Is that the best that I can do?
As I watch as your head turns full circle...
You appear even tempered though your looks will deceive...
And the sparks are always flying cause you drink for relief...
With the heart of a child and the wit of a fool...
It’s a wonder why I don’t try to build a wall around you...
When I watch as your head turns full circle...
She looked out at the sun as it drowned in the horizon, knowing it would not be long; she smiled a cheerful smile, took a seat and waited. The sound of the key being inserted in the lock caused her to straighten in her seat, as she thought to herself while the tall, blonde haired man winsomely sauntered his way towards her.
‘He always walks in like he owns the goddamn place!’
The besotted woman smiled confidently at the handsome vampire. His shirt hugged his chest and biceps closely. With a gleam in his eyes and the most tastefully dirty smile she’d ever seen, Eric was making Tara’s mind consider things she didn’t want to consider.
The vampire cursed himself. Tara is a cascade of lovely, supple brown skin that glowed beneath the lights. The glowing skin on her face made her look so much younger than her age. With her sultry eyes half-mast, she was a sight to behold.
“Thank you for the dress and all the other nice things.” She said humbly, truly appreciative of the provisions Eric had taken, for her well-being. She questioned if her gratitude would be enough for his trouble. He had the most expressive eyes she’d ever seen and the look in them was heartbreaking. Undoubtedly he expected a little more than just a ‘thank you’. Tara took a deep breath as she rose from her seat and closed the space between them. The vampire is so tall, even in her 4-inch high stilettos; she still had to reach high and stand on her tiptoes to wrap her arms around his neck. And she pulled him in and held him close in a firm, tender embrace.
He steadied himself; her actions sent bolts of pleasure straight into his core. His body, a wall of solid muscle, reacted instantly to the affections he had longed to receive from the beautiful woman. His trousers became unbearably tight as he fought back his primitive impulses.
“Eric Northman, you’re supposed to say you’re welcome,” she whispered in his ear.
Eric could have sworn his dead-heart began to beat again, the way she said his name, no woman had ever made him feel so virile, so eyes lustful roamed over her smooth face and her petite frame.
“I’ve never looked upon anything as breathtaking as you, Tara Thornton.”
Her cheeks burned as she beamed at the Viking vampire. His words made her feel, so special, so chaste. The attraction was clear to both of them. Eric believed, he felt, they shared more than just physical attraction. And as much as Tara tried to contest it, she felt it too.
He leaned in to kiss her.
Tara resisted, turning her head away, she abruptly tried to break away from their embrace. In response, Eric wrapped his arms firmly around her waist, securing them.
“Kyssa mig...” A raspy growl escaped his throat; he felt a rush of excitement as he held her. He seized her mouth hungrily, tasting her sweet lips.
His kiss was breathtaking, her resolve was instantly crushed and her lips parted allowing him entrance. His fangs involuntarily flicked, causing her to lean back slightly, just enough to set her gaze on them. He matched her gaze, enthralled by her curious appraisal. He gasped in surprise when she touched his fangs with her fingertips. No longer startled or inhibited by the sight of Eric’s daggers, she leaned in slowly and brushed delicate kisses onto his deadly, heart-shaped incisors. Eric stifled a lustful groan. He knew she had no idea how incredibly arousing it was for a vampire to be kissed that way.
Suddenly, the door swung open, startling Tara, causing her to pull away from Eric and he reluctantly released his hold on her. Tara was expecting the housekeeper or the guard; to her surprise, it was Pam.
“Godric sent me...” The vixen announced dryly while moseying in with her hands on her hips.
Dressed in an extravagant, and form-fitting, red satin dress, her long golden hair curled and pinned up in a fashionable style, she took notice of Tara and approved. “Lookin good Cupcake...” She winked an eye.
“Ditto...” Tara replied with a smirk, she’d given up on Pam ever calling her by her name.
Eric had heard Pam’ approach long before she tapped on the door. He thought his nosy child had come to eavesdrop outside his door as she often did when he entertained company and did not invite her.
“Very well, give us a moment.” He clipped, annoyed that she had interrupted his intimate moment with Tara.
Pam gave her eyes a brief roll in response as she began stalking back and forth in the room.
“Get out!” Eric growled, crudely dismissing his child.
Pam paused, huffed and glared at Eric before storming out in a blur, cursing him as she did. The door slammed behind her.
“We were followed the moment we left Fangtasia; Paul sent wolves to track you.” The tranquil and sensual vampire Tara was just kissing had vanished. Now, the Viking warrior stood in front of her, ready to continue protecting her.
