She is bloodthirsty and high on revenge. So that leaves me with one choice, I've got to get the hell outta here. Once Paul sees me bolt, those assholes will come after me, leaving Cathy and Jessica a chance to get back to Godric's. This is as good of a time as any to try and teleport out of here and drive to the nearest police station, where I can wait until morning to head home. I take a few deep- soothing breaths while picturing myself out in the truck, focusing, just like Jessica said. I breathe in deeper and just let go. My stomach jumped like I'm on a super-fast elevator going up; I feel myself float...And just like that, in a blink of an eye, I'm in the truck! Unnoticed by my hunters, I try starting up the old vehicle, but it stalls, immediately I started to panic, as my window of opportunity quickly fades. I curse at the piece of a shit vehicle, whilst praying and pumping the pedal giving it some gas. Finally- it started and as I put the gear in drive, I feel the truck lift up off the ground.

I  wail out in horror as peer into the rear-view mirror; I watch in terror as Paul is holding onto the bumper of the truck, his face was contorted, his eyes dark and full of rage. The front wheels screeched loudly in place when I shift the truck into reverse and stomped harder on the pedal. I was trying to back over his ass, but the car did not budge. Like pulling sheets from a bed, Martin ripped the driver's side door from its hinges. Paul let go and the truck crashed hard to the ground and then he snatched me out of the truck by my neck; I'm in his choke-hold...Again...

"I'm tired of playing cat and mouse with you Aether." He's snarled like an animal and tightened his grip on my throat.

With shaky hands, I attempt to torch his psycho ass, but nothing happened. I'm freaking out as I try to teleport back into the house, I don't know why, but it didn't work... so I try to get into his head and glamor him into setting me free, but it's really hard to focus and do magic when you can't fucking breathe. I realize I should have listened to Eric, to Jessica and to all of them...And after about a minute of wasted struggling, everything went black.

 

 


 ERIC POV

 

I am unable to recall the last time I questioned Godric, let alone disagreed with him. Alas, my father was steadfast on his decision to let the Shreveport wolves hunt Tara. He asserted his authority and no one dared defy his orders. Surely my father must understand I made a promise to her and I plan on keeping it. Setting aside all my pride, I implored. "Father, please allow me to go after her."

Godric cast a serene expression at me momentarily, "No my child, you cannot be her keeper. You must allow her to discover herself." and without a second thought, he resumed reading that fucking book. His reason made no sense. Certainly, he was aware of what Paul would do to her. He knew of Paul, his consorts and what they were capable of. It would not take long for the wolves to track Tara and forcefully bring her to him. In his lair, he'd torture and rape her until she finally submitted to him. Helpless frustration seared through me.

"Why, would you command me to stand here and just let her go?" I protested further, "Is this another one of your newly discovered passiveness philosophies?" My goal of agitating him was working. I could feel him losing patience with me.

"My son," He stood, and closed the space between us, peering into me with his wide cerulean eyes. "If you go and rescue her now she will never acquire who she is and what she is capable of. She will never evolve to her full potential." He placed his firm grip on my shoulder. "She must accept her fate as Aether, Tara shall call upon you when she is ready. Until then, let her go."

His words offered little comfort. How could he turn his back on her, and on me? I sought his aid, yet he does nothing. I felt defeated, stranded, by my only savior. I slouched across the table from my father, sulking in my desolation. I watch dolefully as my brothers continued their conversations with the witches.

"She's as good as captured," Franklin mouthed to Eggs. In response, Nora became visibly agitated; she had made attempts to communicate with Tara using telepathy but before she could convince Tara to return, my stubborn barmaid successfully blocked her out. That news did not surprise me; that beautiful creature has built a substantial fortress of solitude and mistrust and will not let anyone in. 

Before Alcide returned to his post, he suggested that his wolves follow Tara from a distance and report back at any signs of trouble. My Sire adamantly declined that suggestion also. Exasperating me, Godric continued to read that silly book. He could read the whole damn book in a matter of minutes if he wished. After several lengthy and trying moments, I noticed my child was missing. Where did she go? My brothers took notice of my seeking gaze, so I began to summon my progeny, but quickly halted when I realize she was not in the house. She must have left before Godric told her not too. 

That's my girl! She shall bring Tara back to me. I tried my best to remain tolerant of my helplessness, hoping it would not be long before I see Tara's stunning face again.

"Pamela's gone..." Franklin blurted out; he would have done so a lot sooner, but Eggs bade diligently to stop him. While folding his muscular arms across his broad chest, my brother glared disapprovingly at Franklin; he couldn't understand why his elder brother behaved so crassly sometimes- all the time, with me. I  am actually pleased with Franklin, his actions caused Godric to put that fucking book down.

 


 

Although Pam moved at a normal (human) pace, it didn't take long for her to track Tara's path. Cathy's crushed minivan and the charred remains on the side of the road were the first indications. And of course, a trace scent of 'Cupcake' lingered in the air.

Abruptly, she felt Eric summoning her, but the feeling of Eric's pull vanished just as soon as it came. So she continued her search of 'Cupcake' and sped down the road, hot on the trail. Suddenly, the sound of wailing and glass shattering caught her attention. In a vampiric-rush, she cut off the main road and onto a narrow gravel road following the abrupt sounds. 

A naked, squealing woman engulfed in flames, had ruptured out of the big glass window, crashing through the triple panes, onto the front porch. In a matter of minutes, the woman was reduced to a pile of smoldering, seared flesh. Slowly, Pam's perfectly arched eyebrow rose, an amused smirk crossed her lips. Jessica stood in the doorway giggling and waving at Pam.

"I'm impressed ginger-snaps." Pam sauntered onto the porch, still eyeing the burnt spectacle; Cathy politely invited the vampire inside. Pam quickly appraised the damage, the walls, fixtures, and ceiling were singed; tables, chairs broke and shattered glass everywhere.

"So where's Cupcake," Pam asked the mother and daughter.

"If you're asking about Tara," Cathy said peering at the truck with the missing door. "We didn't see what happened, but I have a bad feeling, she didn't escape."

Pam's brow tightened in disappointment; she'd just missed 'spunky-cakes' by a matter of minutes. She immediately rang Eric's cell and gave him an update on everything she knew.

"You shall be rewarded, bright one," Eric said before hanging up. She was happy to have pleased her Sire. After a moment of watching Cathy and Jessica clean up, her mind shifted to thoughts about Eric and how he'd changed so much since the arrival of Tara. She recalled how shamelessly her handsome Sire regarded 'Cupcake' as if his whole world revolved around her and no other women could replace her.

It was nothing short of pathetic. She said to herself. Eric could have any woman he desired. Not to mention all the attractive women who desired him. Now, his attentions are consumed by one odd little human. He's been turning down good blood and pussy left and right...And for what..? That annoyingly cute, feisty and very sweet smelling barmaid... Pam shook her head in disbelief. Eric is clearly infatuated with the girl. To Pam, coming to terms with something she felt was so ridiculous, was unacceptable, so the Vikings' progeny held on to her belief that his 'foolishness' would not last too much longer. Soon, he'll get bored and I'll have my, cold, strumpet of a Sire back.

 

 

 


 

TARA POV

 

I jerked awake in total blackness and deafening silence. My first impulse was to scream. But I realize now that in these situations, I tend to do better when I stay calm. So I sat up only to bump my head really hard. Now my noggin was pounding even more than it already was. My body ached all over, my mouth was dry, my teeth chattered as I tried to fight the cold. I rubbed my arms and legs in an attempt to generate some heat. That's when I realized I was butt naked. I felt bite marks all over my neck, arms; even my inner thighs are bitten and sore. I felt like I was gonna puke all over myself at any moment. I knew Paul (and probably Martin) had violated me with their fangs and I began to weep uncontrollably. After a few long, pathetic moments, to some extent, I pulled myself together. I start to feel around the dark space. It was very compacting, icy cold and completely metal. Am I buried underground?

If so, I've got to set myself free, so I breathe in and instantly I feel myself float. I teleport just outside the box I'd been trapped in and I examine it; It's a metal futuristic-looking coffin. It has some kind of computerized key panel. To open it, one would have to punch in a number or passcode. I notice that the box has an engraving. I've seen the logo before. I remember when the vampires first revealed themselves to the world; a company called 'Alucard' invented all these convenient things for vampires. Like, True Blood, travel coffins, UV blocking windows... Maybe that's what Eric was talking about when he said 'vampire friendly' room.

I shrug off the trivial thoughts and return to the major issue at hand. I look all around the small empty room. It's hexagon-shaped and has a high warehouse-like ceiling, with no windows or doors, which I can see. I focus my fire magic on the metal box and in a few minutes it becomes a nice space- heater. After a few more moments, I hear the circuits on the computer panel that is attached to the box fizzle and crackle. I'm sure I broke the damn thing. Oh well,  at least I'm warmer now. 

Swiftly a hidden door slides open and before I can even move that freckled-face bastard Martin sped in screaming at me.

"You've destroyed my invention...!" He slapped me across the face and my naked ass doubled back and hit the hard cold concrete floor. 

The wind was knocked right out of me and it took a moment to catch my breath, I see those flashes of red and I inhale deeply. He's staring at me with lust-filled eyes and rubbing his crotch. I breathe in and focus on his ugly sweater, a flame emerges from my hand and like I'm pitching for the Yankee's I throw my fireball at his face.  I doused the motherfucker with fire. The dorky looking vamp's hair ignites, he's fanning his head and cursing me while his face is roasting like a marshmallow.

He lunges towards me, but I manage to run out of the room before he can get to me. My confirmation is correct, I'm in a warehouse or factory, the room I was in was a utility closet. Immediately, I noticed an old tattered jumpsuit on top of a pile of boxes and some work boots. The boots have a pair of thick socks inside the shoes. The clothes smell god-awful, but I put them on anyway. I leave the boots; they are way too big and would only slow me down. As I am rolling up the sleeves of the extra-large coveralls, I follow the conveyor belt and read the label on one of the crates. It says, 'Baton Rouge Steel Processing Plant'- for fuck's sake I'm in Baton Rouge!

"What are you doing Aether?" It's Paul and his grating voice, he's using the intercom system. I try teleporting outside, but keep ending up in different places inside this enormous building.

"Come back to your box -little doll, I have more visitors who want to sample you." 

I look around the weakly lit place for windows, but I don't see any or doors.

"Don't make me come to get you- girl."

Oh, Bitch-nuts! I need help, so I swallow my pride and I try calling on Nora and Naomi. It was not too hard blocking them, so hopefully, I can unblock them just as easy. Most of all, I hope they are listening and willing to help.

"Umm, Nora...Naomi...Umm, hi, if you can hear me please answer..."

As if she's already expecting me, she answers immediately!

'Greetings-Goddess Aether..."

"Umm, Hey, Nora is Jessica and Cathy alright?"

"Yes, they here and they are fine."

"Great...Um, I'm kind of in a pickle at the Baton Rouge steel factory."

"Are you requesting our assistance?"

I take a big dry gulp, "Yeah, I'm requesting..."

"We are on our way; Eric, Pam, and Godric will fly and be there soon."

Our telepathy was interrupted when I saw the red flashes again; I knew I would have to teleport soon. So I hauled ass, and just in time, Paul's blur was speeding up fast. Luckily, he was across the warehouse, several yards away. It gave me just enough time to focus. I teleported into a filthy, dark restroom; I was silent and perfectly still. I wouldn't even breathe. I prayed that he couldn't hear my teeth involuntarily chattering, my faint whimpers or sense my heart pounding outta my chest. With my back against the filthy wall, I slid down to the gritty floor and waited. Surrounding my thoughts, my mind's- eye showed me visions; it came to me in sort of broken up bursts. My mind was occupied with the image of The Viking flying, his long flaxen hair billowing in the wind, Vampire Barbie and Backstreet Boy Godric soaring by his side.

The vampire brothers /witch sisters' couples are speeding down Interstate-10 on Harley Davidson motorcycles. Nora is holding tight to Franklin's slender waist, while super-buff Eggs and exotic Naomi are rolling up alongside them, Eggs and Franklin are racing with each other. The ladies are holding their gem necklaces and chanting.

Knowing that help will soon arrive made me feel a little better. It also troubled me. I don't want anyone to get hurt on account of me. The thought made me nauseous; the bile rose in my stomach. Imagine your worst hangover and multiply it by a hundred. And my mind started to see dancing-reds again. Not a second later the door was ripped off the hinges.

I teleport screaming out of the smelly restroom; I land in a big conference room and immediately I spot a water cooler in the corner. I didn't want to risk him hearing me walking over to it, so I teleport across the room, kneel to the nozzle, I open my parched mouth to drink. I drink and drink some more until I start to feel a little better. Not a second passed when Paul burst into the door, he looked venomous and he's with two more vampires. Where can I go with three vampires chasing me around a dark building?

So I stand my ground and with my mind, I fling pictures off the wall, hurl tables and chairs, sending the heavy items flying towards their ugly-pale faces, but those bastards easily dodge all my efforts.

 

 


 

 

Paul nonchalantly shoved everything tossed at him away as if shooing a fly.

"I told you- she's amazing, I just have to tame her is all." Paul boasted to his company and they all radiated with amusement. The vampires were having a wondrous time watching the distressed magi use her powers, desperately fighting them off. Tara's stimulating scent and combative actions worked the vampires into a lecherous frenzy, their fangs clicked and they snarled and growled with bloodlust. They were ready to feed.

"You all better back the fuck off!" She became enraged when her outburst caused the evil vampires to throw their heads back in laughter. "Or I'll fucking roast every last fucking one of you!"

Their laughter summarily ceased when the lights started to flicker and an unexplained powerful gust of wind started to swirl through the room. The three petulant vampires all look at each other for a moment before turning in tandem to face the door. Godric, Eric, and Pam leered at the audacious vampires. Tara never thought she would be happy to see more vampires...But she was happy to see them.

The Viking glanced at the scared and terribly disheveled beauty and thanked Odin, she was still standing, still fighting. He had to force himself to look away from his darling and when he did, his icy mint-colored eyes locked maliciously onto Paul, he was ready to battle the disrespectful bastard.

"Roman, Roslyn, I am giving the both of you permission to leave without consequence," Godric stated firmly and although his tone was placid, his eyes were hard-rimmed and dauntingly fixed. He was disappointed that those two would participate in such savagery, it is those sort of vampires who give all vampires a bad reputation. 

"What about Paul?" Roman questioned the King. The chancellor was desperate; he paid a lot of money for his share of Tara's blood.

"What about Paul?" Pam clipped, "don't you get it...leave or die -asshole."

Roman sneered at her and then plunged into an attack. Godric blocked his attempted assault with one swift strike to the chest. He sent Roman flying- fast across the room and crashing hard into the wall. Enraged by his disrespect to her King, Pam ripped off a chair leg, using it like a spear, she launched it across the room and staked him. His body trembled before it burst into a pile of smoldering, bloody goop all over her.

"I fucking hated him." Pam laughed wickedly while picking bloody pieces of flesh from her ample bosom.

Roslyn vamp-sped out of the room and Tara was right on her, she knew the scared vamp-bitch was headed towards the exit and that is where the doe-eyed woman wanted to be.

"Pam, go after Tara," Eric ordered while keeping his glare fixed on Paul.

Paul stood confidently and grinned, "I had so much fun sticking my fangs into your Aether tonight; she couldn't get enough of me."

Eric knew Paul was provoking him; and it was working, Eric was infuriated.

"Paul, it is time to face justice for your crime against the Sheriff and his property." The King warned Paul.

Before Godric could get a response from Paul; Eric flew across the room, shoving Paul into and through the tempered-glass window. In a matter of seconds, the two vampires were in full combat outside the factory. Eric savagely punched, kicked and bit at Paul. Eric kicked Paul so hard, the vampire crashed through the brick and stone wall, the pieces crumbled to the ground. Eric noticed his blows did not seem to hurt Paul as they should have. But when Paul shoved Eric; the pain was all-encompassing, Paul was much stronger than Eric could have ever estimated.

"HEY PAUL DI ASSHOLE..!"

Tara waved her middle finger at Paul, causing him to become distracted; Eric seized the opportunity and grabbed a long metal beam and hit him across the midsection with it. The force sent Paul crashing into the building. Eric's eyes widened in confusion as quickly Paul stood from the rubble and laughed.

Roslyn could smell Tara's sweet blood, and she hungered for it, she longed to possess the powers she could have with just a taste. Instead of leaving as ordered, the vampire lunged for the sable-haired woman. With one forceful swish of Tara's arms, the ravenous vampire was promptly set on fire. Tara watched with glee at her handy work. Suddenly Tara was struck from behind with a hard blow and knocked hard onto the ground. She landed onto shards of broken glass on the graveled pavement, cutting her hands. Tara grimaced in agony while she scrambled to her feet. Despite the glass cutting her bare feet, she laughed at what she saw. 

"Martin is that you...my- you're looking extra crispy tonight," She said, shaking off her pain.

"You're going to pay for using your voodoo on me bitch!" The badly seared Martin growled at her, "I'll enjoy watching all your friends die, and then you will be my slave."

As he reached for Tara, precipitously, blood and flesh splashed and sprayed all over Tara. The blood spewed with such force it landed in her eyes, nose, and mouth. Pam had rushed a bulky, elongated slice of wood into his back and shoved it through to his chest, effortlessly and without a second thought, the vixen killed the two-hundred-year-old, vampire monarch. 

"Damn, Vampire Barbie!" Tara exclaimed while ripping off a piece of her jumpsuit and wrapped it around her badly cut hand. When Tara looked up, Pam was gone; but there was plenty of other vampires and werewolves to deal with.

Simultaneously, Paul screamed in horror, his scream was louder than a lions roar and could be heard for miles. "MARTIN!" He felt the death of his child and it incensed the immortal creature. That hard truth sent the abhorrent vampire into a rage. He seized Eric by the neck, pulling him high above the tree lines. Eric struggled but was unable to break free. With the force of a train, Paul struck Eric, causing him to tumble from the sky and crash hard into the woods.

Godric raced in, soaring into the sky aggressively thrashing Paul in a militant battle. Paul was unstoppable; he beat Godric until he too fell, landing hard into the wooded area.

Paul let out another voracious wail. "YOU ALL WILL SUFFER AND DIE!" He stood over the spot of Martin's remains and mourned. All the while, Paul's six remaining wolves had caught up to him and awaited his command. 

The sight and sound of his brutality freighted Tara, and she teleported into an empty car and took cover. She anticipated Paul's attack, but after a moment nothing happened. She listened intently and in the near distance, she could hear the sounds of motorcycles. She peeked out the window and when she saw Franklin and Eggs hop off the bikes, she leaped out of the car. The two leather-clad vampires joined Pam in the warfare. Indiscriminately, the trio sent Paul's pack of wolves to their violent death.

When Tara did not see the two witches, she assumed their beaus hid them from harm's way. The young beauty had no choice but to toss her fears aside. Bravely she ventured off into the dark woods after Eric and Godric.

Finally, deep into the woods, she started to see flashes of green. The young woman predicted that meant 'go', or perhaps 'good' and she kept teleporting as the flashes became brighter and more frequent. Suddenly she heard approaching footsteps and by previous experience knew that was the gait of a wolf. She turned quickly to face the big white wolf as it confidently, strolled towards her.

"You better leave me be or I'll roast your ass!" She warned the lone beast.

But the flashes of green continued to blink and now she saw waves of white and blue. Something is different about this werewolf. She could feel his composed emotion; hear the creatures' broken thoughts, they echoed inside her head.

"I'm... Alcide... follow...help ... Eric..."

The ebony-skinned beauty stirringly shouted, "GO ALCIDE GO!"

As the white wolf ran, the goddess teleported close behind. After a moment, the sound of a heartbreaking groan of agony halted her movements. At the clearing near the creek, Tara peered with regret at Eric as he lay on his back next to a small stream of water.

"Godric...over-here..." Alcide said and continued running.

"Thank you Alcide," Tara said with her mind, knowing Alcide could hear her. 

"Eric..." Her voice trembled; she knelt, leaning over him, draping her chest over his.

The clearing of the trees allowed the moonlight to shine down on his pale skin and his long wheat-colored hair. Large pieces of silver were deeply lodged all over his body. She was unable to hold back the tears that began to swell in her eyes. Her protector was so badly incapacitated, and even though his face was stained with bruises and blood, Tara still found him unbelievably handsome. She tried to pull one of the silver daggers from his side but ceased when he began writing in anguish.

"I should have just stood in the damn circle." She said, unable to control the steady stream of tears.

Eric regarded the beauty in awe as she wept for him. "You should have..." he softly agreed as a weary smile crossed his lips. The woman, Eric was valiantly protecting was no longer a fragile human; she was Aether, a supernatural, capable of defending herself. Unknowing if he would survive the night, he wanted her to have his cherished item. Eric grimaced as he reached into his pocket, took her hand and gifted his ancient talisman.

She pushed her dirty, tangled hair to the side and quickly tied the talisman around her neck. The thought of him dying for her was unbearable. She closed the space between them, tenderly caressing the long, flaxen lock on his brow that had become congealed with blood. She softly peppered sweet kisses on his lips and with all the strength he had left, he kissed her lovely full lips back.

"Thank you, Eric, thank you for helping me." 

She amorously watched Eric's gorgeous lips as he mouthed... "I will know how truly grateful you are once you show me your power. Tara Thornton, I want to behold you."

The flashes of red emanated quickly and before she could stand up Godric's limp body was flying towards them, breaking, and crashing through tree limbs, bushes, and branches along the way. He landed hard on the forest ground a few feet away.

Alcide sprinted over to the place Godric was savagely tossed too, cautiously avoiding Paul. The wolf knew he was no match for that vampire. After drinking Tara's blood, Paul is now immune to silver and stronger than Eric and Godric combined. 

Tara slowly stood to her feet; she knew what she had to do. If she was afraid her powers were useless, her anger stifled her too. She needed control, which was something she'd never acquired in her life. Now she had to become the warrior Godric believed she was. Now her new vampire friend's life depended on it.

"Well-well-well- what do we have here?" Paul said as he sped over to Eric, stepping on Eric's chest, digging the heel of his designer shoes into his badly bruised ribs. Paul swung his leg back and kicked Eric with so much force, his body was propelled several feet into the air, his back cracked against a tree trunk.

"Stop it you sonofabitch!" Tara roared at him. 

He clucked his tongue in response. "But your sweet magical blood made me so strong my little magical-whore..." He winked a flirtatious eye and gyrated vulgarly at her.

"Burn- you piece of shit!" She replied, bade a fireball, and launched it at him.

But he easily dodged it. She did not want him hurting Eric or Godric anymore than he already had, so she teleported out of the wooded area and back into the parking lot, hoping he would follow her. Tara was confused, she had focused on the parking lot,  but that was not where she ended up.  The young woman peered around at her surroundings. She was on the complete opposite side of the vast warehouse; out of the corner of her eye, she saw two figures in hooded monk style cloaks. It was Nora and Naomi, standing in the shadows, close to the building. They had drawn the Vesica Pisces circle on the ground.

'Face north and meet the elements Aether.'

The witches had summoned her; they were chanting, evoking Aether's dormant-spirit, bringing it forth and conjuring her elemental powers, as they tried to do back at Godric's house. She could hear them clearly and feel what was happening... This time she welcomed it.

Tara looked into the night sky, faced north and took in a deep breath. She was knocked off her feet her eyes fixated on the moon. At the start of the night, the moon was alabaster; now, it was blood-red, her manifestation was the cause. Her pure elemental energy influenced nature and in response, the clouds began to billow and crackle with an electrical charge. Slowly she rose to her feet, anticipating Paul's daunting arrival.

In the distance, high above the tree line, Paul searched for his prize and when he spotted her, he soared furiously at her.

"I'm going to make you suffer the most for killing my child!"

"That sonofabitch had it coming and so do you!"

Raising her arms high in the air, her powers created gusting air streams; they stirred, causing the clouds to bubble up like a cauldron in the night sky. A strong gust of wind blew Paul back and he landed with a hard thud onto the ground. His body created a large chasm in the concrete. He struggled for a few moments and stood up slowly, slightly dazed, but even more odious than before.

Tara grinned wickedly. She knew her enemy was a rattled now. And that thrilled her. Like a bullet, Paul burst forward in a fit of rage. She reacted quickly; her powers hauled forth a vigorous stream of water from the reservoir, which ran along with the factory. The torrent blasted him with the strength of a tsunami, knocking him out of his shoes. He fell back onto the huge crater he had just pulled himself out of. He lay on the ground, stunned, in excruciating pain for several moments. The ominous vampire was browbeaten, but relentless none the less and he wobbled back to his feet.

"I'm going to drain every drop of you." He snarled. But the once intimidating vampire no longer looked daunting to Tara. His designer suit was filthy and reduced to rags. His nose was bleeding, his fangs chipped, and even his ear was missing.

"BRING IT, BITCH!" She hissed; no longer afraid. 

At that moment she felt the urge to look into the sky when she did she felt a heave of dynamism and absorbed all four elements - earth, air, water, and fire, unbridled her agony- her fear- her thirst- her rage and her love. A mystic cry rumbled out and it took her a moment to realize she had made the sound.  The sound created a sonic boom, the ground beneath them quaked and at that moment, a rush of energy from the earth penetrate her, it was much more powerful than adrenaline. 

The ancient powerful vampire took in the bizarre deity with bewilderment; he could not believe what he was seeing.  Tara's eyes glowed pure white as the winds wildly entangled her coal colored hair.

Paul fired towards her. If he could not own her, he would destroy her. Lighting rained down from the sky into Tara. She harnessed the electricity; photo-kinesis swam in her body. A hot white bolt of lightning-sparked from her hands, she held them out- palms forward; light beamed forward and struck Paul. Heat hotter than the sun's core surged into his body. He shuddered uncontrollably and the intense heat cooked his flesh from the inside out. The two-thousand-year-old vampire was reduced to lumpy chunks of ashy flesh in minutes.

Just as soon as it came, the storm dissipated. Unexpectedly, Tara felt light-headed, weaken, nauseated, just as she did earlier on in the night. This time, the sickening feeling had returned ten-fold. The energy she had was completely depleted. Her vision blurred and her breath hitched. 

Tara passed out in mid-air, uncontrollably; rapidly descending from the blood-moon sky.

 

Chapter Text

 

While Tara imperially fought with Paul, Franklin had hurriedly retrieved his severely injured Sire from the woods; while Eggs assisted the badly injured Eric to his feet. And then, everyone watched in awe as the magi wrathfully destroyed Paul; so when she began her downward, uncontrolled descent from the sky, the Norse man quickly sprang into action. Although in a substantial amount of pain, Eric caught her limp, comatose body, and prevented her fall to certain demise.  The unconscious deity lay sprawled across his strapping arms. He regarded her close, holding the woman tight as if to never let her go. Carefully, he carried her, gently placing her in the backseat of an abandoned Lincoln Town-Car; he limped his way to the other side of the car and sat next to her. With Pam's injured Grand-Sire riding shot-gun, the feisty vampire put her pedal to the metal and rode away from the gory, demolished scene.

After the harrowing ordeal, the exhausted, blood covered group found refuge at Godric's Baton Rouge residence. The house was less than a mile away and well hidden. Pam phoned a few willing humans and paid them generously to provide blood to the vampires. Nora and Naomi took on the difficult task of pulling the silver from Eric and Godric's flesh. Having the flesh burning silver extracted was exceptionally painful for the vampires, but it was the only way the healing process could begin. 

As daylight approached, Godric made haste to his underground- master bedroom. Pam preferred to slumber in a coffin, so she took his spare. Godric's coffin was custom-made, plush and enormous, roomy enough for the leggy vamp and her sexy pet to unwind comfortably. Nora chose a room down the hall, and Naomi selected the adjacent room. Their beaus wanted to return to New Orleans, but the witches urge them to stay. They wanted to be near Tara and be of aid to her if needed.

Eric did not hesitate, the moment his silver was removed after he fed; he carried his sleeping beauty to a guest room. Almost instantly, Eric fell into a deep slumber.

Cathy, the retired, registered-nurse-practitioner and novice Wiccan, was called and asked to tend to the injured and dehydrated Tara. The reliable friend used an IV to hydrate the sleeping goddess and applied Wiccan healing ointments on her wounds.

 

Three Days Later...

TARA POV

I have my reoccurring dream and finally, it made some sense to me. The dream was a precursor of my origins. It is a gateway from my world to this one.

I've also discovered that Earth represents strength, stability, prosperity, and femininity. Air represents communication, telepathy, dreams, and rituals. Water represents subconscious, purification, wisdom, and the soul. Fire represents energy, inspiration, and leadership.

And I rule on all these elements, the emotional as well as the physical aspects. As I began to wake, my internal warning system switched on. Mercifully, there was no flashing red. This time, I saw colors I'd never seen before. It started out as a bright burst of yellow, mixed in with waves of blue, flowing into a haze of green. I felt no reason to fear.  The vivid visuals calmed me, soothing me and warmed me like a plush blanket. Suddenly the green swirled into a deep sensual purple that waved and pulsated. In an astonishing response, my inner thighs tingled and I became unbearably moist down there. It felt so intense, arousing, it was intoxicating to me. I instantly recalled the time I felt this way. My eyes popped open and I turned my head slowly...

"Eric!" I breathed out while springing forward. He's lying next to me and he's asleep, very soundly I might add; I noticed immediately that he no longer had his long, shoulder-length locks. Now, his hair was cut into a very stylish, short do. And it looks good. He looks good...So-so good... He had nothing on but a black silk robe. It's slightly open too. And then I look down. My god, I shouldn't have looked down. LORD - there it was - that hard washboard abdomen. Before my eyes traveled any further south, I quickly jerk my head back up to his face, throwing away all the thoughts the ridiculously hot vampire gave me.

But there was no way I could deny it; I liked what I saw.

My smile is as big as the moon. But not because of Eric's hotness, I smiled cause all those awful wounds were gone. There was no sign of the pain he endured on my behalf. I was thankful, he was alright. And I was certain everyone else was alright too. And all the cuts and bruises I should have are gone like they never existed. 

How's that possible? Oh hell, did Eric give me his blood? I hear if a human drinks vampire blood, they will have sexy dreams or crazy nightmares about the vampire. Lord knows I can do without that... I roll to my side peering over at the nightstand and couldn't believe it...My cell phone! I thought that was gone forever. I wondered how in the hell did he get it back? I reach over and grab my long lost device. The clock on my phone says 8 AM and I have several missed calls from Lafayette and one from momma. I made a mental note to call them both. That also explains why Eric's sound asleep. It's morning... I also notice that I'm wearing nothing but a skimpy, white silk robe that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. No biggie, I've never been ashamed of my body. And I'm sure Eric's naughty ass enjoyed the view.

I decide to get up and explore new surroundings. But first I need to use the bathroom. Before I could get to the toilet to handle my business, I'm struck stupid by my own reflection in the mirror. My naturally curly shoulder length hair was now much, much longer and wavy, my locks hung loosely down my back. I run my hands through it making sure, it was all mine. I'll be damned; it is!

Now I look more like the picture in the Vesica Pisces book. I have way too many questions. So I decided to get some clothes on and seek out the one person who I'm sure can give me answers. But first, where do I find some clothes. I go to the closet of this cozy room, hoping that Eric has something nice in there for me to wear. He doesn't disappoint. I don't know how he did it, but my Armani dress, Gucci purse, and pumps are here. My cash is even in the purse. To top that off, the outfit that I left at Godric's mansion was hanging on the rack waiting for me to put on. And so I did just that. I looked great in the white fitted T-shirt, blue jeans, black Nike's and the bad-ass black leather jacket. 

Now it's time for me to leave the hot Viking in his dead-siesta, in the vampire-friendly room. I quietly shut the door and head down the hall, in order not to disturb any other sleeping vampires I try summoning the telepath. This is something... I can actually summon and be summoned!

'Hey, Nora... Sorry to bother you in the morning, but'... She cuts me off mid-sentence...

'My Goddess, you've awakened!'

Her voice resonated, in my head and then I see a bedroom door down the hall swing open. She ran down the hall in a scanty-pink robe. It looked just like the one I had on. She hugged me tightly and I hugged her back. She's really sweet and I deeply regretted my rudeness to her when we first met.

"You look beautiful Aether." She smiled sincerely at me. "What can I do for you?"

"Thank you... First of all, please stop calling me Goddess or Aether. I'm Tara."

"Of course Tara..."

"Second, thank you, Nora. Thank you for helping me."

"It was my duty and my pleasure."

"Where are we?" I ask simply out of curiosity, I felt completely safe wherever I was.

"We are at Godric's Baton Rouge home, follow me."

We walked downstairs to the kitchen and she started making me a yummy cup of hot Chai tea. I grab a spoon from the drawer, and I stir my tea with one hand while scratching my head with the other. I had so many questions; I didn't know where to start.

"Why did we come here, instead of going back to New Orléans?" I decided to start from the beginning.

"You, Godric and Eric were in no condition to travel and it was almost morning, luckily Godric has homes all over Louisiana" She said as she began cracking eggs and tossing veggies into a bowl, "It took the vampires a night to recover; but you've restored for three..." she grabbed a fork and a knife wrapped in a cloth napkin from a wicker basket. Next, the telepath set a tray of butter and jam on the counter.

"What do you mean by restore? I've been resting, asleep - right?"

"Not entirely"... she nodded, "It's more like a mind-teleportation to another realm; that is how Aether replenishes after being wounded or exerting a great amount of energy." She continued while placing a plate on the counter in front of me, "Vampires need blood and coffins to heal, Aether needs lots of water and days of deep restoration..."

I recalled my younger years, seeing myself sleeping in my bed, as I'm floating off and away to the deep dark ocean I'm all too familiar with. It happened several times after one of Lettie Mae's beatings. It happened once after Laf and I got into a knock-out-drag-out brawl with two red-necks at the bar. I realize now, that lots of strange things occurred around me. I made the choice to ignore it. I didn't want to give my mother any more reasons to beat me. I sure didn't want folks calling me a weird freak like they did my best friend. Being called an angry-nigger-loser was enough...

"So my mind is able to teleport... leaving my body...that can also teleport...and I can heal myself with some water and a nap...Well- fuck me running...!"

Nora chuckled at my state of shock as I made another mental note to read the Vesica Pieces book, I can't wait to see what else I can do.

"The sweetest thing was your vampire; he has not left your side and has been beside himself with concern."

I rolled my eyes at the 'your vampire' comment. Any talk about Eric and I that way was gonna annoy the piss outta me. She grinned naughtily but didn't say a word.

'He's so in love with you and you know it.'

She said, purposely communicating that part using telepathy, obviously knowing I was eavesdropping on her thoughts... And I purposely ignore her intrusive opinion. Instead, I ask, "Why in the heck was he freaking out? What was I doing?"

"Well, after two nights you had not risen from unconsciousness, you constantly tossed and turned in your sleep. Your limp body levitated in midair. He said you summoned the winds that sent him crashing across the room..."

Jeeze, that's embarrassing! Eric saw me looking like something out of the 'Exorcist'. I frowned, lowering my eyes in shame.

"...So he dashed to my room and told me that you're 'broken'." She puts up high air quotations emphasizing the word 'broken' and then snorted audaciously, Eric's behavior towards me clearly amused her. I begin to imagine Eric doing that and it tickled me too and I chuckled. Steely old Eric looks almost human when he's confused.

Nora then mocked The Vampire Sheriff by standing on her tippy toes, creasing her eyebrows and deepening her voice. "Nora, come quickly, my Tara is broken." She rasped, her impersonation of Eric was spot on.

We both burst into a fit of laughter. Why would he use the word 'broken', like I'm some fragile doll? Why does he flatter me so much? I couldn't help it; I was flattered. I beamed while adoringly fondling my gifted talisman around my neck.

She smirked, "His concern for you was simply adorable. Every time he ran to our room I would explain to him that there was nothing we could do but anticipate your awakening. By the tenth visit, Franklin almost went mad."

"That reminds me," I said, curiosity was eating at me, "What's the deal with Franklin and Eric? Why do they hate each other?"

She shook her head. "They do not hate each other at all, my beloved merely suffers from middle child syndrome."

"Oh..." was all I could say to that. That actually seemed understandable, It happens all the time with humans, why not vampires.

"...So, Nora, I've figured the clothes I have on were sent here from Godric's other house, but how did you guys find my other things?"

After taking a few sips of tea she answered, "When Eric and Pam were disposing of Paul's car, they happened to take a look in the trunk, that's where he found your things. I believe Paul collected them so he could use your items to trace your sent."

I shuddered at the mention of Paul's name. If I were not so famished I would have lost my appetite. However the fluffy omelet Nora prepared smelled and looked lip-smacking good. I dug in and was pleased.

"Tara, would you like to join Naomi and me for a girl's day out?" She asked and took a big bite of buttery toast.

"I've got nothing else going on so why not." I shrug.

The British woman clapped her hands together. "Splendid! Promise to have you back way before Eric wakes for the night." She dashed out of the kitchen leaving me with her unfinished portions of food; so I help myself.

We rode in Nora's Land Rover to New Orléans. On the way, she and Naomi fill me in on 'the witch hunters' - a secret society of descendants from Salem. Their numbers are even fewer than ours, only a few dozen or so, but they are very wealthy and well connected. To this day, they hunt our kind. To them, witches are an abomination, pest which should be exterminated from the Earth, they too answer to a deity. The deity is of pure malevolence.

Nora said before Franklin left Baton Rouge that night, he'd captured and interrogated Martin's partner; a witch hunter living in Shreveport, forcing the conspirator to reveal Paul's fucked-up plan. He told Franklin the twisted bastard wanted to enslave me and whore me out for my blood, he had buyers lined up by the dozens, and he would have made millions. He planned on selling other witches to the highest witch-hunter bidder like a cattleman sells meat to a slaughter-house. A modern-day slaveholder. He tried to buy his way into immeasurable power. Needless to say, I have no regrets killing his ass. Naomi told me that although we mostly remain hidden, sometimes a witch is found out simply because of how long we can live. Once a witch reaches a certain age ( I'm guessing late twenties to early 'thirties) our age progression slows down. Incredibly, Nora and Naomi are both over seventy-five years old. Godric wasn't kidding when he said they are older than they look. I can't believe, I'll look just like this for a very, very long time. It's like having the perk of being a vampire, without being dead.

 

 


 

The Coven, New Orleans

 

 

The Coven was a large, picturesque antebellum house that rivaled Godric's in size and appearance. In a grand hall stood over a dozen witches, all dressed in black adorned with various colored jewels around their necks. Besides all being female, they were a very diverse group. The clandestine society greeted Tara with open and loving arms. 

Girls, bearing gifts of rare jewels, magical charms, priceless trinkets, intricate ornaments, pearls, even diamonds, and gold. They happily handed Tara bags and boxes of valuable items as offering to their goddess. Tara was shocked. She felt undeserving of the beautiful and generous gifts and tried to turn down the offerings. But the Coven would not take no for an answer. After a while, she relented and graciously thanked them repeatedly. She'd never been given anything but raggedy-old hand-me-downs and now she'd just inherited a small fortune, from a group of perfect strangers. Tara promised to herself, she'd pay it forward, her blessings would be others blessings.

 Afterward, Nora and Naomi asked Tara, if the coven could complete the ushering ritual. This would bond her with all her subjects. Tara whole-heartedly agreed and the moment she did Jessica shrieked with joy. 

Jessica enthusiastically introduced Tara to her best friend Willa Burrell and they assisted their goddess in a black hooded cloak. The ushering ritual was finally performed and Tara was completely integrated into the Wicca society, literally and spiritually. The young beauty could feel the transformation, the unexplained bond; a feeling she'd never felt before - love and acceptance. The newly ushered goddess winked at Jessica and displayed her powers by whimsically tapping her hand at the extravagant fireplace, magically lighting it.

"I totally showed her that!" Jessica shouted out. Some of the girls scowled with doubt until Tara backed her friend up.

"She sure did," Tara nodded in agreement. "Jessica can barbecue a big bad wolf like nobody's business."

Cathy politely interrupted the conversation and laughter, calling everyone into the dining room for refreshments. Inside the dining room, Tara was greeted with an array of gourmet appetizers. She enjoyed the bacon wrapped dates and crispy shrimp with a sweet and spicy Chile sauce the most. 

While the group noshed on decedent hors-d'oeuvres, Jessica spoke proudly about the skirmish with the wolves. An hour passed when the endearing teen finally finished telling her overly animated re-count. Now it was time for Naomi to speak about Tara's clash with the ancient Monarch Paul. Everyone gathered close and silently listened as the olive-skinned High-Priestess, spoke.

"Despite not being fully ushered into her powers, Aether was triumphant in destroying the most powerful vampire in current existence. He and his progeny attempted to enslave her and had  stolen her magical blood."

Tara's will to survive against all odds empowered the women. They felt assured knowing they are now reunited with their protector. Holly Cleary, the coven's Elder, and the scribe wrote as Naomi spoke, the battle in Baton Rouge would be added to the Vesica Pisces as a historical event. The Coven members celebrated harmoniously with Tara, they laughed, ate and drank together for most of the day.

"I'm so happy to meet you all..." Tara radiated as she, Nora and Naomi made their way towards the door later on in the afternoon. 

Jessica and Willa offered to carry Tara's gifts to the Land Rover, but not before smothering her with several more hugs. Nora and Naomi flanked far behind, saying their farewells to Holly and Cathy; Tara assisted Jessica and Willa, as they packed her gifts into the car and she bid them another jovial good day and shut the car door. 

Not a moment later Tara let out a gasp of shock. A cute little dark-skinned girl, with two puffy, black pigtails had materialized out of thin air onto her lap. The girl's appearance reminded Tara so much of herself as a child, the fact rendered her speechless; and for a few moments the two exchange silent, cheerful glances. The former barmaid- turned goddess used telepathy to read her thoughts.

"Hi Aether, my names Mavis, Naomi is my mommy and Eggs is my daddy." Mavis's impossibly wide brown eyes innocently regarded her goddess. "I'm so glad you're here, now mommy won't be afraid anymore." and then the child enclosed her tiny arms around Tara's neck and sweetly kissed her cheek. She whispered in her sweet southern drawl. "I have to go before mommy sees I'm gone... Goodnight Aether..."  And just like that... the little girl was gone. Tara's heart filled with joy at such loving affection and she vowed that she'd do her best and stop any witch-hunters or evil vampires or anyone else from ever harming the Coven or any witch again.

The three women arrive back in Baton Rouge late afternoon. Tara called Lafayette to let him know that she's well and promised to see him soon. She conversed with him until he had to start his evening shift at Merlotte's. The dark-skinned beauty could not muster the courage to call her mother. She knew her mother would have many questions and she just wasn't ready to disclose all the significant changes in her life, so she sent her a text asking her mother if they could meet for lunch. No surprise to Tara when Lettie Mae didn't respond.

It was early evening when Tara took a nice long shower; afterward, she slipped back into her borrowed robe. She carefully glided onto the bed next to Eric who was still sleeping. She gazed longingly at him and wished she had the magical power to remove her attraction to him, but the uncontrollable need to be near him compelled her. With her own personal copy of the Vesica Pieces book, she began to read, curled up next to the blond vampire until eventually, she dozed off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Her long silken, raven hair and the dark, shapely body lay sprawled out next his pale, solid form. The vampire groaned; like a starving man at a feast, he hungered for her. The amulet he gifted her with lay nuzzled in her cleavage. The talisman that protected The Viking for over a thousand years, now protected a Goddess. 

'My beautiful Aether, a goddess who would be envied by all goddesses...like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, she is still beautiful, still strong...' His hand adroitly caressed her shapely hips then migrated to her thighs as he admired her stunning curves...'I digress, how could I be any clearer? How can I show you that I want to reconcile the undisclosed desires in your heart?'

"Eric..."

His head shot up at the sound of her melodic voice and he met her gaze. Her sensual heavily lidded eyes examined his perfectly chiseled face. As he listened to her steady heartbeat and appraised her calm expression, the vampire waited for the dark-skinned beauty to scorn or seduce him. He prayed for the latter while fighting all primal instincts to take and devour her. She pleased him with a beautiful smile, those long butterfly lashes fluttered seductively at the smitten man.

'Could this mean she is thankful I had survived unharmed? Is she pleased to be at my side?'

"Both..." She answered, effortlessly reading his mind.

He had no control of the intrusion of his mind and even if he did, he would not have resisted her.

