1. Star Crossed Lovers by FranklinsMuse
2. Chasing Shadows by FranklinsMuse
Pompei- Pam's dog Jack - Tara's flask
"Wanna talk about it?" Eric found the pretty girl who had accompanied Jason Stackhouse to his sister's party in the backyard. Pam had briefly introduced them and he wasn't about to let her leave without at least getting her number. The dark-skinned beauty sat with her head hung low on the tree swing Eric and his dad built when he was a kid.
"No- I wanna drink-about it…" She replied gloomily pulling a silver flask from her jean jacket pocket. She was far too distraught to register his concern. After being humiliated by her drunken date, she retreated outside. The moon shined down casting a soft glow on her flawless skin and the young man was taken by her stunning features despite her sadden expression.
"Cool, can I hava sip…" He sat on the wooden swing next to her. He couldn't believe how stupid Jason Stackhouse is. The half-wit came to the party with the hottest girl in Bon Temps only to abandon her for a cheap bottle-blonde floozy. Hell, the Stackhouse's were never known for their intelligence.
Tara took another swig and handed him the flask. "Suit yourself." She replied blankly, her head drooped while adroitly kicking the rocks beneath her tennis shoes. Eric eagerly grabbed the bottle allowing his fingertips to lightly brush hers. He took a big swig and made a deep croaking noise, which sounded more animal than human.
Tara smiled and suppressed a chuckle.
"Whoa, that's whiskey!?" Eric puffed, then shuddered, as the sharp fluid slowly burned his throat making its way into his gut.
"Yep, Jack Daniels. What did ya think was in the flask?" Tara giggled softly and took another swig.
"I-I was thinking peach schnapps or something," Eric coyly chuckled, "fruity..." while admiring how beautiful her smile is, and secretly patting himself on the back for being the cause of it.
"That's for lightweights." She giggled again, only this time her giggle was hearty. She turned her head to the side, making eye contact. His wide icy-blue eyes captured her deep dark- sultry eyes and for several long moments, their gazes fell, unblinkingly upon one another.
The moment was interrupted by the sound of Pam's toy poodle barking in earnest at the screen door. After several squeaking barks, Pam appeared at the patio door to let him out.
"Make it quick Pompei!" Pam drawled at her adorable pooch.
"Hi, Pam." Tara waved and Pam waved back. "Hi, Tara! Hey Eric, wanna another beer?"
"Nah, I'm cool, thanks." He nodded, giving her sister a wink. She winked back and called out as the tiny dog climbed the stairs and trotted into to the house behind his Master.
"How do ya know my sister?" Eric asked curiously. Pam wasn't the easiest person to get along with so seeing Pam so cordial was a little surprising.
"I moved here from Baton Rouge last year. Pam and I clicked almost instantly. Now, we're goin our separate ways. I've been accepted to LSU. I'll miss that bitch." she chuckled. "You know she's stoked about going to New Orleans University with you."
Damn, I have the worst timing! He thought to himself He'd missed Tara by a year. Perhaps it was for the best. She would have made it really hard to leave Bon Temps.
"I'm excited for her. It's great there. You should join us." Eric didn't mean to say that last part but didn't regret it either.
"If I don't like it at LSU, I may take you up on that offer." Tara smiled sheepishly, her cheeks began to burn as it just dawned on her that Pam's hot older brother was flirting with her. The night was starting to look up after all. Eric is five times hotter and ten times smarter than Jason.
Eric leaned forward in the swing, "Even if you stay at LSU, I'd like you to come visit me in New Orleans." He smirked and Tara's stomach did somersaults, his sexy crooked smile was the cause.
"Deal," Tara smiled, holding out her hand so they could shake on it. He unintentionally glared at it for a moment and clasped it with his own, noting how soft her skin is. Then ever so gently pulled her delicate hand to his lips and pressed a firm kiss to her flesh. His sapphire eyes penetrating her russet ones causing an involuntary shiver down her spine.
"Take me home," Tara impulsively blurted out and immediately regretted her spontaneous outburst. "OH! I mean..." She covered her face with her arms, embarrassed beyond belief, trying to think of how she could get out of this situation. She hadn't meant to be so forward.
Damn Jack Daniels.
"Tara," His raspy voice crooned,"It's okay." forcing her to look over at him and when she did, her tummy fluttered and her body responded once more.
"What I meant to say was." she stuttered awkwardly. "I didn't drive and I'm not about to go and ask Ja-"
"Tara," He interrupted again. "I'd be happy to take ya home." A well-defined smirk lined his handsome face, his eyes impossibly large, Tara would have given anything to know what he was thinking.
"Okay," Tara mumbled blushingly.
