Title: Rehearsals

Pen Name: LoveFangs91

Beta Name: campyrs and Trajedy99 (thanks guys!)

Virgin Writer: No

Disclaimer: I do not own the Southern Vampire Mysteries in any way, that belongs to the wonderful Charlaine Harris, the story of Cinderella or the pantomime adaptation.

Teaser: What happens when Sookie finds her Prince Charming? Well it's a Viking vampire of course and it doesn't quite go like a fairy tale, but it's definitely more fun.

Inspiration: My inspiration for this story, as I mentioned above, is Cinderella, both the Disney animated movie version and two pantomime's that I've been in where I oddly enough starred as Prince Charming.

Other: As i'm sure you all know this is my entry for the Valentine's Fae Tales Contest. Please head over the contest/community hosted by blackdeadorchids. The link to the community where you can read all entries and then vote for your favourite is ht tp:/ww w. fan fiction. net/co mmu nity/ Valen tines_ Fae_ Tales_ Contes t/86 940 /14 /0 /1/ and the main voting address is; ht tp : / ww w . fan f iction . net /u / 260 9442 / Vale ntines _ F ae _ T ales

I'll leave it there except to say, thanks for reading!


First Rehearsal

"How the hell did I get involved in this?" I grumbled to myself as I reluctantly took a seat in the large Shreveport amateur dramatics theatre. All around me vampires were milling around, some seated but the majority were standing around, waiting patiently for the director to arrive. I knew the exact answer to my own question, it even had a name; Sophie Anne Le Clerq. I'd received a formal invitation, which was actually a command, just under a week ago. Actually I'd enjoyed the invitation because they'd sent my favourite vampire, Bubba, to tell me in person. I'd even invited him inside and I had to admit it had been an entertaining evening; I'd offered him a bottle of synthetic blood since he'd been in a good mood, humming his old tunes although I was a little fearful for poor old Tina.

"Sit down," a booming voice shouted across the hall, making every vampire quickly take a seat. I'd never seen this vampire before but you couldn't dispute he was built for a life in the spotlight. Tonight he wore an honest to God lilac frock coat complete with a white, frilly starched shirt underneath that he'd matched with black leggings and knee length pirate boots. He was graceful and nimble, even by vampire standards, to the point where I wasn't even envious; that amount of grace in a human would just be ridiculous. "Tonight you will be getting your parts, get a chance to read your scripts together before a real rehearsal on Wednesday night. You will have all learnt your lines by then." Considering it was already Sunday, unless I was cast as villager number five, like I was hoping, I had no chance.

I was the only human in the room which was fantastic for my telepathy; I didn't have to concentrate on my shields at all, meaning I could relax and be myself. I'd been hanging around with vampires for so long their presence didn't usually bother me; the only real problem was that I didn't really know any of them. Sure I'd seen them around but I could only remember having spoken to three of them previously.

"Okay, we'll start at the top and work down." It was at this point I realised I was missing a pivotal piece of information that the others must have known so, even feeling slightly stupid I raised my hand. "Yes?" He seemed genuinely surprised that someone was even asking him a question, let alone human.

"Which pantomime are we doing?" I kept my voice strong, confident as I tried to ignore all the faces that had turned to stare at me.

"Cinderella. Now as for parts our dear Cinders will be played by Miss Stackhouse." My stomach dropped, plummeted would be a better description as soon as I heard my name called. There would be no chorus part for me; no, I would be the leading lady. I couldn't keep the groan in as I stood up to accept my script.

As soon as I regained my seat I tentatively opened the first page, dreading what I would find. My dread quickly turned into fear as I saw the extent of my highlighted lines and it only got worse as I flipped through, my only consolation was that I wasn't supposed to be taking part in either the sing along or the behind you routine.

"Our dashing Prince Charming..." My head snapped up at those words as the tale of Cinderella and her love story flitted through my head; this could either make or break my time at rehearsals. If I had a good Prince he might actually live up to his name and help me with my part. "Will be played by our own Eric Northman." I scanned the room for the vampire; I'd heard of him, he was even my boss at times. Hell I spoke to him all the time on the phone and I had a rather nice calendar of him in my bedroom but I'd never actually met him, or seen him in the flesh.

To my astonishment I found a rather imposing vampire standing up; he'd been one of the vampires that I'd noticed earlier when I first walked in. He was tall, I would only come up to his shoulders and I was average height, well average height for a woman anyway, but that wasn't the most striking thing about him. He had a mane of flowing blond hair, even paler than mine, that trailed down past his shoulders. It looked surprisingly soft; it was shocking, the strange impulse I had to run my hands through it to see if it was as gorgeous as it appeared. The best way to describe him was simply drop dead gorgeous.

"Thank-you Carlos," he said clearly and I knew then that he was built to be on stage; his voice was easily heard without it being loud and he had a presence, the kind that demanded your attention even when he wasn't doing anything particularly interesting. It was at that moment as my eyes scanned back up his body after my assessment of him that I met startlingly blue eyes staring back at me. They were intelligent and beautiful in their uniqueness. They were also full of amusement; he knew I'd been checking him out. A small, smirking smile flashed across his lips and it was just for me. What surprised me the most was, that I grinned back.

There was no way that this experience was going to be dull, it just remained to be seen whether I would survive it in one piece and exactly how much fun I would have.

Second Rehearsal

Over the past few days I'd been diligently reading over my script at every available minute to try and get even a few of my lines learnt like the director had asked for. I'd succeeded to some extent; I had the first three pages memorised which was some twenty five lines plus a couple of little appearances later on that didn't really require much speech on my part. It was only due to Sam, my boss and friend, who'd been running lines with me during breaks at work that I'd been able to learn that much.

Tonight I'd almost dressed up for the rehearsal, but the thought of how long it could take and how much dancing I could be doing prevented me from doing anything too special. I was wearing my good butt jeans teamed with cute flats and my white tee had a scoop neckline, however I was wearing a vest top underneath so that it couldn't be considered immodest by any stretch of the imagination. I also didn't want to tease a roomful of vampires since I knew for a fact that not all of them had stopped hunting since vampires had comes out of the coffin several years ago.

When I'd arrived there was approximately half of the vampires already situated but there was a new addition; a small, yet fully represented orchestra.

"We thought we'd go more impressive than a simple piano. They will be performing the music for the chorus' singing. What do you think?"

