Dead End Friend by Outlawstar615
Summary:

eric northman and tara thorton... 

Banner by Cynn333 "I follow the road at night, just hoping to find which puzzle piece fell out of me. I know who you are, open the door & come in. Hold me real close, then do it again, I ache for the touch of my dead end friend."Hate. It's strong enough to burn us and maim us. Is it strong enough to get us to love without limits and without reason. 


Categories: Primetime Television Characters: Tara Thornton
Classification: Supernatural
Genre: Romance
Story Status: None
Pairings: None
Warnings: Adult Situations, Extreme Language, Strong Sexual Content , Un-betaed , Work in Progress
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 12 Completed: No Word count: 44210 Read: 57706 Published: March 11 2011 Updated: May 26 2014
Story Notes:

Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me....at all. Charlaine and Alan...all the way.  

The new season isn't far away and yet I just can't stay away from these characters. They haunt me in my sleep...Anyway, here's my attempt at a sorta romance type ditty with Tara and Eric...they're both broken in a way and her going to him is only a dead end...literally. Let's see how this works out?

1. Alone Again by Outlawstar615

2. Friend Is A Four Letter Word by Outlawstar615

3. A Strange Arrangement by Outlawstar615

4. Keep Your Hands Off My Girl by Outlawstar615

5. Torture Me by Outlawstar615

6. The Denial Twist by Outlawstar615

7. Harder to Breathe by Outlawstar615

8. Our Lie To Admire by Outlawstar615

9. The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret by Outlawstar615

10. Blood On My Neck From Success by Outlawstar615

11. Say It Ain't So by Outlawstar615

12. Train of Consequences by Outlawstar615

Alone Again by Outlawstar615
Author's Notes:
Review....please and thank you.

Tara huffed as she stared outside of the window in Gran's living room. The milky curtains swaying gently in the summer nights breeze. She had just taken a nice cool bath and was waiting for Sookie to come home. She'd gotten out the ice cream and some of their favorite movies to watch just for the hell of it. It was becoming rare that they ever got to see each other and even though they worked together, between the patrons and the supernatural things going on in their lives they were practically ghosts to each other.

The phone rang twice pulling her back from her reverie. She sprang up reaching for it, a familiar voice laced with guilt came through the receiver.

"Hey Tara, it's Sook." the voice sighed

"Sook, is everything all right?" she questioned getting herself all worked up now. "Did you're car konk out on ya? Want me to call Lafayette?"

"Tara, calm down." Sookie giggled on the other end. "I'm fine...I just. I just. Well, I just wanted to tell you not to wait up for me tonight. Bill and I are going out. So, you can have some alone time."

A little disappointed now, she tried to hide it from her voice. Sook deserves some happiness. Sook deserves this. She thought to keep herself from just hanging up.

"Fine. Where y'all gon be at, so I can know who to stake if you don't come home?"

"Tara, you know Bill's not like that." she admonished trying to make Tara really see that he was different.

"mmhmm. As far as I'm concerned they're all the same, he's just got manners."

"Alright. You'll be the first person I call if something goes down, okay?"

"Okay. Have fun girl...be safe. Say a prayer or somethin', will ya?" she sighed heavily rolling her eyes in the same breath.

"Yes ma'am, bye girl."

-click-

'I hate this supernatural shit.' Tara fumed staring at the phone with enough anger and disappointment to melt it.

She got up walked to the coffee table in front of the television and snatched up the ice cream and the DVD s she borrowed from Lafayette. As she reached the kitchen, she suddenly didn't feel like watching the DVD s anymore and the ice cream had lost its appeal the moment Sookie called. She decided to go sit on the porch and just gaze. She hadn't done that in a while. Yes, maybe a little time in the night air would give her some peace of mind. Alone again...

She put on a pair of flip flops near the front door and stepped over the threshold, stopping short when a rush of cool air washed over her. It was almost perfect but almost doesn't count. It never did. Just as she sat on the steps leading up to the porch a sudden wind shook the trees causing her to look around her heart beating a little quicker as she scanned the property.

A tree to her left caught her attention.

'Who's there!" she said in her sternest voice. "Don't play wit me. If you're here for Sookie... she ain't here so just leave." She finished staring wildly as things calmed down. A couple bats flew from the tree and she exhaled, feeling quite stupid now for having yelling at some bats.

She looked down putting a hand over her mouth and laughed. When she looked up again at tall blond vampire met her gaze. He was wearing a black tank and some loose fitting slacks with some Sperry s.

'Shit!' she jumped back up a couple of stairs, putting a hand to her now heaving chest. 'Dammit, didn't you get the memo? Sookie ain't here." she said standing and backtracking towards the door. Realizing who this vampire was and all he'd done to Sookie's life, a grimace marred her features.

A small crooked smile crept over his face as he stared down at her.

"Yes, I see she isn't here."

"Then why are you still here?" swiping some loose braids behind her ears. "Ya can't come in, so take ya dead ass on home."

"Someone's in a sour mood." he said now making quick work of the few stairs leading to the door. "Perhaps, I could be of some assistance...Help you alleviate some of that tension."

"I don't need none of your help. You're not fooling anyone looking at me like that." Growing bolder , she took a step forward and began craning her neck at him and her trembling hands curled into fists that slammed into her arms which she put across her chest. Images of a tortured and terrified Lafayette ran through her mind.

You know what? Don't even look at me. I know the shit y'all like to pull, glamoring people and shit like that. Then, you drain em' and leave em' for dead. In fact, Sookie's out with your friend Bill, right now. I bet he's just itchin to drain her, she should've listened to me when I told her to stay away from y'all.

Something in Eric's demeanor changed as sped closing the distance between them instantly. A piece of his highlighted hair fell right in his eye, fangs fully bared his cold breath fanned right on her neck as she looked away from him defiantly.

"You've made two mistakes tonight. One, comparing me to that pathetic excuse for a vampire, Bill Compton, and two, implying that he and I are acquaintances." visibly cringing at the image of Bill with his unskilled hands over Sookie he added, "He's something to be exterminated."

" Well, now we've got something in common but you're all the same to me, even better when you're dead."

" Our mutual distaste in Compton has me seeing you in a different light." staring at her with an almost understanding look.

He was having way too much fun with this particular human. He sensed the melancholy and strength that was in her. So sad and bitter but he bet if he drank just a little of it, it would be sweet because under all the sadness was something luscious . He realized he shouldn't have skipped dinner cause Tara was looking more and more like a quick meal at this moment. He caught himself staring, retracted his fangs and stepped back allowing her to get free. She looked into his icy blue-gray eyes as she fumbled behind her back for the door handle, once free she sidled inside and shut the door fast. He watched her, her pulse moving seductively in her neck the pace quickening then slowing as she fought for words to say. Oh, the tangy sweetness that could be his if only...Breaking his train of thought she spoke up.

"Eric, you should just come back when she's here. Any business you got with her is something I want none of, so be off."

Walking up close to the door his face nearly pressing against the screen. Hands in pockets and another crooked smile splashed across his face.

"I now think I have business with you, Tara Thorton."

"The hell you do Eric!" she said locking the door and moving back to close the main door. "Just cause we both hate Bill, doesn't mean that I still don't hate you for what you did to my cousin and all that you're still doing to Sookie."

"Aw, don't be that way. I think we could get along famously. Your 'I don't give a fuck' attitude will be the glue that holds us together." he said trying his best to put on a friendly face.

Feeling much braver behind the security of the doors she looked him square in the eye. "mmhmm, just leave. And when I re-open the door your ass better be gone. As in not on this property. I got a gun and silver bullets. I will shoot a mutha fucka in the ass. If you don't want it to be yours, you'll leave.

"As you wish but I'll be back, we've got unfinished business. " He turned around and headed towards the stairs when he reached the last one he was fully immersed in the moonlight, which added a sultry look to his features. He turned back a last time nodded and was gone.

"Ugh!" She exclaimed as she slid down behind the door hearing the wind swoosh in a way that signaled her that he was finally gone. She got up slowly feeling a little giddy from the series of events. Well, she had wanted company...not his company...but it was still company nonetheless. He was right though, they both hated Bill and that was a plus. To Tara, anyone who hated Bill, was a friend of hers but why did the only other person who could do something about it have to be a vampire. A tall, good-looking, smug, asshole of a vampire. Her head drooped in contemplation. It wasn't that serious Tara. Get a grip. He was just trying to get you to let him in. You did good. What does he mean he has business with me? I'm not going outside at night anymore. Fuck, I gotta get some silver, that'll fix his ass.

She wanted to call someone now and tell them about her encounter with Eric. Someone who had dealt with him before. She didn't really need to know more about Eric, just more about how his mind games worked cause, he was definitely trying to pull some Jedi-mind trickery shit with her tonight. The only person she could turn to was Lafayette. She went to her bag on the sofa and pulled out her little cell phone. Flipping it open she scrolled through the few contacts until she found her cousin's number. Chewing her bottom lip in hesitation she furrowed her brow and with a shaky resolve pressed the send key on the pad.

"Speak." He said on the other end. With some low-key music in the background, his zebra robe loosely tied around his waist and his pink fuzzy slipper clad feet up on the table.

"Hey Lafayette!"

"Yes Tara what's up, girl?" He said opening a soda on the end table near the sofa.

"Um..nothing, I'm fine I swear."

"Stop playing and spit it out, hookah. You don't sound fine." Getting a familiar feeling from the sound of Tara's voice he sat up and took a sip of coke.

"You know that vampire the one that kidnapped you-" a long silence followed.Great way to word that, eh Tara. she winced at the tone of her last remark. Then he breathed deeply.

"Trick, you better not be talkin about Eric Northman. He is one bad mothafucker and yo' ass need to stay the fuck away from him, okay?"

"He came over here looking for Sookie. I didn't invite him in or anything. So, don't stress."

"So, then what are you callin me for if nothing happened, hmm? Don't let him fool you, he is a manipulator and once he has something in his sight he doesn't it them leave..."

"How do you know all this?"

"What didn't you get about trapped...in a basement...watching people getting eaten up...and praying you weren't next didn't you comprehend." She was now biting her nails too afraid to say anything else for fear of bringing back those horrid memories that he held. "Look, I'm supposed to have your back, and you got mine. I can't watch your ass if you keep putting it in danger."

Feeling a little better now he took another sip of coke and let his body sink back into the plush material of the couch. So trust me on this and when he comes around looking for Sookie, just play like you don't know nothin and he'll leave."

"Okay, that's all I needed to hear." she sighed peeking out of the now closed window.

"Why? Did he say something to you?"

"No, I just told him how I much I hate vampires, especially Bill."

"And."

"And he agreed. Then he started talking about business."

"Bitch, stop right there...that's a red flag...that's the little person screaming DANGER DANGER. Now you definitely need to stay the fuck away from him. I mean it."

A loud rapping came from Lafayette's door. He shouted away from the receiver, "I'm coming, hold on." He placed his mouth back to the receiver and lowered his voice, "I don't have anything else to say. And someone's knocking on the door. I got a customer...I'll call you back...Just do what I told you."

"Yeah, Lafayette. I promise."

Lafayette's PLACE

"I'm comin'. I'm comin'. Damn." he yelled

The incessant knocking continued. When he finally opened the door his face went flush. His heart dropped into his stomach and he felt instantly nauseous.

"Is that anyway to treat a guest?" The voice asked dryly

"Um..I invi...come on in." He said looking through the door and through the guest to see what he might have done today to warrant a visit from Satan, himself.

"That's better. You've nothing to worry about. I'm not here to collect any money. I need some information."

The tall guest ducked through the doorway and looked around. The décor of this home just oozed cheap to him. A thousand years and he'd never seen so much faux fur and smelled so much incense and weed. He decided to stand because what he wanted really shouldn't take all that long to get.

"Um, have a seat." He pointed to the couch where he'd been sitting only minutes earlier.

"I think I'll stand." The guest retorted.

"Fine, so what can I do for you, Eric, sir.." he looked around wide-eyed and trapped.

"Tell me everything you know about your cousin, Tara Thorton."

"Wait....whatever she did, she won't do it no mo'. Imma call her right now and set her straight and then-" Eric cut in.

"That wasn't a request. I've got a business proposition for your cousin and I need to know more about her before I make another move. So sit, get comfortable and start talking."

A terrified and still queasy Lafayette sat down on the couch and put his face in his hands. Looking up he sighed in defeat.

"What do wanna you know, bossman?"

"Everything."

End Notes:

....Eric's hot.

Thanx for reading.

Friend Is A Four Letter Word by Outlawstar615

Still thinking about Eric from time to time as she tried to go to sleep, she writhed in the sheets trying to blur out his face, scratch out his smirk. And those eyes...those piercing eyes...she'd let them stay, they were just too beautiful. Tara shuddered to think what power Eric could wield in her life. No matter how strong she thought Lafayette was, he was a mere shell of that person whenever Eric's name came into the equation. That was proof enough that he was one dangerous vampire. But she wasn't the type to be subservient to anyone not even her boss. She was just tired of being second banana to Sookie. With Sam she was a sad Sookie replacement. When would her turn come? When would it be her turn to be sought after. The only answer she could come up with is..When Bill Compton is erased from our lives...and Sookie can pretend to be normal, and then some therapy...LOTS of therapy for the whole town of Bon Temps. That thought set her mind at ease accompanied by a mental image of Bill in one of his artsy looking shirts and nice fitting jeans, sitting in his nice car, in the sun, of course. Little flecks of his pale skin peeling off and burning an orange-reddish-blueish flame engulfing each piece of flesh before it smolders into ash. And slowly but surely he burns and fades away. NO! Maybe he'll explode really violently with the aid of a little gasoline, lots of holy water and silver... can't forget the silver. It would help if he was screaming too. 'Suck-ay is mahn!' In his really over-exaggerated accent. Nobody Tara knew had an accent like that. He had a century or so to work on an accent and he chose to perfect a stupid one...it just irked her. She knew he was hiding something, he didn't really care about Sookie he just wants to control her, manipulate her gifts and so Bill must die...again...permanently.

Work was normal. Patrons were rude and got cursed out, Arlene had her mental breakdowns regularly and for a couple weeks things were just as they had been before that crazy night. Lafayette was a bit quieter though whenever Tara was around. When they would bump into each other occasionally he would look away as if he'd done something shameful. It unnerved her but she thought he might be having 'episodes' like Terry had when he first came back.

Stranger than that, after a shift where he wouldn't say two words to her, he would call her late at night to make sure she was okay. She could only attribute this to him taking the 'watch your back' part of the speech too seriously. It was still rage inducing to watch Bill sit in a booth all alone and stalk Sookie while she worked...that's just another night she wouldn't be home and when she did, she'd be riddled with bite marks and overly tired.

"Tara, can you lock up for me, I've got a killer headache and just need to get out of here." Sam twirled in one of his rugged flannel shirts with the sleeves rolled up. He had a glass full of ice pressed against his temple and his keys in hand. She stared thinking back to when they'd had their little fling. It just didn't seem right now.

"Sure Sam, just you go home and take some aspirin, okay?" She said waving him off. "I've got it, I'll be fine."

"Thanks. I owe you one." He called as he headed out the door.

She heard the motor start and then him drive away. She turned out the lights in the main area and left only the lights over the bar on as she wiped down the counter. She decided to stop and have a drink. Bourbon on the rocks sounded like a good drink to end an otherwise completely uneventful day. She had a couple of glasses laid out on the counter she filled hers and left the others empty. She slowly sipped the drink, savoring the familiar burn it created in her throat. She picked up the glass and held it up to the light admiring how clearly she could see through it.

"I'll never be like you." she sighed. "clear enough to see the light inside...or on the otherside..somthin like that."

"You're not much of a philosopher, Tara Mae." A voice called out from the door.

Even though she knew who the voice belonged to, it still sent a shock to her system. She dropped the glass shielding her face from it as it fell. It shattered on the counter in front of her and she could see her reflection and her spilled Bourbon seven fold in the shards.

"What in the hell are you doing here?" She didn't look back, just kept looking down at the shards.

"I told you we had unfinished business, friend." He took a couple of steps and was in the middle of taking a couple more when she shouted to him.

"Don't come any closer! I've got so much silver over here, you're gonna think I robbed an antique shop!"

He laughed softly, a rare sound, if ever there was one. She hopped off the stool and started to pick up the pieces of glass. Her fingers landed clumsily on the sharpest piece causing her to mutter several expletives. He sped to her side catching the wrist of her right hand where several drops of blood trickled down her wrist. The light above them barely illuminating his face. Another sleeveless garment clung to his muscular frame and he wore denim jeans which accentuated his physique quite well. He was nearly to height with the light fixture, it was hard to see what shoes he wore, all she knew was that they made noise when he walked and that they were probably expensive.

"Let go!" She fought but he didn't ease up, just held her tighter, without bruising her thin wrist. He stared at her with an under-eyed expression that silenced her pleas. He held her wrist up to his face examining where the blood continued to spill. Her long, slender, and now feverish fingertips were curled under in a loose fist. He gently pried them open and gently begin lapping up the blood. He closed his eyes trying to remember when he'd tasted anything like this.

"Just as I thought, bitter yet sweet." He muttered not realizing she had heard him and was now staring. Unflinching and brave Tara watched as he laved at her wrist catching the blood that was there. She almost wanted to tilt her head back but her self control kept her functions in check. She watched miraculously as her cuts slowly closed, revealing her fingers as they were only moments before he scared her.

As soon as the cuts disappeared she snatched her wrist free and stepped back. He didn't approach her just waited for a response.

"Why are you here, dammit?" She looked at him through squinted eyes. "You missed Sookie by a half an hour."

Taking her words as an invitation to move closer he spoke. "A thank you would suffice. Even the closest strangers show respect, Tara." He titled his head in a way that undid her nerves. "And yes I knew she had already gone. I saw her and Compton pull off before the red head-"

"Arlene." she corrected.

"Arlene, and the shifter-"

"Sam." again she corrected him.

"Yes, Sam."

"I thought you would be coming out before them, so when everyone left-"

"Why were you waiting on me? I told you, we have nothing to discuss. I don't owe you anything, I don't know you, and you're crazy if you think just cause Sookie won't let you get at her that you can just keep following me."

He was being really patient right now, he thought. Never had he let anyone other than Sookie and Pam yell at him like he was a child. But for the sake of what he was after right now, he would let her continue. His thinking was that she won't be yelling too much longer...not after what he was about to do. Or maybe she'd be yelling louder.

"When we last spoke I realized many things that I had been avoiding since I met Sookie Stackhouse."

"And how does this have anything to do wit' me?"

" First off, I realized that I hate Compton more than I know. Hate is such a useless emotion, my maker told me that. And it only makes whatever you hate first in your life. With the job I have and the life I lead hate, makes me weak. Secondly, I may never have a chance with Sookie. This new world that she's apart of is already too much for her and while she acknowledges me as occasional help, she will not recognize me as anything more. Which-"

Seeing that this would yet again be another sob story about how Sookie is so special Tara, just snapped. Tears welling in her eyes that she vehemently tried to fight she broke out in a shaky voice.

"This.. This shit still has nothing to do with me...all I'm hearing is Sookie and Bill. Its pathetic." She blinked and the tears fell.

Eric Northman hated tears almost as much as he did Compton, another hate related thing that he knew made him weak. He had seen Sookie cry once before and could think of nothing else but trying to avoid having to deal with it. As far as the damned water works went he would buy anything, kill anyone, or do anything to make them go away.

"Had you let me finish, you would have heard that you are the answer to both my problems."

She changed her stance to place her hands on her hips and sniffed as if to say, "Go on, you've piqued my interest."

He walked even closer to the point where he towered over her and just stared. The pale skin looking almost translucent in the dim lighting.

"You can help me get over Sookie Stackhouse and dispose of Bill Compton permanently."

"And just how the hell do you expect me to do that?" she said with so much attitude he laughed. He grabbed her chin and bit his lower lip. He roped a long arm around her waste and pulled her flush against the ice that was his body. Her skin was so hot that they could almost see a steam rise between them. He bent his head down and she tilted hers. An open- mouthed kiss that left her head spinning was all it took for her to nearly melt. She almost had half a mind to strip right there. Had it really been that long since a man touched her? It didn't matter if he had a pulse or not anymore...a man was a man. Eric fit those criteria..absolutely.

He cupped her neck with one hand and began placing small kisses down, behind her ears, the column of her neck...really, anywhere that her supple ebony skin would allow. He was usually not one to be so gentle, especially with someone who he knew could be just as wild as he was. But scaring this opportunity away was not something he wanted to do. Quite the opposite, this business venture was one he hoped would last indefinitely.

"Well, I thought you could start by being my friend." he said between kisses.

She breathed out in disappointment. "You mean a fuck buddy?" Now looking down with a quirked eyebrow. She placed her hands on his shoulders trying to push him away but with so little effort even she didn't believe she'd attempted to push him. "Cause that's not a very fulfilling situation. You still end up alone after you realize that you're just using that person for a free fuck and a little company."

"You make it sound so meaningless." He breathed against her neck, he'd found a special niche right under her ear, that just needed his undivided attention. "And besides, I haven't even fucked you, yet."

"Fuck," she said adjusting to the little breeze that she felt on her neck. "Eric, that's cause it is meaningless. "

"Where's your imagination? No work of art has any meaning unless the participants apply one, right?

"Um, sure...a little lower." she managed to hum.

"Well, let's pretend there's meaning in what we'll be doing and then the payoff will be Compton's demise and our needs get met." As he uttered the last part he hoisted her up on the counter and used one of his hands to swipe away the broken glass,then he let his hands rest firmly on hips, which were barely covered by the jean fabric of her shorts.

"So, what do you say to my little proposition?"

"mmm, I dunno. What if I say no?" she said folding her arms.

"You won't say no." he said lowering his voice. His hands sliding painstakingly slow up her thighs resting on the waist of her shorts.

"How do you-" he didn't let her finish. He ripped the shorts from her lower half exposing her legs to the breeze.

"Those were my favorite, bastard." an almost animal look came over her and she grabbed onto his shirt and ripped it from the collar down, exposing his sculpted chest and more pale skin. She nearly attacked him with her kiss. In fact it pushed him off balance a little, their arms moving fluidly and quickly to rid each other of the remainder of their clothing.

When she was completely bare to him he helped maneuver her body so that it was in line with the counter and then placed his hand at the base of her neck and gently pushed her body flat against the top. She shivered at the feel of the spilled Bourbon on her back and in her hair. She hoped he would lick it off later. They were relatively close to the end of the counter and he wasn't yet satisfied with he position on the counter. With a swift movement he took the ankle of the foot nearest him and slid her down the bar meeting her at the end when she looked up. Her ass was nearly over the edge.

"Will you hurry the fuck up." she whined. "It's getting cold up here."

To answer her request he placed his head against her heat and began darting his tongue in and out of her pussy. He would put it in as far as it could go and take it out inch by inch. Then he switched up and slid two fingers in, pumping slowly then faster as her responses became more erratic. Her backed arched and he had to hold her hips still to keep her from bucking. He continued his slow torture on her until he was good and ready to seal the deal. Her eyes were already rolling in the back of her head. He thought she'd waited long enough.

He climbed onto the cold counter top and sat down, pulled her up and lifted her effortlessly over him. Taking in her form in the light. Toned, thick in the right places she was a change of pace from some of his usuals. He was intrigued by this human. Her quick wit, her voraciousness, her tenacity. In another life they could have been together, legitimately. But for right now it was okay that they were here in this moment, broken creatures with similar aims; dead end friends. He didn't waste another minute thinking of their situation, right now, he had a beautiful girl in front of him, one he intended to fuck unconscious. He had better get started and stop thinking so much.

She kneeled in front of him, accepting that she was really about to let this happen. She still didn't see how this would be different from being with Sam but Eric talked a good game, no wonder so many people were indebted to him. She saw the look in his eyes. She had sported that same look earlier when she had kissed him. He finally slid her down on top of her length. Her head fell back and he filled her completely. He didn't move, trying to give her time to adjust to his sizable member. He decided to turn her over and lay her back on the counter. He began moving. Finally she thought.

"You should probably hold on now." he instructed. His pumping making her thrash wildly about under him.

"I'm fine." she managed to breathe out in a cocky tone. "You just better make...make sure you make sure I don't regret this friendship."

"I assure you, you won't." he smirked, hands pressing hard into the counter and her frame.

His speed picked up and every stroke perfect, her arms with a mind of their own seemed to move around Eric's frame placing scratches on his back that healed just as soon as she'd placed them there. She'd already come twice by now but he was insatiable, deciding to change position and flipped her on her stomach, not giving her a minutes rest. Skin slapping skin, the incessant pounding made them deaf to the world. When they climaxed for a final time they came together, every ounce of her energy went to trying to stay conscious and his to not completely collapsing on top of her. Her walls closed around him clenching at him. His head thrown back in ecstasy now lay on her back, his arms still supporting his weight.

With no where to roll he pulled out and lay her motionless form against his front. The warmth from her body made him hold her closer. She was still barely awake and looked up into his eyes a sheen of sweat covering her skin.