Eric was alone in his car with Tara and suddenly he couldn't find any words to say. The air was charged with something unexplainable. Eric started his Corvette and took off. The way her thighs shifted in that short jean skirt when he turned the corner, caused his wild eyes to roam. Energy shot through their bodies and the atmosphere became revived with sensuality.
"Make a right on Parker Square," Tara instructed and Eric turned another sharp corner watching her petite legs shift once more.
"The yellow house." The doe-eyed doll pointed her finger to a modest little house on the corner. He pulled into the driveway behind an old station wagon. Eric's cobalt eyes fluttered closed as he shifted the car's gear into park.
"Thank you." She beamed. She'd forgotten the last time she smiled so much.
"Your welcome." He replied, searching for something more to say. Anything that would keep her in his company a while longer. Her smile was so bright, bright enough to light the darkest night. It was warm, sincere, inviting and in it, he found the courage to ask.
"Will ya call me? Or I can call you…I-"
"Eric…" Tara interrupted. "I'd love to give you my number, but first I'd like for ya to walk me to my door," she whispered in a voice low and seductive voice, looking up at him through long fluttering lashes.
The six-foot-four blonde practically leaped out of his sports car, dashed to the passenger side and opened the door for the raven-haired young woman. He extended his hand and she gladly took it as he helped her out of the car; the tension melted away.
Then without smiling at her, without saying a word, without doing anything other than meeting her eyes, he slowly leaned and just as the longing became unbearable, Eric's lips met Tara's. Eric's kiss was slow and deliberate. The warmth of his mouth sent a current running through her body. Eric's chest heaved with each passing breath, his entire body felt like a live wire. He achingly throbbed between his legs. Tara wrapped her arms around his neck and he straightened his back, taking her feet off the ground. She pulled her feet up and hugged his waist with her legs. In that moment, neither of them moved. Neither of them breathed.
They just . . . existed together. And the kiss was still artless, still desperate—but only because it was real. The most honest, truthful moment they'd ever shared.
Tara's neighbor, Jason's sister and Eric's ex-girlfriend Sookie Stackhouse gawked, jaw agape from across the street on her porch the entire time.
The Stackhouse Residence
The moment Jason slid into his chair, he was served an enormous platter of food with a large elegant glass of orange juice. Bacon, eggs, sausage, piles of fried potatoes; a tureen of fruit sat on ice to keep it chilled. The basket of rolls set before him would keep him full for a week.
Cooking was all Sookie could do to keep her mind preoccupied. And still, it didn't work. Jason appraised his sister as he began feasting on the rich food with ravenous hunger. The blonde stood at the kitchen window again, eyes on the newly paved driveway, that she held no interest in.
"Damn Sook, good food." The sound of his voice caused her to finally move away from the window and re-engage her sibling. She turned to observe her older brother eating like a caveman, taking massive bites of his meat rather than cutting it.
"Thanks..." She muttered, her voice trailing away, her head kept replaying what she saw the night before, the way he held her, kissed her. All while re-examining her last moments with Eric, what she said, what he said... She had reread his texts, her replies... always wondering what she should have done differently. In her heart, she knew there was another girl with her claws in him back then; now Tara has the nerve... her stomach turned at the thought.
"You okay Sis?" He asked, still eating his food like it was going out of style. He crammed it in thick and fast, consuming a meal that had taken an hour to cook in a matter of minutes. Sookie sat down and took a sip of her coffee.
"Yep, how was the party last night?" She knew he'd fucked up somehow, otherwise, why would Tara end up in the arms of her man.
"Lame! He shouted pieces of food flew out of his mouth. "There was only one hot chick there and she was stuck up." He ate so noisily, then, showing no signs of embarrassment, he wiped his mouth on his sleeve and belched. "Well Pam is hot, but she's the queen of ice." He rolled his eyes, "I don't think Pam invited her other hot friends Sophie Ann and Jessica."
"She didn't invite me either," she grumbled lowly.
Pamela Northman always had the best parties, but Sookie was never invited to any. When she heard Eric would be visiting from New Orleans, she wanted to go so badly. Sookie never understood why Pam disliked her, and why she did not approve of her relationship with Eric. She couldn't help that Pam just didn't fit in with her group of friends, which happen to be the prettiest, most popular girls in school. Sookie made every attempt to make friends with her, and never joined in when Portia, Amelia or Dawn called her a bull-dike. She did the same for Tara when she moved to Bon Temps her freshman year. Sookie took an immediate liking to Tara and so did Pam. Tara was always the type that you either loved or hated and with that she could see why Tara and Pam became friends.
"Oh...Yeah." Jason replied.
"I thought you went with Tara..." She asked incredulously.
"Yeah, but it wasn't like a date or nothing, I just gave her a ride." He assured.