"That it's suitably impressive." I didn't turn around to see the man who'd spoken to me until I'd finished speaking; I'd been too engrossed in taking in the orchestra that was setting up as best they could in the moderate theatre. When I saw who'd spoken to me I was shocked, it must have shown on my face because he grinned, showing a hint of fangs. It didn't help matters that the only thing I could think of was the calendar in my bedroom turned permanently to December which meant I could see this man's glorious butt, shown in full view, whenever I wanted. It wasn't as tasteless as I make it sound. It was the Fangtasia publicity calendar, Pam had given it to me two years ago for Christmas saying that she thought I'd appreciated the winter months. Eric's image had him laying on his front, down on a bed with jet black sheets, he was completely naked with the top sheet gripped in his hand by his side. The sheet cut across his upper thigh of one leg before dropping down to the knee of the other. You couldn't see his face at all; it was completely covered by almost white blond hair.

"Sookie Stackhouse, it is a pleasure to finally meet you. We seem to have quite successfully evaded each other for years." He smiled at me again and I found myself smiling back easily. It was strange to finally be meeting him; I'd been working with him as my sheriff for a little over three years, I knew his vampire child and second in command, Pam, very well, even considering her a friend. Hell I'd even been to Fangtasia, I just happened to always go on nights he wasn't working or was elsewhere on business. Not a week went by without us speaking on the phone, never just for pleasure they were always business orientated such as that he would be asking me to do a telepathy reading on his new accountant or something like that. Except recently the calls had been becoming longer as we simply talked more. For someone I'd just met, especially considering he was a vampire, I knew him quite well.

"Eric," I replied happily yet a little awkwardly. In general vampires didn't do body contact on greeting, even with a human, unless they knew them. I was in a strange situation and I wasn't entirely sure what to do. If he'd been human I wouldn't have even thought about it, I would have gone straight in for the hug.

"How is my Cinders doing tonight?" In person his accent wasn't as strong, which I was actually a little disappointed about, it was one of the many things that made his phone calls more interesting, even if we were talking purely shop. I'd discovered quite early on by asking him directly, that was the best way to approach anything with him, that he'd grown up in Scandinavia and that he was an honest to god Viking. I'd never asked him, I couldn't work up the courage, if that included pillaging, plundering and raping.

"I'm doing very well thank-you Prince Charming." I did a little curtsy at his point, earning a slight chuckle. "How is my Prince?" This earned a bigger chuckle since we both knew that vampires couldn't have variation in their health.

"Your hair looks good up." With that line he disappeared from my side as quickly as he'd arrived which left me smiling stupidly to myself.

I took a seat near the front of the theatre; when we weren't on stage we were supposed to sit in front of the stage and watch, only closer to the performance would we be made to sit in the dressing rooms back stage or, in the wings until our turn arrived. Soon enough the director flounced onto stage stating that we would be performing a complete run through of everything tonight to see what needed the most work, he actually allowed me to keep my script although the vampires had to perform from memory. So at the very start of rehearsal I found myself centre stage, surrounded by vampires, reading out my lines and trying to get into character. What surprised me was that I wasn't the least bit nervous;it actually seemed to come naturally. The sad thing was that it was probably due to my telepathy and having to act through every day life to everyone except my closest friends.

When it came time for me to go up on stage for my Cinderella transformation I'd been given a mask, a prop the director said that I simply had to get used to wearing so might as well start now. I'm not entirely sure why he bothered; it was only an eye mask that covered my forehead and perhaps half an inch of my cheeks, that was until I put it on. I discovered that it completely took away my peripheral vision which was actually quite discombobulating. So it was tentatively that I walked on stage with my script almost obscuring my face so that I could actually read it, to have my first dance with my prince.

"Excuse me miss, but you seem to be worried. Is there anything I can do to help?" Eric's tone was deep and he was letting his accent sound through, slightly more exaggerated than was natural but it really did work for his role.

"I'm not entirely sure that I should be here," I replied and it wasn't until after I'd spoken that I realised my script was now by my side and I was staring into deep blue eyes.

"Stay, please. You are dressed for the occasion and I really want you to stay. I haven't yet had the chance to dance with a beautiful lady." The line was pure English pantomime cheesiness but nevertheless it made my heart flutter and I had to berate myself; it wasn't Eric speaking and he wasn't speaking to me anyway, we were two characters exchanging dialogue. He took a step toward me so that our bodies were only a few inches apart, from there his hand grabbed my waist gently, pulling me even further into his body while his other took mine so that he could lead. It was a real effort to control my breathing so that I wouldn't pant and to calmly raise my hand to rest upon his shoulder, not to mention to restrain the urge I had to run my fingers though his hair that was swept back into a pony tail.

"Now my night is perfect." He seemed to whisper into my ear just for me although I knew the line was clear enough to be heard at the back of the room; vampires could do wonderful things with their voices. I'd been terrified that I'd forgotten how to dance like this, my Gran had taught me when I was a youngster and it wasn't exactly a skill I practised frequently. I needn't have worried; my feet seemed to have a memory of their own and, Eric was an excellent leader. We spun around the floor, never missing a beat or having to look at our feet, rising and falling with the orchestra in the make shift pit. "Your heart is racing," he murmured, this time it really was just for me and his breath tickled the sensitive skin behind my ear.

It was the turn before the final outward spin that would climax with a dip that the 'clock' began to toll midnight and I had to make my escape. My hand dropped from his muscular shoulder as though I'd been scorched and I stepped backward instead of to the side, then I quickly moved away, leaving the hand that was clutched in his in contact with him for as long as possible to show Cinderella's longing. Hell, if I was being honest it was showing my longing too; that had been the best dance I'd had in years.

I fled from the stage, listening to the director yelling my instructions, "Faster! Double time steps to the music! Now trip!" I did my best to do a staged trip, which didn't really work; nevertheless I knew I'd be able to at least lose a sling back shoe without any difficulty when the time came.

I didn't look back at the stage at all; instead I focused forward and made my way back to the main hall to take a seat along the side aisle near the back where the shadows consumed the chairs. It was only when I'd regained my seat that I realised I had no idea what had happened to my script; I must have left it on stage somewhere. "Just great," I thought to myself. Without it I only had the basic idea about when I was next due on stage and I didn't know my lines. I put those thoughts to the back of my mind and relaxed back into the cushions as much as I was able so that I could watch the stage and think about having that gorgeous vampire so close to me.

"You dropped this." I had no idea where the voice had come from, I'd not been aware of anyone drawing close to me, but there was suddenly a script being brandished in front of my face.

"Thanks," I told Eric quietly as he sunk down gracefully into the seat beside me.

"How do you know how to dance? I did not know that any young people knew anymore. A lost art." I didn't know how he'd learned; it wouldn't have been something he'd learned growing up.

"My Gran taught me, I can't believe I managed to remember as much as I did. I thought I would be a lot rustier."