"Why the fuck, weren't we friends sooner? She laughed her heaving chest now calming down.

"You weren't ready for a friend like me." He laughed back as he watched her eyes fluttering to try and stay open.

He waited until she was fully asleep then, he moved from under her and lay her gently back on the counter. Something about her nude form sprawled about on a counter almost made him wake her and do it all over again. He'd accomplished step one of his plan, befriend and make a lover out of Tara Thorton. Step two would be a walk in the park now that she was on his side, but he couldn't help but get the feeling that he would get more out of this than he bargained. He hoped this hunch of his was wrong.

A Strange Arrangement by Outlawstar615

He got dressed quickly; what was left of his clothes, and found a tablecloth in the back with which to cover Tara, whose clothes were shreds of fabric now. He'd ripped them off with brute force. Then, he carried her to his red Corvette in the parking lot, gently placing her in the passenger seat and buckling her up. He ran back inside cleaned off the counter and the broken glass. He decided that since taking her home like this would obviously get a terrible reaction from Sookie and would make him look like a complete perv, that it was best for her to come home with him tonight, at least she'd be safe.

While Tara slept, she felt as if she were flying. She was on auto pilot -a feeling that couldn't be snatched away even in her sleep, which was quite a change from her waking life. Between her mother, her job, and Sook, there wasn't much time for Tara to just be herself.

Eric's House

With pursed lips, a confused Pam inspected Eric's catch of the night as he walked briskly through the front door. Tara, who appeared blissfully dead was draped over his shoulder, one arm supporting her back and the other wrapped around her thighs.

"Eric, what possessed you to bring her here?" Pam interrogated as she paced the floor. "Shall I call someone to dispose of the body?"

"Not now, Pam." he muttered waving her off as he carried Tara to a guest room.

"Well, why is she here? Why doesn't she have on cloth-...you didn't." she put a hand over her eyes and shook her head in disbelief. "Eric, tell me didn't fuck that human." she followed him down the hallway her heels clicking impatiently behind him.

"Pam, I said not now." he continued "Besides, I fuck humans all the time. Why should this make any difference to you?" he said turning around to face her and laying Tara in Pam's arms to which she rolled her eyes. Tara wriggled a bit and tried to get comfortable hitting Pam in the face. A scowl replaced Pam's annoyed expression. He sped off quickly and came back with a big shirt and some shorts for Tara.

"Well, Einstein, she's not only the best friend of the little telepath you've been chasing, she's also the best friend of the little telepath you've been chasing!" He slipped the clothes on her while she was still in Pam's arms. Then, took her and continued walking towards the nearest available room. He was still in deep thought and Pam's barking made him yearn for the scratch of nails on a chalk board.

He stopped when he could no longer take her conscious investigation of events "I've NOT been chasing Sookie Stackhouse, merely using her gifts to benefit us. Haven't things been smooth for us since we freely have access to her gifts?" He was lying through his teeth. Sookie was a person of interest and everyone around him had realized it since she'd been in his life.

She lowered her head in agreement. "Yes." she conceded "But not always. Do you really think she's gonna be okay with this. This little show is gonna kill whatever kind of trust she has with you, you'll never be with her now."

Taking her into a well lit room, he placed Tara on the queen sized bed, pulled the covers over her, then took Pam by the arm and led her out of the surprisingly bright room.

"Don't you think I know that." He rolled his eyes childishly. "I don't want Sookie, no longer wish to have her as a lover, it was temporary and now I'm over it." he pouted. "There's something raw about this one," He motioned to the room that Tara lay asleep in. "and she's going to help us get rid of Compton." he added as a bonus to convince his progeny.

"As much as I detest Bill, there's no outright reason to end his life, and you know that. You can be such a breather, sometimes, Eric." she walked off shaking her head at her maker's actions.

"Goodnight Pam," he called after her. "Sleep well."

"Yeah, yeah Eric, whatever you say. I'm sure you'll sleep just fine."

"Your conscious is showing." he yelled back

"And so is yours." she retorted

Staring after her, he glared. He knew Pam was right. She often was. After all, she was his child, wise, straight forward, and she provided him with many much needed wake up calls. This time he would prove her wrong, show her that his dependence on Sookie Stackhouse was waning and that Tara was now filling that void. This was for both of them.

He went back into the room that he'd set Tara in and sat on the edge of the bed. She slept wildly her braids strewn about the pillow a chaotic way. He crawled up the bed and sat beside her, legs crossed as if this whole scene was normal. As if, she was always there, her body molded to the mattress; to this place, to him. She shifted her body turning over to face him. Her eyes fluttered open and she looked up at him.

"Rest. You've used a lot of energy." he told her as he eyed her in the gray over-sized shirt and black shorts.

"Don't worry bout' me." she stretched and sat up, wincing when she felt pain in muscles she didn't even know she had. "I'm more worried about Merlotte's. I hope we didn't break anything." she blushed. "...it'll be coming out of my pay check." he smiled and let his back fall against the head board of the bed.

"Everything's taken care of." he sighed. "You should rest, you'll be sore for a few days. Not sleeping will make it worse." he looked away from her to stare blankly at a wall whose color suddenly became more radiant to him. She shifted again on the bed, bringing him back from his thoughts. "Or you could have some of my blood." he said throwing it out there nonchalantly. He propped a hand under his chin and awaited her answer.

She immediately perked up and started getting out of the bed. Moving as slow as she could to avoid further pain, she looked down at her clothes, realizing she'd been changed.

"I knew-" he cut her off, using his speed to get behind her.

"Just think about it." he whispered secretively, as if to say, No one has to know. "I wouldn't ever force anything down your beautiful throat." He ran his cold fingers down the column of her throat. She shivered and warmed up all over again. "Unless, you asked for it." the corners of his mouth sneaking suspiciously into the same grin that got her on that counter at Merlotte's in the first place.

She turned to face him, seeing that he would likely just get her all hot and bothered all over again and then she'd never be able to sort things out with a clear head. "Okay, so being friends," she air quoted "is perfectly fine. It's all good fun, but nobody didn't agree on me drinkin' none of your blood. I know what the blood does to people. I've lived with Sookie long enough to know what kind of kinky shit she dreams of when she drinks vampire blood.

"Fair enough," he agreed. "But you know we've already skipped the natural order of things, you and I. You might as well let me have this extended act of our friendship."

Crossing her arms in contemplation and as an attempt to muster confidence she finally said, "Well, yeah I guess we have. We skipped right through getting to know each other and jumped right into crazy sex."

Her blunt remark elicited another laugh from Eric, who grabbed her shoulders, "Also, when we finally help Compton to the true death, I can't have you in any type of dangerous situation where I can't get to you easily. Aside from the side-effects you already know of, I'll be able to feel you wherever you are, find you, help you, or we could..."

Biting her bottom lip and locking her eyes on his she conceded, "I get it. I get it." She sat back down on the edge of the bed letting one leg swing over the edge while the other was brought up to her chest. An expanse of brown skin exposed through the small shorts.

"What happened to cell phones? You too advanced to use one. You gotta remember you're dealing with a human, here." she babbled on awkwardly.

She had never really to think about a man this much before. Usually, 'hit it and quit it' was the approach that suited her best. That way, no one would have to talk about families and problems and all the other mushy crap that made relationships last, you know, communication. But this man, this vampire, before her tonight only asked for her company from time to time, for her to drink his blood, and to help him murder one of his own. Scratch the 'one of his own' part, he'd likely growl if he'd heard her say that. As far as they were both concerned this arrangement would do all of those things and make them definitely less-stressed out about the things they couldn't change and only worried about the things they could.

Her head fell back, exposing her neck, braids nearly touching the bedding, she elicited a sigh.

"Don't do that." he broke her meditative state.

"Why? You hungry?" she teased, leaning her head this way and that to seductively show off her swan-like neck.

"Yes, actually." he replied truthfully. "The little that I took from you earlier, that's not really my idea of a meal." he towered over her, taking in his fill of her scent. She still smelled of them and that thought alone had him about ready to drop fang and help her out of those clothes.

"What? You gonna bite me?" truly interested in his next answer she sat up stunned when she saw his eyes; usually calculating, distant, and in control, they now held a desperate gleam, one she wanted to test. She might as well since she was here. When would she ever get another chance like this? Hopefully, every night, if she milked this time for all it was worth.

"You shouldn't ask questions you don't really want the answer to, friend."

As soon as those words left his mouth he was over her. Her eyes wide like a deer in headlights and pulse racing. This feeling was so familiar and yet new. She thought it was one she could get used to every now and again. Her back now flat against the bedding, her legs still over the side of the bed and his arms holding him up as he stared down at her.

"Tell me," he groaned "Tell me that you need me, Tara."

"What if I don't?" She reached a hand up and to touch his chest and slid it slowly down until he startled her with another groan.

"Say it."

Her shirt was over her head in a blur. She suddenly couldn't remember her own name let alone that she had to go to work in the morning. Am I being glamoured? She thought. She blinked the thought out of her head. She would know if her mind was being hijacked, this feeling was quite the opposite. She was just really fuzzy inside.

"Say it." he growled again, now fumbling with the hem of her shorts, threatening to rip them from her with the slightest movement.

"You need me." she grinned, pulling him against her body, his cold chest flat against her warm one.

"So it seems." he breathed against her neck.

He rolled her on top of him and sat up so that she was straddling him. He sat up, moving a wrist from her back to his mouth. Without breaking eye-contact with her, he bit into his wrist and held it to her mouth. She hesitantly stared at the small crimson drops forming at the site and when she finally convinced herself that everything would be fine she grabbed on holding him firmly with both hands and took her fill.

And she fed. Feeling the rush of energy, lust and want from his cold bitter blood, she became too enchanted by the ringing in her ears to realize he was on top again. His fangs grazed her shoulder skin causing little drops of bead and drip down, which he gladly licked up. He stopped at her neck hesitating when felt her tensing up. He understood her concern and traveled lower, continuing his hunt for spot to feed. He reached her thighs, still covered by the shorts. He ripped them off in the same fashion as the pair she wore earlier. He put his hand under her left thigh, lifting it up just enough to meet his teeth. Inhaling deeply he pierced her skin, holding her still as she squirmed. After the initial pain subsided, Tara, relished in the euphoric feelings that now took hold of her. She stroked his neck and he titled his head appreciatively. His skin so soft as she slid across the muscle.

In no time at all he had her bucking and babbling incoherently while his mind was divided between her and what Pam had said earlier. This time, now, was to prove to himself that he could do what he damn well pleased. Pam wasn't his parent. He was the parent. He was to be obeyed and she was to follow. He would make Tara mean something to him, he already had. Sookie tried to ignore her calling but this one if introduced properly would flourish and be a remarkable lover and maybe someday a progeny. No, he liked that she was warm and why was he thinking of turning her, she was just a step in his plan. What was the plan again? He couldn't rightly remember what his intentions were anymore and that was frightening. He looked down to see her staring at him with a omniscient air, as if, she knew he was just as confused as she was. All this in one night because she was interesting, new, and hated his enemy.

She woke up alone on the bed, the imprint of his frame was still there and she felt fantastic. A nights worth of forgetting all about the rest of the world is just what she needed to get on with the day. Naked again, she searched around for something to hide herself in. She knew she was at Eric's home but there could be others here and a strange naked human in a house probably full of hungry vampires wasn't an appealing idea to her right now.

"Where the hell is that shirt?" she mumbled looking on the floor and under the bed for the borrowed cloth.

"Right here, miss." A short brunette answered from the doorway.

Tara nearly jumped out of her skin when she remembered she was completely nude. She snatched the top sheet from the bed creating a makeshift toga to hide her nudity.

"Its alright." the young lady walked over and held out a hand with the shirt. "You'd be surprised how many naked people I see around here. But you must be special though, he never lets em' stay here. Its always the same, he has his way with em' then sends em' home.

Too stunned to speak, Tara, reached out for the shirt. The lady shook her head and placed a note in her hand instead. She took the note and opened it, realizing the young woman was still watching her intent on catching any reaction from the note. She cleared her throat loudly alternating glances between the girl and the door, she hoped the girl would take the hint and give her some privacy. The girl looked up, nodded, and with a disappointed look stalked towards the door.

"Just give a shout when you're done. Oh, and there's some clothing for you in the boudoir over there."

After she was sure of the girl's departure Tara went first the boudoir, which she hadn't even noticed until now and found some clothing that fit her perfectly. Now fully clothed she sat down to read the note.

Tara,

It seems you and I have formed a strange arrangement, one I am quite enjoying.

For as long as this friendship endures, I can promise you my protection and if need be, my guidance. I warn you, your association with me will affect you and those around you. Just know that I will not betray your trust.

As for our current pressing matters, I would like for you to join me in 3 nights time to discuss in more detail how we can resolve and neutralize the situation with minimal conflict and destruction. If, this changes, you'll see me before then. Remember that I'm now bonded to you. Nothing you feel will be felt alone.

~Eric Northman

"What have I gotten myself into now." She closed her eyes tightly, hoping that she was maybe still asleep. Maybe, she just had a really good dream that was ending badly. Maybe, she was in Gran's house in her room sleeping and all she had to do is open her eyes and she'd be there. She opened one eye and peered around. She looked down at her self in the clothes he'd gotten for her.

"Dammit."

End Notes:
Thanks For Reading.
Keep Your Hands Off My Girl by Outlawstar615

Since they bonded Tara, just couldn't manage to keep her mind under control. Several times at work even the tiniest thing could make her think about him. She didn't even have to try; it was becoming as common as breathing and it was stressing her out. Tonight, she was taking a road not too far from Merlotte's. Not many people traveled this road and so it seemed to be a perfectly tranquil place to relieve stress and drive the lustful thoughts that were boiling her blood to the back of her mind. Tonight she wore a blue tank, trimmed in lace at the neck and a jean skirt that stopped just above her knees. It was something she wouldn't normally wear but she always felt like he was watching her nowadays, why not give him something to look at?

She kept the note he wrote in her pocket as a reminder that it had really happened. She still wasn't sold on the idea of killing Bill or just casually having sex with Eric whenever he wanted. In her experience, vampires tended to always have ulterior motives when dealing with humans. But every time she was with Eric, he told her nothing but the truth…hell, he hadn't even tried to glamour her. She admitted that he was trustworthy and that maybe she should just stop over thinking the everything. She began thinking about Sookie and what would happen to her if, she ever found who was responsible for Bill's death. What would she say? What would she do? Would she read her mind and automatically know who did it?

How convenient was it for him to be driving on the exact road Tara was walking on only 2 nights into their absence of each other. All the lust Eric had been pouring through their bond soon brought him to her. He couldn't seem to stay away. Three days was starting to seem like a year, but he was just trying to give both of them time to sort out their thoughts, even though he knew she wouldn't want to leave him hanging. They were helping each other in a way that was twisted and lovely. And to him, she had become this beautiful confusion. She held so much back when she spoke to him, fighting him with words every step of the way but when it came to sex, she would give herself completely, revealing someone more beautiful and powerful than he could imagine. Whether she knew it or not, she had him in strange territory. She could ask for anything and as strong willed and unyielding as he was, he would find a way to fulfill her desires.

Comfortable and smug, he drove slowly behind her, the quiet engine not even capturing her attention. He was content with following her from a distance, watching his latest paramour walk the abandoned and quiet road. She turned around and saw the figure of a car coming her way. He turned on his brights and drove straight towards her stopping just at her feet. Shielding her eyes from the extreme illumination she finally placed her hands back to her side as he rolled down the window

"Shit." she breathed when she could finally make out who the driver was.

"Get in." he invited.

"What the hell are you doing out here...no wait, let me guess..the blood."

"Do you want the ride or not?" he clacked impatiently

She didn't argue anymore, she just took in the last breathes of the fresh air that she'd probably get the rest of the night and climbed in the car. She tried not to look at him just stared straight ahead.

"I thought you said three days." she said finally facing him as he drove off.

"Seat belt."

"Huh?"

"Tara, put on your seat belt. We wouldn't want you to get injured, would we?" he said staring at down at her hands clasped together tightly atop her lap."

"Nervous?" he did a U-turn and began heading for Fangtasia

"What have I got to be to nervous about? She looked out the window trying to regain her composure.

"Nothing, if you trust me. Everything, if you don't." he reached across her seat to untangle her fingers.

"Now, relax. I just decided to push up our little meeting."

"I trust you." she said trying to blink away the nerves which she wasn't hiding very well. " I trust you.." she said again with a little more conviction. "I just don't trust myself and this plan."

"You are stronger than you think."

"How would you know? You don't anything about me?" she hissed

"I know more about you than you think, Tara." he shot her a glance which made her shrink back in her seat.

"Is that only because of the blood? Can you do some CSI type shit with my blood, huh?" She pulled herself up, sitting tall to stare at him.

"I have background checks done on those I intend to do business with."

"Really?"

"Of course. I can't someone half-assing or botching up anything important. But I'll admit, I took the easy route with you by asking your cousin, Lafayette everything I wanted to know."

"You could've just asked me."

"Yes, and I suppose you would've have just coughed up an full autobiography that first time I met you." he retorted

"No." she conceded.

"Compared to Bill, I'm a pathetic excuse for a detective. I've got to hand it to him, he's gone all out to acquire Sookie's history."

"That's what couples do. They learn about each others past."

"Really? Well, Bill's got quite a file on Ms. Stackhouse, one I don't think he acquired just from talking to her."

"I'm not believin' that. He's an ass but he wouldn't do that. That's something I would expect from you."

"All vampires are capable of what's he's done. Only those as weak as him, would be so stupid as to do it without a second thought."

"Stop the bullshit."

Eric quirked an eyebrow "So, you knew that Sookie drank Bill's blood the night they met?"

"She was gonna die, he did it to save her." She defended.

"I just don't understand you humans with your optimism." He said condescendingly. "Bill arranged for her to get injured by those inbred V-heads so that he could give her his blood. Sookie doesn't even know. He can ultimately keep track of her as well as induce feeling of lust for him, which you know, all to well. If it weren't for that night, she'd still be the friend you had before...before she met him."

This information, he thought would get Tara just mad enough to do something crazy. He wanted to eradicate any hanging fears she might have by taking away any guilt she might harbor when they finally disposed of Bill.

"I fuckin' knew it, he's just using her!" she exclaimed.

"I'm sorry you had to find out like this but I thought you should know." He tried to look remorseful.

"How'd you find all this out?" she said fanning herself as she stared into the night, her cheeks growing warmer with every word. She was seriously scared for Sookie and ready to make those visions she had of Bill come to fruition.

They had finally reached the bustling night club when all the facts had been laid out. She sat steaming in her seat as he continued to talk.

"I'm a sheriff." He stated proudly. "I have to know these things. Whether or not I share them with others is up to me." He got out, swiping his hair back as he walked to the passenger door. He opened it and motioned to the other side. "I need you to promise me that you won't do anything hasty."

She got out of the car, brushing past him and turned back to look at him."I'm not sure I can promise you anything right now."

He bent his head to her ear; lips just close enough for her to feel his breath. "Well then, promise me that whatever you do, you'll do wisely, for both our sakes."

She started walking towards the front door not knowing where her feet would carry her. She stopped when she realized she didn't have any clue where she was going. Eric sped to her side placing a possessive hand at her lower back, guiding her towards the back of the club.

They made their way through the slim corridor past a few doors and up to his office. She could see people dancing and drinking in the main part of the club. She stooped to stare at them, remembering how Sookie had described the place. It was as dark and dangerous looking as she'd thought. He gently moved past her to open the door. Letting her in, he motioned for her to take a seat in one of the two chairs in his in front of his desk. She noted the many pictures hanging from the wall, the tiny peephole of a concrete window and all the clutter on his desk.

"Have a seat." she sat.

" Let's get this over with so, you can take me home."

"Why are we in such a rush. Besides business, you've come here to fulfill your duties as my lover."

"When did we-" she pointed to herself " I mean..when did I become your lover."

"Do I really need to explain?" he smirked leaning back in his swivel chair. "You know when."

Baffled by her new title, she got ready to add another snarky rebuttal, then Pam entered.

"Eric, you called for a puppy?" she asked sardonically before spotting Tara. Smiling coyly she asked, "Well, what do we have here?" she asked staring between her master and Tara.

"Pam, this is Tara, friend of Sookie Stackhouse. Tara, meet Pam, my progeny."

"Hi" Tara smiled as the statuesque vampire drew closer.

"Send in the help, Pam." he stated before Pam could reach Tara's chair.

"Fine." she stopped in her tracks turning quickly to fetch whatever Eric had sent for.

"Don't mind her."

"I won't. But if she looks at me like that then I'm gonna say something.." Tara looked back a few times just to make sure Pam was really gone.

Just as they fell into a comfortable silence, Pam returned with a man at her side. He was tall and rugged, his short black hair settled neatly about his face. He wore gray oxford shirt, dark jeans and construction boots which could only mean he was a working man.

"Go ahead, pup." Pam motioned for the man to walk in ahead of her and as she began to enter behind him. Eric, gave her a look that signaled her services were no longer needed. She turned on her heel without protest slamming the door behind her.

"Now we can begin." Eric lowered his voice and leaned forward placing his hands atop his desk, fingertips touching. "Tara, this is Alcide Devereaux, he will be your bodyguard until we handle our situation."

"Hi there." the man declared gruffly, extending a hand to Tara who shook it politely. She gazed into his eyes holding the hand shake a little too long for Eric's liking and began blushing. Eric coughed audibly pulling the two from their musing.

"He will also be living with you so that if the problem decides to find a way to you, you'll be protected when I can't be there."

"What? He can't live at my...I mean Sookie's house. What do I look like lettin' a stranger..no offense," she uttered quickly placing a hand on the rugged man's shoulder.

"None taken." he stated

" a stranger stay in a house that don't belong to me?"

"You're smart. Make something up." Eric shrugged unfazed by her reasoning. "He's staying with you and that's the end of that."

Several times during the meeting Tara's hands would find themselves touching Alcide, her smile widening with the few word that he spoke. Eric, would always make a sudden movement or produce a sound that would initially recapture Tara's attention and place her back in the proper mindset; only to be lost again when Alcide's input was needed.

Taking notice of Eric's strange behavior in relation to Tara, Alcide began sitting quietly in his chair, not seeking to add anything to the argument. He was a man with a purpose, one that once it had been fulfilled, would set him and his family free.

With the meeting finally over, Alcide got up shaking Tara's hand once again before he turned to leave. She wondered if Eric could feel that she was being all flirty with the hired help. She didn't intentionally do it, he was just extremely handsome and smelled good. Now why couldn't she have met him earlier, when she needed some normalcy?

"Tara." Eric began.

"Yes." she guessed he could from the tone in his voice.

"Come here."

She didn't hesitate to move. Somewhere in her mind she thought of those informational programs she and Sookie watched about wild animals and the phrase show no fear came to mind. She continued to repeat the mantra in her head as she walked behind the desk.

"Closer." he pointed to a spot on the floor directly in front of him.

She stood on the target, placing her hands on her hips.

"What do you want now? I already know what's supposed to happen to Bill and you've got a strange man posted in Sookie's house, like you're quartering troops. So I think we're all finished." She tried to seem unmoved by his calmness. This was dangerous ground she was treading and she wondered what would happen if she made a wrong move.

He got up from his chair, causing her to flinch slightly at the sudden movement. He walked around her, as if, he was stalking his prey. Taking in her scent, trying to feel her emotions through the bond, he would make her understand her role in their partnership and the boundaries which shouldn't be crossed as long as she was his.

"Do you have any idea what you did just then?" he stopped directly behind her, his mouth nearly atop her head.

"I don't know what you're talkin' bout." she replied saucily, refusing to look back at him.

"I think you do." He stepped closer pressing himself completely against her.

"You mean with Alcide?" she faltered sighing when he slowly began lifting the hem of her tank.

"So, you do know. I think you were purposely trying to hurt my feelings, Tara."

"I was being friendly." A little too friendly she added in her mind.

She closed her eyes and was about to turn around when he stopped her by gently placing a hand around her throat, while his other arm gently roped around her front pulling her as close as she could be. Her hands with a mind of their own began to move slowly to rest on his.

"You don't know what it means to be a good friend." he stopped with the tank and decided the skirt needed to go first.

The hand around her waist moved quickly the waist of the skirt.

Knowing what would soon take place, she sighed,"Don't rip these." she warned "I don't wanna leave here with no clothes on."

"Fine. Take them off." He agreed, a smirk replaced his cold stare.

Half naked, bent over a desk in a little club in Shreveport, is not exactly where Tara wanted to be tonight but she couldn't say she was regretting it. All she had done was be very friendly to her new bodyguard. Clearly, Eric had to know that she wasn't his. Tara Thorton was no one's property. He was purposely being rough, trying to make her realize her mistake, but in her mind she hadn't made any. Fighting back the sounds she wanted to make she held them in defiantly, not giving him the satisfaction of hearing her moans. Even when he resorted to his vampire speed she held it in. Even when he pulled her braids she held it in.

