If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.
She desperately searched the nearby ground to no advantage. Disbelief and dismay coursed through her, the park was clean, not a stone, nor brick or fallen branch in sight. The panicky woman had nothing, absolutely nothing she could use as a weapon. Her heart was racing again; it felt as if it would leap right out of her chest.
Suddenly the rustling halted, making Tara believe whatever was in the bush spotted her and was ready to attack her. Paralyzed with fear, she halted all movement; while contemplating running the opposite direction or standing her ground.
The shrubbery began to bustle again, inside the bush, a guttural growl echoed out into the vacant park.
Abruptly, two dogs galloped from behind the bush. One was trying to mount the other. The two stray mutts whimpered, then scampered away when they saw her.
She let out an exasperated sigh, her fright left just as fast as it came, but it did not stop her legs from shaking, still, she continued home at a hectic pace.
Once inside her tiny studio apartment, she quickly slammed and locked the door. Finally, feeling a sense of safety, she was finally able to shake all the dreadful thoughts out of her head, thoughts of bloodthirsty vampires. She held against the rickety door, letting out an immense sigh of relief. After a moment, she made herself a large glass of water and drank every last drop. Next, undressed down to her matching lacy black bra and panties and fluffed her new white pillows.
The exhausted lady plopped down on her lumpy mattress and quickly drifted off to sleep.
Pam had almost reined me in. “Why are you going after her?” She queried me, disappointment splayed across her face.
She’d procured two fairly attractive women for the night and wanted me to stay and feed with her, but not even the sexiest fang banger could satisfy me tonight.
They couldn’t possibly make me feel the way she does.
The way she could...
I pulled in an unnecessary breath. I could not understand why I felt this way.
My child also wanted to know what happened in the office but I couldn’t explain it myself. So I told her that I was unable to glamour the petite barmaid. What I didn’t tell her is that Tara’s unique scent isn’t the only thing special about her. Telling Pam a half-truth was better than nothing at all.
Simply put, I wanted Tara, her body, her blood, and I won’t share her with another.
Not even her...
I kissed my child on her forehead and bid her farewell.
“Well, hurry back then...”She warily asked of me.
And I was off, fuck the car, my feet are faster.
I caught up with my sexy mortal in less than a minute. She was walking as fast as humanly possible down a path in St. Louis Park.
I inhaled without thinking and remained hidden in the shadows. I could smell that sweet aroma of hers and my body responded accordingly. I steadied myself on a nearby tree as I collected myself.
My lovely human obviously took heed to my warnings. She appeared guarded, impressively aware of her surroundings. I was now certain that she did not belong to any vampire. If she did, he or she would be indulging themselves on that taut body and her sweet smelling blood well into dawn.
After she entered her run-down apartment building, I knew she was safe from any of my interested patrons and I was satisfied with that. If my notions are correct she will grace me with her presence next nightfall.
I returned to the bar, Pam had dinner waiting for me. After I had my fill, I went straight to my coffin. I thought of nothing but the beautiful, mysterious, honey coated Tara Thornton before I finally died for the day.
After a good night’s rest and paying her rent the next morning, Tara weighed out her other options.
She had none.
So she made the choice to go back and give Fangtasia another try. She couldn’t deny, the money was great, and due to the continuous crowd, the time went by fast, making it easy work. The rough no-nonsense woman had no problem keeping the humans in line and was determined to learn how to deal with the vampires too.
However, Tara refused to admit her core reason for returning, even though the moment she shared with Eric in his office played in her head like a broken record. The experience with the beautiful vampire was cryptic, earth-shattering and she would never forget it.
Besides the Gothic decor and macabre ornate design, the bar looked almost normal during the day, Tara mused as she entered the cherry colored doors of the infamous nightclub at 10 AM. Inside, Ginger merrily greeted her with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The carefree barmaid was just as bubbly as the night before.
“I’m so glad ya came back!” Ginger exclaimed while stirring sugar into her coffee. “I was thinkin to myself this mornin and I figured you were a keeper - you did great last night.” She chirped in a thick southern accent, elated at having someone around to talk to her during the day. “You didn’t scream- not once.”
“Okay-Uh-Thanks.” Tara smiled awkwardly while rationalizing the appraisal Ginger just provided.