"Wait for the challenge of doing that in full costume and for the final dance. Are there any more surprises about you Miss Stackhouse? I thought I knew you rather well, but it turns out you are most intriguing for a breather." He flashed me grin, wide enough to show his fangs which looked like they'd run down a little.

"I'm full of surprises, there's a lot you don't know." With that I got up to go and get ready for my next scene which was coming up.

Third Rehearsal

Rushing into the drama hall I tried to make as little noise as possible, which when everyone else in the room has supernatural hearing doesn't work out so well. Even though I couldn't hear my footfalls, since I was tiptoeing, so much it seemed that everyone turned around to look at my rather flustered entrance.

"About time Miss Stackhouse, you're due on stage." The director reprimanded me as I walked past him and I only had time to drop my bag onto a spare chair before making my way onto stage. I recognised the scene instantly, it had grown since last week as there were actual props in use this time, well there was a regal looking chair positioned at the centre and a pillow holding a gorgeous shoe, thankfully not made of glass, was positioned just to the side. I quickly took my place in the chair, and actually gave myself a mental pat on the back because I knew I had these particular lines memorised.

"You are?" The Prince's aid asked in a rather pompous tone.

"Cinderella, this is my step mother." It was a little odd to be walking in on the middle of the scene.

"Really, must you even bother trying? She never attended the ball; she was busy at the house all evening. Why don't you try Adriana again, it very nearly fit last time."

"Sorry ma'am but I want every lady in the kingdom to try on this shoe, whether you say she was at the ball or not. Surprises are held by many." It was Eric's line and I glanced up at him; his hair was tied back once again in a low pony tail at the base of his neck and this time he'd foregone the customary leather jacket, leaving him with only his muscle tank top. His arms were gloriously bare, showing off the toned muscles that rippled every time he gestured while delivering a line. I had to swallow to try and get myself under control.

"May I?" Eric asked me and I nodded. At least it wasn't my own pathetic response; it was actually the scripted reply. He moved across the stage, his presence commanding everyone's attention so that I had no doubt that when the time came for an audience to fill the hall all eyes would be on him. He knelt down in front of me, somehow never turning his back to the audience and picked up the shoe from the pillow. From there he gently grasped my calf, raising my leg slightly so that he could pull off the simple black pump that I was wearing since I'd come straight from Merlotte's. I was also eternally grateful to Sam for choosing this week to start us wearing our summer outfits in lieu of the unseasonably warm weather we were experiencing because it meant I could feel Eric's cool skin against my heated flesh without the layer of fabric acting as a barrier. I'd never loved my shorts as much. With expert fingers he slid the new shoe, a gorgeous red three inch heel onto my foot. It fit perfectly which actually surprised me since I couldn't remember ever trying these on before. Although I wasn't really too interested in thinking too deeply about trying on shoes since he still had one hand lightly touching my leg in a way that I could only deem as intimate.

"It fits!" A chorus of voices broke out among the gathered vampires, all using a different tone to portray their character's feelings.

"It fits, I have found my woman." I knew that hadn't been the exact line, it was definitely an Eric phrase. It was still surreal to hear him say it. He stood up, grabbing my hand as he did so to pull me up with him. I stumbled slightly until I was pressed into his chest, one hand resting on the muscles of his pecs for balance, his hands grabbing my waist. "Call off the search, I do not need to look any further. I have found her, my Cinderella." I gazed up at him as he spoke, knowing what was coming next. I had given up hope of trying to control my reactions; my heart was pounding and my breathing was at least a little erratic. Slowly he turned back to gaze down at me, his eyes glinted with mischief that I couldn't place. Then he started to bow his head, closing the distance between us with an almost painful slowness.

"Okay, we can move onto the finale, we haven't covered that at all yet." I turned around to stare at the director for stopping us before I'd gotten my much wanted kiss. "We can't have you two kissing yet, this is supposed to be your first. If you've never kissed before the reaction to it will be real on opening night."

I turned back to Eric, only needing to move my head a few inches. His eyes were truly sparkling and there was a smile playing on his lips; he knew that had been about to happen and I wouldn't have put it past him to have given the director the idea just to tease me. "Just to put you on until later lover," he whispered to me and graced my cheek with a kiss before stepping back, leaving me wondering what had just passed in the past two minutes.

The rest of the rehearsal managed to go by without incident; I didn't have anything else embarrassing happen to me and none of the scenes I practiced actually involved direct contact with Eric although, he did give me a knowing smile every time our eyes crossed.

Fourth Rehearsal

I made sure I was on time for the next rehearsal, no way was I walking into a room full of vampires that had already starting practising again. It was quite lucky I was so early because I'd only been inside the building for about thirty seconds when I was pulled to one side by another human. She didn't have to say anything for me to know that she was the seamstress in charge of costumes and that she was ridiculously happy to have gotten this job; it paid very well indeed apparently.

"Hello dear, now can you just stand on there while I take a few measurements?"She didn't bother with introductions, not that I actually needed one since I'd gotten all the information and more I wanted from her brain. I hadn't expected her to be here so my shields had been fairly relaxed; no point spending a lot of energy maintaining them when I was only going to be in a room of people I couldn't read anyway. I stood on the little podium that she indicated and waited quietly while she took several measurements.

To pass the time I observed the room; it was a little girl's dressing up heaven. There were racks upon racks of dresses piled into the rather small room, even a rail dedicated to the men's clothing and shelves at the back full of shoe boxes. In the far corner was a make-up desk, complete with a startling array of cosmetics and the small shelves that framed the mirror were decorated with jewellery.

"Okay, thank-you. Do you mind trying on a couple of costumes for me? I have some that should be the right size and suitable, but I need to make sure they don't need any final adjustments."

"That's fine." No sooner had the last syllable left my lips that she handed me two dresses. She then turned around to write everything down in a little book that already seemed quite full. I stepped down from the podium, laid the dresses down over a partition and began to get changed. The first dress was what I assumed was for the ball, the pivotal deciding part in Cinderella's life that seals her future. It was a little strange for a ball gown, seeming rather modern for the pantomime setting; the back was a criss crossing of straps that started at my ribs a deep pink but faded to a cream the general tone of human skin. The rest of the dress was that deep pink. The front was tight, hugging my curves with extra material across the bust to add modesty and it fell to the ground where it trailed; it would only be the right length when I was wearing heels. The shoe that had been used during the last rehearsal wouldn't match this dress or the other, so I had to assume that it had been a temporary prop until a real pair could be found.

"Okay," I told Irene, picking her name from her head.