"Why are you holding back from me?" he growled low against her neck

"Cause', I can." she broke free turning around to face him. She pushed his chest, forcing him onto his chair. "Just admit you were jealous and then I won't hold back."

"You're mine."

"No. I'm not yours." she sat on facing him on his lap, positioning herself over him without letting him enter her. "I don't belong to anyone, Eric. The sooner you learn that, the easier it will be for you let me go when this is finally over."

"There are many things you don't understand,Tara. Vampire law, is one of them. So, as far as we're concerned you are mine." He grabbed her hips about to force her down.

"This ain't about no laws. This right here," she motioned between them. "what happened tonight is because your ass is jealous and possessive. Stop being a little bitch and admit you can't control me because, I don't belong to you. I give myself to you when I choose to."

"Mi-"

"Nope, don't say that word. Blink once if you understood, since I know you won't say it."

Taken with her bluntness he finally complied blinking once, he forced her down upon his length and she finally released a moan.

The next day Tara called in sick. A lot was weighing on her mind and she didn't even know what she was doing anymore. She tried to sleep it off, but every time she closed her eyes she saw Sookie, half-dead lying on the cold earth and that filthy conniving bastard, giving her his blood to keep tabs on her. Bill would always know where she was, how she was feeling. It made Tara nauseous and that fact that Sookie didn't even know made it worse.

Just as Tara's mind settled on more peaceful thoughts the bedroom door opened and in walked Sookie, her side-swept ponytail bouncing with every stride. She looked down at Tara on the bed and felt her forehead.

"Tara, you feeling any better, hun?" she asked taking a seat on the bed.

"Yeah, Sook, now that you mention it, I do feel a bit better." she said lying. She adjusted herself so that she could sit up. Sookie took a nearby pillow and placed it under her back. "I'm not in dying you know, just sore."

"That must've been some party you went to last night for you to be all sore like this. Did you meet anyone there?"

"Um...yeah, you could say that." she cursed under her breath. Eric told her he'd covered for her. What he neglected to tell her is the lie he'd told Sookie.

"So what's he look like?" she pressed on.

Tara wanted to say, 6 foot something, blonde, and he bites. But she bit the inside of her cheek to keep herself from spilling the truth. "He's just a friend...it's nothing serious."

"Ah, okay." she said winking "You're gonna keep him a secret just in case it doesn't work out."

"Sook, can I ask you something?" she blurted, changing the vibe in the room.

"Sure." she leaned in closer.

"Why are you with Bill? I mean there's plenty of nice guys right here in Bon Temps, you could date. Hell, give Sam another shot; he's still sweet on you."

"Tara Thorton, I can't believe you." she said standing quickly as if something pinched her. "I've already explained this to you. He loves me and I love him."

"Maybe you just think you love him. Did you ever think about that?" she curled her fingers into fists to try to keep calm. Sookie didn't like where this conversation was going, especially since everyone else in town had been giving her the same speech since they started dating.

"Are you trying to say something Tara? Maybe you hit your head at this party. I'll go get you some aspirin." Sookie forced a straight face even though she felt like crying.

"Well, what if he's just making you think you love him, so you won't leave him." Tara got back down in the bed and threw the covers over her head trying hard not to blurt out what Eric had revealed to her.

Sookie didn't say anything back this time. Her face was already red and she was just about ready to break down. Of all the people in the world, Tara should be happy that she'd found someone special. She turned and left slamming the door behind her.

Before leaving to go back to work Sookie got an overnight bag ready with a few things. She packed some clothes, her toothbrush, a couple different pajamas and some other things. She didn't need someone with Tara's track record in relationships telling her about how to run hers. She found an old legal pad that Gran kept for making special lists and angrily scribbled out a note. She left the tear-stained note folded neatly on the kitchen counter.

A half hour after she left Tara went down to the kitchen and found the note.

Tara,

I really thought you would be on my side in all this.

Times like these, I just feel like I don't know you anymore. I'm going to stay with Bill for a while.

Maybe in a couple of days, we'll see things differently. But right now...I just don't think us being in the same house is good for us. You know the cell, call me.

I love you,

Sook

"Dammit." She crumpled the note in a tight fist and aimed it for the trash can. She missed. She must really be pissed. Tara's frustration, anger, uncertainty, and fear just burst through her. She sat on the floor near the oven and cried. She muttered incoherently as her mind flashed back through the moments of her life. The only times she could see that had been touched with a speck of happiness all came from when she was with Lafayette, Sookie, Jason, Gran and occasionally Sam.

She pulled herself up and decided a shower would ease her nerves and give her some time to think. She trudged up the creaking wooden stairs, tears still falling. She went into the bathroom turned the hot knob on the tiled wall, maybe she could purge herself with the heat. She sat on the toilet seat slumped over, the steam filling her lungs and clearing her mind. She slowly began peeling away the few layers of clothing she had on, the breeze from the cracked door chilled her skin. She just stood and stared at herself in the slowly fogging mirror, not really recognizing herself. Her eyes were puffy and red, and her body more sore than it'd been all day. It was sad to think that and a nice hot shower would be the one ray of sunshine in this whole day.

End Notes:
Thanks for reading.
Torture Me by Outlawstar615
Author's Notes:
Thanks for continuing to read this...I'm getting the impression that I might actually be doing a good job with this one. LOLz. Anyway, I'm just as confused as Tara right about now...and so this chappie is a little shorter... but still hopefully action packed.!

Upon finishing what Tara deemed the longest shower in her life, she resorted to her 'depression uplift' plan of watching DVD s in comfy pajamas until, she fell asleep on the sofa. She knew that Eric wouldn't be coming to lift her spirits this night because he was away on business. He had simply told her that it pertained to his club and that she shouldn't worry. And she recalled her fight Sookie but with all of the emotional unrest that happened during the day Tara neglected to mention that another person would be staying in their home. It was just her luck that Sookie decided to stay with Bill when she did. Tara didn't exactly know what she would've told Sookie about how all this came to pass, anyway. She sure as hell wasn't about to tell her that she and Eric were having a hot steamy friendship whose basis was the hate they both shared for Bill.

A series of loud bangs came from the front door, causing Tara's heart to nearly jump out of her chest. She got up quickly from the sofa, grabbed the remote and lowered the volume of the TV set. As she walked to the door she decided to peek through the curtains to catch a glimpse of the visitor before deciding whether or not she would answer the door. Looking around suspiciously, her heart rate nearly doubled when she spotted Alcide standing on the porch. She immediately did a quick fix to her lavender pajama top, flicked over her teeth with her tongue, and brushed some stray braids back into her messy bun.

She opened the main door first, slowly moving towards the screen when she saw a smile slowly moving into place on his face. She peered around him to spy a large van parked near the house. Deveraux Construction. She noted that she'd been right in assuming that he was an arduous man, his hands alone proved as much.

"Hi there." he waved

"Hey, c'mon in" opened the screen door allowing him to enter. She stood transfixed by his easy going air. It was becoming quite apparent that Tara's body was reacting to him in ways that she wasn't aware of. At any given moment she thought she might jump him. She shook the thought away remembering what had happened the last time Alcide was around.

"Nice place you got here." he chimed pulling her back to reality.

"Oh, this isn't my house. I live here with my best friend, it used to be her Grandmother's home."

"Well, you live here now, so I'm sure you help make it just as nice." He was being so cheesy he thought. How was he supposed to protect her when he couldn't protect himself from her charm.

"I guess you're right." she paused. "If you don't mind me asking, why are you here so late? Wouldn't tomorrow morning have been better, you know, for you to semi-move in. Dead puppies. Dead puppies. Dead puppies. She screamed to herself, finding it more and more difficult to keep her mind off touching the bronzed god before her. Her emotions would surely be her undoing this time. But as long as should could muster sad thoughts or no thoughts at all, the safer she would be.

"I know tomorrow would've been better but Eric's orders were to come straight here tonight. I'll be receiving a call from him soon and I'm sure he'll want to hear your voice to make sure I did what he asked."

Impressed by his loyalty to Eric, Tara suddenly wanted to know everything about Alcide. She knew she wasn't the authority on showing her true colors upon meeting anyone, but she felt as if she could be tempted to give it a shot if it happened.

"So are you hungry? Thirsty? I could make you something, real quick." She got up, making her way to the fridge to see what she could throw together in a hurry so that they could both eat.

"I am a little hungry. It was a long drive from Mississippi to here." he sat back on the sofa getting comfortable as he rubbed the stubble on his chin.

"Mississippi?" she yelled out to him from behind the fridge. "Eric took you cross state lines to watch me? She now peered at him from the side of the fridge door to gauge his reaction. "That asshole." she murmured shaking her head.

"Yes ma'am. But its no big trouble to watch someone as independent as you. I'm sure nothing terribly horrifying is gonna happen. At least not while I'm around. And Eric didn't seem too worried about it. I guess he just likes to have all his bases covered."

"Yeah, but you heard what we might have to deal with. Eric is already too much to handle on his own when he's being good. To know that we gotta kill one is another story, you know?"

"Well I think we'll get by alright."

"I hope you're right. Um, Alcide, all we got is eggs, sorry." she shrugged holding up the carton. "Does an omelet sound okay?"

"That sounds fine."

After both getting hearty helpings of Tara's giant omelet, Tara went to her room leaving Alcide on the sofa with a couple pillows and one of her blankets.

"Sorry I don't have a room for you to sleep in, yet. But tomorrow after I come home from work, I can get one set up." she yelled from the top of the staircase.

"Its fine don't worry about it." He sleepily grumbled back.

Full of omelet and drowsy, Tara lay staring at the ceiling until sleep claimed her. As usual she had dreams about him. Would it be the usual dream about that first time at Merlotte's again or the one she had about coming home to find him waiting for her in the tub,soft serene music from a past only he could remember, she wondered.

Blindfolded and bare except for a thin piece of cloth draped over her front, Tara sat in a chair similar to those found in a dentist's office. She was strapped around her ankles and her wrists, bound to the chair but instead of fear, there was only a sense of confidence. Then she heard him walking slowly towards her. She could hear his footsteps drawing closer and closer and when he was near the chair, he slid away the cloth slowly. The feeling of he silky material causing her body to swell with need. He slid away the blindfold and she found that she was suddenly free and now they were passionately entwined in what appeared to be a weapons closet. Comfortably trapped, they dodged mazes and crossbows as he slammed her back into the walls, pistoning in and out of her. Falling katanas and small but equally sharp weapons leaping carelessly at them, grazing them. In spotting cuts and bruises on one another, like cannibals they found ways to lick each others wounds, savoring the taste of each others blood like savages.

She felt herself begin to drift away from him mentally

"I can't do it." she moaned into his neck

"Do what? This?" he whispered kissing her shoulders as they nearly missed a scimitar which fell to the ground with a loud clash.

"No" she looked into his eyes and sighed. "I can't take Sookie's happiness away."

"You don't have to. We're doing this together, Tara."

Throwing her back into another wall she arched it, while he hoisted up a leg to drive deeper into her. No words to be heard only the primal grunting, licking, clawing, smacking, throwing and pulsating creatures devouring each other. As the thrusts became deeper and slower her eyes opened as his face lay rested against her neck she could feel his fangs testing the tender flesh of her breasts. She tilted slightly to grant him better access to her.

"But we can't. She pushed pushed against him rolling her eyes back. "Bill loves Sookie."

"No, he wants to use her and hurt her. Do we want that for her?"

She could no longer deny his logic but her mind kept pushing her to rethink the issue. She saw a shinning object staring at her from a leaning shelf in the weapon laden room. She reached out for it, slowly picking it up to look at its features. The small dagger was encrusted with a silver wolf with emeralds for eyes, its fur curling into the handle. And as if by some sort of unseen force her hand began slowly drifting towards his back. The sharp piece glinting softly in the low lighting. Closer and closer she pulled almost to right wear his heart would be. She could do it, all she had to do go fast and hard and then...

Tara jumped her forehead sweating as she recalled some of the moments of her dream. Was she really about to stab him. After her breathing returned to normal, she threw off the covers and decided to get up and get something to drink and make sure her body guard was still there.

She quietly padded down the stairs. Half asleep, stumbled cursing softly as she felt the twinges of pain in her toe. She looked out and saw the covers she had given Alcide, bundled on the chair and thanked God that he hadn't left her during the night. She made her way into the kitchen seeing a small sliver of the omelet still on the counter.

"No more eggs before bed" she swore tossing the rest of it into the trash.

After getting a little juice she walked into the living room. She looked at the sofa and realized that Alcide wasn't there. She lifted the covers throwing them to the floor as she searched for his body. She looked around for clues as to where he might be and found his clothes folded neatly on the coffee table.

"Aw, fuck. Eric, what in the hell? Why'd you have to hire a nudist?" she was about to go to the door and see if Alcide had decided to engage in a late night streaking session. She stopped dead when she saw a pair of glowing eyes in the strip of moonlight that seeped through the curtains near the door. The creature turned its head to and fro, as if he knew Tara.

"Alcide, dammit where are you?" she said through gritted teeth as looking around for an escape route.

As if it understood the creature began walking out of the shadows, Tara backed up slowly bumping into the coffee table as she tried to make her way to the hall closet where she knew a shotgun was hidden. Realizing what the creature actually was, her heart sank deep into her stomach.

"Bon Temps is one fucked up place. We got possums, coons, vampires and now wolves." She put both hands up and out as a gesture to the wolf that she was no threat. He moved a little closer. Somehow the creatures eyes were familiar to her, and that alone made her fearful.

"I got a nice riffle wit your name on."

Just as she uttered those words the creature began to morph before her. When Alcide's rugged, naked form was before her on the ground crouched down, her eyes crossed, knees buckling as she fainted.

When she could finally open her eyes the first thing she saw was Alcide's concerned face staring down at her from where he stood. Extremely fearful, she quickly scrambled to sit herself pressing herself into the cushioning of the sofa. He had on pants now but that was no consolation to her he had just seen this man furry and naked.

"Get the fuck away from me. Stay back." she stuttered shielding her face away from him.

"Tara calm down will ya?" he threw his hands up in a mock surrender.

"NO, I ain't gonna calm down. You just went from a...from a... from a wolf to a grown ass naked man right there." she said pointing to the spot in question.

"I know its a lot to take in, but that's what I am and I can't change it. So, you gotta calm down, okay?"

she finally put her arms down slightly embarrassed for looking like a psychotic wreck on the sofa.

"I'm sorry, its just an overload, you know." she stood up straightening her clothes as she paced the floor one hand to her forehead the other on her hip. "I just found out a while ago that vampires exist and now there are wolves too."

"I'm sorry you had to find out like this. I thought I would have had at least until morning before you woke up. It was a little scary for me too. If, you had been a vampire though, you might have been seriously injured." he admitted shoving his hands into his pockets.

"Really?"

" Yeah, wolves and vamps just don't get along. It's like cats and dogs with us and them."

"Well, then why in the hell are you working for Eric?"

"My father owes Eric some money. In order to settle the debt I let Eric use me for this job. So when its done, I'm gone and our debt is cleared." A determined and solemn look came over his face then he snapped out of it. "How'd you get caught up with Northman?"

"Its a long...well it ain't that long, but its still a complex story." she looked around trying to avoid eye contact with Alcide. Avoiding his gaze was better than avoiding the question at this point.

"So you're one of those." he sighed in disappointment "You can always tell when they're fangbangers."he mumbled.

"Whoa. Wait just a second. I'm gonna pretend that I didn't here you say that, cause I would hate to have to kick your furry ass outside. I don't know where you get off judging me. You don't know my situation." she was walking towards the door about to open it. As far as she was concerned he could be go all Jack Nicholson outside until Eric came back.

"I'm sorry. Its just, someone as beautiful and smart as you shouldn't be taken advantage of like that. From what I've seen, Northman is a control freak and from what I know of him, everything he does is just to suit his own needs. Don't you think he's just using you to do his dirty work too?"

Suddenly Tara, was speechless. There was nothing she could say to disprove Alcide's points. If she did give a decent rebuttal, even she wouldn't believe it. She remembered believing the exact same things before she started this affair with Eric. Was she being blinded by great sex and the blood? She shuddered to think that she was just being played.

She decided to press on anyway.

"You made your point. But I'm not being taken advantage of. Eric and I have a mutual agreement."

"Lemme guess, you and him fuck and then he drinks your blood?" He was annoyed. How could she be so blind? "Some agreement" he spat, sarcasm lacing every word."

She walked behind the sofa and to the edge of the stairs. She gave him one final look that should've shown him everything he needed to know about her business. And that it is; that it wasn't any of his business.

"Fuck you."

"Goodnight to you too." he mumbled back.

He should have felt good about calling her out. But he didn't. He felt like an ass. Maybe, she'd want to change and get away from Northman before it was too late. Why was this happening to him? He

decided that he'd crossed the line and he wanted to apologize. He trudged slowly up the stairs looking

left and right for the room Tara might be in. He quickly caught a a glimpse of a person moving in one of the rooms and padded slowly to the door. He hesitated scraping his knuckles across the wood, then with a little more confidence he cleared his throat and gave two loud knocks.

"Uh, Tara. Its me." he closed his eyes. Who else would it be you idiot? He thought to himself. When it came to women he was just a bumbling mass of muscle. He knew what he was supposed to say but it just never came out right. He was too much of a nice guy.

"What?" her attitude was in full effect. Right now he was just like one of the rude rednecks at work.

"Uh, I just wanted to apologize for what I said earlier, ya know about being a fangbanger."

"Whatever." she replied with a little less gusto this time and just a smidge more vulnerability.

"You gotta know, I think you're way to smart for all this foolishness, is all. You know it too." he placed his forehead on the door waiting for a reply.

There was silence. Then, some fumbling coming from the other side. Then just as he was about to turn and leave she opened the door.

"You mean it?" she looked up at him hopelessly.

"Mean what? That I think your smart and beautiful and that you should get out of this while you can?"

She nodded. "I meant every damn word." he gave a quick nod and smiled.

For just a little while she let all of the stress melt away, linking her long arms around him and held him tightly. Surprised at first he stood motionless then returned the hug squeezing her back. She placed her hand on either side of his face, pulled him close and placed a gentle kiss to his cheek.

"Thanks for that." she sighed. She turned back to go into her room he grabbed a hand turning her to face him once more. He kissed her closing his eyes to hold on to whatever feeling he could get just as long as she didn't push him away, he'd be fine. Her eyes open, watching his every move she brushed her hands through Alcide's thick black hair.

"Hey!" he exclaimed breaking away from the kiss "What are you doing?''

"I'm looking for ears." she continued to inspect his head for other signs of his wolf nature. "I was hoping they come out when you get turned on." she laughed.

"It don't exactly work like that." they laughed together, finding it easier this way to pretend that they knew what they were getting into, that they were all grown up and could care less about the consequences.

She was still torn and confused but it was easier to laugh with Alcide than it was to think about Eric. Yes, the dreams would come, but did she really want them anymore. The less of his blood she had the better, right? Would she find a way to stop this train, or would it Eric find a way to pull her back in again?

End Notes:

Alcide is hot...

Thanx for reading

The Denial Twist by Outlawstar615
 

Eric was gone but not to be forgotten. He could feel Tara, their bond weakening everyday that she wasn't with him. All he knew is that whatever she was doing, whoever she was with, she was happy for the moment. As long as she was fine there was nothing to worry about, right? But he couldn't shake the nagging feeling that something suspect was going on. He could feel it when he went to ground, that the bond was fading, and that he needed her.

Sitting in meetings for expanding Fangtsia, focused but not fully there, he wasn't as in tune with his work as he should've been; all because of her. He had felt this feeling once before with Sookie Stackhouse but he was sure it had died with Tara. Could it be that this familiar feeling was for Tara? He sat contemplating all possibilities. And as cunning as he was, how could he have neglected to calculate for such a risk. She's a risk. He screamed at himself. But she's like you. His conscious soothed. Beautifully broken and wanting to forget. He rubbed his brow, concentrating on how to purge himself of this feeling.

"Eric." Pam called out to him for the fifth time. She snapped her fingers impatiently trying to pull him back. "What's going on with you? We've still got things to work out, here in 'real life' " she mocked motioning to the space around them.

"Yes, Pam." He answered still looking down out at his glass of warm blood and the several contracts splayed before him.

Across the table was the cunning young vampire who had wanted to get his hands on Fangtasia since its conception, but Eric cut his rope short from the very beginning. He had now moved up in the corporate vampire ladder and was now the person Eric had to go through to get the okay to expand Fangtasia and perhaps help him start a chain in other parishes.

"Mr. Northman," the tall young-looking vampire called out. "You don't look up to working out his contract today. Would another time be good for you?.... Like, next century?" he flipped his well quaffed hair sarcastically "I mean its only your club at stake." he pushed his designer glasses back on the bridge of his nose with his middle finger. A couple of his brown-nosers laughed slightly but stopped short when they saw Pam's eyes glowing with rage.

Pam had just about had it with this pompous little prick. She stood up and dropped her fangs, hissing a warning to him and anybody else who wanted to get down. The tall dark-haired vamp stood up as well dropping his fangs, ready to fight back.

"Not again." a human sighed getting his briefcase and piling all his papers back inside. He had witnessed one too many vampire fights to want to sit through another one. With all the flying and smashing, he almost lost his neck during the last one. "Can't we get through just one of these without this?" he whispered to another human companion who was taking off her heels under the table and putting on flats.

"I know, right?" she breathed as she looked around for easy exits. "Elbows out, heels up." she whispered to herself.

Eric sat watching for a moment. Then, just as Pam was about to leap across the table he grabbed her wrist.

"No." he replied at almost a whisper.

She looked down at him, "Eric, please. I promise you, it'll be clean. I just want his fangs." she added without a hint of sarcasm. Her eyes pleaded with him in a way that only she could.

"Pamela, no." he raised his eyebrows without looking at her. He knew she would see and obey. She sat folding her arms like a stubborn child who'd just been grounded. Standing up to meet the gaze of Pam's competitor Eric raised a hand. "I think everyone is in need of a break, wouldn't you say, Lucian?"

"Yes, well-"

"My sentiments exactly. We will reconvene tomorrow night, yes?"

The humans and vampires in attendance quickly gathered their briefcases and scattered leaving just Lucian, Eric, and Pam. As they got up, slowly making their way to the door, Lucian thought to leave Eric with a few words.

"Very well, Northman. we'll see you tomorrow night fully focused. We wouldn't Fangtasia falling into the wrong hands, would we? It's such a lucrative little hole in the wall."

"No, we wouldn't." Eric stood towering over the younger vamp.

"Until then I expect you to teach your progeny some restraint." he eyed Pam with disgust. She smiled charmingly at him and when his gaze returned to Eric's she rolled her eyes.

Eric smiled almost laughing at Lucian's attempt to reprimand him. Revealing his fangs he placed a firm hand on Lucian's shoulder. "If you want restraint, your best bet is to start with your mouth. I won't be so merciful in the future if you should choose to disrespect my progeny and I, again. He tightened his grip on his Lucian's shoulder, gave his back a hard thwap and continued walking towards the large double doors. "Pam." he called without turning around.

She clacked past the stunned vamp, shooting him a couple of hand gestures with her manicured middle fingers. Proud of her master for putting the spineless altiloquent vamp in his place, she hurried beside Eric, flipping her hair behind her as they walked off.

"I would've preferred to see some blood shed." she sighed

"I know you would've. But we need him. When the contracts are signed he's all yours." he smiled.

When they made it back to their hotel, Pam who had brought home a couple of hookers, offered Eric his pick of the litter, but he refused, waving them off like a bad dish.

"What's wrong with you?" she furrowed her brows as she skillfully undressed a curvacious girl with a mini-skirt and thigh high boots. She glamored the second girl and sent her in Eric's direction where he sat on the bed of their five star hotel room. Sulking, one hand covering a fist as he leaned forward, hunched over, he was almost in distress.

"I'm fine, Pam." he shrugged getting up when the girl kneeled in front of him. Her eyes large brown eyes reminded him of someone else he knew, someone whose touch had not been so easily forgotten. He petted her face as she smiled, then pushed her away. "Start without me." he called to Pam as he went to the bathroom."

"Fine." as soon as he uttered those words blood sprayed against the linens, the walls, and all over Pam and the girl she was feasting upon.

Pam felt guilty and annoyed. Guilty that she had started without him, even though, it was his idea and annoyed that she had to leave her dinner to nurse her master.

"Eric, you can't tell me there's nothing wrong with you." standing in the door of the bathroom, she wiped some blood from her lips with the back of her hand and licked it off of her fingers.

"I'm fine."

"I'm fine. I'm fine." she mocked using his cold voice. " You sound like a broken record. You never pass up an opportunity to feed on a hooker,especially ones with asses like that." she shook her head. "So tell me what's wrong."

"Everything is different this time."he sighed knitting his eyebrows, looking at his and Pam's reflections in the mirror. "It shouldn't be this way."

"Everything is different with what?"

