Quick Update: Fangtasia has got in the way of Eric's Night Off but he has asked Victoria to join him there.
I was pleased when I got in the Vette that he was still listening to the Squeeze CD. We drove with me singing along a little until I remembered I'd wanted to ask Eric his opinion on visiting Mrs Edwards.
"Eric, I spoke to Michael today." As soon as I said it I realised it might not have been a great way to start.
"He came to the house?"
"No, no, we just spoke on the phone." Eric nodded and didn't seem concerned so I carried on. "Apparently Mrs Edwards, the politician's wife? She would like to meet me. She didn't realised I lived here."
"OK." Eric looked over at me. I probably didn't look too keen on the idea. "I would have thought you might enjoy meeting someone who is just human."
"So she is just human?"
"I assume so. Her husband is."
"Oh." I wasn't sure what I had expected. "So maybe I'll think about visiting?"
"That's your decision Victoria." I saw him glance at me. "No reason why not."
I had a reason. A politician's wife and a vampire's pet. Why should we meet? What would I say to her? "But why? I wouldn't know what to say to her. We could hardly have anything in common."
"Take a look into her past. Google her before you get worried." No real surprise that Eric knew why I was stressed. "Twenty years ago she was her husband's secretary. He got divorced and now they have a nineteen year old daughter. She's just a neighbour."
I paused and thought that through for a second, maybe she wouldn't be a paragon of virtue looking down on me. "OK, so I'll say Hello and see how we get on."
As we drew into the car park behind Fangtasia I could not help but remind him. "Things didn't go very well the last time I came here." Swords and blood and dead men who happened to be part-weres filled my memories.
Eric raised an eyebrow. "But 'things' went very well on your first visit." I smiled too as I remembered that night and Eric continued. "We are... is it 'fifty fifty'?" I nodded. "So we will hope to tip the balance tonight."
I laughed and nodded then Eric said carefully. "We'll go into the back entrance, my pet. No one should see you with me so I'll move you quickly."
I sensed his tension but risked saying. "The back entrance is always fine with me."
Eric laughed. I loved making him laugh! I glowed inside as he carried me speedily from the car to the back door of his bar. As he set me on my feet I reached out to hold the corridor walls, to try and stop the world spinning.
We walked through the corridor with his hand on my waist and Pam came through from the door that I thought led to the main bar. I couldn't stop myself hesitating at the sight of her. The last time I had seen her she was on TV in her Halloween cat-suit, today was a more basic Fangtasia outfit of black leather dress with a red silk scarf and red heels. Did she wear nothing but black and red? Pam paused and pointedly looked me up and down too. The last time we met was when she came to inspect the house and I was confident that this time I was better dressed. I could swear she checked out the Manolo's.
Eric stepped ahead of me opening his office door for Pam and I. Cautiously I let her go ahead, I took a breath that they both must have heard and followed her inside.
"Eric, I appreciate that we needed vampires tonight. But was it really a good idea to bring your little pet here?" Pam began before Eric even closed the door.
Eric directed me to the sofa, then he sat in his power chair behind the desk saying casually, "The Weres are sniffing around her again."
"Surely you can scare them off!" She replied.
"And Victoria needs a night out." Eric added.
I discovered how difficult it was not to blush when I was the subject of a conversation but not actually part of the conversation.
"So she is just visiting? She'll stay back here?" Pam's responses were questions but she was expecting Eric to agree.
"After such a busy weekend I am sure we will be quiet out there tonight. Victoria will sit at the bar." Eric stated.
"She can't." Pam insisted. I had been watching enough Vampire Documentaries on TV to know that a child had to obey her maker. I realised Eric gave Pam a little leeway, she was his spoilt little girl, but maybe she was pushing him too far.
"Explain yourself, Pamela." This obviously wasn't directed at me but I still shuddered as Eric's voice got icy cold.
Pam was so much braver that I could ever be. "Yes Sheriff. I can explain..." No matter how brave she was she hesitated. "Unfortunately, Sheriff, most of the regulars and a few of the younger vampires believe that she's dead. They believe you killed her."
I felt my jaw drop. Apparently I was dead? This was new.
Eric seemed fairly surprised too, but he wanted more information. "Pamela?"