"Did you give her a ride back home?" She questioned becoming more irritated by the moment.
"Uh, well- no...I..." he began.
"Well, how do you suppose she got home all the way from Sugarland Estates to Parker Square?" She cut him off.
"Ya see... after a few joints." He let out a nervous laugh. "To tell ya the truth Sis, I'm not sure what happened." He sighed and scratched the back of his head. "But I'm sure Tara's fine, Nicole and Willa were there and they both live near."
"I'm sure she's fine too." Sookie huffed in frustration.
"Then what's the fuss all about?"
"Nothing..." Sookie shook her head, disbelieving at how stupid her brother is.
Jason was determined to figure out what was bothering her on this glorious morning, so he continued to pry.
"Sook, I told you that the party was lame. Besides, I plan on throwing a party of our own next week, when mom and dad are out of town."
"Eric won't be here next week!" She snapped, as she shot up from her chair.
"Eric...” A look of disgust washed over the smile on his face, “your ex-boyfriend?" He looked up at her in aggravation as she slid into her chair. "That's what the fuss was all about?" Aww, come on Sook."
Sookie quickly turned around and was back at the kitchen window..."Just so you know, my ex-boyfriend took Tara home last night. so yeah Tara got home just fine, and yeah, I suppose that's what the fuss is all about."
"So, what- he took her home..." He said, hoping to pacify her, he hated seeing her in a sour mood, especially over Eric, he never cared for him, he was the only guy in town who the girls liked more. "Besides, there is no way Tara would fall for that overgrown, know-it-all- asshole."
"I saw them kissing on her porch," Sookie replied sharply but did not bother to turn from the window to address him.
That put Jason deep into thought, Jason had never much noticed Tara before, she'd been his sister's friend since freshman year. He'd done so many mean things to her over the years, treating her like she was another pesky sibling to keep in line. But every year she seemed to evolve; she wasn't a little girl anymore. She'd filled out a little, just enough to give her curves and a fuller bust. She'd let her hair go wavy again, falling in relaxed curls past her shoulders. Jason's felt his mouth go dry. He knows what Tara wants and he can't give that to her.
"I can't be no one woman man, that just ain't in my nature! My Johnson wants to be free!"
"What the hell are you talking about," Sookie asked evading all eye contact, trying her best to avoid further annoyance.
"Tara wants my attention, so she can tie me down, that's what they all want."
"If she wanted your attention, she would have tried to get it at the party; seems to me she found what she was looking for, " she shook her head in disbelief, "I wonder if Eric feels the same..."
"I thought you were dating Ben? Besides, like half of the guys in town worship you, you could have anyone you want."
"I know...it's just I like Eric more than any of my other boyfriends, Bill, Alcide, and even Ben...” Her head dropped in sadness. “And Eric, he broke up with me, and I still don't understand why.”
Jason had heard enough, he took his dishes to the sink, rinse them off, placed them in the dishwasher and dried his hands with a hand-towel.
"Look Sook, we're Stackhouse's and if we want something we go out and get it." He pulled her close and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, gently rubbing her arm. Despite the heaviness in her stomach, it fluttered as she sunk into the warmth of his side, appreciative of the simple gesture.
"You know, your right Jas, thanks."
Ex-boyfriend, the word alone is enough to make me choke. In my dreams we were married, then came the babies... Now he is my ex and I'm supposed to be okay with that.
Well, I'm not. I want him back.
There is no way on God's green earth that I will let Tara have Eric. I'll show him that I'm the woman for him, and then Eric will come back to me. Soon, Tara will just be a fading memory we laugh about over drinks until one day neither of us can recall her name.
She'll be a footnote, nothing more.
I'd awaken this morning feeling refreshed and full of energy despite drinking a flask full of whiskey the night before. At first, I thought I'd dreamed the last part of my night until I looked over at the chair and Eric's Letterman jacket was hanging right on the back where I'd placed it.
I smiled, knowing full well that Eric wanted to seduce me. He didn't right out ask to come in, and I'm glad he didn't; besides my bedroom, the entire house is a mess, although I could tell by the look in his big blue eyes he really- really wanted to. I supposed I could have let him in, the lights were dim and I could have easily snuck him in pass my comatose mother and took him to my room. I would have locked the door, lit a few candles and made out with him until the sun came up. Hell, I might have gone all the way with him, I could totally see Eric being my first.
And when he kissed me, I couldn't find my voice; with the kiss came electric tingles, the desire to play. I felt my cheeks flushed hot, and my stomach was heavy. My heart pounded in my throat, threatening to break out. 'He takes my breath away...' Damn, now that line made a lot of sense. I don't remember what I said to him, but it made him smile and then he asked to see me the next day for a date. He wants to spend the entire day with me since we only have two days to hang out with each other before he leaves.