"with her."

"You don't mean with that girl you bought home, do you?"

"Tara."

"There's nothing I can do or say to make this go away, is there?"

"Its like I've developed..."

"Don't say it. Don't say it.." she plugged her ears with her index fingers and pretended to gag.

"feelings... for her."

"You can't mean that Eric," she shut the door behind her trapping them in the bathroom.

"No. I care for no one the way I care for you, Pam. That will never change and not even the true death will change that...but with her, I feel...shit... I don't know what I feel." he slammed a fist on the sink counter making a crater and several small cracks. "...its more than with Sookie Stackhouse."

"So, you're over that one...and on to her friend...I warned you Eric. You're acting like a breather."

"We once were."

"But we aren't anymore. We're better." she set her hands to fixing his shirt. "But I can't tell you what to do."

"I'm perplexed by her. She's strong-willed and truthful, admirable qualities in a lover, no?"

"If all you want from her is to help you kill Compton then I don't understand why you need her that much. But to get over Stackhouse by using her best friend to kill her boyfriend is another twisted project altogether."

"...and"

"Oh yeah, and you fucked her." she sighed. "How do you get yourself into all this shit?"

 She rubbed his back in small circles leading him back into the bedroom where the one girl was still bleeding. And the other was lying on the floor rubbing the carpet.

With Eric away, Alcide and Tara were walking still walking on eggshells with each other. Not knowing how to act around one another was becoming difficult. They knew they liked each other but didn't know what to do about it. Their little kiss was proof of that. Eric, would be back soon enough and then what? Tara wasn't about to make any split decisions so hastily. Alcide had been right about some things but in the end only she could really judge her 'friendship' with Eric. His jealousy had to mean something, his careful consideration of her when it came to her safety had to mean something too. And was he really over Sookie or was she again just being used to get Compton out of the way for him to get closer to Sookie? She had so many questions and not enough answers for her to do anything. She would play it all by ear, the same way she did everything else.

She was tidying up a few things in the living room when Alcide came down the stairs. He had just taken a shower and his hair was wet and clinging to his face and neck, curling in a way that made her stare.

"Tara, today's your day off. Why don't we go somewhere?" he asked out of the blue.

"Uh, I'm not really one for going out." she shook all the embarrassing thoughts from her mind.

"Not even for dinner?" he half argued half pleaded.

"Well...I am kinda tired of being cooped up in here." she conceded throwing him a weary glance."What you thinkin' bout?" she leaned against the wall near the kitchen crossing her legs at the ankle.

"I was thinkin' we should go to Merlotte's or somewhere else and just relax." He walked over to her touching her forearms, rubbing them slowly. "How's that sound?"

"Sounds like I dunno." she shrugged a look of discomfort rising from the idea.

" You know something, I'm a body guard to someone who doesn't need one. You didn't witness a murder, or sell drugs, or pick a fight with anyone, right? So why is it suddenly a crime to go out for a drink and something to eat?"

"No, Eric just wants to protect me."

"Protect you from what? You haven't done anything, yet."

"You're right. I didn't do nothing to nobody."

Feeling the heat from his strong hands she relaxed laying her head against the door, eyes closed. Just when she was dropping her defenses, an image of Eric popped into her head causing her to jump back from Alcide's touch.

Too soon. He yelled inwardly. Too damn soon. Just the other night he kissed her. She didn't reject him but she wasn't all there, either. But some of her was better than none at all. This strong, opinionated goddess before him was all he could think about. He hung his head, dropping his arms as she side stepped him, walking to the kitchen table as she pretended to straighten imaginary objects around her.

"I just don't think that's a good idea, Alcide."

"Why isn't it a good idea, Tara?" he turned around following her foot to foot. "You don't belong to him." he burst finally getting to the heart of the matter.

She squeezed her eyes shut tightly opened them quickly and continued walking into the living room. She knew the direction this conversation was about to take.

"I don't belong to him...I don't belong to nobody but myself."

"Right, so why are you being so stubborn. When someone likes you and you like them back...you try...you make an effort to be with that person." He trapped her between the sofa and the wall.

With nowhere for her to turn, he quickly closed the gap between them, he staring into her eyes, he searched for a sign, anything that would give him hope for their cause.

"It's like this; I'm with Eric but I don't necessarily belong to him. And I like you...I do...It's just too complicated."

"Tara, that's not fair." he took small steps forward as she took big quick ones backwards.

"Not fair for who? Life's not fair."

"Well then its about about to get a whole lot more unfair cause we're going out." he grabbed one of her hands, snatched up his keys and closed the door behind them.

"Okay."

Sitting in his van, the car stalling in the drive-way, they never made it into town.

Giddy and just as nervous as teenagers he slowly traced the outline of her face with his hand, stopping short when he reached her collarbone.

"You really like me, huh?" she relaxed a little letting him take his time lingering on her skin.

"I do." he moved his hand to grab hers squeezing it lightly as he gazed at her

"But you don't know nothin' about me."

"I want to." he stared at her fingers, trying to soak up every detail of the hands belonged to such this woman.

"No, you don't." she grumbled back. The feeling that the conversation was going to take yet another turn she didn't want she threw out her disclaimer. "My life is fucked up..messin' with me your life gon be fucked up too... How could you like someone as fucked up as me?"

"Everyone has had their share of fucked up shit to deal with. Its what you do afterward that defines you."

"Spoken like a true normal person."

"Did you forget I'm a werewolf?"he grinned

"Okay, but that's not as fucked up as it sounds." she laughed warming a little to the idea that he was trying to comfort her.

"Wanna know what's really fucked up?"

"What?" she turned her head to finally face him, her hand still trapped by his own.

"I want something that I can't have and its killing me."He kissed her hand placed it back on her lap and they drove off.

A few days later.

"Another round, please." A burly man slurred out as all his friends hooted. He had apparently broken up with his girlfriend and needed a little pick me up. They were getting sloppy and unmanageable.

"Don't ya think you and your friends have had a one too many?" she said pointing to one guy who was spinning on his bar stool like a toddler.

"C'mon Tara, he ain't doing no one no harm. We promise to be good boys, just slide us another round."

"Alright, but this is the last one, okay?"

"Yes Ma'am." he nodded emphatically

She skillfully got all the beers and slid them down the bar to the guy and each of his friends. A new silver chain swinging from her neck, as she turned quickly to see the door of the bar opening and a certain someone walk in. It just soured her stomach to see that all eyes were on him and it took everything in her not to rip the wood from the walls, jump across the counter and stake him.

"Good Evening, everyone." he said politely.

"Evenin' Vampire Bill" a small group of people muttered back. His killer charm and smile slid into place but the people were still wary. No amount of stories about his time in the army could ease their minds. As far as they were concerned he was looking for a snack of the fleshy variety.

Sookie's eyes lit up as she saw her beau walk through the door. She knew he'd come to pick her up as he had been doing for the past couple of months. Then she looked at Tara. It just sucked that her and Tara weren't talking, she thought.

He walked as if he was going to his preferred booth then decided to sit at the bar a few stools away from where Tara was. The group of guys sitting at the bar sobered at the sight of him, collecting their beers and scrambled to an empty booth.

Damn him, Tara thought.

"Tara," he nodded demurely.

"Mmhmm." she turned her back to him trying to make herself seem busy. She wiped down the counter, helped people who had already been served, and wiped out the inside of the microwave at least twice.

"May I have a True Blood?"

"Sure thing." she didn't try to hide her disgust for him as she took one from the fridge, popped it into the microwave, waited and took it out. She purposely left it a little cold; maybe he'd get the hint and leave the bar. She put it on the counter as he reached for it stopping short when he saw her malicious stare.

"Are you well, Tara?" he quirked an eyebrow at her.

She slapped a hand firm on the counter and leaned in closer to the pale man, her eyebrows furrowed, the corner of her mouth twitching as she spat. "I'm fine. Never been better." She nodded and turned away from him. Then, as if she remembered something else, she spun around and lowered herself to meet his glared. "I know what you did, how you got Sookie."

He kept his composure. He was too old for this. Whatever she'd seen or heard he'd soon put an end to the very thought of it. Sookie was his and no one not even her best friend was going to get in the way of what belonged to him "Whatever do you mean, Tara?"

"Don't play dumb, asshole." She whispered furiously. "Don't worry, I won't tell Sook… I'll leave that to you to tell her."

His fangs came out and he hissed a warning to her. "I told you Tara, I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about. I've done nothing but save Sookie and keep her out of harm's way. Whatever you've heard, you were surely misinformed." he glared at her.

"Fuck you," she spat.

He eyed the chain swinging from her and just as he was about to glamour her, Lafayette came out of the kitchen, having witnessed the argument from his post. He ran up behind her and tried to pull her away from the counter. She tried to fight her way free, kicking and swinging her legs as he pulled her towards the kitchen.

"Excuse us for a moment." he yelled back to Bill, as he carried her off.

He put her down and got in her face. "Bitch, what are you trying? I thought I told you to stay away from vampires."

"Damn, Lafayette, you don't know what that fucker is doing to Sookie. And you only told me to stay away from Eric."

"I've expanded my hate to all of em, okay." he said lowering his voice. "Besides, what Sookie does is Sookie's business."

"Not if she don't have any control over herself." throwing her hands in the air, an exasperated look came over her.

Sam came from his office and saw Lafayette holding Tara hostage in the kitchen. He thought she'd lost her temper at a rude customer.

"Tara, c'mon now." he walked up putting a firm hand on her shoulder. "Whoever upset ya, just ignore em, okay."

"Fuck that." she shook his arm from its place on her shoulder. "I want Bill Compton's ass outta here." she said crossing her arms over her chest.

"Tara, you know I can't do that. Why don't you just ask Sook to tell him to wait outside?" he shrugged placing a hand on his forehead.

"Sam, now you know I ain't about to do that."

Lafayette jumped in putting a manicured hand on his waist. "Shit, well someone better do something for Mr. Compton turns into Mr. I'mabouttobiteabitch, okay." He quickly ran back to a pot of rice that was boiling on the stove. "Y'all gonna make me burn this place the fuck down." he muttered to himself.

Tara threw up her hands. "You know what, I'm fine. I'm gonna go out back and get some air, okay. But when I come back I'm not serving him. She flipped her braids behind her and stormed off leaving a baffled Sam and nervous Lafayette in her wake.

She made her way through the back door and felt that she could suddenly breathe. The air just wasn't right back in the bar. It was heavy and tainted; tainted with malicious thoughts and bastards like Bill. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, realizing she hadn't thought about or seen Eric, since the other night when he'd promised to protect her and do anything he could to help her. She realized that it wasn't going to be easy being 'friends' with someone she couldn't call directly. It was shitty that she had to be in some danger, dead, or dying for him to come to her.

Just as she was about to go back in a familiar wind passed through.

"Tara." he bellowed standing in front of her.

She looked around and pulled him to a clandestine part of the building where anyone who might come out back couldn't see them.

"What are you doing here, you through wit your business?"she whispered

"Yes, and felt you were distressed, so I came." his eyebrows furrowed.

She blushed and put her head down, wanting to rest it against his chest. She shook her head slowly.

"I'm not some damsel in a castle in bum-fuck nowhere. I don't get distressed. I was pissed off."

"I won't confuse two again but what happened that made you so pissed that I could practically feel you about to breakdown?"

"Bill's in there again and he sat at the bar and I lost it I just want to burn his fuckin' eyes out."

"Patience Tara, we'll have our time." he grabbed her chin forcing her to look up at him. He spotted the silver chain hanging from her neck and suddenly became disarmed.

She saw him staring as if he'd just remembered something bad. Of course she would need more than that measly little chain to do anything remotely devastating to him, but just the thought that she'd wear it at all, when she knew he'd protect her was causing him to question her faith in their strange arrangement.

She felt her neck and cursed inwardly at the chain around her neck. She instantly felt as if she had somehow betrayed him.

"I only wear it when you and Alcide ain't around, okay. It's not a big deal." Even after hearing herself try to minimize the situation, she didn't believe it. "Bill's been sitting at the bar lately. I think he knows something. So I got the chain just in case he tried anything."

Her eyes wide, searching his for some trust, she reached behind her neck and unhooking the chain, slipped it into one of her back pockets. She also made a mental note to put it back on once he left. Bill no doubt, wouldn't be as forgiving as she believed Eric was being.

"Its just since Sookie is staying with Bill now, and Alcide can't be with me all the time. I've been wearing it."

"Did he touch you?" he spoke through clenched teeth, thinking that maybe Compton was the one to cause his lover to have to don some silvery protection in his absence.

"I'd like to see him try." she huffed. "He didn't, but I did tell him that I knew what he did to Sookie."

He stepped away from her, calculating the damage she'd done. If he had still been alive his heart would be beating a mile a minute. He never anticipated that she'd go and do something as reckless as tell Compton that she had knowledge of the way tricked Sookie.

"Where's Alcide?" he scanned the area quickly.

"I'm ain't a baby. I told him that he didn't need to follow me to work. But he is going to pick me up."

"That's not what I instructed him to do. He's supposed to be wherever you are."he scolded.

She defiantly looked away.

"I been watching myself for a long time, I didn't need you paying someone to do it for me now."

"What if Compton had tried to glamor you, or kill you when you came out here, huh? What then, Tara?"

"He's not gonna do anything." she sucked her teeth full of cockiness.

The anger growing deep within him, he snapped.

"Fine." he stepped back into the darkness of the trees. "Don't do as I say. Protect yourself. I'll have Alcide gone tom-" she held up her hands.

"NO, I'll listen. I promise." she walked to stand behind him, holding on to his jacket. "It's just...I'm...I'm not helpless. You have to know that I'm stronger than what you think."

"I know you're strong. But he's stronger." and with that he was off. Leaving a cold breeze in his wake, he left her colder.

She went back in, a little more pissed than when she went out and everyone knew it. Bill duly noted her change in attitude and recognized something familiar yet different about her scent. When she came back to her post he got up slowly.

"I do hope that you feel better soon, Tara." He gave a curt nod and frowned a little.

"Mmhmm." she grumbled back, as she slammed glasses on the counter for cleaning.

He went over to Sookie, who hadn't caught the argument. Telling her that he needed to run a quick errand, but he would be back before she got off.

Alcide came to pick Tara up at closing time. He could already tell something had happened from the way she pushed through the doors and stalked towards the van. He knew what it was like to have a bad day. He also didn't like to be bothered after such days. If she was anything like hm, then she definitely wouldn't want to talk, at least, not until she was ready.

They duration of their sojourn home was spent in silence. He let her out at Gran's, explaining that she looked as she needed to cool off a bit. He wouldn't be too far off and that he should be back soon.

She was thankful that he understood her. If Sookie had been there, she would've tried to sit her down and interrogate her about things that she really didn't want to talk about.

Just as Tara got her key to unlock her door she could hear the telephone ringing on the other side.

She turned the key in the door, pushing it open quickly as she dropped her purse and ran for the phone.

 

End Notes:
Thanx for reading.
Harder to Breathe by Outlawstar615
Author's Notes:
Thanx for continuing to read this!

"What?...I mean... hello." she began.

"Tara, its me, Sook." the voice sounded nervous.

"Oh, hey Sookie, what's wrong?" she exhaled loosening her hair, allowing it to cascade down around her neck.

"Bill, told me that you seemed sick or something today...So I just wanted to call and check up on you."

"I'm fine." she rolled her eyes as she thought of Bill. Sookie had seen her all day and didn't see anything wrong. But the minute Bill notices something, she was interested, she cringed at the mental image of Bill even saying her name.

"You don't sound fine."

"I'm perfectly fine. Never been better."

Twisting the phone cord around her fingers as she talked, Tara slipped off her shoes. There were so many things she wanted to tell Sookie, but the timing just didn't feel right. She didn't want her annoyances of the day helping to push Sookie farther away. If anything, she wanted to get Sookie as far away from Bill as humanly possible.

She yelped, the feeling of cold hands caressing her the warm flesh of her stomach and chest caused her to almost lose her breath.

"Tara?" the voice yelled back.

"Lover," he began as he pushed her braids to one side of her neck.

Tara knew whose hands now groped and grabbed at her. His skillful touch could never be erased from her mind, not in a million years would she forget those long fingers and how they traced an icy hot path over her skin, how he knew all of her. Losing track of the conversation she didn't reply. Why now?

"Tara!"

"Oh...yes...?"she half moaned into the receiver.

"What happened? Are you okay?" the voice panicked almost yelling through the phone.

"Hang up." he whispered to her while darting his tongue in and out of her ear. He began trying to peel the shirt from her body.

"No...I mean yes...I just...hit my...I hit my ankle on the end table by the phone." she inhaled sharply as a hand unbuttoned and slid down the front of her shorts. Rubbing her through her panties she instinctively backed against him. At least he finally realized I hate when he rips my shorts. Feeling his length against her backside, she bit her lip, trying to stay focused on the conversation."

"Tara, do you need me to come over there?"

"NO!" she stopped, quickly pulling herself away from him. "No, Sook, I just need some rest is all." refastening her shorts she took the phone and took a few steps forward, without looking back. "I'm gonna go take a couple of aspirin and I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

"Are you sur-"

"Sook, I'm positive, okay? Say hi to Bill for me, will ya? Seeyalater, bye."

"Okay Ta-"

-click-

Tara hung up the phone turning around to face the handsome intruder. Her eyes wide and nervous as a very nude Eric, stood before her in the living room.

"Lover, it wreaks of werewolf in here. I mean, his scent is everywhere..I can even faintly smell it on you, probably from being around him so much. I will send someone over to clean this place, tomorrow." he looked around. Feeling her unwelcoming stare he asked, "What? Do I have something on my face?"

She rolled her eyes knowingly, "Eric what the fuck are you doing here?"

"You, if you'd only stop talking." he padded towards her, reaching for her as she stared up at him.

"No. You know what I mean. Not even two hours ago, you were yelling and angry, and now you wanna fuck?" She went to the sofa where his clothing had been neatly folded and tried handing them to him. "Not that I mind, but what changed?"

He stood with his arms and legs apart as is he was inviting her to frisk him.

"You wouldn't mind putting those on for me, would you?"

She tossed the clothes at his face, watching them fall to the ground as he stood motionless. She took a seat on the sofa, crossed her legs and sighed.

"Aw, not in the mood to play, I see." he pouted putting on his clothes with vampiric speed. He went and stood over her.

"We gotta stop this." she sighed again.

"You just love opening old wounds, don't you?

"Just tell me why you're here." she pulled at her skirt, adjusting it so it almost covered her knees, but was too short to make its way over them.

"Your defiant side always gets to me, but I couldn't stay mad at you, lover."

"I wish I could say the same for you. Just walking up in here like you run things... and please stop calling me that."

A little wounded by the little barbs she was throwing his way he decided to sit. He admitted his stance must be intimidating her. Perhaps being at even level with her would allow her to see things a bit differently. He took a seat directly next to her on the sofa.

She looked away, wishing that he wouldn't sit so close, that he wouldn't stare at her with those eyes of his.

"I told you that I would protect and protect you, I have."

"From what? Nothing's trying to get me."

"That might soon change."

"No, it won't. Cause I can't do it." shaking her head vehemently "I ain't gonna do it."

"We've been over this, lover. It's what we both want." he crossed his arms over his chest and began pacing.

"This is what you want. I only wanted to get Sookie back...but since I've been with you all I've done is push her into Bill's arms, and out of this house, not to mention let a strange man sleep here."

He stood again when his little psychological strategy failed. He returned to pacing, not fully sure how to rectify this new dilemma. How was he supposed to tell her that he didn't want them to be over? That he was miles away from caring about what happened to Compton. Why'd he have to be so pigheaded. In the beginning of this he was sure that they would kill Compton and then Sookie would turn to him for comfort, the way he'd planned. He didn't count on Tara being so different. She was unlike all the others. Now she wanted out of their deal. He couldn't have that happening.

"Where are you getting all these idea from, lover? Don't you trust me?"

"I don't know anymore. Its just I keep getting the feeling that you aren't playing fair. I mean for all I know you and Bill could be working together to kill everyone Sookie cares about.

"That's a terrible idea." he laughed.

She didn't think that it was funny at all. In fact, she thought that there was a great possibility that what she'd said could be the truth.

"So says the guy who had my cousin locked in the basement of a club..." rubbing her toes into the carpeting, she tried not to get all worked up again. This little meeting would likely ending up with Eric's invitation being resent.

"Ouch." pretending to be shot, he placed his hands over where a heart once beat.

"God knows what fucked up shit, you vampires can come up with."

"It seems we're back to square one, lover. Have I failed at proving my loyalty, somehow?...I mean it would be unfortunate for us to end this without meeting the terms of our agreement."

"I'm tired of just fucking around, Eric...and frankly, I'm not in the mood to fuck you tonight. I'm tired and dirty and I can still hear Bill's voice in my head. So, maybe you should lea-"

He didn't let her finish, he wouldn't let her finish. He wasn't sure as how to best show what he was feeling. His calm demeanor and smooth air wasn't working, just proof that she was unique. Others would have fallen for his every word, hanging on to it, like life giving manna. He swooped her off of the sofa, a hand supporting back, the other under her thighs as he carried her up the stairs.

"I said no." she looked confused but was still too intrigued to fight back, yet.

"You're tired and filthy."

"I can wash my-"

He shook his head, finally reaching the top of the stairwell, she pointed him to the bathroom and he opened the door with one hand and walked in. "Now that you are closer, I definitely agree. You need a bath."

"I don't smell that bad." she frowned as she hit against his chest.

"You wreak of werewolf, if only you knew how putrid their stench is to vampires you'd let me burn these clothes." he said, placing her on the bath mat in front of the tub.

She blushed thinking back to the time when she'd let Alcide kiss her, and the time he spent holding her hand. He was anything but filthy. He smelled amazing to her, and most of all he understood her.

"What are you thinking of?" he asked feeling the change in her.

"You." she lied.

He leaned down, locating the the knobs that controlled the hot and cold water. He quickly turned both of them and then turned a third knob which signaled the shower attachment to kick in.

She faced him abashedly never having seen this side of the usually, overbearing, larger than life, vampire.

"I've been thinking about what we said earlier." she spoke up.

He remained focused on getting the water the right temperature, he really didn't want to talk her about earlier. It would only bring up that she might not want to remain his lover anymore or something worse.

"I want to tell my cousin about us...and all of this...I can't just keep all this shit to myself any more...its killing me."

He sighed in relief at least she wasn't asking for their relationship to end again.

Getting impatient with his silence she gave him a firm thwap across the back of the head.

"Eric, I know you hear me, dammit. So answer me. Say something..."

"Fine. Tell your kin-folk," he mimicked her accent, poorly. "but if, you do decide to tell him then, Alcide must be with you at all times, no questions asked."

She fought the urge to hug him, she was still pissed from the rest of the days events. Some physical distance would be better for right now.

"Agreed." she sighed.

He stood and began to head for the door.

"I'll be waiting downstairs. When you finish, then join me."

Twenty minutes a renewed and refreshed Tara descended the stairs. Red silky pajamas flowing coolly on her skin. She came and sat on the chair where he pretended to watch the news.

"So what did you want to talk about?" she picked up the remote clicked the power button, so she could hear him better.

"I want to talk about you. I want to know you."

"You already know all there is to know about me. Lafayette surely must've told you, alcoholic mother, messed up childhood, fucked up life, sleeps with co-workers, sleeps with vampires, pre- meditating a murder of a vampire." she furrowed her eyebrows, confused in whatever it was that Eric was trying to do. "I think that about covers it."

"I, of late, realized that it is important to know more about the people..."

"..the people that work for you." she added dryly. "That sounds like a good way to boost moral around the workplace."

"the people you...see often enough to call lover." he decided those words were as close as he wanted to come to saying what he truly needed to say.

"Oh...um...okay." she folded her legs on the chair, trying to think of some quick rebuttal. She found none.

"I will sit here and and listen."

"You? Listen?" she laughed in his face "Those words comin' from your lips, don't belong in the same sentence." she hit his arm playfully, realizing that she had lost her bad mood. Point 1 for blondie. She thought. "Be specific. Ask me questions and I'll give you answers."

"That sounds like we'd actually have to have a real conversation." he frowned playfully.

They sat there for almost an hour asking each other questions. Tara knew more about Eric's past lives than she would have ever thought possible. Like that he remembered every place he'd ever been and could recall memories by the music accompanying the era. And he found her life up till now a series of depressing letdowns. He was taken aback by her resilience. Most humans he knew would have died by now or resorted to doing drugs.

"I am glad that you are feeling better, lover" he said seeing that her pissy demeanor had nearly vanished completely. She altogether seemed a lot happier than she'd been all day, he thought.

"That shower made me sleepy. And when I'm sleepy I get happy."

Just as she began to stretch and yawn he reached into the pocket of his blazer. He pulled out an old looking amulet attached to a chain of gold. He held it up in front of her, watching her as she watched the trinket spinning in the light. Her eyes grew wide as she tried to figure out what it was.