“Ready to get this place all clean?” The platinum blonde asked and before Tara could answer, she began to explain how Pam demanded the liquor stocked a certain way behind the bar. “Eric does not allow certain brands unless its lemon scented,” She chatted while showing Tara where to find all the cleaning supplies, which were located in the locked closet next to the restrooms. “Vampires love the smell of lemons, so that’s all I buy for my house these days.” The verbose woman indicated in length. “Eric doesn’t mind me cleanin with natural cleaners like vinegar and bakin soda, but never use Clorox or anything like that, he hates it.”
Tara blinked rapidly, as she tried to imagine having senses that keen.
I wonder if I smell like lemons…
While deep in thought, Tara began to clean the bar in silence. Ginger continued to babble on about how much fun she had last night with a vampire named Hector and how cool it was shopping with Pam last weekend. Tara found it absurd the way Ginger lived to please the ‘dead-things’, but she said nothing about it. In actuality, Tara really didn’t mind Ginger, she was not much different than most of the people in Bon Temps. The difference was to Tara, Ginger truly seemed to regard her as an equal.
The girls finished in less than two hours. Tara was satisfied with their work, and as they left she thanked Ginger for the coffee and assured her comical co-worker that she’d return and work the night shift with her. With Tara’s assistance, Ginger set the alarm and locked the doors. Ginger offered Tara a lift in her old Volkswagen Beetle, to which the dark-skinned beauty decline.
The waif blonde slid a pair of gaudy shades over her eyes, waving her hand out the window of the car, “Hey Tara,” she shouted, “if ya thought Friday night was wild, wait till ya get a load of the Saturday night crowd.”
Tara chortled at her giddy- co-worker. She did not expect anything less at Club Fangtaisa. “See ya tonight Ginger.” Tara smiled and waved goodbye, as Ginger pulled out of the parking lot.
The day was sunny and cloudless, making it a quite pleasant walk and visit to the market. At home, in her small kitchen, the famished woman made herself a ‘muffuletta’ sandwich with a side of salt and vinegar chips. She poured a big glass of sweet freshly- squeezed lemonade and took her lunch out to her modest balcony to eat it.
She let out a disappointed sigh as she glanced at her cellular- no one from home had tried to reach her all week, not even Lafayette. She thought about reaching out to him; she wanted to tell him the good news about finally finding a job, but promptly changed her mind. He’d ask where she worked and Tara was ashamed to tell him only vampires were willing to employ her. She pondered more about it more and reckoned ‘Laffy’ would be fine with it. He didn’t seem to have a problem with vampires or anyone else unless they had a problem with him.
But once word got out to some of the vampire-haters and religious bigots, the news would spread around town like wildfire. Her mother would be the first to cry out and have the entire town’s pity and sympathy for her ‘poor lost child’. Tara would be regarded as just another ‘fang-banger’. Feeling already treated out-of-sorts because she’s an underprivileged black female, there was no way she would ever be ready to be treated any worse.
She was certain her best friend would call her a hypocrite once she found out where she was working. Many Bon Temps residents, including Tara, were not very welcoming to Bill Compton, the first vampire in to live in the small rural town. When the time came, Tara anticipated she would explain to Sookie that working for vampires and dating one is totally different. After lunch, she plugged in her cellular next to her bed so it would get a full charge for the night. Then, she set the alarm to avoid oversleeping; and took a nap, so she would be well rested for work.
Several hours later the sound of the alarm woke her. “And still no missed calls,” She said with a frowned, as she sprung out of bed. She dragged herself to the kitchen area and made a cup of hot raspberry tea and microwaved some popcorn. Following her snack, she drew herself a nice hot bubble bath. About thirty minutes of soaking, the water had become room temperature, so Tara bathed and stepped out of the tub, wrapping her body in a clean white towel.
Afterwards, she conditioned, blow-dried and flat ironed her tightly coiled hair until it was silky straight. She made sure to skip the Japanese Cherry-Blossom body spray and lotion.
Don’t want to be lemon scented tonight…
Thereafter, she dabbed on a touch of makeup- jet black eyeliner, mascara, and a little red lip-gloss was all she needed to feel sexy and ready for the night.
I was in conflict with myself, having her close is what I wanted, but it certainly was not enough. I wanted her; needed her, all of her- completely. I cursed in my ancient tongue the moment she looked at me with her dark shaded eyes; I nearly fall apart at the beauty I see in them.
She wore a little lacy halter blouse, displaying her perfectly toned arms and tantalizing cleavage. The way she swayed in her skin-tight jeans as she sauntered in, undoubtedly made my cock hard as granite.