'And suddenly, as if batting a fly, the mahogany-skinned goddess waved her hand. Her magic ignited the fireplace; the flames crackled and set the room aglow. I cleared my throat, still unable to grasp what had just occurred. My Tara has risen anew, powerful and definite. Her appearance, even more, beautiful than the night she walked into my bar.'

Eric was jolted; Tara was the only woman who's ever rendered him speechless.  Neither of them was accustomed to being at a loss for words. Yet, they found themselves regarding each other in an awkward silence that had become all too familiar to them. They both chuckled for a moment, but their laughter soon subsided.

"What do you want from me Eric Northman?" Her eyes narrowed while she nervously fondled the talisman. He peered into her big doe-eyes, frustration washed over his face.

"Tara Thornton- I want you to be mine- only mine -completely... But you must give yourself to me. I won't have you any other way." He gently confessed, his tone contradicting his fierce look.

Tara smiled coyly and replied, "I don't wanna share you either Eric. I'm willing to give myself to you, only if you promise that you're done with that fang-banger Yvette and that blood-whore Dawn. And no more fighting on my behalf either. I can take care of myself now." She lowered her eyes in embarrassment, realizing how demanding she sounded.

And so he replied, "Your conditions are within reason."

From there on in it was all passion, intense, intoxicating... It was their release, her escape, his drug... His wanton need bubbled like a cauldron, and he moved forward, gently kissing her neck, collarbone, down to her taut belly. His blond hair fell forward, tickling her, along with the stubble of his chin. Her body tensed as she suppressed her giggle. He kissed his way back up to her sweet honey lips and whispered. "I am yours..."

And Tara kissed him back with a passion the thousand-year-old vampire had never known. When the beauty came up for air the vampire smirked then said: "...and you are mine."

"Then drink from me." She responded without pause. She was ready for him, as ready as she would ever be, so she turned her head exposing her neck. Involuntarily he let out a soft whimper and his ivory blades clicked.

"I want to taste you there..." his voice was low and husky with lust.

She watched his gaze slowly lower to her pert breast. A shiver traveled through her and her eyebrows arched inquisitively.

"Where..?" She whispered.

"There..." he growled, causing Tara's entire body to respond to the sound of it.

Her body was positively screamed at him. She nodded, biting her bottom lip. The tips of Eric's fangs skimmed the skin of her neck, trailing his mouth down until he found the perfect vein. He covered her body with his own and bit down, moaning against her skin. She hadn't realized he'd bitten her until she felt the small trickle of blood sliding down her chest. Without warning, he felt a surge of warmth enter his body. It was the feeling of pure sunlight on his skin. He lifted his head, groaning, and his eyes fluttered, dense with pleasure, as he savored her sweet nectar. With his mouth by her ear, his fingers slid against the hem of her lace panties, the Viking stroked her moist folds with his talented fingers. 

"What does it feel like Tara," he whispered, and at the same time, two of his fingertips dipped into her wetness, his palm rubbed firmly against her bundle of nerves and Tara moaned helplessly. Something flared in Tara's chest; her heart skipped a beat in confusion. An unknown urge compelled her; she wanted to taste him too.

"I want you inside me, Eric." 'What would ancient vampire blood do to Aether?'

Her words caused him to halt his erotic actions and their eyes met in a passionate gaze. "You shall have my cock buried in you all night Goddess," Eric assured her, while his manhood ached with anticipation.

"I mean your blood...Eric, can I drink from you?" she smiled.

Eric's dead heart clenched at the idea of having his blood coursing through her veins... He wanted nothing more than to bond with Tara. "Yes, Lover..." The vampire did not hesitate and quickly bit into his wrist, and then placed his wound to her waiting mouth. Her passionate seductive gaze causes the blue-eyed Norseman to become impossibly more aroused as he watched her greedily sucked his flesh for a few moments until the wound sealed. Eric regarded in wonderment as the black of her pupils become so enlarged that the brown was nearly engulfed.

Tara closed her eyes and a blur of images danced in her mind; stormy seas, snowy landscapes, and raging fires. The violent northern winds whipped Eric's wild flaxen hair and bearded face; a clan of Viking warriors stood by his side, dressed for battle, yielding axes and swords. But one image was more vivid, and that was the one of Tara herself, she and Eric sound asleep, naked in the dense and snowy forest... in daylight... Her eyes were dark with intoxication when she kissed him.

In the twilight room, their fingers caressed each other's skin as if afraid a heavier touch would break the heady magic. They became one, one mind with one goal and purpose, each utterly drunk with love for the other.

"Your world was so amazing Eric, thank you for sharing with me."

He nodded and palmed her flawless ass. Tara believed Eric's fingertips were electric, for wherever they touch her skin tingled in a frenzy of static. As his hands move over her skin, her body has a transitory paralysis, her mind unable to process the pleasure so fast. His head moved around to her left ear and he whispered what's coming next.

"I'm going to make you yearn for me as I for you."

Suddenly her body was off pause-mode and she pulls back for a kiss that's both soft and hard. Both of them move in an intoxicated dance of limbs, never making the exact same moves twice. She lifted her hips and Eric slid the tip of his hardness against the moist fold of her sex, rubbing his head over her clit, over and over again, teasing her, trying to make her longing and frustration equal his own.

She positively jolted, "Oh goddamnit baby!" she cursed in frustration her hips bucked uncontrollably, "Fuck Eric -Please don't tease me." She pleaded. Tara wanted to scream in frustration. 

And just like that, his resolve was crushed. He surrendered to his lover and slowly pushed inside her heated folds, shuddering at the sensation of her young tight muscles drawing him in. He pressed into her deeper, moaning, cursing in his ancient language.

"Ohhh, så otroligt..." He'd never felt anything so perfect.

After a moment of adjusting to the incredible feeling of being inside of her, Eric began to thrust, sending waves upon waves of pleasure into Tara's body. He became intoxicated off her moans as he thrust into her searing hot pussy without abandon.

"Jag älskar dig, Tara min vackra..!"

"I love you too Eric." She purred softly.

Clutching her against him, his cock moving fast and smooth, pounding her, fucking her... and all the while she screamed coming again and again. She trembled and came, trembled and came. It felt as if her body clung and suckled his invading presence, bathing him in her arousal. His muscular body jerked above her and he uttered a sound like a sob. She sensed the tension jolting his body; she felt it in the tempo of his thrusts. When Eric lost all control and he threw his head back, his blood-drenched lips parted in a ragged groan.

"Ahhhhrrruggggg..." Roaring, his forehead bent down onto her chest and he thrust into her hard and true one final time.  He came hard, his moans sounded more animal than human. They both shuddered to ride out the waves of their orgasms. 

After a few moments, he pulled out and collapsed beside her.  and after a few more moments, he grabbed her, spooning against him,  and kissing her forehead as they basked in the moonlight.

 A few more moments passed before either of them were able to actually speak. "My Goddess," he purred. "I don't remember the last time I lost all control."

"My Vampire," she hummed. "So are you saying I've got some good sex?"

"Indeed, min vackra," He kissed her forehead again, while languidly rubbing her shoulders.

She gazed dotingly into his eyes while running her fingers through his flaxen mane and she smiled.

"I am yours, Eric," she assured him.

"We are one Tara," he proudly declared.

His hand had migrated to her hair, pushing a lock back from her face.

"Now rest beautiful woman, you may have caused me to come faster than expected, but that does not mean I am unable to recover quickly."

 


 

 

 

 

 

TARA POV

We gave each other unimaginable pleasure. I'm only alive in the present, all thoughts of past melted away when Eric let me into his world. I can't describe the connection between us. All I can say is the passion was intoxicating, the laughter soul uniting, the high- jinx, hella crazy. There's something about Eric Northman that lights me up from the inside, there's something about me that melts his confidence to nothing at all. Touching him is like being handed the holy grail like my heart is mended even though I never knew it was broken. I'm his cat-nip; he's my whiskey on ice. And just before morning we finally collapsed from pure exhaustion.

As I slept, I had my bizarre dream. I'm hovering above the ocean and the winds violently swept my hair. I felt a presence, so I looked for Nora, Naomi, or any of the other witches from my Coven, but it wasn't them that infiltrated my mind. With a blink of my eyes, the scene suddenly changed. I was alone in the darkness of a vast and empty void. I blink again and suddenly I was floating in the dark, moon-lit sky.

"Aether..." A voice called out, I couldn't see anyone and I didn't recognize this voice at all.

"I'm here," I holler back. "Who are you?"

"My name is Isabelle; I was once an Elder, now we reside here." She said we, but only one person was speaking, but I feel the presences of others.

"Where is 'here'?" I asked. This is odd; no one has ever visited me in my dream before.

"In the light", the voice said, "We are always with you Aether... You and you're bonded... In darkness and in light..." The voice echoed out to me and before I could ask what the heck -that means. I was back in the bedroom, in the bed next to my sexy-sleeping vampire. 

Eric looked perfect submerged in a bed of designer sheets. Why couldn't I have a hot-vampire-blood- induced- sex- dream like everyone else? I huffed and went back to sleep.

When I awoke hours later, it was well into the late afternoon and he was still dead for the day, so I tested myself to see how much strength I had to leave his side. After a moment, I kicked off the sheets and dragged myself to the shower. I hesitated at first because I didn't want to wash his scent off me. But once the hot water hit my aching muscles I welcomed it. I showered until the water turned cool and I stepped out into the steamy bathroom. As I dressed I realized how much I cared for him, how much I accepted him, how much I cherished him. How much I loved him...

Oh, crap on a cracker!

I love him! I'm in love with a vampire! Damn, no one ever accused me of being the brightest light on the street.

 


 

ERIC POV

Strange, interesting flashes of light danced in my eyes. In the near distance I can see my Tara, the moment I turn my gaze, my sweet angel vanished. 

A peculiar black cat stood before me. I was unaware of my surroundings, however, I am no longer in my room and the 'cat' before me is not really a cat at all. The stench of decaying flesh reeked around me, the smell emitted from the creature. The being's eyes were completely black, perhaps hollowed out. It leered at me unmoving and I impudently eyed it back. And then utter darkness met me. My mind is taken over by animated flashes of blood-red.

"Eric..." I hear my love call out to me. I remain unmoving until my eyes adjusted to the darkness.

"Tara," I called out.

"Tara is human, unworthy of the power bestowed upon her." It spat out the word human as if it was something vile. Now the creature that had appeared before me as a cat shifted into Tara's image. It was attempting to fool me, but it cannot. Whatever it is, it is not human or Aether.

"What are you...?" I look into the emptiness of its eyes.

"I'm the one who belongs, not Aether. This is my world. She shall be vanquished."

"Never...!" I roared. Why does it hold such hatred for Tara? 

I felt heat surge through my body and faster than light, the entity was gone and I was in my bed. My body indicated it was dusk. Weak artificial light seeped into the room from the lights in the hall and landed in my eyes. And I took in an unnecessary sigh, my beautiful lover was gone. The pain was almost unbearable. I searched for her through our bond and although her alluring fragrance lingered, she was no longer in the house, or outside. She was already in Shreveport. I reached for my cellular, and I took the time to check my voice-mails. There were no messages from Tara, but several from Pam and others. And then I notice the note on the nightstand...

Dear Eric Northman,

A gift for you, my sexy, Viking, Vampire, Sheriff...

Love,

Tara Mae

I open the little red velvet bag and my dead-heart clamped like a vice as I pull out the small, gold-linked, Vesica Pisces medallion. I lay complacent for a moment, reliving our spent time, longing for her, irritated at how much power she has over me. The only thing that mattered was touching her more, kissing her mouth, her breasts, her entire body.  I was enslaved by her and foolishly, I didn't want to be released. I called my day-workers and gave them their orders. Tara would be taken care of in my absence. After that business was completed, I showered, then dressed and left.

 

 


Chapter Text

 

   

 

Eric entered unnoticed through the employee entrance; in his office, he was pleased to find the paperwork he'd ordered his deputy to acquire. He knew that his procurement of Aether had a heavy price tag, there was no way of knowing how many people are aware of her now. Someone could copy Paul and she could be captured and sold. She could be seized by any Monarch, Chancellor, or even the Magistrate; or worse, she could be killed in retaliation. 

Although Tara is supposed to fill out the form with her vampire, he wasn't going to let Tara's stubbornness get in the way of what was best for her. So the bar owner retrieved Tara's actual signature on file and expertly forged her signature on all the required documents. 

With urgency, he faxed the appropriate documents, in hopes that Tara could be legally registered as his bonded-human companion in the eyes of the Authority. Eric could feel his child nearing before she sashayed into his office. 

"You've had Cupcake," She chided, her eyes sparkled with mischief, "Well, how was she?" Pam hid her disbelief well, she could feel Eric's overwhelming happiness and she knew Tara was the cause. Her shiny heels clicked as she glided towards her seat.

At that moment, Eric realized that soap and water could not wash it away; his cologne could not mask it. Aether blood coursed through his veins, her unique scent covered his own; and he did not mind one bit. "State your business child." He clipped, annoyed at her prying and curt interruption of his thoughts.

"The wolves had been sighted in the woods near your St. Landry property; no one knows why they're sniffing around or who they work for. And new vamps were here last night, your deputy failed to watch them properly, they left before being questioned."

"Is that all Pamela?" Eric was pleased; the news was of great value, now he could proceed accordingly.

"What's that around your neck?" She scoffed. Leering at the gold medallion like Eric was growing a second head.

"You know what it is and who gave it to me." His circumvention did not fool her.

 "Are you in love with Cupcake?" She threw her hands up in the air no longer able to mask her aversion. "I don't fucking believe it! Are you really falling for that- that lighting- shooting witch!?" Her voice seeped with irritation.

"She is mine- that is all you need to know - Now get out." He bluntly replied, at the same time his phone pinged.

"Fine... are you staying, the human's get- all pissy when you're not here." With her hands on her hips, she waited for a response.   He ignored her and read the message from Alcide. Tara has arrived safely at your residence. And then he smiled, "I plan on it; now that Tara is safe with us -now leave me alone."

Somewhat satisfied, Pam nodded and left.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

❤❤❤  

Earlier that day...

TARA POV

I wrote my sleeping vampire a short, sweet note and left him a little present; fully aware that he'd still be pissed that I left. I could feel his possessiveness through our bond and it exceeded neurotic. With anybody else, this behavior would be unacceptable. But for me, with Eric, it's normal. 

As I rode in a cab, Shreveport bound, I thought about my dream slash visit with Isabelle. I needed to better understand my dreams, my past memories and the Vesica Pisces book was little help. That book is so cryptic and difficult to decipher, I just don't have the knowledge to figure it out myself. I'm so thankful that Nora is very knowledgeable and she is willing to help me when I call or summon her. Since this is not an emergency, I sans the summoning and I rang her the old-fashioned way.

"Greetings Tara," She answered in her cheerful British accent.

"Hey, Nora, I've got some questions, I hope you can help me out..."

"Of course, I'll do my best."

"Well...last night, I was in a realm with a woman named Isabelle. She said that she was with me and my bonded...and umm..." I paused trying to find my words and then she began to speak after a moment.

"You were visited by the recently slain elder of our Coven Isabelle Beaumont when witches die our soul resides in the Realm of Light, the home of Isis, it is a place of refuge from Absalom."

That's interesting... "...So what about the bonded thing..?"

"I suspect you and Eric consummated your relationship." I could hear the smile on her face.

"That is none of yo business Noise-Rosie, I don't ask what you and Franklin be doin between the sheets." She giggled and it caused me to giggle too. "Very well, Isabelle was simply making you aware that you and your vampire have a place in the home of Isis. This is a good thing; however, it also could make your loved ones a target for witch-hunters."

I gulped hard, "How so..?"

"If a witch-hunter is successful in a blood sacrifice, then the slain soul will become the property of Absalom, giving her strength. Luckily most hunters are inbred idiots and haven't been able to properly perform a sacrifice in decades. But if they ever succeed, they could usher in Absalom, the soul eater. Our dear Isabelle predicted your arrival and gave her life making sure that we lived to see you ushered onto your throne."

I was momentarily speechless. "Nora, thanks for the info, I feel like I should be doing something, but I'm not sure what that is."

"Hone in on your powers. Now that you and Eric have exchanged blood, you should expect to share his abilities and he will share yours."

"Wow, vamp-powers too...Okay...I'll practice blasting stuff... and wait for the vamp stuff to happen...thank you."

"You are most welcome Tara."

Well, I'll be a...

I think I'm some kind of archangel to the Lord of Light (Isis), Mother Isis has a diabolical ass sister (Absalom) who is the Queen of darkness, and her factions are trying to consume the energy of witches so the Devil can gas up to make hell on Earth.

 From here on, I'll have to be mindful of an evil divinity who wants to destroy me and demonically possessed witch-hunters who want to help her out with that. On top of that, I may have more thirsty vampires after my blood and their V-addicted Wolf-stalkers who can hunt me down during the day. This is all beyond fucked-up–ness... How do you prepare for some shit like that? I really want to be a good Aether- I have no choice, it's what I am.

After she tells me all of that  I thank her again for her info and ask her to keep me posted on anything evil deity, thirsty vampire, witch hunter or V-wolf related. She promised to do exactly that. I end my call as the taxi pulled up to my apartment building. As I'm digging for my key, Mr. Barry, my landlord stops sweeping the sidewalk and approached me.

"Hey Tara, this is for you." He dug into his jacket and handed me a black envelope sealed in red wax, no doubt it's from Eric.

"You can drop your keys in the mail slot." He grabbed his broom from the ground and continued his sweeping.

"Umm...thanks, Mr. Barry..." I stuttered in confusion.

Why does Mr. B want my keys? I opened the envelope; it has a note and two keys on a Fangtasia keychain. I pull the note out.

Tara,

I will not tolerate my woman living in run-down accommodations.

Your slumlord has been paid in full and has allowed my servant to move your things.

This is the address of your new home:

3210 Bayou View Place

Winston, LA 70458

Yours, Eric

Oh hell no!

That cocky old bastard...I cannot believe the nerve of him... How dare he just move my things without my permission...I had to take a deep soothing breath; my powers are fueled by my emotions and my agitation was making the winds around me gust. I know if I got too upset, I'll aggravate the elements, alert my progenies and Eric. So I calmed myself by pacing the sidewalk. Fuck it. I'll go to his Winston Parrish house. I'll get my raggedy shit and bounce. I thought I wanted this with him. But this is just too damn much. And after a few more minutes of pacing like a raging fool, I dropped my apartment keys into Mr. Barry's mailbox and called for another taxi.

After an hour and a half in the hot musty cab, my eyes cannot believe what they're seeing. The taxi pulled into a driveway that went on for miles. Eric's lake-front home is absolutely stunning. The acres of lawn are well manicured and beautifully landscaped. I see a familiar face as I jump out of the cab. It's the cute, loyal wolf Alcide. He hurried down to greet me, as I get closer, I notice his big brown eyes, eyeing my legs and thighs. I have on very snug fitting white short-shorts, a sexy little purple tank top and matching flip-flops.

"Hi Alcide, what are you doing here?"

He gave me a nonchalant nod. "I was sent to test the perimeter, and keep watch until Northman returns."

I figured that, but it never hurts to ask. He politely offered to pay for my taxi and asked for my duffel bags. I handed him my bags and politely decline his offer, and paid my own fare. After I paid the driver, we silently made our way up the long driveway to the house. I could tell he had something on his mind so I curiously began eavesdropping on his thoughts.

'Goddamn,   I'd never met anything like Tara. I've visualized that night in the woods so many times. The feeling of her capturing my mind, becoming a part of my pack, all the while, searching for me, navigating with amazing speed, in almost no light, was like being on the best drug.  Her fresh and natural scent stimulated a wild out of control response; she made me want to shift, hunt and howl at the moon, over and over again.  She destroyed a vampire with the wind, water, and lightning bolts.  And, man, she's smoking hot.'

I stopped eavesdropping. I didn't need to know anymore. Even though I stopped reading his thoughts, I could still sense his emotions. Alcide, the tall dark and handsome wolf has a crush on me... I couldn't help being flattered.

"Is there anyone else who lives here? Pam? Other vampires or wolves..?"

He shook his head. "Nope...Northman lives alone." He said, handing my bag to me, his hand lightly brushing mine. His mouth goes dry, and he swallows trying to get some saliva going again.

"Cool...you don't have to stay here and babysit me ya know; I can take care of myself and besides, this place seems pretty safe." The house was well-lit, had an automated gate, high fences, no trespassing signs, and security cameras. In addition, I'm slowly torturing the poor guy. And a bodyguard, no matter how cute, is just not my thing.

"I know you can...remember, I've seen you in action, but this is my job."  He said, peering at me with curiosity and lust, my cheeks warmed and I smiled at him while reading his thoughts.

She tempted me like no other, while I watched her perfect, straight white teeth flash from beneath her tempting bee-stung lips. I take a step back, I know better, she belongs to a vampire and that made her totally unavailable. I gathered the strength to turn and walk away from the most tempting woman I'd ever met... As I headed towards my old blue Chevy pickup truck, I sent Northman a text message letting him know I took care of my orders...And I didn't dare look back...'

Eric's house is just as stunning on the inside as it is on the outside. High ceilings, granite counters, flat screen computers, modern entertainment systems. Hardwood floors, shiny fixtures, wall-hangings, and spatial designs. Everything worked pleasantly. The windows gleamed, the house smelled so fresh.  His office had several computer monitors which gave many views of the grounds. It seems that there was a button or switch for everything. He could open, close, turn on, turn off everything from this room. The next room held more unique, personal items. I opened the case, closely observing the ancient pieces. There was a coarse woolen cloak with buttons made of polished wood, with an elaborate brioche of beautiful and intricate designs to fasten the cloth. And a shield and ax made of wood and metal. I evoked my visions of his human life and now realize he would always have his rough callused hands, a permanent reminder of when he was human. The ancient crown is discreetly displayed in his study. It had an odd shape to it, with nearly no decoration, still, it was obviously forged by very skilled craftsmen. It looked older than the crowns I'd seen in any history books about kingdoms and empires. I could feel its importance, the sentimental value, so I didn't dare touch that. 

As I moved through the rooms, I touched exteriors, surfaces, book spines, chair backs, handles, and knobs. I knew Eric would have no trouble picking up my scent in these rooms. I can't explain how much it thrills me knowing my scent drove him wild. I go upstairs and open the door. The guest room has all my things from my apartment, (minus my kitchen items) neatly placed as it was in my studio apartment and ready for me to use. His master bedroom is enormous, it had a sitting area, its own massive bathroom and an incredible fifteen jetted (yeah I counted) hot tub. I step onto the balcony to an amazing view of a vast golf course. 

I sit for a while and watch the lovely sunset. All the while I contemplate getting dressed up and going to Fangtasia, despite knowing Eric doesn't want me out alone, especially at night. I think more about it as I go downstairs to the kitchen for water. He had plenty of beverages, various alcohol, and non-alcoholic varieties. And it's no surprise that it wasn't a crumb of food in the house; so I grab a bottle of water and then two more. I drink them all and I think about leaving again, as I pace around the counter island. 

I'm deep in thought with my elbows resting on the granite counter when I spot a door to an unexplored room. I open the door to a pretentiously large garage, big enough to fit three SUV's. Just when I thought his Porsche was showy enough. I find myself gawking at his sleek black Maserati. I wonder how he acquired all this wealth. How long did it take him? He's had a thousand years, so he's had plenty of time to master the art. I'd imagine he's good at making money; hell, he's making money right now at Fangtasia.

Suddenly I hear this clanking noise. It sounded like locks latching. I run down the hall to Eric's office and I look at the surveillance monitors. The main gate is shutting; a light is beeping on the screen.

ALERT-Perimeter Secure-Voltage ACTIVE.

What the fuck..? I call Eric's cell, hoping he answers; the phone rang only once. 

"Yes, lover..."

"Don't you yes lover me..!" Silent dead air... I'm picturing his perfect face, that icy glare as he sits all high and mighty on his throne. "...I like this house and all..."

"That pleases me, Goddess..."

I love it when he calls me that. "...I'm not finished... I thought it would be cool staying here until this place turned into a goddamn prison on lock-down."

"It is for your safety. In the office are monitors that keep constant surveillance of the grounds. The reinforced window shutters are set on a timer, which I've set to activate at 8 PM. The fence has a fatal voltage for humans or wolves; it's also galvanized with silver for any vampire's stupid enough to enter. Signs are posted giving trespassers fair warning. "

Impressive Mr. Big- shot... "I wanna leave..."

"No!" he snapped, not masking his tone whatsoever "I shall arrive at midnight. A credit card is in the guest room, and your own notebook, shop online, order whatever you please."

He sounded cold, I felt kept...but I could feel his fear. He was afraid that I'd disobey. He knew that his fancy fences and locks could keep the bad things out, but nothing could keep me in.

"Eric, you can't keep me locked up like this."

"I cannot min vackra, but stay there for me nonetheless." Shit...So much for being pissed off at him... he's still an overbearing asshole.

"Fine, you better have your Viking ass here when the clock strikes twelve or I'm teleporting back to my Coven in New Orléans." That was a big fat lie, the truth was, just hearing his sensual voice and feeling how much he worried and missed me made me weak. I wanted to wait for him. I'm so pathetic.

"Yes, lover, I will have my Viking ass and massive cock home for you promptly at midnight."

"Bye Eric..." I go to the guest room and open up my very first computer. It takes me about thirty minutes to get the laptop all set up the way I like. Now I'm ready to shop. First-things-first, I order a pizza and take the notebook to the front porch and wait for my dinner. Twenty minutes later, my pizza arrives. I eat a few slices and have a couple of cold beers. I piddle around for a while and I still have an hour to wait until midnight. So I make my way back to the guest room,  out of sheer boredom, I undress and put on a pink, lace bra and pantie set. After applying a little makeup, I snap a few sexy selfies, then send them to Eric. It's my way of reminding him of what he's got waiting for him. In less than a minute, he responds. 

'Lover, no one pleases me more than you. Never had, never will, you are everything, min Tara.'

Damn, why do his words do that to me...? I was so turned on now and so was he. I could feel it. I teleport back to the porch and waited... He was closer; his color signature pulsated deviously. I look to the starry, crescent moonlit sky and watch in wonder as my sexy Viking, Vampire Sheriff finally arrived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 Winston Parrish Shreveport...

 

 

 

Min Gudinna," Eric purred. His wide, emerald eyes shone with pure animalistic lust as he took in Tara's scantily clad body. His fangs dropped down; his cock stiffened instantly, speechless and unconditionally mesmerized by her beauty, he was certain Tara was casting a spell on him.

"Min Tara," he rasped, closing the space between them. "You look good enough to eat."

The vampire and Aether seethed with pleasure. They made love in various rooms of the house, never quite getting enough of one another. After their sensual romp in the hot tub, Eric pulled two Egyptian-cotton towels from the rack. He wrapped his waist before drawing her close and patting every single inch of her dry.

Pure bewilderment swept over the vampire as he observed all but one of his bite wounds had strangely disappeared, the very first one remained, and it was healing at a normal pace. Using another fluffy towel, he wrapped the towel up under her arms. 

She heaved a sigh as she grew a bit more serious finally allowing herself to think clearly. "We have a lot of enemies and we need to be ready to fight if needed."

He did not respond.  Although impressed by her guardianship. He didn't want to think about it, let alone discuss the matter. He'd already spent most of his night gathering information. He knew The Authority was aware of the massacre in Baton Rouge but was unsure if anything would or could be done about it. Franklin and Eggs are keeping watch on all the vampires and wolves that are potential suspects in cahoots with Paul. Any suspects will be interrogated by Franklin, the most infamous detective; his interrogation tactics are medieval, thus highly effective. He trusted his brothers would inform him of any danger to Tara's Coven as well. He continued to pat her hair dry; noticing that her dark, loosely coiled ringlets felt even more silken and had grown by several more inches since the night before. He tossed his towel and allowed his hands to make a slow, deliberate path to her hips; once there, they latched on firmly and with no hesitation, he growled, lowering himself to her neck. He was becoming aroused again.

"Stop -Eric, we need to talk."

His movements halted and through their bond, she could feel his disappointment. He felt shunned as he sulked in front of her, wallowing in agonizing frustration. He lifted his head and nuzzled her face. Through their bond, he could feel her burden, her distress. Tara's heart lay heavy, only a couple of hours till dawn and from the moment Eric arrived they'd been on each other like moss on a rock.

Only a slight part of her was ever so confident in her own resilience. She had destroyed a formidable opponent. Still, unrelenting anxiety crept into her mind. She was unsure of herself as a protector, as a leader. She sighed again and slightly pulled away from him. Her wide-set russet eyes glared into his sea green ones. She listened in earnestly on his thoughts. But his mind was silent, his face had become unreadable. She tilted her head to the side, wondering if he had figured out a way to block her out.

Beautifully nude, Tara laughingly walked over to the king-sized bed. As she pulled the red silk sheets over her body. The soft linens felt incredible against her skin; she took in a relaxing breath.

 Eric unblinkingly followed, splaying his nude form alongside hers.

"When I first met you, I was convinced that the Satan himself had stolen Michael's face and had given it to you," she said truthfully, still unbelieving that loving a vampire was almost as illogical as falling in love with one at first sight.

"And what is your conclusion?" Eric's eyes became suddenly wide, returning her candid appraisal.

"I-  I love you - So we don't have to spend our night talking about retaliating vampires, or witch predators. But we will get to know each other."

His lips curled up into an unabashedly dirty grin. "There are several more ways I'd like to get to know you min gudinna. I'd like to know your hot mouth, your sweet breast, your perfect ass; my cock would like to know them all."

She playfully slapped at his chest, "I mean we need to talk, you nasty old thang!" The young woman turned her nose up and huffed in disgust, but Tara was only pretending to be offended. She knew Eric was a naughty vampire. And she wouldn't have it any other way.

"Very well," he chuckled, he loved her sass. "...very well, we shall become better acquainted then..."

Her head slanted to the side, she chewed her bottom lip and twirled her obsidian colored ringlets in her finger. "Do you feel any different?" she leaned in closer and placed her hand firmly on his chest, with the faintest hopes of feeling a heartbeat. There was none, but she found satisfaction in the fact that Eric remained humanly warm.

"Should I..?" He asked allowing his long, adroit fingers to trace small circles over her hips. Besides smelling sweet and savory like his lover and having strange dreams, the ancient vampire felt the same.

"I'm not really sure; will ya let me know if you do?" She shrugged.

Eric agreed with a simple nod.


 

 Godric's House, New Orleans

 

 

 

Godric leisurely reclined in his Lazy-Boy, listening to Gregorian chant music, but his time of serenity was curtly shorted when Alcide hurried into the room.

"Two vamps are here; they say they've important business with you." 

The imposing presence of well-groomed vampires and half-dozen officers gave the wolf an unsettling feeling; he assumed the duo wasn't there to have a friendly chat with the King.

"The Authority..." Godric hissed, then quickly stood and pressed the correct button on his remote to silence the music. His usual calm expression was now replaced with unadulterated tension, both men were positive this was the precursor to a serious shit-storm.

Alcide's pronounced eyebrows furrowed. "Should l call Talley, Northman or Mott?"

"That is not necessary. I shall summon them if needed..." Godric moved closer towards his servant, he whispered so that no one would be able to hear except Alcide's exceptionally keen, canine ears. "Alcide, please make haste to the coven. The residents will need you and your men's protection for tonight."

The brawny man nodded.

"Also," the pale man added placing his hands together, intertwining his fingers, "Mr. Alcide Herveaux, after tonight, your debt is absolved.

Alcide took a step back as he was momentarily at a loss for words. The pack-master had several more years of servitude left. But now that he'd been released, a prevalent weight was lifted, he could move on with his life and for that, he was truly grateful.

"Yes Godric, right away, after I make sure everyone is safe, I'm headed back to Jackson, so let me know tonight if there is anything, and I mean anything else you need before I'm gone for good." The wolf stated humbly, this time with a sense of pride he'd never had before.

"I am certain that request shall be my last, my friend."

Alcide reached out his hand. The vampire looked at it for a moment and then took it firmly in his own. "Thank you," Alcide said while firmly shaking his hand with The Vampire King; Alcide's heartfelt gesture pleasantly surprised the sincere vampire. The Wolf beamed assertively as he headed towards the door.

"There is one more matter..." Godric called out.

"Yes, sir..." Alcide turned to him.

"Please, invite my uninvited guest in."

Alcide gave a final nod and left.

"He's waiting in the study." He growled with aversion at the two vampires waiting in the foyer.

"Good doggy." The blond woman sneered as she and the brunette stalked towards Godric's study.

"What do I owe this visit from a Monarch and the Magistrate herself?" Godric asked, greeting them upon arrival. He was highly agitated, but the old vampire expertly faked a calm appearance. He'd already discerned the reason Magistrate Salome Agrippa and Chief Monarch Nan Flanagan were requesting an impromptu meeting. 

Salome and Nan instantly became irritated at the sight of the King sitting relaxed in his recliner. Paul and Salome were very close friends and had known each other for centuries. The two high-ranking vampires shared a similar history and common interest. Salome's subordinate, AVL spokesperson, and glorified opportunist Nan Flanagan has crusaded for half a century on a non-stop campaigning, vying to dethrone the King. She was determined to gather enough supporters and votes to elect her own progeny, Sophie Ann as Queen of Louisiana. Now that vampires are out and the world knows of them, she's gain support from several constituents. But what was most troubling to The Vampire King; he was certain they all knew about Aether. The icy glare in Salome's eyes left him no doubt. She wanted vengeance.

"Godric, you are under arrest for the true death of Roslyn Harris, Martin-McAuliffe, Roman Zimojic, and Paul De Arezzo." Flanagan announced disdainfully.

"I was protecting my family. My actions were warranted." The King's voice remained calm, his expression even, but inside he stifled his primitive urge to viciously kill everyone in his sight.

The Monarchs were fully aware of Godric's strength, if he wanted to, he could kill them with little effort; a vampire his age is lethal, so no one dared approach the ancient one from Gaul.

"We shall bring this matter to the Tribunal." Salomé countered, with pure malice in her tone, "For now, we have Pamela Swynford De Beaufort in custody for her role in the slayings."

Salomé spat out Pamela's name as if it were poisonous. The King's dead-heart clenched at the mere mention of his grand- progeny's name.

"Soon your progeny's and their human companions shall be brought to justice." Salomé knew Godric's only weakness was the love of his family and the Magistrate took full advantage of that.

The baby-faced vampire stood from his seat and moved slowly towards Deputy Liam McKnight; he held out his hands and allowed the V-fed officer to shackle him with silver handcuffs.


 The Coven,  New Orleans

 

 

When Alcide and his pack pulled into the driveway at Aether's Coven, he could smell the trace scent of several other wolves all around the four-acre property. Inside the beautiful mansion, the fear and tension in the normally cheerful house were unmistakable.

"I believed were being hunted." Holly Cleary frowned, fear was apparent in her eyes as she escorted the five men into the living room area.

"I believe you're right." He replied while scanning the large room. There were about twenty women of various ages; none of which seemed capable of handling a large pack of wolves on the prowl.

"Willa is in trouble," Jessica sobbed, while Cathy held her in a firm comforting embrace, she's never missed curfew before."

"We've been on high alert ever since," Cathy said to Alcide, her expression marred with distress.

Jessica released her embrace from her mother and pierced Alcide with her swollen tear-filled eyes. "Please find my best friend, my sister." She pleaded while crashing into his hefty arms.

"Don't worry, we'll find her." He tried his best to sound confident and hoped his words provided comfort to the solemn girl. The strapping wolf had no idea who he was dealing with. So he ordered three of his men to patrol the parameter, hoping that their presence would drive the wolves and witch-hunters away.

Suddenly, an earth-shattering crashing sound interrupted his thoughts. The banging sounds of smashing the glass and blood-curdling wails filled the room. A fleet of Molotov cocktails rained into the house through every window. The curtains, instantaneously ignited, spreading rapidly through the rooms. The entire house was quickly engulfed in smoke and hot flames begin to choke everyone. A woman, who was standing close to the curtain, caught the fire. She shrieked and thrashed in agony as others try their best to put out the flames that rapidly consume her. But it was too late.

"Grab the children!" Alcide ordered Hoyt and Tommy. Jessica lifted up Mavis and carried her off, while Holly grabbed a few precious items and lead the small group to the emergency escape route in the kitchen.

The ones who survived got out without a second to spare as several more fire-bottles continued to blast through the window, engulfing the room with fire. The thick black smoke as well as the sounds of choking, weepy, and cursing polluted the air as they fled down the stairs to the underground escape route. All had been instructed by The Elders to use the tunnels if the Wiccan protection seal was ever compromised.

"How is this happening?" Cathy asked Holly, "I thought nothing could break the defense spell, nothing could harm the house," she coughed; smoke seeped impertinently into her lungs as she gasped for air.

Holly answered between her own choking breaths, "Absalom...was successfully summoned..." she gasped, "...It's all over for us..."


 

The Louisiana Bayou...

It had been several years since Nora and Naomi had captured a witch-hunter. The remaining hunters were rich, well-connected and hired thugs or V-addicted wolves to do their killing. 

A year ago, the coven's beloved, Elder, Isabelle Beaumont had been brutally murdered. Isabel often traveled the world in search of other witches in order to increase the coven's numbers. While returning from a trip, Isabelle was kidnapped and killed in a sacrificial manner. Her mutilated and burned remains were cruelly thrown into the front yard of the Coven. The hunters had tried to compromise the protection spell then but were unsuccessful. 

 It took longer than expected for Franklin and Eggs to find Isabelle's killer.

The hunter-for-hire, Mack Rattray, harbored a deep hatred for women and often bragged about beating women into submission. He could be found every evening at a local bar called 'Elbow Room'. The foolish redneck just could not keep his mouth shut about his dirty deeds. Mack drunkenly bragged about his assaults (on the 'voodoo whore') to anyone at the dive-bar who was sober enough to pay attention. 

One of Franklin's informants was paying attention and turned him over to his employer. And Franklin stalked the middle-aged man and made an impromptu visit to his shabby trailer-park home. He needed to be certain he had the right person. So Franklin glamoured the unsuspecting hillbilly, siphoning the names of witch hunters who'd hired him. Afterward, Franklin escorted the vile excuse for a human to his isolated cabin deep in the bayou. The rickety old shack has no running water, electricity and is almost completely out of cellular range. Its sole use is for interrogation and that shack was Mack's final destination. The dark haired vampire had the jarring pleasure of ripping his beating heart out of his chest with his bare hands. The unscrupulous man's blood tasted extra spicy to the twisted vampire.

 Tonight, the person in Franklin's custody is the rich and powerful Lorena Krasinski, one of the last living descendants of the original Salem witch-hunters. Lorena was born into a long line of hunters, the most devoted minions of Absalom. They held no qualms when it came to, hunting, torturing, hanging, and burning witches. Under her command, she'd killed dozens of witches over the span of her lifetime.

Nora and Naomi felt bitter-sweet elation now that the bitch responsible for so much death and the pain was now at their mercy. They would show her none. The High Priestess watched Krasinski sat bound with metal shackles to a wooden chair. It was Franklin's interrogation chair. He knew the proper way to bleed a human and not kill them quick. Her screams of agony and cries for help will most certainly fall on deaf ears.

 


 The Monarch's House...

 

 

 

Before Godric and Pam's capture, Magistrate Agrippa had begun her search for Northman, Mott, and Talley to no gain. Nan sneered at her hostage. "Give us the location of your Sire...Or else." She warned while menacingly waving a wooden stick, with a silver dagger knotted to the edge of it.

Pam clipped. "Never..! But when he finds out what you've done, he'll eat, fuck and kill you... in that order."

Leering at Pam, Nan snapped at Godric. "Command her to give up their location or you will watch her suffer." The Monarch jabbed a cow prod into Pam's side, sending bolts of electricity searing into her flesh. Pam whimpered lowly, as the pain tore through her, her body felt raw agony, but her pride would not allow her to cry out.

Godric snarled, his ivory blades leaped out in rage. "Stop this savagery!"

Salome sat on her throne behind tented fingers. "This is the price you pay for killing your own kind Godric." her ancient Judean accent was more profound when she sneered.

"Set Pamela free and I will not protest my verdict. As long as you agree that none of my progeny's or humans shall be harmed."

Nan was eager to accept his offer. With the King, dethroned, the sky was the limit for her and her nest. However, Salome was not satisfied with his offer. She knew it was Tara who actually killed her longtime friend.

"I accept your surrender Godric. However, I demand that the leader of the magi be brought to justice alongside you. Bring her to me and Pamela shall be released."

 


 

Earlier that night...

The smell of sulfur and decay churned through the air as Lafayette Reynolds snapped awake from his black-out. He recalled being viciously attacked as he was taking out the trash in the back of Merlotte’s. A whack on the head back of the head with a blunt object instantly knocked him unconscious. At first, his vision was blurred, he struggled to focus, slowly, cumbersomely, his sight adjusted in the dimly lit room. He jolted in panic at the discovery of constricting ropes around his wrist; midriff and he struggled to free his-self from the constraints that held him bound to a chair but was unable to move at all.

He could hear screams of agony and the sound was coming from somewhere near. The cries for help caused his stomach to churn in dreadfulness. The thought that he would most likely be screaming next engrossed him in fear. As he turned his aching head to the side to better survey his surroundings, he gasped in horror.

His aunt Lettie Mae sat gagged in a chair only a few feet away. She was peering right at him, her eyes expanded in shock at the sight of her nephew in the same awful predicament. She too had just awakened from a blackout.

Lettie Mae Thornton last recalled leaving her Friday night church service. It was her turn to clean the kitchen after serving the guest congregation refreshments. As she unlocked her car door in the dark and empty parking lot, someone attacked her from behind. Strong arms held the helpless woman in a chokehold. A foul-smelling cloth was mashed roughly against her face. She quickly blacked out. When she came too, she was gagged and bound next to an unconscious and bruised Lafayette.

“Where the fuck is we?” The young man asked.

Lettie spits out her gag. “Hell if I know! HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEE ...” Her wail echoed across the vast underground room.

“SHHHH-Auntie, I hear something," Lafayette whispered.

Lettie silenced herself when she too heard footsteps nearing. The pair nervously observes as six masked figures file down the stairs one by one, all dressed in black cloaks, wearing an animal face mask to covering their faces. The bull-masked figure lit red candles. The cloaked people chanted and danced around holding axes, knives, and swords and one kneeled down and sketched a mystic symbol inside a dark candlelit circle. The boar masked person stalked down the dungeon stairs dragging a screaming and crying young woman by the neck down with him. The poor young woman was gagged, tied, half nude and severely beaten. The evil person shoved her into the middle of the circle, and they all begin savagely attacking her with their weapons; chopping her with the ax, stabbing her with the knife, and slicing her with the sword. Her grunts of pain were gut-wrenching. 

The dark-skinned man instinctively shouted out- “STOP IT!” But it was too late.

The teen collapsed to the ground. One of the attackers silts her throat wide open with a blade. Her blood spilled generously out of her lifeless body. Lafayette is shell-shocked at the atrocity he was seeing. The evil people started chanting and dancing around the lifeless body.

Lettie began screaming wildly, “AHHHHHH- HEEEEEEEELLLLLLP...” teetering about in her chair she cried out, “JEEEESUS...MAAH GAWD...SOMEBODY HELP MEEEEEEEEEEE!”

Laffy rasped out, “You ain’t helping us, Lettie...”

Lettie hushed herself and took notice of the look of terror on nephew’s face. She focused her gaze in the same direction as Laffy so she could see what had him so frightened. Now, the sycophants are silent and on their knees, gazing attentively at the center of their drawn circle. Bizarrely, several black puffs of smoke suddenly appeared in the middle of the coal-drawn circle. At the same time, the blood of the dead girl and slaughtered animals unnaturally oozed upward, defying gravity, inching towards the center of the smoke ring. The blood swirled into the puff of smoke as it grew into a black storm cloud that begins to whirl in a counter-clockwise circular motion. It became larger and larger. The putrid smell was invasive and quickly overpowers the entire area.

Soon, there was a black space in the center of the circle, which carried a stench fouler than a thousand carcasses; it permeated from the black hole. The horrendous odor overwhelmed Lettie Mae and she vomited. Lafayette could barely keep the bile from rising out of his belly, his eyes stung and watered.