"What kinda voodoo shit, is this? I'm a Christian." he laughed at his lover.

"Its an amulet crafted by one of the villagers of the Viking city, where I was born."

"Oh." she sat stunned.

"It grants the wearer a shield of protection by the guardians of earth, so I've been told."

"You don't believe it works?"

"I doesn't matter what think. I've no use for it. I cannot die, therefore, I don't need the guardians protection, any longer." he undid the clasp in the back and placed it around her neck.

"Thanks." she felt her neck as the tiny sculpted creature created chills in her body.

"Its damned better than the chain you used to wear. So, I only hope you'll readily dispose of the silver one."

"I dunno. I might have to use it soon." she tried to look serious but her face exploded in laughter when she saw him scowl.

Just as she laughed Alcide burst through the door. His face went to stone as he trudged pass everyone, going into the kitchen as he muttered his hellos.

When he came back and sat on the sofa next to Tara, Eric stood quickly motioning to Alcide to come with him.

"Alcide, you'll receive some instructions later. I'm sure you can handle them." Eric stated throwing a glance to Tara who stood fixed on the sofa as her boys exchanged words.

Slightly annoyed he just gave a short grunt and nodded. He knew anytime alone Tara had with Eric would have her eating out of the palm of his hands again. He was certain now that her time with him that night might have undone all the work he'd put in. But he planted the seed. She would have to figure it out on her own.

"What was that all about?" Alcide questioned after Eric flew off into the distance.

"Nothing happened. We just talked."

"Okay." he shrugged and began walking past her.

"Okay?" she cocked an eyebrow at him. "That's all you have to say?"

Climbing the stairs three at a time he was already in the bathroom when he shouted back,

"Yep."

"So you've got absolutely nothing to say about it?"

"What do you want me to say, Tara?"

"You know you wanna say somethin'." she shouted back as she took to the stairs.

"Stop picking fights. You've already made it clear that your with him. So as your bodyguard, there's nothing left for me to say except," A shirtless Alcide met her at the top of the stairs. "Goodnight."

"I know it bothers you but you and I together just wouldn't be right...not right now at least."

"All we have is right now. We could both get shot, drained by some vamps or something tomorrow, then, where would we be?"

"You know what I mean."

"Just spend the night with me." he reached out and pulled her to his chest.

"I...I can't." struggling to get free, he just held her close. She stopped struggling as she heard his heart beating faster at times then slow, as if it was talking to her. She closed her eyes and imagined a world without stress.

"Would it be so bad if I just held you close to me all night? We'd both be warm and I wouldn't have to dream about it anymore." his rugged voice rumbled in his chest and it shook her. She would just let this careless whisper of things that couldn't be nag at her.

"We can't. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow." She finally looked up into his eyes. He released his hold on her and she backed up in the direction of her room. "You get to follow me to work as I explain you to Sookie." She tried to pull off a normal we're just roommates tone. Which failed miserably. "It'll be a lie, of course."

"Sookie's the blonde broad who left you here cause you don't like her vampire boyfriend?"

"Yeah, that's the one and she ain't no broad." she rubbed her arms still feeling Alcide's warm embrace.

"My bad." he chuckled seeing her defend her friend. "At any rate, that should be fun."

"You don't mind, do you?"

"No, its my job." he turned and walked back to his room, leaving her to stare after him as he closed the door behind him.

"Shit." she cursed again looking into the amulet Eric had given her.

Tara woke the next day with a clear resolve. She was determined to stick to the plan this time. In her eyes Eric was taking the steps needed to show her that she was more than just a pawn in the game, even if she felt as if she was taking two steps forward and three steps back every time she looked at her mess of a situation. She gazed at the little talisman Eric had given her before he left to go back to business. This will work. He had told her repeatedly while staring into her eyes. You have nothing to worry about. He laughed while she cursed at his continual use of the word lover. Don't dwell on the meaningless, lover. He had whispered in her ear when he was leaving.

She made her way to the out of Sookie's room and peeked in on her room where Alcide lay sleeping. She a stared at the strong plains of his back breathing in and out as she slept peacefully on her bed. What she wouldn't give to feel the smooth muscles there, lingering just long enough to feel the warmth.

She was perfectly fine with just looking, touching would be another dangerous thing. He shifted a little and she scooted away from the door quickly fearing he might catch her spying on him.

She ran into the bathroom closing the door carefully, so as not to make anymore noise than she could help. She washed her face, not really sure if she recognized herself. Who was she becoming? She had no idea. At least she wasn't thinking about her past anymore...she had a way too messy future ahead of her. One, she didn't exactly like thinking about, either.

As she came down the stares the front door began creaking. The knob began turning slowly and she froze in her place, her heart screaming at her to run for the closet. She watched as the door finally swung open and Jason Stackhouse, slinked in. His face fixed in a way that made her laugh audibly. He looked up and she could tell he nearly pissed himself.

"Jesus H. Christ, Tara!" he jumped his heart nearly bursting through his white wife-beater.

"Jason, what you doin' sneakin' round here like a fakeass Andy Bellfleur?"

She met him at the end of the stairwell trying to get a good look at his face. If there was one thing she could count on with Jason, it was that his face revealed everything anyone needed to know about him. That was one thing that made him so loveable to her and every other female with a pulse in Bon Temps.

"Well...um...I was looking for Sook." he nodded quickly

"You know good and well she's been stayin' with Bill for like a month now." She kept trying to get a good look at his face. He kept avoiding her gaze realizing that this wasn't how this was supposed to happen."You on V again?" she quickly looked down at his jeans.

"NO!" he waved his hand quickly. " No, ma'am I don't do that shit no more. You know what it is? I gotta get more sleep at night. Damn, Hoyt keeps me up all night wit his lovey-dovey talks bout' this vampire chick he likes and I ain't been getting my eight hours. I think I'll go work on that right, now. Bye, Tara."

"Stop right there. Earth to Jason, I ain't a spring chicken. I been knowing you long enough to know when you lying to me Jason Stackhouse. Now, look me in the eye and tell me why you creepin' round Gran's house like you stole somethin?

He rubbed a hand down his face and looked around for an easy escape. He shoved his hands in his his jean pockets and sighed, shaking his head in regret.

"Can I have somethin' to eat first? Don't wanna die on an empty stomach."

"Sure. C'mon in the kitchen."

Tara whipped up some scrambled eggs, some grits and lots of bacon. She sat a large plate in front of Jason who woofed the food down without a second thought.

"Now, you gone tell me what you was doing here, spying on me?" she sat on the counter near the fridge swinging her legs as she watched him swallow hard while he thought of something to say.

"Now, Tara, you not gone like what I'm bout' to tell you," he began his blue eyes pleading with hers for forgiveness already. "But I'm gone tell you anyway." He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and place a hand on either thigh as he began licking his lips.

"Would you spit it out already." she spat.

"Alright. Alright. Geez." he pleaded stuffing another strip of bacon in his mouth. "Vampire Bill said when he saw you at the bar the other day that you looked different, so that same night, I'm guessin before he went back to get Sook, he asked to me to see what I could find."

"What the fuck, Jason?" throwing her arms up she jumped off the counter hitting several times in the head and arms. He flinched trying to dodge her strong punches.

"Tara...Wait...Stop...Hey...Dammit...Tara...I'm sorry."he finally caught her wrists, to which, she replied by trying to knee him.

"What in the fuck do you mean, Vampire Bill asked you to check it out?

"He said that, you shouldn't even know I was here. Because you might deny it later if we find that something was up."

"What else?"

"He said that if I caught you sleeping, I should check for bite marks among other stuff. His reasonin behind that is that you smelled funny when he saw you...like a vamp or a were-wolf...Which I told him was complete and utter bull-shit. I told him if there's anybody I know in the whole wide world that would stay away from those two things it would be Tara Thorton."

"Well, you picked a real great time to check, Jason. It's 9:00 am. Most people are awake." She shook her head slowly. She couldn't help but laugh at the lovable dim-wit that Bill had procured to do his dirty-work for him. This solidified his shittyness to her and she had no choice now but to get prepared to fight back.

"Well at least I know ain't nobody else here with you, right?"

"Yeah...right. Ain't nobody here but me." she lied.

Alcide nearly ran into the kitchen with nothing but a pair of boxer-briefs on.

"What's going on in here, Tara? Are you okay?" he stood ready to pounce on Jason who now stood facing the rugged man with his fists up.

"I could say the same thing to both of you." Jason started, looking suspiciously between Tara and Alcide.

"Jason, it's not what you think." she muttered the cliché as she felt a strong headache coming. She sat down realizing things just got twenty times worse.

"You got that right," Alcide offered thinking morosely on how he wished their situation was what Jason was probably thinking about.

"All alone, huh, Tara?" Jason grinned slowly dropping his fists down to his sides. "Well everybody got get some sometime, right?"

Seizing this opportunity to get a jump start on the story she'd be telling Sookie later, Tara, ran over to Alcide, placed a hand over his bare chest and kissed his cheek.

"Just go with it." she whispered into his ear as she rubbed the back of his neck with her other hand.

"I'm not complainin'," he took advantage of the lie to further his own motives. Kissing her back, he decided to up the anti by slipping in his tongue. Tara almost fought back but decided the more convincing the kiss was the better, right?

"Alright. I get it. I get it." Jason cringed playfully still smiling.

"Yeah. I just love me some Alcide." she slapped his back causing Alcide to curse.

"Well, then I guess my work here is done." Jason nodded assuredly as he brushed himself off. "I can tell Vampire Bill that everything is peachy keen in Taraland and my ass is saved."

"Jason," Tara began quickly moving away from Alcide whose right hand had found its way to her lower back. "Don't tell no one, especially Bill, about Alcide here." she looked back quickly. " I wanna be the one to tell everyone bout him, okay?

"So, I'm the first to know, bout you two?" he asked sheepishly. She nodded.

"Yeah. So let's just keep this our little secret, okay? I'm gonna tell Sook at work and Lala too."

"Okay. Okay. I won't tell no one, scouts honor." he proclaimed, sticking out his chest as he held up the hand sign.

"Thanks Jason." she bear hugged him and kissed his cheek.

"No prob, Tara." he hugged her back. "Well, I gotta go get ready for work...and don't worry, I won't tell no one."

He brushed pass her and stood in front of Alcide clearing his throat, trying to be manly.

"It was nice meeting you." he held out a hand averting his gaze from the rest of Alcide's body which was only being covered by the boxer-briefs.

"Same here, man." Alcide grumbled back giving Jason's hand a firm shake.

"Tara, here, is like my little sister, so if you hurt her...well, let's just say it ain't gone be too pretty for you." he laughed

"Don't worry bout that. If anyone is gonna be doing the hurtin' 'round here then its your girl, Tara. She's a tough one."

Jason left and in his wake he left behind a whole slew of problems that were vast approaching.

"Go make yourself decent." Tara implored as Alcide stood baffled by this new information she'd told him.

"Damn, you've already seen me naked, woman. There's nothing else to hide." he shot back.

"Whatever. Just go get ready to go with me to work and put on a happy face, cause shits about to get really weird now."

"Weirder than your best friend's boyfriend sending someone to spy on you?" he laughed

"You don't know the half of it." She sighed staring out of the window overlooking Gran's backyard. "You just don't know...its getting harder and harder to breathe."

End Notes:
...Jason is stupid...but hot. *^_^*
Our Lie To Admire by Outlawstar615
Author's Notes:

 Okay so this is a little shorter than the last few but hey...I think I'm setting this up for something big....or not. Anywhoozle, THANKS again for reading this. The comments keep me warm at night while my brain goes into overload.

 

Alcide marched upstairs trying his best not to feel giddy after his little show with Tara. Her kisses always made his mind venture to some not so rated G events.

 

“Are ya sure, I can't just go like this?” he hollered from in front of a suitcase on the bed, grinning as he pictured her face, her eyes rolling and maybe even a smile as she searched for an answer.

 

“Just...just get dressed!” she yelled back. She hated that he could get her at a loss for words, something Eric had mastered with his touch, Alcide had managed to create with a simple look and words alone.

“And make sure you look good....I can't be seen fake-datin' someone who looks like I picked him up off the street.”

 

“What's your boyfriend gonna say bout' all this? Or is this all part of his divine plan to kill this Compton guy we all seem to hate?”He picked out a shirt he thought would be okay for just meeting some new faces, nothing too serious.

 

“No, it ain't part of the plan and you'll do well to keep this shit to yourself. You know how Eric checks in with you...well, just leave it to me to tell him that I've added some duties to your job description.”

“There's a lot of that going on here, lately.” he laughed heartily pulling on his jeans. “ I mean you're keeping a whole mess of secrets from everyone...you must be tired.”

 

She decided not to answer. She was already up in Sook's room and had decided on a top to wear. There was just the matter of retrieving it from her old room, where Alcide was now.

 

She got up still in pajamas and walked in not realizing Alcide was still changing, not really caring what she was about to do to him, she walked straight past him and up to her dresser where most of her clothes still lay. She picked up her navy blue printed tee and stripped, putting it on right there in front of him. He stood frozen as she discarded her pajama bottoms, finding some capris that hugged her hips and thighs just right flaring out a tiny bit at mid-calf.

 

“Uh, not that I'm complaining but what are ya doing?” he almost whispered

 

“Leveling the playing field. I've seen you buck naked...I felt you deserved a little somethin' somethin'. Its also gonna keep your mind on me when we get to the bar. I need all of your attention on me cause unlike Sook, I can't read minds so you're gonna have to pay extra close attention.”

 

“Oh...Okay.”

 

“I'll fill you in on all staff on the way there. In the meantime, try to close your mouth...droolin on the bed ain't sexy.” she winked, leaving the room as he stared in disbelief.

 

At Merlotte's

 

Tara burst through doors looking around for anyone who worked at the bar. She spotted her Arlene right away, Her red curls bouncing around as she forced smiles to old bitties and older men who were too friendly.

 

“Mornin' Tara.” she waved joyfully as she escaped the crowd of patrons.

 

“Hey Arlene, you seen Sook, Lafayette, or Sam?”

 

“You know your cousin's in the kitchen, and Sam...only God knows where there that man ran off too. He's been worrying over a lot lately especially since the last time you were here. He hired some new girl today and I can't seem to keep her outta my way. And Sookie shouldn't be too far off. I think she's in the little girl's room” she put a looked around cautiously batting her false lashes as she added gave Tara the, and just between you and me look, “probably putin' makeup on some of those bite marks. The people are noticin and they ain't tippin' her like usual.”

 

“Well that's not good.” Tara rubbed the side of her neck thinking about the places she'd been bitten.

 

“ She's been getting bitten more and more if you ask me....and nothing good and godly can come of something like that. I'm just glad there are still sane people like us who won't dare go down that road.” She patted Tara on her shoulder and sashayed away, waving politely to the older patrons that she hoped to squeeze a tip out of.

 

Tara brushed off Arlene's rant and ran to the kitchen. Her shift wouldn't start for another hour so she could introduce Alcide to everyone and they could fawn over him while she worked.

 

“La La, you in here?” she scanned the area seeing a few pots on the stove.

 

“Who's askin?” he peered from behind the pantry straightening his du-rag as he walked over to greet her.

 

“Hey, its just me.”

 

“Someone's got a little glow goin on,” he smiled, and pointed at her. “So, where is he and where can I get one?”

 

“What you talkin bout', ain't nobody glowin' up in here unless you putin radiation in the food.” she smiled nervously.

 

“La La's got his ways of knowing....the dick is that good, huh?”

 

“Stop it.” she couldn't help but laugh. Her cousin was always so in tune with her. He always knew what was going on with her or so he thought. She hated to think that she would have to tell him the whole truth soon. Perhaps she would just lie a little longer. It wouldn't hurt to let him think she was happy.

 

“Wait right here, okay?”


“Hookah, I'm not going nowhere.” he smiled as he began to stir the pot on the stove. He was glad she was excited about something that wasn't vampire related for once.

 

She ran outside to where Alcide stood posed up against his van.

 

“C'mere, it's time to meet my cousin. He's gay but he can and will kick your ass if you ain't careful.” she grabbed his hand pulling him closer to her side as they strode in side by side. So just nod and smile...and if he feels you up..... then he likes ya.”

 

He gulped audibly as she continued pulling him towards the door.“Yes Ma'am.”

 

She pulled him straight into kitchen where Lafayette stood stirring a pot of something.

 

“Lafayette, I'd like you to meet Alcide.” pushing him forward to stand on his own she stood back as they began their introductions.

 

“Damn, hookah, where you been hiding him at?”

 

Lafayette looked around to Tara who stood blushing. He dropped the large spoon he was using to stir the concoction on the stove and began circling Alcide who stood motionless and unsuspecting as he stared him up and down.

 

“We ain't been hiding.” she joked.

 

“Since I know Tara gone lie....Boyfriend, where you been hiding? And are there more of you?” he stopped placing a hand on his hip as he bit his lip.

 

Alcide noticed how much Tara and Lafayette looked alike, especially when they smiled. It was good to know she had at least some family she could count on.

 

“We met through mutual friend.” she jumped in.

 

“Yeah, a real good friend.” he added.

 

“Well you need to let your friend hook a brotha up, okay?”

 

“Our friend's not really in the matchmaking business....in fact he doesn't even know we're an item.” Alcide continued.

 

“Too bad.....and word to the wise, if you insist on messin with my little cousin, here, she's real tough. So if you got time and a chisel....you might get her to be nice to ya.”

 

“I've been hearing a lot about that, lately. She is a tough one.” he looked back at her giving her a nice wide smile. Rolling her eyes she smiled back. Checking the clock on the wall she suddenly went over to Lafeyette and hugged him.

 

“Can't let you hog him, I got show him to the rest of the gang 'fore my shift starts.”

 

“Stingy heffer, don't wanna share her new toy with her cousin.” he gave her a funny look and returned to the stove.

 

“I never did like sharing” she called back. “Oh and Lafayette, I'll call you tonight, okay.”

 

“Yeah yeah. Get on somewhere 'fore some of these light skinned hookahs tries to steals your man.”

 

Alcide who'd found a seat at the bar had been looking around seeing all the sights and sounds that the town had to offer. He saw a guy in a police uniform throw back a couple shots. He caught a couple of older women ogling him from their booth. He smiled politely and then their once flirty features turned to stoned and their gazes snapped back to looking at each other. He turned around to find Tara standing right behind him. He smiled to himself as she rolled her eyes in their direction.

 

“Who are gonna meet now?” he stared up at her from the stool.

 

“Sam Merlotte, the owner, if I could just find him.” she scanned the area looking for him or any sandy headed blond with tight jeans and a cup of ice to his head.

 

She spotted him slipping out of his office. Grabbing Alcide's hand she jerked him from his seat and straight in Sam's direction.

 

She knew convincing Sam that she was dating Alcide would be one of the hardest things of all. After the brief lustful sessions they'd shared were over they were left in a rough spot. Not sure that the other was really in it for any other reason that to have a good time and to fill the growing void, it hadn't been the easiest time walking around the bar pretending they'd never done it. She had always thought in the deepest recesses of her mind that they could have worked. She thought he might have felt that way too, but she couldn't help but realize that when he was with her he really thought about being with Sookie.

 

Her palms starting to sweat a little and she let go of Alcide who kindly wiped the sweat on his shirt and grabbed her hand again. He could also smell something unique about the guy they were going up to next. He smelled human but with the essence of something he couldn't pin point.

 

“Sam,” she called as she reached him.

 

“You're early, Tara. Is there something you wanted to talk about?” he paused when he saw Alcide walking up behind her.

 

“Yeah...kinda. I want you to meet my boyfriend.”

 

“Your boyfriend.” he half laughed giving Alcide a suspicious look to which he replied with manly head nod and what Tara thought sounded like a mix between a growl and a grunt.

 

“Yep. This is Alcide.”

 

Sam smiled wearily, thrusting out a hand and Alcide grabbed and gave a quick firm shake. This whole situation was smelling really weird to Sam. He didn't have all the pieces to the puzzle, yet. But he would get to the bottom of Tara's behavior. What was more alarming is the fact that her scent was coupled with two others, one of which was vaguely familiar. He racked his brain trying to recall where he had smelled this before....was it? Could it be.....vampire? He didn't know why he hadn't noticed it before now but the presence of this guy and this new scent around her was reminding him of her attitude the day before when she'd gone outside and came back looking ten times worse..what had she seen? Who had she seen? What was going on?

 

“Nice to meet you.” Alcide mumbled.

 

“Same here.”

 

“Alcide, hun, you wanna go sit at the bar and wait for me?” she gave him a look that signaled it was okay to leave. She squeezed his hand and then he let go, turning to walk towards the bar. As soon as he was out of ear shot Tara spun back around to meet Sam's eyes which were glazed over with some unrecognizable emotion.

 

“Tara. My office. Now.” he grabbed her arm and pulled her back inside of his little cluttered room, clicking the door securely behind them.

 

“What the fuck, Sam?” she snatched her arm away, still feeling his grip.

 

“No, Tara, you tell me what the fuck is going on? Cause I damn sure don't believe that that guy out there is your boyfriend.”

 

“Whoa whoa whoa....where the hell is all this coming from? You only met the guy two seconds ago and ya already don't like him.”

 

“How much do you know about this guy? Where is he from? Where did you meet?”

 

“Sam, of all the times I've asked you to trust my judgment, and you have. I need your trust more now than ever.”

 

“Tara, it's him I don't trust. There's something different about him.” He paced the floor not taking his eyes off of her as she stood seething behind the door. Her eyes wide and on the brink of tears that she fought like mad to keep hidden. Her hands balling into tight fists, the way she did, when she was upset, or trying to hide something. He had learned her well.

 

“Dammit, I promise to tell you all the details soon, but all you and anybody else needs to know right now, is that Alcide is my boyfriend. If there is anybody you should be worrying about....it should be Sookie.” she looked away furiously wiping away a stray tear that had slipped out without her permission. “Have you looked at her lately? She's been staying with Bill, ya know.”

 

“Yeah, I know. But what does that have to do with all that's goin on with you, Tara?”

 

“You of all people should be the most worried. I've been trying to keep quiet about this for God knows how long but Bill is just using Sookie. He keeps her away from everybody who loves her. She moved out cause I tried to hint that Bill was manipulating her..she just keeps looking for trouble.”

 

“I know it must feel like you're losing your best friend, Tara. But Sookie has to figure it out on her own. There's nothing you or I can say that would make her stop loving Bill....nothing.” he sighed as he felt one of his famous headaches starting up again.

 

“That's where we disagree. I know there's something I can do.” She held her chin up and opened the door. Sam pushed it shut before she could leave.

 

“Tara, don't be stupid. Just try to focus on keeping yourself together. There are just some forces that we shouldn't mess with...vampires and were-wolves are some of them.”

 

He'd finally figured out what that familiar smell was on Tara, it was vampire....but it wasn't Bill. And the other scent had turned out to be were-wolf and it was the same scent as the guy she brought with her today..He looked into her eyes and saw the fear. The fear that he'd figured out whatever she was trying so desperately to hide.

 

“You know I don't fool around with the supernatural shit, Sam.” she pursed her lips trying to seem calm about it.

 

“I don't think you're being honest Tara. I think you've gotten yourself into some trouble that you can't get out of and it has everything to do with the very supernatural shit you say you're keeping away from.”

 

“I don't want to talk about this right now. All I need you to do is accept that Alcide is my boyfriend and stop worrying about me.”

 

“I can't stop worrying about you, Tara. I never will.”

 

“Dammit Sam. Try!”

 

She opened the door and stormed out racing straight for the bathroom. She saw Sookie just as Arlene had predicted, applying copious amounts of concealer to the several bite marks that now covered her once flawless skin. She jumped at the sight of Tara who just stood watching.

 

“Sook, what are you doing?”

 

“I'm....I'm just coverin up a couple things.” she blushed slightly as she continued to rub in the concealer.

 

“Covering up blemishes or bite marks?” she walked closer to her friend. Tara placed a hand up to where at least 3 different set of bite marks lay. Sookie flinched a little.

 

“Well, yeah. Bill says he just can't enough of me.” she smiled crazily as Tara continued to investigate the bruises. “So much so that I have to drink from him at least twice a night to keep up with him.”

 

“Sook, do you hear how fuckin' crazy you sound right now? It's like you've become a totally different person.”

 

“Tara, see, this is why I had to go stay with Bill. You never accepted that I am different from the rest of y'all. All the negativity I get from everyone is what's draining me of my happiness not Bill.”

 

Tara began shaking her head slowly, marveling at the obvious delusional state her once good friend had succumbed to. She realized then and there that the only way Sookie would finally come back to her senses would be when her and Eric finished what they set out to do.

 

“You're right, Sook.”

 

“I'm glad you're starting to see the light.” she admitted happily turning to hug Tara with a few tears in her eyes.

 

“Sook, since you moved out....well, some things have changed.”

 

“What kind of changes? You're not doing drugs or something are you? You know how I feel about them.”