"Good." She then shooed me back up onto the podium and began to prod me in places I didn't want to be prodded, pinning the material into a more suitable shape until it fitted me perfectly. It was gorgeous; I just wasn't sure whether it was right for the ball. "Hm, we'll see about the other one. Next dress." She nodded her head once in confirmation of her opinion and turned back around to her make shift desk, I think it was her idea of giving me some privacy to change. Just as I was about to unzip the dress the door opened, revealing a devilishly handsome Eric with his hair loose, framing his face.

"Irene, you requested me?"

"Ah yes, Eric. I just wanted to give you your costumes. Take care of them, don't let anything happen to them!" Her words held a warning and an authoritative tone I would have scoffed at if I had been in a better situation; I had a feeling no one really told Eric what to do. A set of clothing, already wrapped up in a dress bag was handed to him and then she disappeared out of the door, saying she'd be back in a minute. She's left a tin of pins in her car that she needed to retrieve; she was also giving us some privacy. Were we really that obvious?

"Hello Sookie," he greeted me with his eyes roaming over my body unashamedly, and I had to admit that I'd done the same thing when he'd walked in. He wasn't wearing his customary head to toe black tonight, quite; his t-shirt was a deep midnight blue, the short sleeves threatening to give way at any moment due to his muscles, his jeans were tight and black, clinging to his body in all the right places. His foot wear was the normal pair of motorbike books. The blue shirt really made his eyes stand out even more than normal. I liked the effect.

"Hi Eric," I replied. This time it was me with a mischievous smile playing on my lips. Feeling confident, I gripped the zipper and pulled it down, letting the few thin straps that actually crossed over the top of my shoulders fall down my arms so that the dress pooled at my feet quickly in one smooth motion. It left me standing on the podium in nothing but my underwear. Internally I clapped happily at my choice to wear the powder blue lace set that I'd treated myself to after getting paid for my last vampiric assignment. I watched his roving eyes carefully; he scanned my body slowly, taking particular care over my chest and long legs. He actually did a second take on my chest, a gesture I barely contained my giggle at.

I grabbed my next dress without getting down, a pale blue corset type thing and stepped into it so that I could pull it up my body. Again it was a side zip. Even after zipping it remained loose, so badly that if I was to let go it would fall down. It was then that I realised it was an actual corset with ribbons for adjustments, the zip just made quick costume changes easier once it was to your correct size.

"Would you like some help lover?" It didn't go unnoticed the name that he'd called me, or that it was the second time he'd used it and it set the muscles low in my stomach tightening at the thoughts it conjured.

"Please." He sent me a quick grin showing his fangs had run down at some point in the past couple of seconds. I grinned back broadly, knowing that it was a reaction to seeing me. He walked past me to stand behind me and it was a testament to how very tall he was that his eyes were perfectly level with mine when I was stood on top of the podium. He scooped up my hair, letting his fingers trail across my skin as he placed it over my shoulder, leaving my back exposed. Glancing in the mirror just to the side I could see him grabbing two thin, yet strong, ribbons that crossed the back of the corset, threaded through unseen loops. Carefully he began to tighten the strings, relaxing as he need to. "How do you know how to do that?"

"You learn things over the centuries. I made it a point to know how to unfasten every possible garment a woman could wear, I happen to learn how to refasten a few. Corsets are a particular favourite of mine, they show off the feminine figure exquisitely." As he spoke I saw him take another lingering look at my figure.

I watched his fingers work nimbly, so that he was finished quicker that I could have imagined. "Definitely go with the traditional Cinderella." He murmured quietly and he stepped back, picked up his clothing to stride from the room, leaving me whirling.

When I looked in the mirror I knew his assessment was correct; this was the dress I had to wear for the ball scene. The corset was covered in a fine lace and beads that glinted in the light whenever I moved. The neckline was quite modestly cut, giving only a hint of cleavage. The body of the skirt was met at the corset and fanned out slightly, the lace and beading continued in petal shapes until mid thigh. It fell until about an inch off the floor; short enough to show off my shoes when I had the heels on. This really was the dress.

"Oh, wonderful! Barely any adjustments." Irene said loudly as she walked back into the room with a bag that presumably contained the tin she'd gone to search for.

I was grinning to myself as I got redressed into my normal clothes, I was actually sad to see that last dress go and I hoped my other costumes would contain a corset after what Eric had done. I was also positive that I could handle whatever the rehearsal threw at me. It was a good job I'd started off in a brilliant mood because the rehearsal was brutal; we went through every scene, song and dance, repeating every one that had even a small problem. It was also full of glances and lingering touches with Eric that definitely helped to keep my mood up. I couldn't wait to find out what all this flirting would result in; I knew we would definitely not end up back to just telephone calls; we had too much chemistry for that.

Dress Rehearsal

The night had finally arrived for the dress rehearsal, the last run through before the real thing the following night; to say I was beginning to feel the pressure of being the only human cast member and the nerves of performing was an understatement. It wasn't helping that I was anxious about seeing Eric again, bats were stirring in my stomach; it felt like the flirting between us was some form of prolonged foreplay. So much so, that I was having a reaction to the mere thought of him and every time we brushed against each other during our scenes goose bumps rose across my skin.

"Everybody in places for curtain!" The director yelled loudly so that everyone in the changing rooms could hear him. I set down my script, I'd been obsessively reading it since I'd arrived and jogged to the stage to get in position for the start.

The curtain moved to the sides swiftly, leaving me centre stage, the villagers surrounding me and the bright lights beating down on me so that all I could see was a blinding white light. I froze in place even though I knew I had to move, it was my line that started the entire show. I couldn't help but think about all the people that would be staring back at me in twenty four hours and I wouldn't be able to see them at all, I wouldn't be able to see the judgement on their faces. I would be able to hear it though; no matter how hard I shielded and even surrounded by all the vampires, stray thoughts, especially from the broadcasters would still make it through.

"Sookie." I didn't have to see Eric to know that it was him that had said my name, his voice quiet, whispering, yet still managing to carry to me from his position in the wings where he was watching. It worked to snap me out of my panicked freeze.

"Good evening," I greeted the vampires gathered around me, while also managing to incorporate the audience with a sweep of my arm. It was a simple line yet it set the entire thing in motion. I let out the breath I hadn't even realised I'd been holding and tried to relax as much as possible into the scene.

It was only when I was standing at the back of the stage, my stage family doing all the talking while I pretended to just be a maid that I had time to inspect my dress. It was actually very well put together even though it was made to look like rags. It was actually a corset looking top, which I was very happy about, without the bones or breathless feeling that accompanied a true corset. There were some shoulder straps; lined with elastic and too much material so that they puffed out slightly. The skirt was made entirely of different strips of material, all of various shades of brown and red so that the top part was full but threading out as it lowered since the pieces were of varying lengths. To me it meant that when I walked it swished around my knees yet I was still in no danger of flashing anyone. I liked the dress and the simple strappy sandals that came with it, even if I didn't look as fancy as the other people on the stage.