Her eyes narrowed, showing her displeasure. But she did not speak; she did not know what to say. Tara only knew how to run from her troubles and at that moment, that was all she wanted to do.
“Do not worry; my father’s house is secure. And I will never let Paul touch you again.”
Tara had no doubt he meant what he said, still her heart lay heavy with fear.
“Your father is the King?” She asked.
“Yes, over a hundred years or so he was appointed.” He nodded.
Tara wondered why he had left out that detail; this raised more questions. With her head tilted to the side, she asked. “How old are you Eric?”
“I stop counting after a thousand years...” He turned his gaze towards the door, his Sire was summoning him, but he was not ready to go. “...That was several decades ago.” He finished.
Tara’s butterfly lashes blink rapidly, captivated, as she looked at Eric’s face, a face that has not changed in over a thousand years.
“My father is growing impatient with me...”
She reached out, taking his hand in her own. “Is he summoning you as you do with Pam?”
He nodded again.
She wondered what if felt like to summon, to be summoned.“Tell me more please?” She asked. A trace of a smile swept her lips.
He was more than willing to oblige. “A maker can always summon their progeny. Sometimes we can feel what the other is feeling, especially when under distress or pleasure. It becomes weaker with time, but never fully goes away.”
“Do you think the King felt what just happened with us?” She asked.
He confirmed her question with a simple nod and again he peered towards the door. Tara’s cheeks began to burn as she slightly lowered her head.
“Tara, we must go to him.”
She grabbed her purse off the vanity. “Okay, I’m ready.”
He politely motioned for her to lead and she strolled towards the door. Hungrily his eyes ran over Tara’s lithe frame, his gazed unblinking as her heels clicked and her hips swayed hypnotically down the hall.
“I was beginning to think you were ignoring me, child,” Godric said as the couple reached the bottom of the marble set of stairs. When Godric had awakened for the evening, his curiosity ran wild. He sought to meet the woman who cast such a fragrant scent throughout his home.
Tara peered curiously at the adolescent looking, male. He was shorter in stature with neatly cut brown tresses, standing straight and relaxed, outfitted in a white, loosely fit, button up shirt and black tailored slacks, he appeared to be no more than 16 or 17.
“Aldrig far...” Eric promised as he reached the bottom of the stairs.
“Tara, meet Godric, my father, the King of Louisiana.” Eric proudly announced.
She cordially bowed to The Vampire King.
“It is an honor to meet you King Godric.” She said sincerely, hoping what she said and did was the proper thing to say and do to a king.
“It is an honor to meet you as well Tara...” he replied and the moment the ancient vampire made contact with Tara, the distinct aroma of a land that no longer exists became infused into his senses.
“-Gaul...” he muttered smiling and then cleared his throat to speak clearly. “Tara, I hope you do not mind, but I must ask you to be game for an experiment.”
To her, his baby blue eyes beamed with sincerity, his smile was the most human out of all the vampires she had met thus far and she wondered was it because he looked so youthful.
The way Eric looked at him with such admiration was endearing to her and she wondered, what would life as a vampire who appears as a teen be? Centuries passing, everything altering, aging, and changing, except you...She was instantly in awe of Godric.
Eric could feel Godric’s enchantment, his desire for Tara; but was not bothered by this; his sire was a master at self-control. Godric has grown to value humans like no other vampire and he would never harm anyone unless provoked. The fair-haired vampire was positive that Tara had that same effect on all vampires; the older vampires are more drawn to her than the younger ones. He now realized his father had quickly guessed the same.
“Okay...I- I mean, yes your majesty.” The nervous woman agreed. The night was still young and Eric had plenty of time to get her back to Shreveport.
“Very well, Tara, please call me Godric and follow me to the library.”
She shadowed behind him while taking in all the splendor of his home. The antique arts, rare pottery, lavish furniture, even the fixtures were magnificent. Everything was spotless and well maintained. The library, a grand room with hundreds of books that lined mahogany wood shelves. In the center of the spacious room was a large circular table.
Pam was seated with a laptop in front of her; she was shopping online while keeping a diligent eye on the security cameras at Fangtasia. Next to Pam, was a human woman, she looked to be in her early thirties, with shoulder-length, brunette, mane, and stunning cerulean eyes. She had a pile of old looking books in front of her and a pair of spectacles in her hand. The cherub-faced woman sat next to an attractive, pale, scruffy face vampire with jet black curly locks and icy, silver-blue eyes. He wore a black button up shirt and an impish smirk on his face. She whispered in his ear and he playfully pecked her on the cheek.