All observed the spectacle as a figure emerged from the black void. Aunt and nephew turned to each other in unanimity and back at the black, oozing, liquefied form as it continued to materialize. A heavy gasp escaped Lafayette and shrilling from Lettie; confusion and shock roared off them at the sight. Lafayette and Lettie chimed in unison.

“TARA..!”


Chapter Text

 

 

 

The group made their way through the damp and dim underground tunnel by the light of Jessica's candle, all flanked close behind one another, desperately trying not to trip over each other's feet.

"Where does this lead too?" Cathy wheezed, letting out a choking cough, her lungs full of soot and ash.

"Godric's house..." Holly muttered. Her voice trailed off, her mind was inattentive with the cumbersome task of navigating the three-mile journey on only faded memories. She hadn't been in the tunnels for over forty-five years.

Alcide's thoughts were preoccupied also, he worried about his best friend Marcus and prayed his pack taught the attacking wolves a lesson. But his gut told him otherwise. If his charges had survived, they would have caught up with him by now. He'd see to it that whoever did this would certainly suffer in return. After an hour-long traverse in the festering tunnels, the group finally arrived at the hidden chamber in Godric's guest house basement. Alcide was not sure if it was safe at Godric's residence, but there was really no place else to go. He couldn't imagine gathering all of the girls comfortably into his small one bedroom house. So he sent Hoyt and Tommy out to sniff around, making sure Godric's house was safe. When they gave him the signal that all was clear, Alcide let out a heavy sigh. Inside the house, there was no trace of  Godric. The entire mansion was empty; only faint traces of the intrusive vampires lingered in the air. The wolf immediately phoned Eggs. 

Unfortunately, Franklin answered.  "We're busy, mutt." The impish-vamp had snatched the phone from his younger brother while pushing the speakerphone icon so that all could hear.

"Fuck you fanger...The wolf groused back at the rude vampire."The Coven was set on fire, destroyed by a New Orleans pack." 

"Oh- Goddess..!"  Naomi yells out in the background.

"I'm sorry Naomi; some of the girls didn't make it out. Godric may be in trouble too, vampire authorities barged in and arrested him." Alcide replied. 

"DAMN IT Alcide, what about Mavis?" The Asian woman beseeches while shuddering with hysteria.

The beautiful witch had stumbled upon her now adopted daughter two years ago at her favorite French Quarter coffee shop, Café Du Monde. Naomi noticed the girl teleporting from shop to shop stealing treats. Naomi assumed the timid little girl, who looked to be about 5 years old at the time, had recently been abandoned. Naomi had diligently checked and the youth was not listed in any missing child's registries. She was sure the girl's parents were afraid of her because of her teleporting ability. Naomi decided to name the little girl who stole her heart Mavis, after the first innocent witch killed in the Salem witch hunts. 

Alcide glanced over at the adorable little girl sitting on Jessica's lap and warmly smiled. "She's fine; we're here at Godric's. But Willa, she was taken earlier tonight."

Naomi lowered her eyes in unabashed shame. She realized how selfish she sounded; only asking about her daughter and not the others.

Abruptly the cellular began to cut out due to the bad connection in the isolated bayou area. Hoping the wolf could still hear him, Eggs replied, "Thank you Alcide, we'll be there as soon as possible." He then snatched his phone away from Franklin and released the call.

Naomi immediately began to dial Tara's number on her phone. The phone rang a few times and went to her voice mail. "Tara, please call me back as soon as you get this message, it's urgent." She could hear the desperation in her own voice as she left a message. With shaky hands, she left her a text also... Supreme, meet us at Godric's. The coven was attacked. Tell Eric that Godric is being questioned by The Authority.

In a fit of rage, Naomi madly rushed over to their prisoner; she drew back her hand, ferociously striking Lorena across the face. "Whadda ya know about the attack on our Coven!?" Naomi screamed so hard it made her stomach ache.

"I know everything." Lorena hissed, spitting the blood from her cut inner jaw out onto the dirty floor. She'd been yearning to boast all night. She had planned Willa's kidnapping with the help of her nephew James. As Lorena was being taken from her bedroom by Franklin and Eggs; she purposely went without a struggle, doing so kept the quartet from discovering her hidden dungeon where Absalom's portal is located. Lorena's entire face stung, but that did not stop her from mocking disdainfully. "I'm the one who ordered the attack on your pathetic coven...wish I'd seen that witch-whore burn."

"AAAAHHHHHHGGG!" Naomi's shrieked, her blind rage prevented her from forming any words. Without thought, she wrapped her hands around Lorena's neck and squeezed tight as her tears uncontrollably spilled from her eyes. Eggs solemnly approached Naomi from behind; with his strong arms, he gently removed Naomi's vice-gripped hands from the hunter's throat. He slowly pulled her toward him, turning her to face him, his hazel eyes peered lovingly into her tear-filled obsidian eyes and ever so gently pressed her head to his muscular chest. The tall, dark and handsome vampire embraced her body tenderly, engulfing her like a soothing blanket. Naomi lowered her head, grabbed a fist full of his t-shirt, and sobbed violently into his chest.

Nora wiped a fallen tear from her cheek and turned to her lover. "I don't know how they did it, but if they have Willa, they have the most powerful witch in the coven."

Franklin's dark brow lifted, "I don't understand love; You, Naomi and Holly are the Elders, I thought Willa was just a telepath."

"She is, but she's also a virgin who is well past puberty. The blood of an adult virgin can be used to break protection spells, open up portals, and just about anything to counteract our magic." Bone deep weariness seeped into Nora. "I'm sure they've succeeded," she sighed. "Absalom has enormous power, terrible will, with a thirst to devour the world and swallow the light." 

As Franklin dialed his cellular he spoke to Nora, "Love, I must leave, although my father has not summoned me, it is vital that we seek him out." He was unsuccessful at contacting his Sire, Eric or Pamela. Mott and Talley both came to the realization that The Authority wanted retribution for the carnage they inflicted in Baton Rouge. Now, they had a big mess to clean up.

"Go to my father's house, and keep the mutts on high alert. I will call you soon." The curly-headed vampire said and then pointed to Lorena.

"Shall I take out the trash before I go?" He had become bored with beating and torturing the witch hunter.

"She has no more finger or toenails to rip off, but I'm sure I can figure something out."

After softly kissing his cheek the cute brunette answered. "No, my love, Naomi and I will handle it from here. Would you like to watch?" A wary smile crossed her lips.

Franklin smiled savagely back at his lady as he reached for the gas can on his table, and then handed it to her. Nora dug into Franklin's jeans pocket and pulled out a matchbook. Naomi grabbed the box of matches on the table and a bottle of Vodka; they both poured the strong smelling liquids over Lorena's head.

"ABSALOM WILL RULE THIS REALM!" Lorena coughed, trying to clear the repugnant fluid that spilled into her nose, throat and stung her eyes. "ALL OF THE ABOMINATIONS WILL DIE!" She spat at them while vigorously shaking her gasoline-soaked head. "AETHER WILL BE DESTROYED AND THE TRUE GODDESS WILL EMERGE!"

Those were Lorena's last words.

Nora and Naomi both struck their matches and tossed them in Lorena's direction. The ignited match landed right on the callous woman's lap. Her entire body instantly burst into flames, she shrilled in pain as she was swallowed by the fire.

"Very good my lady..." The British vampire praised his lover, high off the carnage; he pulled Nora into his arms, passionately kissing her. And then they quickly vacated the burning room.

Outside the burning cabin, the vampires kissed their farewells before they flew off into the night. As Nora walked to the car, Naomi watched the burning cabin, she thought about all the murdered witches, especially Isabelle. Their last conversation was still fresh in her head. Isa, as Naomi called her, was the one who recruited Naomi almost 50 years ago. The Elder had provided her with so much knowledge about their kind, the information that fascinated Naomi most was the events that led to the Salem witch trials in America.

It all began when the Krasinski's, a wealthy English family settled in the town of Salem. At the age of 7, their daughter Molly and several other children in the village suddenly fell violently ill under suspicious circumstances. The Krasinski's immediately pointed the finger at Mavis, their slave, and the children's caregiver. The intuitive young woman had sensed Absalom's presence and tried to warn the family and all the town's people that evil was among them. Most people ignored her simply because she was a slave, others began to talk and rumors began to surface regarding her sanity and safety around the children. Subsequently, Mavis was arrested and imprisoned. But they were wrong with their accusations. Mavis was innocent of harming anyone. And although she was a capable witch, she would never use her magic for wrong-doing. She even refrained using spells against her abusive slave masters. It was Maryanne's uncle, Benson who was a secret practitioner of the dark magic. He alone had summoned Absalom, using the blood of farm animals. Like the evil deity, the town's treasurer hungered for more power. So he struck a deal with the entity. Benson orchestrated the death of his own niece to prove his loyalty. The deity immediately gifted him with the wealth he sought and assured that he and his bloodline would be granted anything their hearts desired as long as the sacrifices of innocents and witches continued. After a short and humiliating trial, Mavis was convicted of sorcery and sentenced to a public hanging. The beautiful slave woman accepted her fate. Wisely, before her arrest, her husband Gram Thornton took their child and fled to New Orleans seeking refuge with his sister Marie Laveau. Mavis's child's name was Mae Thornton, Tara's great-great-grandmother.

Naomi allowed herself to smile proudly... 'Aether's human bloodlines are natural witches.'

"We must go, sister," Nora says snapping Naomi from her thoughts. They both took a final look at the smoking, smoldering cabin, as the embers slowly died. Nora sped fast on the dirt road, her stomach churned, her mind reeled; the minions of Absalom have all they need to summon their evil goddess. A war has begun.

 

 

 

 

 

Mavis Thornton


 

 

 

The Magistrates House

The Monarch unsuccessfully mollified a devious smirk, "Liam, send De Beaufort; to cell number 24," Salome rose from her crimson throne and stalked towards her guard, she continued with her orders, "and secure her for the night."

"Yes, Salome!" The guard nervously responded, as he slowly backed away, turned, and then sped over to the weakened, but highly agitated Pam. He put on gloves and then unshackled the painful, flesh burning silver from her arms and ankles.

Salome's long, black, gown trailed behind her, billowing elegantly as she strolled pass Nan who stood arm's length away from the silver-bound Vampire King.

"Nan, will you do the honors of escorting Godric to cell 25?"

"Don't we need to find out where his progenies are?" Nan asked, irritated by Salome's lack of action.

"The members of the tribunal will be here next nightfall and sentencing shall begin, with or without his progenies," Salome said as she took a seat, crossed her legs and relaxed primly on her plush sofa. "But mark my words Godric, I will find the Magi."

In his cold, isolated, silver lined confinements, the vampire king's heart lay heavy with uncertainty.

'None of us deserve punishment...' 'Paul challenged us and paid the price.'  Eric, Franklin, and Benedict will not let anything happen to Aether and the High Priestesses, Alcide will protect the Coven and I shall negotiate Pam's release.'  Surely sentencing me will suffice.' 'I am certain the tribunal will see things my way.'  Until next nightfall, I must calculate every move wisely.'  The protection of my bloodline is all that matters.'


 

Lorena's Dungeon

"Absalom, Absalom, Absalom," the evil people repeated while the being that looked like something out of a nightmare materialized up from out of the blackness on the ground. 

The female figure is nude, it looked like a horrid replica of Tara. The creature stood, skin-soaked, and hunched over, examining its own hands; instead of fingernails, the creature barred dense, cat-like, onyx claws. It had been years since the entity took on human form. She straightened her posture, as she did the loud sounds of her bones snapping into place could be heard.

One of the cloaked people cautiously approached the creature, holding a shiny, silk, red garment in her arms. The entity let out a loud feral snarl as the female slowly neared, the girl flinched with fear but stifled her natural urge to scream. The young woman's knees visibly shook as she held out the luxurious cloak.

"ARRRRRRUUUUGGGGHHHHH," Absalom yanked the robe from her hands and began caressing the silk linen; pleased with her offering, she wrapped it around her plasma-soaked body.

The woman backed away and a man bravely approached. "My goddess, we have sacrificed for you, the bloodline of Aether." He pointed to Lettie Mae and Lafayette.

A wicked smile crept onto the creature's face as it stepped out of the magical circle. As she did, all her followers fell to their knees and began to faintly chant at their goddess.

"Absalom, Absalom, Absalom..."

The dark deity, stalked over to the tied-up people, as she neared them they noticed her eyes, from iris to sclera are black; her blacked-out eyes peered maliciously, fixed only on Lettie.

Absalom recognized Lettie Mae.

Lettie Mae recognized Absalom.

"What the fuck happened to you, Tara?" Lafayette gathered the courage to finally say something because there was really nothing else he could do.

"That's not my Tara." Lettie violently shook her head. "Oh no...That's the Devil that pretends to be Tara. I thought Tara was possessed... I've beaten my poor baby so many times, thinking that that evil monster is my Tara! THAT'S NOT MY TARA..!" She shouted out, in an unrestrained fit, "That's the devil!" she yelled, thrashing in her seat, the chair teetered and reeled from side to side. The pain she endured and inflicted; the loss came crashing down, hitting her like a speeding train and Lettie dropped her head, inconsolable sobbing.

Lafayette was left utterly speechless in the horror-filled room. He was beginning to realize why his Aunt is so troubled, why she took such a huge step back from life.' Lettie is a hot mess all because of this evil thang who likes making people kill little white girls so it can parade around in a Tara-skin-suit. And now the smelly beast is all in my personal space.'

And then the creature spoke. "Salve, mater Aetheris."

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Guttural growls seeped from the entity, "Ita denuo, Ita denuo homo mater..." It's soulless eyes dove right into Lettie Mae, and Lettie glared back at it with a burning animosity. Her unmoving gaze was accompanied by deliberate slow breathing like she was fighting something back and losing.

Lafayette Reynolds thought to himself... 'Wrong place at the wrong time oughta be my middle fuckin name...', "Look hoe, we can't understand any of that shit comin outta ya mouth!" He was freezing cold, severely dehydrated, sleep deprived and completely pissed off at being knocked over the head and tied up alongside his poor aunt and for a split second, he'd forgot about being scared, "What the fuck do you want from us?"

"Our goddess is speaking Latin, she is greeting Aether's human mother." The man who wore the pig mask replied to Lafayette obligingly.

Absalom swiftly, unnaturally, whipped her head around a full 360 degrees, without turning her body at all. She opened her mouth wider than humanly possible and roared maliciously at the subject who dared to interrupt her reunion. The sound of her roar was earsplitting, it sounded like a hoard of anguished screams. 

The man gasped in horror as the deity sprinted over faster than physically possible and lecherously grabbed him by the throat.

"Did I ask you to translate for me?" She sneered savagely, eerily, making herself sound like Tara.

The man could not answer, even though he desperately wanted to explain himself; he'd do anything for his Supreme. Absalom's claws gripped around his neck, tighter than a boa constrictor muscular hold. Unable to breathe, all he could do in response was let out a desperate wheeze.

"I am fluent in every language." Her slight arms lifted the man off the ground with little effort. "I've existed before civilization and I shall remain long after your demise."

The deity tossed him across the room as if the two-hundred-pound man weighed nothing at all. A cracking sound was heard as his body crashed into the concrete wall, his skull shattered as it hit the concrete and he died instantly. The worshipers watch in terror as a nefarious smile crossed Absalom's face.

"Does anyone else want to be helpful?" She said calmly while preening her robe.

The underlings were all shocked into silence. They mutely cowered, trembling on their knees. Now, they were too afraid to even chant.

Lafayette shuddered in dread as he peered over at his aunt, noticing her vacant gaze.

"Lettie, why didn't you tell anybody bout all this...?" He gasped, desperately trying to understand the bizarreness of it all. Absolute sorrow filled his heart as he realized what Lettie and Tara must have gone through. If Lettie would have told anyone that a demon that looked like her daughter was haunting her, she would have ended up in a loony-bin like my momma... The young man reflected on his past, wondering if his mother's declarations of seeing ghost and other outrageous accounts held any validity. Vampires and any other supernatural being were thought of as mere figments of people's imagination before the vampires came out and changed the game. Now, the entire world was aware that humans are not the only ones who exist. 'But Ruby Jean had always believed in the supernatural. She claimed to be a supernatural herself...She said I was too...' Lafayette mind raced with all the possibilities.

Lettie sluggishly turned her head to look at her nephew,  "Who would've believed me...?" Her voice trailed off, encroached by her nightmare she confessed. "The demon said, one day she'd kill me..." she shivered irrepressibly, "...Unless I killed her...she wanted me to kill her...my Tara... I wanted to kill Tara...That demon started the day Tara was born...I felt like I was being watched...I was...I'd see shadows, hear footsteps, scratching sounds... Those awful smells... cold hands touching me when I was alone... I thought the house was haunted, but no matter where I went...it happened...it followed me...The whispers...the voices...Then it attacked me...it made me believe it was Tara...and I beat her, every time something, anything happened I beat her..." She laughed irrationally in disbelief, "I ain't never been the sharpest pencil in the box." and then her laughter abruptly ceased as she regarded the deity with unadulterated malice embedded her eyes.

"My baby girl gonna kill you-you monster," Lettie swore darkly.

Absalom slowly levitated from the cold concrete and proceeded towards Lettie. "A monster is a God seen through fearful eyes." The entity's features are further marred by a haughty smirk, infuriating the distraught woman even more.

"THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!" Lettie screamed out at her tormentor and started to cry. It took her a moment, and with a deep breath she turned to her nephew, "Lafayette, please tell Tara, I'm sorry... I'm sorry I was never a mother to her... She deserved better..."

Lettie's voice trembled as tears earnestly fell from her eyes. "Nephew, tell my child, that she's-" She swallowed hard. "-that she's the only good thing I've ever done in my whole miserable life and I love her."

Lafayette nodded, as his own eyes filled with tears. "Yes Auntie," He promised her, hoping he'd be able to fulfill her request, wishing there was a way he could rescue her and himself. Lettie sat up tall in her chair and said, "Hello evil, I ain't afraid of you no more."

 


 

 

 

 

❤❤❤

Winston Parish, Louisiana

Tara awakened the next morning feeling well rested. Pure satisfaction was all her mind and body felt and the beautiful woman was unable to contain a bright smiled. For now, her, sexy, insatiable lover rested peacefully, surrounded by an ocean of red designer sheets. She thought to herself, in a chorus of ruffling his wheat-colored hair, falling in love with him was like learning to fly, scary and exciting, all at the same time.

After a long hot shower, a lightly clothed Tara leisurely made her way down the stairs to make breakfast. In the kitchen, she made herself a large cold glass of water. She sipped her beverage while rummaging the cupboards. To her delight, she found a canister of Magellan's gourmet coffee. As the coffee brewed, the divine smell filled the kitchen causing her tummy to growl with hunger. The only thing in the entire house to eat was the two remaining slices of her pizza. So she pulled them from the box, set it on a cocktail napkin and nuked them in the microwave. Leftover Papa Lou's Pizza was not the breakfast Tara had in mind, but it would have to do until she went to the market for food. 

If only vampires ate food, I bet Eric would have the most scrumptious cuisine ready for me every night.

After she drank her fill of coffee and ate her rubbery pizza, Tara strolled back upstairs to the guest room to put on some clothes, her eyes caught the illuminated screen of her cellular on the dresser, indicating several missed calls. She quickly picked up her device. What she saw caused her to momentarily lose her breath. She was mortified as she scrolled through half-dozen missed calls, two urgent voicemails, and one terrifying text message.

'I should've kept my ass in New Orleans.'

She jumped into a pair of form-fitting black jeans...

'I should've asked Eric to stay there -with me.'

She threw a black tank top over her head and yanked it down...

'Goddamn it, I failed them already...I should've been there for them!''

She tugged on the strings of her black riding boots...

All the while she cursed herself, and after a dozen more 'I should have', she was dressed.

She grabbed her leather jacket and teleported to the porch, immediately calling Nora.

"Nora, I'm so sorry I wasn't there."

"Don't be sorry Tara. I wasn't there either. Isis was with us and most of us survived the attack."

"Oh Lord have mercy!" Tara praised confidently out loud, inside her heart was weighed down, consumed with guilt and regret.

"How long will it take you to get to Godric's?" Nora queried.

"I'm still in Shreveport, over four hours away. But I'll try to teleport there."

As they spoke, she took a deep breath and ended up about an acre away, just outside the gates of the mansion by the main road.

"Hell, I might as well take a cab at this rate!" She cursed out loud.

"Nora, ya still there..." Tara breathed with desperation, "I could use a little help." She knew what her witches could do when they all worked together.

"We're on it!" Nora said, placed Tara on speaker phone and quickly gathered Naomi and Holly into Godric's library, the trio began a summoning ritual around the Vesica Pisces circle, this would evoke Aether elemental ability of air-bending.

Almost instantly, Tara felt that familiar surge of energy; a mystic airlifted her off her feet. She closed her eyes and focused. Using her strong lungs, toned stomach muscles, the beauty hovered, rising higher, and after a moment, she opened her eyes and looked down. Now several stories high; she gazed raptly down at Eric enormous estate, appreciating its beauty, splendor and the amazing view of the property from her vantage point. Drawing her like a magnet, she looked up into the sky, bravely glaring directly into the intense rays of the sun. Aether's supernatural eyes contained a protective shield and her pupils, from the sclera to iris turned snow-white, absorbing the pure light and energy from the heavens.

And just like that, she was off, soaring high into the morning sky.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

New Orleans

Tara soared high above the skyline, the currents, forcefully whisking through her hair, while adrenaline pumped through her entire body. Soon, her mind's eye began to see the signature flashes of green and cool waves of blue. Her internal beacon told her she was getting close to her Coven. It was not long before her colorful navigation system led her to Godric's mansion.

Alcide stood just outside the gates attentively gazing up into the sky in awe as the beautiful, magical woman slowly descending. Her long, obsidian locks billowing softly as she slowly descended. He could not take his eyes off her as she landed gracefully, only a few feet away from the infatuated wolf.

"Hello Alcide," she smiled welcomingly, quickly approaching him as his warm, brown eyes beamed at her sexy frame. 

To his surprise, she crashed into him, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him into her soft embrace. 

He could feel the blood rush to his cheeks, he knew they were bright red, and his entire body became hot with arousal. No other woman has ever had this effect on him. "Tara..." he whispered and sighed as she removed her arms from around him.

"I'm so glad you're okay," she sighed heavily, "I'm so sorry I wasn't here when you'll need me."

His dark eyes became lost in her sincerity, he cleared his throat and said; "You're here now, that's all that matters." His tone was somber, and she could feel his dismay, heard his mournful thoughts. He had lost his men, his friends, his brothers.

Inside Godric's mansion, the state of the remaining coven was heartbreaking as well. The sight was nothing like the first time she saw her Coven. Tara greeted Jessica with a hug and it jarred the teen's emotional state and she began to weep. "It's okay Jess, I'm here now. I ain't going anywhere- either." Tara declared as she solemnly scanned the room. Only a dozen mournful witches bravely held themselves together in Godric's library. She took immediate notice of the Coven's scribe, her face was virtually absent of color, Tara thought she would become physically ill at any moment.

"All the history, art, memories are all gone." The woman nervously ran her fingers through her reddish-blonde hair as overpowering tears rolled down her high cheekbones. "The only thing I managed to save was a hand full of the ancient scrolls," she carefully opened one of Godric's glass shelves, gently placing the three large Samaria, Aramaic, and Latin papyrus-parchment rolls on his shelf. "The rest are gone...forever..." she sighed deeply.

Nora placed a comforting hand on Holly's shoulder. "The memories are not gone; our history lives in you Holly. It lives in all who have survived. This is the beginning of our next chapter."

Naomi called the Coven to the round table in the library and Cathy served hot coffee and hot chocolate. Everyone listened attentively as Nora spoke. "As you all know Absalom is pure darkness, a plague that wants to consume the Earth, the complete opposite of Isis, who brought forth the light and seeded the Earth. That is why our heavenly mother created a protector in our likeness. Now that our savior is born again, I truly believe this is the end of the witch hunters' reign of terror."

Tara stood firm, drawing strength from Nora's words, embracing her newly held position, accepting her purpose, her responsibility, and her sworn obligation to protect the ones who depended on her.

"Tara..." Nora said, taking Tara's hand in hers, "Witch-hunters told us that your mother, cousin, and our sister Willa have been taken as sacrifices to Absalom."

Tara gasped; it felt as if all the air had been knocked out of her, her breath hitched as her brain formulated no thoughts other than to register that she was shocked. Her worst nightmare had just become reality and frustration sung through her gut, seeping into her she gulped hard, swallowing the bile that threatened to emit from her gut. She stiffened her lower lip, refusing to let it tremble. 

"GOD DAMN IT..!" she wailed out, unable to stifle her emotions. It felt as if her world was hurtling down on her.

"It is not too late to save them," The cerulean-eyed brunette solemnly added, she knew witch hunters liked to torture witches first.

Jessica's mind was a bit clearer after sleeping a few hours and she was able to recall a few vital memories of her missing friend.  "I think Willa was tricked by a spy, she's been chatting online with a guy named James. They had a date the night she went missing."

"Jess, we gonna find her," Tara assured her weary progeny.

"Sorry, I'm late..." A familiar voice announced from the entranceway. Tara swung around and let out a shocking breath. "Bad news, Willa is dead, but she told me where to find my queer son and drunken sister..." Her eyes widened, "Hi, Tara."

Tara could not believe her eyes, standing tall and proud in the doorway was her aunt Ruby Jean.  Ruby's announcement of the murdered sister caused a dreadful shock to sweep the room, gasp and wails of anguish resonate as the coven members are overwhelmed with sadness and despair.

"Aunt Ruby Jean, what are you doing here? I thought you were..."

"Crazier than a shithouse rat..?" Ruby clipped.

"Well... yeah..." Tara admitted although she was not going to say it so crassly.

Ruby Jean strolled promptly towards her niece, as she slid on her spectacles to get a better look at her. "Well, Miss Thang, I ain't' crazy. I really do see dead people. You- of all people should have believed me. Hell, it wasn't for Isa, I'd still be stuck in Reynard Manor."

"How-How long have you been a member of the Coven?" Tara asked, still taken aback by her Aunt's unexpected arrival. She had not seen Ruby in four years. The last time she saw her, she and Lafayette spent an afternoon watching her behave belligerently to the staff while being fed tapioca pudding.

"Two years ago today...I've been out-of-town. But Nora called me and told me the good news." Her aunt smirked jubilantly; she'd always known there was something special about her niece. "I just got back from Toronto and I have 3 beautiful witches with me."

Ruby Jean had taken Isabel's place after her passing and appointed herself as the Coven's recruiter. Being a traveling recruiter was also a way to elude her son who had been actively looking for her.

"Ruby Jean, I'm at a loss for words."

"Well find them..." her Aunt sassed.

Nora interrupted the awkward reunion. "We haven't the time, Ruby Jean, please."

Ruby closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, she saw Willa's spirit. Ruby let out a gasp, the slain teenager's appearance looked horrifying. Half-naked, bloodied and bruised, just as she was when she was murdered. The young woman is trapped between realms. It took a moment for Ruby to gather her thoughts. "The house is a few miles away, on a private road off St. Charles Avenue. Willa says bout a half-dozen sycophants and werewolves are there too."

Holly interjected, "Maybe we should wait until night, so the vampires can help us." The Elder already felt defeated, she wanted to run and hide.

"NO WAY!" Tara snapped. "I ain't sittin on my ass, while my momma and cousin are next in line to be killed!"

Holly lowered her eyes in shame. Tara quickly acquired the weary woman by the hand, holding it firmly in hers. "Holly, I can feel your fear and it's understandable. But I can also feel your spirit; it's like mine. We fighters, survivors- we take care of our own." Tara's words offered more encouragement to the coven and to Alcide and his two remaining men. With a sense of adoration and commitment, she scanned the room full of elemental enchantresses. "Those witch hunters don't know who the fuck they messin with." 

Tara gave her orders, she instructed Cathy and Jessica to stay with the small children and injured sisters. Cathy swiftly did as she was told and removed Mavis, Emma, and the small group went into Godric's study.

"Please, Tara!" Jessica exclaimed, her expression was no longer sad, her sky blue eyes were full of wrath. "Those ass-holes killed my best friend. I want payback!"

A proud smile swept Tara's lips, "Alright firecracker, let's go get 'em."

"YES!" Jessica shouted and they high five one another.

Tara thought the fifteen-minute drive seemed to last three times as long, as the group arrived on St. Charles Avenue that cloudy afternoon. They discreetly parked Alcide's truck and Nora's SUV a few blocks down the road. As they cautiously walked the private brick road, Alcide immediately picked up the scent of the same wolves who attacked Aether's, Coven. He knew that if he could smell them, it wouldn't be long before they would smell them too...if they hadn't already picked up their scent. Alcide pushed open the gate and they all filed in slowly, staring blankly at a well-manicured lot.

But there was no house... 

The group stood befuddled.

"Willa said we here." Ruby Jean assured the group.

"It's a cloaking spell." Holly quickly gathered. "The house is here, it's hiding in plain sight." Holly retrieved four large gemstones from her bag and handed a large white diamond to Tara, a sapphire gem to Nora, a rubicund gem to Naomi and she held the emerald one.

"Ecce prope Aether..." Holly chanted. Nora and Naomi began chanting with her.

The spell unveiled the cloak. In a few seconds, Tara could see the house began to materialize out of thin air. After a few more moments, the three witches who held the jewels could see the house too. Tara also saw several bright, amber-colored eyes glaring at them... surrounding them. "We're not alone" she warned.

"Wolves are here I can smell'em." Alcide growled, his eyes glowed bright, he was ready to shift.

"Your right ..." Tara breathed, her flight or fight response was on high alert.

"Tara, take Ruby and get in that house!" Nora screamed out.

Tara did not hesitate, she grabbed her aunt by the hand, took a deep breath and when she blinked they were both inside the mansion. Her eyes began to see bright flashes of red; blinking rapidly, more than they ever had before. Tara knew something awful was in the house.

Not a second after, three menacing and snarling black wolves jump out of thin air launching a vicious attack; their prime target, Alcide, Tommy, and Hoyt. In the fusion of commotion, everyone scrambled in all directions. Alcide and Hoyt were able to shift into wolves and fought teeth and claws with the attacking wolves. Unfortunately, panic had taken Tommy, and the teenage wolf did not shift in time. One of the wolves bit a chunk of flesh out of his neck, severing vital organs, killing him almost instantly. Jessica furiously unleashed her magical flames; she set fire to the wolf that killed Tommy.

"Willa said, they in a dungeon,"  Ruby shouted, peering around the room, searching. 

Suddenly Tara heard gut-wrenching screams. 

"That was Lafayette!" Ruby respired, "Willa!" the older woman cried out to Willa for help, but the girl's spirit does not reappear. Neither Tara nor Ruby could discern where Lafayette's frantic screams were coming from. Tara and Ruby ran all around the house, frantically searching for their loved ones.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The guilt sat on her chest, remorse etched at her heart. Guilt gnawed like a worm at the core of an apple and inside her brain. What she had done she could not undo. She prayed that one day she would feel removed from her sin, washed clean of it, but the guilt was a stain on her, an ugly scar. She had to believe in redemption and rebirth, she had to leave her deeds in the past and move on.

I am a bad parent, I never meant to be.  I failed in the worst possible way.

As the malevolent creature stalked closer, Lettie closed her eyes tight, allowing all of the good, although scarce, memories of her lifestream in her mind. As if watching an old movie Lettie saw herself holding her darling newborn girl in front of the church congregation on Easter Sunday. A flicker in her mind's eye allowed glimpses of her five-year-old, chubby-cheeked daughter delightfully swinging her scrawny legs at the kitchen table. Tara ate hotcakes and drank Tang with her father on her first day of school. Snapshots of Tara at age twelve, skillfully dancing for a cheering crowd at Ruby Jean's barbecue picnic. A cascade of emotion flooded in as she visualized her lovely teenager being escorted to prom by the handsome Jason Stackhouse.

"Anima tua mea sunt enim omnia." Absalom hissed ferociously at Lettie, snatching her back into the here and now. And with one reprehensible lunge, razor-sharp nails slash Lettie's throat, severing through the skin, muscle, veins and vital organs; the gaping slit violently sprayed blood.

Lafayette screeched with horror, "NOOOOOOOOOO..!" the young man bawled, tugging frantically at his restraints, he wanted, needed to do something- anything...

The pain stung excruciatingly, and then numbed, her vision blurred, waves of black took over, and a bitter cold bit her skin, all over as she pulled in her final breaths of air; her blood spurted like a lawn sprinkler out of the gaping wound, gushing with every heartbeat, choking her, filling her mouth with her own blood. After a moment, everything faded to black. Her bound, lifeless body slumped over as her blood trickled down all over the ground. The slain woman's wide pool of blood became an oozing stream. The river of blood abnormally flowed towards the summoning circle. Her life-force percolated into the black emptiness that was the gateway to her realm. The demon smiled exultantly as she licked Lettie's blood from her claws, smacking her lips, she turned to Lafayette.

"Your turn..."


 

 

Tara frantically teleported from room to room calling out. "Momma! Lafayette!" Suddenly sensing them, she stilled herself.

Ruby Jean was in a panic, "WILLA ANN BURRELL!" she moved about the large dining room, shouting at the top of her lungs. "Get yo ass back here and help us right now!" She finally made it to the room Tara was in and the older woman cursed some more, "Goddammit, you're bout as useful as a trap door on a canoe!"

"Hush Auntie..!" Tara's magical compass was going crazy and she needed to focus. The beauty took in a deep breath and it helped, "It's over there." She pointed to a large built-in bookshelf.

Ruby Jean moved as fast as her aching feet could carry her, frantically grabbing book after book, pitching them over her shoulders. Desperately looking for a hidden button or a latch that would open the hidden door. All the while Tara continued honing in, her beacon flashed at the bookshelf. Using her telekinetic abilities, she removed an entire shelf, and then another and another, eventually revealing the sought after latch.

Unexpectedly, the bookshelf creaked as it opened, revealing an empty stone room with a thick old wooden door several feet away on the opposite side. Tara unlatched the antiquated iron locks from their hinges and proceeded down the stairs with Ruby Jean close behind. They quickly reach the bottom of the stairs and was ambushed.

"Jesus Christ in Heaven!" Tara puffed in pain as she struggled to catch her breath. James was guarding the door and swung hard, hitting Tara in the gut with a baseball bat, the force knocked the wind out of her.

Ruby Jean pulled her pistol from her Louis Vuitton fanny-pack, aimed the gun at James and cocked the barrel. "Drop the bat Slugger or eat these bullets."

"Calm down lady," James uttered smoothly while peering calculatingly, slowly inching towards her, his grip remained firm on the bat.

Tara seized his brief distraction and punched him in the jaw. He stumbled back, losing his footing and with all her might she kicked him in the crotch. He let out a choking wheeze, dropped the bat and fell to his knees, clutching his crotch while buckling over in agonizing pain. 

Ruby gave Tara the nod to proceed forward and Tara ran as fast as possible across the vast dungeon. Willa suddenly appeared to Ruby Jean. She peered ruefully at James, hurt and aversion, clearly evident on the massacred girl's visage. Ruby Jean realized that the man in front of her is the one who led her favorite telepath to her death. The older woman approached him, gun aimed.

"You ain't gonna shoot me!" he scoffed; while slowly rising from his knees.

"Oh yes, I am!" Ruby sneered at the evil witch-hunter. "This is for Willa, you piece of shit..." The medium stood over him and without hesitation shot him between the eyes. His blood-spattered on her blouse, smoke oozed from the hole in his forehead and he fell over dead. Ruby looked over at Willa. Willa smiled at Ruby and then disappeared.

In seconds Tara had made her way to the other side of the dungeon, cautiously maneuvering around every stone-beam, anticipating another attack by a witch-hunter. For a moment time stood still, each second could have been an eternity. Her breathing became erratic, deep, then shallow. The shock ricochets up her skeleton, her eyes popped open so hard she couldn't blink if she wanted too. "GOD NOOO - OH GOD NOOOOO..!" She heard herself screaming. She lost her breath at the sight and soon lost her sight as her eyes became blinded with tears, in a flash of shock and dread. Tara helplessly peered at her mother's lifeless body slumped forward, bound by rope in a hard wooden chair, and covered in her own blood. Sorrow ravaged every fiber of her being, yet somehow she found the strength to move and ran to her.

"Momma..." She fell to her knees and untied her mother from the chair.

"I'm so sorry. momma..." she took off her jacket and placed it on the cold ground; gently she moved her mother's body from the chair and positioned her so she lay flat on her back with her head on the jacket. "I love you, momma." Tara took her mothers hand and held it to her chest, then leaned over and kissed her head.

"TAARRRAAAA!" Lafayette shouted out from behind.

Without thinking the young goddess teleported behind a beam and peeked out from behind it. And she took a sudden intake of breath at the sight. Only Aether could see Absalom's true form. The creature who Tara could only assume was the infamous Absalom had her cousin in its grasps seizing him by the back of his neck with her talon-like claws. The thing was shockingly hideous. It was bald, with wrinkled-grey- slimy-wet skin. With soulless blacked-out eyes, a beaked nose, thin-cracked-lips and a mouth full of long razor-sharp incisors; it growled at Tara.

"Damn, you so ugly-you'd make a buzzard back off from a bucket of guts!" Tara shouted at the creature, she was too angry to be afraid.

With lightning-fast reflexes, she teleported out into the open, summoning the winds, making them stir violently in the murky dungeon. Tara's display startled the deity. Absalom wasn't expecting her mortal enemy to be so brave. Lafayette was shell-shocked; he couldn't believe his eyes. His cute, feisty cousin looked like a beautiful, powerful-supernatural.

Absalom snarled viciously, "Eius anima mea- you toxic mutant!" in a fit of anger, the imposing entity tossed Lafayette like a rag-doll.

"AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!", the young man wailed as he flew helplessly through the air. The freighted man had the mind to cradle his head like a helmet, providing some protection as he crashed hard into the concrete wall. His hand smashed into the concrete and his skull. He could hear the bones in his hand snap under his skin as his hands, wrists, and lower arm are fractured.

Ruby Jean had just run off the remaining witch-hunters and made her way to her badly injured son. She scooped up him up in her arms, as he groaned helplessly in agony, weak and beaten, he fell in and out of conscience. She held on to her only child and wept at the sight of her slain sibling.

In retaliation, Aether summoned a wind gust that heaved Absalom across the dungeon. The demon crashed into the beam causing it to crumble and fall to the ground, the shattered rubble crashed on top her.

 Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted the terribly disheveled but unharmed, Jessica and Alcide, they rush towards Ruby and Lafayette.

"Please get him outta her Big Al." Ruby pleaded to the half-naked man. He only had time to slip on his jeans after shifting back. 

"Mercy, are you sugar-daddy- Eric?" Lafayette slurred incoherently as the brave pack-leader effortlessly cradled him in his muscular arms.

"No," Alcide grumbled, and Lafayette smiled before passing out again. Alcide rushed the badly injured man from the dungeon and took him outside to safety.

Marginally dazed, the corrosive deity rose from the heap of rubble, screeching, gnashing her mouth full of razor-sharp daggers, while wildly soaring around the dungeon. The dark entity began to summon all of her energy in order to destroy the chosen child of Isis.

"Get out of here... all of you!" Tara roared out as the ground quaked violently, concrete fell and crumbled from the ceiling.

Jessica tried retrieving Willa's remains and Ruby Jean attempted to do the same with Lettie, but the entire house echoed with the imposing sounds of pipes bursting, windows shattering and large pieces of the structure crashing to the ground and splitting apart. Gasses seeped, catching household items on fire as it cracked from the gas line. From rooftop to basement, the mansion, splintered, crumbled and disbanded, piece by piece. The women had no choice but to leave their loved ones behind. They did so just in time; there was nothing left Lorena's mansion. The entire structure had been reduced to a pile of broken, smoldering rubble.

They all stood in a breathless state of shock. After a moment, Jessica burst into inconsolable tears. "Willa...Tara..."

"This can't be..." Naomi wept solemnly.

"I pray that Absalom is confined to her realm forever." Nora gulped apprehensively.

Ruby Jean slowly paced around the lawn, her expression empty, she chanted her sister's name, "Lettie...Lil Sis...Lil Lettie." but she was unable to summon her.

 Alcide did his best for the unconscious man who lay bleeding in the backseat of his truck. Afterward, he retrieved Holly, Hoyt and Tommy's mangled bodies from the yard and placed them in the bed of his pickup truck, covering them with a tarp.

Unexpectedly, the sky began to rumble just above the crumbled remains of the mansion. Dark and ominous clouds filled with lighting emerged rapidly. Thunder crackled and roared and wildly anchored down. 

Yet the skies surrounding the property remained peculiarly calm.

 Suddenly out of the rubble and ashes burst Aether, into the sky she rose in triumph, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Not a second later the demon burst forth and began throwing her dark-soul snatching energy at Tara, but with every toss, the young goddess swiftly teleported from its path. Tara had a revelation as the house came crashing down on her. She realized her gift from Eric was the ability to withstand great injury, pain, increased strength and the ability to rapidly heal. No matter how many times Absalom threw Aether, she bounced right back and tossed her enemy even harder. Summoning all four elements, Tara evoked geysers from the ground and lightning bolts from the sky. She held her elemental energy in her palms, letting it build.

"This is for you momma." Tara breathed, as blinding tears streamed from her eyes.  She levitated, matching Absalom's elevated height. Aether unleashed her light on her enemy.

"ARRRRGGHHHHHH..." Absalom roared, the sound of her voice is so loud it ebbed and everyone cupped their ears "...I'll DESTROY YOU AND EVERYONE YOU LOVE!"

Tara remained as calm as she could, making sure not to exert too much energy. Her light blasted Absalom, pushing the demon back into the darkness, tossing her with earth and debris, trouncing her like a tornado does a trailer, sending the beast into the depths of the abyss. Tara watched in triumph as the void of the dark realm swirled counterclockwise becoming smaller and smaller. Soon, the vile thing was gone. Now, absolutely nothing remained of the house and she stood in a vacant lot.

"Not while I'm Aether, you won't," Tara swore at her enemy.

 


 

TARA POV

On our way back to Godric's house, Alcide gave me some more devastating news. King Godric and Pam were arrested last night by The Authority. Why would they arrest Godric and Pam for helping me?  I know one thing for sure, I'm going to find out about these Authority assholes and set them straight!

And oh boy, I know Eric has no idea, he turned off his phone the moment he came home to me last night. My god, when that blonde savage does find out that The Authority has his Vampire Barbie and King Backstreet Boy, he'll be madder than a mosquito in a mannequin factory. And I'm gonna be right there with him when he unleashes his Viking Fury.

When we arrive back at Godric's mansion, the wonderful, skillful Ms. Catherine Hamby provided my beloved cousin immediate medical attention. She had all the necessary medical items needed in Godric's guest house and she cleaned him up quite nicely. As for me, I felt numb, I guess I'm shell-shocked; I needed time to absorb it all.

But I don't have time right now. Right now, I need to keep my wits, get cleaned up and try to rest. We have a couple more hours until the vampires rise and I know for damn sure that all hell is gonna break loose.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

ERIC POV

"Ohhh min Tara," I abruptly awakened; unable to stifle my groans of pleasure. I was ravishing Tara's sexy, succulent body while in my erotic, Aether-blood induced dream. It is almost as good as the real thing. 

I rolled to my side, my cock harder than ever and I reached for my hot little goddess; but once again the sexy minx had abandoned me. Her scent still lingered and I yearned for her, through our bond, I sensed her emotions; she is a distance away, slightly agitated, but well. I kicked off the sheets in frustration and sped to the bathroom for a shower. I noticed the clock and I realized I'd awakened much earlier than usual and couldn't explain why; I'd never wake this early before unless disturbed. Rising out of coffin before sunset weakens a vampire, oddly, I felt fully rejuvenated.

After my shower, as I dressed, I felt twilight approach; so I waited while the final rays of the sun sink below the horizon before I entered my garage. I activated the security alarm; slid into the leather seats of my Maserati, and I plug in my battery depleted cellular. It took me a moment to program my Bluetooth, but I wanted to add some jazz music for Tara. Finally, I pressed the ignition button... The night waits.

I found it peculiar when I arrived and Pam was not taking inventory and reviewing the ledgers as she always does when the bar is closed. Doing this task is a Monday night routine for my lazy child who is certainly a creature of habit. As I enter the main area, the smell of very old, unfamiliar vampires lingered in the air.

Something is wrong...

