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ALL ALONE with you makes the butterflies in me arise...Sign your name across my heart...I want you to be my baby...
“Yes!” Tara beamed. The young woman was thrilled at finally landing a job, even if it was at a vampire bar; she was tired of looking. “When do I start?” She asked her new boss while observing how grossly understaffed they were.
“I’d be pleased if you could start tonight.” The former Viking quickly replied.
“I think I can do that, but first I’ll need to know my schedule, what my duties are and how much I’ll be paid.” The newly appointed barmaid replied just as quickly; she did not trust anyone when it came to money and there was no way she’d take a vampire’s word that she’d be treated fairly, she wanted an agreement in writing.
“Of course, ” Impressed with her grit, he obliged,” Shall we discuss all the details in my office.” he gestured towards a dark hallway while entertaining the idea of glamoring her again. This time, he would have no distractions; not that distraction ever stood in his way with any human before her.
“Oh... well, umm...” she stuttered, her eyes; blinking while shifting awkwardly, “I’ll wait for the paperwork out here.” The idea of being alone with a vampire, especially one who was an alluring as Eric made her very nervous.
Picking up on her trepidation, he held the opportunity to tease her, “You’re not afraid to be alone with me are you?” a noticeably mischievous smirk emerged on his face. The alluring and fragrant woman had every reason to be afraid of him, she made him feel ravenous, he wanted to penetrate and devour her flesh with unruly savagery.
“Nah,” she lied to save face, “First night on the job jitters is all.”
“Follow me then,” Eric called her bullshit as he sauntered through his club.
His presences intimidated most of his patrons into silence. Humans and vampires scurried out of his path and beheld the tall beautiful man as he made his way through the crowd. A group of women who appeared barely legal enough to drink, but seemed highly intoxicated just the same, shouted out lewd comments to the bar owner.
“Oh, take me to your coffin...” Two girls shouted in unison.
As they passed another belligerent group, they cackled out. “I taste better than True Blood...”
Another scantily clad woman exclaimed. “I’m type- Oohhhh positive..!”
Another girl lifted her shirt to show Eric her pierced nipples, and her friends cheered at her brashness.
Tara noticed the vampire was without airs by the behavior, not uttering a single word to anyone. His expression remained emotionless as he ignored them all. He was use to it. Tara, on the other hand, was disgusted; she found their behavior downright foolish and disapproval marred her lovely features. As she passed by, she scoffed at them all.
Nasty fang-bangers...She thought to herself while striding close beside him.
Eric’s office is located in a hallway, past the restrooms. Tara sat down in the leather chair while Eric sped around to his large desk. He took a seat and began filling out forms. While he wrote, she used the time to glance over his cluttered office. She noticed all the business licenses and certifications; they hung neatly on the wall behind him. They looked legitimate, similar to the ones in Sam’s office. In less than a minute Eric finished preparing the paperwork, he signed and printed his first and last name. Then, swiftly, but gently placed two sheets of paper in her hand, along with three crisp one-hundred-dollar bills.
“In good faith, I’m paying you in advance.” He thought she was worth a lot more; he would have given her any amount she asked for. But he figured a few hundred dollars was most likely the amount she was expecting and accustomed too.
“Well, thank you, I promise to keep my end of the deal. I’ll work tonight until close.”
Tara could not believe her luck. She had just been paid a week’s wages, without lifting a finger. Besides being totally out of her comfort zone, the night was starting to improve.
“Very good, It is also required that you aid Ginger during the day with her duties, will that be a problem?” He knew her scent would linger in his establishment the next evening.
“No problem at all,” she nodded, working during the day with no vampires around sounded like music to her ears. There was not much Tara would say no too for $300.00 a night, as long as there was no biting or fang-banging involved. Tara glanced at the papers, the documents looked official. And the contract was on company letterhead, the name Fangtasia was written in bold, blood-red letters across the top. She began to fill out the tax forms and read over the contract to see just what she was agreeing to. Uniquely, he inscribed the start and end of her shift down in Roman numerals. His handwriting was noteworthy, she thought, it looked as though he had a very long time to perfect it.
Eric patiently watched her as she reviewed the documents. As he did, he realized it was not just the scent of her flesh that enraptured him. It was the maddening elixir of her blood. The aroma was driving him insane with curiosity and lust.
As she read the document, she noticed a part of the contract that gave her an unsettling feeling. The contract stated:′Tara Thornton is property under safeguard to the owner of Fangtasia’.
Why would I need to be under their protection?