"So many of them saw her the first night she came here. We were busy. She left with you and you didn't return. For the next few weeks you were hardly here. I made up an excuse for you."
"So you said I killed her." It seemed that Pam could surprise Eric occasionally. Maybe that's why she was still around.
Pam looked at office floor. "Everyone that you fuck and feed from is here the next night and the next wanting more." I winced at that but they both ignored me and Pam carried on. "She wasn't. She was never seen again. They all wanted to know why. There was only one good reason. I couldn't tell the truth."
"Did you give any thought to the fact that I might get arrested if the police heard your story?" Eric demanded.
"But they can't arrest you. They still don't have light-tight cells." Pam replied with slightly skewed logic.
"But they might find somewhere to lock me up if they think I'm murdering the tourists!" Eric was close to exploding. "I am supposed to be a law-abiding sheriff. I don't need fake crimes following me and this story of yours could reach New Orleans."
"But there is no body. Well there is, but the body is fit and healthy and here." Pam nodded to me.
I wasn't sure what significance New Orleans had and this was not the time to ask.
I shrugged, I had to say it. "The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated." I tried not to smile but Pam actually grinned at me. Eric shook his head, maybe he didn't appreciate Mark Twain quotes right now.
Pam carried on talking herself out of a corner. "The story was months ago. It's probably all forgotten. If she is kept out of sight I am sure no one will remember her."
Well it was good to know I was forgettable. Thanks Pam.
The office was silent while Eric glared at Pam and I kept my head down.
"I have promised my pet a night out. Even if the night is just here in Fangtasia, she will have a good time tonight. You will see to that." He demanded. I tried not to worry that this instruction would not endear me to Pam.
However she nodded to Eric, almost bowing she got so low. She assessed me, looked me up and down while I glanced at Eric to check how calm he seemed. Eric seemed engrossed with his computer and once I realised he was relatively OK I watched my knees waiting for the next move between the two of them.
"I have a suggestion." Pam seemed confident. Eric looked up to listen to her. "She does look different, she has much better clothing with a little more make-up and maybe a change to her hair, I am sure no one will recognise her. Maybe she would only need to be in the bar for a short time tonight. You too." Pam nodded to Eric. "The vermin just need a little show and they will be happy for the night. Invite her to the throne. Play with her. Take her away. Another girl disappears and your notoriety increases. Even those that are not here tonight will know the full story by day break."
"Play with her?" I couldn't help but repeat, it was only then I realised how shocked I sounded.
"Quiet." Pam ordered me.
"Pam, you cannot force her these days. And I will not allow you to glamour her. You must try persuasion if you would like Victoria to submit to your wishes." It was obvious that Eric did not only teach me.
Pam looked a little mutinous then continued, focussing on me. "It does not take a great deal for Eric to cause a stir in the bar. Sit with him, talk a little, leave with him. Convince your audience that he is about to take you away somewhere and fuck your brains out. Which of course he will... if you are a success here."
Both Pam and I glanced at Eric. He was amused. I might have stopped breathing. She made a convincing argument.
Pam continued. "He's not allowed to feed from you in public, not even if you beg him to... He's probably not allowed to fuck you in public either. Actually you might get arrested for that too. Be careful, Sweetie... Although obviously you are not quite so sweet anymore?" Pam tilted her head to one side and considered me.
I was pretty much speechless at that.
I looked imploringly at Eric. He flicked his fingers in Pam's direction and she left.
I drew in a ragged breath. And another.
"Come sit with me." Eric asked quietly. I was glad to sit on his lap, I couldn't resist curling into his chest. "Pam's story isn't really important, she is right about that. If they look for a body then you are here, alive, obviously. It isn't a problem.
"If you do not want to play this game, then that is not important either. You have three choices. One you sit back here. I sit in the bar. We both get bored then go home. Two. You sit in the bar. I sit in the bar and watch your pretty legs. I get less bored and we go home. Three. I sit in the bar and you join me there. After a shorter time we go home."
Going home was all that really mattered to me. I could see the benefits in going home sooner rather than later. "Do you want to play the game?" I asked cautiously.
He smiled. "Your choice, my pet, I'm not in a hurry. Are you?"
When it came to Eric I was often in a hurry. I hesitated. "How far would we go?" I asked, feeling like I was still in school.
"As far as you are comfortable." He replied.