Immediately I begin summoning my child. I began to worry when I was unable to feel her emotions, nor sense if she was near or far. She was purposely blocking me out..? How..? Most importantly why..?

My cellular was still charging, so I use the landline to call my chief deputy Stan Baker, the one-hundred-year-old cowboy, who I've known for half that time is standing in my office door within minutes. He'd heard about what happened in Baton Rouge; the entire vampire community knew by now.

"I need answers -" I began, but before I could finish my demand, my cellular rang.

"Eric..." the voice on the other end said, I immediately recognized who I was speaking - and the fact that I am getting a call from my youngest brother is cause for more alarm. Although I am quite fond Eggs, I cannot recall the last time the former Union soldier has called me.

"Speak brother..." I answer with alacrity.

"Call upon your most loyal and brave deputies to the St. Roch cemetery for debriefing," He stated urgently, evading all formalities, and abruptly hanging up.

"Follow me," I order Stan as I secured the bar, "Contact Chow, Longshadow and as many other allied deputies as you can; call me upon your arrival at the St. Roch Cemetery in New Orléans."

"So you're aware now that Pam and Godric are being held by the authority..." 

I did not answer him; vehemence progressed wildly through my veins as I soar off and into the night. How dare those pieces of shit jail, my family! They will all suffer greatly for this. Undoubtedly, Eggs and Franklin are prepared to make a stand; we shall fight or die for our freedom.

 

 

 

❤❤❤  

St. Roch Cemetery, New Orléans

With a little effort, Franklin Mott located Magistrate Salome's mansion. The adept, vampire-detective had always speculated the location but never had a reason to check it out until now. He and Eggs incisively observed the activities on the inside and outside of the house through a high power scope. Both wanted to launch an attack on the small army of guards patrolling the grounds, but refrained, due to the limited manpower. They had to wait for Eric and his reinforcements. Luckily they did not have to wait long, after about an hour Stan, Longshadow, Chow and a hand full of Area 5 deputies respectfully greeted Franklin and Eggs and awaited their orders. 

Earlier that evening, Franklin phoned Nora and beckoned her to the location of The Magistrates house and just a little while after the vampire deputies arrived, Alcide, Nora, Naomi, and Tara joined them. The newly acquainted warriors strategically discussed a plan on how to gain entrance into the mansion; when suddenly they were caught off guard, surrounded by over several heavily armed V –feds and a dozen snarling wolves. The group realized quick that they were outnumbered two to one. 

The Chief V-Fed, Liam McKnight, called out, "Mott, Talley, and The Magi surrender now, the rest of you are free to go." He had at least a dozen vampires and a six-pack of wolves behind him. Even from a sixty-foot distance, Franklin could smell the silver bullets loaded in the barrels of their weapons.

"Fuck you, Liam!" The curly-headed vampire barked he was afraid of nothing, "Don't get shot unless you want an arse full of silver." he quickly turned to the group and warned them. 

"I'll create a distraction," Nora whispered back. She and Naomi ducked back into a crypt and began chanting, casting powerful spells amidst the cemetery. Within seconds thick distracting smog emerged from the ground creating a blinding fog, suddenly a full-on battle ensued.

Franklin was having more fun than anyone should have while disemboweling his enemies, he dug into the flesh and ripped out the hearts of every V-Fed he encountered.

Eggs, with his long muscular arms, defensively tore into his attacking opponents, eviscerating them limb by limb.

Alcide shifted into the exceedingly enormous snow-white wolf and mauled several opponent wolves to death. He was venting all his trapped hurt, sorrow and anger on the wolves that attacked him and killed his men.

A jet black wolf violently lunged at Tara, the goal was to pounce and pin her down, so she could not use her magic. She quickly vaporized, landing a safe distance away. She used her magic, setting the werewolf on fire.

The fledgling Authority officers and the young werewolf pack, although great in numbers are no match for the much older, battle experience vampires, a vengeful wolf, chanting sorceresses, and a most powerful Aether.


❤❤❤  

The Magistrates House

Eric tactfully entered the highly secured house. His mind consumed with his task. The Viking searched for the entrance to the holding cells in the dimly lit mansion. Chancellor Malcolm Beaumarchais caught him off guard; the four-hundred-year-old vampire struck him across the face, knocking him clear across the vast room; his entire body smashed violently into a glass case. 

Momentarily stunned, Eric shook off the pain, while plucking shards of glass from his face, he slowly stumbled to his feet. Malcolm rushed towards him again, grabbing hold of his neck, pinning him to the wall.

"You shouldn't have done that Beaumarchais." Eric sneered and then grabbed Malcolm's chin, digging his nails into his skin, drawing blood, holding firmly, the bloodthirsty- Norseman pulled and yanked until he ripped the jaw from the head. 

The Chancellor's blood sprayed several feet into the air and all over Eric; the fatally injured man released his grip and stumbled backward, tumbling to the ground. Eric held the dismantled jaw in his hand for a moment, examining it before tossing it to the ground. That's when he noticed a set of keys by the Chancellors twitching body and picked them up. The Viking lifted his leg and stomped on Malcolm's face, smashing his skull in. 

The Viking came to the entrance leading to a very long corridor. Using the elaborate set of keys, he selected the correct one and unlocked it. The rusty inner workings of the lock squeaked in protest as they turned. Once on the other side, he closed the chamber door. twenty-three empty cells greeted the Sheriff as he moved past them. Their overhead UV bulbs were dark. Their silver bars and linings had tarnished. Two thick stone doors with the engraved numbers 24 and 25 sat at the very end. Those are the true-death cells. Envisioned by Paul Di Arezzo and created by Martin McAuliffe.  Solid concrete, ten feet thick, met Eric on the far side. The fixtures are poison and the other surfaces are just as offensive. If by some miracle a prisoner escaped, it would require the use of dynamite to escape the holding cell. Fortunately, Eric has the keys; he carefully opened the silver door to 24. The cell itself appeared clean despite the phantom scent of vampire- blood in the air. In the back, the raised cement floor was built for sitting or slumbering. Regular furniture could not be risked, due to inmates of all species. Because of that, there was nothing else in the cell. Eric felt his brain pulse with his child's beacon and before he saw her, she saw him and called out.

"Eric!"

Pam's cerulean eyes filled with blood-tears. She thought she'd never see her handsome Sire again. Eric had never been so proud of his resilient and courageous child. Through a small window, his longtime companion stood defenseless. McAuliffe's iStake was strapped to her chest, her usual smug expression was replaced with a vulnerable one. Sire and Progeny gazed lovingly at one another for several long moments. Eric knew the keys he held were now useless, but he tried them anyway. They only opened the entrance to the holding cells. The keys would not unlock the secured death trap. Eric desperately began reviewing the keypad. He gathered the device is not only the lock; it is also a timer, set to open the sunroof at daylight. The lock cannot be breached by brute force or any other conventional means; a code was needed. On the other side, The Authority could watch behind UV protected glass as the imprisoned vampire was tortured with silver sprays and assaulted with UV guns until meeting the true death at daybreak.

"Why did you prevent me from reaching you, my child?"

"I didn't want you in this shit-hole with Godric and me."  Pam's cobalt eyes shot up at the silver door on the high ceiling. "The tribunal voted and we've been sentenced to true-death at dawn, they have a bounty out for you, your brothers and even Cupcake."

Eric took an unnecessary gulp and muttered, "I will get you and father out of here."

"Eric, you must get it right the first time." Pam's respired, "that prick Liam said, if anyone tampers with the timer, the sprinklers will spray silver until the code is reset or it may trigger the iSteak, his dumb-ass wasn't for sure which once was first."

"I shall not forsake you, beautiful child." He smiled, desperately masking his waning.

But Pam could feel all his emotions, it was too apparent to hide. His fear and anger bombarded every inch of her.

 Eric yearned to slaughter all the members of The Authority upon sight, but first, he must find a way to get the codes from whoever has them. The troubled vampire locked the room and stepped next door to cell 25. He unlocked the door and opened it, revealing a room identical to Pam's. Godric smiled, he had felt his eldest progeny's presence the moment he arrived in the mansion and awaited his visit.

"I had no doubt you would rescue your child." The vampire King smiled and walked closer to the glass, elated to see his eldest child. Godric was shirtless, dressed in loose-fitting white pants. He could feel his other two children near and wondered why they were not with Eric. 

Miserably confused Eric gazed curiously at his Sire, he did not understand why Godric was so calm. "I must find a way to save you, father." Eric fought back the tears that threatened to emerge.

"Son, I have accepted my punishment. In turn, The Magistrate set Pamela free and agreed to let you all go in peace."

"Father, Pam is next door in a cell just like yours, Franklin and Eggs are fighting for their life and Malcolm just tried to kill me!" The Viking lowered his eyes in shame, he'd never yelled at his sire before,

Godric's composed expression and demeanor quickly washed away, his dead heart sunk into his gut. "The Magistrate gave me her word." He uttered with confusion.

"The Magistrate is a lying piece of shit! Her word means nothing! She told you that lie, so you would not fight!"

"Where are your brothers, the enchantresses, Aether?"

"Tara is near, I can feel her presence. And I spoke to Eggs not long ago; he, Franklin and my deputies are fighting for our freedom at St. Roch."

"Yes, your brothers are near. Gather them, free Pamela and flee, take your lovers and go into hiding."

"Father..." Eric could not believe what he was hearing. Father is a warrior...Warriors do not hide...we fight until the true-death!

"That is my command child; my punishment shall appease the tribunal and you all shall be left in peace." Eric was prevented from protest; with a motion of his hand, The King dismissed his wary progeny. And not wanting to upset his father, he left the room shoving the keys into the pocket of his tracksuit.

Never! I will never run or leave you. Eric entered the main hall of the estate, in the foyer; his ears were assaulted with the percussion of gunshots; the clatter of glass and various objects shattering, screaming, growling and wailing in triumph or defeat. It was the sounds of war... Eric's fangs clicked, his blood bayed, and he was ready to battle. And then he saw his beautiful Aether. 

His woman had a wild look in her eyes as she wickedly doused V- feds with her magic. 

The love-struck vampire admired the way her tank top and jeans hugged her sexy curves so perfectly.

A brave V- fed thought he'd caught Eric off guard and lunged at the Sheriff. The enraged Viking brutally greeted the officer with a firm vice gripped hands around his neck, twisting his throat until the bones snapped. Eric dropped him and looked around for something else to kill. 

Tara's eyes widened at the sight of her savage lover. But before she could utter a single word, the air in front of her swirled and this time, she was not the cause. 

"ERIC!" She screamed at him, but couldn't see him in the cyclone of super-speed. Then the room blurred as a half-dozen fanged monsters exploded towards Eric and his 2 brothers. Tara teleported away, landing in a large bedroom, startling the occupants. Sophie sprung forward, viciously speeding towards Tara, she reached for her and just in the nick of time, Tara vaporized back out into the hallway.

Her magic rendered the vampires speechless.  Sophie sped to the door, but could not open it the conventional way. Using telekinesis, Tara forced the bedroom door in place. So the red-headed vampire kicked it open. And when she did, Aether was waiting. Summoning her fire-element, she set the attacking vampire a blaze. Sophie was consumed in a torrent of red-hot flames, she flailed wildly, hitting the rail and falling over the balcony, tumbling down like a blazing comet. She landed with a thud in the foyer barely missing Franklin. Sophie groaned in agony. But the hardhearted vampire showed no mercy, and with his machete Franklin decapitated her. 

Eric and Franklin looked at each other in unison, if Sophie was up there, her Sire Flanagan was too. The pair flew upstairs, leaving Eggs and Alcide fighting it out with a few remaining V-feds. Franklin kicked open every door upstairs in the eight-bedroom mansion. But it was too late. Agrippa and Flanagan had already fled.

The beauty let out a heavy, frustrated sigh. " I tried to get them, but the  other two bitches flew out the window and are long gone now."

Eric sped over to Tara in a fraction of a second she was in his arms.  She wet her lips, then bit them inwards, peering around the hallway, "Where did Franklin go so fast?"

"He shall guard Godric and Pam until we release them." He embraced his darling, kissing her forehead. 

Despite Tara imploring them to stay out of harm's way Nora and Naomi cautiously approached the house. 

Before Eggs could grip the doorknob, the door swung open.

"Well come on in, watch out for the blood." Eggs greeted them, smirking with pride at his body count. Happy to see her beau, Naomi found a clean spot on his cheek and kissed it.

In the confinement's cells, the group approached the end of the hall; they found Franklin barely standing, only the wall held him up. His expression detached, his skin even paler than usual.

"Brother," Eggs respired in dismay. He'd never seen Franklin look so distraught, "speak to us," The handsome black man placed a comforting hand on his older brothers' shoulder, while somberly watching red tears stream like a river from his eyes.

"Father wants to die..." Franklin's voice trailed off, he was in a state of total disbelief. "He wants us to free Pam and then just...and then just leave him to meet the sun..."

 

  


Chapter Text

 

 

After Salome's guards were removed from the equation; Agrippa licked her wounds and abandoned her plan to execute Eric and Tara. For the time being... She fled, escaping like a thief in the night, a most regretful and disgraceful departure. If things had gone her way, Aether would be tied to King Godric and she'd be watching Tara burn like a witch at Salem. Eric and his brothers would suffer the same fate alongside Pam.

Nan agreed with Agrippa's sentiments, but unlike Magistrate Salome, Chancellor Flanagan was determined to finish what she started. There was no way she'd leave after the murder of her only child Sophie-Anne. She'd felt her beloved meet the true death at the hands of Aether, she'd never felt so helpless. She only imagined how Paul felt, now she was feeling the same pain too.  

The Chancellor conspired as she spied on them, her fury building like a volcano on the cusp of the eruption. The security room was full of monitors, for watching only. That frustrated her because she was unable to hear what her enemies in the holding cells were planning. She longed to wrap her hands around Aether's throat while squeezing her neck until her eyes filled with blood; crushing her esophagus, taking pleasure in the feeling and sound of her bones snapping and breaking against the pressure. She envisioned herself watching the life faded from the magical woman's eyes and her heartbeat stop.

I'll keep that fucking cunts head on my mantle as a trophy.

 "Where are you?" Nan phoned her chief of security officer Kibwe Adewale.

"Reinforcements are in route," Kibwe assured his Chancellor, "The Sheriff, The Magi, and all their allies will be ambushed upon arrival."

 

 


 

 

   

 

❤❤❤   

TARA POV

I feel helpless and confused like I'm in a ball of tangled yarn. The parts that are untangled are unusable; a mess, useless until untied. The mess feels endless and unyielding. Nora and Naomi - two powerful conjurers who could summon spirits, open portals, and control elements are helpless. Alcide - very simply put, is dangerous, the wolf has taken more punishment than any human could possibly endure is now helpless. The vampires - with all their limitless strength, incredible speed, and centuries of wisdom... even they are helpless. And then there's me - no other in the universe has my supernatural abilities, and yet those sadistic murderers, Paul and Martin managed to outsmart us all. They built cells that are supernatural proof, nothing can get in, I can't teleport in - I can't blast them out. In frustration I leave Pam's cell and pace the hall, I find Eric and latch on to his perfect waist while pressing my head against his muscular chest. He's so warm and the firmness of his tender embrace calms me.

It was no surprise that the peace was short-lived...My alert beacon clicked on, sporadically flashing in my peripherals, and I know better than to ignore it. Still, in his arms, I flinch in confusion, "Baby, we are not alone." I lean back to look up at him.

"Go on lover," He replied, feeling my agitation.

"I can feel someone watching us," I warn, still unsure of what could be casting such an odd signal.

"Are they near?"

"Yes...very near..."

"Then we shall find them; lead the way with your magic and I shall follow." He ordered like I was one of his lackeys. So of course, I gave him a challenge.

"If you can keep up..."

 


 

  ❤❤❤   

Tara playfully winked at her lover and in a puff of white mist, she disappeared out of his arms.

"Min Tara, så full av överraskningar," He said before speeding off.

Aether landed outside the mansion, she quickly surveyed the area, at the same time her alarm system began to beam more frantically.

While Nan watched the surveillance cameras in shock as the mystic woman transformed into a white cloud of vaporous air and re-materialized in the gardens by the guest house. In a panic, Nan lost sight of Tara's movements for a few crucial seconds. Using only eye contact Tara signaled to Eric and he followed her lead.

Nan had no warning; all she heard was a thunderous bang and a split-second after, the door was ripped from the hinges. Like a typhoon, the Viking rushed in, back-slapped the startled woman, casting her clear across the room. Tara quickly retrieved Nan from the hole in the wall by her short, blonde hair and teleported back to the main house and into Pam's cell.

Mott and Talley heard the noise and rushed in; their eyes ferociously locked onto the Chancellor. Not a second later, Eric stalked in, snarling and staring daggers at the terrified vampire.  Nan had dropped to her knees, cowering by the concrete slab...She was so frightened she couldn't even speak. Tara stood in-between the vampire and certain death.

"Nan Flanagan..." Tara spoke smoothly as she neared, all the while making direct eye contact with the silver-eyed woman. Effortlessly she captured her mind and upon entrance was bombarded with Nan's strong feelings of malice towards her.

"Yes magi..." Nan's voice was calm which indicated to Tara that she was under her control.

"Give me the codes to both iStake's right now."

Nan promptly uttered, "27-55-80-78."

Pam quickly pushed the buttons of the metal device on her breast. She sighed with relief as the iStake made a beeping noise, signaling the deactivation and then it unlatched. She ripped off the Velcro straps from her shoulders and threw the offensive device to the ground.

"Nan, now the code to the door..."

"03-16-78-38," Nan muttered.

Eric quickly punched in the code. The door quietly slid open.

Tara saw a blur from the corner of her eyes and was knocked across the room. Before she hit the concrete wall, she slammed into Alcide. The shirtless muscular man broke her collision and they both tumbled to the ground. "What the fuck...!" Tara bellowed angrily, favoring her aching right arm.

Pam heard nothing. In a blind rage, she pounced on Nan like a lioness. With the slender blond pinned against the wall, the shapely blond growled and then bit off her nose and spit it out, she did the same to her left ear, and then the right ear, all the while Nan wailed in horrifying pain.

"PAMELA!" Eric roared at his progeny, "STOP!" 

Pam did not obey. And with one powerful thrust of her fist, she gouged into Nan's chest cavity, grabbing her heart and ripping it out. Nan shuddered violently as her entire body bubbled, liquefied and burst like a water balloon, splattering all over Pam. The bloody, fleshy, smoldering remains landed with a splattering sounding thud on Pam's bare feet.

"NOOOOO!" Everyone shouted in unison.

"Shut up!" Pam shouted back," She tossed Nan's heart over her shoulder, it splattered to the ground, making a squishing noise. She then proceeded to pluck pieces of flesh out of her hair. 

Eric removed his jacket, then his tank, and handed the tank to Pam. She used his shirt to wipe her blood saturated face; while Eric put back on his tracksuit jacket.

"She could have revealed to us where Salome is hiding," Eric growled.

"That bitch didn't have Godric's code..."Bitch Nan and Cunt Salome don't trust one another. So Martin gave the code to my shit-hole to Nan, Paul gave the other to Salome. It's been like that for decades."

Eric disapprovingly eyed his child in frustration, but he knew she was right.

Pam coarsely rolled her eyes in response, "I had to fuck Liam for that info," she griped, "Please tell me one of ya'll killed that jackass."

"If you're talking about the big bald vamp who was barking orders, I set his ass on fire in the living room a little while ago." Tara sassed.

A smug little smirk lined the vampire's lips, "Thanks, Cupcake."

"You're welcome- tramp, but if you shove me again, I'll barbecue ya ass too."

Without a reply, Pam winked.

"So what now..?" Franklin threw his hands in the air in helpless disbelief.

Pam shrugged while plucking more of Nan's flesh from her cleavage.

"Did Liam tell you anything else?" Eggs asked, still optimistic.

Pam lowered her head somberly, the magnitude of the situation had finally struck her, "No." she muttered, and left the room. Everyone followed behind her. 

Pam regarded her handsome grandsire's elated expression as she approached the window and cold-heart sank at the sight of her King sitting in a filthy cell, caged like an animal. Her King, her Grand-Sire belonged on his throne, surrounded by fancy objects and beautiful people.

"Why are you accepting of dying in this shit-hole?" she asked.

He smirked at his candid Grand-Progeny; he always enjoyed her voracious banter. She was malnourished, but he was pleased that she was free from her confinements, he could relax completely now. 

"If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold onto. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve. For it is only in accepting the death that one can truly live, and for all intelligent species, death has always been the great beast from the abyss to be dreaded or defeated or avoided or hated - but never looked upon clearly face to face."

Pam listened with her soul and was enlightened, his reception of death was his final evolution. 

The King's three sons were torn, they still had a fraction of a chance at locating Salome, they wanted to leave and hunt her down, but their Sire would not allow it.

"Eric, Franklin, and Benedict...As your maker, I command you to stay and not seek out my captor."

Abruptly, Tara shouted palming her forehead. "Goddamnit, not again!"

Everyone turned their head to see what was the matter.

"I feel some more bad shit coming..." Tara warned.

Acting fast, Franklin and Eggs instructed Nora and Naomi to stay put and hide. Eric signaled to Franklin asking him to hold the cell open for a moment longer.

"You haven't fed, you should stay behind as well," Eric advised Pam.

"Not a chance..." his child drawled. "I'm not sitting on my ass while Cupcake has all the fun."

"Stubborn woman, you have been warned," Eric grumbled.

"I'll keep guard if any fangers come down, I'll take care of 'em," Alcide's growled as he stripped, then shifted into the giant white wolf.

Everyone nodded in agreement.

Aether was the first to vanish, then the vampires sped away.

In the foyer, the group was unceremoniously greeted by the New Orleans Sheriff Kibwe Adewale, his deputies Diane Hardwicke, Ivanek Malcovich and two dozen more Authority appointed V- feds.

"You are all under arrest, surrender..."

Before Kibwe could finish his words, Eric sped forward, grabbing the unsuspecting vampire in a headlock. He gripped and twisted his neck and with a powerful tug, he pulled his head off decapitating him. Franklin, yielding a sword severed Ivanek's head and then the vampire next to him, and then another... 

Tara created a huge fireball and wiped out two vampires at the same time; she aimed at two more but missed.

"Save some for me- greedy witch," Pam's fangs dropped at the sight of all the blood and violence.

The mêlée lasted over an hour, but all of Nan's soldiers were destroyed. The group was tired, hungry, but virtually unscathed. All except for Pam, she had been shot in the belly with a silver bullet;  the removal of the bullet left her in excruciating pain. 

Before the group entered the holding cells Alcide shifted back and slid his jeans on. 

Franklin and Eggs rushed in, embracing their teary-eyed lovers.  They were listening dolefully as the King conversed reminiscently with them.

Eric carried his injured child to the entrance, gently handing her over to Alcide. Pam was in too much pain to protest. Alcide entered the room and carefully placed the injured vampire on the concrete slab and then the wolf took a moment to thank Godric again for pardoning his debt. His skewed view of vampires has changed forever because of him.

"What would happen if we cut the power?" Eggs rubbed his forehead in frustration, ignoring the steady tap of blood that oozed from his ear due to the lack of rest. He remained unwavering, looking into all possibilities.

Naomi sighed while using her blouse to dab the blood from his nose. "That would not deactivate the iStake, and the house has a backup generator in case of a power failure. The motion of anyone entering the cell will activate those horrible silver and UV weapons, which would kill him slowly."

"My son," Godric beckoned his youngest child. "Did you know stars in the night sky are not simply stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy..."

His words made Eggs smile despite his tears and when Godric smiled back, it reminded him of the stars in the night sky, and right then Eggs Benedict Talley knew he'd see his beloved Sire again.

"Children, friends... I shall encounter darkness as a new adventure, for death is not the end, death can never be the end, death is the road, life is the traveler, the soul is the guide."

"Pardon me King Godric," Tara asked, observing Pamela's ailing appearance.

He nodded his permission and she teleported around the house gathering up pillows and blankets from the bedrooms in the house, trying to make the concrete slab a little more comfortable for Pam. After she helped Pam as much as she could, she pursued Eric several feet down the hall.

"Pam hasn't fed in two nights." Tara frowned as she waited for several long moments for a response, but her beau never did; after a moment she continued "Nora removed the silver bullet, so now she needs blood to heal."

His eyes narrowed, his mouth pulled tight. He paced slowly back and forth in the hall. Tara was not sure if he even heard her.

"I do not accept this!" Eric grumbled; he stood with his back against the wall.

His Sire has endured countless plagues, wars, and atrocities. He was unbelieving that he would surrender without a fight. He denied that notion completely.

"Eric..?"

He had heard her but was not concerned. He knew his hard-headed child would live.

She let him be for the moment and went back to Godric. The tranquil, tattooed man simply smiled at Aether, he felt her in his mind, and it lulled him even more. Her abilities fascinated him. He resonated into the baby-goddess his feelings of peace and acceptance. Still, the ancient vampire longed to comfort his eldest child, yet he refrained from summoning him. He could feel his progeny's sadness and he prayed it would pass.

"Pardon me once more Godric." Tara left again to approach her vampire once again; now his back was to her, "Please come with me baby," she pleaded. Sensing the thaw, Tara held out her hand. Eric turned slowly; he engulfed her hand with his own and she led the way.

His Maker appeared particularly pallid, his tattoos more defined, in the overly bright veneer of the death-room, the Viking's emerald eyes filled with blood tears, he raised his hand to the glass, and Godric mirrored his action.

"You once asked if I could be a companion of death," Eric whispered.

Godric's smile reminded Eric of those first decades they spent in the woods, learning each other.

"I remember," Godric's features are soft in the artificial light.

The Viking's voice trembled, "I have served as faithfully as I have known how."

"Yes, son, you have shaped my life for the better. There has never been any doubt."

Eric was nervous as he hasn't been in a thousand years. He's a young boy holding a sword for the first time, a young man going off to his first war.

"I ask only one thing in return."

Godric went silent, responding only with a smile.

"Stay." Eric whimpered as he fell to his knees.

"Erik." Godric imbued the two syllables with regret; he radiated such overwhelming compassion that Eric almost had to look away.

"I have been your companion for as long as you would have me." Godric's smile widened, sparking life and memories in his eyes. "It was beautiful to watch you fight; I now ask that you and your brothers let me go."

"There are many battles ahead; we can even employ a few of your ridiculous pacifist ideas if that's what it'll take."

Godric laughed, Eric knew exactly when and where to push his Sire's buttons.

Sensing some yield, Eric stood, "I will need you...Stay. Fight with me..."

"I've lived long enough min Erik. I choose this, I am ready to go. Let me go..."

The clicking, cranking sound of the automatic sunroof began to churn, signaling the inevitable. Minuscule rays of light leaked through and Godric took his position in the middle of the small room. The vampires instinctively flinched and squinted, they were not accustomed to looking upon natural light. Godric looked up into a sunlit sky; a sky he has not seen in millenniums and embraced it.

"Je t'aime très chers. La mort est pas la fin."

The dearly loved King does not blister nor burn in the fashion they'd dreadfully anticipated. Instead, the two thousand eight-hundred-year-old vampire rapidly ignited into an iridescent blue flame. The light fizzled brightly on his flesh, setting alight the dim room. All the vampires' flinched and squinted as their eyes took a moment to adjust to the bright glow from behind the UV protected glass, but no one took their eyes off The Anglo-Saxon creature. The King held out his arms preparing for an embrace and closed his eyes in pure serenity. He was in no pain at all and less than a minute the sun consumed him.

And he was gone. No ashes, no blood, nothing remained.

 


Chapter Text

 

 TARA POV 

I still have my strange dreams, but now that I'm fully ushered into my powers and with the mixture of Eric's blood, they've changed quite a bit. The dream starts out with my Viking; he's perfectly nude on a snow-covered mountaintop; a reflective blanket of fresh snowfall around him gives his pale skin an illuminating glow. Our naked bodies sprawled on a deer hide; we're making love out in the open, in the daylight, without a care in the world. Through our bond I can feel his emotional state; Eric feels alive, human. A feeling long lost to him.  

Suddenly the scene changes; and I've abruptly been snatched away from my warm vampire. In a vast white room of nothingness, The Elders speak to me...

Those darn Elders always interrupted my vampire blood- induced sex-dream. Quoting the Vesica Pisces, they'd whisper and chant about darkness, light, opening gates, portals, and passageways to realms; everything was so cryptically metaphorical...

'The doors of her temple were open in time of war and closed to mark the peace, look to the future and to the past. As goddess of the elements, Aether presided over the beginning and end of the conflict, and hence war and peace...'

Now I can admit, I'm not the sharpest knife on the table, but damn, Isabelle and those Elders never made much sense. The dream always ended the same. I'm given the reminder that I'm bonded with my 'Chosen', which is undoubtedly Eric and my 'gift' to him is eternal.

But I still don't know what I gave to him. I know we're supposed to exchange these wonderful gifts, but it seems like a pretty unfair exchange if you ask me. I certainly got the better end of that deal. I've yet to see Eric do anything I can do. Besides being humanly warm, he hasn't changed at all, not that I'm complaining, it's not a powerful gift if you ask me, but it's a nice none the less. Although I did notice the night Godric died, the approach of first light did not weaken him or give him the bleeds like it did his brothers, I got confirmation the next night when we stayed up until six am arguing about me feeding Pam.

"You are mine!" He snarled. I briefly caught his blur dart from across the room, in a fraction of a second; he'd closed in on me.

"How dare you give yourself to another?" His eyes narrowed and he sneered at me with gritted teeth. I didn't flinch, totally used to his vamp-tantrums now.

"Not even your own child?!" I sneered right back at his ass. Selfish bastard, his attitude needed some serious readjusting.

"No one..!" He roared even louder. "Ever..! You gave yourself to me, only me."

He created a breeze when he zoomed back across the room, angrily plopping down on our bed while mumbling some obscenities in Swedish at me.

"I tried to tell you Pam needed blood." I paced barefooted and frustrated, up and down the soft carpet of our bedroom. His eyes followed me with that stone -cold glare. I waited for a response. His jaw was locked tight... Asshole..."Besides you don't see me bent outta shape about you giving your blood to Lafayette," I added to my point.

"Not the same," He growled. I know that now, but at the time, I was trying to be helpful to his progeny.

"Well excuse the fuck outta me for giving a damn!" I crossed my arms over my chest. He grumbled more obscenities in Swedish. I tried to read his mind but I couldn't... 

Well, that's odd...

When we left Salome's destroyed mansion the following night, returning to Godric's New Orleans home. Cathy had done all she could for Laffy, but he still wasn't well. He developed some sort of infection from Absolom's claws. The antibiotics and Wiccan elixirs weren't working and he was coughing up mucus and blood something terrible. So I asked my love to give my cousin his blood. Without hesitation, Eric entered the guest room and sat at Laffy's bedside. Not surprisingly, the moment Laffy laid eyes on the gorgeous Viking; his mind became filled with nasty thoughts. Eric hissed out his fangs; with a little growl, he bit into his wrist, creating a perfect puncture wound, which trickled with his powerful ancient blood.

"Well good god all mighty, I got the tingles." my cousin had said while licking his lips and ogling at Eric flirtatiously. He took hold of Eric's forearm, opened his mouth wide and pressed down. He slurped loudly as he drank his fill, his eyes rolled up into his head as he moaned...

There ain't no shame in his game. 

The very moment the wound began to seal, Eric yanked his wrist away and left the room. It only took a few minutes before the blood took effect, as a result, my cousin literally jumped out of bed and broke out into a scandalous dance. I left the room when he began singing... 'Thank you, witches, fangers, and bitches'.

Jessica stayed and enjoyed the song and dance. 

The next time I saw Pam, her bad behavior mimicked Laffy's...Correction...Pam was worse. She behaved herself for a while, respectfully mourning Godric, even though I could feel her lust for me growing by the minute. 

A week later, Eric and I returned to Fangtasia and re-open to oodles of fang-bangers delight, Pam was on me like a cheap suit on a kangaroo. I guesstimate it didn't help matters with the way I was dressed that night. My outfit was skin-tight and cleavage-bearing. The designer dress barely covered the swells of my thighs and Lafayette referred to my heels as 'come-fuck-me pumps'.

"Can I get you something to wrap those luscious lips around?" She drawled, practically undressing me with her eyes.

"Pamela," Eric warned her horny ass. "You shall not speak to Tara that way or I'll shove your fangs down your throat. Do you understand?"

She said yes and immediately disobeyed.  I don't know why he bothers. Every chance she got she'd 'accidentally' touch my shoulder, my leg, my ass... Eric and I knew until my blood wore off, I'd be the star of her girl-on-girl porn. The thoughts Vampire Barbie had about me would make the raunchiest whore blush, but still...

"I wasn't gonna let Pam - who'd already been through hell, suffer some more..." I protested.

"There were other options Tara..."

I lowered my eyes and heaved a heavy sigh. Eric had made his point. I knew when to wave the white flag and surrender. Now... it's time to kiss and make up. So I sashayed over to the edge of the bed, while seductively fluttering my long lashes, allowing my hands to suggestively glide up in between my breasts, just below my cherished talisman.

"Your right," I let out a soft pretty little pout, "it won't ever happen again baby," I promised my stone-cold Viking with all my heart. His tightly sealed lips parted slightly when I let my tongue glide across my top lip and I assured him, "My blood to Pam was a one-time thing." I purred, allowing him to feel my strong desire for him and then I slowly untied my robe; never removing my eyes from his and his jade eyes went soft at the sight. As my robe fell softly to the floor, he hungrily eyed my naked body. His lustful gaze locked onto my sex as I climbed onto the bed towards him.

"Never again..." I cooed, letting my thumb trace along his jawline. He leaned into my hand.

"Never again..." He repeated, his tone was soft and sweet now. His firm hands rested on my waist, "You belong to me beautiful one, only me..."

"Only you..." I leaned in and kissed his lips, his fangs clicked in response and I kissed them too. Eric dragged his mouth upward until our lips met and he crashed his mouth into mine, swiping his tongue inside, I gasped at the suddenness of his movement. It took me a moment to catch up, my lips and tongue move against him just as eagerly, one hand sliding up to caress his face.

His kisses always started off soft and sweet, but then they deepened and gave way to a passion that sent pleasant chills up my spine. Eric's kisses are by far the most intoxicating I'd ever experienced and this one was no exception; setting my senses whirling and making the most pleasant sensations. I caress his solid chest, making a trail down to those sexy washboard abs. I tugged at his silk boxers; my desire filled eyes seized his huge, hard dick as I pulled his boxers down his long legs. I slowly sprawled up his lengthy body and every inch of me pressed against him earnestly. 

With one swift move, he flipped me onto my back. Our eyes meet in a tender, lustful gaze. His body was like a live wire that only responded to my pleasure, every part of him was aware and sexually heightened. He trailed his fingers down my chest rubbing my nipples until they become impossibly harder and I shivered in response. He nuzzled into my navel, kissing the flesh above the center. I smile tilting my head watching the shadowy light play with the shades of his blonde hair. I ruffled it back so I can see his face as he trailed sweet kisses all over my body. His jade eyes became dark and stormy as he rumbled deep in his chest. He inhaled, taking in the scent of my arousal.

"You smell like honey and sunshine lover." He whispered lovingly in the soft glow of our room.

 I breathed in deeply as he probed my sex with his skillful tongue. I rolled my hips instinctively and parted my legs wide, allowing him to please me just the way he wanted. He lapped me up, purring contently, his thumbs drawing circles around my hipbones. I shivered and whimpered as he increased his pressure and my eyes rolled back with pleasure when his thumb pressed onto my little bundle. He hoisted himself up, coming to hover above me with his hands firmly planted on the bedding at each side of my head. 

My vampire shuddered erratically as he entered me, his hot smooth length, filling me so perfectly, he can feel my warmth coating him.  I let out a high-pitched moan and my pussy pulsated. My arms and thighs clutched at him. 

"Fuck!" he shouted loudly, rutting as he entangled his fingers in my hair, "Sot våt!" he growled and snarled, as I arched my back and mewed sweetly, wanting more. "Oh Min Tara!" he hissed, gently biting into my neck and suckling, tightening his hold.

"Ohh My Errrric..!" I crooned his name, pleasure washing over me, he kept making me come for him, making me groan with pleasure. 

His relentless, persistent Viking dick, pounded me for a least a full hour. His movements forceful and demanding, rocking me toward powerful release, after powerful release, his fingers sweeping through the now tangled mess of my hair. 

He joined me, groaning, quivering, and his own release spurting hot and deep inside of me, his dick pulsing in response to my body's rhythm. 

He collapsed beside me, bringing my fingers up to his mouth kissing each one. After a few moments, he tucked me tightly against him. I smiled and rolled to face him.

While my self-assured sass and uncompromising honesty weren't always appreciated. Eric couldn't doubt that I'm a professional at keeping things real. I gloried in the fact that as long as I smart-mouthed my vampire warrior at every opportunity, I could always turn it around and make him smile.

"We good baby, I'm forgiven?" I asked my face buried into his bare chest. 

He smiled that ancient, amused smile. "Yes, indeed my beautiful one ." He closed his eyes and placed a slow kiss on my forehead. That was our first fight and just as I expected, the make-up sex was incredible.


 

  ❤❤❤   

ERIC POV

My dreaming of Tara every night had become a honeyed ritual. As usual, it was always unusual, passionate and so fucking erotic. She'd please me in every way imaginable. Yet, I was always left with wanting more. I could never get enough of her.

Tonight, I was awakened by a wave of dismay, the vilest, unsettling feeling washed over me.

 I could no longer feel my bond with Tara! 

I use my cellular and left Pam her detailed instructions. Next, I dialed Nora and informed her of the situation. She and Naomi asked that I see them at Godric's house. It was a few moments until daylight's end and with, not a second to waste I got dressed as fast as I could; which meant I was showered and fully dressed in less than five minutes. As I reached for my cherished medallion on the nightstand, I notice a white envelope. I snatched it from the table, tore open the envelope and read...

Eric,

I never thought I'd fall for a pompous vampire who owns a raunchy vampire bar. But, I'll be a monkey's uncle, cause here I am. I realize now, we actually have a lot in common. We are both powerful, passionate, warriors and we'll both do anything to protect the people we love. And, I'm probably saying this in vain, but I'll say it anyway. PLEASE, don't worry about me. And don't you dare come after me! I need to do this alone. I MUST do this alone. I hate to tell you this baby, but there is a strong chance I won't make it out. So I want you to know that I've never loved anyone as much as I love you. Min Vacker, I want to thank you for loving me, protecting me, making me whole again.

Love,

Tara Mae Northman

Fear seeped offensively into my soul, my diamond had flung herself back into the hands of peril. Standing in my garage with Tara's note clasped firmly in my hand, the frustration stabbed at me. The unexplained confusion tore and ripped- the dread building within me was unbearable. I felt like a caged animal. As the final rays of light lethargically slope below the horizon, I was finally able to leave.

 

 

 


Chapter Text

 

TARA POV

Just a week after mother passed Ruby gathered us for an official séance. She conjured the spirits of Godric, Holly and Alcide's best-friend Marcus all at the same time. Ruby wanted everyone to have a full understanding of everything that had transpired. Most of all she wanted to ease our troubled minds. As Godric spoke through Ruby, he consoled his grieving sons. He commanded them not to seek vengeance for his death. He only wanted his progenies to prosper and move on with their lives. Because of my Aunt, not only humans but vampires and wolves have confirmation that what Godric said was true; death is not the end.

More weeks passed and my internal struggle remained unrelenting. After all, we'd been through hell; we're all diligently doing our best to cope with our losses. I couldn't imagine dragging any one of us into another fight. 

The only thing the Elders said that was clear. Mom and Willa's souls are trapped in Absalom's realm. That leaves only me to set them free. Now I stand in the white room of nothingness, this time, a shimmering object caught my eye.

"This is the Chimera of Isis." The Elders voices echoed to me.

The amulet is like nothing I'd ever seen; it is intricate in design, heavy as a brick and pure gold. The gem is an encrusted wonder, as big as Eric's hand, adorned with the head of a goat, a lion, a snake and with the body of a shapely woman. In the lion's mouth, a white diamond, in the goat's mouth, a sapphire, in the mouth of the serpent an emerald. In the chest of the charm is the biggest red ruby I'd ever seen.

"With the Chimera of Isis, the elements bond in the dark realm."

"What the hell does that mean?" I asked them. All I ever did was question them; though I don't know why I even bother, they never give a clear answer.

"Make haste to the dark portal." Isabelle's distinct voice commanded; she sounded worried. I snapped awake and a tidal wave of emotions flooded in.

It's time...Tears brimmed my eyes and I fought desperately to suppress them. Quietly, I slipped out of bed, showered and put my leather and jeans on. I made the mistake of looking over at my man and I started to cry.

 Although asleep, my Viking could feel my distress, he let out a faint grumble, his brow furrowed and his body fidgeted slightly. If I don't chill out, he's gonna wake up, so I tore my eyes from his gorgeous expressive face and grabbed a pen and paper. With all my might I pushed out my dread and forced in happy thoughts( Lafayette's last crawfish broil)... His fidgeting stopped and I left.

Tall stone walls, thick thorny bushes, and a black steel gate surrounded the absent mansion on St. Charles Ave. As I walked down the brick driveway, The Elders blitzed my mind, "Aether, adorn yourself with the Chimera of Isis, recite the incantation and cross the threshold into the dark realm."

"Okay." My gut twisted in knots, I placed the amulet around my neck and heave in a deep calming breath. And then The Elders began to chant; as their chanting got louder, I could hear more voices, voices, I'd never heard before.

"Dues Isis, portas custodire ab aquilone ad meridiem ad orientem et ad occidentem -Terra largiturum virtutem elementorum, aer, ignis , et aqua - Afferte in opaca clavis- Aperite portas! Aperite portas! Aperite portas..!"

I listened to them a few times and then I joined in repeating the chant over and over. The winds began to whip about as we invoked the elements of my spiritual mother Isis. A gust seeped in causing my eyes to water and I gasped as my nostrils began to burn. The most god-awful stench stewed in the air and I almost lost my gumbo.

That's when I saw it. At first, it looked like dense fog rising from the ground on a fall morning, but that rapidly changed into pitch-black smoke. The smoke bubbled and began to darken, increasing in width. Lightning flashed, thundered and crackled loudly, the sound, earsplitting. It churned, snaking in a loop, it went faster, and the storm spun and opened up. Suddenly I was looking into a place right out of your worst nightmare. And my crazy ass walked right in... Now I'm positive...I'm one slice shy of a loaf."

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

  ❤❤❤   

ERIC POV

My father's house walled a different air and I was forced to acknowledge the fact his home would never be the same without him. Godric's house was the Aether's Coven now. They'd lost everything and if Godric were still here with me, I'm positive he would have opened his home to them. I am grateful to the magical clan, granting me a final goodbye to my Sire after watching him meet the sun was nothing short of miraculous. I shall always be loyal and serving to Aether's Coven.

 I needed no invitation as I crossed the door's threshold. Eggs stood in the foyer, he greeted me with a stoic expression, which is unlike him. While Nora and Naomi quickly trail down the stairs with Franklin adjoining close behind.

"Into the library," Franklin uttered, picking up his leisurely pace, briskly treading through the foyer and down the hall.

The grand room was candlelit; the white candles strategically placed around the Vesica Pisces circle, reminding me of the time Tara and I spent with my father not long ago. Tara's kin sat alone at the roundtable sipping her beverage, "Are you ready to go get Tara?" the medium said and then sipped once more.

"Ruby Jean..!" Naomi huffed as she flicked the light switch, turning on the artificial lights. "We need to speak with Eric, please leave." 

We both ignored Naomi. 

"Yes, I am ready to go get Tara," I answered the woman as I neared her.  When I was in arms reach she lightly tapped the top of my hand with hers... I allowed it. 

"You warm- I'll be able to see you in there." The conjurer lowered her spectacles for further examination, she looked positively stunned but pleased none the less.

"Speak clearly Medium..." I commanded.

"Tara's is losing her spirit, she needs you..." She said, standing from her seat; she neared the exit of the room.

At the worst time, my phone rang...Of course, it was Pam. 

"Not now..."

"But I got your message, Cupcake's gone, what can I do?" Her concern for my darling pleased me.

"Maintain vigilant eyes and keep our businesses in order in my absence."

"So you aren't showing up tonight?" She let out a long unsatisfied sigh. "Shit Eric, without you, the humans get all dreary and pissy."