I lustfully observed her lean over the bar to greet Ginger. Her wavy midnight colored hair was straightened tonight; a single strand fell erotically on her face, the rest on her shoulders and down her back. Her naturally flawless face was made up to perfection. The heavy coal on her lashes and around her eyes made her look breathtakingly seductive.
I choose to believe she got dolled up just for me; soon I plan on showing her how much I appreciate the gesture.
Of course, I never show it on my face. I’ve perfected my brooding indifferent expression. So when I beckoned her, she had no idea of the inferno of yearning and desire in my soul...
Her heart beat wildly and her stomach did somersaults the moment Eric beckoned her. Tara walked exceptionally slow as she made her way to his throne, she knew behind his icy stare was a lust that he desperately wanted to be fulfilled.
She sat beside him avoiding all eye contact, instead, she stared out into club; it was practically empty besides a hand full of human customers and an envious looking Ginger behind the bar.
“You look beautiful tonight.” He cajoled her, his hands tented, his posture slouched.
Unable to contain an affectionate smile from showing on her lips, she replied, “Thank you,” she was not used to being regarded as beautiful, some said pretty, a few called her cute, but never beautiful.
Thrilled that his admiring comment made her beam, he lifted a questioning eyebrow and asked. “Do you require your pay in advance tonight?”
“I don’t require it, but I sure ain’t turnin it down,” Tara hoped that getting her pay in advance did not entail going back into his office again.
Eric reached into his pocket and drew out a wad of $100.00 bills. He handed Tara three, and his long pale fingers touched her warm tiny ones. The unexplainable surge of warmth and familiar-smelling aromas, coursed through his body yet again, deepening his desires for her. Unable to resist, he boldly grabbed her hand, pulled her succulent flesh to his mouth kissing it, just as he had done the night before. This time Tara was prepared to object to his advances. She quickly jerked her hand away from him; his lips curving up into a playful smile at her actions.
He considered her protest delightful foreplay.
“Look, I appreciate you givin me a job, but I’m here to work, not screw around,” She scowled, but respectfully kept her voice to a low whisper.
“That’s because you’ve never screwed anyone like me before,” He smirked; with that same all-knowing smirk that Tara found unbearably sexy and insufferable at the same time.
“I’m gonna see if those customers wanna drink,” she stood fast from her seat. Feeling his eyes on her ass, she quickly strolled away from him…“I could sure use one...”
What a cocky old bastard..!
He leaned forward, his forearms coming to rest on his knees. He wanted her close, so close he did not know what to make of it. He thought the feeling would wan after a few weeks and several sexy encounters with seductive women, but frustratingly it has not.
The doe-eyed beauty strived at not thinking about her vampire-boss, no matter how hard she tried, she could not think of anything else. To make matters worse he was not helping her deal with her attraction.
While she worked the bar, Eric gave her these long intense stares that screamed ‘I can ease that throbbing between your thighs if only you’d let me.’ And throb she did; at every glimpse of his face, the mention of his name, and the memory of his touch. Her body warmed and melted in places that were invisible to those nearby. And knowing that he yearned after her the way he did send ripples of awareness coursing through her veins. The already pebbled peaks of her rounded mounds stiffened even further. A slight twitch in his frame told her that he was ready to pounce. Just one word; one softly uttered expression and she would have him falling apart at her feet.
It was a full moon the following Saturday night, Tara’s 30 day anniversary and by midnight she was wondering if the full moon caused vampires to act strange...well, stranger than usual.
Tara was approached several times by a vampire who called himself Martin; he looked like your everyday librarian or school teacher, that was if the typical school teacher or librarian sported designer sweater vest, slacks and of course had a pulse. His hair was bright auburn; the style, very short, neat, with a perfect part on the side. She remembered him from her first night working; he was one of the vampires who stood at Eric’s throne gawking at her. Martin patronized Fangtasia every Thursday’s and Saturday’s, so Tara considered him a regular. She never noticed the average build, conservative looking vampire with anyone before and found it odd when he requested that she join him and his sire Paul in the VIP area.
The VIP section of Fangtasia was simply a large area adorned with plush crimson booths, the section was separated by black velvet curtains that could be pulled shut for privacy. Tara made sure to overstate her politeness when she turned him down. Earlier, Martin had given her a $100.00 tip for leaving her section and personally serving him and Paul a couple of True Bloods. That was the best tip she had gotten since she started; that was the best tip she had ever gotten in her life. She’d never seen Paul before, Martin told her that his Sire had just arrived back in town tonight after being gone for a long time and wanted to celebrate his return with her.