Tara swore she would stake who ever tried to put their fangs in her, she was no vampire’s blood-bag and most of all nothing was going to stand in between her three hundred dollars a week. She decided not to fuss about it, for now at least and continued reading. At the end of the contract was his name.
‘Eric Northman... Fuck, even his name is sexy, if that’s really his name...’ She did not see a space or line indicating where to sign her name, so she asked, “Where do I sign?”
“Sign your name next to mine.” He stood slowly from his seat and leisurely made his way around the desk. She found his walk gallingly seductive. Quickly, she wrote her first and last name and shoved the papers back at him before he got too close.
He glanced at her signature...′Tara Thornton, a regal name, fitting for such an excellent woman...′ Hiring and claiming Tara as his property pleased him. Even if the new barmaid was unaware of what she was agreeing too, he believed she would see things his way eventually.
“Now, I shall make a copy for you and keep the original for legal and tax purposes.” He became a blur again as he sped over to the corner and made the copies and in less than a second he was on the other side of the office. He placed the original in a folder in a file cabinet. His rapid movements made her dizzy. He sped over to her and suddenly he was in her personal space again. “This is your copy Tara,” He did not allow an inch of space between them; he was so close, he could feel her warmth on his skin. So close, she inhaled, taking in a deep whiff of his fresh, woody, spiced cologne.“Now that the formalities are concluded, I’d like to ask you a few personal questions...Tara.”
Tara struggled to gain control of her trembling knees as her mind and body screamed with yearning. She looked up at him nervously as she folded the papers and put them in her back pocket. His emerald eyes penetrated her onyx ones. And it was the moment Tara realized Eric was glamoring her...trying to glamour her. Instantly, her fright shifted to fury, “Well, got a few questions of my own...Eric...” She was uncertain why he was unable to glamor her but was thankful that he could not. She began to wonder if the money in her pocket was worth all the trouble and for a split second considered walking out. But it was important that she keep her word. In the past, she had always run at the first sign of trouble. She desperately wanted to change that. And even though Eric was not playing nice, she was even more determined to not run away and earn the money she had just received.
‘Vad är hon...’ The Viking muttered to himself. Befuddled and completely dumbfounded at the fact the human was certainly immune to his powers.
“Eric, why the fuck did you summon me in the first place?” She snapped while taking notice of the look of confusion look on his face. She was certain that confusion was an emotion Eric was not used to feeling. For the first time since she walked into Fangtasia, Tara felt in control, an emotion she was not used to feeling.
The vampire remained unremitting; again, his eyes locked onto hers with all the ferocity within him. Still, his efforts were in vain, his inexorable attempt failed. Instead, the grip of his control was lost, becoming infiltrated, captured, and compelled into a spell-like influence.
Tara peered back at him with equal ferocity and the more Eric tried to glamor Tara, the more vulnerable and inundated his mind became with her will. Suddenly Tara started to see flashes of colors, flashes of reds, waves of purples, swirls of yellow, and she could feel her mind transcending into his. She could feel his carnal emotions, his sexual passion, his unquenched thirst, and his blinding rage. ′My God! He’s a monster!′ A river of emotion swept through her. She was horrified, frenzied, but at the same time empowered. So many emotions made her soul feel feeble and resilient simultaneously. Without warning, her entire body tingled, her sex began to moisten, being in the mind of a vampire was like intoxication, and instinctual she took another hit.
“Answer me Eric Northman, why did you summon me?”
“Because you’re beautiful, you smell sweeter than anything I’ve ever known and I’m going to make you mine...” His voice slurred in his trance-like state.
Tara’s breath-hitched, shocked by his confession, her mind swam in hysteria. Before she could ask for more detail about his inexplicable admission or even figure out how she was glamoring a vampire, the door swung open. She turned and in the doorway stood Pam.
“Sorry to interrupt,” the blonde drawled lazily, “but Chow finally showed up and asked to speak to you.”
The split-second break in eye contact was all the time Eric needed to break free from her ‘mind control’, still, he stood motionless, his mouth ajar, and confusion displayed on his handsome face.
Pam sped over to Eric; she could sense something was amiss with her maker, “Did you hear me, Eric?” She asked firmly. Pam could not recall ever seeing her Sire look so disordered before. She was a bit vexed but discerned that his odd condition most likely had something to do with the unique smelling human. She did not dare say; since he seemed physically fine. She made a mental note to ask all about it later. Pam knew her maker well. The Sheriff of Shreveport had to always appear in control, especially around other vampires. A solid appearance was everything in the vampire world. Being fragile was not an option for a man in his place.
Eric quickly collected himself. He nodded to his child, “Send him in.” His stone cold scowl was back. But on the inside, the vampire remained occupied by the fact he had just been glamored by a human.