"I said-Not-now Pamela..." I release the call and shoved my cell in my pocket. while briefly scanning the room.

Eggs expression was unusually absent, as was Naomi; she timidly looked away when I met her gaze; Nora mimicked her actions and denied me eye contact. The clairvoyant had left the room.

"Call the medium back, I need answers."

"Listen, Eric, that blabbermouth has done enough damage, we only brought you here to explain where your human is. This is not a rescue attempt."  Franklin said, taking a seat at the table. 

"I don't give a fuck about your attempts, my attempt is to be at her side in battle...Now... where - is - Tara..." I snarled, masking my despair with annoyance. 

"She is long gone," Franklin shrugged. His expression was not of smugness, it was of contemplation.

 Was he actually thinking of something other than himself? 

"Where?" I growled, unbelieving at how helpless I am, "Why can't I feel her through our bond?"  I turned to Nora, her manner was the most unnerving, she looked truly horrified.  

"Aether is in the dark realm, the world of dark spirits and lost souls. Her soul is free, she is a beacon and therefore Ruby can see her." she breathed in a heavy sigh, "Unfortunately, Ruby cannot see the two captured-lost souls Tara went to rescue, thus making this a mission impossible."

"Nothing is impossible," I assured her, "how do I enter the dark realm?"  

"Through a portal, but it's not a place you ever want to enter. It's a place out of your worst nightmare. Nothing is what it seems; all logic is obscured, time, space, nothing makes sense in the darkness...and the darkness...it feeds on your fear, it consumes your sanity and eventually your soul. " Nora warned me. "I pray to Isis that Aether realizes she will never find them and returns to us...one day..." she said, lowering her eyes; as the blood rushes out of her cheeks and tears fill her eyes.

"I fear nothing, not even hell can keep me from Tara." My conviction brooked no argument.  "Surely you all don't expect me to do nothing and just hope for her to return." I sneered through gritted teeth. They are wasting time, Tara's side is where I belong. I felt a strong desire to beat them all into submission, but that is not my place. I must find a way to get them to see things my way.

"You don't understand..." Nora began a futile attempt of detouring me, "In the dark realm, Absalom is just as powerful as Aether. For you it is much worse, vampires are not in  control of their supernatural abilities, they may not even possess them at all."

"I may as well have given myself to the tribunal. Being without her is like the true-death, I must try to rescue her." I shoved my hands in my pocket to keep them from trembling. 

"Tara wouldn't want that." Naomi shook her head in dismay, "She'd never want any of us, especially you risking your true-death for her."

"That is a risk I am willing to take." My nails dug into my skin and I clenched my fist even tighter. "You must allow me to follow my bonded into the darkness...I shall remain in your presence until you comply." I had no choice but to continue shamelessly beseeching my beloved's subjects.

"No!" Nora spoke solemnly, "Gehenna is an entire world of pure darkness, the demons will eat you alive or you will wander around for who knows how many centuries."

"She is mine- I shall find her." I had all confidence in myself... if Tara were anywhere on Earth, I would find her. I know the same will hold true in Hades."  The depth of Tara's compassion is evident. Her fierce loyalty means her family, friends and loved ones are her life. Since the night Tara's mother was slain, the witches feared Aether would try to release her trapped soul. I knew eventually she would gather the courage to go back into battle, but she should not have gone without me.  "She should never have gone...not without me, my seraph...We need each other, we belong together." I heard myself say aloud. 

"Just do the bloody ritual," Franklin suddenly cracked, catching Nora by surprise she let out a gasp, her eyes widen in response. "I'd go into that bloody-dreadful place for you..." Franklin added with a mumble, his outburst seemed to surprise him just as much as his companion. In fact, his comment shocked everyone; even I was momentarily staggered; Franklin had never spoken on my behalf before.  Our baby brother smiled his warm smile. It seems Franklin understood me, he agreed with my sentiments and for the first time, Godric's progeny's were behaving like a clan. 

We are truly united. 

Undeniably, our father would be pleased. All our eyes remained on Franklin, and Franklin relished that. 

"So will you do it? He's not going to leave us if you don't," My English brother asked the Enchantress again. He must have felt her yield; he neared her and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Very good then." 

Eggs turned to his lover; he knew the answer was in our favor when Naomi hastily began suiting up in her black cloak, while Nora gathered their essential Wiccan supplies and beckoned the girl Jessica. She was asked to sacrifice her virgin blood for the ritual. The ginger-haired youth dutifully obliged. 

Naomi drew the blood from her arm with a clean hypodermic needle and emptied it into a large golden chalice. "As High Priestess, we do not possess the powers of our ancient Elders and Aether. So opening this portal will be very dangerous, you may be severely injured during the journey."

"I am ready," I replied, the fact was I was more than fucking ready. I was on the cusp of being reunited with my beloved. I didn't believe in heaven until Tara walked into my world and proved to me that angels exist.

"Lie down in the center of the circle, close your eyes and whatever you do, don't open them," Nora asked and warned at the same time. 

Without hesitation, I did as I was told. The witches began to chant in Latin, I speak Latin, and thus I understood their words.

"Goddess Isis, watch over the gates of the north, south, east, and west...Bestow the power of the elements earth, air, fire, and water - Bring forth your key into the dark realm - Open the gates! -Open the gates! -Open the gates!


 

❤❤❤   

Despite his instincts, The Norseman kept his eyes closed; at the same time, a sweltering heat began to burn his forehead, cheeks, and lips. The heat made its way down his neck, chest, and abdomen until his entire body felt like it was in an oven. He stifled back his groan of pain and permitted the heat to blister and singe his flesh.

The witches' chanting voices began to fade and he felt his muscular body was lifted up by an unseen force. He levitated higher and higher, feeling a distance separate them. The vampire sensed his increased elevation, and he was certain he would soon crash into the ceiling of the library.

Suddenly everything went silent; he listened intently, but his keen vampire-ears heard no sound. He continued to drift, unsure if he should open his eyes or obey the sorceress orders.

After what seemed like several long and drawn out moments, he took a chance and opened his eyes. As soon as he did his eyes were scorched by something in the air; he began to fall fast, rapidly spiraling down into the silent darkness. He tried to gather his bearings and fly, but the air, the entire laws of physics seemed to be obscured, and he was unable to hover.

Several more moments passed and the vampire collided hard onto the ground; the only sound heard was his painful cry as his bones snapped and shattered. He lay there in the ire silence and invasive blackness for a while in sheer agony, but the pain did not last long, his veins coursed with Aether's magical blood and he began to heal.

Once he was able to see, he stood and looked around. It was what he'd envisioned Gehenna would look like.

 

❤❤❤

"I pray to Isis that Aether and her Chosen survive," Nora said after she kissed Franklin, "our vigilance, combined with their love and devotion will sustain our existence for a millennium."

"I hope so too." The curly-haired vampire agreed as he blew out the last candle. They all looked at him wide-eyed again.

"What?" He grinned and with a mischievous wink he sauntered out of the library. The foursome left the mansion to enjoy each other's company for the remaining night.

In the cozy den, the coven members studied the Vesica Pisces book as Nora had instructed, while, Mavis and Emma played Angry Birds on their tablets. Cathy lounged in the Lazy–Boy chair clicking back and forth from CNN to the BBC channel. Ms. Hamby was delightfully conflicted, the anchorman had announced new candidates for an AVL spokesperson and she was excited to know who would be chosen, but a Doctor Who marathon was on also.

Unbeknownst to all, Jessica Lynn Hamby had a plan. The young woman packed her bag with weapons and then waited until everyone was preoccupied. The young woman made sure the coast was clear and then she doubled back into the library. She repeated the ritual and entered the dark realm.

 

 

 

 


Chapter Text

Eric's vampiric eyes quickly adjusted to the pitch blackness as he took in the vast, barren landscape and he was perplexed; the air yielded no scent. At the same time, his keen ears picked up a faint noise in the distance; so he cautiously progresses towards the sound.

The sight of Tara's progeny caught him by surprise. Jessica was sitting on the ground against a tree, groaning in agony, her porcelain face disfigured, scorched from her tumultuous journey into Perdition. Her left arm agonizingly stung, dislocated from the fall. The young woman fought through the searing pain as she shrugged off the backpack strapped to her injured shoulder. With trembling hands, she pulled out the vial of vampire blood and gulped it all down. Straightaway, she felt a euphoric high, her aching ceased, and her third-degree burns began healing. It only took a moment and Jessica was able to stand on her feet.

As Eric approached he disapprovingly appraised her, "Do you know why it is foolish to consume V?"

She brushed the dust from her jeans. "What I consume is none of your goddamn business." Jessica had prepared for weeks, studying spells and patiently waiting for Aether and The High Priestess to get off their asses and recite the incantation to enter the dark realm.

He arched his blonde eyebrow; he was slightly surprised but unmoved by her impoliteness. "It is because one never knows how the vampire's blood will affect you unless you drink directly from the source. And you, foolish girl, drank way too much."

"I don't give a shit." She snapped, the fledgling fire-witch needed the blood to heal, she'd deal with the side effects later. She had no idea what Aether's vampire was doing in the Dark Realm, did not care and was not about to waste time listening to his lecture. So she began to tread away from Eric, surveying her surroundings, as she did so, her pupils began to enlarge, her eyes fully adjusting to the darkness. The fog suddenly rose and became so thick she soon lost sight of Eric. After walking away a few feet, Jessica peered back to see if he was following her. He was not, so she pulled out Holly's enchanted emerald and began to chant an illumination spell.

Eric was finished being concerned with Tara's subject; it was time to absorb his effort on his quest. He watched Jessica walk into the mist, the Viking decided to move forward in the opposite direction.


 

 

 

TARA POV

My life geared me for continuous upheaval and conflicts, my dreams equipped me for survival in strange surroundings, constant shifts, and scene changes. And from the moment I entered the underworld, I've fought with every breath, constantly on the knife's edge. I desperately search for my mom, calling out her name, in response, blood-curdling screams, growls, and roars, echoed back at me. Otherworldly looking bugs zipped in and out of my ears, humming and buzzing their little annoying songs. I managed to get my boot stuck in a marsh puddle on the bank of the green-brown stream. The mud sucked on my foot before I got the steadiness to shake my foot free and flick off some of the soggy gunk. The earth released my foot with slushy but undeniable pop.

Frustratingly, I traversed through never-ending mazes. All the while, praying, that I was somehow getting closer to her. At what seemed like the end of each maze, I was disappointingly greeted by more dense unending bushes. And the labyrinth would suddenly transform into tall golden compressed bales of hay, then towering twined stalks of corn, or rusty squeaking iron walls. Darkly foreboding, ominous sounds, creaking, whispering trees, thicker leaves, and thick undergrowth at the forest edge, overhanging branches, narrow and twisting path, denser wood, choked with brambles, matted undergrowth, thick bushes, ditch, sprawling branches, stiff branches.

I'm assaulted by the winds and the blistering rays of sunlight, and when I think that the worse has come and gone, torrential cold rains fall from the sky drenching me, chilling me to the bone. I had no shelter from the elements; all I could do was pray that it would stop, hope this would end... I don't know if it was the amulet, my blood or Eric's blood that kept me from dying, but I'm still alive... for now.

Since Absalom was not attacking me, I concluded the bitch was mind fucking me. Shitty, thing is- it's working. I don't know where I am - where I'm going or how the fuck to get there. One thing is for sure, no matter what she throws at me- I'm not giving up...

Suddenly I began seeing color signatures, I know that only living beings can produce them, so I slam my eyes shut and let the color indications take over. There was no red, so whoever it is didn't mean me any harm. My minds-eye saw yellow, blue swirling into green and those wavy lines of deep sensual purple... My heart dropped into the lowest pit of my gut.

It's Eric!

Stupid vampire!

Why would he follow me here? He's so close, and that worries me, if I can sense him, I know that the horrible Absalom can too. So I called out to him.

"Eric...!"

He didn't answer, but I felt his brain pulse with my beacon. I haven't tried flying or teleporting, and I don't think it's a good idea to do that either. I'm already worn-out and parched. I remember the last time I exhausted my energy, I got so dehydrated - I ended up in a coma. So I call out to my foolish vampire again and again.

"Eric...!" I call out, ahead the forest trees are thinner, a clearing perhaps or a glade? That's when I hear the wonderful sound of his profound raspy voice.

"Tara..!" He called out to me. My heart feels like it's going to leap out of my chest and I walk faster towards his voice.

"Tara..!" I started running, rounding yet another corner a wider path, adjacent to a babbling brook stream.

The sight ahead caused me to come to a screeching halt. In the near distance, I can see Eric's long-legged silhouette. But now, I can't seem to make my feet move. I'm afraid.

Would if that's not Eric? It could be a trick, another damn deception from Absolom, Ruby, and Nora said she can shapeshift. Her psychological warfare had really taken its toll on me. But my color alarms don't lie so I ran to him as fast as I could.


ERIC POV

An impenetrable, frigid, darkness was before me; I could hear nothing but the echo my own footsteps, as I meandered aimlessly through the vast nothingness. In a repetitive impractical action, I sniffed the scentless air. I wondered if what Nora said was true. Are my abilities useless here? Prudently, I made my way through the desolate lands. Vaporizing out of thin air, the vile entity appeared; it unnervingly mocked my darlings' image. The thing stood nude and silent in the distance. The creatures' intent was to intimidate, to make their presence known. I stood my ground but did not provoke it, for I am no fool, I could sense its immeasurable strength. After a moment it disappeared, and I continued my search. After wandering in infinite dismay for what seemed like hours, I suddenly became engrossed with the sensations of grief that was not my own.

"Tara...!" I roared in triumph. But without all my abilities, I was uncertain if it was the demon's hoax.

"Eric...!" Her sweet voice echoed in my ear like a melodic siren song. My head became flooded with a mixture of astonishment and anguish and I knew that it was truly her. I moved fast, thankful I still had my ability to move with lightning speed.

"Tara...!" I shouted out again, as she assaulted me with her emotional havoc. She needed me...I need her.

"TARA!" I screamed when I saw my disheveled beauty in the distance. It was her, no doubt about it.

She ran towards me and as she neared, I was flogged with her sweet palatable scent. She slammed into me, and my dead-heart clinched; she embraced me as if to never let me go. I became undone by her loving assault.


 

  ❤❤❤  

"Fuck, I missed you," Eric rasped against her lips, kissing her with each word. "When I couldn't get to you, it almost drove me mad."

"You can't be here baby, I gotta send you back." Tara heaved breathlessly against him, hiding under his chin like a child. When he did not respond she leaned back and peered into his loving emerald eyes.

"You hear me? You gotta leave!" The dark-skinned goddess shrilled, unable to stifle the tears from falling.

"Without you...sorry lover, no deal..." Eric felt her fists bunched into the front of his shirt and he stifled a groan.

"You could die here," she whimpered in frustration.

"So could you."

"I have to do this Eric - You don't..." streams of tears earnestly fell from her doe eyes.

"I've upset you?"

"Yes, you stupid Vampire! She answered wrapping her arms around him and continued crying sincerely onto his chest. You know I love you! I can't have you meeting the true- death for me!"

"Tara," he slurred, kissing her forehead. "Min Vackra, do not cry."

"Why do you do it, Eric? Huh? Why do you constantly come after me, defend me, rescue me..."

"Love you," he corrected.

"Love me," she repeated, "Then you need to keep away from me when I'm doing crazy shit like this!"

"I don't wish to keep away." He whispered, awed by her bravery.

"Goddamn, it Eric...I..." Tara's thoughts were interrupted, with the sensation of another living soul.

Out of the mist, Jessica appeared - with Lettie and Willa too! Aether's loyal charge had amazingly found a spell that allowed her the ability to summon lost souls in the dark realm.

"I'm so sorry momma, I tried to save you." Tara wept onto her shoulder. Tara became even more rapt with overwhelming emotion; no fortress could contain her bittersweet joy as she swept over to greet her mother with a warm embrace, full of comfort and absolution. She closed her eyes and savored the moment, letting the happiness soak right into her bones and warm her soul.

"Now- now baby-girl, you know I'm the only one who should be sorry here." Her eyes lowered in shame, for a moment, it was too painful to look at her daughter. "You've done more for me than I ever deserved, I was an awful mother, I got what was coming."

"But it wasn't your fault." Tara sniffled. She lifted her mother's quivering chin so she could meet her gaze, "Absalom messed with your mind, she tricked you, haunted you, for over twenty years."

"I should have been stronger. I should have fought back. Look at how strong you are. I'm so proud of you Tara Mae. I love you so much." Lettie palmed small comforting circles into her child's back; her age-worn eyes shone a steady stream of tears.

"I love you too momma and I forgive you."

"Thank you, baby," A humble smile crossed her lips; she beamed lovingly at her child.

"Thank you, Tara," Willa dropped to her knees and bowed to her goddess, "Thank you for rescuing my soul," Her eyes prickled with tears. Willa hated to interrupt, but she wanted to take advantage of the moment with Aether, she did not know if she would ever get the chance again.

Tara tearfully nodded but did not respond. She couldn't bear to admit that she'd left them in the hell-hole for practically a month.

Jessica humbly approached her goddess, "If you have the Chimera of Isis, we can recite the incantation, ushering Willa and Ms. Lettie into the realm of Isis," she was eager to accomplish her mission and go home.

Tara dug the amulet out of her jacket pocket and held it high. "Let's do this..." she enthusiastically replied.

Without warning, the fog lifted, the grey skies turned to a deep blood-red, the entire landscape changed. They're no longer in a murky dense forest; the group stood in the middle of a vast wheat field. Suddenly, the ground rumbled and quaked and an army of the black four-legged beast could be seen in the distance. Absalom unleashed a herd of hell-hounds; viciously they launched forward; with red, serpent-like eyes menacingly glaring at their targets, countless sharp, slimy jagged teeth snarled, growled and roared at them.

Tara shoved the amulet back in the breast of her jacket pocket and pointed to a large boulder. "Ma, Willa, hide over there!" A cold burning filled her soul, her eyes changed into a pure white, amazing sparks of lighting buzzed and snapped as the energy emanated from her hands. "Eric, Jessica, get ready to fight," she commanded.

Eric was ready– he was a ticking time bomb. Always...Any provocation, no matter how small or insignificant and his temper would blow.

The vampire was the first one attacked, the hell-hound pounced on him and he fell to the ground, sharp, snarly teeth bit him on the shoulder, tearing through the leather jacket, ripping out a chunk of flesh. "ARRRRRGHHHHH!" Eric let out a spine-chilling bellow; the sheer pain of the attack unleashed the Vikings' savage beast within, transforming him into a Berserker. In the fury-filled trance, dozens of creatures were torn to pieces. Within minutes every beast in his path was ripped apart.

There was no holds barred with Jessica, she pulled the emerald from her pocket and began chanting the fire-spells Holly had taught her and with pyro-magic, she sent a torrent of flames into the mouth of a snarling monster. Her blue eyes widen in terror as the scorching beast bubbled then ruptured like a water balloon, hundreds of rabid bats flew out of its putrid gut. They swarmed, biting at her, but the vampire blood that coursed her veins made her flesh numb to the pain that was being inflicted upon her. She waved her hands frantically knocking them away.

Aether realized the gems can be used as weapons in her photo-kinetic hands. So she hauled The Chimera of Isis from her pocket and pointed the magnificent charm at the half-dozen beasts as they charged aggressively out of the fields directly towards her. Her kinetically charged hands ignited the amulet; a beam of rubicund, emerald, sapphire and silver beamed out of the amulet. And just like a searing laser, she bade her magic and incinerated the hell-beast by the handfuls; the beams ripped the beastly minion's flesh to shreds. Tara, Eric, and Jessica fought vigilantly, all the while making sure Willa and Lettie remained hidden.

Absalom, in her true unsightly form, emerged from the dark skies, hovering high above. The Evil One couldn't believe that Aether was still fighting. Livid, she'd used the majority of her dark-energy, the malevolent entity let out an earsplitting roar, causing her inept beast to retreat in fear. She too would need to retreat soon and replenish her powers. She wanted Aether's soul, but she knew better, Aether had the Chimera of Isis; her sister's charm would rip her to pieces. Without caveat, the malicious deity teleported and grabbed Jessica by the neck, digging her claws into her throat causing her to drop her gem. If she couldn't have Aether's soul, she would take another one of her progeny's in her place. With one swift twist, she snapped Jessica's neck.

Tara had no time to react. Jessica died instantly; Absalom dropped her lifeless body allowing it to collapsed to the ground.

"NOOOOOOOOO..!" Tara let out a gut-wrenching shriek as she aimed and blasted the Chimera, but Absalom and her revolting scent had already turned into a black mist and disappeared. Curtly, the grounds quaked and cracked open; orange-red lava fissures bubbled and shot up from the depths. Plumes of gray and black clouds soared up and gathered into the developing stormy skies. Willa approached Jessica and fell to her knees. Solemnly she bundled Jessica's lifeless body in her arms. The young brunette sobbed inconsolably. Lettie wrapped her arms around Willa's shoulders as they waited for Jessica to reanimate.

"COME BACK AND FIGHT MEEEEEE!" Tara screamed at the top of her lungs; she didn't understand what just happened. "COME BACK AND KNUCKLE UP WITH ME- YOU EVIL -SMELLY CUNT," She shrieked wildly while jumping up and down, her blood boiled with rage, and she roared. "AARRRGGGGGHHHH...You killed my mother...my friends... BITCH I'M GONNA FUCK YOU UP!"

"Tara..." Aether's heart sunk as she turned to the sound of Jessica's sweet voice calling out to her. The sight of the slain girl tore her heart into pieces and she dropped to her knees in front of her progeny, "I'm so sorry Jessica" Tara bawled despairingly.

"You have nothing to be sorry for... I chose to do this, I knew the risk."

"But, I'm supposed to protect you..." Tara wept as Lettie wrapped her arms around her child pulling her back to her feet, "...all of you ...and I failed, I'm a failure."

"You're a leader- a kick-ass Aether; I should never have doubted that." Jessica amended, as she neared her goddess, placing, comforting hands on her weary shoulders. "Tara, please give Holly's emerald to my mother, she'll love it, being an Irish Wiccan and all." She chuckled at the thought. "And please, please ask Ruby Jean to summon me, so I can say my final goodbye."

Tara wiped her smudged eyes and nodded. "I promise I'll do just that...Jessica...you're amazing...If it weren't for you..." Tara sniffled, her voice hitched, she was so taken with sorrow -anger she couldn't think. "I'll make Absalom pay..."

"Absalom is resting, and it doesn't take long for her replenish," Jessica warned.

"And I shall be ready to kill the vile beast." Eric rumbled out, still in his fury filled trance.

"She needs to die, here, now." Tara agreed.

"If I were you, I'd wait till I had home-field advantage." Jessica wisely advised. Tara nodded and closed the space between them; she held her favorite progeny in a firm hug. And after a few tender moments, Aether was ready. She put Holly's gem in her pocket and placed the Chimera of Isis around her neck. Jessica took Willa's hand- and then she instructed her to take Lettie's hand- and asked Lettie to take Tara's hand -and Tara took Eric's hand. "Okay, Tara, Willa, repeat after me... "Portam ad seniores per praeconem regnum amisit animas in lucem..." The two witches and Aether chanted several times.

Tara felt a thumping on her chest and realized that the amulet was beaming its vibrant laser lights. "Portam ad seniores per praeconem regnum amisit animas in lucem..." A clanking sound resonated; out of nowhere, the group was nearly blinded by pure white light. "Potam ad seniores per praeconem regnum amisit animas in lucem..."

The familiar voices of The Elders chimed harmoniously. "Welcome Sprites." Aether's left hand felt a prickling zap, it was not painful, but it certainly took her by surprise. She instinctively jerked her hand and looked to see what had happened. Tara gasped in disbelief. Lettie Mae had materialized into a bright orb of beautiful white light, as did Willa and Jessica.



  ❤❤❤   

TARA POV

Lettie Mae Thornton, Jessica Lynn Hamby, and Willa Ann Burrell's radiant light-sphere floated sporadically around me. I could feel the warmth and happiness of their now free souls.

"I love you Tara Mae" Lettie sang, as her orb floated slowly into the warmness of the light realm. Jessica and Willa's orbs buzzed and whirred around; giggles echoed as the basketball-sized orbs playfully chased each another.

They entered a place of peace and solace. My mother, even though she is not a witch, is accepted because she is the mother of one. Her soul will reside with Holly, Isabelle and all the others, no longer will they suffer on Earth, but they will always be there to watch over and guide us.

The Elders chanted, "Luxta portas." Over and over again, I realized they were opening another portal.

With our hands gripped tightly, Eric and I slowly pace towards the light. Before we can enter the brilliant white room, the scene changes and we are plunged into the familiar deep, dark vast ocean of my dreams. Eric and I are swimming around with the illuminated sea creatures. Instinctively, we start swimming up. The whole time, I'm watching Eric who is just a stone's throw away, like me, he is such a graceful swimmer. But as we neared the surface, I could see the concern on his face. It was daylight and the sun was shining brightly. Isabelle and Holly's voices sang out to us.

"We are always with you. Both of you, in darkness and in light..." Suddenly, we shot out of the water like a missile. Eric and I land with a hard thud on the lawn where the witch hunter's mansion used to be.

 

Lettie Mae Thornton, Jessica Lynn Hamby, and Willa Ann Burrell's radiant light-sphere floated sporadically around me. I could feel the warmth and happiness of their now free souls.

"I love you Tara Mae" Lettie sang, as her orb floated slowly into the warmness of the light realm. Jessica and Willa's orbs buzzed and whirred around; giggles echoed as the basketball-sized orbs playfully chased each another.

They entered a place of peace and solace. My mother, even though she is not a witch, is accepted because she is the mother of one. Her soul will reside with Holly, Isabelle and all the others, no longer will they suffer on Earth, but they will always be there to watch over and guide us.

The Elders chanted, "Luxta portas." Over and over again, I realized they were opening another portal.

With our hands gripped tightly, Eric and I slowly pace towards the light. Before we can enter the brilliant white room, the scene changes and we are plunged into the familiar deep, dark vast ocean of my dreams. Eric and I are swimming around with the illuminated sea creatures. Instinctively, we start to swimming up. The whole time, I'm watching Eric who is just a stone's throw away, like me, he is such a graceful swimmer.

But as we neared the surface, I could see the concern on his face. It was daylight and the sun was shining brightly. Isabelle and Holly's voices sang out to us.

"We are always with you. Both of you, in darkness and in light..."

Suddenly, we shot out of the water like a missile. Eric and I land with a hard thud on the lawn where the witch hunter's mansion used to be.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

TARA POV

We lay on the lawn a while, shell-shocked, but thankful that it's nightfall on Earth and after a few moments we help each other up from the cold ground.

"Shall we go home?" He asked, offering me a first-class flight to Shreveport.

"Sure." I could easily fly there myself, but how could I say no to such an irresistible offer, how could I resist being close to him? So, I climb on his back, firmly hooking my arms around his muscular shoulders, wrapping my legs around his waist. He reaches back and gives my ass a little pat, while I brace myself for a vampire –style- piggyback ride. I bury my face into the crook of his neck, I hear a whooshing noise; next, we're high in the night sky.

When we arrived home, we didn't talk much the rest of the night. We both threw what we had on in the trash, shoes and all and showered together; silently cleaning the slime and manure from hell off our bodies. After a thorough cleaning, Eric crawled into bed and went right to sleep.

How could he sleep so sound after all of this?

I thought about it and smiled, the answer was a no-brainer, he's satisfied, now that I'm safely by his side. As I lay on our plush bed, I tossed and turned for a while. I should be tired, but I'm not, it's not long before I'm kicking off the damn sheets. I grabbed my Chimera, Jessica's emerald and headed for the study. I delicately place the charms on the glass shelf next to Eric's cherished items. I try my best to think of the good things that have come out of all of this horrible mess; like Lafayette and Ruby Jean being a family again. My Coven invited my lovable-sassy and flamboyant cousin to move into Godric's guest house. Ruby hooked him up with a job at Broussard's, an amazing five-star Cajun restaurant on Bourbon Street. They dig the New Orleans nightlife and Laf's even partied at Fangtasia a couple of times. Shockingly Pam seems really cool with my cousin, and that's saying a lot, that tramp doesn't like anybody but Eric. 

While I was helping Laffy move into his new home, he gave me a shoe-box full of my own pictures, It was truly heartbreaking why he even had them. After I moved out, Lettie became late on her rent, and when she did manage to pay, she was short; so it didn't take long for her to get evicted. Everything in our house, which wasn't much, was thrown to the curb, to be scavenged by all the town's vagabonds and hoarders, all except the photos.

 Bud Dearborne was kind enough to leave my precious Polaroids on La-La's porch with a little note explaining why. It was joyful sifting through all the pictures, reminiscing about my life before all of this. And the minute I was done, I asked him to go with me to buy a photo book and frames. 

Now, I'm turning the page of the photo album and I pause at the picture of Lettie and me at Gran's Easter Sunday picnic. I manage a smile, Momma looked beautiful the weather was perfect that afternoon.  Gran Stackhouse would always take lots of pictures at her parties and she was known in Ranard Parrish as one of the best cooks.  

 I was thankful that not all my memories with Mom were bad ones. I flip the page to a picture Arlene took of Lafayette, Sookie, Sam, Jason and I posing sexily in front of Merlotte's Bar. 

This was pre-vampire Bill. Sam and Sook were dating. Jason and I were a wild-volatile couple;  I chuckled for a bit and then sighed deeply. A great deal of sadness lingered. It's not the kind of sadness to where you cry all the time, but more like the sadness that overwhelms your entire body, leaving your heart and your stomach empty, making you feel weak and tired. And yet you can't even sleep cause the sadness is in your dreams too. It's almost a sadness you cannot escape. I set that picture album down with a nod of acceptance. 

Back in bed, I roll over and grab my cell phone. What I read caused me to scratch my head in confusion. I was certain I'd left early Friday evening and had only been in the netherworld for a few hours. But according to my cellular, it's almost Wednesday morning. Now I realize why Willa thought she'd only been in the dark realm a few days. The thought made me very uneasy; everything in that place was so fucked up. I wondered if Cathy already knew what has happened to Jess? The poor woman has to know; it's been five days now. 

I have to make sure Ruby Jean does the séance as promised. I shivered with sadness... I wished I would've demolished that evil soul-snatching bitch; I swear, Absalom has it coming- her punishment will be excruciating and rightfully deserved. I wrap my arms around my warm immobile vampire and thought about what the elders said, what they always said to me, especially whenever they were referring to Eric.

My Chosen, My Bonded, He is gifted, in darkness or light...in darkness and in LIGHT... Wha- the...In darkness AND IN LIGHT!

Holy...LIGHT!

Maybe the gift exchange wasn't as uneven as I thought. I gotta see if this shit is real, so I jump outta bed and quickly slip on one of the sexy negligees Eric so generously purchased for me. I took in a nervous breath, then gently grabbed his big calloused hand.

"Eric," I lean forward to whisper softly in his ear, while lightly tapping his firm shoulder. After doing so for a few moments his gorgeous green eyes fluttered open.

"Do you love me?" I asked as he gazed tenderly at me. He'd have to love and trust me to do what I'm about to ask him to do.

"I love you, Tara," he admitted. "If what I feel for Godric is love, then I love you...more than anything..."

"I love you too baby." I snuggled into him, willing my serenity into his mind. This felt so incredible. Eric loved me, not just lust- but real love like he loves his family.

"Are you game for an experiment?" I asked, ready to move forward with my investigation. He looked at me with curiosity, then grunted, and then caved in.

"Very well beautiful one... Shall we?" Still holding his hand, I pulled him out of bed and led him to the bedroom balcony door.

"I think I know what The Elders mean when they refer to you," I said leading him out to the porch.

The purple, pink and orange hues of daybreak neared as the sun was getting stronger. Cautiously, he moved onto the balcony as the sun slowly emerged over the horizon. I meticulously observed his flawless pale skin.

No smoke. No burns. I let out an audible sigh of relief.

"Your gift to me..?" He muttered, examining his hands, still unbelieving of what was happening. And then his loving gaze penetrated me, setting my soul alight. Damn, when he looks at me like that with those wide-soft eyes, I become so overwhelmed with desire.

"I think so baby, how do you feel?" I really did not need to ask, our bond is stronger than ever and I clearly felt his astonishment. Insects buzzed and whirled around us as he listened to the call of Blue Jays, Sparrows, and Mourning Doves. He inhaled more than usual, not for air, but for scent. I'm sure the day creatures give off a different scent. It was morning and Eric was not only awake, which was amazing in its own right, but he was standing in the direct sunlight. He stood wide-eyed and silent, I completely understood, this was nothing short of a miracle. I just held his hand letting him take in the world, while I continued watching him for any signs of crispiness. I wondered if this was permanent or a temporary thing...I needed to know how long this would last...But how can I test it out...

"Eric, follow me." Asked, and didn't wait for a response. I leaped off the porch and he instinctively caught me. He's still got his vampiric speed and strength, that's for sure. But I think he's forgotten that I can fly too.

"Put me down, ya big Viking." I shimmed out of his arms in mid-air and we hover high above the land surrounding Eric's property. It's a task flying and keeping a watchful eye on my vampire, but I manage.

We land near a creek along the outskirts of his land, no houses are near and the wooded area is dense. I take in our surroundings while he gazes at me with childlike wonderment. I appeared even more beautiful to him in the sunlight. My sepia skin glistened in the light. My onyx hair shined with streaks of russet. My dark chocolate eyes revealed specs of hazel and chestnut.

"It's been so long, so very long..." he said, his voice slightly trembled. I wasn't used to him being so tongue-tied. He looked so innocent...pure. Like a child discovering the world.

"Shall we celebrate?" He asks and before I could agree, he pulled me into a passionate kiss.

I kissed him back licking the top of his lip coaxing him to open his sweet mouth for me; showing him that I was more than eager to celebrate this miracle. His lips firmly attached to mine, desire burned and crackled in his eyes as he tangled his hands in my hair. He kisses further down my neck. My head dropped back and he sucked on my collarbone before moving down to worship my right breast, kissing around the nipple sucking lightly. Then nibbling on my mahogany peak, and mimicking his actions on the left. His hands latched onto my hips, noticing that I have no panties on, a coarse passionate growl escaped his throat and he slid his middle finger into my ready, heated depths while reveling in my heavy breathing. His finger slowly pumping in and out of me, his dark, jade gaze consumes me. I bite my bottom lip and whimpered while he watched my every move, his mouth finds my belly button. When I giggle, my vampire's emotions melted. My laughter moves his non-beating heart; my happiness lulls him. His thumb finds my clit and within seconds my velvet heat contracted and a flood of wetness gushed out over his hand.

"Oh, Eric..!" I purred, tugging at his silk boxers.

His cock is free all of two seconds before he replaces his fingers with the head of his rod. My wet silken clutch was like heaven to him, a heaven of pulsating muscle, liquid arousal, and sweet- heat. He kept one hand in my hair while the other held my hip tightly tugging me forward. I arch my back against the tree for more support.

"Bond with me Eric..." I plead. 

"Yes, lover." Eric did not hesitate, he wanted me, he needed me and I needed him so much I almost couldn't breathe.

He bit into his wrist and held his blood trickling flesh firmly against my eager mouth, I felt his ancient blood surged through my veins and I sucked greedily until the wound closed.

"You belong to me, Tara... forever." He locked onto his target right next to my birthmark and bit, of course, I could not feel it. Eric is so gentle if I were not looking; I wouldn't have known he'd bit into my breast like a peach. He drew his head back, licking my blood from his lips.

"Forever Eric, I belong to you."

With Eric completely buried inside of me, I close my eyes and I'm just feeling. Lips and hands touching and teasing, my nipples rubbing against his chest, rejoicing, I writhe in his grip absolutely loving my vampire right now. I can feel his love and happiness as it washes over me, taking hold of me. Then there it was, oh yes- that sweet breathless moment, the string of my body snapped and my body convulsed around his wild spasms. 

Scalding pleasure struck him like a blow as he pulled all the way out and slammed back into me. My hot tightness caused him to jolt and moan uncontrollably. He needs more so he lifted me up with both hands by my ass. He plunged into me violently, high on the sound of my moans and the sight of my breast bouncing in the rhythm of his thrust. He put every emotion into each thrust, each kiss, each touch. With that, he lost all control and howled as he came roaring, quivering deep inside of me.

To onlookers, we were just a young couple screwing in the woods, no one would ever know the supernatural bond that united us for eternity.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

TARA POV

The next day I stood outside for a while, my stomach in knots, and I began pacing back and forth on her porch. I'd sent her flowers, this lovely arrangement of fresh white blooms. It was the least I could do. Still, she had every right to blame me. But no matter what, I was going to keep my word. So after about twenty minutes, finally I gathered the courage to knock.

She must have seen me in her newly installed security camera because the door swung open fast like she'd been waiting for me the entire time. Her age-worn eyes were swollen and red from constant streams of tears, her expression impassive, I lowered my eyes, and stepped back in defeat.

"You know Tara; a Goddess never lowers her eyes to her apprentice." Her voice hoarsely cracked.

 My eyes shot up. She's smiling at me. Smiling...at me..! I pulled her into a hug. I can't tell you how grateful I was when she hugged me back.

She invited me in and made us some fresh-squeezed lemonade. We chatted for a while; Cathy is clearly mourning, but found comfort in knowing Jessica is with The Elders. I handed her Holly's ancient enchanted emerald, she smiled as she placed the golf-ball-sized gem in the largest gold locket I'd ever seen.

Cathy told me the enchanted emerald was given to Jessica as the dearly beloved Holly lay dying in the yard of the hunter's mansion. The proud mother esteemed her daughter as a brave honorable warrior and I wholeheartedly agree.

I was amazed when she told me Ruby provided the entire Coven a play-by-play of the dark realm tragedy. The moment Lettie, Jess, and Willa souls were free, my Aunt performed a séance.  Cathy rightfully received her much-needed closure after all.

The Coven purchased beautiful tombstones and placed them next to King Godric's statue at the St. Patrick Cemetery in New Orleans. To some, this act would be pointless, since there are no bodies there and the Coven is able to visit with them through spirit summoning. But the graves give everyone a place to visit, not just the Coven.

Cathy joked about how my Auntie complained, she said that Jess and Willa got on Ruby's last nerves. She'd said during the séance, the girls constantly disrupted her concentration singing the song 'Moves like Jagger'.

"Neither one of them can carry a tune in a bushel basket." Cathy mocked Ruby Jean's grumble.

When Cathy and I caught up with Ruby later that night, my eccentric aunt didn't even realize she hummed 'Moves like Jagger' all the way to the restaurant.

After our wonderful dinner, I asked Rudy if she would allow me a little more time with Lettie. My aunt agreed without a second thought, she loved chatting with her sister. I asked Ma about Eric. I wanted to know what she thought of him. I wondered if she was put off by him being a vampire. My mom surprised me; she said my vampire is handsome. But what thrilled me most is that she actually approved of him! Most important, unlike Jason or Sam, she could clearly see Eric's love, his devotion, and his joy, for me and only me... And she was spot on with her assessment. 

Eric always made it clear to everyone; no one pleased him as I did. Never had and never would.

 

 


 

❤❤❤   

One Month later...

This morning, as I ate breakfast, my day-walking vampire browsed the Internet for things to do; the first thing he suggested was the Norton Art Gallery and Gardens and the Red River, Louisiana Boardwalk. 

He'd always wondered what places like that were like during the day.  In order for a vampire to go walking around in the day, I had to lay down some ground rules. 

Rule number one, no flying around during the day...

Three weeks ago we bought a yacht and sailed the Caribbean seas. The news reported several eyewitness sightings of a UFO while we were in Cozumel. There was no UFO; it was a UFV, all on account of Eric zipping through the day sky.

The second rule never uses vamp speed during the day...

In Jamaica, I  peered into a shop window and spotted a pair of lovely handmade leather sandals. with a vampiric speed he burst into the doors, blurring around the store, he sped to the register to pay for my lovely gifts. The clerk screamed like Ginger, tossing holy water on him while praying. She thought Eric was a ghost and began having a full-blown panic attack so he glamored the old Jamaica lady into forgetting it all and overpaid for our souvenirs.

The third rule, by all means, never click those beautiful deadly fangs...

Some poor guy kicked sand on us as we lay on the beach in Grand Cayman. The guy didn't mean too, he was playing volleyball with his two friends. Eric shot up from his beach chair, baring fangs. The guy Eric growled at pissed his shorts, and all the while his bros pulled out their phones to capture it all. Eric and I had no choice but confiscate the phones and glamor them too. 

We've traveled and he's shown me a good slice of the world and no one is the wiser. If only I could get him to stop tanning all the damn time. For crying out loud, vampires are supposed to be pale..! If he keeps it up, it won't be long until other vampires notice.

At first, he was resistant, but now he fully understands why it is important that he keep his new gift under wraps. The world is not ready for a day-walking vampire.

I also suggested he tell Pam about all of this. Pam knows him better than anyone and she's nosy as hell. That hussy is bound to find out eventually. Even though he never actually agreed to my terms, at least he didn't refuse them.

Mostly, The Viking's been on his best behavior, the majority of the time he just stares, sniffs and touches everything, with naive amazement. He's like a toddler, I just can't get him to settle down during the day, let alone take a nap. So at night when it's time to go to Fangtasia, he's exhausted. After several more weeks of the day walking, he didn't bother going there at all.

I knew to ignore Vampire Barbie, would eventually result in her showing up at our home.


 

  ❤❤❤   

Two months later...

Tara heaved an irritating sigh as she peered through the glass and pulled her front door open, now that the blood has worn off, Pam is back to being...Pam.  The leggy blond entered the house, brazenly sauntering passed Tara, not uttering a single word. She disapprovingly crinkled her nose. Sniffing the Aether scented air, miffed that Eric's home no longer smelled like him and the tasty whores who use to visit. 

My once vibrant Sire is now dismal and boring.  He has become a big lap dog all because of this-this witch-bitch and her super-snatch.

She could hear Pam's thoughts and they upset her. Their love for one another is real. She did not expect someone as superficial as Pam to understand that...  "Hi, Pam, what brings you over this evening?" Tara forced a polite greeting.

"Not you." the curvy blonde drawled, without giving Tara a glance. She flounced through the foyer towards the winding staircase, gold Fendi pumps clicking melodically with every stride.

"Where you think ya going?" Tara teleported, lading directly in front of Pam.  The blonde was forced to halt mid-step, "This is my house too and you can't just come by unannounced," she spoke curtly, annoyed, she crossed her arms over her chest. Pam's perfectly made-up eyes viciously leered at the mahogany-skinned woman.

"Get the fuck outta my way GIRL or..."

"Oh no, you didn't just call me GIRL..!" Tara cut her off mid-sentence. Her irritation caused the lights in the foyer to flicker. 

Pam smirked, "You heard me, GIRL," irritating Tara amused her. Next, she'd work on frightening her or making her cry.

"What the fuck you gonna do if this GIRL doesn't get outta ya way?" The urge to send Pam crashing out the door and onto the galvanized fencing was more than Tara could stand.

"I'll shove my fist up your ass and use it as a hand warmer!" Pam hissed menacingly, her fangs snapped down.

"Put your fangs away or I shall strike them out of your mouth," Eric grumbled. His bonded and progeny's agitation tersely roused him from a tranquil slumber.

Wide-eyed, his charge obediently did as she was told. And with a slight hiss, her fangs disappeared.

Eric arched a brow. "What do you want Pam?" he asked while casually gliding down the stairs with nothing on but a pair of black silk boxers all the while lustfully ogling Tara.

The sexy deity stood wide-legged in nothing but a pair of white lace boy-shorts and a tiny purple crop top.

"You hadn't returned my calls or showed up at Fangtasia, it's been weeks, I was worried."

He stood behind Tara, pressing his body into hers while snaking his arms around her waist.

Pam spitefully rolled her eyes at Tara.

Tara callously rolled her eyes at Pam.

"As you can see, I am well." The Viking buried his head in the crook of Tara's neck and shoulder. "Is that all?" He murmured while taking in her intoxicating scent.

"Well, no. I need to talk to you alone. Vampire business..."

"Pamela..." Eric warned. "Have you forgotten Tara's abilities? If she pleases, she can glamor you into telling the news you have for me. Now speak freely child, I am growing tired of your company."

"Fine..." she huffed.