 

“Fuck no. Changes, like that I got me a boyfriend and he's staying with me at Gran's...” she trailed off.

 

Sookie let go of Tara stared straight into her eyes and squealed. “Oh my gosh, Tara. That's amazing.”

 

“That doesn't bother you? At all?!” Are you on drugs? Tara wanted to blurt out as she stood confused but imagined that if Sookie could easily be swayed into thinking she loved Bill, that his grip must be taking reign over her entire way of thinking.

 

“I've been thinking about moving all my stuff in with Bill for a while now anyways. I just didn't know if you would take the news well or not.”

 

“Oh.” She felt a pang of fear. “Don't be so quick to decide on things like that yet, Sook. You never know what might happen. Things 'round here can change in the blink of an eye and you know it.” She admonished wagging a finger in Sookie's direction like Gran would've done.

 

“I know but I just can't wait, though. Bill has even promised to take me to meet the vampire queen, once I get completely settled in at his place, ain't that sweet?”

 

Obviously caught off guard by the new information Tara nodded approvingly as her mind raced constantly about the quickening pace of Bill's actions. She didn't even know that vampires had a sheriff until she met Eric. Now, there are queens and kings too...this was just getting progressively more and more stressful.

 

“Yeah Sookie, that sounds real sweet.” she shook her head. Looking down at her watch she saw that it almost time for her shift to start. “I think we should hurry up and get outta here 'fore Arlene sends out a search party and someone molests Alcide.”

 

“Alcide. Is that his name?” Sookie dropped several containers of makeup back in her little leather kit.

 

“Yeah, I think you should meet him when you get a chance, okay?”

 

“Okay.”

 

They opened the door hearing a rush of noise come at them from the bar. Tara kickly made it back to the bar where Alcide sat patiently waiting.

 

“Everything okay?” he asked sheepishly figuring that her boss wanting to see her on account of him might have made her a little on edge.

 

“I should ask you the same thing. Anybody tried to touch while I was gone?” she got behind the bar and began pulling out glasses.

 

“Yeah, the redhead over there keeps winking at me.” he nodded in Arlene's direction as she smiled over at him.

 

“She's the least of our worries.” she breathed out getting ready for the start of her shift and later Bill's arrival.

 

She had up til now followed Eric's rules completely, and she planned on straightening things out with Lafayette later that night. Alcide was introduced to everyone and was keeping a watchful eye at the bar. Jason had been pacified, or she at least hoped he was but she could never be too sure. That boy ran his mouth like water and hopefully Bill hadn't glamored him to telling anything. She could only hope so for the sake of everyone finding out she was sleeping with and maybe having some type of emotional relationship with the vampire sheriff of area 5, who also happened to own a nightclub, the viking prince himself, Eric Northman. She was sure to see him after work or maybe sooner than that depending on her mood tonight. If things stayed calm all night and she avoided Bill then no worries, right? Wrong again, Tara.

End Notes:

...I wish Franklin was alive. x_X

The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret by Outlawstar615
Author's Notes:
 

Thank You all for continuing to read this story....its very very draining to write. I'm not sure who to root for myself, at this point but it looks like its all coming to a head....everyone is starting to figure everything out.....

 ....Why were these little things so damned uncomfortable? He couldn't even turn properly in this little coffin provided by the hotel. Eric had left Tara with hopefully enough to show her that she did nows really belong to him. The necklace was a brilliant touch of genius that had her all wide eyed and speechless, just as he'd hoped. One can't deny anything, if they can't talk. He knew it wouldn't be long before it was finished and as soon as all this work was done and the stacks of meaningless paperwork signed, stamped, and approved he would be on his way to making a little more money from the beginnings of the Fangtasia chain. Although, the planning stages for these things were always a bitch, he couldn't help but feel restless. And he wasn't really one for celebrations but he would have to celebrate with his lover, of course.

 

Sleep usually hit him like a brick, instantaneously pulling him back into those Elysian fields where he could wander and think on things he'd done and wanted to do, even talk with Godric who gave advice and warned him of his vices. But tonight his eyes roamed around the inside of the plush box, her face plastered on the inside of his eyelids so he tried to close them repeatedly, finding it nearly impossible. The usually pinkish hue under his eyes turned darker crimson, and this could only mean he had the first symptoms of the bleeds.

 

“Fuck.” he mumbled feeling a little of the cool red liquid seeping from his ears. His nose would bleed next if he didn't feed. He thought to wake up Pam but decided she deserved an undisturbed rest.

 

He flicked the switch in his coffin, waiting for the automatic release to rise. He slowly sat up, placing a finger to his ear, inspecting where some of the life dripped slowly down to his jaw and onto his tunic. His long legs swung around and he stood from the small prison. Walking into the bathroom, he noticed the cracks he put on the counter earlier, when he'd been venting to Pam and thinking of her. He pulled a monogrammed hotel towel from the rack and began wiping away the blood. He held the towel firmly to his ear and walked towards the mini-bar which was stocked with all flavors of True Blood. He grimaced at the bottles reminding himself just how much he hated the stupid drink.

 

“It doesn't even taste like blood.” he whined, pulling one out as he walked to a chair near Pam's coffin.

 

Suddenly, she emerged from her coffin in a daze. Flinging her lid back, forcing the release mechanism to move faster, she sat up and looked around settling on her maker who sat cross-legged in the chair.

 

“Rest.” he said between forced sips of the liquid

 

“I can't. At least not when you keep yelling at me in my sleep.” she noticed the bloody towel in his hand and the bottle of True Blood which now sat on end table. “You've got the bleeds?!”

 

“Yes.” he closed his eyes again, trying to avoid the worrisome stare Pam was sure to be giving him at the moment.

 

“I can call room service and they'll send someone up.” She got out and walked to the phone. “Blonde, brunette...or if you're feeling ethnic we can get a black girl, since you're doing those now.”

 

“No.”

 

“What d'ya mean...no?” she furrowed her eyebrows trying to recall the last time she'd seen him refuse a meal to the point where it gave him the bleeds.

 

“I'm drinking this.

 

“You know you hate that stuff....and plus we don't do faux anything...not even blood.”

 

“Just rest. I will drink this and be just fine...I might actually get used to its taste.”

 

“Liar. You're only drinking it now because you only want her blood.”

 

“Good night, Pam.” he smiled.

 

She smiled too. Satisfied with his reply she returned to and closed her coffin quickly falling back into her slumber. He would be weak for a while without her blood in him but when he did reunite with her it would have been well worth the wait. He might even punish her a little for giving him the bleeds. Her blood was a taste that could always take him to another place. The bittersweet intoxicating brand of live giving nourishment from his lover was now all that he would ever need... along with Bill's head on a platter.

 

Feeling as if he could finally get a proper rest, he tossed the bottle in the trash and carefully maneuvered his way back to his coffin. With the sound of birds outside breaking his concentration, he thought once more about what she might be doing at this moment, giving someone hell, he hoped. He lay back down remembering the amulet he'd given her and for the first time since he'd had it, he believed in it, if only for her sake.

 

At Merlotte's

 

Alcide and Sookie had been introduced and they sat and talked for a while on one of Sookie's little breaks. Alcide found her attractive but her moments of vapidness outweighed her beauty for him and this renewed and strengthened his affections for Tara even if she couldn't return them, yet. The fact that she could read minds was also a bit too much for him to handle as he tried to come to terms with the fact that she could pick his brain for information at will. He began guarding any thoughts related to Eric as Tara had instructed him. He thought it was silly at first to only be thinking of one particular thing every time she passed him, but when he'd heard her voice in his head that in itself was proof that following Tara's instructions was more than wise.

 

“I'm gonna go outside for a while Tara, ya know, get some clear thinking space.” He glanced at Sookie who was smiling crazily again at a customer who'd probably been thinking negative thoughts about her. He almost felt sorry for her in that respect.

 

“Don't go too far, its starting to get late and you know who will be here soon.” She talked as she mixed a drink for a female tourist from up north who insisted on having sweet tea mixed with all her alcoholic beverages.

 

“I won't. I just need to stretch my legs, maybe take a quick run out back, if that's okay?”

 

“Yeah, I don't see why that would be a problem...you can go a little farther back in the woods, if you want.”

 

He got up yawning, his shirt lifting slightly revealing a little bronzed skin as he raised his arms over his head.

 

“Stop that, before you get raped.” she laughed looking around at all the females, young and old, that watched eagerly as he stretched.

 

“You don't have to worry about that, darlin' ” he announced loud enough so that some of his audience could hear him. He leaned over the counter placing a kiss on Tara's forehead, which got mixed reviews from the gaggle of lusty patrons watching them.

 

“That's enough of that.” Lafayette called from his window in the kitchen. “Imma have to kick yo ass myself if y'all keep showin off and shit.

 

Behind Merlotte's (In the woods)

 

When he'd made it deep enough into the thick woods behind the bar he felt secure enough to take off his clothes he morphed. Surrounded by the shade of the tall trees and the comfort of the slowly sinking sun he ran around, stripping his mind off of the duty of having to sit and pretend to be something he wasn't.

 

Soon, he began to get the feeling that someone or something was watching him. He let out a low tonal warning growl, which would usually scare away anything minor. The feeling faded but then it returned stronger and more pronounced as if whatever was watching him was coming his way. He began looking around, ready to face it his teeth showing, sharp and dangerous. Then from out of nowhere a large golden retriever ran out of the thick brush barking ecstatically at him as he stood there.

They had a little growling match trying to back the other one down, but the golden retriever held his own being just as strong and wily as the wolf. Right before the wolf's eyes, the dog began to change, and a familiar face met Alcide. He backed up slowly changing as well.

With the sun's last stretch falling beyond the horizon, the two men stayed crouched down in their nudity. Sam squinted at Alcide, realizing his hunch had been right. He had one part of Tara's crazy puzzle together and maybe this boyfriend character could put the rest together for him, hopefully without much of a fight.

 

“You're a shifter. Well, ain't that somethin' special.”

 

“And you're a were-wolf. That's something I ain't seen in a long time. The last time a seen one of them is back when I was stayin in Mississippi.”

 

“Well, I'll be damned. That's where I'm from. There's whole mess of us over there.”

 

“So, what's a wolf from 'Sippi doin' here in Bon Temps?”

 

“I live here now with Tara.” he smirked seeing Sam's discomfort.

 

“No. Really, what are you doing here?”

 

“I'm here for the same reasons you are and I'm thinking that's about all you need to know.”

 

“I don't think you understand. Why are you here and what business are you in with Tara?” Just as soon as he uttered those words a blur whizzed past settling between them.

 

“Good Evening, gentlemen.” Bill stated with a hint of sarcasm.

 

“What the hell are you doing here?” Sam barked at him, standing up to level himself with the vampire.

 

“I might ask you two the same question, but I could guess a romp in the woods between two mutts wouldn't be far from the truth.” he laughed, swiping his thick hair back in place.

 

Alcide growled furiously, feeling the urge deep in his gut to attack the vamp with everything in him. He detested vampire blood, but wouldn't be so foolish as to miss an opportunity to kill one with a smart-ass mouth.

 

“Bill, I don't know what's going here,” Sam said holding up his hands. “I thought you were with this guy.” he pointed to Alcide.

 

“Bill?” Alcide chimed in. “So you're the ass-wipe I'm supposed to watch for... You'll be no problem at all. It just sucks that I can't lay claim to your body myself...” he transformed again, a gleam in his eye that could kill any man or vampire.

 

“Ah, Tara's whipping boy, I can't begin to imagine what that trollop has been polluting your mind with, but I can assure you I am not your enemy. It seems the kind sheriff Eric, has you both fooled.” He dropped his fangs and hissed at Sam and Alcide.

 

Sam had never really liked Bill's overbearing demeanor. He was sneaky and paid to much attention to anyone who got close to Sookie, even if they were already in her life before he sauntered in with his dark quiet pompousness. Anyone who was lucky enough to be with Sookie should be strong but not controlling and to him, Bill had violated that one glaring rule.

 

“I'm not siding with any of you.” convinced that anyone who was for Tara was better than anyone against her, he added, “But I don't know this guy here well enough to hate him yet,” He too transformed running over to Alcide's side.

 

“Fine. All the better for me to have a quick snack before dinner.” he laughed lowly and began to charge at the two of them.

 

Sam and Alcide charged at Bill dividing when they almost reached him. Sam ran around the back and Alcide leaped straight at Bill, making quick work of his leather jacket. Trying to claw and bite his way to Bill's face, Sam leaped on to the vampire's back trying to pull him down further. Bill sped quickly out of the way, forcefully throwing Sam into a tree which caused him to pass out, reverting him back to his human form. Stunned at the shear strength that Bill could exert, Alcide who finally got close enough, without being thrown, bit Bill around his neck. He instantly tasted the sweet yet repulsive flavor of Bill's life. Feeling the extreme rush that the blood had given him, he became ravenous and almost uncontrollable as he tore away at his flesh.

 

Bill, who was becoming weaker by the second tried bashing the wolf in the head several times, grabbing whatever was nearby to try and stab him, but to no avail. Alcide continued ripping and gnashing his enemy with complete abandon. With his last bit of strength, Bill got an arm around Alcide's body and with one swift movement flung the blood-thirsty creature into a tree adjacent Sam who still hadn't moved. He too ceased moving, his blood covered mouth still dripping with the coveted liquid as he reverted back to his human form. Small wounds on his back and a gash near his temple dripped with his own blood from the strikes and blows he'd received.

 

Picking himself up, Bill brushed the foliage from his tattered clothes. His wounds which were deep, had already started to heal but slowly. Though he'd been drained a great deal he sped off, back in the direction of Merlotte's, leaving the two nude men, collapsed under the trees, in the dark.

 

Eric's Hotel Room

 

Having finished all the required paper work and mapping out all the necessary provisions, Eric and Pam checked out of the hotel ready to make their way back to Fangtasia. Feeling a great sense of urgency, Eric tried furiously to make their leave as expedient as possible, glamoring people into rushing their things along. He had even purchased a case of True Blood, to slake his thirst for blood. In his mind there were so many things he couldn't wait to tell her, show her. He was no longer thinking of Bill, or anyone else but her, so much so that it alarmed him. He wasn't going to force her anymore, force her to be apart of something he'd constructed as a coping mechanism, all he wanted now was to keep her with him....He searched his pockets until he felt the cool slickness of a cell phone. He opened it and texted Alcide. Just minute or so and he should've received a confirmation from the bodyguard that Tara was fine....fifteen minutes and nine texts later.....still nothing. His next move was to try and feel anything he could from Tara. Happiness, sadness, confusion...anything really that would tell him why Alcide wasn't answering. He erased everything from his mind and closing his eyes, he felt her heart beating and instantly felt a sense of worry.

 

Behind Merlotte's

 

Alcide's eyes were heavy and sharp pains caught him from all over. He tried moving slowly pulling up with the aid of the tree he was thrown into. He cursed as he struggled to stand, pains in his back, his shoulders and his knees made his movement slow. But the more he moved the more he felt the pain subsiding as the blood he'd ingested took effect. He had no idea how long he'd been laying there he looked around and saw that the shifter, Sam, had already gone. At least that was one less body he had to worry about. Now, he was focused on finding his clothes and getting back to Tara as quickly as he could. This day was turning out to be more trouble than it was worth. He perked his ears hearing the tiniest of vibrations. He knew immediately what it was....his cell phone!. He finally found it, out of breath he pulled it from his pants pocket and flipped it open. He scrolled down the lists of texts he'd received seeing he'd gotten ten texts from Eric. He didn't bother to read any of them, he knew things were about to get three kinds of terrible.

 

He closed the phone shoving it back down into the pocket and shifted one last time. He carried his clothes in his mouth until he was not too far from Merlotte's. He was close enough to see the lights on but not close enough to hear the noise. Changing back into his human form he put on his clothes quickly and waited....his phone buzzed again ringing accompanied the buzz and he had to answer.

 

Merlotte's

 

Back at Merlotte's it had been dark for some time and no one had seen Sam nor Alcide since before

sunset. Tara started to panic. Just as she was asking Sookie if she'd seen them, Sam burst through the back door. He looked bewildered, deranged and very angry. From where she stood, Tara could see Lafayetted trying to soothe whatever seemed to be giving him a problem. He snapped at Lafayette who proceeded to snap back, giving him an ear full. Sam, soon set his gaze on Tara who stood unfazed by the display. He marched over to her snatching her arm once again and taking her into the office.

 

“Eric Northman!....Eric Northman!....you're fucking 'working' for him?”

 

“Sam, it's not what you think.” she let her body sink to the floor as she felt the room spinning around her.

 

“Then, what the hell is going on? And I want the truth this time, dammit.”

 

She looked up from her spot on the floor and noticed Sam bleeding through his shirt.

“What the hell happened to you? How'd you get that cut there?”

 

He looked down cursing his poor bandaging skills and covered the arm. “This isn't about me, Tara. This is about you. What are you doing with Eric and that were-wolf?”

 

“Tell me who did that to you and I'll tell you what happened.”

 

“Fine, but you're gonna have to tell me everything so I can help you get out of this!”

 

“Yeah, like you helped yourself with that bad cut.” she rolled her eyes, feeling a little sick but was feeling well enough to tend to his wound while he answered her questions. She walked over to his file cabinet with little slips of paper peeking out of the drawers. She knelt at the last drawer, opened it and found a first aid kit and Sam's emergency pistol. She walked back to his side and pulled up his sleeve. The slash was not as bad as it looked but it still needed her attention.

 

“I decided to follow your boyfriend into the woods when he left.”

 

She began forcefully rubbing away the excess blood from his arm.”Ow, Tara damn.”

 

“I told you not to worry about him.” she eased up a little applying gentler strokes to the area.

 

“I thought we would have been alone so I could talk to him and we were for a minute or two.” he didn't feel the slightest bit of guilt for trying to look out for her.

 

“Then...” she took out the anti-bacterial spray, the kind that stung and she sprayed a great amount onto his arm.

 

He gritted his teeth, wincing at the pain. “Then that's when Bill came along told me that you work for Eric and something about he's got everyone fooled....including you.”

 

She stopped tending the wound and stared blankly at his arm. Her heart dropped into her stomach and she felt as though she was going to be sick. “You don't believe him do you?” she finally said.

 

“ I don't trust Bill. I never have....but, I don't know who or what to believe in all this, tell me what to believe and I will trust you.”

 

She thought really hard about how to tell Sam, the whole story. As she searched for the right words, it occurred to her that Alcide hadn't come back yet. She looked around quickly getting the gauze and Neosporin and wrapped his cut. “What happened next?”

 

“Bill charged at us and me and the guy charged back....Bill knocked me unconscious and when I came to your guy was knocked out and bleeding so, I ran back here as fast as I could....thinking he might come here looking for you.”

 

“Sam! So you just left him there!? He was bleeding?!” she ran out of the room slamming the door behind her. Making it back to the main area of the bar she looked around frantically. Still no sign of Alcide and she began to get scared all over again. She decided to go out back and yell for him. Before leaving she alerted her cousin that she was going out back.

 

“Lafayette!” she yelled through his window

 

“What you need?”

 

“I'm...going on a break.”

 

“You know you done had your break already.”

 

“Well, dammit, I'm taking another one. If I ain't back in ten minutes then get Sam, okay?”

 

“Wait the fuck a minute, what are you about to do where you need me to get help from somebody else in case your boney ass don't come back in ten minutes.” He fixed his du-rag again and came out the kitchen. Staring at her face he could see the panic and fear in her eyes.

 

“Alcide ain't came back, yet and I'm just gonna go look for him...So just say you'll do that for me, okay?”

 

Not really sure about the whole thing Lafayette still agreed and took her spot at the bar.

People started lining up and he smiled wearily staring after Tara who was slipping through the back door.

 

Shutting the door behind her she began walking near to the forest. She stopped suddenly and looked down at her good luck charm. She held it u kissed it and then reached into her pocket and pulled out her silver chain. Just as she was about to put it on a whoosh of cool air rushed by her and she felt as if she was being strangled. She tried moving back but felt a body right behind her. Holding her across the neck with one strong arm.

 

“Tara, how nice of you to join me out here.” he spoke up.

 

“Let me go!” she struggled her hands to her side and he jerked her about. “Get the fuck off of me!”

 

“If you make so much as a tiny noise, I will bite you. I am quite hungry, so there's no telling when I will stop....if I stop at all.” he smiled eerily.

 

She still clutched the metal chain in her hand waiting for the right time to get away. “Bill, you don't have to do this....” she whispered.

 

“It's no use pleading with me now Tara. I know you're with Eric. And Oh, how it will break Sookie's heart to find that he killed you.

 

“He wouldn't do that.” she stopped struggling.

 

“But I would....without a second thought I would rip you limb from limb and feast on your blood.” She began whimpering tears rolling down her face and on to the sleeve of his white tunic. “Don't cry. I won't let you feel a thing.”

 

As they stood there, Alcide ran out of the forest, staring at Tara who was sobbing hard muffled tears under Bill's grip.

 

“Tara!”

Blood On My Neck From Success by Outlawstar615
Author's Notes:

I'm back guys, and I'd just like to say thank you so much for sticking with me as write this. I know its been like 3 months since I last updated. My life was kicking my butt, I fought back and here I am...alive. All the positive feedback and notifications I receive like every other day keet me trying to write the best fic that I possibly can. =_=; Some of you know how to make a girl cry...with all your heartfelt notes. GARSH! Okay Okay...read on. If you forgot what was going on...re-read it. I don't own these characters yadda yadda.

 

Eric's Limo

 

From the moment he got off the phone with Alcide, he knew something was going to go down, tonight. Now, Tara was in grave danger. He'd known from the moment he asked her to be apart of this that she would be. What he didn't expect, was for it all to hit at once. His rage was beyond anything that Pam had ever seen and in an attempt to avoid catching the brunt of any shade he might throw her way she stayed decidedly quiet the whole of the trip, biting her lip until it bled. From where they were it would be too long of a trip to fly immediately to her but he couldn't be held back much longer. This waiting was torment of the worst kind. He fought hard to a get a grip on her. Her heart racing, her blood was boiling....she was in trouble.

 

Merlotte's

 

Sam stood there lost in the mixed up crazy events that had happened today. He felt confused, hurt, angry and everything else under the sun. He knew alone he would be too weak to fight Bill. And he didn't want to kill him, at least not if he wanted Sookie to speak to him, ever again. What was he to do? He began putting away all the things Tara had pulled out of the first aid kit. Just as he was about to sit down Lafayette ran in.

 

“Sam, Tara went out back and she told me to get you if she wasn't back in ten minutes.”

 

“How long has she been out there?”

 

“Seven minutes and counting.”

 

“You should've come and got me at minute one.” Sam got out of the chair, knelt down reaching in his drawer and pulled out the pistol. He began digging in the back of the drawer, scrapping his fingers across the papers and finally settled upon a box, one he'd purchased the night he saw the news report of the vampire revelation. He'd always known that they existed but he was sure that things were going to get worse for people, not better since they decided to reveal themselves. He pulled out the tiny silver bullets and loaded them into the pistol.

 

“Grab that rifle in the closet over there and let's go.”

 

Lafayette ran out ahead of Sam to lead the way. Once outside they couldn't immediately see anything suspect, except that Tara wasn't there. Sam stopped altogether, trying to get her scent and find her that way. Once he'd picked up on it, he set off to the periphery of the forest that edged close to Merlotte's. Lafayette ran in after him stopping short when he saw three figures standing in the distance. Two of them were standing extremely close to each other and one was standing across from the other two, waiting.

 

 

“Tara!” he shouted again as Bill looked up from her.

 

“I knew I should have finished you off, you filthy creature.” He jerked Tara closer to his frame, backing up slowly with his hostage.

 

“You're not stupid enough to do that in front of me. Let her go and you might get out of this alive.”

 

“You should have thought of that before you sided with Eric. I knew his intention in copulating with this worthless creature was all in effort to get Sookie back.” He licked the side of her face spitting in disgust when he'd tasted her. She whimpered a bit more trying to calm her breathing as she got a better grip on the chain. “Sookie is mine.”

 

“How could you possibly know what Eric was thinking?” Alcide moved closer, inch by inch trying to get closer to Tara without alerting Bill.

 

“Every since I introduced him to her, he's been on and on about how he needs her. He uses her gifts too freely. But he won't have her. I alone will have that privilege. And to show him the gravity of his intentions I will make an example of her.”

 

“How do you know she was with Eric?” Alcide continued staring at the chain in Tara's hand.

 

“Jason Stackhouse, that imbecile was a decoy. I had a his friend Hoyt trail him to Sookie's house and when he left the Hoyt stayed. I had figured it out without much thought and well....well, I can't let Eric's plan happen. Sookie is mine and I'm very confident that you won't get the chance to do anything else tonight except, plead for your life.”

 

“What the hell does Hoyt have to gain by helping you?” Tara choked out

 

“Actually Hoyt is quite taken with my progeny, Jessica. I promised him in return for his help, I would protect him, and aid in him in any way possible.”