"Where is the rest of your costume?" The director yelled loudly, making me jump and stare forward as though it was me that had been caught doing something bad. I'd hoped that my inspection would just come across as me minding my own business. When I actually focused forward I found that Carlos was yelling at Eric who had just made his first entrance. The glare that Eric shot him would have stopped anyone in their tracks and had the director stepping back carefully. "This was supposed to be a full dress rehearsal." He'd continued speaking a much more normal tone with his volume no louder than that used in normal conversation.

"Irene said to save a couple of items for the show, I'm doing as she said. Never question me." The sentence was a menacing growl, a threat that Carlos should never question his actions again. The director nodded quickly and waved his hands, signalling that we could continue. I went back to inspecting, I was only required to stand in this scene as I didn't have any lines, it was just this time I was inspecting Eric. My jaw may have dropped slightly when I first got a full glimpse of him between the people standing in front of me.

He was wearing what I could only describe as leggings, I couldn't tell what the material actually was but it clung to his legs like a second skin showing off absolutely everything he had and I mean everything. I did an internal happy dance before I scooped my mind out of the gutter. He was wearing horse riding boots that came up to just below his knees and I couldn't help but think that he could ride me anytime he wanted. Apparently picking my brain out of the gutter didn't work. His shirt was brilliantly white and ruffled, very ruffled. It was tucked into the top of his leggings, the bulging it would cause hidden by a wide, black leather belt and it was left undone, the buttons forgotten in favour of just partially wrapping it around his torso. The effect was a wonderful view of his chest, which was dappled with pale hair, courtesy of the deep v that spread down from his neck, the ruffles lining it. The cuffs were long, so that only his fingers could be seen of his hands, due to lace that trailed down. I came to the conclusion that he could pull any outfit off. I actually spent the rest of the scene ogling from the back. It was a wonderful position as I could spend the entire time staring at his glorious bottom without consequence.

When it came time for our ball scene I was nervous. I was wearing heels, a long dress, a mask that cut off all peripheral vision and my heart was pounding so hard in my chest it made it difficult to hear anything above the blood rushing through my ears.

"Hello, I don't believe we've met." It was one of my so called sisters that greeted me as I first went on stage, using the front steps so that audience could get a full view of my miraculous make over.

"Good evening. I'm..." my mind drew a complete blank as it came to finishing my line. I just couldn't think of what my alter ego's name was supposed to be, the only thing running through my head was Cinders and I knew that wasn't right.

"Elle!" Someone whispered from the wings and I was put back into pace.

"Good evening, I'm Elle." I curtseyed deeply before moving away to stand to the side of the stage, taking a sip of the champagne flutes that had were being held on a tray by a butler. I nearly gagged when I found out that it was real champagne; I'd been expecting sparkling water. The scene didn't get any better than that, never mind the rest of the dress rehearsal and I knew Carlos wasn't happy with me without him saying anything at all.

At the end of rehearsals which had gone on until well after midnight I got changed by myself in the dressing room; all the other vampires that used this area had simply stripped off, pulled on whatever they were passing off as street clothes and walked out. Meanwhile I was feeling low, which meant that I was sluggish, it was just how I reacted to feeling blue. The nerves that I had felt just before the rehearsal had disappeared to be replaced with more of an absolute terror of messing everything up tomorrow. If anything did go wrong it would be me that messed up; most of the pantomime was about memory and timing, something that the vampires had absolutely no problem with, hence the short rehearsal numbers and time. Sighing I pulled on my ankle boots and sat back in the little chair I was perched on so that I could stare into the mirror.

I looked tired, and pretty dishevelled. There were the beginnings of dark circles under my eyes from the lack of sleep I'd had over the past two weeks; I'd been keeping up my shifts at Merlotte's, making every rehearsal which always went on until late and practicing at home on top of my usual house work. At least I hadn't broken out in spots which was a very real possibility even though I was in my twenties; stress did that to me. Thankfully minor stress which I suffered through every day thanks to my telepathy didn't seem to affect me anymore it was just things like this.

I saw movement behind me, someone was moving through the shadows in the back of the room. There was only the small over head lights on, lighting up my half of the room and, with the number of costumes hung up around, there were many shadows. It wasn't too worrying; I knew it was a vampire and I also knew that whoever it was wouldn't harm me because they needed me to do this performance. Trying to come across as more human didn't really work when you killed the only human in the show. Eric finally emerged from the shadows having walked across from the door that led to the back corridors, it didn't seem like he'd actually being stooping, more walking casually.

"Hey," I stated clearly when I could see him fully in the mirror. He was staring back at me yet still moving toward the door that would lead to side stage and from there to the main hall where you could exit the building. His path changed immediately, midstride so that he made his way to stand behind me at the desk. I wasn't sure why he'd continued walking toward the exit, he'd have to have known I was there. Perhaps he could sense my mood and wasn't sure whether I would take well to being disturbed.

"Sookie," he replied back, resting his hands on my shoulders. I didn't turn around, instead I just gazed at him through the mirror. "Something is bothering you." He observed clearly. Perhaps he wasn't as indifferent to humans as he claimed.

"I'm not sure whether I can do this. It's going to be so much harder tomorrow night, so many distractions." I tapped my temple to indicate I meant my telepathy.

"You will be fine. You know your lines, your cues."

"It's just, terrifying."

"Well, you know what they say about bad dress rehearsals?" I shook my head at him. Before I'd been told about this pantomime a couple of weeks ago I knew the barest bit of knowledge about any form of performance like this. I had no idea whose idea it had been originally to perform a pantomime in Shreveport but I had a feeling it would go down very well, the children in the audience would love it. "A bad dress rehearsal means a good performance. You should only worry when the dress rehearsal goes seamlessly." I wasn't placated, however I could tell he was speaking the truth and I had to admit it at least gave me hope for tomorrow however the fear was definitely still there. "Think of something to look forward to about the performance; I'm going to kiss you senseless." I never got a chance to say anything in response; my mouth gaped at his words they had been so unexpected. He simply grinned at me briefly in the mirror and kissed the top of my head before standing back. His fingers trailed up to my neck, where they traced a few delicate circles and the next thing I knew I was sitting alone in the dressing room.

Sighing, I stood up, grabbed my things and flicked the lights out. He was right; kissing him definitely was something to look forward to and it would happen for the next three nights in a row. My only problem was that we had to keep it at least somewhat chaste since there was supposed to be children in the audience. Mind you, there was nothing to say we couldn't spend some time together after the performances. With that thought I giggled to myself happily and walked out of the hall to my car.