"The vampire Authority appointed a new AVL spokesperson. The council invited us to The Ceremonial Appointing at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas.

"What about Franklin and Eggs?"

"Them too..." She nodded.

"Who is the new spokesperson?"

"Bill Compton..."

"Bill Compton." Eric and Tara chimed in unison. Tara whipped around to face her beau. "Hey, that's the vampire I know from Bon Temps."

"I am acquainted with Compton, as I am with all vampires who reside in my area."

Tara shimmed out of Eric's embrace and sweetly pecked him on the lips, "Cool, excuse me, baby," and she teleported upstairs.

Pam irksomely sneered, "God Eric," her tongue sliding over the line of her teeth, she's got your balls on a leash.

"Respect me as your maker and my bonded or be punished severely."

Lowering her eyes in respect for her Sire, she pouted like a child, "Are you at least coming to Fangtasia tonight?"

"No, when is The Appointing?"

"One week from tonight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I already booked our flight."

Eric was pleased. Finally, a progressive shift in the vampire hierarchy and Godric's bloodline was the cause.

"You are a most dashing child," Eric noted honestly. Pam was dressed lavishly in a gold and black Fendi dress with matching pumps.

She snorted playfully rolling her eyes. "Pretty words aren't pretty items," she replied. "My dress size is 6 my shoe size is 8."

He'd heard this many times. He sighed with strained patience. "You'll be rewarded, don't get pissy..."

As satisfied as she could be, she nodded and left.

Tara closed her laptop just as Eric entered the bedroom. His bond thumping her aggressively causing Tara's eyes to shoot up and engage his glare, she quickly ended her call with Nora.

"Eric, what is it?" Her head was spinning, her face tightened; she bit her lower lip.

He tilted her chin up and laid the mother of all kisses on her before responding. "You are a liability, Tara."

"What's new asshole?" Tara broke away from his embrace, walking over to the vanity she poured some Grey Goose in a martini glass.

"Shit, I need an olive." Tara disappeared into a white mist to the kitchen grabbed the jar of Tipsy Olives from the cupboard, and was back in the bedroom in less than a second. After taking a sip she slowly turned to Eric.

"You've made plans to accompany me in Dallas - cancel them."He slouched lazily on the plush sofa, peering at his lover behind tented fingers.

"Why..." Tara burred and took another sip of her beverage.

"I will not allow my beautiful doll to be in the company of ancient bloodthirsty animals."

Tara smirked, she savored his flattery. "I'll take my chances Sheriff," She quipped, "besides Nora and Naomi are going and I want you to meet my friend Sookie, she's Bill's bonded."

"Your presence will be an irksome distraction. Conducting business will be almost impossible."

"Did you not hear me? I'm going to be with my progeny's."

"I care not about Compton's mistress; her safety is of no concern."

"The hell it ain't! Sookie is a telepath, therefore my progeny, and she doesn't even know it. I have to recruit her for my Coven."

"No one will try to possess her as they would you. Have you forgotten there are still vampires who hunger for vengeance upon you, witch hunters who seek to destroy you...?"

"No one will fuck with me or, they'll get a lightning bolt up their ass."

"As your bonded, I command you to stay."

"You know it doesn't work that way Eric, I am not your child." Her big brown eyes rolled up in disbelief at his audacity.

"Tara, nothing can go wrong in Dallas, Godric's legacy is at risk."

"I understand." She could feel his bereavement, at the mere mention of his Sire's name.

"Do you?" He examined angrily, his brows drew together his eyes darting about in concern as if he were searching for a place to hide.

"Yes, I do- so we have to come up with a compromise because I'm going!"

"Your scent on me will pique their curiosity, and if they know the source is in an easily accessible hotel room..."

"Here's the deal," Tara interrupted, "I'll have my witches work on a plan to keep my scent and my presence in Dallas unknown. I'll talk to my friend and fly right back home...

"Or you could order your progeny's to send for your friend."

"I know her, she'd never believed them; you see how receptive I was at first. I have to talk to her, see her face to face." Tara could feel Eric's resolve marginally slacken at her proposal.

"I know Nora can find a way to cloak me. She's mentioned several spells that can do just that."

"Make it so lover."

Her honey brown eyes locked onto his emerald ones, she took a small step closer, she wanted nothing more than to ease his burden. She noticed a small tan line on the bridge of Eric's nose and for a fleeting moment, she giggled at the irony.

"I could not go on without you," he said in a soothing voice. He gently wrapped his arms around her slender waist.

Electricity shot through her entire body and the atmosphere became freshened with sensuality.

"You won't ever have to baby."

Just as the longing became unbearable, Eric's lips met Tara's. The warmth of his mouth sent a current running through her body. She threw her arms around her vampire's neck as she lost herself in his peppermint breath and soft lips.

 

Tara heaved an irritating sigh as she peered through the glass and pulled her front door open.

Pam's attitude had changed towards Tara the moment her magical blood had worn off.

The leggy blond entered the house, brazenly sauntering passed Tara, not uttering a single word. She disapprovingly crinkled her nose. Sniffing the Aether scented air, miffed that Eric's home no longer smelled like him.

"Hi Pam, can I help you?" Tara forced a polite greeting.

"No." the curvy blonde drawled, without giving Tara a glance. She flounced through the foyer towards the winding staircase, gold Fendi pumps clicking with every stride.

"Where you think ya going?" Tara teleported in front of Pam, causing the blonde halt mid-step, "This is my house too," she spoke curtly, annoyed, she crossed her arms over her chest.

Pam's perfectly made up eyes, viciously leered at the mahogany-skinned woman.

Eric is fucking hooked on this little chocolate witch, constantly inebriated by her magical blood and pussy. My once vibrant sire is now dismal and boring. Shit! He's worse than a V-addict, at least they're unpredictable. My Sire is a big lap dog and there is nothing I can do about it.

"Get the fuck outta my way GIRL or I'll…"

"No, you didn't just call me GIRL..!" Tara rumbled.

Her frustration caused the lights in the foyer to flicker. She could hear Pam's thoughts and they upset her. Their love for one another is real. It began with the blood exchange. She did not expect someone as superficial as Pam to understand that.

Pam smirked, "You heard me, GIRL," irritating the 'Cupcake' amused her. Next, she'd work on frightening her or making her cry.

"What the fuck you gonna do if this GIRL doesn't get outta ya way?" The urge to send Pam crashing out the door and onto the galvanized fencing was more than Tara could stand.

"I'll shove my fist up your ass and use it as a hand warmer!" Pam hissed menacingly, her fangs snapped down.

"Put your fangs away or I shall strike them out of your mouth," Eric grumbled.

His bonded and progeny's agitation tersely roused him from a tranquil slumber.

Wide-eyed, his charge obediently did as she was told. And with a click and a growl, her fangs disappeared.

Eric arched a brow. "What do you want Pam?" he asked while casually gliding down the stairs in a pair of black boxer briefs all the while lustfully ogling Tara.

The sexy deity stood wide-legged in nothing but a pair of purple lace boy-shorts and a tiny white crop top.

"You hadn't returned my calls or showed up at Fangtasia, it's been weeks, I was worried."

He stood behind Tara, pressing his body into hers while snaking his arms around her waist.

Pam spitefully rolled her eyes at Tara.

Tara callously rolled her eyes at Pam.

"As you can see, I am well." The Viking buried his head into the crook of Tara's neck and shoulder. "Is that all?" He murmured while taking in her intoxicating scent.

"Well, no. I need to talk to you alone. Vampire business…"

"Pamela…" Eric warned. "Have you forgotten Tara's abilities? If she pleases, she can glamor you into telling the news you have for me. Now speak freely child, I am growing tired of your company."

"Fine…" she huffed.

"The vampire Authority appointed a new AVL spokesperson. The council invited us to The Ceremonial Appointing at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas.

"What about Franklin and Eggs?"

"Them too…" She nodded.

"Who is the new spokesperson?"

"Bill Compton…"

"Bill Compton." Eric and Tara chimed in unison. Tara whipped around to face her beau. "Hey, that's the vampire I know from Bon Temps."

"I am acquainted with Compton, as I am with all vampires who reside in my area."

Tara shimmed out of Eric's embrace and sweetly pecked him on the lips, "Cool, excuse me, baby," and teleported upstairs.

Pam irksomely sneered, "God Eric she's got your balls on a leash," her tongue sliding over the line of her teeth.

"Respect me as your maker and my bonded or be punished severely."

Lowering her eyes in respect for her Sire, she pouted like a child, "Are you at least coming to Fangtasia tonight?"

"No, when is The Appointing?"

"One week from tonight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I already booked our flight."

Eric was pleased. Finally, a progressive shift in the vampire hierarchy and Godric's bloodline was the cause.

"You are a most dashing child, Pam," Eric noted honestly. Pam was dressed lavishly in a gold and black Fendi dress with matching pumps.

She snorted playfully rolling her eyes. "Pretty words aren't pretty items," she replied. "My dress size is 6 my shoe size is 8."

He'd heard this many times. He sighed with strained patience. "You'll be rewarded, don't get pissy..."

As satisfied as she could be, she nodded and left.

Tara closed her laptop just as Eric entered the bedroom. His bond thumping her aggressively causing Tara's eyes to shoot up and engage his glare, she quickly ended her call with Nora.

"Eric, what is it?" Her head was spinning, her face tightened; she bit her lower lip.

He tilted her chin up and laid the mother of all kisses on her before responding.

"You are a liability, Tara."

"What's new asshole?" Tara broke away from his embrace, walking over to the vanity she poured some Grey Goose in a martini glass.

"Shit, I need an olive." Tara teleported to the kitchen grabbed the jar of Tipsy Olives from the cupboard, and was back in the bedroom in less than a second.

After taking a sip she slowly turned to Eric.

He slouched lazily on the plush sofa, peering at his lover behind tented fingers.

"You've made plans to accompany me in Dallas - cancel them."

"Why…" Tara burred and took another sip of her beverage.

"I will not allow my beautiful doll to be in the company of ancient bloodthirsty animals."

Tara smirked, she savored in his flattery.

"I'll take my chances Sheriff," She quipped, "besides Nora and Naomi are going and I want you to meet my friend Sookie, she's Bill's bonded."

"Your presence will be an irksome distraction. Conducting business will be almost impossible."

"Did you not hear me? I'm going to be with my progeny's."

"I care not about Compton's mistress; her safety is of no concern."

"The hell it ain't! Sookie is a telepath, therefore my progeny, and she doesn't even know it. I have to recruit her into The Coven."

"No one will try to possess her as they would you. Have you forgotten there are still vampires who hunger for vengeance upon you, witch hunters who seek to destroy you...?"

"No one will fuck with me or, they'll get a lightning bolt up their ass."

"As your bonded, I command you to stay."

"You know it doesn't work that way Eric, I am not your child." Her big brown eyes rolled up in disbelief at his audacity.

"Tara, nothing can go wrong in Dallas, Godric's legacy is at risk."

"I understand." She could feel his bereavement, at the mere mention of his Sire's name.

"Do you?" He examined angrily, his brows drew together his eyes darting about in concern as if he were searching for a place to hide.

"Yes, I do- so we have to come up with a compromise because I'm going!"

"Your scent on me will peak their curiosity, and if they know the source is in an easily accessible hotel room…"

"Here's the deal," Tara interrupted, "I'll have my witches work on a plan to keep my scent and my presence in Dallas unknown. I'll talk to my friend and fly right back home..."

"Or you could order your progeny's to send for your telepath."

"She'd never believe them; you see how receptive I was at first. I have to talk to her, see her face to face."

Tara could feel Eric's resolve marginally slacken at her proposal.

"I know Nora can find a way to cloak me. She's mentioned several spells that can do just that."

"Make it so lover."

Her honey brown eyes locked onto his emerald ones, she took a small step closer, she wanted nothing more than to ease his burden.

She noticed a small tan line on the bridge of Eric's nose and for a fleeting moment, she giggled at the irony.

"I could not go on without you", he said in a soothing voice. He gently wrapped his arms around her slender waist.

Electricity shot through her entire body and the atmosphere became freshened with sensuality.

"You won't ever have to baby."

Just as the longing became unbearable, Eric's lips met Tara's.

The warmth of his mouth sent a current running through her body. She threw her arms around her vampire's neck as she lost herself in his peppermint breath and soft lips.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

TARA POV

I found the remote and clicked on the television expecting the regular evening news; but tonight, I found myself letting out an audible gasp as I watch Bill Compton live on CNN. I listened intensely as the anchorwoman introduced Bill as the new AVL spokesperson.

'William Thomas Compton -The 175-year-old former Confederate soldier is now the American Vampire League new spokesperson, replacing Nan Flanagan'

And the words on the screen glided by... That explained why Sookie's been too busy to drop me a line. I'm certain she's been traveling all this time with Bill on his campaign.

From what Eric has told me, Bill is almost as good as Franklin when it comes to his ability to recall precise details, faces, and conversations. Compton is reputed to be exceptional, even among other long-lived supernatural. Eric said when you live for as long as vampires do, it is important to have a good memory. So Eric wasn't surprised that Bill moved up so fast in the vampire ranks. He said Bill is the creator of a valuable database in which all the vampires in North America are listed along with their significant information.

Recently, vampires in other counties have paid Bill insane amounts of money for his ideas. The database itself has been controversial among the vampire community because of potential security issues. For a fleeting moment, I wondered why Bill never seemed to notice my scent. From the moment he came to town, Sookie had his full attention. Not that I ever looked at Bill Compton that way, or wanted his attention. I just assumed he would sense me as all Supes do.

My only theory is that Eric and I were fated to be together. I was preordained to venture to Shreveport, seek Fangtasia, and discover him.

Upon being in the same vicinity of the thousand-year-old Viking, something magical happened that triggered my gift, my energy and bonded us long before we figured out what was even happening. I believe if not for our strange encounter that night, my magical essence would have remained dormant, buried in my soul for god knows how long, perhaps forever.

Now it's four days until Dallas and my request was finally fulfilled; Nora had prepared a spell that she guaranteed would work. My lovely collaborator emailed me the instructions. I read them twice and printed it out. What I had to do was revolting, but I had no choice, Sookie has to be introduced to Aether's Coven and hopefully, she'll want to unite with us.

So I went to the exotic pet store and purchased four veiled chameleons. Out by the pond, on the cover of the moonless night, I wore my black cloak at the gazebo. I lit the black candles and placed the cute creatures in a large golden birdcage. I put on the Chimera of Isis and chanted the incantation.

"Soror mea, Isis , perfide, odorem , ab iniuria tueri corpus meum."

My amulet blasted them with the laser light; thankfully the little lizards were unharmed. Each chameleon changed to a solid vibrant color, one strawberry red, the other lime green, that little guy is blueberry and the feisty one, banana yellow. I used the hypodermic needles Nora gave me and carefully drew a small amount of blood from each little critters. I emptied the blood into the golden chalice and chanted the incantation three more times as instructed.

The last step had me transferring the blood into the four, blood-vial-fang-necklaces. Each day at dawn I'll put on a fang necklace and consume the blood at dusk. The animal blood is nothing like Eric's sweet intoxicating blood. This laser-lizard blood didn't offer a buzz or anything. I washed the repugnant crap down with a morning mimosa. After that's all done I find my sexy beast in his study; he was surfing the Internet.

"I'm ready for Dallas, min älskar." I know my Swedish is awful, but practice makes perfect.

He didn't take his eyes off the notebook. I tilt my head; he usually has something smart-ass to say about my bad enunciation.

"Very good lover..." he mumbled after a few moments.

Whatever he's doing must be important. But so is this. I untied my cloak and let it fall to the floor. I have nothing on except Eric's black tank that looks like a mini-dress on me.

"Notice anything different?" I cheerfully asked, wondering if I'm now unscented, I teleport from the doorway entrance, planting my half-naked ass on his desk, mere inches from his face.

His eyes slowly scan my almost nude body from head to toe. He smiled charmingly and replied. "You've become even more beautiful than the day I met you."

Nice answer, but that's not the answer I wanted. 

His arms carefully made their way into my space until they gathered me and brought me into his body and I asked, "Min Vacker, don't I smell any different?"

 With his callous hands on the small of my back, he pulled me in a little tighter and his soft, warm lips press into mine. After a long moment, he answered.

"No lover," a pompous ass grin developed on his sexy face, "it seems your progeny's magic is a failure; I guess you'll just have to stay home."

I teleported right out of his embrace and grabbed my cell phone in the bedroom. That Nora had some explaining to do! It's early in the morning, so it's no surprise she didn't answer. I left her an urgent message. I'm sure she'll get back with me when she can. If I don't hear from her by noon, I'll fly straight to the Coven. Luckily I didn't have to do that, she called back in less than 30 minutes.

"I'm absolutely sure the spell works", my right-hand woman assured me, "Eric is your Chosen, that's the reason the concealment has no effect on him."

I let out a long-suffering sigh. "Thanks, Nora, I never should have doubted you."

"No worries; I'll see you in a few days."


 

  ❤❤❤   

The next night...

The fireflies are flickering near the trees and our hearts felt content as we sat on the balcony watching the sunset; enjoying that nice, comfortable silence that you tend to only experience with people you've known all of your life. I can't even remember feeling like this with anyone I've known for so little time.

Eric's phone pinged but he ignored it until the sun was completely submerged below the horizon. He hasn't missed a sunset or sunrise since we discovered his gift. He glanced at his phone as it pinged again, it was a text message. His fingers maneuvered in a blur responding to his received text and then he stood up and held out his hand...I happily took it...

"Accompany me to Fangtasia tonight. We shall put your cloaking spell to the test."

"Gladly," I beam, I was more than eager to do just that.

I enter my walk-in closet and glance over at my black wardrobe section. I'll wear my black BCBG, all over lace romper with matching lace stilettos. I only wear black at Fangtasia or when casting spells. Otherwise, my colors of choice are white, purple and yellow.

On rare occasions, I've even talked Eric into wearing colors other than black. No surprise he's fond of red. But what did surprise me is his choice of various shades of blue. And although he looks damn well in just about anything, tonight he must wear his required black. He chose his black Forzieri button-up shirt and black Diesel jeans.

Fangtaisa has not changed since the day I walked in six months ago. At every turn were the usual, freaks, whores and all-out debauchery. Although tonight, I was introduced to Eric's new allies, the King of Missouri, Desmarais and the Queen of Georgia, Ruth Mare. Both vampires know who and what I am. Both vampires are close to Eric's age, yet neither of them acted all weird as the vampires had before on so many occasions. As a matter of fact, most of the vampires tonight paid me little attention. I got a few flirtatious glances and nasty thoughts; I'm sure that's because I look pretty hot sitting on the stage next to the equally hot Eric. But the behavior and stares were nothing like before. The night was as normal as it could be at a vampire bar.

Still, the humans evaluated me, judged me and worst of all, envied me; they scrambled their brains trying to figure me out.

And I let them...At least no one was trying to kill anyone; everyone was just having a good time.


 

  ❤❤❤   

A few Days Later...

We arrived only an hour before the Conference, so Eric quickly got dressed, kissed me farewell and was on his way down to the grand hall. Tonight, I put my hair in a half braid bun style, letting my long black ringlets fall loosely down my back. I slipped on my deep-purple Victoria Beckham mini-dress with my black Michael Kors ankle -strap heels and a black clutch. I must admit, I've become quite the clothes whore; it's all Eric's fault, he is constantly buying me designer dresses, shoes, purses, and lingerie. And he's so good at it, always the right size and the best quality. There ain't much that man isn't good at. He spoils me and I love him for it. Eric must be chatting with Bill because he saved me a trip to the receptionist desk by texting me Bill and Sookie's room number. 

I teleport down to the fifth floor and then to room number 52 and gave the door a few taps. After a moment, it swung open. At first sight, Sookie and I let out a girlish squeal, jumping up and down like were at a rock concert and then crashing into each other. We embrace in a big-I-missed–you-best-friend-hug.

"Wow Tara, you look so pretty!" She leaned back with a smile, eyeing my stylish get-up.

"Thank you Sook, you look pretty too."

I love her hairstyle, it's sophisticated. She has it pulled into a delicate French roll with just a little wisp of her blond hair falling on her face. As if we planned it, she also had on a purple dress, hers was the lighter shade of purple, and in her classic sundress style, but undeniably chic. She asked me how I've been and apologized for not keeping in touch, then told me just what I expected. She's been traveling nonstop with Bill during his campaign. All the traveling and keeping vampire hours took some adjusting.

I chuckled at the irony, "I can certainly relate." I happily told her.

"Are you upset with me T?"

"It's water under the bridge Sook."

"What are ya doing here in Dallas?" She asked while offering me a seat.

"I'm here with my vampire; he was invited to The Appointing Conference. Later, we plan on congratulating Bill on his election win."

Sookie eyes widen in surprise, a proud smile emerged, and it looked as if that expression would remain permanently plastered on her face.

"My, my, my..." she said slowly, "has this vampire from Shreveport changed you or what, six months ago you were ready to stake Bill and now look at you!" She teased, just beaming with joy.

I chuckled and playfully roll my eyes, "Your right, I've changed... I'm who I 'm supposed to be now." I noted with a nod. "I'm no longer a vampire hater-I'm a vampire congratulate-er."

We both burst into vigorous laughter. We spent the next few hours catching up, fondly looking back on our tumultuous and particular childhood, the awkward and angst-filled teenage years, clear up until now. 

We thoroughly enjoy or easy exchange and I realize nothing has altered between us. We are still the very best of friends and I'm sure it will always be this way.

"What was it like growing up reading peoples thoughts?"  I asked. I've always been fascinated by Sookie, she'd honed in on her gift at a very young age. I marveled at the similarities Sookie shared with Willa, like Sookie her parents were murdered when she was very young. But unlike Willa, Corbett and Michelle Stackhouse murders were never solved. I'd ask Ruby to summon them if Sookie wanted answers.

"You know T; reading minds is a gift and a curse." She sighed deeply, "People rarely say what they actually feel."

"Ain't that the truth girl, we live in a world built on promises, constructed by liars."

"Mmm," she nodded, "You know Tara; I could never hear your thoughts- even if I tried."

She stunned me with her confession, which totally caught me off guard. I'd always thought she could read my mind; I never tried to block her out. I suppose it doesn't take a mind-reader to know how I feel...I've always worn my heart on my shoulders, it was never a secret to anyone how messed up I was, yet Sookie remained loyal and true, she always knew how to comfort me, cheer me up and make me feel like everything would be okay.

We ordered room service and while we waited, Sookie confirmed what Lafayette told me weeks ago. Everyone presumed when Lettie was evicted, she had moved in with me and we're all good in Shreveport. He didn't tell her or anyone- anything about what actually happened. He figured, I'd tell whoever, whatever, whenever I wanted. Of course, I'm gonna tell my best friend.

"Sook, Lettie is dead, she passed a little over three months ago."

This was the first time announcing her passing aloud and my goodness, I felt the pain of losing her as if had just happened. The atmosphere in the room became dense with sadness and Sookie's eyes filled with tears.

"Oh Lord have mercy Tara Mae, I am so sorry," She offered her heartfelt condolences. She hugged me again; reminding me of how much I really missed our genuine harmony.

"Lettie and I made amends, she's sorry for not being a decent mother and I forgave her."

"That's wonderful Tara;" she sniffled while grabbing the box of tissues and setting it between us. "Lettie was a good person, Gran and I never doubted that. But Gran says alcohol can poison your mind and change you."

"Would if I told you I made amends with my mother after she died and something, not of this world drove Lettie into her terrible addiction and that same entity killed her."

Undoubtedly puzzled, Sookie leaned back to peer at me. She thought I'd lost my mind. 'You know I'm not crazy Sook,' I spoke directly to her mind and she peered at me in astonishment.

Without uttering a word I get on with telling her what had happened the past six months since I left Bon Temps. I told her how it all began with me looking for a job and ending up at a vampire bar, detailing the account of my kidnapping and assault and how fighting for my life unleashed Aether. 

Then, I gave her meticulous account of Aether Coven's history, going all the way back to Salem and how my great-grandmother Mae Thornton fled from Salem to New Orléans to escape the witch-hunts. I told her about the false arrest of my vampire's Sire and Progeny. I spoke of Godric's unjust arrest and his self-sacrificial death. The King of Louisiana gave his life so the corrupt Authority, could be exposed and dismantled, hence the re-appointing of the monarchs. 

I explained to her that Aunt Ruby Jean is not a mentally disturbed woman. She's a gifted medium, who not only summoned my mother's spirit; she's summoned the spirit of other slain witches, wolves and even a 2000-year-old vampire king.

All the while she listened, captivated and truly believing.

I spoke about Jessica and how the brave fire-meze sacrificed her young life to free the stolen souls from eternity with Absalom. I could no longer hold back the tears as I spoke about how my troubled mother died at the hands of my Supernatural enemy. She needed to know in life, Lettie was tormented by trickery, plagued with lies and poisoned with fear by a malevolent parasite for decades. Finally, I paused and gave her some time to absorb it all. She nervously peered at me for several long moments and using telepathy, she responded.

'So, your bonded is Sheriff of Area Five?' Bill and I heard about what happened in Baton Rouge, which led to the arrest of the King of New Orleans. My god Tara, I had no idea you were involved in all this.'

Her eyes twinkled in revelation.

'Yes, Eric Northman is my bonded, Godric was King and his maker...And almost everything that's gone down is because of me.'

'There are people who hunt people like us..?' She asked her anxiety apparent.

'There will always be witch-hunters, worshipers of Absalom. The demon will offer them riches and influence them to sacrifice us to prove their devotion to her. She wants our soul, she needs it. It's the only way she can concur us. But I was created to protect us- and I promise I will.'

'How could you not have known what you are all this time?' She questioned me.

She couldn't believe I had 'this' all along and I didn't know it.

'I've been asking myself that same question... My dreams, visions, were speaking to me, yet I refused to listen. I chose not to see there was something special about me. I kept my head buried in the sand; too afraid of being different, because I knew that being different in Bon Temps would never be accepted.

'What kind of powers do you have T?' She asked. 'How did little ole you fight off vampires and demons?'

I stood to my feet and wiped my smudged eyes with a tissue; now it's time for show-and-tell.

"You're an Earth-Witch, you have the power of telepathy, in time, you'll be taught the ability to mentally manipulate and the power of telekinesis," And then I rearrange her cosmetic items on the vanity, my mind is the only thing physically moving the objects.

"This is one of the powers Air-Witch's have." I use teleportation as an example and disappeared out into the hallway in a white puff of mist.

"My fire-doll taught me how to do this..." I produced a nice sized fire-sphere in my hand and quickly extinguished it.

"A Water-Witch has the ability of hydro-kinesis..." I turn my bottled water as if I am going to pour it on the floor, but before gravity takes over and it spills to the ground, I direct the water flow neatly into the bathroom sink. 

The entire time Sookie was silent, she sat awkwardly, fidgeting in her seat, and her big brown eyes were wide as saucers and unblinking. At that point, I decided to save the whole flying and photokinesis ability for a later time. At least now, my friend would be prepared to see the women and children at the Coven. I sat down and took her by the hand.

"Sook, you're one of us, you should be with us."

"I suppose I am..." she said breathlessly.

"Come to New Orleans, stay for a while and see how you like it."

"I'll think about T...I promise."

Serving her a glass of wine did wonders calming her nerves. After she made herself a second glass, she'd promise to see if Bill would consider taking residence in New Orleans.

It was close to midnight when Eric called me down to the hotel bar. Sookie got the same call from Bill and on the elevator going down, we met up with Nora and Naomi. I introduced my best friend to my High Priestesses.

The vampire-beverage True Blood has a new competitor on the market and the vampires at the hotel are invited to a 'New Blood' tasting. The humans who accompany the vampires can sample their share of over a dozen vintage wines.

In the bar, I introduced Eric to Sookie. As we all greeted one other; Bill shamelessly gawked at me as if he'd never seen me before. His eyes never faltered from me, his leering lingered on my neck, my breast, as he lustfully stared at me, unmoved by my obvious discomfort. I realize I look different; better, but his unyielding lust-filled glare caught the attention of Eric and through our bond, his possessive jealousy prickled at him. Bill had better cut it out or he'd be ripped apart by my Viking. The surprised look on Sookie's face was confirmation that this is not Bill's normal behavior.

I felt a tinge of insecurity recoil off her, poor girl, how embarrassing. Her man is acting as if she's not even standing right next to him. Puzzled, I wondered if my cloaking spell had worn off, hence the reason Compton' is actin so thirsty.

So I dug into creepy-Compton's mind and his thoughts stunned me. It wasn't my scent that was getting him all riled up. Now that Bill knows what I am, that delusional prick wants to have his way with Sookie and me... His perverted thoughts of me pleasuring him made my stomach turn sour.

Eric was certainly not intimidated by Bill, nor mistrusting of me. But none the less, Bill's uncouth behavior caused Eric to cut our night short. I said goodnight to my progeny's and gave my best friend a big hug.

She promised, using telepathy, "I'm joining your Coven, with or without Bill's blessing."

And as promised, I went back home the next morning. And Eric kept his promise, the next night he called and gave me an update. The first night, after much deliberation all the Monarchs, Chancellors, Sheriffs and anyone who was of importance in the vampire hierarchy began electing Godric, Salome, and Paul's predecessors.

The only vampire, whose accomplishments surpass Compton, by unanimous vote by the council, was Franklin Mott. The slightly crazed, curly-headed vamp is now the Vampire Magistrate. Mott has an uncanny ability to spot a lie, so if you ever find yourself in his interrogation room - My God -tell the truth! 

The second night Franklin and the council presented Benedict with the position of Chief Monarch, replacing Paul. Talley humbly accepted his position. I have no doubt he will be the complete opposite of Paul. Eggs will be an evenhanded monarch and all of Paul and Martin's barbaric methods will no longer be used. Eggs appointed Pam as his Chancellor, replacing Kwibe. Vampire-Barbie- Warrior Princess proudly accepted and promptly issued a warrant for Salome's arrest. 

The call last night was the best. With absolutely no enthusiasm whatsoever in that sexy raspy voice, Eric coolly announced to me... "Lover, I have been appointed, I am now the King of Louisiana."

 

  

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

  

 


 

 

ERIC POV

With her eyes shut tight and her head tilted back, my lovely doll is content, relaxed against the bath pillow. She sang in sweet harmony to the music playing on her device and I observed my raven-haired goddess submerged in a blanket of soft bubbles... and I beamed. After a few moments, I reluctantly pull my eyes from the beautiful sight and began the enjoyable task of sprinkling rose petals all about our bedroom. I blithely toss the petals and watch them fall sporadically over the white silk sheets of our bed.

Afterward, I ignited several vanillas scented, white candles around various places in the room, casting a soft golden light. Lastly, I placed the sparkling fifteen karat white-gold ring in the center of her silk crimson pillow. I patiently wait for my sexy lover to emerge from the bathroom in her white silk robe. She enters the room, glowing like an angel, her eyes lit up as she happily appraised me, pleasantly surprised at the sensual setting I'd created. I gift her with a freshly hand-made strawberry martini and gently pulled her into me, sending an involuntary shiver down her spine. She took a refreshing sip of her cocktail and purred her approval.

"Damn Eric, you make me so happy."

I made her happy, she said, and I swore I felt my dead heart flutter as a gentle smile crossed her stunning face. Without trying Tara has a way of entrancing all my senses. I always lose myself in her deep dark eyes every time. Tara Mae Thornton has my heart and she always will.

I took hold of her hand, guiding her to our petal adorned bed and as we neared our destination, the lighting hit the diamond just right and the spectacular jewel caught her eyes. She gasped while bending forward to grab the symbol of my unyielding love and I drop to my knees, never letting go of her hand.

"Tara, Jag älskar dig av hela mitt hjärta. Jag kommer alltid att älska dig. Mitt hjärta kommer alltid att vara din. Du är allt . Vill du gifta dig med mig?"

(Tara, I love you with all my heart. I will always love you. My heart will always be yours. You are everything. Will you marry me?)

I spoke in Swedish, but my mind said it in English. No matter what the language, Tara understood that I wanted to marry her; I needed her. I wanted to belong to her forever. Tara gasped again in overwhelming delight and her mind gripped my head in astonishment. She attacked me through our bond and overloaded me with her unrestrained admiration, just like she had that first night at Fangtasia.

There was no control over her.

No limitation.

With her backstage pass into my head, I could not hide from her; nor did I want to. She beamed sweetly at me while fanning her fingers into my hair and gently scratching my scalp. My eyes fluttered, and she leaned in to kiss my forehead.

"Ja Vacker! Oh yes, I'll marry you, Eric, I love you!" She shouted as tears of joy sprung from her doe eyes. Although my heart no longer works, her saying yes would have caused my dead organ to skip a beat or two.

Now, I was unable to restrain myself, a savage groan escaped my chest and I tore off my clothes, yanked off her thin garment, that separated me from her, and we celebrated all night and most of the morning.

   


 

 

 

 

❤❤❤    

Malibu Beach California...One Month Later...

"I know I don't share well," Pam drawled coldly, as she flounced prissily into Tara's hotel suite. The pale blonde vampire regarded the mahogany beauty with curiosity as she pinned white flower hair clips in her long jet-black hair.

"That's an understatement." Tara huffed while peering at the tall woman through the vanity mirror. She did not bother to turn and face her. 

"But I haven't wanted to ride Eric's dick for over half a century." The cerulean eyed woman honestly disclosed.

"Pam, I'm not worried about that." Tara coarsely rolled her eyes.

Pam's eyebrow arched inquisitively, "You're not...?" she exclaimed, truly taken aback by the statement. All of Eric's previous lovers were intimidated by the closeness of their Sire/Progeny relationship. She lost count of all the women, human or vampire; she made cry with jealous insecurity.

The moment they questioned Eric, he dropped them like a bad habit.

"No, I'm not..." Tara replied with a haughty smirk, she stopped brushing her onyx locks, and put down her hairbrush, "Not even this much." she teased the stubborn vampire by pressing her thumb and index finger tightly together to emphasize her point.

Eric never gave Tara any reason to doubt his love and devotion to only her. She certainly wasn't insecure about Eric's paternal bond with his bratty-spoiled progeny.

"From the staff at Fangtasia..." Pam mumbled while placing two plane tickets to Joue-Les Tours, France on the vanity.

"Thank you." Tara humbly replied.

Pam nodded.

The best wedding gift EVER...!  Tara thought to herself. She'd save her excitement for later; happy people irritated Pam.

"Welcome sister." Pam drawled, then turned starchily and sashayed out the room.

Tara shook her head and sighed at Pam's ill attempted congratulation. She knew that was the best reception she'd get from the cold, century-year-old fashionista.

   

 


 

 

❤❤❤    

TARA POV

Here's a little bizarre and uncanny note; Pam and Lafayette are becoming like peas in a pod, those who are consonantly going on about their outrageous sexual conquest and liaisons. I don't get it...Their relationship is so odd; one day they are bitchy and catty to one another, the next Oprah and Gayle. According to Laffy, he's even had conversations with Barbie about him becoming her progeny. I have no doubt in my mind if Pam decides to sire a progeny she will choose Lafayette and he will gladly accept. Both of those bitches are fashion-forward, self-confident feisty and hard-nosed realness queens.

I honestly don't think the world is ready.

If you're wondering why Eric and I are getting married in California and not Louisiana, it's because Cali is the only state that human/vampire nuptials are legal. My nighttime, beach-side wedding is everything I could have dreamed of, Chinese lanterns and all. The night is cool, the waves are calm, and the moon is full and bright. The decor colors I selected are lavender and marigold. My maids of honors are Sookie, Nora, and Naomi. Eric's best men are Franklin, Eggs, and Bill. Laffy walked me down the aisle and Mavis dressed in lavender made the cutest little flower girl. The entire coven attended and so did some of Eric's longtime friends and deputies.

I sent Alcide an invitation to the wedding, but he didn't show up. I was upset at the time until I later found out that my fair-haired lover glamored the Pack-Leader into thinking I was the most repulsive thing he'd ever laid eyes on.

My fiancé is such an ass-grenade! But the way he looked tonight, Jesus Christ in heaven, it should be against the law to look so damn good in a tuxedo. My Eric, virile, strong and downright sexy, and he is all mine.

Before my cousin handed me over to my vampire forever, Lafayette gave me his classic bitch-you-crazy brow arch and cocked his chin. He didn't care how magical I was, I'll always be his poor little gutsy cousin from the bum-fuck town.

As I recited my vows, I realized words could never describe the pure love I feel for him. Hell, it was exhilarating being desired by such a formidable creature, I found it thrilling to know that Eric and I were predestined.

Our discovery of one another was inescapable. The battles were preordained. The loss of his father and my mother was inevitable. Eric and I were chosen by the goddess Isis to be at each other's side throughout this journey, and I know we will have many more journeys to come. My tanned vampires' green eyes transfixed my soul as he recites his love-filled vows in Swedish. I listened to his brain vibrate with sheer bliss.

"Tara Mae Thornton, I am yours."

He said my name in his ancient tongue, layering every seductive tone in his vocal repertoire. His voice to me is like silk, honey, velvet and chocolate, each syllable designed to torture and entice. We are one in the eyes of The Elders, The Vampires and now all of our friends and family.

"Eric Godric Northman, I am your's, completely."


 

   ❤❤❤    

One year later...

ERIC

Incredible, springtime in ancient Bjørvig cascade my mind and at that very moment, I knew my wife was with child. My children, like their mother, yielded the fragrance of honey and sunshine, but unlike Tara, they smell like my geneses, like home. They are apart of me, my vampire and my human side. 

Min Tara, so full of surprises, her womb brought my dead seed to life, with her I am fertile and now I will become a father. After a thousand years of barren darkness, min Vackra, min seraph has brought forth light.

And I am complete again.

   ❤❤❤    

TARA

My tummy hasn't grown much, just my appetite for food, water, and Eric's blood. I feel the flutters in my belly and every time that happens I'm reminded of the miracles growing inside of me. My husband pressed a sweet kiss to my forehead and said, "You shall be pregnant with a child each year, your hips are made to bear children.

To which I replied, "Säga vad nu?" I giggled and shrugged as he chuckled at my bad enunciation in Swedish.

A boy and girl, The Elders confirmed.

I'll name my two wonderful miracles Jessica Mae Thornton and Godric Northman. My husband and I will teach our children about our history, our heritage and most importantly, they will know how to fight.

These days, I spend most of my time preparing the Coven for more battles. I'm sure there will be more one day, and we'll be ready.

If the Vesica Pisces is correct, in a couple of hundred years my time will be up. No one is quite sure how I'll die if I'm lucky enough to die naturally. But I have a feeling a solar eclipse will play some part in it. I'm not worried, though, I'll live for centuries without aging much and that's good enough for me. Until then, I'll enjoy my powers, my witches, my vampire, my life.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Surrounded by an abyss of darkness; the glimmer of a single white candle flickered in the distance. The light grew dimmer every moment as the wax melted down...

Soon I'd be left in utter darkness.

The sounds of sticks and leaves breaking, crumbling under heavy footsteps quickly neared me, my heart beats faster with every footstep.

And then deafening silence.

"Show yourself!" My own voice echoes back at me.

The silence unnerved me, whatever it was twisted my stomach in a knot, threatening my sanity, willing its sinister force into me.

"Tara..."

I turn around and Eric is before me.

His mouth was slightly open, baring his fangs. His sparkling sea green eyes were like fire and ice, burning into my soul.

He really had nothing human left about him after a few seconds. His lips drew away from his teeth, his fangs extended, and his body hunched and seemed to elongate.

At first, I didn't know what to make of the ragged breathing and then I realized it was me. The air was being pulled from my lungs by an unseen force.

I'm trapped in another realm of existence, paralyzed by fear, unable to scream.

Helplessly, I'm forced to watch as a horde of spiders attack Eric, biting his eyes out, devouring him, piece by piece. In a blink of an eye, my face is engulfed by hand-sized, eight-legged arachnids.

I jerked awake.

The sheets were ruined, soaked in my cold sweat. I sat up and immediately felt the bile rise from my gut. I dashed to the restroom just in time to throw-up.

After I brushed my teeth, I grabbed fresh linens from the closet and began turning down the bed.

Misty, my beloved domestic servant, emissary, and companion, loomed in the pale glow of the moonlit window.

My emerald eyed, 'familiar' appeared at my doorstep the day the twins were born and she's been by my side ever since.

Nora was not at all surprised about Misty's sudden arrival, she said only the most powerful witches have cats as their familiars.

Cats were seen by the ancients as the most mystical, strong-willed, cunning - creatures of the night. They have always been honored as guardians of both worlds.

My idle musings are interrupted by the obscure, jumbled thoughts of two people.

I think I'm being burglarized... Wha...

Who in the hell would break into Eric Northman's house?

I teleport into the twins room and sigh in relief. Ruby is fast asleep in the rocking chair holding my sleeping angel-Jessica Mae to her bosom. Little Godric is sleeping in his crib, and Misty, who has the ability to teleport, gave me a reassuring purr as she is curled into a fluffy ball right beside him.

My aunt Ruby Jean moved in with us shortly after the children were born; she said Lettie Mae insisted on it. At times, Ruby serves as a conduit, allowing Lettie inside of her physical body, thus allowing my mom the ability to exist in the physical world, smelling, touching and playing with the twins.

With the comfort of knowing my loved ones are safe, I teleport to where I estimate the noise is coming from, all the while I'm wondering who had the skill to break into Eric's impenetrable fortress?

I get my answer when I teleport into the study.

These are no regular burglars, if they were, they would've taken all the valuable electronics from the game room or den and bounced out by now. These two assholes are witch-hunters and they're trying to steal The Chimera of Isis. I can hear their hazy, brainwashed thoughts; their chanting- praising Absalom.

At first sight, our study looks like a room full of sentimental pictures, old books, relic statues, swords, plaques, and vestiges. Most robbers would deem the items easily identifiable and wouldn't bother trying to pawn them off for cash.

Since I haven't been spotted yet; cautiously I watch as the masked man opens the glass case.

I hold in my gasp when my amulet starts to move on its own accord. Rattling like a snake, it seems to be awakened by their presence and as if in an earthquake it clatters violently in the case.

"Grab it!" Idiot Number One orders and Idiot Number Two complies. When Number Two lays his leather clad hand on my amulet, my magical charm ignites. All four colors red-white-yellow-and blue, shoot off a stream of laser light. The man lets out an earsplitting wail and in a matter of seconds, he's microwaved. His entire body becomes nothing more than a pool of bloody liquid on my antique oriental rug.

The remaining masked man screams like a bitch and runs off.

"Damn!" I laughed wickedly out loud. "My necklace does not want to be touched!"

The sheer joy of watching my enemies fail is short-lived as the acquainted putrid smell engulfs the room. Before I can cover my nose, I'm staring into the dark pits of her eyes. Twelve feet across the room, cloaked in her black robe and after three years, the Queen of Darkness herself stood in my realm. And just like that, I understood the dream was a warning, I knew the normalcy of my life was about to become one big cluster-fuck once again.

The jagged-tooth bitch wore an enormous-sized golden amulet, which rivaled my own. The gold medallion held a large, glossy black gem in the middle. She pointed the amulet at me- I could tell she was aiming for my chest. I instinctively ducked but was hit in the shoulder by the black laser beam. With the force of a train, I was blasted back into the wall. My entire body slammed painfully into the partition. I was stunned and all the air was knocked out of my lungs.

"The Chimera can only be held by Aether." her gurgling voice rumbles into my ears.

"No shit!" I coughed, dragging in another intake of air, I was madder than a harpooned rhino! I teleported to the case, grabbed my weapon, and hung it around my neck. "You might be the queen of an army of putrid souls, but you sure as shit can get shot just like everybody else."

I try blasting my enemy with the Chimera, but the unholy-whore moved like a lightning strike. My laser takes out our lovely triple pane window, shattering it into a million pieces, and part of the wall too. She tries blasting me again, but with the Chimera on, I'm at full power and even faster, I get out of the beam's path completely, and our entire bookshelf is obliterated.

"You are a coward -soulless parasite!" I growled at Abso-whore from across the room.

"Your world will soon end Aether..." her demonic voiced echoed as she dissipated into a black smoke.

The noise of her mind battered at me, and a tidal wave of scores of brains at high gear washed over me; while my dislocated shoulder stung as it healed.

If she's powerful enough to do this, then soon she'll have enough strength to fully knuckle up with me.

Absalom underestimated me the last time. The ancient demon and devour of souls is no fool (a major pain in the ass-defiantly – but a fool no sir!), she will not repeat her mistakes.