“Hey, Chow!” Pam shouted and a heavy-build Asian vampire in a black-track suit appeared in the doorway.
“I want you to meet a new member of our staff. Chow, this is Tara, she’s our new barmaid. Tara, this is Chow, he’s our gate-keeper or bouncer as you may say.”
Tara turned and reached out to shake the large man’s hand, unlike Eric’s his was freezing... Great, more vampires... Chow politely shook her hand and made his way towards Eric as Pam passed him on her way back to the door.
Pam smirked, “I’m headed back to cover the door; there’s been a shit load of underage pricks tryin to get in tonight.” She pointed her gold-ring clad finger at Tara. “It’s time to get to work Cupcake, follow me...”
Tara made a bee-line towards the door, “Fine by me...” She was more than eager to leave the small office full of vampires.
At the bar, Pam introduced Tara to Longshadow. A Native-American vampire, clothed in a black leather vest, no shirt underneath, blue jeans and cowboy boots, he seemed annoyed by the brief introduction. Tara cordially extended her hand for him to shake and he folded his arm while disdainfully glaring at her in response. Pam seemed blasé by his rudeness, so Tara paid him no mind.
The two women crossed the bar and approached Ginger, a gaunt, bleach-blond woman who appeared to be in her mid to late thirties. She wore a scanty, black tube top and a hot pink micro mini skirt with matching heels. She stood at a booth in the corner, chatting with a vampire with long dark hair. The vampire was seated, glaring out into the crowd while sipping a True Blood. Tara tried not to judge, but could not help but assumed that Ginger was a fang-banger. The woman had several bite marks all over her body. Pam stalked up to Ginger, startling the woman.
“Hey Ginger, you wanted help... you got it...” Pam gently smacked Tara’s behind and vamp-sped away.
“Hi There...I’m Ginger!”
“Hello Ginger, I’m Tara.”
Tara shook the overly excited woman’s hand, gladdened that at least one of her coworkers was human.
“So glad you’re here. I thought no one would ever get hired! Pam and Eric are so picky!”
Tara could not be more proud of herself. She was actually chosen out of who knows how many applicants. But she quickly remembered Eric’s confession about his attraction to her. His words played in her mind again and she wondered why she smelled so good to him. At the same, she was flattered that he found her beautiful, but she quickly pushed that thought away when she remembered his last confession. It infuriated her that he considered her as something he could ‘make his’. She was no one’s property, especially not a vampire.
I can do this job... Without being a fucking vampires snack!
The bubbly-blond tilted her head to the side and queried, “Have you ever waited tables before hun?”
Tara realized she was staring off into space. Unlike all of her other jobs, she was going to give this job a real shot, she confidently replied, “Yep and I’m good at it, which section do ya want me to cover?”
Ginger handed Tara a few empty bottles of True Blood. “I like coverin the booths and the VIP section, that’s where the vampires sit. Will ya cover the tables by the stage and near the poles?” She handed Tara a hand full of empty bottles. “And could ya toss those too hun..?” The giddy barmaid went back to flirting with the vampire who resembled Antonio Banderas.
“I sure will...” Tara threw away the True Blood and Budweiser bottles into the trash behind the bar. She spotted an apron and tied it around her petite waist.
The red digital clock on the wall said midnight and the club is packed. She tapped the $300.00 in her front pocket and that was all the motivation she needed to work tables until three am. While she labored, taking drink orders and serving customers, she could not resist the urge to glance at Eric from time to time.
While the fair-haired vampire sat on his throne, his eyes trailed her like a cat following a canary. He made her feel like she was the only person in the room; despite herself, she was flattered by his unyielding attention.
At the same time, her observations confirmed that dozens of women sought Eric’s attention. The fang-bangers at his bar lined up to gaze at his beauty. All types of floozies threw themselves on him, and the vampire on the throne let them. She figured he was required to do so; people paid for the odd pleasure of being scorned and ignored by him while they drank his overpriced drinks. Tara cringed at the overheard comments of what they wanted Eric to do to them. Bleed them dry. Fuck them in the most perverse way. Turn them into vampires. Snuff them out. He didn’t need to glamor those idiots, they all glamor themselves just thinking about him. Eric watched as Tara eloquently shifted her body, so her cleavage hung over the bar when she had to grab bottled drinks from behind the bar. Her ass, which she was very proud of, curved tantalizingly in her denim jeans as she gracefully wiped down empty tables for the next group of people who waited patiently to be seated. He was enamored; there was nothing she could do that would not elicit a reaction from him. All the while the events in his office played over and over in the pale man’s head like a movie he was watching in slow motion. He exclusively remembered not being in control of his mind, speaking words that he did not choose to say.