Paul reminded Tara of the character Scarface, the way he dressed. He wore a black flamboyant, expensive designer suit, with no tie and several buttons undone on his grey silk shirt, displaying his dark hairy chest. His hair perfectly coifed, polished black and slicked back, his olive toned face and short physique strikingly resembled the character. She cheekily assumed Paul was of Italian descent.
Martin signaled her over again and asked her for another True Blood. She did not hesitate to oblige, hoping for another big tip. Just as Tara set the bottles down, Paul put his hand over hers, causing an unnerving chill to rising up her spine. His deep dark eyes held a lustful eerie gaze that terrified her. She saw pure malevolence in them and she gasped.
Without warning the vampire felt a wave of Tara’s heat and was overwhelmed by her opulent scent. The sweet aromas of jasmine, violets, and dahlias blasted his senses, making him feel blazing hot desire for the barmaid.
He needed to taste her.
She got a sense of Deja-vu when Paul’s fangs flicked out in response and she gasped. Without warning, Paul seized her neck, pulling her to his hungry, opened fanged mouth.
Tara wheezed out, “Let go of me!” pushing his chest and struggling in his arms, trying desperately to break free from his strong grasp. Ginger was at the adjacent booth. She screams frantically at the sight of her co-worker being attacked instead of tipped.
Eric was off his throne and at the booth in less than a second.
“RELEASE HER!” The Viking bellowed out, his roar was ear-splitting.
The music stopped.
“PAUL!” Eric growled, barring his ivory blades, glaring menacingly at the two intrusive vampires.
Paul and Martin rose from there seat, snarling and growling back at him. Paul’s grip remained firmly around Tara’s throat.
Pam, Chow, and Longshadow sped to the VIP area; they all stood behind Eric, ready to strike at their Sheriffs command.
The entire bar was silent now.
Tara could feel the vampires’ sharp nails digging into her flesh, as she groaned, struggling to breathe and wriggling to free herself from his painful grip. Eric halted his attack only because he knew Paul could snap Tara’s neck before he could stop him. Paul tightened his clutch raising the dark-skinned beauty off the ground, her feet swung helplessly.
“I want you Aether.”
“SHE’S MINE- RELEASE HER!” Eric shouted, wanting to rip Paul’s throat out for his infraction; however, it was forbidden to kill a member of the AVL (American Vampire League) council. Eric would not have cared if not for the witnesses. Another challenge was Paul’s age; he was older than the Norseman. A vampire Paul’s age would be a formidable opponent, even for Eric. Luckily, Paul was outnumbered.
Paul knew his chances were slim to none that he would escape with Tara without Martin suffering the consequences, Chow alone could easily kill his child at the Sheriff’s command. And if not for Martin, Paul would never have known about Tara in the first place. So he reluctantly released her.
He let go and Tara dropped to the floor like a discarded rag, coughing and gasping for air. She crawled away from Paul and the VIP booth and ended up behind Eric’s legs, still too weak from the lack of air to stand.
“She’s yours you say… do you even know what she is?” Paul scoffed, “I’m sure if you knew, she wouldn’t be working as a barmaid.”
Ginger randomly screamed again and rushed over to help Tara to her feet. At the same time, a herd of customers rushed toward the exit.
“I found you Aether…” Paul casually leaned his head over to look pass Eric, and the fleeing patrons and then back to the creature who amazed him with her beauty and intoxicating scent.
“You and your progeny are no longer welcomed in Fangtasia. As your Sheriff, I order you to get the fuck out!” Eric shouted clinching his fist so tight, his nails dug into his hands causing them to bleed.
“I never thought in all my years that I’d encounter Aether but here you are,” Paul said grinning wickedly, inside he regretted acting so hastily. But he’d never been the type to control his urges. All the while, he schemed on a way to procure Tara. He knew it would be a challenge if she belonged to the Sheriff, but he did not care, he had to have her.
He held out his hand, “Come with me chosen one or I will come for you.”
“I won’t ask again, Paul...” Eric snarled.
Paul continued to leer at the frightened woman, “It was a pleasure to meet you, see you soon.” His words and the way stared at her made her skin crawl. She shuddered as one arm held Ginger’s scrawny arm for balance, struggling to steady her trembling knees.