Now it's time to get my ass up and get started on the task of cleaning my nasty house. My mom is not the best housekeeper these days and the kitchen and bathroom need some deep cleaning. I have a feeling Eric will insist on coming in today, he seems like the type that wants to be proper and meet my mother.
I start with the kitchen. Since our dishwasher crapped out last year, I have to hand wash, rinse and dry the piles of dishes, pots, and pans. Afterward, I make myself a small pot of coffee and pour me a cup. I'm starving and all there is to eat is oatmeal or rice. So, I make the instant oatmeal and some toast. After I eat, I sweep, dust and wipe down the counters with Pine-Sol. The floor was disgusting, it took me 30 minutes to scrub the grime away. I then emptied the trash and swept the porch.
Next is our bathroom, normally when I walk in I can smell the old moldy, musty smell. But when I entered today, the smell was even worse; the sour scent of puke added to the already disgusting aroma that lingered in the bathroom. Mom must have really gone all out last night. I remove the old shower curtain and replace it with a brand new one, afterward I scrub the bathroom from top to bottom with Pine-Sol. I cleaned the mirrors and windows with Windex and dust-off cabinets, counters, fixtures, and tables all about the house. The only thing I have left to do is a vacuum, but that will have to wait until Mom wakes up. For now, I need to find something to wear.
What to wear… what to wear.
I bounce through my closet looking for something sexy. Oh… wait. I have to dress casually. Besides, sexy got me into trouble last time I went out with Jason, he kissed me and then got high and ditched my ass, so let's not make the same mistake twice. I slip into a pair of jean shorts and layer a purple tank over a white one. I can't stand still and my body jiggles excitedly. This outfit will be perfect for an afternoon date.
Merlotte's is never busy in the morning, even though their breakfast is much better than their competition down the road. The only thing Bellefleur's has on Merlotte's is the Barbecue.
As Pam and I are escorted to our seat in our favorite greasy spoon, all I could think about was her.
"I'll have the veggie omelet, no onions, with wheat toast," Pam smirked at me while handing over her menu to Holly. She was smirking, dying to ask me all about last night.
"You got it, hun..." Holly quickly jotted her order down on her notepad, "And for you handsome..?"
"I'll have 2 slices of bacon, 2 over-easy eggs, biscuits and gravy...and 2 coffees please." I smiled passing my menu.
"I'll be right back which ya'll order." Once the waitress was gone, Pam started in on me.
"Last night must have gone really well, you haven't stopped smiling."
She was right, I'm happy and Tara's the cause.
"We're meeting at 3:00 today for a picnic at the lake."
"A picnic...how romantic." Pam was sincere, I could tell by the way her eyes lit up, and again, I'm surprised. I've had many girlfriends and Pam hated them all. "Perfect weather today too..." she added.
"Yep, no rain in sight." I've got most of the date planned out - the location, the cloth napkins, silverware, the plush blanket, the wine, the chocolates. I just don't know what kind of food to make.
"Whatever it is, make sure you prepare it from scratch." She took a sip of coffee. "Cut up pineapples and melons and make tiny sandwiches...or meat and vegetable skewers, or stuffed dates... or bacon wrapped dates...or..."
"Will you help me?" I cut her off, I really didn't need her help, I just wanted her to simmer down a bit, she was beginning to make me nervous.
"No way, I have shopping to do, you're not the only one with a date today."
We both laughed and when our breakfast arrived, we ate in a peaceful silence. And I began to think of last night; when our gazes locked, I was instantly mesmerized by the deep swirls of chocolate and mocha in her coffee-colored eyes and long eyelashes. The golden black mascara on her half-opened eyelids added a smoky and dramatic look.
Most people in this small town did not pay attention to her beauty, but rather her color and I'll be the first to admit, toasted sienna never looked so beautiful on a woman. With rippled onyx hair and wide brown eyes, Tara is undoubtedly a beautiful woman. But not only on the outside, I can feel it radiating from inside of her; in the energy, we shared.
She had a kind of understated beauty, perhaps it was because she was so disarmingly unaware of her prettiness. Her dark skin was completely flawless. Like the other girls, I doubt she used face masks or expensive products; she was all about simplicity. Perhaps that is why her skin glowed so, it was her inner beauty that lit her eyes and softened her features. When she smiled and laughed you couldn't help but smile along too, even if it was just on the inside.
Tara Thornton is natural, sexy, real; I could drink in her words like a strong wine and enjoy feeling tipsy. With her every move, I watched her like she had the stars in her hands and soft petals at her feet.
I wanted to wrap her in my arms and never let go.