Opening Night

I was standing in the wings of the theatre, bouncing up and down on the balls of my feet, due to my nerves, while I waited for the call for everyone to get in their places ready for the curtain. The digital clock that was hung up on the back wall above the cabinet that stored props which were needed quickly, without time to go to the back stage rooms, declared that we only had three minutes until the start. We were going to be running precisely to time. I couldn't stop myself from watching the seconds go by in anticipation. It was a little strange but it wasn't just nerves I was feeling, I was also undeniably excited at the prospect.

"Lover," Eric whispered in my ear. I hadn't been aware he was there and I jumped back slightly which put me leaning back against his chest where I could feel his chuckle vibrating. My shields were shut down as much as possible so as not to hear the audience so I was only vaguely aware of the vampires moving about around me; I hadn't bothered to check to see if any of them were going to sneak up behind me.

"Hey, Eric." I replied back quietly, taking a couple of seconds to regain my normal breathing so that I didn't unintentionally speak louder than I needed. We were only about ten feet away from the first line of chairs in the main hall and it was packed out there. His hands made their way to my waist, distracting me from my evaluation of the audience. His fingers played with the fraying material of my tatty Cinders dress, inadvertently teasing my skin as the soft, silky material moved.

"Are you nervous?" He didn't really need to ask that question since he would be able to hear my heart thrumming loudly in my chest and no doubt he'd be able to smell the adrenaline that was coursing through my body. Vampires were predators after all, they could smell any kind of fear, and they preyed on it.

"Yes," I murmured back, turning my head so that I could see him out of the corner of my eye. Even then I could only see half of his face, blue eye sparkling in delight and enviously light blond hair tied back in a pony tail at the nape of his neck with black ribbon. My mouth was only a few inches away from his which made me think about how soon I was actually allowed, more so, scripted to kiss him.

"Do not be." I made to turn around in his arms so that I could see the rest of him but his grip tightened around my waist, holding me in place. "Oh no, you are going to wait until we are on stage, get the full affect." My interest was piqued and I tried futilely to turn around, it was of course useless with him keeping me in place. "It is nearly time." I felt his breath against my neck, just underneath my ear and it sent a small shiver down my spine. Then he kissed the skin there, open mouthed and hard enough for me to feel the hardness of his fangs digging into my flesh. "Go." He pushed me forward so that I was suddenly standing on my own. I managed to keep my balance surprisingly and I had just smoothed down my rags when there was a pat on my bottom, telling me to move. As soon as I spun around, grin already on my face to call him on it, I found that I was alone in the wings. "Damn vampire speed," I grumbled to myself as I lightly walked up the steps to the stage and made it into place with only thirty seconds until curtain.

There were a few vampires crowded around me, ready and waiting for the cue that my first line would give them. It was when I was glancing at them, imagining them saying their lines in my head that I noticed something a little odd; they all had a healthy human glow about them. It was more than just a fresh drink could do, although there was a healthy supply of True Blood in the back so that they wouldn't get too pale, it was as though they actually had a normal skin tone. My eyes widened a giggle threatened to launch itself out of my mouth when I realised they must all be wearing tanning foundation. It was amusing enough to see them wearing over the top pantomime grease paint; ruby red lips, blusher, eye shadow up to the eyebrows and eye liner with flicks out to the side. The normal bit wasn't quite as amusing since I too was wearing it.

Before I could make any form of gesture to check my suspicion the curtains began to pull back and I forced myself to remain centre stage, motionless until the spotlight lit me up. Even with my shields completely locked down I could feel the general excitement in the room unfold as the audience saw that the show was about to start. I could see little children populating the front rows, waiting impatiently for a fairy tale to come to life. Anxious parents filled the next rows back and the rest was just general members of the community, including a few important members of society such as the Mayor. Then the spotlight lit me up like the headlights on a car. Panic flooded through my body and I calculated how much trouble I would be in if I just fled from the stage; too much to even bother continuing that thought. I took a deep breath in and started the show.

I got through the first scene without any problems, the audience giggled at the puns and innuendos that littered the script, too hidden for the young ones to understand. I was due on the next scene so I stood waiting silently in the wings, watching what was happening on stage with interest; it was so much better when the actors had an audience to play with, the story really came to life and I found myself really hating my stepmother and stepsisters. It was while I was watching that Eric made his first grand entrance and good golly what an entrance it was.

He seemed to slide onto the stage his walk was that smooth until he came to rest right at the front and centre, completely showing off. He had his full costume on today and I had never thought that he could look sexier than I'd previously seen him; his current condition clearly proved me wrong. He was wearing the riding boots and leggings from yesterday, but this time there was a sword in its sheath fastened around his waist as well, the shining hilt gleamed in the bright lights. Covering the white frilly lace shirt was a tight black waistcoat of crushed velvet and golden buttons. It was fastened until just between where his nipples were, and at that point the lace of the ruffled front came spilling out, leaving the rest of his chest completely bare for me to ogle. Well, every woman to ogle really because I had no doubt where every sane person's eyes would be. Swallowing back my reaction to him I took a deep breath and stepped back on stage.

Before I knew it the scene I was most looking forward to in the first act arrived. I had changed into the dress that had caused the amazing reaction with Eric when I'd tried it on, my mask was in place, my make up was done and I was even wearing my sling back matching blue heels. I went through the greeting with my stepsisters, feeling everyone's eyes on me and yet I loved the attention for once because I wasn't me for this time. The sisters moved away and I retreated back into the corner of the stage to get the required flute of champagne; at least this time I was ready for it to be actual champagne. It was lucky too, I needed the courage the alcohol would bring and a little bit wouldn't affect my shields.

"Excuse me miss, but you seem to be worried." I turned around to face Prince Charming who had just entered the stage properly; he'd been watching my entrance from the ground, next to the audience. Calling him handsome would have been a major understatement; the boots remained, as did the leggings but the white shirt had been replaced with a slightly less fussy black button down and over the top was a deep blue frock coat that came down to his knees. I think I managed to control my reaction but my jaw definitely did want to hit the floor when I saw him. If the bright sparkle in his eyes and the closed mouth smile hiding elongated fangs was any indication he had the same reaction.

"I'm not entirely sure that I should be here." It was déjà-vu with the lines, but that was a good thing; it meant that I really did know them well enough. We stepped lightly into the centre of the stage, making room for the other couples that were due on stage any second.