"But Eric, you know I will go as far as you wish. Please... please don't let me get arrested!" I seemed to be going for option three with no real thought at all.
"I promise. Are you sure?" Eric was actually double-checking. I nodded and he called, only slightly louder than his speaking voice. "Pam?"
Pam reappeared opening the office door.
"Do not go too far with the make-up." I was quite relieved to hear that order. "Have we opened the doors?"
"I'll go into the bar and warn Longshadow. Then everyone can see he is not the only one of us here. Pam, try to be nice." Eric left. He left me alone with Pam. I tried to stop the tension flowing through me.
Pam had brought with her a huge, cream Chanel make-up case. Even I could tell it was Chanel from the large linked C's in black. Subtle.
Following Pam's instructions and using the mirror on the back of the door I took off my muted lipstick, topped up with a much paler, powder foundation than I was used too. She insisted on a little dark eye-shadow, I added more mascara and finished off with a dark red lipstick that was pretty dramatic. "Don't let him kiss you wearing that. You'll both look ridiculous, it always smears."
The finished effect was much stronger than I was used to but nowhere near as Gothic as I had thought I might end up looking. I combed out my hair, not sure how to change it quickly. "You should put it up." Pam decided. "Show off your neck."
I ignored the final comment but admitted, "I'm not that good with my hair. I wear it down most of the time."
She paused, I thought she was listening for something for a second but then she took the comb from me and insisted. "No one ever finds out I did this..." She stood behind me and it took her maybe two seconds to twist my dark hair up loosely, secure it with a couple of pins, spin me around to face her, check the "do" and pull a couple of tendrils loose.
She smiled at her own work and I turned back to the mirror a little stunned. "Wow, thank you!" I did look quite different, a little older maybe.
Eric tapped on the door before opening it, I skipped back a step so he could see the new me. He didn't say anything to me, just nodded then addressed Pam. "Go to the front door and make sure Victoria gets straight in. There will be no need to keep her standing in the cold." Pam nodded at Eric and left.
Eric turned back to me. "Very nice, my pet." He slipped his arms around my waist and lowered his head to mine.
Damn! "Sorry, Pam says you can't kiss me!"
Eric arched an eyebrow.
"You would probably end up wearing more of this lipstick than me." I explained in a hurry.
He hummed and changed direction to kiss my neck a little. I stroked his arm, wishing we could just go home now.
"Longshadow knows what is happening, he will make sure you have no problems at the bar. You won't be there long. I'll beckon you over, we will sit together a while and leave. You know the word to stop me if you are uncomfortable?" I nodded. "I might not be able to stop immediately, I have to make it look like it's my idea to stop, but I will stop." Eric smiled making my stomach flutter with desire rather than nerves. "We will have fun tonight you and I, cause a little scene, entertain the customers and go home."
I smiled back, hoping I didn't seem too edgy. "Let's get the show on the road!" I whispered as I stood on tiptoe to kiss his ear.
I had to walk from the back door to the front door around the side of Fangtasia. Not much fun in Manolo's but it was at least dry. It was a little chilly for a short, leather skirt and silver vest so I tried to walk fast. Eric watched me from the shadows making sure I got to Pam's view without incident.
There were only five people in the queue ahead of me. Three men in jeans and t-shirts who Pam was dealing with and two Gothic looking girls in matching rubber dresses and thigh high boots. I had to admit the girls looked warmer in those boots than I did my heels, maybe they weren't as daft as they looked.
As I approached Pam stopped what she was saying to the men and began. "My apologies, gentlemen, but it's ladies first tonight." She managed to sound like she didn't mean either the apology or the gentlemen comment.
I glanced at the two girls, did Pam mean that they should they go before me? Pam understood my hesitation. "Oh, they are not ladies." As if to prove her point one of the girls began kissing the others neck, while groping each other. Pam ignored the little display, turning back to me. She lifted my chin with her finger. "So nice to see a new face, in you go, Sweetie. I am sure you will enjoy your evening."
The men had been distracted by the show the two girls had put on but as I went inside I heard them complaining. "How come she didn't pay?" "You didn't check her ID!"
"Gentlemen, if you looked as good her then you would get in free too. Now pay up or fuck off."
I smiled, taking a little courage from the compliment and amused at Pam's people skills.