 

Alcide just leave...get...out.” she continued. “I'm not worth losing your life over.”

 

“Shut up you whore.” Bill retorted using his other hand to bend her head slightly.

 

“NO! He'll come for me and he's gonna kill yo ass like I should've done when I had the chance.” she choked.

 

Hearing Tara's muffled voice, Sam, fired a warning shot in Bill's direction running up to Alcide passing him a rifle.

 

“Bill, I suggest you let her go. Next time, I won't miss.”

 

Dropping his fangs, he laughed as Alcide got ready to shot a bullet in his direction.

 

“I beg to differ, you see, I have nothing to lose over this. I need to get Sookie as far from you people as possible, she only believes in me. Nothing you people can say will change that. She is mine.”

 

Tara clutched the chain even tighter as Bill told them things that they knew were probably true. Lately, they saw how Sookie was behaving irrationally, doing things everyone else around her just couldn't believe. She was changing little by little into some unrecognizable creature devoid of original thoughts and actions...a puppet. And whatever Bill was after, he was on his way to getting it.

 

Alcide noticed the glimmering chain tightly in her fist and he looked at her widening his eyes as a hint to her. She took notice and loosened her grip a bit, preparing to reach back and hit Bill with the silver chain at Alcide's command. Sam stood positioned with the his gun saw Alcide staring at Tara and the quick motion of her hand. He too prepared for something. Then, it happened. Alcide quickly shot a bullet for Bill's head and before he could speed away Bill tore into Tara's neck causing her to scream. She reached back mid-scream and rubbed the silvery chain on his face as best she could. He let her go momentarily. As she broke free Sam shot in Bill's direction, hitting him twice in the shoulder before he sped off cursing their existence.

 

Lafayette, who had run back to the bar, came panting with a flustered Sookie in tow. She looked around at the crowd of familiars and focused her sights on two men with weapons crowded around a hysterical and bleeding Tara who was held captive in Alcide's embrace. Streams of blood flooded down her neck staining her clothes accompanied by a stream of tears that wouldn't stop. She looked in Sookie's direction and turned back quickly avoiding her confused gaze.

 

“What in God's name is going on here, Lafayette?”

 

“Your psycho boyfriend fuckin bit my cousin. And he was gonna hurt Sam and Alcide too.”

Not fully able to comprehend his words Sookie shook her head in disbelief as the cast of friends turned a critical eye toward her.

 

“Bill wouldn't hurt Tara. Tara's like my family. He wouldn't hurt anyone I cared about.”

 

“Like he didn't hurt your uncle?” Tara shouted to her trying to move away from Alcide who held her even closer.

 

“He did that to protect me.” she almost whispered

 

Sam jumped in, “Sookie, you can't honestly tell me you believe the words coming outta your mouth right now. You can't look at this picture and tell something is wrong? Huh? Don't you see what he's been doing to you?” he shouted to her.

 

She rubbed a sore bite mark on the side of her neck and started yelling back. “ What did you do to him? You must have tried to hurt him first. That's the only reason I can imagine he'd try to hurt any of you.

 

“That fucker bit me, Sookie!” she managed to get out between sobs. “See this right here is a bite mark,” she pointed to the affected area. “This didn't happen because we had stakes and holy water, Sookie. I came out here to look for Alcide then Bill attacked me. Wake the fuck up and smell the truth.”

 

Tara stomped her foot into the ground, pulling her wrist out of Alcide's grasp. She walked up to Sookie showing the bite mark more closely. “Look at it! Does that shit look real enough to you!” She stormed off heading back to Merlotte's. Sookie looked elsewhere and Tara continued to walk away.

 

Alcide started to go after her but Sam and Lafayette held him back with their gaze, both figuring she needed time to cool off. As soon as she'd made it away from them she sat crying underneath a tree at the edge of the clearing. She kept thinking about the first night she met Eric. She wondered, if she'd known that all this would happen, would she still have decided to sleep with him. She wished that he'd never propositioned her with anything. She almost wished she'd never met him. Almost.

 

Tucking her head into her knees, she sobbed heavily allowing all of the stress that had been building up around her to fall away. She began to wonder where he might be, and why he hadn't come to her rescue. He had promised her that he would. He said the amulet around her neck would protect her. It hadn't. She snatched it off and threw it. She didn't care where it landed and hoped some bird carried it away. The only thing that saved her was her own silver chain and Alcide. Scratch that, it was Alcide's fault she was out there in the first place. She got up and finished her trip back to Merlotte's. She went straight through the back in into the ladies' room. She bent down at the nearest sink to turn on the water. She watched it falling on her hands carrying streams of the blood and dirt down the drain. She felt the spot on her face where Bill had licked her, cringing, she began rubbing at it furiously with water. She felt the heat of the water on her face and decided to it was clean enough until she got home.

 

Behind Merlotte's

 

Under the light of the moon, the group sat along with Eric who'd finally managed to make it to the place where he last sensed his lover's presence. Sam, Alcide, Lafayette and Sookie's faces were stone. Seeing him brooding over them in heated stance, they understood he had been angered by tonight's events but not everyone knew why. His hair slicked back in a way that was purely him, he walked about fangs down, hissing interrogations.

 

“Where is Compton?” His voice was calm but everyone could tell he was furious. Alcide thought it better to talk to him straight on feeling partially responsible for the events that transpired.

 

“Eric, after she blinded him, he ran off. We didn't try to follow him. We wanted to make sure she was okay.” He started walking forward hoping to avert his attentions.

 

“Make sure she was safe!?” he scoffed incredulously. “If she's so safe then why aren't you with her now? Can't you follow simple directions?” His fists clenched tightly, eyes reddening at the sight before him.

 

Pam ran up behind him. She knew Eric wasn't going to like what she had to say but with him, the best way to handle business was to tell him straight-forward as hiding things usually had grave results.

 

“She's in the bar, Eric. She's been bitten.” she backed away watching his eyes glaze over with pure anger, disgust, and loathing.

 

He turned off in the direction of the bar when Sookie approached him. Her eyes full of fresh tears. She placed a hand on his forearm and tried to muster enough attitude to question him. He stared at her with new eyes. She was still very beautiful, a creature who needed to know her place in the world but he would not be the one to show her. Some other soul would have to guide her because he felt nothing. No lust, no attraction, its almost as if he'd never seen her before, needy and confused. He suddenly couldn't remember why he'd been so fond of her.

 

“Tell me what they're talking about. Why would Bill attack Tara?” she let a couple tears fall as she wiped her red nose.

 

“Sookie Stackhouse, you're friend is in trouble because of me. I promised to ensure her safety,” he looked away gritting his teeth, hating himself for having to admit his faults. “But...I didn't.”

 

“So then, this is your fault?” She sniffed, trying to understand what he was talking about. “You made Bill attack her, you bastard.” She tried to swing in his direction he caught her arms putting them to her sides. He bent his neck to look directly into her eyes. Small tears slipped out and fell onto her uniform.

 

“Ms. Stackhouse, I stand behind everything I have done this far. If you only knew that this initially was for your benefit maybe you'd be reacting differently. But now I could care less what happens to you in your ignorance and your unwillingness to see the truth. The only thing that I regret now is not having been here when my lover was put in harm's way by your filthy boyfriend.”

 

“You're greedy, Eric Northman. You can't have everything you want.”

 

Sam and Alcide watched from a distance not knowing whether to intervene. Was she always so loud? They decided against it, not wanting to catch the brunt of any residual aggression Eric might have to throw their way.

 

He pulled his arm away from her grasp and sped off following the path of Tara's scent. He stopped abruptly finding the amulet he'd given her lying abandoned on the forest floor. He put it around his own neck, cursing as he continued off to Merlotte's. She wasn't hard to find, the same bittersweet blood he knew would never lead him astray. He burst through the backdoor of Merlotte's looking around suspiciously at all the human faces. Fangs retracted he stopped a red-headed waitress whose heart-beat raced wildly as she stared at him. He walked past her and continued in search of the bathrooms. He was sure she was there. Yes, the closer he got to her, the stronger the feeling was. Amid the hushed cacophony in the restaurant he walked in a trance to the ladies room door and quietly pushed his way in.

 

She still had her head down, rubbing water on her face as she looked up she she saw his frame in the mirror. She jumped in panic.

 

“Fuck.” she turned to face him her eyes on the brink of shedding more tears. She stared him down the corners of her mouth quivering with words unsaid. Her bloodied shirt infuriated him even more than the fear he sensed coming from her. She looked at the rest of his body more fully seeing that he'd found the amulet she'd ditched in the forest. She looked away. “I.. I can't deal with this right now.” she shouted.

 

“I let this happen.” he looked into her wide eyes searching for some response. But what could she say that he didn't already know?

 

She didn't understand how he could reduce her to this state of mind where she could no longer form coherent sentences. She nodded childishly and swallowed hard realizing that she just blamed him for this.

 

“It was never my intention to bring harm to you, you must know that.” He looked at their reflections in the mirror and longed to hold and comfort her but knew it probably wouldn't be be well received in her condition.

 

“I know.” she finally whispered back. “This is my fault too. If only...only.”

 

He dropped his fangs using one to pierce one of his long cold fingers. He used his own blood to rub to the bite wound his enemy had inflicted. She titled her head hesitantly and the mark slowly vanished but he knew the mental scars, which couldn't be seen, wouldn't be so easily erased. They would take time to heal, which would be time for him to heal as well. She looked astonished in the mirror at her skin which had seemingly returned to normal. She touched it and felt nothing.

 

He took hold of her shoulders and let his eyes wander about her face, still wrought with fear and worry. “ He will meet that true death. I promise you this, Tara.”

 

She wanted to feel relieved but couldn't. This was exact same reason she was in this predicament, his wanting to do this. Staring down at her hands, she began wringing them together. She couldn't just stand back this time and let her thoughts go ignored and cast aside by blood lust, she was positive that having been away from him so long would have weakened his say in her emotions. It did and then again it didn't not as well as she had hoped.

 

“No. That's what got us in this in the first place.” she backed into the sink, feeling the distance would help as well. Placing her hands on either side of the porcelain fixture she looked down.

 

He was confused and it wasn't a feeling he liked. Yet, he would refuse it with every fiber of his being. Eric Northman is never confused...never emotional. And what was she thinking? Maybe Compton had taken a great deal of her blood, which was clouding her judgment. He closed the space between them, grabbing her chin, something that gave him some semblance of control. “Why the hell not!? What then, would you have me do, Tara? Let him go free after what he did to you?”

 

“I don't know. I just don't know, dammit. I want him dead more than you know. I want him to suffer, to be afraid for his life.” She clung to him then, willing more tears away. “I just don't want anymore fucked up shit to happen.”

 

“That's why you're coming with me. I am having a room prepared for you all your belongings will be removed from that filthy-” she cut in. She was weary but not tired enough to just let him decide things for her this time. She placed a hand on his chest, knitting her brows together.

 

“What!? See, this is what I'm talking about. You always thinking you know what's best for me. Don't I have any say in what happens to me? And how the fuck do you know I want to stay with you after you this? How do you know that I don't want to have anything to do with you or vampires, were-wolves, stupid people for the rest of my life?” He opened his mouth to make a sound but couldn't. “You don't.”

 

“It doesn't look like you have much of a choice, love-”

 

“Ah. Nope. I'm ain't finished.” she quickly placed a finger over his mouth. “You wouldn't know, Eric, because you didn't ask. You just expect me to marvel at your glory and just do whatever you want.”

 

“I know this isn't what you want to hear, but do you honestly think he will just let this go? He knows what we were trying to do. We've been very sloppy about keeping this whole thing a secret, for which you are to blame. He will attack again. He is petty and won't easily let you get away and from what I gather the Queen is on his side as long as he has Sookie in his pocket.”

 

“ I know you blame me for all of this but Alcide and I didn't know Bill would send Jason and Hoyt to spy on us. And when Jason found Alcide at Sookie's, I had to do damage control and pretended Alcide and I were dating, just to keep your name out of the story. As for tonight's events, Sookie's delusional and I've been attacked. So, fuck the Queen. She can kiss the blackest part of ass on this one, okay?

 

 

 

Just thinking about the greedy little wench, Sophie-Anne made him angry. He could easily do away with her, if he truly wanted but he knew starting a war when there was still a battle at hand was foolish. All those years of training would not be wasted on the likes of her.

 

“ He knows you'll be after him, right?”

 

“If he's thinking, he knows I will have many people looking for him.” Even if she clearly didn't know what she wanted, she knew that Bill knew his moments were numbered. And to know that she was an active participant in his demise made her feel better.

 

“I want Alcide and Sam to be safe, too. They were attacked too, on account of me being with you.” she nodded with assurance.

 

“I will do no such thing. The shifter can hold his own and Alcide is no longer my concern. He couldn't even keep you safe while I left for a couple days. He'll be better off in Jackson and safer there than here putting you in more danger.”

 

“But....he was there for me....when you weren't. I can't...we can't just let him be put inc harm's way. I'm not staying with you until I know they will all be safe.”

 

Alcide, how could she have forgotten about him? He was more caring and kind to her than most other men she'd met. He had done his best to protect her. Hell, he'd even fought Bill for her sake and stayed when she'd clearly given him the green light to run away like a bitch. Perhaps, that was because Eric would kill him had he found out that Alcide didn't protect her. She had decided indefinitely with this latest plan to stay with Eric, make whatever crazy relationship they were trying to have work. Now, she just had to get the courage to tell Alcide her choice.

 

Gran's house

 

After lots of talking, arguing, and cursing with Tara, Alcide agreed to let Eric hide him in the safety of a property he owned in Bon Temps. It wasn't far from where Tara would be staying. She admitted living at Gran's would be very dangerous especially now that she knew it was being watched. She talked Eric into letting her live on her own but not without provisions and security. As long as Bill couldn't catch her unawares she was safe. Sam however, denied any and all of Eric's help, which didn't bother Eric one bit, he'd only insisted because of Tara. When the help was refused it was no longer his problem.

 

The next day, Tara was up and getting all of her things from Gran's. She was surprised at the amount of patience the men had with her predicament. It was very rushed but not having very much to begin with made things a lot easier. She looked around her room and saw some of Alcide's things laying about. Wondering if she should at least put them together somewhere safe, she picked up his jeans and the shirt he wore on the first night he stayed there. Just the smell alone brought back a flood of memories. She quickly dropped it and continued looking for only items that belonged to her.

 

He had decided that he would get his things later, but it was more Eric's doing than his own. After pleading for Eric to extend some aide to Alcide, Tara was worried that he saw the two of them a little differently. She'd been warned once before about Alcide, a second warning she doubted, would be as pleasant as the first.

 

 

 

 

 

“Miss, what about the furniture?” A burly gentleman asked placing his hands at his lower back.

 

“Leave it all,” She shook her head. “Its not mine.”

 

“But then what are we gonna furnish your house with?”

 

“I'll leave that to Eric. He said it would be set up when I got there. So, you guys don't have to worry about that.”

 

Looking down into the final box from her room she saw a picture of Sookie, Jason, and herself from when they were younger. She wished they all could go back there, to that innocent place in time, where nothing really mattered. Looking up as the men started getting in the truck, she closed up the box and carried it out to the truck.

 

Fangtasia (that night)

 

“Eric, we need to talk.” Alcide burst through Eric's door a disapproving look on his face. He had come in the club growling at Pam who hissed back but didn't do anything drastic. He marched through the crowd, receiving nasty looks from the vampires there who knew what he was. And from human women, catcalls and lustful looks. Not looking back he went straight for Eric's office.

 

“If you're here to argue more, save your breath. I don't have time for it.” He never once looked up at Alcide, who looked as if he had a lot to say.

 

“I don't want to argue. I just want to say a couple things to you.”

 

“There couldn't be anything remotely as important as finding Compton right now so, I'll need you to leave.”

 

“I want to talk to you about Tara.”

 

The sound of her name alone caused Eric to become more alert, more attentive. “I'm listening.”

 

“Stop whatever it you're doing to her. Stop stringing her along.”

 

“I don't like your tone, Alcide. Have you forgotten your family has a debt?”

 

“Hear me out. When that vampire was talking the other night he told us some very things.” Eric didn't say anything. He just sat in his chair, highly amused. “I thought about what he said over and over again and I realized something. You're doing the same damn thing to Tara that he's doing to that Stackhouse girl. She isn't as far gone, but she might be getting close. And you're doing it all just to get that Stackhouse girl. It makes so much sense to me and once I explain it to Tara, she'll figure it out too. You're greedy just like that blonde said!”

 

“Are you finished, yet?”

 

“No. After all this is over you need to let her go. Let her live her life.”

 

“And what if I refuse? What will you do?”

 

“I'll fight you for her. And if I die what will she think of you then? Her hero, who wasn't even there when she needed him the most.” he smirked, knowing he was striking a nerve. Just as Eric was about to do something he might regret later Pam arrived, stopping him cold.

 

“Excuse me pup, we've got important business to discuss.” she shooed him away and he walked out of Eric's office giving a nod to her as he walked past. Feeling as if he'd dodged an enormous bullet he left vowing to continue the conversation later.

 

Even with her in such close proximity, Eric couldn't rest. Thinking constantly about Alcide's words made him nauseous. When day came, he sat awake in his home thinking about where Compton could be and how he would make him suffer. He had people all over searching for him, Pam included. At night those who searched during the day gave reports and the night shift comprised of vampires made their way out to begin searching. Something should turn up eventually, right?

 

 

 

End Notes:

Don't hold back...lemme know if I lost the fire. Be kind though, cause this girl is porcelain,lol. Um....*awkward Napoleon Dynamite exit*

Say It Ain't So by Outlawstar615
Author's Notes:

 Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

This is the last chappie for a while... I don't know when, but I will. Thanks for reading.

(Three months later)

Tara had nearly became a recluse in her little apartment. She fully understood it was for her protection but now protection was starting to feel like a comfortably stylish jail cell. In the day, without an conviction, Sam changed her schedule, and she worked. And at night, she'd be home watching television, with no company, unless it was Eric or her cellphone. This little piece of the modern world, became her last connection to the human world. She would occasionally text Alcide, missing his presence. His replies were always short, he'd rather talk to her face to face but she couldn't so she took his distance as a sign that he was no longer putting his feelings on the line for her. She was okay with it, she just missed him is all.

The only person she could count on now was Lafayette. He always listened to her and it didn't matter if she cursed, cried, or complained, he was always there. His fears right in front of him, he struggled to keep himself upbeat and laughing, seeing his cousin in such a predicament with not a thing in the world he could do. Some conversations would end in him reminding her that he'd told her to stay away from vampires, others would end with him just hanging up the phone only to have him call her back after she left three messages or several texts.

After work tonight she'd been driven straight home. Since what they all now referred to as the 'incident', Eric had made a point to have a driver take her everywhere. At first she felt special, important, something to be cherished, but lately she just felt sheltered. The driver, a dark haired New Zealander named, Davine, had taken quite a liking to Tara upon meeting her and they shared a slew of inappropriate jokes and tales on her trips to and from work. He was another connection in his world that made her feel not as alone as she thought.

Apperantly, Davine had been working for Eric, every since he was stationed in New Zealand for a short while on business for Sophie-Anne. This would have been a job for her, but being the lazy bitch that she was, she sent Eric to do her dirty work. When Eric met Davine, he was working in a bar. In the end, Eric had needed Davine's help navigating the country-side. Finding Davine's loyalty, bluntness, and honesty a grand combination, he offered him a life-long stint as his personal driver, that, or until he grew tired of him. For Eric to allow Tara to be carted around the city with Davine meant two things. One, that she was important and two, that he trusted Davine a great deal.

After waving Davine off for the night she popped through the door, showered, set down on the sofa to paint her toes...again. As soon as she'd gathered the nail polish remover, her color of choice a shimmering mauve, and some cotton balls to remove the previous color, her phone began ringing its tone for Lafayette. Tonight's call had started with his asking if she'd found out any more on Bill's whereabouts.

"Hookah, after all this time, I still don't believe Eric's people ain't found him yet." He shook his head, lazily batting his lashes.

"They're trying the best they can. At least ain't nothing else shady has happened since..."she huffed into her cell phone which was wedged between her shoulder and ear, while she gently applied a coat of mauve nail polish a pinkie toe. Shifting every so often to keep the feeling in her bum, she listened to Lafayette go on and on about his bad vibes.

"It looks to me like they ain't trying hard enough, Tara. Somethin' don't seem right about this, ya know? Like something 'bout to happen. Lala's hunches don't ever be far from the truth, ya feel me."

-Silence-

Whenever Lafayette's hunches came into play, they were rarely ever wrong. He had a sense for things like this and even Tara knew when to take notice. But with thoughts of Eric's impending arrival flooding her mind, every bad thought she had, was chased away with a swipe of the polish brush.

Inhaling deeply, to prepare for a long-winded filler, she pressed on,"So, have you talked to Sook lately?" She rolled her eyes trying to gauge whether she wanted to apply another coat of polish. She brought Sookie up every once in a while because she was still concerned but as far as she could see, Sookie bought all this on herself. She had tried to help her and look how that turned out. It was best that Tara loved her friend from a distance.

"Mmhmm, she snapping outta whatever white girl moment she was having. Everyday makes a difference." Lafayette knew fully the true effects of the blood first hand. That amount of it in her every night for a few months plus her abilities gave him the impression that it worked differently for her, made her crazy. He knew Tara was doing the same thing but Eric's blood just wasn't reacting that way in her as far as he could tell. But what the hell did he know...all he could see was sober, mild, upbeat Tara. Maybe instead of making her erratic it calmed her down. He wouldn't ask though, he doubted she knew herself.

"That's good." she sighed. Putting a finished foot on the arm of her plush leather sofa, she waved her foot about in an attempt to dry her toes.

"Terry, said he seen her one time behind Merlotte's praying for God to bring Bill home safe." he chuckled into the receiver causing Tara to shift a bit. "But when he seen her doin that, he went to tell Sam, and he came out and shook the shit out of her...Needless to say, she's stopped sending Jesus messages for his ass."

Tara was still in too much of a haze to talk to Sookie, who'd been forced to move in with Jason after the incident. Bill still hadn't been found, and no one wanted to hear her cries about his whereabouts. As far as everyone except for Eric and Tara could see it was good riddance.

"Well, that's good. I don't think I'll be able to look her in the eye 'til she's back to normal."

"Bitch, please. Sookie AIN'T normal and I gotta look her in the eye every night when you ain't there or when Jason gets too drunk to take both of them home. That's your best friend and you need to handle that shit. On a related note, that boy ain't right in the head." He slowly lolled his head as he thought about all the insanity Jason brought to their lives.

Tara doubled over with laughter, "But his heart's in the right place."

"Mmhmm, says the girl who wanted to be Mrs. Jason Stackhouse since she met him."

"Now you know you wrong for that, Lafayette." she huffed, spilling a bit of polish onto her skin. "Not anymore."

"Yeah, not anymore" he mocked, "Cause you got some vamp in you now, don't mean nothing."

"Don't start Lafayette." she capped the polish and set it down on one of her stylish red-wood end tables.

"Whatever. I can't tell you how to live your life. And I won't even remind you of how your blood, your family, your favorite cousin was trapped in a basement for three mutha-fuckin days, by your boyfriend. I'm not even gone mention how I watched someone get eaten up like a Sunday dinner."

"Here we go again. I made him apologize, didn't I? She closed her eyes trying to hum away the image of Eric doing bad things to her cousin. They were friendly enough now. They even seemed to have an awkward sort of bromance happening.

"Bitch, that don't mean shit. My ass shouldn't have been down there in the first place."

"You know what would have kept your ass from being down there? Not. Selling. V."

"The first rule of da game is don't knock the hustle, okay?" He huffed sinking back into a silence with her.

She could tell that he was giving her one of his looks through the phone, "Alright, pimp." she concluded, feeling they should end this conversation on a light note. "I'm gonna go read the pimp manual while you go handle your business, okay?"

"Alright, heifer, call me tomorrow, okay?" The way he sounded gave her the impression that he was still very worried about everything, despite his comical tones earlier.

"Fine."

"And Tara, promise me you'll think on what I said about you and Sookie and call me tomorrow."

"I promise." She lied. She knew she wouldn't call him tomorrow. And if he called she'd be likely to not answer. Eric was staying the night and tomorrow was her day off...she wouldn't be calling anyone but she would think about Sookie.

"Okay, bye now."

"Bye." She pressed the end key, holding it down a little longer than necessary. She stared at the background on her phone, flipped it closed and threw it next to her on the couch.

As she got up to put the polish away she stared down at her toes which were now a shimmering mauve color. She walked to the bathroom quickly putting the polish in a little wicker baskets he'd purchased. As she dropped in the bottle she heard the clinking of other glass containers. She began to wonder how many times she would do this routine. Work, home, paint nails and repeat. Painting her toes a new color every week was getting old and since she'd sworn off her old pass time of drinking for a while, nothing seemed quite as amazing as bearable.