I'm not sure how long I stood there. As shocked as I was, I probably would have stood in our annihilated room till morning if Eric had not rushed in.

He was uncharacteristically disheveled; slumped over his shoulder was the mangled body of the remaining witch-hunter.

"Before I snapped his neck, this blood bag said Absalom provided him with the ability to penetrate our defenses." My beautiful blonde-haired savage pulled me from my troubled ruminations.

I'm no longer able to hear his thoughts, but I would have been a dunce, a telepathic null, not to feel the waves of frustration rolling off of him. He's just as stunned by all of this as I am.

I let out a long breathy sigh, "I believe the jackass was right and rancid trollop did all of this." I gestured at the tousled chaos around us." She's testing my strength and my weaknesses."

Eric silently nodded, while his vampire state gave him an unblinking stare and the instant willingness to do damage.

"Ruby Jean and Misty protected the children." He said knowingly.

"Yes of course," I answered, unsure if he was even asking me a question.

"I shall dispose of this human waste." He said slowly, interrupting my visual wondering.

"Looks like the witch hunter put up a fight, did he use magic on you?"

Eric paused for a moment, his expression marred a combination of trepidation and remorse.

"My love, Fangtasia was destroyed tonight, everyone is dead. If not for Lafayette, Pam and I would be too."

"Where is Lafayette?" Ruby Jean implored as she entered the room, standing beside me.

"Lafayette said he could hear the thoughts of someone who meant us harm. Pam and I rushed him to the office to question him further and not a moment after there was an explosion. The building crumbled, crashing down on us- injuring his fragile body."

"Oh my goodness, Eric! Did you give him your blood!?" I began to cry while my Aunt became too weak to stand, her knees buckled, her entire body trembled. I grabbed her up, embracing her as I guided her to a chair.

"Pam is very fond of your kin, your child...she provided him with blood, but his injuries were too severe..."

Ruby Jean cut him off...

"Pam is underground with my son, isn't she?!"

Eric nodded in confirmation, "He shall rise from the St. Louis cemetery as vampire next twilight."

Ruby Jean shook her head in exasperation, as her mind became occupied with a cascade of images. Lafayette, from a boy to a man, the visuals filled her heart with joy and sorrow as she tried to imagine him as a vampire.

We'd recently discovered Lafayette amazing mystic abilities. He is not only a telepath like me, he's a medium like Ruby. After his torture and kidnapping at the hands of Absalom, he was near death, but after he drank Eric's ancient -Aether infused blood, his supernatural journey began.

I wondered if his Brujo abilities will carry over into his transition...

"Thank you, Eric," I tried to smile at my lover, "I know you did your best." but I was unable to prevent the bone-deep weariness from seeping into me. I lowered my head, glowering at my feet.

Eric stopped me from looking away by grabbing my chin, forcing me to look him in the eyes again.

"I'll do anything for you, elegant one."

His smile did not reach my eyes but I noticed how sad he looked before he sped off to dispose of the witch-hunter. I stood in front of my Auntie feeling like a boudain sausage. Boudain, is a Cajun sausage, made of all kinds of things, none of them are elegant.

And poor Ruby, she's understandably shell-shocked. I walked her to her room, placed her in her bed, carefully tucking her in and kissing her forehead goodnight.

For the past three years, I've been successfully keeping my Coven safe, our numbers growing, and from what I've seen and heard other Coven's are thriving as well. No one was living in fear after Lorena and her pack of hyenas were put down.

Eric and I spend most of our days, honing-in, sharpening our powers and training the twins. It's no cake-walk training supernatural toddlers, they barely have control over their own bladder, let alone their supernatural muscles.

Protecting them is vital; and for the first time, I feel fully capable.

Tomorrow night, I'll be at the St. Louis Cemetery with Ruby Jean to meet the 'new' Lafayette.

At first light, my Coven will be informed, they'll need to be on high alert now that the witch-hunters have crawled out from under their rocks.

For now, it is time for me to rejuvenate with candle magic.

Candle magic is the practice of burning candles as part of rituals designed to accomplish a special goal. Casting candle magic spells is common practice in the Wiccan religion.

I light the red candle first, it's used to represent the element of fire and blood. Next is yellow, representing the element of air, green prosperity, healing, and growth. A blue candle represents the element of water. While white is the color of protection and purification. And finally, black, the absence of color. The color black absorbs negativity and is the representative of outer space.

Tonight, the moon looked close enough to touch from the view on our balcony.

"Shall we watch the sunrise together lover?"

He said and not a second later he was on me, capturing my lips with his. The kiss was deep, intense, unexpected, like the excitement you feel when someone gives you a present you didn't know you wanted. His arms were around me, mine were around him, and we were giving it everything we had until I came back to earth.

"Not tonight baby, I need to rest up."

I pulled away a little, and he slowly raised his head from mine. It's hard not to respond when a master of the art of kissing is laying one on you. And I might have let myself enjoy it - well, enjoy it more - if I hadn't been so worried about everything; because let's face it, brushes with death have that effect. You want to reiterate the fact that you're alive. Though vampires actually aren't, it seems they are no more immune to that pattern than humans, and Eric's libido was up because of the blood in the air.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Aether's Coven, New Orleans

The shadows are already dissolving into the evening dusk when I hear a footfall close behind me. In this forest, there is only one person who could get so close to me without detection and I know she wants me dead.

It wasn't my fault that I was born the protector, the guardian of the earth; and I'll fight till the bitter end for my realm, I'll fight until Isis herself releases me from my servitude.

Six pairs of hands tried to seize me. Nora shot out; with a little hiss, she leaped out like a panther and almost landed on my back, but I teleported away.

Before hitting the ground abruptly, Nora executed a somersault, landing on her feet. Even her agile movements are far too slow. Sookie, Naomi, and Luna scrambled to see where I'd vanished too.

"If I were Absalom you'd all be in serious trouble," Nora shouted at me from across the field. She'd kept her eyes on me the whole time.

"If you were Absalom, we'd need some nose plugs and air- fresheners, that bitch stank."

The girls burst into a chorus of laughter while Nora huffed in frustration.

"You are all dismissed, we shall resume training at 6 AM tomorrow." The laughter simultaneously halted and was abruptly replaced with huffs and long sighs as the Coven/combat- training -team made their way back to the house.

As I've watched my children grow, I've done the same for my coven over the past three years. Nora and Naomi bestowed the honorable title of High Priestess to Sookie and Luna. They earned the title, both women proved themselves worthy of a series of supernatural test.

"Come on Nor, don't be so hard on them."

"Are you kidding me!" She waved her hands, agitated by my nonchalant attitude, "after what you said happened at your house and Fangtaisa?!"

"I know...it's just- well... we've all trained so much and so often these past few years."

"Tara, we've done nothing but learn a few more protection spells and play fight with our vampires and wolves. Absalom and her minions could have an army now, for all we know."

My mouth ran dry and my stomach turned in an unfriendly way. I felt as if my brain were full of static, either firing off a million unhelpful thoughts at once or offering nothing at all.

"Well, when you put it like that..."

"I don't mean to worry you Sire, but the reprieve is over. It is time to put on the big-girl pants and get on with it."

"You're right," I replied and instantly her eyes lit up, and I could tell that a million new ideas were streaming through her brain. She had seen something new, something amazing like I knew she would.

"Here's the plan, tomorrow, the entire coven will begin an intense regimen of training. No holds barred. I'm going to put these ladies to the test. I'll leave you in charge of the itinerary. "

"I already have one, I've just been waiting for you to request implementing it." Now she's as eager as ever.

"I'll see you in the morning then." I gave her a playful wink, Nora is always so serious, I wish she would just chill sometimes.

"Bright and early." She replied with her warm and wise smile.

Nora truly is the best Progeny a Supreme could ask for, loyal, intelligent, persistent, and brave. She does it all. Last year she brought Alcide back from Jackson Mississippi; by offering him lots of money and property, she was able to relocate his entire pack. His only trepidation was the issue of turf between the residing NOLA pack, but eventually, the two packs all came to an agreement, lines were drawn, and territories were divided equally. Nora's primary reasoning for bringing Alcide back was for protection. Franklin's been the Coven's personal private detective and he has a strong suspicion that most, if not all of the NOLA pack are devout Absalom followers and addicted to V. It is common knowledge that any wolf addicted to V is a ticking time-bomb. So, keeping wolves on guard is a must and Alcide's pack is clean and trustworthy; they are truly the best at what they do.

Because of that Godric's 100-acre plot is a blessing, we share it with the wolves. Eric had a huge den built for them and the land fortified just like our home.

"Tara..."

I was already a few feet down the pathway when Nora called out to me. Instead of shouting, she spoke to my mind.

Are you ready for vampire Lafayette?

I continued on my way as I replied.

I am but is the rest of the world?

 


St. Louis Cemetery, Shreveport

As dusk approached, Ruby and I walked side by side with Eric trailing close behind us; rows of eerie tombstones stood erect in silence to the left and right, in front and behind, like a sea of the dead. Some were crumbled with the weathering of centuries, some were smooth marble with new black writing and laid with floral tributes. Mold covered the engravings dedicated to the dead, trees leaning towards the stones, branches reaching out to each other. Spiked, black fences surrounded the graveyard almost like it was a prison. The smell of old stone filled the dry air, weeds covering the graves of the dead, loved ones long since stopped visiting. Gravel paths weave through the maze of graves, allowing passers-by to pay their respects to the people lined up in the earth's embrace. The disembodied voices of souls that once walked the earth seemed to be carried through the fog that was rising through the cracks in the porous path. It sounded like the wind was whistling through the trees, but...there was no wind and not even the tiniest breeze. Although I was not afraid, the graveyard was still spooky as hell to me.

Suddenly Eric cut in front of us and I knew we had reached our destination.

Aunt Ruby cast her eyes to the freshly dug soil. She sank to her knees at the grave, not caring for the damp mud that dirtied her black Carolina Herrera dress. The grief surged with every expelled breath, always reaching higher peaks, never sufficiently soothed by her long intakes of the damp spring air. Tears began to spill from her helpless eyes onto the newly growing grass. Her gaze fell from bloom to bloom. At that moment the sure knowledge that life would go on without the man she knew; time would only go on for her, the thought undid her completely and she wept aloud.

Ruby Jean was solely responsible for making Aether's Coven the only coven. Because of my aunt, every single witch from around the world resides here. Nora taught me how to locate every single one of my progenies using only my mind. This is necessary for our survival; because of Ruby, we are united, like-minded and safe.

Without warning, the quite was destroyed instantly in an enormous explosion. The earth had erupted a rainfall of dirt, showered down; a shrill and deafening- roar invaded my ears.

"I'm hungry as fuck." Was Lafayette's first words. He swooshed around a few seconds and then settled at the foot of his grave. He gazed into the night sky as if viewing it for the very first time.

Pam subtlety rolled out of her dirt bed and casually brushed the dirt and rubble from her shoulders.

"Then let's get you cleaned up..." She said as the dirt fell from her hair, she brushed it from her shoulders and cleavage, " the first lesson, never let the blood-bags see you out of style."

I became slightly agitated, Eric, Ruby and I are standing only a few feet away and their both acting as if we aren't even here.

"Pamela, Lafayette's first lesson should be restraint when feeding, " Eric corrected, "Also, I believe Tara and Ruby would like a word with him."

"Well, since you didn't bring us a snack to practice with, we must be going." Pamela drawled, brushing more dirt out of her hair.

"Lafayette, is any part of my son still there?" Ruby asked realizing that their bond is broken, shattered into fragments more numerous than the stars. She'd been replaced.

"Yes, Ruby, I'm still here, but you heard Pam, we gotta bounce."

I could tell by the way he was darting his eyes, that his senses were going haywire, he can smell, see and feel so much more now. And in those words, Ruby became more distraught, she knew that face. It is the one he wears when his ears are closed, and his mind has put up barriers to all new information. So, no matter what she said it will only push him further away.

"Will I see you tomorrow night?" Ruby did her best to wish him well with the voice that sounds like her, but it isn't.

"That depends, I ain't makin no promises." She took a step towards him and he took a step back. "I gotta adjust to being vampire now-mamma."

She doesn't understand, her scent is making him hungry and he did not want to hurt her. His words caused a transition in her, the bitterness is rising like bile in her mouth and at that moment, she became the person she never wanted to be.

"Consider yourself lucky, most humans never see their loved ones again after they become vampire." Pam voiced coolly, her hands placed firmly on her hips.

Ruby turned on Pam like an enraged panther. "Lucky!?- Fuck you-you skinny ole pasty bitch!"

"Mamma!" Lafayette sneered.

The blue-eyed vampire shrugged and smirked, she'd been called much worse many times before.

A stony glare carved into the old woman's dark eyes. Fury blurred her sight, she tightened her jaw and glared at her son.

"I wish yawl vampires would have let him die." The words flew from her mouth that she never thought she'd even think, let alone say out loud. She knew instantly from the look in his eyes that they'd hit their mark. In that instant, their relationship shattered into glassy shards.

"I am dead- Pam... can we go now." His expression was stoic as the former Medium turned his back to her.

Ruby wanted to beg, plead, get down on her knees and tell him that she was sorry, but her pride wouldn't allow it.

So, the first-time Sire and her newborn-vampire sped away into the darkness and nothing would ever be the same again.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

Eric had taken a liking to his late father's colonial style house and had generously spent a small fortune on renovations; The sculptures had been made long ago by masters of the craft, they were set on pedestals amid the water of the fountains. The property beheld manicured hedges, it's architecture, splendid, it's gardens plush and manicured to perfection.

He didn't stop there, inside the home he built a grand-hall, there were paintings on the walls that belonged in the Louvre, sculptures of ancient vampire monarchs in very primal positions in each corner. In the middle of the marble floor was a water-fountain, streaming red colored water from a stone woman's neck.

The grand-hall could comfortably seat over two dozen monarchs. And for the final touch, he purchased an ornate table at Christie's; the monstrous marble table was smooth it had the lustrous quality of well porcelain plate. The dark cherry wood chairs are smooth, with a lustrous quality of well-waxed wood and cherubs chiseled into the sides.

Still, the house is just that – a house, it is no longer a home. Although the house is fully functional, with the top of the line residence will be used for meetings and events only; no one will ever reside in Godric's first Louisiana house again.

And now that it is midnight, the meeting of the Monarchy shall begin...

The King stood at the head of the table, his arms folded over his broad chest; observing the Council.

He had called upon this meeting, knowing without a doubt that someone had information about the attack on Fangtaisa, perhaps the invasion of his home too. He needed the entire Council in one room so that he and his brothers could figure out who the traitor or traitors were. There were 24 monarchs and chancellors, minus Salome who would have made 25 and over 300 Sheriffs; the ones before him were the oldest, most powerful- politically and supernaturally; if anything of importance happens, they would either know about it or be the cause of it.

He interrupted the chatter by pretending to clear his throat. Once he had everyone's attention, he spoke.

"As you are all aware, two nights ago Fangtaisa was destroyed." Eric began.

"So, your sordid nightclub was bombed, why is this any concern to us?" Violet clipped abruptly, her thick Polish accent was rich with contempt.

"If you'd shut the fuck up, I'd tell you." Eric hissed sharply.

"Bawahahahahaha..." Franklin guffawed, unable to contain his laughter, he saw that wisecrack coming from a mile away. Violet huffed like a child but remained silent. The master in the craft of investigation had extensive information about all the Chancellor's and Ms. Violet Muzurski, Queen of Florida was one to be noticed. Born in 1170 A.D, Violet is a very powerful vampire. She exerts control over others through fear and manipulation. She was the second oldest queen and believed to be friends with the fugitive vampire Salome Agrippa. Violet places at number 1 on the list of Chancellor's that the dark-haired vampire does not trust. Besides his brothers, everyone at the table is possible suspects. Everyone has a price and it has never been known how wealthy Agrippa is. Salome could have paid off several Sheriffs, possibly Kings and Queens.

Eric and Eggs do not feel the same way; They trust Godric's longtime allies - King of Missouri, Desmarais and the Queen of Georgia, Ruth Mare, they would be of assistance in this predicament.

"We all must remain vigilant. I believe this was not an attack against me, but an attack against all vampires and soon others will be targeted."

"What evidence do you have to support your claim?" Cynfael asked, his expression marred clear concern.

"I cannot reveal my source, but I can assure you that the information is reliable," Eric replied, miffed that Cynfael would even ask such a question.

"And why would anyone seek to harm us?" Aleron asked, "We have no enemies, but your Witch, she has many." He said the word witch as if it were a curse word.

Several nodded in agreement. Others glanced knowingly at one another. The Council was confident in Eric and his brother's leadership, thus the reason the trio were appointed. However, the King's wife and her family raised great concern; all had heard the rumors; Aether and her subjects had many enemies, very powerful and formidable enemies. Some felt that the Vampire Kings involvement with the Supreme and The Coven would eventually become problematic. This incident was further proof of that.

"Watch your tongue Aleron," Eric growled.

"Is it not true." Aleron, retorted, his tone full of disdain. "Your witch is the reason for the upheaval in our society."

"That is enough Aleron." Eric's sneered threateningly.

"Aleron", Egg's interjected, "It would be wise to allow Eric to finish speaking before making accusations."

Of course, Aleron, King of Texas was not about to back down, if none of the others would speak up and say what they were thinking, he would do so for them.

"Because of that bitch, we are divided; your dusky little magician caused many true-deaths!"

Every word stung only fueling the fire that burned inside of him. Every violated phrase was like gasoline to it, his fists began to clench, and his jaw rooted.

"That human mongrel is the cause of Godric's true-death."

When the final word had been added to the blazing inferno inside of him...

The room just went black.

At first, there was silence- his mind became as static, a misty haze upon the horizons of his mind. Fanged, gritted teeth from an effort to remain silent, a hunched form exuded an animosity that was like acid - burning, slicing, potent.

King Eric exploded with anger, with no control, objects levitated and broke. Eric was watching himself, he was moving in slow motion, yet he was still moving too fast for anyone to catch him or flee. People dropped to the floor as the primeval instinct took over.

His eyes set on his target.

Aleron's filthy-lying-tongue.

The blond watched himself pry open the other vampire's mouth, dislocating Aleron's jaw in the process and even though the five-hundred-year-old vampire wailed in excruciating pain, Eric could not hear him; he dug in and ripped out his tongue. Blood sprayed everywhere. Aleron was no longer able to scream, he gurgled and flailed wildly as Eric stuffed his mangled tongue down his blood-filled throat.

"Nous sommes un mon frère, maintenant revenir à nous."

The familiar voice roused him from the fury-filled trance and he listened to the command.

"Nous sommes un mon frère, mon frère." Every inflection and every atonement are commanding, it corrects, and commends and most of all it is full of love.

When the fog that clouded his mind subsided, Eric was face to face with his youngest brother.

"Bienvenue, retour, frère." The handsome, hazel-eyed vampire smiled. Eggs never argued with his fists, but his words packed a powerful punch. Carefully spoken, without drama, his words had an air of finality to them and no matter how hard Eric railed against them, he was compelled to listen. Eric became nostalgic, it was Godric who taught his Maryland born brother French. As his rage subsides they'll help him heal, calm and come back, he thanked the gods for his brothers.

"I think this meeting is adjourned." Eggs turned to the five remaining vampires who were still seated; shocked into immobility and silence.

Aleron weakly rose from his chair, his eyes flashed with indigence and anger towards the tall, cerulean eyed vampire before he sped away. The pain from his attack was still there, but the feeling of being humiliated was far worse, it was a pain that would never subside.

"Well, you sure gave Aleron something to suck on." Franklin chuckled.

"Hannibal Lecter, please contact the cleaning service and leave a voice mail for services at dawn." Eggs quipped at his brother.

Their banter was crude, and they insulted each other often, but that was the way it was with them, no insults meant you really weren't part of the crew. You had to have a nick-name too, and, it wouldn't reflect your good qualities.

"Fine, Marrón Huevos, after which, I'm headed to the Coven to see what our trouble making magi's are up too."

"And I shall take Draco Malfoy home." Eggs chuckled.

They had a weird type of banter, not only were crude insults taken as hard warming compliments but the unthinkable topics they talked would seem weird to outsiders that weren't inside their precious circle of non-common sense.

Chapter Text

ERIC POV

 

I smiled at my version of a domestic scene and felt my heart metaphorically warm. She was walking towards the staircase, gazing intensely at the leaves growing on a thin vine. To be in her company was to feel that you too were someone. I walked over to her silently and kissed the top of her head.

"What happened last night?" She asked smiling up at me.

"After being turned by Godric, we wandered the world in search of adventure, coming to rest in the most unusual of places. After a century or so, Godric became bored with me and left me alone to my own devices. For decades, I was lonely, hungry, sexually deprived and wanting a companion of my own. And then I met a girl, she was beautiful, her raven mane fell over her shoulders like silk, her eyes were a deep amber, the rim of dark oak and her voice rang rapturous from plump lips. It was the first time I had ever been in love. I tried to turn her the very first time we made love, but I took too much blood. My blood could not revive her, and she was gone- forever. I never thought I would see her face again. Then I met you, Tara, you are just like her, but more so. More beautiful, more demanding, more everything - everything you do is pure poetry to me."

My words triggered her skeptic nature; curiosity splayed across her lovely face; she took in a deep inhale and said, "I suppose we can talk about the vampire meeting later." Her sweet voice sang to me as her hand gently brushed my chest. "Meet me at our special place - okay."

She vaporized into that miraculous white mist and she was gone. And as fast as I could, I flew out of the house to meet her. The orange glow floods in the deeply wooded area, yet we're quite safe from prying eyes. As always, she wears white lace, so soft over her dark skin, obsidian hair tumbling to the small of her back. The sight of her is breathtaking; Tara's umber skin is tawny in the sunlight.

I took small furtive steps towards her, sucking in the air greedily as I could taste her moisture on it. Her hand alights on my face, moving down past my collar bone. Already my brain is on fire, she's my angel, my angel with fingertips of flame. Tara is the spark to my flame, the one who keeps me burning; my light should have been extinguished long ago. I was so scared everything would change when we married, but if anything, it's made our sex so much deeper, more sensual.

I knelt in front of her. The only thing between us now was a flimsy piece of material. I ran my hands up her legs, from her smooth ankles to her velvety thighs. When my hands reached her panties, she stiffened. So, I slowed down - I reached up and pulled her down, laying her down in front of me and spread her legs. I kissed her panties, again and again, licking through the material, tasting the fresh wetness, sucking it from the silk. She squirmed and moaned as I sunk my fangs lightly into her pelvic region, nipping softly, sucking at the joining of her two fluids. It was the most intensifying drink I had ever had. My nostrils flared, and my hips bucked unconsciously. I pulled back, afraid that I may have my first premature eruption.

Only Tara can do this to me.

"Eric, I can sense your passion, your pain and your fear, I am apart of you and you of me." 

She said, her words causing me to become even harder.

"Lover, your words bring out the deep pain I have buried in my bones, drawing the poison of years into my blood." I murmured, kissing her thighs, adroitly exploring her body with my mouth. "Your laughter and touch remove it, pulling it into my skin, allowing what was toxic to evaporate like morning dew." I'm kissing her plump lips now her body, writhing against my hardness. "Should we be apart please halt your kind words, stop bringing out more than my blood can take, for then all I can do is bury it a new and wait for you to bring the medicine of your hands, of the connection of our souls."

She relaxes completely, and we have wild, passionate, primal sex for hours.


TARA POV

 

My painted toes dig the earth - the grass around is damp rather than wet and the meadow is taller than I've ever seen it; it's a riot of color; the beautiful blue cornflowers, scarlet poppies, white asters, and even the thistles, speak to me in the summer-set fields.

The sun had barely risen, and Eric always savors the sky and the rays that radiated from the golden orb as pretty as any fresco. He watches as my breaths rise in visible puffs and though there is a cool wind, still, we are warm with one another.

As Eric thrusts inward, all I see is his face, the leaves above and the sky; his golden hair fell forward in tousled locks; he stretched up his hand to the sky and let the soft amber glow of the sunrise pour through his fingers and onto his upturned face. His warmth seeped into my being and he comforted me without ever opening his mouth. I melt into him like ice-cream on a warm porcelain bowl, as I belonged next to him like he belonged next to the sun itself.

This is our favorite place to have sex; we really should be all silk sheets and petals, but I don't care and neither does he. Eric missed the sun for over a thousand years and since the day I gifted him with my element; he has vowed not to miss a sunrise or sunset again. This memory will be what gets us through our life; it will be the reason behind our grins.

After recovering from our mind-blowing sex, I had only one thing on my mind.

"What did the Kings and Queens say about the bombing at Fangtaisa?" I asked, in a voice that was barely audible.

"You'd rather talk about my meeting instead of basking in the sun?" He murmured, evading my questioning once again.

"It must have been some meeting because you and Eggs were covered with blood when he drove you home...Why did he drive you home?" I questioned, propping myself up on the elbows, so I could peer into his baby blues. "Now I'm not the brightest bulb on the streets, but I know something awful happened."

"You truly are no longer able to read my thoughts?" He asked.

"Have I ever faked anything with you?"

"Never - You have always been a true lover."

"And I always will, so tell me, baby, what happened..." I poke Eric's nose and hold him close, brushing a strand of blonde hair away from his face.

His mind was still a surging perplexity. And it seemed to take forever before he finally spoke.

"The meeting had just commenced, when Aleron, King of Texas began his disrespectful tirade."

The way he said the name Aleron, I knew that vampire was the cause of his concerns.

"Disrespectful? In your house...the nerve of Aleron! I spat out his name hatefully, in support of my man. "Well, what did he say to upset you?"

Eric paused for another long moment, which felt like an eternity and then he said. "He called you a dusky bitch, proclaimed you were the cause of all my troubles, even Godric's death."

"Why that son of a..." I snapped in anger, but before I could finish he continued.

"Of course, he had to pay for such lies and outright disrespect, and my plan was to strike him, as I would my own child when she disrespects me, but something happened..." Eric said, staring off into a faraway place. "I was no longer in control of my mind, my body. All went to complete darkness and when I regained sight, I found myself...watching myself."

I gasped. That's what it feels like when I teleport, travel between realms as well as perform several other Aether magic.

"Eggs said that I moved like you, casting things across the room with my mind- I teleported..."

"The Elders said this may happen, you picked up another one of my gifts." The elders said that through our bond are limitless possibilities.

He nodded, his handsome face was giving away all of his thoughts as usual.

"Damn baby, I bet you did some damage?" I exclaimed, and he nodded again in agreement.

"I ripped Aleron's tongue out of his head and shoved his severed appendage down his throat."

"WHOA! Nibble on that biatch!" I chuckled. "I bet Aleron won't be talking shit about me anytime soon."

"Perhaps not my love, but keep in mind, if he was not our enemy before last night, I assure you that he is now." He whispered, holding me in a firm embrace.

"True." I sighed, caressing his firm chest, I love to touch him - anywhere and each time before we parted the aching to be in his arms would begin anew. Eric's, arms are the only antidote I have in this world.

Right now, I feel safe and all I can do is add Aleron to my list of enemies.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

The next day was littered with confusion and chaos, and this was just breakfast. At the coven, Nora and Sookie were freaking out about what Franklin and Bill told them the other night.

"Vampires are conspiring to divide the alliance between the witches and wolves."

"Why would they do this Nora?" I asked, she knew I was scrutinizing her. Franklin and Bill's conspiracy theories are useless unless we know who the mastermind is or if the great divide can actually be accomplished. In all honesty, I wish they would have kept their fucking mouth shut. I hate it when those two get my girls panties all twisted unnecessarily.

"You know that it was a vampire who bombed Fangtasia, they're blaming the wolves, saying it was the coven paid them to do it!" Sookie was beside herself with all the rumors and upheaval; she's never been the one to handle stress well.

"Does Bill have any proof of that Sook.?" She'd believe that the blue sky was polka-dotted if Bill told her so.

"We don't need the proof when we already have the motive," Nora chimed in. "I can tell you why some vampire would do this. There are so many reasons but the main one is power, the second is retaliation. Whoever is after us, wants us divided, that is the only way they can conquer."

I nodded, that makes sense, Nora always makes sense.

"That night when the witch hunters broke into my house, Absalom broke through the realm." I'm not sure why I chose to confess that now. But there was never going be a good time to give them the bad news. A chorus of gasped echoed in the breakfast nook. Ruby frowned; Sookie looked visibly shaken and Nora was furious, she peered my way, face resolutely unimpressed.

"This happened the same night as the bombing, didn't it?" She questioned but didn't wait for my response, she already knew the answer. "You saw us the very next day and said nothing... at all" She stood and began to pace the room in frustration, "Would if Absalom had decided to visit us last night? We would have been completely blindsided. As Aether, it is your duty to be our beacon, to shine the light on the darkness."

"Nora, I took care of it. I didn't tell you because I don't want our people living in fear. I want them to feel safe and secure."

"Nothing has changed with you, Tara..." She sneered at me, her face reddened with anger.

"Nora..." I began, but I really didn't know what to say, she was right after all. I should have told them. 

"How many of us will have to die before you realize that we are all in this together." Her eyes began to water with tears and she stood from her seat. 

"Nora wait..." I stood and reached over for her shoulder, she jerked herself away, turned and left the kitchen nook.  

"Let her go," Ruby said calmly, just as I was about to walk out of the room. "I'm pissed too, I knew those assholes were witch hunters but how could you not tell me about Absalom."

I sighed in defeat. "OKAY!" I shout out in exasperation, "I get your point, if Absalom shows her hideous face again, I will post it on my Instagram, Facebook and my Twitter account OKAY!"

"This is all got to be connected somehow," Sookie mumbled. "This is no coincidence."

"I think you are right Sook and tonight we need to all meet, our vampires, wolves and the entire coven. We need to find out what everybody knows."

Sookie nodded her agreement and left; I won't see her until Bill rises for the night.

"I agree with that too, until then, I want to show you something." My aunt took a leisurely sip of her coffee and a nibble of her cranberry orange scone.

"Can it wait until later?" I asked, "Since this is an impromptu meeting, I want to make sure all the leaders are available. Alcide and his counsel need a formal invite, and I'll send the vampires an urgent text, I hope it's the first thing they read at dusk."

"You'll want to have this information at the meeting." She said, grabbing another scone and pulling it apart. She took a bite, smiled, chewed, swallowed and took another sip of her tea. 

She took another bite of her scone. 

"Well, what is it?" I snapped impatiently.

"Sit down and have something to eat, you could use some meat on ya bones." She snicked and popped a piece of food into her mouth. 

"My meat and bones are just fine Ruby," I swear she is getting battier by the minute. She hasn't handled Lafayette turning very well and I've done my best to help, but with Ruby, nothing is ever really helped. "Would you just tell me already." I sighed, folded my arms and waited.

She glanced at me, rolled her eyes and then took another sip of coffee. She knows what she's doing. She waited for the vein in my forehead to show before she finally spoke.

"I have a The Black Pullet and The Voynich Manuscript."

"OMG! The Pullet and the Voynich...How...Ruby." Unbelievable, she's sitting there sipping her coffee with her pinky finger in the air as if it's no big deal to be in the possession of the most powerful Grimoires in the world.

"Give them to me now! Naomi will need to find as many counterspells as possible."

"She already has the Voynich, she's working on something that will knock their socks off. There's nothing useful to our fight in the Pullet, that book is strictly for us clairvoyants."

"Enjoy your breakfast, Auntie." My voice and expression could not hide my annoyance.

"Stay humble niece."  she sassed, sipping her coffee evenly.

I got the hell out of there as fast as I could. I love my aunt, but she gets on my goddamn nerves.

The sun was already a friendly ball of yellow above, promising more heat as the day progressed. All in all, I couldn't have asked for better weather. I left the twins with Cathy and I walked the gravel path behind the mansion to the cabins Alcide and his pack members resided. The single men in his ever-growing pack, the ones Alcide deemed tamed and responsible are housed in the modern two-bedroom cabins located at the furthest end of the property.

Although Alcide is my coven's knight and shining armor and a true ally to our family, my relationship with the handsome pack leader has been a challenge. I didn't see him for an entire year due to the fact that Eric had glamoured him into deeming me the most repulsive creature on the planet. It was Laffy who figured it all out. Last Halloween, my Coven threw a party and everyone was there, wolves vampires and witches, all mingling and having a good time. I was dressed as a Jabba's Princess Leia, chain and all, the costume included the sexy bra top, briefs with skirt, belt, choker, armband, hair clips, and headpiece. I was hotter than a firecracker on the 4th of July and not one straight man or gay woman in the room could keep their eyes off of me, except for Alcide. He told Lafayette that I looked like Jabba The Hut with lipstick! At that point, we all knew what was up. I immediately had Nora reverse the glamor, but it didn't mend our friendship. He hated Eric for glamorizing him and rightfully so, but I never could figure out why he still kept his distance from me after that. Avoiding me at all cost... I suppose he feels it's best, due to Eric's behavior, or perhaps he feels I should be the one to come to him. Well, this has been the first time in two years that I must speak to him face to face, so maybe, just maybe we can mend our broken friendship now.

I knocked on the first of six cabins and waited patiently. I closed my eyes and drew in a lung full of the woodland air.

"Tara." Although his face held no sign, I could sense his mood changing, he was happy to see me; wolves are so easy to read.

"Alcide, hi..." He's wearing a grey wife-beater, dark blue jeans, and Timberlands. His hair is longer and his beard is thicker, and I swear he's even more toned and muscular than before.

"Come in," His mouth twitched like he wanted to smile.

"How are you," I asked, stepping into his cozy cabin and following him to the living room. He and his men built these impressive, yet simplistic, rustic log cabins themselves.

"I'm fine, and you."

"Good..."

"Take a seat anywhere you like," he motioned towards the chocolate brown microfiber sofa sectional. "Can I get you something to drink, I have water and coffee."

"No thank you, I just had breakfast with the girls," I said and took a seat on the couch.

"So, what brings you by?" He asked sitting in the chair across from me. His arms folded over his chest. I thought I'd start out with an appetizer, well sort of small before I got to the meat and potatoes.

"Lafayette is a vampire now."

"I heard..."

"Really, it was only a few nights ago."

"What can I say, news travels fast in the Supe-world. I haven't seen him yet."

"No shit." I smiled, feeling his excitement and curiosity for my cousin. I felt the same way. I couldn't wait to see what type of vampire he would be. Although it was of a wolfs nature to dislike vampires, Alcide remained tolerant and taught his pack the same. He and I realize as Supes we are the minority and must stick together. Now that Godric has built a legacy, the vampires will have to come around...I hope...

"Was there anything else..." He asked ready to help in any way he could, that is another trait of his that I admire. I open my eyes wider, keeping the smile. He nods and takes a sip of his coffee, offering no ongoing conversation of his own, so I begin again.

"I'm holding a meeting tonight with all the high-ranking officials in my coven, all of Eric's trusted vampires and of course you and any wolf you'd like to attend. I believe that a vampire or vampires are trying to compromise the alliance between the coven, the wolf packs and the vampires."

"How so..."

"Bill and Franklin said that vampires are blaming wolves, saying that witches ordered the attack."

"That makes no fucking sense." He scoffed, "what would be the gain for wolf or witch?"

"Nothing, I think it was a tactic, a way to break the trust. I know it's working because I was totally slandered at the last Vampire meeting."

"This is bullshit, fucking fangers are never going to trust us, they don't even trust each other."

"That's why we'll have the meeting tonight, have something to bring to the table and assure them that you and your pack had nothing to do with this, and I will do the same."

"We shouldn't have to do that, it's not us that's the problem."

"I know, but the problem will have an effect on us, so I choose to be a part of the solution. Are you with me?"

"I made a promise to Godric that I'd always be there for the Coven, for you." His eyes were the color of deep sienna, with a mischievous glint that seemed to reflect the corners of his mouth, which were fighting a smile. His loyalty was like no other and my eyes lit up, a million new ideas were streaming through my brain. I'm seeing something new, something amazing like I knew I would. Now I'm as eager as ever to have this meeting.

"Thank you," I said, "And... I'm sorry for not coming around... I have no excuse. I clearly like you, in case you couldn't tell."

"I know." Alcide gave up hiding his smile and grinned in a way that melted my heart. "No apology necessary. We needed that time apart otherwise I would have felt like shit for hitting on a happily married woman."

I let the shock show on my face and I laughed. One of those deep, invigorating belly laughs. His behavior after that night made sense, he still held a strong desire for me and I'd be lying if I said I felt nothing for him.

"I've always felt connected to the witches, you know Lycans and Necromancers are the cursed ones."

"How so," 

"All wolves are descendants of Ancient Roman, King Lycaon offended the gods by serving human meat to them at dinner. The god Jupiter punished this misbehavior by transforming Lycaon into a werewolf. In his werewolf form, he could continue his abomination of eating human flesh with less offense. My ancestors abandoned cannibalism and fled to America to start over. For centuries, we were free from persecution until the vampires came to the new world and tried to enslave us, using there highly addictive blood as an encouragement tool. They manipulated many of us to revert to our old ways. The rest of the bloodsuckers stood by idly and watch the innocent witches burn, or worse, became another one of your persecutors."

I nodded, fully understanding where he was going with this. Vampires have had an obvious impact on the werewolf and in areas where Christianity was prevalent, being a werewolf was associated with witchcraft, the vampires used this to their advantage. Alcide is conflicted, he wants to move on from the past, but some vampires make that difficult. It's no different than an African American trying to move past the horrible injustices of slavery.

"We are not just a dumb beast like most vampires think we are. Over the years we've lost our way but look at us now. We've become a pack, a true pack, we are unstoppable. My father, brothers and I have Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas are all united, no flesh-eaters, no V-addicts.

"That's amazing Alcide."

"It's because of you Tara, watching you become a leader inspired me."

"I don't know what to say Alcide." Although Alcide is a gorgeous specimen of a man, He's not usually the kind of guy I fantasize about. For starters, he's brunette and I've always liked blondes. I lust after blue-eyed men and Alcides are rich browns like my own. But my god, there is something about this man that draws me in like a moth to a flame. I'm going to get burned...

"You don't have to say anything," his brown eyes turned bright hazel and twinkled like embers in a flame. I candidly recalled the time when that used to frighten me. But my heart was racing for a different reason now.

"I'd better go now." I stood on weak knees and tried not to walk too fast towards the door.

"I'll see you tonight." He said and walked up to me slowly and pulled me closer to him wrapping his strong arms around me, gently rubbing my shoulders. His body was warm like a hearth, my body instantly melted into his.

"Yes, tonight, I will text you the exact time."

We hugged again for goodbye.

Chapter Text

 

Pamela POV

Last month was that last time I thought I'd see of the snarky medium. He completely upstaged my sexy new toy; so, I kicked his sassy ass out of my bar for his infraction. She'd made one too many people, one to many horrible drinks and RuPaul had had enough. He was right, Crystal is dumber than a box of hair, but he had some nerve telling her so in my company.

"What's going on here? ," I asked as I approached the two. Even though it was apparent to all that I had heard everything from the throne and I had come over to settle the matter.

"This one might be better at taking drink orders or dancin the poles, cause she can't even make a simple whiskey sour." He took a sip from the little red straw and furrowed his lips in disgust. "I came around the bar to find her a measuring cup." He tried handing over his drink to the girl, but she crossed her arms, her face furrowed in frustration. Several patrons pipped up and agreed with Lafayette's drink critiques, forcing me to take action.

I snatched the drink from his paws and pressed the glass to Crystal's savory pink lips, "Drink," I ordered the blonde-haired gash and she opened her pretty little mouth, sipped and swallowed, the drink barley passed her throat and she was she was coughing and gagging.

I raised my eyebrow in rueful revelation, she'd promise me last night when we fucked, that she needed no training, she claimed to be the best barmaid in the parish.

Lying little cunt.

"I'm really nervous," she whined, "everyone is coming at me, especially him." She sneered and pointed towards Lafayette causing him to take a step back.

"I was trying to help you heffa." he snapped back, with his sassy ass.

"We don't need your help, sista, now bounce," I had the final snapped.

"Excuse me?" He placed his hands on his hips and shifted his weight to one side.

That's my signature gesture.

"So you gon just let her keep makin folks drinks that taste like ass and charging an arm and a leg."

I leered at him and he immediately took a step back, he's a smart human, he showed a respectable amount of fear without losing what made him so unique.

He's still got to go...

"I can do what the fuck I want, now leave my bar you whining little bitch," I hissed at him, pleased when his eyes went big and round.

I turned to Crystal, who seemed way too pleased that I had defended her. I had my reasons. That reason was, she's the only decent piece of ass in the bar tonight. "This is coming out of your pay, get your shit together, or find another job," I warned her.

"Okay," she sniffled, It looked like she was going to cry. I swear if this bitch cries, I'm throwing her ass out too.

Mr. Sass huffed, rolled his eyes while throwing up a peace sign, "This joint is turning into a whole new dimension of trash, "I'm out!" he shouted once he rounded the bar.

A few of my regulars laughed at his snide remark. His actions have not gone unnoticed. Reynolds has made quite a few acquaintances over the few years he's been coming around. One of my regulars, JB threw a few twenty-dollar bills on the bar.

"Drinks on me tonight, wanna come with us 'Laffy-Taffy'?"

"Aww, thank you JB…" 'Laffy-Taffy nodded at the homely man.

A handful of peons were leaving and I gave no fucks, I went back to my place on the throne.

"Cool, we can go to Rufty's, the beers is colder than titties in a brass bra." 'Laffy' sassed all the way through the bar, he had a way of making himself noticed. A chorus of laughter followed, JB, a few men and a butch looking chick followed.

"Who you think you are queer?" One of my intoxicated patrons seemed displeased with the slight disruption Lafayette had created. I think his name is Rich and I know he's hoping his little move will please me. He's wrong. His very presence disgusts me. Rich stood from his seat, face to face, he was considerably larger than Lafayette, but that did not seem to faze the 'Laffy-Taffy' one bit. His group stood close by his side, they were truly entertained and eager to see what would happen next.

As was I...

"Oh, you know who I is big bear," Lafayette snickered and snapped his manicured fingers a mere inch from the man's gruff, unshaven face, "now go back to dry humping and buying this dead bitch overpriced drinks."

"And if I don't?" The man growled.

"Then you gonna have to go home to your momma and tell her you got ya ass whipped by a faggot at a vampire bar."

Layfette reached into his pocket and discreetly slid brass knuckles on his fist, I signaled to the bouncer and as he approached, Rich got the message and took a seat.

My bouncer then politely escorted 'Laffy-Taffy' and the group of assholes out the door.

"Let's go, peeps, I hope ya'll ready for dessert. I ain't gonna tell ya'll what it is, but best believe it's gonna be flamin." He promised the group as they walked along the parking lot. His little entourage laughed, cheered and kissed his ass some more. "We'll stay at Rufty's for five minutes. Ten if they got someone there who can make a decent drink."

"I'm not sure I like Pam anymore, after the way she treated you," JB stated, he obviously is swinging for that team.

"Hey, didn't your cousin save her life?" The butch chick asked him and it pissed me off. I was compelled to fly out and snap her neck just for knowing my life was owed to that erratic little thunder-cat named Tara.

"That's just Pam... She can scare the rust out of a junkyard, but for the most part, she's our spoiled brat." Laffeyette answered.

'Our spoiled brat'...interesting...

I wish I could have heard more, but they all loaded into JB's SUV and left.

And for the next several months' everything was numbingly boring.

I found myself hoping for some sort of intrigue. At this point, anything would do. It was three years ago this night that my clan battled gloriously in Baton Rouge, and then again in New Orleans. I don't need that much action, but damn...I want…something…Boredom wasn't a new concept for me. At my age, boredom had become as much a standard for me as blood and fucking. That was the routine with Eric and me for centuries. Although my Sire has not released me, he might as well, now that he has become a lapdog I am forced to forge on alone.

How did I get to this level of dreariness?

This is the third fucking time I'd kicked my legs free of groveling peons the smell of their desperation is sickening.

Unwilling to suffer being pawed at by the meat any longer, I scan the bar, in my own desperate attempt for something...anything...Of course, there was no one, so I proceed to the office for a quick review of the books. Eric still handles the majority of the finances and once a month we go over them in order to keep track of the expenses and to make sure our accountant is doing her job.

"Well hey, there sugar boo-boo. Now, what is you doing here at yo place of work? Cause I know it ain't work."