The first thing I noticed was that Eric wasn't in the bar yet.
Fangtasia was certainly quieter than the first time I had been here. I was relieved there wasn't much of an audience to play for, but then a little worried that absolutely no one would miss the show because nothing else was happening to distract them.
Longshadow wasn't serving anyone. I asked for a coke. He kept his voice low. "You can't just have a soft drink. Wouldn't look right in here." He raised his voice a little. "Large Vodka and coke coming right up, Sweetie." He poured a good couple of inches of vodka in a tall glass, topped off with an inch or so of coke, ice, a slice and a couple of thin straws. I couldn't drink that! Apart from the probability of getting drunk, it would be way too strong for me, I'd probably choke on it and look like an idiot.
"Try it." Longshadow requested.
I hesitated and he glanced pointedly over his shoulder and back at the glass. On the back of the bar was a tall glass with a clear liquid in. Vodka? I took a tiny sip from my drink. It was just coke. "Thank you." I said, meaning it.
"On the house, Sweetie." Now all I had to do was stop him and Pam from calling me Sweetie and I actually might feel comfortable around them one day.
The three men from the queue had finally been let in. They looked about them as if they were new to Fangtasia and then came straight to the bar. I assumed this wasn't the first bar they had been in tonight. I stepped to the side, away from them a little, as Longshadow served them three bottled beers. "Honey, can we get you a drink?"
"Thank you," I replied politely. "I just got this one."
They drank their beers, looking me up and down. I could sense Longshadow not too far away, close enough for me to feel safe.
Another one of them tried. "So what is a nice girl like you doing in a dump like this."
I smiled at the cliché and shrugged. "I just wanted to try somewhere new." I offered.
"Why don't ya try someone new and dance with me?"
"No thank you."
"You're not holding out for some fucking Vamp are you? C'mon. Dance!" Saying that with a vampire a couple of feet away was pretty dumb. He showed how truly dumb he was by making a grab for my arm.
Longshadow took a tight hold on his forearm before he could touch me. "Touch one of our customers and you could lose an arm. Maybe two."
I saw tears forming in the man's eyes, his friends took a step back.
"Why don't you finish your drinks at a table?" Longshadow suggested and let him go. The three nodded and backed up.
I thought I heard a mumble of "I bet she's a frigid little bitch anyway." Nice.
With my hands shaking a little I turned my back on them and murmured "Thanks" to Longshadow.
He replied quietly. "Would have kicked them out but I want to see their faces when you start your show." He went to serve the two girls from the queue.
I smiled to myself, wondering if the three of them would be calling me frigid in ten minutes time.
When Eric entered I saw him reflected in the mirror behind the bar. He looked around like he owned the place, well I suppose he did. He and Longshadow exchanged nods and then Eric gave me a long, appraising look up and down. I allowed myself to do the same to him, enjoying what I saw. My throat was a little dry, I took a sip of coke and watched him sit in his throne and take out his phone. A waitress practically ran over to offer him a bottle of blood, he waved her away.
Eric was texting, or maybe pretending to, so I supposed I wasn't needed quite yet. Like the rest of the bar I watched him. It seemed to be getting busier, was word getting around the fangbangers that he was there?
Eric eventually put his phone in his pocket and surveyed the bar. I took a quick drink and tried to calm myself. Excitement and nerves ran through me in equal measure.
His eyes finally concentrated on me, he gave a wry smile and beckoned me with two fingers. Excitement beat nerves hands down. I made myself walk slowly towards him, I wanted to run but managed not to. I kept my eyes on him but could see in my peripheral vision that I had the attention of several bar patrons who realised where I was heading. I took the two steps to his throne without wobbling too much on my slightly shaky legs and high heels.
"You should not be sitting alone, would you like to sit with me?"
"Yes, please." I whispered.
Eric slipped his hand to my waist, I hesitated then put my hand on his shoulder for balance and sat in his lap with my back to one arm of the throne. His hand stayed around my back, snaking down to brush against my bottom through the leather skirt. I kept one hand on his shoulder to keep me calm and put the other in my lap, straightening the pleats demurely, although with my bare legs over the other arm of his throne I probably didn't look too demure.
"I believe this is the first time you have visited Fangtasia?" Although I doubted any human in the bar could here us Eric was keeping up the pretence of the game.