"Stay, please. You are dressed for the occasion and I really want you to stay. I haven't yet had the chance to dance with a beautiful lady." Over his shoulders I saw my step sisters snort and roll their eyes; they had already had their dances. Again I knew he wasn't really speaking to me but I couldn't help but hope there was some part of him shining through to say those words to me instead of Cinderella. I nodded deeply, almost falling down into a curtsey. I didn't get the chance to stand up myself; his hands captured my waist and pulled my smoothly into his body.

One of his hands found mine while the other slid around my waist to rest on the small of my back, holding me as close to his chest as we could get while still managing to perform the choreographed movements. We danced, effortlessly, to the rise and fall of the music. "Now my night is perfect." He said the line aloud, making sure the back row could hear him and then he ducked his head slightly, speaking only to me. "Soon lover." He pulled me in just a little bit closer to him so that I could feel his erection digging into my stomach. I grinned at him, fighting the urge to bite my lip as I did so. It felt wonderful to know that it wasn't just me this exaggerated foreplay was affecting in such a way. All too soon the music was coming to an end and the clock began to chime. I pulled away from him quickly, letting my hand trail down his chest and then I spun around, running from the stage. I stumbled, not on purpose, but over all my run was successful; I didn't get injured and the shoe was left behind. Now I really couldn't wait until after the interval because that meant I finally got to kiss my vampire.

The interval was supposed to last twenty minutes and I found myself ready, waiting for the second half after just five. My nerves about the performance had disappeared entirely, replaced with a joy that I'd never expected to find on the stage. It was fun. After the first half I was pumped, meaning that my costume change out of the delightful full Cinderella ball dress was swift and I was back in my rags. The mask was now hanging over the corner of the vanity that I was using and I'd used the little bits of make-up left lying around on the top to redo some of my makeup that had been smudged by the mask. Even though I was ready it would be even longer than twenty minutes until my favourite scene, which was actually the last one before the finale and sing along; Prince Charming had to start the search, there was the behind you routine, every woman on the stage had to try on the shoe before it was my turn.

"Hmm, I think you are happy." I spun around to find Eric leaning against the door frame that lead back into the hallway behind the stage where the prop room, restrooms, general storage and male dressing rooms were located. Vampires were milling around yet none of them paid us even the slightest bit of attention.

"Not good with emotions?"

"No. They are entirely too human. You however have this strange ability." I grinned at him and mirrored his pose, crossing one leg over the other at the ankle. I was thankful I was back in black flats that had ribbons tied around my ankles; they were so much more comfy than the heels.

"And what is that ability?" I raised my eyebrows at him in question too. He wasn't to be out done.

"You make me feel like a man." He grinned at me again, showing the tips of his fangs and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. If anyone else had done that I would have either called it leering or laughed at them, however since it was Eric it only worked to get me more hyped.

"You are entirely too cocky." I shook my head at him which caused him to laugh out loud, a sound that rippled through the room and it was only then that I realised how bad a choice my words had been.

"Not too, but definitely cocky. Oh, this is going to be fun." With that, and his eyes gleaming with the teasing, he walked past me so that his hand brushed against my hip. I had no idea where he was going, the only things that way were either the stage or the audience, and we weren't yet allowed to be seen since some people had new costumes.

The rest of the time went by in a bit of whirl, I'm not entirely sure how that happened considering how much clock watching I was participating in, yet it did. Soon enough I was stepping on stage, broom in hand, to start the slipper trying on scene. The other main characters were already gathered around the regal chair, with its high and upholstered back, discussing whether there were any more women in the house. My supposed family were declaring not when I blatantly walked onto the stage, keeping my head down to appear as though I wasn't listening when I was in fact waiting for my cues.

"There is another woman in the house, the maid. Every lady in the land has to try on the shoe." Eric declared loudly, putting authority into his tone, the same one he used when he was directing his staff at Fangtasia; I'd heard him giving some orders before during our phone conversations.

"You are?" I looked up in surprise at something that appeared to be stated at me. The Prince's aid, Dandini was indicating that I should take a seat on the chair and I did as I was told.

"Cinderella, this is my step mother."

"Really, must you even bother trying? She never attended the ball; she was busy at the house all evening. Why don't you try Adriana again, it very nearly fit last time." Trust the vampires to get everything word perfect; I had to admit that I'd been forced to paraphrase some of my lines since I couldn't quite remember them clearly.

"Sorry ma'am but I want every lady in the kingdom to try on this shoe, whether you say she was at the ball or not. Surprises are held by many." Eric knelt down in front of me and shot me a broad grin that the audience wouldn't quite be able to see. I found myself holding my breath and hoping that the shoe would fit even though I knew it would; I was becoming tied up with the fairy tale. Once again his long, pale fingers delicately grasped my calf at the top, near my knee before sliding down to my ankle to slip on the shoe that fit perfectly. It was only when relief flooded through me that everything had gone correctly that I realised Prince Charming had never asked for my permission to help me, clearly Eric didn't feel it was necessary. The expected chorus filled the stage and a few children in the first few rows actually squealed in delight.

"It fits, I have found my woman." He was still sticking with his slightly altered line. I stole a glance at Carlos who seemed to be squirming in his seat that something had been purposefully changed without his knowledge.

Eric stood up; pulling me with him and my heart began a frantic staccato beat in my chest. He pulled me into his chest, one of his arms snaking around my waist to hold me snugly in place while the other gently cupped my cheek. "Call off the search, I do not need to look any further. I have found her, my Cinderella." My breath caught in my throat as his thumb stroked over my cheek once. I closed my eyes, expectantly and to try to relieve some of the pressure that the anxiety was causing. He didn't keep me waiting long.

His cool lips met mine and it was as though the barriers between us came crashing down in that one simple touch. Shivers ran down my spine in glee and the sensations he was causing. The muscles deep within my stomach clenched tightly in anticipation of what might be coming next. It showed he'd had a millennium to practice; he'd used the time wisely. Our lips moved softly together, showing a gentleness that held heat and passion behind it. It was me that gave in first; my lips opened slightly, my tongue darting out to his lips and past, to run along the tips of his fangs. His groan at the motion wasn't audible, it was barely a rumble in his chest but it was there. He broke away first, then planted another chaste kiss on my lips, never moving more than a couple of inches away. Somewhere deep down in my brain I registered that the curtains were closing on us already. He stooped down again and he was kissing me once more, his tongue exploring my mouth to dance with my own. I had no idea how long we were actually standing there like that but all too soon, he began to pull back, slowly, teasing my bottom lip carefully with his teeth as he did so.

Finally my eyes opened to find him staring right back at me so that all I could see were his startlingly blue eyes. "I wish this was over, I have plans for us." With that he gave me another open mouth kiss, sadly keeping his delicious tongue in his own body and began to steer me from the stage. It was only then that I saw we had been left alone on stage. When had that happened? I didn't care though, I'd finally gotten my kiss.