On the other side of Pam was another human female. She is Asian, with stunningly beautiful, olive-skin. She looked to be in her mid to late twenties and dressed in black also. The heart-shaped faced woman had alluring slanted eyes and her long onyx ringlets fell down her back. Seated next to her, in a form-fitting white T-shirt, a gorgeous, bald, muscular, black vampire, he had the most sensual hazel eyes. The caramel-skinned vampire and the Asian woman smiled charmingly at one another, her palm placed firmly in his.
“Tara, please allow me to introduce you to my progenies...“Godric began, “This is-”
Before Godric could continue, the fortyish looking vampire with the scruffy face and black curly hair rose from his seat, he had on black jeans, was slender and approximately six feet tall.
“Hello-Tara, I’m Franklin,” Franklin said, made sure he was introduced first. She noticed he has a distinguished British accent.
“This is Franklin Mott; I met him over three hundred years ago in the ’Great Northern War,” Godric explains.
“Fighting against the Swede’s...” Eric irately murmured. The Norseman was not pleased when Franklin became Godric’s charge. For over seven hundred years it had been he and Godric, back then, he did not think that would ever change.
Godric placed his hand on Eric’s broad shoulder, “There will be none of that my child, that is all behind us now. Your brother Franklin was a brave captain in the navy. He would not leave any of his men behind on that sinking ship. Because of him, over forty men lived to see their families again; which brings me to Eggs...”
The fetching black man rose from his chair. He stood practically as tall as Eric, at least six-foot-four and he too had on black jeans. He nodded to Tara and bowed to Godric.
Franklin interrupted, “Godric, must you call him that; I know you love that silly nickname, but really...” Clucking with his thick British accent perfectly masked how rude his comment actually was.
“Very well Franklin, I met Benedict Talley during the Civil War. He was a union soldier, fighting bravely in the Army of the Potomac. He rescued several wounded soldiers that fateful night. He saved dozens of his comrades and single handily killed over a dozen confederates. While Eggs was just a baby vampire I became King of Louisiana.” The eternally youthful Sire proudly gazed upon all three of his progenies. It was rare to have them all under one roof. He had Tara to thank for that. She was the link that completed the chain.
“That brings me to my enchantress friends; this is Nora Gainesboro and Naomi Lin.” He motioned towards the two human females, “I’ve known these women for a long time, so don’t be fooled, Tara...” A big playful smile emerged from his childlike face. “They are a lot older than they appear.”
Both women stood, Tara noticed, they were both dressed in the same long, sleek, black dress and long gold-link necklace, with multicolored gems that hung from their necks. They held a look in their eyes that radiated with joy, they graciously beamed at Tara. “Welcome Tara,” they both said in unison, gazing perceptively at the dark-skinned beauty as if they already knew her.
Naomi gave Eggs a quick, sweet kiss on the lips before she briskly neared the door. Nora merrily stated, “We’ll be right back Godric,” and the two women then left the room.
Godric simply nodded and smiled. Tara noted Godric’s attitude and treatment of humans pleased her. He certainly had the presence and grace of a King. Most of all, she never believed vampires were capable of kindness Godric has displayed. Tara thought vampire’s nature was to be intimidating, controlling and downright scary.
Godric stood at the side of the table nearest to Tara, “Tara, I would like to begin my experiment. I will ask my progenies and my grand-progeny to tell us what you smell like to them. Is that alright with you?”
“Ummm...Alrighty then...” She was curious about her mysterious aroma and why vampires seemed so drawn to her and so far his little experiment seemed harmless.
He motioned at Pam, “Good, Pamela, I shall start with you.”
The sultry vampire lightly shut her notebook and joined the conversation, “Cupcake, smells like my favorite perfume Shalini.” Pam drawled indifferently.
" Of course, the most expensive perfume in the world,” Godric chuckled, “How about you Benedict,” Godric turned to his youngest son. “What did you smell when Tara walked in?”
“I could have sworn I smelled all the things I enjoyed in my human days, an autumn day in the apple orchard, fresh cinnamon, and nutmeg.” Godric beamed at his answer.
Franklin abruptly chimed in, “She smells like freshly roasted almonds and sweet tobacco, but how can that be?”
“That’s because she’s Aether,” Nora declared as she and Naomi re-entered the room, their hands full of items, “and smelling like one’s fondest memories or wildest desires is the signature of her presence.”
Naomi pulled the lavish Oriental rug back from the hardwood floor and began to draw with white chalk an intricate symbol. The design is a large circle, inside spheres, intertwining spheres that overlapped one another. When she was done with her drawing Tara gasped at the sight, involuntarily her palm slapped her chest; she had seen that pattern before.