Like me, he is overflowing with wit; oddly enough I often find myself at parallels with him. I tried to scowl at him, but the corner of my lip twisted just enough to put the medium at ease. He moseyed or shall I say strutted his impeccably dressed ass into my office. He looked fabulous. I'd tried to get Eric that same cape, but he thought it was cliché. He always seems to surprise me. I truly thought that last month was the last I'd see of him.

"I'm doing my part...why aren't you out there complaining about my overpriced drinks and seeking out your next lay."

He kicked his feet up onto my desk and crossed his legs making sure I noticed the red sole of his impeccable shiny black patent leather shoes.

"If Eric is getting money, he needs to be putting in work, all I see is you working and him collecting."

"That's cause you only see what we want you to see, if you saw anymore, we'd have to remove your eyes."

"Tell me, do you enjoy livin' halfway up Eric's ass the way you do?"

"Yes, it's nice. You should try it sometime."

"Well, you go ahead on, hookah with your badass. Good for you. I had to learn early on that it ain't possible to live unless you crossin' somebody's line." He smiled at me, his lips shined with a thick coat of clear gloss.

"Let me tell you something girlfriend, please remember I can rip your throat out if I need to. And also know that I am not a hooker. That was a long, long time ago."

"I find it hard to imagine yo ass was ever a human."

"Thank you hun, now if you don't mind." I pointed to the door. Eric would arrive soon and needed to finish my task so Lafayette's time was up.

"I guess that's my cue to leave, see you on the flip, "He stood, flawlessly swooshed his red and black oriental fan and waved it in front of his lash extensions. "I hope the barmaid has done her homework, I's thirsty."

"That makes two of us," I said, I couldn't hide my pleased reaction as he swished his black cape, and then the fan and sashayed out of my office.

That bitch is fabulous...


 

Lafayette  POV

I was feeling myself as I walked through the club, all eyes on me, human and vampire, they's all lovin me. My cape alone cost a week's wages, and I had to save for two months for the rest of the outfit, but it was worth it. I bopped my head to the music pumping, searching for an empty seat at the bar. I noticed that scrawny hoe from the last time wasn't working tonight. So, I happily swung my sexy ass on over to the bar, ordered my whiskey-sour and took a lil drank.

"Aww, shucky-duckey...this is fire!" I say to the gothy-gal behind the bar. She gave me a little smile and a nod and kept it movin.

I look around the bar and peep out the usual, or should I say the unusual, humans and vampires gettin juiced up to get they groove on and I am no exception.

"A warning must be sent out, the danger is near, we must not waste time." A gentle voice whispered from behind. I take a sip of my drink, I don't even bother to turn around, I can tell by his desperate voice - he ugly.

"I'm a bitch, not a snitch, love it," I replied.

"May I enter your body and warn them myself?" The pleading voice had the goddamn gall to ask. That's when I realized it was a ghost. I should have noticed the bartender didn't acknowledge him.

"I ain't Gmail for dead bitches. Send your own goddamned messages!" I whipped around to see what ghost dun found me now.

"Damn," I said aloud in surprise, I remember this one, he was the vampire momma communicated with a few years ago. And I need to check myself, he fine as hell.

"You okay, sir?" Shit, the bartender, thinks I'm talking to myself. I got to remember to just nod when the dead folk talks to me, that way it looks like I'm bobbing my head, at least that will work in this joint.

"Please medium, I've tried to reach Ruby, to no avail." He said.

"That's cause Ruby knows how to block ya'll ass, and that's one of those witchy lessons a medium has to learn on their own, so she says."

"This is a very important matter that must be addressed, many lives are in danger at this very moment." He warned, and there was no denying the concern on his face.

I down my drink, throw my ten dollars on the counter, then, take a long drag out of my cigar before snuffing it out. "Fine," I say, and stood to my feet, "but don't even try to enter my body. Just show me what you talkin about."

"Agreed." The vampire -ghost replied, turned and began to glide towards the back of the bar.

I check him out again, damn, if he was still of this earth I'd let his sexy little pale ass enter me.

He leads me towards the back entrance and we are looking out into the parking lot. Nothing looks out of the ordinary besides a black van parked way to close to the building.

"Someone in that van?" I ask.

The loading dock is on the other side, and I know from working in the business, all deliveries come during daytime hours.

"Yes, that man has planted explosives around the building and is waiting for his orders to detonate." He warned.

"How do you know this?" I whisper to the vampire-ghost...dumb question, but I'm beginning to panic.

"I haven't, the time to explain, his phone just rang, please, go inside now and get as many people out as you can."

My heart started to race, there is no reason, a vampire-ghost would lie, especially not this one. But what should I do? Should I go knock that sucka out in the van and ask questions later or should I run and tell Pam what her dead Grandpa said and let her handle it. Eric is a lot better at handling shit like this. I wonder if he's here yet? Tara said on first Friday's, he enters in at the front entrance, so his fans can get a close-up, he'll sit his fine ass on the throne and then close to closing time, he and Pam work the books.

I don't think to run my ass around the building and to my car. Instead, I take off, back inside, I guess the cape got me feeling like a superhero.

I'll be damn the first person I run into is Ginger. Her dumb ass screams cause I am a black man, running towards her. I swear if the blind bitch would wear her bifocals she'd be a halfwit.

"Ginger, get everyone out of the bar, there's a man about to blow shit up!"

That ditzy bitch screams again and runs down the hall.

"Fire!" I scream into the restrooms. The people that see me, recognize the panic on my face, they take me seriously and they run down the hall, I search the walls for the fire alarm, but I don't see a damn thing useful. I make it towards the end of the hall and I rush into the office.

"You better not be fucking with us," Pam crosses her arms at me from behind the desk.

"Pamela, sound the alarm now, the smell of his fear cannot be faked," Eric said, his eyes are wide with concern.

I was really shaking now, I've ever seen him show any kind of emotion. I see Pam's blur rush to the device on the wall, the siren wailed like a baby in distress, the kind of noise that makes you sick. I saw a flash of light that was quickly followed by a thunderous boom and everything went black.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

TARA POV

Jessica Mea and Godric II 

 

Aether's Coven- New Orleans

Guilt has a way of lingering, like a churning in your stomach. The feeling of my stomach dropping to the ground and rolling down the hill, frazzled nerves hopped all together, and in different directions. A fire burned in my mind and heart, when guilt is eating and pestering you, the time loiters like a bum...And even though nothing technically happened between Alcide and me, for a split second I thought about it.

And even though it was only a moment, and I only thought about kissing him, I still felt guilty as hell.

If the shoe was on the other foot and Eric was the one hugging on a beautiful woman and thinking about kissing her, I would be fucking livid. Thinking about the situation made it hard to go on with my day.

Back at the Coven, with my laptop and cell phone, I'm prepping for the big meeting at nightfall. I made my calls sent out my text, then emails, all the while the feelings of what happened a few hours ago just wouldn't dwindle.

"Hey, space cadet, what's got you so distracted?" Sookie chuckled, stepping into the kitchen.

"You're up early," I replied, changing the subject, quickly removing myself from my looming thoughts.

She smiled at me with her signature crooked smile. I smiled back at my lovely friend while clearing my mind the best I could. I felt Sookie's cognizance trying to read my thoughts. She was not being nosy, she cares for me and means no harm by her prying. Luckily, she just isn't powerful enough to dig in my mind, I was able to block her as I've always had. But I better watch it; I know Nora and Naomi can read my thoughts and sense my feelings with no problem at all.

"It's my turn to prepare dinner for the girls," Sookie answered while, mining the cupboards, pulling out pots and pans. "otherwise, you know I'd be tucked away with my snuggly Bill."

"Let me help," I said, closing my laptop. Cooking will keep my idle thoughts occupied until evening.

"Sure, I'm keeping it simple tonight." She said, scooping cornmeal into a mixing bowl. "Ham, white beans and homemade cornbread." She beamed at me and I beamed right back.

She measured her ingredients and at the same time, she wondered why I was not tucked away with Eric as I normally I would be.

Usually, after having breakfast with the Coven I'd fly or teleport back home to Shreveport, but it was already late in the afternoon and I couldn't sleep anyway. I won't be rested tonight and Eric is never happy about that. I just hope he understands and isn't an ass about it.

"Will you dice the ham?" She asked, her mind completely focused on her cooking task.

"Of course," I adore my country girl; Sookie had already soaked the beans the night before and had them slow cooking in the crockpot. The seasoned beans were done, now it's time to add the hame that is needed for that wonderful additional flavor.

I turned on the oven for her and started slicing and dicing the ham into cubes. Sookie was stirring the cornbread mixture the old fashion way.

This activity comes naturally with Sookie and I. We've spent so many days, chatting, venting, laughing. Together we would sort laundry, clean and prepare dinner. We didn't have to hide behind a mask, not of happiness, not of coping, she could be honest and get heartfelt advice. It was the release valve we both needed and though we bore no relation we regarded one another as sisters.

It wasn't long before the house was filled with the pleasant smells we had created. Soon its residents; girls and teens getting home from school, practice, or women coming home from work filled the dining room and kitchen. Ruby Jean walked into the kitchen area with my twins, each child at her side, holding her hand. My son and daughter were distracted by the commotion in the house until they captured a glimpse of me and rushed into the room, not minding anyone or anything else in their presence.

"Mommy!" They shouted excited, pleasantly surprised to see me up so early.

"Godric II and Jessica Mae," Once I pry my two little 'mini-me's' from my leg, I kneel and position them and myself, so we are all eye to eye, "haven't told you, absolutely no running in the house," I speak to them in a level tone.

"Yes, mommy," They both acknowledge the error appropriately and apologetically in unison.

Super cute.

"Good, now let's get ya'll something to eat," I went to the counter and began scooping the hot meal into bowls, while Sookie slices a couple of pieces of hot buttery cornbread.
"What a lovely sight, our Aether and her noblest progeny preparing dinner for the family," Nora sang as she practically waltzes into the room.

Everything she says sounds so regal due to her posh English accent. If Nora could have her way, the twins and I would live here. She's tried to convince Eric and me, but we won't waver. I love being with my people, but I don't think I could live here. My home with Eric is my sanctuary. Therefore, joining the Coven for breakfast or dinner at least twice a week always brings a smile to my High Priestess face.

We finished dinner a little after 7 PM, unsure of how long this meeting will last, we bid our circle a good evening. Cathy is in charge of the Coven, the twins and Misty when the four of us are out.

The power of four consists of Nora, Naomi, Ruby and myself. The three High Priestesses will be at my side as the perfect representation of our Wicca society. Any foe, supernatural or not who dares to lay hands on us will get molly-whopped with a blast of powerful magic.

Tonight, everyone had better be on their best behavior...Or else...

 



 

Godric's House Baton Rouge

Eric asked me via text to stay in the guest room until he arrives. He was being possessive as usual, and like a fool I allow it. No matter how hard I try, I can't make his thick-head understand that my scent has been cloaked by a powerful spell. Even if a vampire was stupid enough to get all crazy and try and stick their fangs in me, I'll barbeque the shit out of them.

Ala Paul Di Rizzio...

Franklin and Eggs are the first to arrive so Nora and Naomi join them in the main room. Pam and Lafayette were the next to arrive, so Ruby Jean went out to greet them.
I was proud of my aunt, she was polite, cordial and that's not easy for her and with Pam, it's nearly impossible. But Ruby Jean kept her cool and in turn, Lafayette was slowly warming back up to her. I read my aunts thoughts, she missed her son and desperately wanted to know if he still held any of his Brujo powers.

'Only time will tell, auntie.' I sent out encouraging words via telepathy and I felt her calm even more.

"Good evening beautiful one," Eric's silky voice crooned to me as he sauntered into the room.

He radiated dominance and natural confidence. I can never deny how arresting he looks. My eyes are glued to him. And when he looks at me; he leaves no doubt that he is positively smitten. I swear I will never grow tired of that face. Especially since I hadn't done anything special tonight; my color choice, purple. I decided to wear my lace V-neck, long-sleeve, swing dress.
He wore his signature V-Neck, black Tee, Black fitted denim jeans, and his dark polished boots.

"Good evening handsome," My heart leaped a little bit, and I smiled at him as he leaned forward and kissed my forehead.

"I can only assume waking alone was due to the arrangements of this meeting?" He said simply.

"Yes, I've been visiting, calling, texting and emailing all day," I pointed out. "I had a good meal, but didn't have time to sleep."

He smirked in response, that smug and cocky smirk that has taken my breath away from the moment I first saw it.

"I will make sure you sleep tonight." He said, soft and low, "It is time to begin our meeting, several council members have gathered and the wolves have arrived."

While Eric senses the presence of the vampires and wolves, along with the accompanying scent. I can hear the dark, predatory vampire musings and feel the wild, primitive impulses of the wolves.

All of it had me nervous as hell. I know what the vampires think of me. They're either hate me or fear me. You really don't want either of those feelings from a vampire. As for the wolves, besides Alcide, I don't know if I can trust the rest of his pack.

Eric and I entered the great-room side by side. And even though I had on my best poker face, I'm sure my nervousness could not be completely concealed.
Everyone invited showed; this was expected, if they did not, they would look suspicious. My mission tonight is to determine who is friend or foe. This is not an easy task, it's not as if the party responsible for bombing Fangtaisa is going to just confess. But, if I can find a motive, that will narrow the suspect pool.
I pretended to casually scan the room, anyone making eye contact would be greeted with a nod accompanied with a warm smile.

The wolves stood in the far corner of the room while the vampires sat at the round table. Since there is technically no more AVL, besides Bill and his public relations assistant Christopher Selivan; the vampire's order has reverted back to the original hierarchy. Present tonight is a combination of the Midwest and Southern council. There are Kings, Queens, Magistrates Chancellors, and Sheriffs. The vampires are dressed to impress, the suits tailored, the dresses designer. I sat in Godric's chair facing the crowd.

"Good evening," I cleared the lump forming in my throat, "I feel as though I need no introduction."

The room went silent and I froze. I began seeing an ominous aura of black, but could not locate the source. Sensing my fear, Eric took over.

"You need no introduction Magi, however, may I ask that my peers introduce themselves to Aether and Coven" He motioned with his hand to the back of the room where the wolves are gathered," I'd also like to ask the wolves to provide the council with an introduction."

He placed a comforting hand on my shoulder, providing me with some comfort in my agitated state. I could not understand why I was unable to pinpoint the source of danger. With my eyes only, I kept scanning the room.

"I am Sherriff Athanasius and this is my King Aleron."

Hearing the name Aleron was an additional surprise. I observed the vampire seated just a few feet away. He was not what I pictured at all. He favored the actor Robert Dinero.

"Your Magi, King Eric, please accept my apology, my behavior was uncivilized, my punishment was just." Now I was positively stunned. He was sincere as sincere could be.

"You are forgiven King Aleron." I nodded and smiled.

"Good evening Magi, I am Queen of Georgia, Ruth Mare, and this is my Chancellor Brielle Vesper." The beautiful red-head smiled at me, the Queen and her adorable Chancellor reminded me of vampire versions of Jessica and Willa.

"Your lovely Magi, I am King Colin Church, of Arkansas and Oklahoma." Colin looked like the actor Colin Ferrell, just replace the Irish accent for a thick southern one.

"Your Magi, I am Ezekiel Cole-King of North Carolina and South Carolina." He was tall and black, he reminded me of Lawrence Fishburne.

"Your Magi, I am King Zacchaeus of Virginia and West Virginia." He looked like a very well-polished Woody Allen.

"Your lovely Magi Aether, I am King Desmarais of Missouri and Illinois, at my side is Chief Monarch Calliope of area 7 and 8.

Eggs and Franklin have mentioned these vampires over the years. They are deemed friends and from the vibes, I'm getting, they are true.

"Magi Aether I am King Cynfael of Kentucky and Tennessee."

King Cynfael reminded me of the French actor Jean Reno. He came across as cold and aloof, but I knew better. His thoughts were elsewhere, he was deeply worried about his progeny whom he'd recently released.

"I'm Queen Violet Muzurski of Florida." The dark-haired woman dressed in a little black dress stood with her hands on her hips, casting lust-filled eyes at Eric as if he was the only one in the room.

So Rude.

Her assembly waited a moment, thinking, possibly hoping she would introduce them as the other Kings and Queens had done, but she did not. When I didn't reply she began glaring at me as if I stole something from her. I glared right back at that skank and still didn't give her a response. 

"Your Magi, I am Chief Monarch Idris Eoghan of Florida, and this is my Sheriff Rune Saxon of area 3."

"Nice to meet you, Chief Idris and Sheriff Rune," I cut my eyes from the rude queen and smile at the two men, not giving any fucks about Violet. She may be an aloof snob, but she means us no harm.

"Your Magi, I am King Russell Edgington of Mississippi and Alabama, this here is my handsome progeny Talbot Angelis." I get a very uneasy feeling with this one. With all the other vampires, I feel something, although most just small, tidbits, others, more direct thoughts, but at least it's something. With this vampire, I get nothing, absolute, nothing, as if he has some kind of cloaking spell placed on him. I send out a telepathic message to my Priestesses.

"Keep an eye on the one called Russell."

Surprisingly, two vampires are listening in.

"Yes, lover." Answers Eric.

"You mean the queer in the crush velvet jacket"

"OMG, Laffy-Taffy, you can hear me!"

"Yes, hookah and even yo mind is loud."

Nora and Naomi giggle and proceed with the orders given. Aunt Ruby is elated, but she keeps her cool. Ruby Jean is a soldier when it comes to protecting the Coven, so she can't focus on her son right now as she is on a mission. Now that my crew is on the vampires' watch I can assess the wolves.

Alcide steps forward confidently, dressed in a dark blue Henley shirt, dark blue jeans, and tan Timberland boots and makes quick work of the introduction by explaining the wolf's hierarchy and how this pack came to be.

"My name is Beta Alcide Herveaux, the group gathered here tonight are the Alphas, Betas, Deltas, Warriors and Lunas of the now combined Jackson, Shreveport and New Orleans packs."

Alpha is the pack leader, and beta is the next in command, it is usually a father and oldest son, but this is not always the case. A Luna is the First lady of the Beta or Alpha, only the wife or mate of an Alpha or Beta can be addressed as a Luna. A Delta is third in command and is like a Mayor and General. Then there are the soldiers who are called Warriors and wolves believe in mysticism, and they have their shamans who are addressed as Healers.

When so many of Jackson and Alcide's men became addicted to V a few years ago and refused to sober up,  Alcide asked his father for help. His father followed the old law and killed several wolves as punishment, but killing them did not seem to stop the epidemic. Distraught at what was happening with his pack, Alcide stepped down from his position as Alpha. He could have remained Alpha, but that would have involved killing the insubordinate wolves. He decided to leave his pack to his father Jackson. In turn, his father combined both packs, they gave the reaming pack a choice, get clean or go rogue. Over a dozen men left the pack. Still, the Herveaux's have united the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas wolves, making them the largest wolf pack in North America.

Alcide told me that two rouge packs still remain, rouge packs are packs who reside by their own rules, this doesn't necessarily make them bad, but their activities are a lot less known. Alcide held his belief that the only pack he felt was capable if involved with anything bad was the former Jackson pack that was ostracized.

"Tara...I mean... Magi..." I tried not to giggle, but it tickled me the way he fumbles his words like that with me. "This is Alpha Jackson Herveaux and Luna Carol Herveaux."

Alcides mother is beautiful, he has her deep brown eyes. His father was rugged and handsome, their aura was pure just like their son.

"Magi Tara, this is my Delta Bly Eyota and my Lead Warrior Reijo." Mr. Herveaux announces and his two dark-haired men stepped forward and nodded at me. Although these two wolves look dangerous, I sense the same pureness in them as I did in Mr. and Mrs. Herveaux.

"Magi Tara, please meet our Healer Sun Hill and her daughter Rikki Naylor-Hill." Luna Carol says with a smile. Both ladies greet me warmly. It seems Luna Carol is on a matchmaking mission tonight, she is wanting to hook her son up with that stunning wolf-chick named Rikki and Ms. Hill is on the same page. 

Alcide nor Rikki have a clue as to what their mothers are up too.

The meeting concludes at little after midnight and I don't have to use magic to know that Eric has something to share about his observations and conversations, myself included.

Chapter Text

 

 TARA POV

It took a while before all the vampires and wolves left that night. I watched them all as best as I could. Everyone was pretty readable except one.

"We need to watch Russell," I warn the group, "I have the feeling he was the cause of the black aura I saw; he was the only vampire who's thoughts I could not read." Our group I dubbed 'Godric's OG's (original gangsters)' sat at the round table.

"Black auras are associated with very powerful dark magic," Nora confirmed, "A mind cloaking spell is definitive proof."

"Pamela, order your deputies to follow Edgington and report back to Eggs with your findings," Eric commands Pamela.

Pam nods pulls out her phone and begins texting area sheriffs. They will need to head to Mississippi and Alabama right away.

"I'm looking for that type of spell in my Grimoire," Ruby added.

"I'd be more interested in finding the sorcerer who placed it," I say, taking a seat next to my Aunt. 

"Agreed," Naomi said, "For now, the best course of action is to watch him and hope it leads to the source."

"What about the wolves," Franklin asked, "those mutts have to know something."

"Not Alcide's wolves," My tone was not so pleasant with Franklin. I just don't get it, after all the time, all we've been through he still shows zero respect for Alcide and wolves in general, "The wolves here tonight are on our side. I'll make sure Alcide keeps an ear out for any wolves working with vampires."

"I shall have a Sherriff deal with the dogs, that is not your place," Eric grumbles with that lilt in his voice, I dubbed that his stubborn asshole voice.

"Excuse me?" I huff, Eric still has not learned he cannot order me around as he does his vampires, "My place...my place is to protect my coven, to protect my family and that is what I'm doing..."

"This about to get ugly," Lafayette says looking directly at me while sauntering over to his mother and kissing her forehead. Ruby Jean beams, but does not say a word, she's enjoying the affections of her son, "I'm hungry," my baby vampire cousin says before sauntering out of the room. I never thought anyone could wear a damn cape and look good, but my goodness, he does.

Pam cell phone starts chiming. The deputies are calling back requesting more information on about their missions. "What part don't you understand," Pam snaps at whoever is on the other end, "Get your ass to Mississippi, watch Edgington, don't get caught, report back to Monarch Talley," she sashays out of the room looking like a runway model.

I got a snippet of Eric's thoughts...He's jealous. He knows I went to see Alcide and how he made me feel.

"Fair enough, he says giving me a level glare, "Just so you know, I would kill him, or anyone else that tries to touch you inappropriately," Eric warns me, "It's my nature to protect what's mine, and you, are most certainly mine."

Eric, you're being a barbarian," I roll my eyes at his ridiculousness.

"I prefer Viking, but barbarian works," He smirked at me and I rolled my eyes again.

"Goodnight my Brother, Magi, "Eggs calls in his cool baritone as he and Naomi exit the room.

"We will stay the night," Franklin says as he and Nora leave, only Ruby Jean is left in the room.

"Goodnight Tara," my girls send me a telepathic farewell.

"I'm driving back to the coven; I need my Grimoire." Ruby hugs my neck.

"Grab some coffee on the way, Auntie."

"Good idea," her voice echoes as she leaves us.

"I don't like the way vampires, men, and wolves look at you," Eric said in such an exasperated tone, it made my stomach churn. Right now, I can feel him... with my whole being; it's terrifying. I don't know how to navigate this. We've been in seclusion for so long and now we are back in the spotlight.

"Yeah, well I have to hear what they're thinking, Eric. You don't see me acting like a savage," I reply. "I will be in charge of surveying the wolves. Alcide agreed that witches better relate to the wolves, witches and Lycans share a common history."

"Before you Tara, I never cared for a woman, I didn't do relationships, I had planned on it remaining so until I met the true death. You changed me, from the inside out," He turns me in his arms and hugs me tight to his chest. "You are my wife, the mother of my children, we are intended."

"Why does loving me frighten you so much?"

"The fear comes with not being able to protect you and our children."

"You mean control me and the children, "I throw my hands up with a deep, exasperated sigh, "If it were up to you, we'd never leave the house."

"My human wife never left our village in Björn," He tells me in all honesty.

"I know our home is our fortress and I am thankful to have such a safe haven. Still, you cannot expect me to lock up in our home. I have the Coven to attend too, and I feel I am not there as much as I should be. And, I think a regular Witch and Wolf presence at some of the Vampires meetings should be mandated by the Kings and Queens until a true alliance is formed. Also, I know eventually you will want to rebuild Fangtaisa. I'd like to be apart of that too."

"Very well stubborn woman," his fangs snick out, making me drawback. He chuckles, pulling me close again, "I shall talk to my peers and make it so." We're both sure they will allow an Alpha and High Priestess at every meeting. 

He kisses my forehead. He loves that I am not some damsel. I am a Queen, ready to fight and rule at his side.

"Good," I kiss his sexy sharp daggers.

We fly out of Baton Rouge to my Coven in New Orleans to be with the kids. Eric always sleeps downstairs in Godric's former lair. My Coven left Godric underground room just the way he had. This was to honor him and it also serves as a refuge for Eric, Franklin, and Eggs. I know they love having a burrow filled with there Sire belongs.

The kids are sleeping on cots in Mavis's Teen Titan themed room, Cathy and Mavis are snuggled in the bed. I teleport in and kiss my babies, Eric is right behind me. I love watching him kiss our adorable mini-me's. 

I end up in the den watching Food Network and dozing off before I know it, the last thing I remember is Eric's soft lips brushing across my forehead.

I wake up early afternoon, I had a dream Eric came to me and told me he was sorry, which I know was a dream. I already know Eric Northman does not apologize... for anything, even if he is wrong. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Silently, Eric enters the library gazing raptly at his beautiful wife as she dipped the paintbrush on the pallet. Sitting on a cushioned bench, Tara is swirling colors together before dabbing and brushing onto the canvas. The young mother pauses, reaching with bangled arm towards the upper corner of the canvas, making sure she does not miss that spot.

A few weeks ago, she had it in her heart to draw this. It is a leaf skeleton, its green flesh is eaten away to leave only a lacy cellulose network - fragile, natural, beautiful in its own way. Her eyes travel over its ovoid shape, thrown into sharp relief by the deep plum background.

"Come to bed," Eric murmurs, yearning to have his wife near. Tonight, the sexually insatiable vampire is sated. Eric is a family man, living a life his biological father and Sire would be proud of. Days are spent raising the children and most nights the couple is rapt in the throes of passion.

It took several moments for her brain digesting the reply, then she turned in her seat, her smile sagging somewhat. "What do you think of this one?" She asks with a motion beckoning her man to sit next to her. To Tara, this was the moment, the surreal moment that no actual words could describe.

"Art is part of our soul, human or otherwise. It is dreams emerging from a part of ourselves, a way to communicate with the deeper self of both the artist and others. The same piece invokes different emotions depending on the person, their mood, their time of life. Art pictures; art is a sculpture; art is the creative word; art is music. We are all artists in our various ways, all born to be creative," he answered, scooting in next to her.

"This painting takes me far away to another time, another life," She points to a painting she'd hung on the wall last week, naturally, Eric turns his gaze to observe the brush strokes of hues that are muted as if bleached by millions of years of the sun-speckled water, eyes on the horizon where blue meets blue.

"In this picture the pebbles crunch beneath my winter boots and the waves lap in their steady rhythm, frigid and laced with sea-foam. Their melody is calming, this music of water dragging rounded stones up and down the beach. I can taste the salty air and feel it chill my face. From the upper left corner, the gulls call, circling the island."

"I am most fond of that one," Eric points to the painting of him and in return, the giggle that he adores so much escapes Tara's lips.

"Of course, you are, I call that painting The Golden King." Tara giggled once more recalling the day spent painting the picture of Eric. He modeled for her in his Viking cloak and crown.

There was only one word to describe the sun-kissed vampire, Adonis. Where his eyes were the green of fresh dew glinting in the sunlight off a leaf of green emerald. A prominent jaw curved gracefully around and the strength of his neck showed in the twining cords of muscle that shaped his entire body; strong arms, bold thighs and calves, a firm chest and abdomen. He was an Adonis among the other men who each pale in comparison. One look and both women and men swooned at the sight of him no matter their sexual preferences and one word passed from his lips had even the straightest of men flushing shades of red that no one ever knew was naturally possible.

"Beautiful," he says softly, after a long moment. "You're creative, too." Eric notices the crinkle in his wife's brow and knows something troubling is on her mind.

"Have I ever told you that my dreams lead me to you."

"You have not, I had always believed you're coming to Fangtaisa that night was for employment."

"Well, that too, but when I saw you, I knew I had seen you before…In my dream. The painting was inspired by that dream I had of you many times when I was sixteen. At the time I thought I was dreaming of a boy I had a crush on in high school; I had no idea it was you. You looked so human in my dream, sun-kissed and tan-lined and all, I had no idea I was having a wet-dream about a vampire."

"Did I measure up in real-life?"

Tara giggled once again; she knew that he knew the answer to his question. She opted to change the subject. A subject that lay heavy on her heart.

"The Aether that most fascinates me was Azalea. She lived in the city of Kerma in Sudan; she was one of the many wives of King Piye. The picture in the book of Isis is of her. Her image is not only captured there, but she's also depicted in Egyptian and Sudanese art. She is the only Aether's captured in modern history due to her husband's concurring of Ancient Egypt during the Nubian reign."

"You are the noblest leader, your reign shall be remembered for eons as well," Eric assures her.

"I honestly don't care about being memorialized. I just want to be able to do what I've been chosen to do. Azalea believed there was a way to trap Absalom in the dark realm forever. Azalea actually wrote the spells in the Grimoire that is used to open and close realms, using the blood of a virgin. She also wrote a spell that to this day, no one has been able to successfully achieve, not even herself. It's a spell that can trap Absolom forever. She believed a pure soul could seal the realm forever with just a cut of blood. When she battled Azalea and attempted to trap the evil bitch in her realm, something went wrong… Azalea manifesto was not clear. It simply says and I quote 'As it may only the purest of souls can seal the darkest of realms for all eternity – two souls one heart."

"Then you shall be the one to trap that insidious beast forever."

"I have my doubts," Tara's gaze lowers in dismay, "I've done nothing but get people killed. I'm still terrified just thinking about fighting again, now that I'm a mother is the last thing I want to do. But I know that my dreams don't lie, a battle is coming to the echelon is of epic proportions and soon."

"According to Franklin and Compton, Nora has proven herself, Naomi and Ruby are regarded as most viable in the Coven as well, they could very well be considered a worthy substitute."

"Babe, as good as that sounds, I can't just usurp my right as Aether, I cannot resend the summons invoked by Isis. No matter what, I was chosen, I will always be Aether until I die. As afraid as I am, I am no coward and I would never ask them to do a job I was chosen to do, no matter how awful I am at it."

"When I was a baby vampire learning the ways, Godric once told me that a dose of fear is healthy, as healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death." Eric leans over kissing her forehead. Looking at her as if she was the most beautiful woman in the world; because to him, she is.

Tara nods offering a nervous smile, wishing his words offered comfort. "I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight."

"Would you like a cocktail?" Eric stood to his feet awaiting her command.

She pulls him down by the hem of his shirt; kissing him until she became all too aware that they were both wearing too much clothing. So, she took off his shirt, slowly pushing it up and over his beautiful hair, exposing his muscled chest. She licks, touches, and bites then pushes him back until he was resting on his hands, and spent several minutes nibbling his nipples and the sides of his ribs, as she works her way down to his pants. His face is drowsy with lust and since his fangs were fully exposed, she knew he was showing considerable self-restraint to sit there patiently while she undressed him and teased him. As she works on getting the button to his pants undone, she pulled the elastic out of her hair, shook it loose and started sweeping her hair up and down his stomach, which made him shiver. Tara loves making him shiver.

She removed his pants, at which point he pouted at her and said, "I need to see you, lover."

"I would be happy to undress for you," she says in a low seductive tone and starts slowly removing her shirt. She had no intention of speeding up this process at all, she has him right where she wants him, still and delicious on the table.

She pulls her oversized shirt ever so slightly up to expose just a hint of her hip, then higher and higher until her breasts pop out of the fabric, which was follows by a sharp intake of air from Eric. The fire that burned in his eyes causes her to pull her shirt all the way off, leaving her in nothing but little white lacy panties.

"Now what would you like me to do?" She whispered to Eric, giving him a coy look.

He had to clear his throat to speak, "Turn around and remove your panties." He says in a rough voice.

She turns slowly, slightly twisting her head to peak over her shoulders. Watching his face, the whole time, seeing the awe in his face, as if this were the first time, he had ever seen her. She turns to face him which elicits a growl from Eric, who is still waiting not-so-patiently.

Tara began rubbing her hands all over his body again, letting him know that he was not allowed to touch her when he tried to reach out a hand to bring her closer to him. She slowly tugging the edge of his boxer briefs down on one side exposing his sculpted hip, then the other side, slowly revealing his hard cock waiting for her.

Now it was her turn to gasp and shiver. She was overcome with the thoughts of what was in store.

Eric smirks, knowing the effect he is having on her. She leans close enough to him that her hard nipples grazed his chest, which she ran slowly down his body, followed by her mouth and a trail of hair that made him twitch. She kissed right down the middle of his stomach and positions her nipples to brush across the head of his cock, which made them both rock in a wave of pleasure. She reaches down and uses both of her hands to encircle his hard and ready cock. He slumps back to rest on his elbows so he could still watch her.

She licks her lips and begins tugging up and down, watching his face relax and his eyes roll. Kneeling in front of him, she takes his cock into her mouth, sucking it in as far as she could manage which isn't very much since there's so much of him. Her hands and mouth worked together until she found a rhythm that made him moan with unrestrained pleasure.

Eric sat up and put a hand on her shoulder and said, "Tara please, if you keep that up, I'm going to cum right here!" She looked down and noticed the littlest bit of cum on the head of his dick, seeping out for her.

"Yeah," She barely manages to get out, in response to his statement before he begins pushing his finger between the folds of her wet pussy and sliding it back and forth brushing her clit very softly each time. A small smile plays across her face while watching Eric lick his lips, he laps up everything she offers, removing his finger and licking it clean; his cock twitches in anticipation.

Before she knew what was happening, Eric picked her up, and laid her down on the table, his face hovering over hers. "I need to taste you now," he says, before devouring her mouth with a passionate kiss.

He brought his tongue down on her right nipple, making her back arch so that more of her breast was in his mouth, which he gladly sucked and licked, moving his tongue across her chest to my left. He then moved his tongue down her body, at the same time pulling a chair out to sit on and leans into her breathing in her scent which made his eyes go hazy She writhes towards him trying to make more contact with his talented mouth. Eric reached his hands under her and pulls her ass off the end of the table placing her legs over his shoulders so he had better access, leaving his hands to caress and rub while his mouth worked her over. He sucks hard on her clit and then rubs it with his tongue, soon his fingers joined his tongue and she felt the pressure of his finger on my opening, causing a small tremor that made her honey pot clamp down on his finger. The feeling of his finger moving faster and faster inside her took her breath away and then he grazed her clit with his fangs and her body shook with the first of many orgasms she was sure to experience that night as Eric is such a giving lover.

After riding out the wave of her orgasm, she pulls her legs off his shoulders and slides the rest of the way off the table until she was straddling his lap, positioning his hard cock against the folds of her wet pussy. She moves up and down, getting a feel for how much leg strength she had, and after a minute of teasing his dick, she pushes up high enough to position him at her opening. She kissed him deeply as she lowered slowly down onto him, so there was an inch of him inside of her. They both shudder with the contact, causing her to lose control and she drops the rest of the way onto his lap until he is buried in her heat to the hilt; forcing a groan out of her mouth and into his. She hooks her feet onto the sidebars of the chair and moves her body fluidly up and down his shaft. He has his hands on her ass, moving her and helping control her pace.

Feeling that she needs to be in control, he said, "Yes, Lover, fuck me." He leaned over and sunk his fangs into the slope between her neck and shoulder sucking greedily, with that, she came so loudly that she was glad the house was huge and Eric's library was soundproof. She spasms on top of him and rocked her body back and forth riding out her orgasm. He withdrew his fangs and slowly licked her shoulder, lifting her off his lap and stood up at lightning speed, turning her around, and forcing her face down on the table.

Eric stands behind her with his legs spread wide forcing her legs apart so he could position himself at her opening again, "Now it's my turn" he says. He stroked her back, running his fingers up and down her spine, causing her back to arch, while lifting her ass higher in the air forcing the tip of his dick back into her and smashing her breasts onto the table. He slid his long cock back into her the rest of the way and the contact was so much deeper this time that it made them both cry out. He stopped moving and let her body adjust to him, and then began to thrust into her at such speed that she held onto the table to steady herself, listening to the sound of her ass slapping against his hips, feeling the orgasm build in her abdomen and the tingling that comes with not breathing enough.

With the little breath she had left, she said "Oh yes, oh yes, oh god! I'm going to cum, oh yes, Eric, harder, YES!"

He lifts her legs off the floor and holds them on either side of his hips, digging his fingers into her hips to hold her still so he could fuck her harder while he straightens his body, every muscle tightening with the promise of release. She starts screaming his name, and his body jerked as he came, filling her up, her muscles milking every last drop out of him as she rode another wave of pleasure.

He leaned over her kissing her back and stroking her hair and said, "See, I knew you were creative."


TARA POV

The following week was quiet; I was certain this was the calm before the storm. While Eric slept, Ruby and I gathered the children and went to the Coven, there was a need to practice spells and fighting tactics. We studied, only to rest at lunch.

That night, Eric joined us at the Coven, Bill and Franklin went over the entire history of American Vampire League. Bill wrote a book back in 2008. Now, he has dozens of blogs and websites explaining the vampire hierarchy. So, over the past three years, I'd learned some of the politics and rules. Of course, the subdivisions have had a long-standing feud, like humans, vampires can never agree on everything. This feud is mainly territorial. Bill truly wants the world to think vampires have nothing to hide. I know firsthand that's a load of crap.

I still get a tickle watching Bill on TV, acting so diplomatic. I know that that's mostly an act. He's certainly not the uber politically correct... that he portrays to the world. Sookie plays her part well. She is the perfect politician's wife, with her natural good looks and down to earth personality, and the fact that she is human makes him look good. Although he has his southern charm and in all, he has his unsavory side, still, he is one of the good guys.

Late that evening I was pleased to hear that the council agreed and now witches and wolves would be in attendance during the monarchs monthly gathering.

To make room for additional people at the round table. The King must be present and will only be allowed to bring their Sherriff or Chief Monarch. In the vampire kingdom, a Chief monarch would be the equivalent of a vice president, if the king dies, if he has appointed a replacement in his stead monarch then he is automatically selected. If there is no monarch the council must choose one. The Monarchs are the judges and jury, they decide the punishment based on the Sheriff's information. A Sherriff is the one who investigates and gathers the law and the chancellor is like a general, he or she would enforce the law and carry out the punishment.

It was after midnight when Alpha Jackson, Alcide, Bly Eyota and Reijo rushed into the house. Before a word was uttered, I could hear their agitated thoughts. Alcide's eyes captured mine and his fury washed over me like the long slow waves on a shallow beach. Each wave was icy cold and sent shivers down my spine. This was so familiar to me. The regret you feel when losing your friend in battle is like an unforgiving demon, it would be back tomorrow to torment you all over again. I had to block them out as the men's overwhelming sadness made my stomach turn. Thankfully the children were asleep when they arrived, their bloody and disheveled appearance would have certainly scared them.

"We kept an eye on Edgington since the meeting and tonight it paid off. We followed him to Salome's hide-out. She has a hand full of witch-hunters, her vamp-guards and Russell's wolves there." His sigh was long and exasperated, "You were right Tara, that fanger Russell is up to no good. He's the one who bombed the club."

"How do you know that?" Eric asks.

"A wolf named Jake asked us to get him out of there in exchange for info. We've got him tied up in my cabin, feel free to glamor him for confirmation."

Franklin rushed out of the room, no doubt he is headed to get all the details by any means necessary.

"That vamp-bitches baby vampires and rogue wolves were no match for my men, but then this fucking sorceress bitch comes out and out of the pits of hell…" His voice hitched and he pauses for a moment to gather composure, frazzled nerves jumped all together, and in different directions, "This fucking monster appears out of nowhere…" it ripped my men apart, limb by limb... all seven of em, Jake's men, a few vampires too…we barely escaped...goddammit... we had to run," He says, his brow furrowed, fist balled tight, he swallows hard, stifling the pain he feels inside.

Unlike Alcide, his father is unable to contain his emotion, his red-rimmed eyes spill with a steady stream down his face. "Those fuckers gonna pay!" He screamed out, his voice echoed through the hall, his eyes turned amber and he sprints out of the room before he shifts into his wolf form.

"Tara, I know that you can handle that thing." Alcide conceded.

"Yeah, I can handle that bitch!" I snarl... hoping that everyone is buying my fearless leader act. I honestly want to get Absolom... why would she do that to those wolves?

Wolves are not bloodthirsty beasts. They are the protectors of people. They do not kill at random. They are not easy to spot unless you know what exactly to look for or if you are a supernatural yourself. Some signs are: extremely protective of friends and family (like wolves of a pack), the alphas tend to be the most protective and try to take care of their family/friends and usually are the ones to end the fights inside their group. Werewolves are not to be feared. If you find that you have a werewolf in your family or group of friends then you should feel blessed because they will protect you until their last breath.


Four hours earlier…

Flora, Mississippi

"That cursed bitch knows."

"If she knew you'd be dead," The vampire traces her finger along the rim of the goblet of fresh blood, "Do you honestly think Eric would have let you go. Especially after your failed attempt to kill him at his nightclub. None of them know anything for now. My only concern is if you were followed tonight, I'm sure suspensions are raised amongst the council."

"I have my wolves on watch, they're idiots, but they can sniff and track effectively."

"Your delusional, those stupid dogs can't do anything effectively. We need to move quickly, while they are still trying to gather what is happening."

"Humans are even more unpredictable," The ancient vampire reaches into the wooden box and makes his selection, "So, tell me, how do you keep those weird witch hunters under control?" Russell asked, lighting a Cuban cigar.

"We share a common enemy. Their leader Maryanne, she has a deep-seated hatred for Aether's coven, just a few years ago, her younger sister was murdered at the hands of a witch. She wants vengeance just as much as I. Paul, was my lover, my ally and because, of Godric, Eric and Aether, I am left to start over."

"You are one bitter bitch." Russell chuckles, "but I love it!"

"Russell we need to go," A wolf named Hank rushes into the room, he looked utterly panic-stricken, his elevated excitement quickly put both vampires on high alert, "Herveaux's, pack ambushed us outside the gates, they're closing in, our men are outnumbered.

"Where's Talbot?" Russell said at the same time he summoned his progeny, his companion, the only thing in the world he cared about.

"I am here my love," Talbot rushed into the room holding his precious wolf pup in his hand. The wolf is one of Hank's many daughters, he gladly sold her to the smitten vampire for ten-thousand dollars.

Hanna whimpered in the vampire's arm, agitated at the sight of her father. She'd rather be in the arms of a vampire than her abusive dad.

"Get us out of here, Hank," Russell demands. Salomé's guard quickly shows them the escape route through the wine cellar.

"Are you going to allow Aether's wolves to overtake your lair again or will you join me and my leader and teach them a lesson?" Maryanne asks the Judean vampire, "scattering like a cockroach in the light is so unbecoming of you."

"What would you have me to do?" Salomé asks bitterly, she's never actually fought on her own, she'd much rather have people do that for her.

"Nothing, I know you don't want to get those pretty hands dirty; I simply want you to see what my goddess can do."

So that is what Salomé did. She watched Maryanne summon a malevolent entity in which she could not control. After the creature destroyed the wolves and every living thing in her path, she turned her attention to the Maryanne.

"Ubi Atherius?!" Absalom roared in frustration. She could not find Aether and she couldn't understand why.

Ruby has fortified Eric house and the coven so much, Absalom is unable to find her using her supernatural abilities, she must rely on her progeny's earthly techniques.

"Master, I shall lead you to her!" Maryanne bowed. With the help of Russell and his wolves, Maryanne was able to find out were Aether's coven is in New Orlean's, she knows Absalom will be able to penetrate any protection spell they may encounter.

"Duc exercitum," Absalom grinned wickedly.

Now, the vampire was confident, the witch hunter's demon will destroy Eric and his witch. With those two destroyed, any vampire left will have no choice but to bow down to her.