"See you soon lover." He kissed me again, taking full use of the fact that we really could kiss each other now. It was quick, almost chaste if he hadn't nipped at my lip and then he was gone, leaving me to change in the dressing room. I was sure that if he hadn't wanted to tease me he would have ignored the director's command. I had to agree that this way had been fun in an annoying kind of way.

I quickly changed into the ball gown again, tousled my hair again to make the slight waves I'd put into it for the occasion more accentuated and then I waited in my place at the back of the queue for the finale. Or, fine ale as the step sisters had taken to calling it. Half of the actors were waiting on the side of the stage with me while their partners took their respective places at the other side which was accessed through the back hallway. The music of the finale, an upbeat take on a popular vampire inspired number, began to fill the air, played by the orchestra that had been squashed onto a slightly raised platform just to the far side of the main hall from where I stood. People in front of me filed forward. When they hit the curtains at the side of the stage, the ones that blocked the audience's view of the wings, they would wait for three beats after the previous pair had reached their final places before moving. Finally, it was my turn and I knew without looking that my personal prince charming, well vampire anyway, was waiting at the other side of the stage from me.

I pushed back the curtain and stepped confidently onto the stage, a massive grin spread across my cheeks. Eric was mirroring my movements and as soon as we hit centre stage our hands clasped so that we could turn together to move to the front. Once there we bowed deeply before joining the few lines of people behind us. Another deep bow and then the curtains began to close. Everybody bowed, grinned or waved until the curtains had fully closed and it was only then that we were released from out duties until tomorrow night for the second performance.

I hadn't even taken a step before Eric's hands clamped down on my waist. "Where do you think you are going?" I laughed lightly as his breath tickled along the skin of my neck. "I have plans for you." His grip changed so that only one of his arms was around my waist and he used it to steer me from the stage, taking a right toward the back hallway instead of the main dressing room. I hadn't actually been back this way before, there had been no need; all of my entrances and exits used the other ways and my dressing room was the other way too. I didn't bother questioning him though, I just trusted his judgement.

We turned into a room that seemed to be as far from anything as possible; the restrooms and dressing room were both at opposite ends with this being in the middle. Flicking the light switch on since my night vision in no way compared to his, I discovered that it was a room full of old props from previous shows the theatre had seen. I never got a chance to look at any of the props because as my eyes blinked close as Eric's lips descended on mine. He kicked the door shut roughly and flicked the lock shut, making sure that we wouldn't be disturbed.

His kisses were more passionate, almost harsher as though he was no longer restrained. I kissed him back with equal force, rising up onto my tiptoes to reach him better and wrapping my arms around his neck. There was no doubt in my mind, what little part was still able to process thoughts, that this was leading somewhere. My entire body and mind's response? Yay! I stopped thinking after that and just let my body feel.

His hands began to roam my body until his fingers brushed against the zipper of the dress. Neither of us wanted to be slow, we needed this, we'd been leading up to it for the past two weeks. The zipper was unfastened within a couple of seconds and the only thing holding up the dress was my body pressed snugly into his chest. Carefully I moved back slightly, letting the material cascade over my hips to fall to the floor, leaving me in only my stay up stockings and matching panties; I'd forgone a bra earlier as I really didn't need to wear one with the corset. There wasn't room anyway. His hands moved again, this time downward, they moved slowly over my lace covered bottom until he reached my thighs. Without warning he gripped them, picking me up so swiftly that if my arms hadn't still been wrapped around his neck I may have lost my balance.

My legs immediately wrapped around his waist, and some part of my mind was thankful that he wasn't wearing that sword anymore. I hadn't even realised we were moving, I was too engrossed in the way our lips were moving together with a hunger I had never experienced, until my back hit the wall softly. It was my hands that began to wander next, pushing the heavy blue frock coat from his shoulders. He actually relinquished his hands' contact with me so that it could fall to the floor. He removed his own shirt, pulling the tail of it out of his leggings and pulling it over his head. The movement caused all the muscles in his torso to ripple deliciously. I no longer cared that I wasn't kissing his mouth and kept myself occupied with my lips and tongue on his neck.

I heard the growling groan emanating from his throat, letting it inspire me to only work harder. I ground my hips into his, feeling the glorious friction created by his gracious plenty, the touch was still through too much material. I growled my own frustration as my hands began to explore his torso; his muscles were well defined and as I ran my fingers over his stomach I could feel the taught muscles of his abs creating a six pack. His hands, which had returned to grip my thighs at the junction between the stockings and my actual skin, wandered down my legs until he reached the point where my legs cradled his hips. He then pushed his leggings down. If there had been any form of underwear underneath them I definitely didn't see it or feel it.

"Lover," he whispered quietly, his voice even deeper than normal. I turned my attention away from his neck after one final nip to look up into his eyes which seemed darker than before. I gave a barely perceptible nod as my confirmation and then he thrust inside me in one smooth motion. My head fell back against the wall, my eyes closing at the sensation of him filling me up so completely. His rhythm was fast, wonderfully so, and his hands once again began to wander. He massaged my breasts, using enough pressure to be walking the fine line between pleasure and pain. We were rough and primal; it was exactly what we both wanted.

"Bite me," I groaned out between the gasps that every thrust sent through my body. I turned my head to the side, exposing my neck for him. He stared back at me for a second and I fought the urge to just throw my head back and moan. Then he kissed me, with such passion and fire that all I could do was kiss him back and hope that I was returning the emotions he was showing. He trailed kisses down my neck next and I finally gave in to the consuming urge to just relax back against the wall; it was almost too much for my body to handle, I was already so close to the point of release. There was no warning before his bite; he just went from kissing my neck to sinking his fangs into my flesh. The pain was instantaneous but fleeting, the pleasure of his body being inside of me in two places combining to send me tumbling off the edge of the cliff into the abyss of pleasure. He followed me only a couple of seconds later, my writhing sending him spiralling.

"Hmm, lover." He mumbled quietly. We were still pressed against the wall, my legs wrapped around his waist as I tried to regain my breath which was still coming out in strangled gasps. When I gazed up at him I found that his hair was now loose, the ribbon scattered around us somewhere. "I knew you were the most interesting and surprising breather I had ever met. I think I'm going to enjoy learning the other surprises you are hiding." He grinned at me, showing off fangs that were tinted red with my blood, before kissing my lips softly. I couldn't help but smile back at him. There was no promise of a happily ever after for us two like Cinderella and her Prince Charming but I did have a date for the next two nights after the performances and I had more surprises to share with him than could fill two nights. I was in for some fun.