She was born with it. Her quarter- dollar sized birthmark is barely visible. Tara often thought her mother or father had branded her as a baby. But it was no burn, it was apart of her.
“Your right, you were not branded and birthmark is not really a birthmark at all, it is called the Vesica Pisces.” Nora read her thoughts as if she was reading a menu at a restaurant.
Stunned, Tara began to stutter, “How did you... I mean... wha...”
“The Vesica Pisces is the symbol of balance, nature, and spirit.” Nora finished with a smile.
“Please Nora, enlighten us,” Godric curiously requested.
Nora opened the aged old book she had been studying before she left the room and placed it in front of him. Tara stood by Godric as he sat and she peered over him at the book, she was drawn to the picture of a woman who bore a striking resemblance to her. The shapely, dark-skinned, nude figure hovered above a large body of water and on her chest, in the exact same spot was the same birthmark as Tara. In the background, a solar eclipse was in the sky. The young barmaid briefly reminisced about a time when her mother told her an unscheduled, impromptu solar eclipse occurred the day she was born and that the birthmark on her chest even baffled the doctors.
Everyone made their way closer to Godric, as he slowly turned the pages in the book, observing pictures of statues, effigies, and symbols from every culture in human history. The ancients believed Aether was an entity that protected and preserved the earth’s balance, a controller of all four elements. Without her, the earth would become unbalanced, barren and eventually consumed with evil. The book contained ancient symbols and scriptures written in Egyptian, Aramaic, Sumerian, Greek, Gaulish, and Hebrew. The King studied the drawings and took notice of his tribal water symbol in the book and fondly recalled the day he was tattooed with the sacred symbol.
Tara read a few verses that were in English, “It says here, one becomes Aether because of the day they are born?” Tara questioned skeptically, trying diligently to grasp it all.
“Implausible I know- an Aether is a female born the very second the celestial bodies are perfectly aligned.” Nora explained, “You’ve lived many times before, but every few hundred years your physical form returns to the light and Aether is reincarnated. That is why you have no recollection of who you are.”
“How do you know all of this?” Tara crossed her arms, probing Nora for more answers, hoping she could somehow disprove her.
“Naomi and I are natural-born witches; we are your progenies, you are our elemental maker, our elemental tap, our powers come from you and yours comes from Isis.” She answered while lighting candles, we are High Priestesses appointed by Isis and have the ability to train those who want to become practitioners of Wicca.
“So you chicks fly around on brooms, with black cats, stirring cauldrons and shit.” Tara quipped, trying to mask her incredulity with sarcasm.
“It’s true, we like the color black, the void of color represents darkness.” Naomi chuckled at Tara’s sass, “Many fear darkness, since in the darkness lay the unknown. However, if you take a moment to notice, our entire planet and the solar system is surrounded by darkness. When we close our eyes to dream, we are left with vast darkness, a magnificent backdrop for our dreams, fantasies, and desires.”
Nora added. “A witch practices magic rituals that can be focused on many various effects... Tara, we are an endangered species...we are hunted, slaughtered; only a few hundred of us remain in this world...but now that you’ve returned...” The brunettes, aqua colored eyes began to swell with tears; her voice hitched as her sentiments overwhelmed her, “...our protector, our Supreme, the light shall remain.”
“Pull yourself together...” Tara scoffed at the woman’s emotional display.
“Tara, you are a ruler of all life-sustaining elements, “Naomi spoke as she continued to light candles.
“But vampires don’t need water,” Tara countered and set her gaze on Eric, he gazed back at her lovingly.
“True...” Nora sniffled, wiping a fallen tear away. “But you control all life-sustaining elements, including blood, the life source for all vampires, thus your connection to them...”
Naomi placed several hand-sized black stones on the white chalk lines of the outer circle. “...And once the ushering ritual is complete, all four elements, including blood will belong to you, they will be yours to command.”
The whole room was silent; Eric, Pam, Franklin, and Eggs intensively regarded Tara, as Godric stood and approached the very reticent woman.
“Tara, how are you feeling about all of this?” Godric thoughtfully asked. He was fascinated, a feeling long-lost to the ancient being.
“To be honest with you, I don’t fucking believe it.” She answered bluntly, masking her wariness. Besides her odd dreams, she never recalled feeling different or special in any way. Now there is a room full of people calling her a deity. She let out an audible sigh and shook her head in disbelief.