She held her middle finger high up above her head. “Fuck you,” she replied with a shaky, raspy voice.
Paul let out a vigorous laugh as he and Martin sped away, “Você vai ser meu Aether...” Paul’s voice echoed throughout the now empty bar, leaving the doors swinging wide open.
Ginger sporadically screamed once more, pried herself away from Tara, and ran to the door drawing it shut, latching the locks. Tara was too upset to comprehend the entire situation and as the dread seeped into her; she had a feeling that would not be the last time she’d see that frightening vampire.
“Now what..?” Pam’s concern exposed on her impeccably made-up face. No vampire had ever been bold enough to behave that way in Eric’s club before.
Eric was silent due to his shock at the turn of events; he stood quietly; at the empty booth that Paul and Martin had accommodated. When the Viking was confused he chose silence, so the remaining five were unobtrusive while Eric thought to himself.
Paul is a chancellor, so I must seek my father’s advice…but first I need to get her to safety before dawn.
Eric finally spoke, “Pam, compensate Chow, Longshadow and Ginger…double their pay for tonight. Thank you all for your loyalty. I shall not forget it.”
After Pam shuffled out a wad of cash to Ginger, Chow, and Longshadow, Ginger went to the bar and grabbed her purse. The two vampires simply nodded and sped towards the exit, they were gone in a second leaving Tara who was trying to exit the building.
Eric caught her movement out of the corner of his eye. “Tara, you shall not leave my side…” Tara ignored him and quickened her pace, so he sped over to the door and stood, blocking her escape.
Annoyed; he waited for Tara, she had only made it halfway there. With her only exit blocked, she halted in her tracks.
“Bullshit!” She huffed. “You can’t make me stay here!” Worn-out, and aching from her assault, the wary bartender just wanted to run home and forget about it all.
“I can and I will now come with me.” In any other circumstance her stubbornness would be cute to the smitten vampire, but in this scenario, it was downright irksome.
“Why the fuck can’t I go home!?” She figured since Eric was some kind of vampire Sheriff he could just arrest the vamp-tard if he made trouble for her again.
“You really have no fucking clue, you infuriating woman…” He shook his head, “Well I have no time to explain it to you.”
Tara’s eyes widened at his words. His conviction scared her to death and that pleased him, he needed her to be frightened. He hoped it would unleash the fight inside of her.
He peered into her eyes and they widened even more. “I know I am asking a lot of you, but you must trust me.”
To Tara, he was asking a lot, “Can Ginger stay too?” she trusted no one, especially not vampires.
Ginger stood silently next to Pam grinning like a Cheshire cat. Pam rolled her eyes and shook her head; annoyed that Ginger did not leave after being paid. She always had to be forced to go home.
“Yes, if you stop resisting and allow me to protect you.”
Tara nodded; she didn’t really want to agree to anything like that. But at least having a human around made her feel a little better. Eric walked toward his office; Tara reluctantly followed. At his desk, he picked up the landline and made a call. He spoke in a foreign language. Tara had heard many languages on television before, but this one was wholly unfamiliar, it sounded ancient. He made two more calls after that on his cellular. With each call, Eric spoke in a different language, one was certainly French, his demeanor, even his accent seem to change. She wondered how many languages he spoke and how long it took to acquire them.
And then the severity of her situation hit her like a ton of bricks.
What does that evil -Guido-looking- motherfucker want from me? Is it because of the way I smell?
After Eric finished his calls, he slowly made his way around the desk towards her. “Tell me the truth,” he urged, needing to be undeniably certain that she was oblivious to what is happening, even though he was not fully aware himself. He did not believe it possible for one to not know a single thing about their origins.
She bobbed her head in agreement, “K…” conjecturing where his questioning was going.
“Are you Aether?” He asked, unknowing himself of what an Aether was.
Tara thought that his question was odd; she had no idea how to answer him. As far as Tara knew she was a human, female, African-American, and perhaps naturally lemon scented.
Oh yeah, I guess I can glamour vampires too…Is that what Aether means?
“I have no idea what the hell you’re talkin bout.” she drawled dryly, but it was all a façade, inside, the young woman was terrified. She had no idea what was going on or why.
“This is not a fucking game.” He swore darkly and sped close to her, not giving her an inch of space.
Tara rolled her eyes; she knew she was in for a very long night.