With these thoughts brought images of Sam, a fitted t-shirt clinging to his body his beard with little flashes of gray here and there and his warm eyes. She smiled. If there was one person who'd have a drink with her, it was Sam. Lucky for her, Eric was kind enough to leave some in the cabinets in case she decided to call off her sober act and down a bottle or two.

She began humming as she strode into the kitchen area of the little apartment. Just as she was about to open the refrigerator, Eric came in. He stalked about, an air of melancholy surrounding him. Sitting on the sofa where Tara had just been sitting he glared at the carpeted rug, willing it to move. It didn't. He rubbed his temples in tiny circles, closing his eyes and he breathed deeply. He hadn't actually needed the air but the process was still effective for clearing his mind, especially with her scent everywhere. It served to calm him further. She could already tell the night hadn't started out good for him.

"So, I'm guessing it ain't good news," she looked at him as she leaned on an elbow on the counter over the floor cabinets.

"Don't." He continued staring at the floor, eyes half shut. She hated when he sat statue- like, daring anyone or anything to mess with him in his, I-have-no-patience-so-fuck-off glare.

"Shit, you can't just come in here looking all depressed and not expect me to say somethin'. Cause usually when you look like that, some shit has happened and lately it's got something to do with me or them new chains you tryna get started."

He didn't even want to think about Fangtasia right now. Not that the mother location was in any danger, it was that the asshole Lucian, once again was being a bitch about minute details that could've been dealt with in the earliest stages of the whole damned process. And he did it all to get on Eric's last nerve. He cringed visibly at her statement. "Tara, I said, 'Don't'" he now stared at her with a look that signaled his seriousness. She stared at him fiercely from the small kitchen and tapped her foot impatiently on the tile, chipping a bit of the fresh new color from her toes, looking down at her big toe, she cursed.

"Fine, forget I asked. Be a bitch and hold it in, see if I give a damn." She grimaced, turning back to the fridge. She pretended to open it just to give him a chance, hoping he'd tell her what was wrong. He'd gotten pretty good at telling what he was feeling. It took a while for it to happen, but a little attitude and patience on her end could get him to do just about anything nowadays. And he absolutely loved it when she resorted to name calling, it made him want her more.

He sped to the kitchen, trapping her at the fridge. She turned just quickly enough for him to press his lips to hers. Startled at first, she stumbled backwards, the cold metal making her skin tingle. Grabbing at his shirt to pull him closer, she closed her eyes and let him work. He didn't close his eyes. He watched her, calculating just how long he would need to hold her here before she no longer cared about his pissy disposition. It almost worked.

"I know watcha tryna do'." she breathed against his lips, opening one eye as he studied her. He smirked, letting his own open and close slowly, capturing her beauty frame by frame.

"Am I so predictable?" He raised an eyebrow.

He backed away and her attitude had been quelled for now. He'd been right about her that first time they met. Her attitude was the thing holding them together. That and his inability to let her go. But with practice and patience on his part, which he wasn't use to, he'd grown confident in his ability to stifle her wandering mind and the fierce fire that was her temper, when she needn't worry. Glamoring her had never been an option, not even after the incident. He just stared her down, hoping she understood this time.

Even though she understood, she still didn't agree. If this had something to do with her, she for damn sure wanted to know about any and all updates. Especially if it could change her status from hermit to free in one swoop. "I said 'fine'. You don't gotta tell me anything but-"

He shut his eyes feeling that she was about to use her feminine wiles to make him change his mind ….again. "But, what?" he unwittingly stepped into her trap.

"But it would be nice for you to share what's bothering you. It's okay if you haven't mastered sharing shit yet. I won't speak on it no more. Imma just let you keep it to yourself." she sauntered away from the fridge and back to the counter where her glass stood alone begging to be filled.

"You have so little willpower, that you've started drinking again?" He questioned, seeing her brandishing a bottle of whiskey.

"You didn't help me any by leaving it in here, now did you?" He shrugged. She had him there.

He opened the fridge and, peered inside. Seeing a couple cases of True Blood left, he made a face and slammed it shut cursing in his native tongue, a thing she never took for granted. When pissed, aroused, or genuinely excited bits and pieces of his past would creep their way into his speech. Judging by tonight's conversation she deemed the reason to be pissed.

"What's wrong now?" she mused turning back to see his face all screwed up, his hair threatening to move from its gelled position atop his head.

"I would like something a little fresher." He looked at her neck and wrist, suggestively.

"Gimme a sec, lemme pour this drink then we'll both have something to sip on while you tell me what's botherin' ya."

Moments later they were both comfortably tangled on the leather sofa, her body resting in front of his. As they sat in comfort, a glass of whiskey was pressed to Tara's lips and her wrist tenderly pressed to his. She leaned into him as he graciously drank from her. Lids heavy, she nursed her drink until she could feel him licking the bite mark clean.

Feeling a little free-er now that they'd both calmed down, she sat down her drink, shifted her body to face him and threw one of her legs over his body. Pressing her body into his she began nuzzling the side of his neck. He uttered a low tonal growl and bit into his wrist, watching her carefully. Holding it to her mouth, she took her cue to drink. While she drank, his free hand ventured to her back. Slow, deliberatly lingering and calculating fingers tip-toed up her spine, causing her to wriggle and smile against his wrist. "Stop it." she half-moaned wiping her mouth. "Shit tickles."

"Why should I? You like this." he smirked quickly placing her atop his chest. Inhaling her scent, he could sense her arousal amongst other things.

"I think we have a little problem, E." she'd began calling him that shortly after moving here. All the good relationships she'd ever seen, whether on t.v or in real life(she could count those on one hand) the partners had nicknames for each other. Eric-fuckin-Northman was two damn long, and it wasn't that affectionate. She realized only a couple of days into their relationship that Eric had already bestowed her with an affectionate name. It was one she still couldn't get over, but it was hers none the less; lover.

"And what might that be, lover?" There it was again. She could feel the euphoric ringing in her ears every time he said it...or maybe that was a side-effect from the blood. She couldn't rightly remember.

His hands ventured lower to her silky pajama pants. He'd been admonished about ripping her clothes and though it was most necessary to rip one's clothing during a good feral fuck session, tonight, he would take things slow and that meant no ripping. Slidling beneath them and the cotton fabric of her panties, he cupped a handful of her toned bottom feeling it tense and then relax at his cool touch.

"I think I'm addicted to the blood...to you." she laughed into his chest.

"And why wouldn't you be? I am the great and powerful..." She kissed him cutting off his ego-tripping with a well placed, timely, and passionate kiss.

"Way to kill the mood, E." she shifted against his front, feeling his sex twitch against her, she tried to get up. But to no avail, he pulled her back down. Wrapping an arm tighter around her waist he stood with her in tow, he placed her over his shoulder and carried her to a bedroom down the hall. Over his shoulder she didn't care that she was almost touching the ceiling of the place, his height proving once again to make situations a little more interesting. It was bad enough she had to tiptoe to kiss the giant of a viking. Now her ass nearly grazed the ceiling as he carried her off to make love til dawn.

"I plan to rekindle whatever is left of that mood, shortly." He smirked with a little chuckle causing her to bounce a little on his shoulder.

"Watch my ass, genius" she tapped his back as he padded down the hall unfastening his belt and undoing the zipper while walking.

"I plan to." She sighed and with that they were in Tara's...well, their room.

At the end of end of round one, which was full of lingering touches, gentle caresses and slow grinding, he let her rest a bit. "This time, it will be rough." he stated matter-of factly as she lay trying to slow her breathing.

"Wait, you still never told me what was wrong with you earlier. I can see you thinking about it."

"Persistent, aren't we?." He grabbed the hand she held on her chest. Her breathing stabilizing with each rise and fall of her bosom.

"Tell me, please?" She sighed as he held her hand, admiring her fingers.

"We are a bit closer to finding Compton." he gave in, feeling it easier now to just tell her. He stopped giving her time to look a little excited. She sat up a little. "But my people have also given me a strange report."

"Strange report?" she sighed getting anxious. "I'm not a mind-"

"You're not a mind reader. Yes, I know. It's just very troubling news. I don't understand how this could've happened under my watch, without my knowing."

"Okay, if you just tell me what fucking happened already, maybe we could figure something out."She sat up fully, turning to look over at him, she saw more worry and a hint of confusion in his features.

"Do you remember what I told you about Sookie's blood, why Compton was so protective of her? The effects that it has on a vampire." Furrowing his brows he refused to look directly at her.

"Yeah, they can walk in the sun for minute or two. What's that have to do with finding Bill? He's been away from Sookie for weeks now."

"It seems he's taken with him a parting gift. selling samples of her blood to vampires throughout the states for large amounts, acquiring wealth, no doubt."

"What the fuck? How the fuck did he get her blood?"

"But he's running out of samples. And I'm sure his clients are looking for stronger doses. With her blood, you'll only want more and more until she's drained. I'm surprised he retained his composure . And Sophie-Anne is in on this no doubt probably one of his main supporters, so he'll be trying to get back to her soon."

"How soon we talkin' 'bout?"

"Yesterday."

Jason's House

Getting used to seeing her parents house again, she walked about touching items she hadn't seen since her childhood. Photographs and trinkets her mother brought from the antique stores. They reminded her, in a way, of Bill's house. She hadn't heard or seen anything from him since before the incident and now that she was away from him she felt that her mind was alot clearer. She still had those 'dreams' about him, but they were becoming less and less frequent. She shook his name from her thoughts and began worrying about another man in her life.

Jason hadn't come home yet. Which wasn't uncommon. If he'd had a long day at work he might go to Merlotte's for a drink or two. But lately, its been in excess. He'd be drinking uncontrollably and not even Hoyt could get him to stop. It was mainly because he still felt responsible for Tara being attacked. And no matter how many times she told him it was okay, he still felt like he sold her out. It made her uneasy whenever she saw Lafayette, dragging him through the door, a bumbling mess. She would often let him rest his head on her shoulder as she tried to console him.

Tonight, she hoped, would be no different. Although she hated seeing him in such a state, the way she felt tonight, she hoped that he would at least come through the door safe. Just as she was getting ready to set herself up on the sofa, her phone rang. Stricken with panic, she picked it up, hesitantly breathing into the receiver.

"Ms. Stackhouse?... Ms. Stackhouse? ...Are you there?"

"Yes, this is she. Whom may I ask is calling?"

"This is Kenya, from the precinct, we need you to come to Merlotte's immediately."

"WHAT? Where? WHO? She panicked, jumping from her seat. She started pacing the floor.

The voice calm and unaffected from years of this business, replied, "Well Ms. Stackhouse, I need you to come down in front of Merlotte's. I'll give you the details as soon as you get here. Please try to stay calm, we don't need another body on the road, okay?"

-click-

Sookie jumped in her car and raced down to Merlotte's. Police tape was draped about like big cautionary streamers. Arlene and several other women who were crying hysterically over behind the tape, gave Sookie a knot in the pit of her stomach. A foreboding air hang over the building as Sam tried to console Terry who sat crying near the doors of the bar.

"He was a good boy, Sam. Why does God take the good ones?" Terry bellowed.

"God needed him more than we do, Terry. That's all." Sam soothed

"You're probably right, Sam...but what a way to go." He began bawling again.

"There she is." one woman shouted from beyond the tape.

Just as she made it a foot away from the tape surrounding the body, Jason, came out of nowhere, tears streaming down his red face. Thank God He grabbed hold of her tightly and though she was now a little confused, she was completely relieved. She sighed into his shoulder as she pulled back from his tight embrace just long enough to see that he was actually really genuinely torn up. There weren't too many people her brother, the star athlete and ladies man would cry over.

"Sook, he ain't deserve to die. He ain't never did nothing wrong to nobody, Goddammit." he shouted at her. "I'm gonna kill whoever did this." He continued through gritted teeth. She could tell he was a little sloshed but still sober enough to be able to make proper death threats.

"Jason, who is it?" she spoke softly to him, rubbing her hands up and down his arms, he did nothing but point to the area beyond the yellow tape where Andy and Sheriff Dearbourne stood while a couple guys picked up items from around the body. She walked towards the tape and Kenya greeted her lifting a piece for her to step under safely.

Andy waddled over to her.

"We called you down here, cause you would know more about these type of killings than we would. The victim was drained dry. Do you know what kinda of animals drain things, Ms. Stackhouse? Vampires." he spat pulling up his pants. "We were hoping you could like do some work and figure out which one of your 'friends' committed this heinous crime." He huffed. "We know what they did to Tara on your account."

"Excuse me? " she snapped. He a little ashamed of his comment, became humble instantly. "I don't even know who's dead yet and you already assume I know something about who did it. Just because I associate with vampires doesn't make me an automatic choice for doing your job. Andy Bellfleur, you should be ashamed of yourself for talking to me like that."

She gave him a look of disgust, brushed past him and continued her trek unimpeded this time, to the body. She immediately turned her face away recognizing the innocent one of the victim. Hoyt.

She wasn't particularly close to Hoyt but he was a respectable young man, he cared for Jason like a brother and was so innocent. That's the only word she could find to describe such a soul. Innocent. And these people think she had something to do with or could possibly have some connections to creature that did this to him. She didn't deny that if she asked the right vampires she could get answers, but still, why her?

His shirt soiled with his own blood, he had a twin set of bite marks, one at the wrist and the other at his neck. Maybe there was more than one vamp. his face wasn't contorted in anguish or pain, so the vamp or vamps who did it must have had an ounce of compassion and glamoured him before he was drained. She turned back around to survey the scene, only one person seemed to be missing, Maxine, his mother. The loud overbearing, control freak of a woman, who criticized his every move, where was she? Feeling her eyes begin to sting with an onslaught of fresh tears she got turned to face the crowd gathered near the bar.

As she searched around Sam came up to where the tape was and stood trying to get her attention. She ran, ducked under the tape once more and hugged him. A little taken aback he stood still for a moment then finally embraced her seeing she was crying. "It's alright." He patted her back as he rested his chin atop her head.

"Where's Maxine?" she sobbed against his chest.

"They tried to call her, went down to her house and all but she ain't want nothing to do with this. She just can't handle it right now."

"She don't even wanna see him 'fore they take him to the morgue?" She sniffed as she pulled away from his arms.

"I s'pose since she disowned him, that she might feel guilty and seeing him like this would only make her feel guilty, like its her own fault." Sam spoke with so much wisdom and calmness that it almost scared her.

"You're probably right. But still...he was her only son."

"She's gone have to deal with this sooner or later, for now let's just be grateful that no one else is hurt."

"Especially..." She looked down imagining her friend.

"Yeah, maybe you should call her, let her know what's up. Talk to her, see if Eric knows something-" Andy interrupted them clearing his throat to alert them of his presence.

"Um, Sookie," he began and Sam looked between them and decided to go check on Terry.

"I'll just be over there" he motioned to where Terry sat sniffing uncontrollably. He pat her on the back and walked off.

"Yes, Mr. Bellfleur," she harrumphed crossing her arms over her chest.

"Aw, Sookie don't be so sore, its just ever since these things been happening," he rubbed the nape of his neck searching carefully this time for the right words. "Well, we can't handle it. Vampires is a whole new thing for us. And with you being the only one in town who has some connection to the higher ups. ..we just really need your help. We know ain't nothing we can do to 'em but just see what you can find...Please?"

She stared him down as he kicked some dirt around, hands stuffed in his pockets. "I'll see what I can find but only for Hoyt's sake, we all deserve to know why this happened and how to avoid it."

He straightened up sniffing a little, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Bending forward he whispered, "I snatched this from the scene," His eyes looked back towards where the body and several officers stood. "My deductive skills tell me it has some importance, but there ain't nothin' we can do with it, if you catch my drift..its got your name in it." He passed her the paper and waited for a response. She read it. It was short and she immediately knew the author of this note.

Hoyt,

In my absence I can feel Jessica is disheartened by your blatant rejection of her affections. She misses you so and if only you hold your end of the bargain and handle our burden, she promises herself to you. She swears you do not love her anymore because no man of virtue would neglect his lover. I surely couldn't do such a thing. I still love Sookie and will continue to do so, even though I not in her presence. So should you pursue your love by aiding me? I believe you should.

I have held my end of our agreement, I feel it would be most honorable for you to do the same. I will see you sooner than you know and gladly await your answer.

"That would explain the two bite marks. Fuck." she mumbled under her breathe. "Uh, thanks, Andy." She pocketed the note and ran off. "Sam!" she yelled running in his direction. "I need to talk to you." He took her arm and led her indoors to the bar which was still fresh with the smells of food and heavy with shock of Hoyt's demise.

"What's up?" he asked. Rubbing his brow in agitation. He realized whenever Sookie Stackhouse had to tell him anything, it usually involved her putting her pretty little ass in harm's way.

"I want you to be careful here." She looked at him, her eyes wide and full of trepidation and anxiety.

"Uh, Sook, where's all this coming from? You feelin' okay?" He placed a strong hand on her shoulder.

"Yeah, everything's fine, its just Andy gave me this note, and I think its got somethin' to do with Bill. I just need you promise me you'll be extra careful, okay?"

" You're not making sense. What's this note you're talking about? And what's this about Bill" his gaze deepened on her. "I thought we...you closed that chapter in your life."

Blinking away his objections she continued, "You wouldn't understand it and I just need to do this. I want you to watch after Jason and when Tara is here...especially when she's here keep a close eye on her. Please just say you'll do that. I've got to make things right."

"There ain't no stopping you when you got it in your mind you wanna do something. So, who am I to try and stop you?" he shook his head. "You do me a solid and be extra careful. I don't care who you're going to see, take some silver spray, okay?"

She nodded, placed a kiss to his cheek and sped off leaving him in the bar alone. Once outside, she ran past the few people that still remained glued to the site. Her brother being one of them. The cops had zipped up Hoyt's body and were getting ready for transport, Andy nodded to her as she got into her car. She gave him a quick wave, started the car and pulled off. She had Hell in her now. Eric would know something. He's a sheriff, he will know something useful. She kept telling herself this as she zoomed down the road, but before she would go to Fangtasia she would make a stop to a familiar abode. One she knew might be completely empty but she still had to try. She saw the gothic architecture and knew she'd made it to the right house. Bill's house.

She sat in her car for a moment pausing. Taking a couple deep breaths, she mumbled to herself as she surveyed the area, hoping that tonight wouldn't be her last. She had done what Sam told her and placed a bottle of silver spray in her purse, she had a gun with wooden bullets and she wouldn't hesitate to use them. Well at least she hoped she wouldn't hesitate. She took the note out and gave it another glance. The sting in her eyes returned and fresh tears fell silently onto the paper smearing some of the words. She shoved it back in her purse got out the car and ran up to the stairs.

"Bill!...Jessica!...anyone?"

End Notes:

Did you enjoy this? What are your thought? Review. Please and thank you. ^.~

Train of Consequences by Outlawstar615
Author's Notes:

So it's been, wellll about 3 years since I've updated. I've had a little chapter brewing and throught to put it up now.

 

Bill's House

“Bill....Jess-” The door creaked a little under Sookie's delicate touch and she jumped. Shaking away the urge to run back to her car, she pushed the door all the way open letting her arm follow through with the action. The absence of light made the hair on her arms and the back of her neck stand at attention as she struggled to remember the layout of this once familiar domain, until the sound of sobbing stopped her. She groaned at the inability to pick up any thoughts when she stepped in, not knowing whether she was walking into a trap unnerved her.

“Please, don't...I wanna be left alone.” The young woman's voice echoed

“Jessica!” Sookie shouted looking around, her eyes starting to adjust to the darkness. “I can't see where you are, are you hurt?”

“Of course I ain't hurt.” The young vamp sarcastically snapped. “Vampire, remember?”

“Yeah, I remember. Why is it so dark in here, Jess? Can I turn on a light, please?” She reached carefully for the light switch. “I just came here to talk, well really to ask some questions, you or Bill might know the answer to.”

“Q-q-questions? Questions about what?”

The vamp stood up from her spot on the floor where she'd been crying. Wiping the blood from her eyes with the back of her hand she studied Sookie standing by the door. Her face filled with concern and genuine worry. Jess hated what she was about to do. Tugging at the fabric of her shirt she stood, contemplating carefully what she had to do. Why'd it have to go down like this?

 

“I think you already know this but....but Hoyt's dead.” She gave a curt nod and stared at Jess whose eyes were once more rimmed with droplets of blood that spilled upon hearing his name.

“I know,” she whimpered softly. “I know.”

“Jess,” she flicked on the light switch and looked at Jess who wasn't too far from where she was standing. Behind one of Bill's antique armchairs with real shellacked wood and authentic carvings, his favorite chair. “Please tell me you don't know what happened to Hoyt.”

“I can't do that Sookie.” she sobbed into her forearm, sniffing, and wiping the blood on her shirt.

“Why, Jess?” she sighed knowing well the reason Jess couldn't tell her. She reached out her arms to Jess who struggled with seeing past the red that continuously filled her eyes. Jess didn't reply, just sobbed harder. “Why, Jess? Why can't you tell me that you weren't involved?”

“Sookie, I'm so sorry. He made me do it. He forbid me to leave the house, so I couldn't leave.” she dropped down to her knees giving in to the hurt she felt. “There weren't even any True Bloods to drink. And I was so hungry, so very hungry.” She ran into Sookie's arms. “And by the time he'd come back, I'd gotten a real bad case of the bleeds and and....then he took me to Merlotte's.

“That bastard.” Sookie retorted, holding out her arms to Jessica. She looked around for any signs of Bill, she'd gotten good at being able to sense his presence, she attributed that gift to the blood but since it had been months since they'd been together she felt unsure of it. She looked around and felt nothing. “Jess, I want you to come with me but I need to call someone first.”

“Sookie, I don't..”

“Don't what? Don't want to leave? Well, you're coming with me, I can at least get you out of here.”

“Sookie, are you hearing yourself right now? He'd find us both that way. Then he'd get you too.”

Sookie shook her head vehemently and waved Jess off going back out onto the porch to pull out her cell phone.

Her hands shook slightly as she pulled out her cell, she almost couldn't think clearly about what exactly she was doing. Who was she supposed to be calling again? She didn't even bother to look around. Suddenly she could hear footsteps behind her, she thought it was Jess, finally getting herself together but they seemed to multiply. She dialed a little faster and finally got in touch with Pam.

“He's not here.” she gritted her teeth.

“Will you tell him I'm looking for him or better yet give me his number.”

“I'm pretty sure he's tied up at the moment, as in, too busy to deal with the likes of you. But I'll let him know you called.” Her voiced lilted off.

“Pam, I really need to speak with Eric now, I've got some things to tell him that he might wanna know.”

“I’ll let him know you called. Good bye”

“BUT...BU”

-Silence-

 

All she could see after that was darkness. She'd been tricked, again. The tap on her head was hard enough to knock her unconscious. As her eyes flitted shut she saw men dressed in familiar black clothing and knew she’d gotten in over her head with this. She’d let Sam down and didn’t even get the chance to use the silver spray which she was sure was being taken off her person as she lay there. Great…just fucking Great.

 

Unknown

“Lucien, she smells really good. I just want a little taste.”

Azriel pressed up against Lucien, the belts that were fastened around her thigh high boots, pressed into him as she squealed. “

I think I want my hair that color too. Lucien, would you like it if my hair was that color?” she continued purring as they sat on a plush sofa in an undisclosed location where they took watch over Sookie as she lay motionless atop a couple of wooden crates of Trueblood pushed together into a makeshift bed.

“No, darling. You know we’re not allowed to touch or taste her. Those were Bill and Queen Sophie Anne’s exact words and we wouldn’t to do anything to get on either of their bad sides. Besides I think this girl will be in everyone’s mouths soon enough.”

He stroked Azriel’s porcelain white skin then nipped her bottom lip which elicited a tiny squeal from the small vamp.

“And your hair is fine just as it is. It’s perfect.”

Sookie began to stir on the table to the sounds of the two lustful vamps cooing over each other and groaned at the pain she felt in her head.

“Shit”, she croaked as her eyes fluttered open trying to focus on where she was and how she’d gotten there. She tried moving her arms and legs but to no avail, they’d been taped haphazardly together and any sudden movements on her part would get her tossed to the ground by her own weight.

“Look who’s awake, darling. It’s our little wonderful smelling friend.” Lucien patted Azriel on the bum and she turned quickly to face Sookie. Clapping like an excited toddler, she sped from her position near Lucien and moved to stand directly in front of Sookie’s face.

“Where am I?” Sookie croaked, “Where the fuck is Jessica and Bill?”

“That’s not a proper introduction” Lucien called as he laughed from the couch, his foot dangling in tandem with his speech.

“I’m Azriel, and you are?” she smiled coyly and with a quick intake of Sookie’s scent her fangs appeared. She frowned deeply, quickly covered her mouth and backed away from Sookie.

“Lucien, I can’t be all proper when she smells like that.”

He laughed harder at her and finally stood to go over to stand with her. “You’ll have to excuse her, she’s really very friendly and not at all wanting to kill you. You just have this unique scent about you, which I’m sure you know already.”

 

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