"And do you like my bar?"
"This is your bar?" I smiled getting more into the game and playing dumb. As if anyone in here didn't know who's bar this was! "It's very nice, lots of interesting people."
"I am pleased you like it. I will make sure you have a good time tonight." And when Eric promised a good time then I was one hundred percent sure that I would have a very good time.
Eric didn't usually need to occupy his hands, if he wanted to sit or stand still doing absolutely nothing then he did. But tonight he was playing a part. He took a lock of my hair and twirled it around his finger as if it was the most fascinating thing he had ever done. I knew he was playing the game but I couldn't take my eyes off him, when he let go of my hair and stroked one finger along my jawline I struggled not to shake.
His eyes held mine, maybe the audience thought I was glamoured. I wasn't, this was just what Eric did to me.
His hand moved lower. He ran his fingers along my collarbone, paused under my chin for a second and ran his fingers back to my shoulder. I licked my lips waiting for his next move. From my shoulder his hand moved lower, trailing down my arm, as he brushed past my breast I sighed. His hand moved back up to caress me, his thumb teasing my hardening nipple through the silver material. I remember distinctly thinking that I shouldn't have bothered with the bra.
His arm dropped across my lap, he drew circles with his index finger on my bare thigh. Then moved to tickle the back of my knee. I gasped, almost giggled, surprised and was unable to stop smiling as his hand moved to the outside of my calve. He looked away from my eyes for the first time since I joined him to watch his progress down my leg. Stretching down a little he held my ankle with his cool fingers, before he slipped his hand to my other leg and caressed the inside of my calve.
His fingers had finished the trip down the outside of one leg so they returned slowly along the inside of my other. He caressed the whole of my thigh when he reached it, scratching a little with his blunt nails. I took a sharper gasp of breath but silently pleaded for more.
Eric would usually tease me mercilessly at this point, not tonight. We had an audience to please. He slowly ran the back of one finger against my silver panties. The panties were getting pretty damp. I couldn't have actually spoken but I managed a slight "Ahh".
There was a sharp noise from the bar. I froze, Eric looked up and snarled. His fangs displaying his displeasure at being disturbed. I found out later that a tourist who had been watching us stood a little too quickly and knocked her chair over. She had grabbed the arm of the man she was with and left in a hurry.
I didn't take my eyes off Eric, I didn't need to see anyone else. Only he existed.
Eric's eyes returned to mine, they seemed to ask me a question and I wasn't saying no.
His fingers and thumb slipped under the panties, I sighed with pleasure and concentrated on his face while he moved in a familiar motion. Thumb teasing my nub, fingers slipping inside. His lips moved to my ear. "Dirty girl."
I managed one word. "Yours."
"My dirty girl." He corrected himself.
My leg might have slipped, I might have moved it but my foot touched the floor, opening myself to him and probably to the audience. My free hand wanted to touch him, I could feel him hard beneath me so touching him was not an option. I moved my hand down to his, grazing my nails on the back of his hand, everyone in that bar knew I wanted this
My hand slipped to the inside of my thigh I grazed my nails there too, leaving three red track marks. I was so close to my release but had hardly any breath to make a sound when I reached it. I gave a small gasp and shuddered raising my centre to his hand.
His eyes watched me greedily, I took my eyes from his to tilt my head back offering my neck. I realised too late that he shouldn't bite me here and I really shouldn't be offering. I hoped he didn't think I was teasing, I didn't want him to think I was being cruel, offering what he couldn't take. Relief flooded through me as Eric winked, murmuring "Later". He kissed my throat and gathered me to him. Quicker than I could comprehend he was moving through to the back door of the bar with my legs wrapped around his waist.
Pam opened the door for him and over his shoulder I saw her wink at me as she closed the door. At last I was alone with him.
Anyone think they are just going to go straight home now? I hope to get the next chapter out quickly but I won't make any promises because I am not good at keeping them.
I have moved the story to True Blood rather than Southern Vampire Mysteries so there are a few new readers. Hello to you all. I'll probably switch between the two categories from now on.
Thank you so much to everyone who reviews – You are a fabulous motivation!
Happy New Year to Everyone – I hope the coming year is everything you could hope for.
30th December 2010 – FanOTheFang on twitter