“I must warn you, the man who attacked you...Paul, he and I are close to the same age and we share a similar past. But unlike me, he refuses to evolve. He was once an explorer and world-renowned scholar. Now, he is a zealous, shrewd, predator who may know more about you than you know about yourself. He will try to procure you. I believe he feels it is acceptable to own you against your will.” Godric replied, his voice conveyed great concern.
“Why Godric,” the doe-eyed woman was horrified by his words. Paul was the scariest thing she had ever encountered, “...why does he want me?”
“That is what Nora and Naomi will show you,” Godric took his seat with the rest of the vampires, “Ladies, please continue...”
Nora dimmed the lights so that nothing but the flickering of the candles surrounding the outer ring of the Vesica Pisces circle on the floor could be seen. Naomi asked for Tara’s hand. After a moment, Tara hesitantly relented and took hold of the woman’s hand. The women in black led the wary beauty to the center of the circle and swiftly jumped out. Naomi and Nora kneel, knees to the floor, closing their eyes, they begin chanting, while holding the gems firmly in their palms.
“We call upon Isis, our celestial Supreme bestow your human daughter Aether, invoke-usher-bring forth her elemental spirit!”
Straightaway, Tara became bombarded with a burst of energy sending an electric surge through her body, a light emitted from her palm and the marking on her chest began to glow bright white matching the white chalk drawing on the floor. An unseen force hit her, knocking her off her feet. She gasped, bracing herself for the fall. But she does hit the ground; instead, she levitated within mere inches above. The effervescent visualizations of her recurrent dream blasted her mind. Vibrant colors cascade through her mind’s eye. She felt hot electrical heat striking her veins like a lightning rod as an invisible gust of wind billows through her hair. Terrified, the young woman screamed. Her panicked cry instantly paused the magic spell that was occurring. Her body painfully crashed into the floor; with a grunt, she quickly picked herself up and scrambled out of the circle and into Eric’s waiting arms. She sat on the blond vampire’s lap, panting, still trying to understand what just happened.
“Tara, you must take your place as Aether.” Nora encouraged her, grabbing hold of Tara’s hand.
“Back off Mary Poppins..!” Tara jerked her hand away and grabbed her purse from the table, clutching the designer bag tightly.
At that moment Alcide entered the room; Godric greeted him and motioned for him to take a seat at the round-table.
“Must we have this mutt in here stinking up the place?” Franklin impolitely complained again. He loathes wolves, especially Alcide, because of Godric’s friendship with the pack leader. And although Alcide respected Godric, it was in his nature to dislike vampires; the wolf growled menacingly at Franklin, his grumble is distinctly canine. Tara stifled back another scream when she noticed Alcide’s brown eyes spark a bright glowing amber hue.
‘Holy shit, he’s a werewolf! I gotta get the fuck outta here...!’
“Silence Franklin or leave us,” Godric mandated to his uncouth progeny. “Our friends need him, for Tara.”
The British vampire smirked tauntingly at the snarling man-beast.
“Yes, we need him so that Tara can see how a wolf’s signature will look different from a human or vampire. Naomi explained, “As a telepath, reading minds is only a portion of your ability, you can also feel emotions of different supernatural creatures. Wolf and Shifter portray emotions as well as color signatures. Vampires have a ‘void’ as their signature, and telepaths cannot read their mind. However, Aether can travel into the blackness; you have the power to not only read their minds; you and only you can glamor anyone.”
Tara’s cheeks start to burn. She gazed at Eric and those expressive bright green eyes, recalling how exhilarating it felt briefly living in his mind.
“I kinda knew I could do that.” she shyly admitted.
Franklin burst into a peal of hysterical laughter. The thought of the old Viking, being glamoured by an unproven-witch had him in stitches. In a fraction of a second Godric was on the other side of the round table scowling at Franklin, he was finally fed up with his progeny’s rudeness.
“You are dismissed.” The King commanded his child. “Leave us, replace Alcide and guard the perimeter.”
Franklin winked at Nora, she smirked flirtatiously at her rebellious vampire. Franklin constantly sought Godric’s attention, no matter if it was good or bad. She watched adoringly as Franklin coolly sauntered out of the room.
“Sorry, Eric...” Tara mouthed; as she came to the realization that the vampires must have an unsavory history with each other.
Eric’s face remained empty of emotion, he never allowed his younger brother to upset him. Only one thought lay on his mind: the vampire longed to see the woman of his dreams become the goddess she was destined to be.
“Never be sorry Tara, now get back in the circle.”
“HELL NO..!” She snapped. “This shit is fucking crazy - I come from crazy and this is by far WORSE.”
Tara quickly stood from Eric’s lap, dashed out of the library, sprinted to the foyer and bolted out of Godric’s house.