After a few hours of non-stop work, Longshadow called ‘last call’ and the crowd started to slowly disperse. Pam took her place behind the register; she counted the money and handed it all to Eric.
She sat down beside him, her eyes fixed on Tara. “Goddamn Eric, Cupcake is sexy and smells fucking good...after you’re done may I have her?”
“Pamela...” Eric replied in a threatening tone. She knew the answer was ‘No’ when he called her Pamela.
“...You will not touch nor taste her...” he ordered. ′Nor will I...for now...′
After about fifteen minutes, most of the customers were gone; a few vampires remained back with their humans. And Tara watched it all; Eric summoned Chow and Longshadow. They conversed with Eric before they both exited the bar. That’s when Tara realized she neglected her chance to leave with the crowd undetected by her attentive boss. She rushed out the door and took a deep breath as she scanned the almost empty parking lot. Pleased that she had worked the night and earned her generous pay plus another hundred dollars in tips, she glanced up at the moon, the twinkling stars and took in another satisfying breath of cool fresh air.
“Leaving without saying goodbye?” Eric asked casually. Inside he was thwarted; the constant eye fucking was the highlight of his night. He hoped she wanted to stay in his presence for a little longer.
“Shit!“Tara let out a startled gasp when the door suddenly swung open and Eric was standing in front of her. “You looked busy, didn’t wanna bother ya...”
“No, bother at all.” He said, moving in closer, closing the space between them.
“Well, goodnight Eric.” She mumbled, she scuttled backward giving herself some space, then turned and began to slowly walk away.
“Will you allow me to take you home, my Porsche is parked in the back.”
She halted and turned to face him, for a fraction of a second she considered accepting his offer. Her feet ached, but his brooding intent look gave her butterflies. Tara’s big dark eyes shifted from side to side. “Uh, that’s okay, it’s a nice night, and I don’t live far.” Tara had had enough vampire dealings for one night.
“I insist, I would not otherwise, but your scent piqued the interest of the vampires tonight, thus the reason they gathered around you.”
“Is that why I am under your protection in the contract?” She asked, unsettled at the thought. She also could not see herself as some pathetic damsel in need of a bodyguard either.
Rapt by her intelligence, Eric silently nodded.
“For fuck’s sake..!” Livid, Tara threw her hands into the air, “I’ve landed a good paying job, but now I’m vampire bait.” She crossed her arms. “I’m really not safe?” She clipped, unwilling to believe what he was implying. Tara could not believe her rotten luck. She sighed, lowering her head in disbelief.
He nodded again in confirmation. “Did you notice the vampires watching you all night?” He asked assertively. ′Det sätt som jag ser på dig...′
She did not want to admit, but it was only him that she noticed. “But, I knew a vampire before I moved here and he didn’t seem interested in my scent and that Longshadow asshole practically ignored me all night. Chow and Pam seem alright too, those other vamps are just fucking weird.”
Pam, Longshadow, and Chow were the least of his uncertainties. He had spoken with them and knew they all respected his power as Sheriff. But the elder vampires were sometimes a task to keep in line. He wondered if the ones that remained in the bar tonight may be lingering in hopes of having a taste of the delightful smelling girl. He would not stand for that. “Those other vampires are close to my age and very powerful, ” He rasped, “now come back inside so that I may protect you,” Eric predicted his new special human would be a challenge. Such a strong spirit in that little sexy body, the thought of her yielding to him was thrilling.
“Hell no..!” She snapped at his audacity,” I’m tired of this shit and I’m going home!”
Tara was now faced with yet another big obstacle. So, she reacted the only way she knew how, with anger. She briskly stomped off and ran away from Eric as fast as her athletically built legs could carry her. She did not dare look back, Tara wished she had never opened the crimson doors and stepped foot into Fangtasia. She was not sure if she would ever return, even if it was the best paying job she ever had. The young woman muttered angrily to herself... ‘Goddammit...! I should have known working at a vamp bar was a fucked-up idea.’ In a matter of minutes, she had managed to walk halfway home, by making a shortcut through St. Louis Park. She could not stop thinking about the incident in Eric’s office, his admission of attraction and the way he looked at her... ‘How on God’s green earth did I glamor him?’
Abruptly, her thoughts were broken up by a rustling noise; the noise was coming from a massively sized bush a few feet ahead of her. She halted in her tracks, whatever was in that tall bush was of ample size, she desperately looked around the dimly lit trail for something, anything she could use as a weapon.