Quietly situated at the edge of a small, picturesque town, miles outside of any place Pam had ever heard of, the Ruthven Varney Bed and Breakfast Inn was composed of two elegant 1890's mansions surrounded by acres of fields and woodland. Situated between the two Victorian mansions that together made up the bed and breakfast was a magnificent restored conservatory that hosted a garden of night blooming flowers, and on the expansive and impeccably maintained front lawn of the B&B a city of elegantly arranged snow white tents and cloth covered tables had been assembled.
It was an absolutely stunning sight to pull up to and when Tara gallantly opened the passenger side door of the car and offered her hand to Pam, the blonde vampire found herself temporarily speechless as she gazed at the scene before them.
The weather was warm and balmy in way that it never was in childhood home of England, but the style of the houses that made up the bed and breakfast, and the stylishly whimsical arrangement of tents and tables on the well-manicured lawn reminded Pam of the garden parties her parents had hosted during her youth.
She had been their darling back then. They had loved her then, and the sight before her filled her with warm memories of her childhood – which was a rare occurrence indeed considering her parents eventual disownment of her and the course her life had taken as a result of it.
"I can't tell whether this is your mad face or your happy face," Tara commented lightly, though there was a hint of genuine uncertainty in her voice.
It was their first date, and though they had been lovers for nearly a month, she wanted it to be as perfect as possible, so Pam's inscrutable reaction made her somewhat anxious.
Pam's lips curved up slightly as her hand found Tara's and twined their fingers together.
"It's my happy face," Pam drawled, a self-deprecating note present in her tone as she turned to look at Tara. "It's lovely," she added in a softer voice, smiling at Tara though there was a touch of melancholy in her expression.
"Really?" Tara asked, sounding slightly dubious as she gazed at Pam keenly.
She thought that the place was fucking beautiful and was pretty sure she couldn't have dreamed up something more stunning, but Pam seemed almost sad as her eyes scanned the sights that lay before them.
"Really," Pam said, making a point to turn and meet Tara's eyes as she spoke. "It just … reminds me of home. When I was young. When I was human," she continued softly, her voice a tangle of contrasting emotions that Tara couldn't even begin to decipher.
Tara looked forward, taking in the elaborate set up on the lawn before her eyes traveled to the large houses behind.
"Where the hell did you grow up?" she began, her brows creasing slightly as she tried to tie the opulence before her to an idea of home. "Downton Abbey?"
A full smile spread across Pam's lips at that, and when Tara looked over at her she noted that the expression reached Pam's eyes, chasing away any melancholy that had lingered in them before.
"Something like that," Pam murmured, and Tara arched a dark eyebrow at her, her expression both impressed and questioning. "At least for a while," Pam breathed out, her voice unconsciously softening and lifting slightly as her vowels became more rounded, making her sound like the anchors on BBC News for just a moment. "Come on," Pam continued a second later, her dry southern drawl back in place. "It took us for fucking ever to get here, we should probably look around."
"It wouldn't have taken us nearly as long if you'd kept your hand outta my panties," Tara muttered, actually comforted by the return of Pam's bitchy attitude.
As much as she liked it, she was still getting used to the blonde's softer side and prolonged exposure to it made her feel like she was dreaming which terrified her, because that meant she would eventually wake up, and steeped in darkness as her new vampire life was, she didn't want it to be a dream. She didn't want to wake up. Not if it meant Pam wouldn't be beside her when her eyes fluttered open.
"True," Pam replied without a hint of shame and Tara couldn't help but smile. "But you didn't exactly complain."
"Why would I?" Tara asked sounding bewildered. "Your hand was in my panties," she continued smiling rakishly, and then it was Pam's turn to smile.
The Ruthven Varney Bed and Breakfast Inn was owned by vampires and catered to vampires, and even in the charged climate the Authorities recent actions had created, other than the wait-staff, all of the people occupying the lawn were vampires.
"For you," Tara declared gallantly, presenting Pam with a flue of sparkling blood wine.
"Why thank you," Pam replied, smiling as she accepted the flue and then she and Tara clinked glasses.
"How come vampires don't do this more?" Tara asked curiously as she as she and Pam strolled across the emerald lawn.
"Throw lawn parties?" Pam asked distractedly as she glanced down at her feet, a small smile touching her lips as the green grass tickled the bottoms of her feet.
She'd loved to walk around the lawn barefoot when she was a child, much to her parents dismay, and as a tribute to her childhood whimsy she had removed her pumps shortly after they set foot on the lawn and had been walking barefoot with her shoes clasped in her hand ever since.
"Naw," Tara said, smiling as she looked over at Pam, delighted to see Pam so relaxed and content, "the blood food thing," she continued, looking away from Pam towards one of the tents where she could see what looked like blood ice-cream or maybe gelato sitting in bowls on ice. "Other than the feel of the sun on my skin, food is what I miss most about bein' human. There should be a shit-ton of money in makin' food vampires can eat, but I ain't never heard of no one doin' anythin' like this before."
"Infusing blood into foods is a lot more complicated than infusing alcohol, and the process takes much longer," Pam said, following Tara's eyes over to the frozen treats. "The blood will only help our body's process substances with liquid bases and almost everything you see here requires refrigeration for long term viability. Until the 20th century only the very wealthy could afford it."
"And since The Great Revelation?" Tara asked curiously.
"Large scale production is expensive and the nutritional value is limited, so the The Authority – before they collectively lost their fucking minds – decided it would be better to funnel its resources into Tru Blood," Pam explained as she led Tara over to the table where the frozen blood concoctions lay.
"So the rich keep on eating their cream of blood soup and poor folk don't know what the fuck they're missing so who the hell cares," Tara summed up indignantly.
"Essentially," Pam replied, amused by Tara irritation though she knew better than to show it.
"Fucking figures," Tara muttered and at that Pam did smile.
"Does that mean you don't want any?" Pam smirked as she lifted a pale, knowing eyebrow in Tara's direction.
"Hell naw," Tara declared, reaching out to pick up a bowl of the iced crimson treat. "When in Rome …" she said with a smile, taking Pam's empty flue from her and placing it on the table before she handed the bowl to her maker and then picked one up for herself.
"So wonderfully practical," Pam breathed out fondly before she looked down at the bowl in her hands and poked at the iced desert curiously with her spoon.
She and Eric had stayed away from such gimmicks as blood food, preferring to stay true to their natures and consume only what vampires were made to consume, human blood from pulsing veins. As such she hadn't ingested anything that looked like food in over century and she wasn't sure how she felt about the idea of doing so presently.
"It ain't gon' bite you," Tara commented, sounding more than a little amused as she took in the dubious expression on Pam's face. "You look like you ain't never had ice-cream before," she continued before a thoughtful expression came over her face. "I was jokin' about that Jupiter thing, but just how old are you?" Tara asked, simply giving her shoulders a little shrug when Pam looked over at her sharply.
"A hundred and forty," Pam muttered, "Give or take," she added under her breath, poking at the ice-cream peevishly. "I've had ice-cream before," she continued, glancing over at Tara, her voice gentling a bit as her gaze settled on her progeny's beautiful face, "just not in a very long time. Food is like poopin. The absence of it was strange at first but once I got used to it I can't say that I missed it," Pam drawled, and Tara nearly choked on the bite of ice-cream she had just placed in her mouth.
"Pam," Tara said when she had recovered.
"Yes, doodle-bug?" Pam replied sweetly, smiling over at Tara.
"Eat yer damn ice-cream," Tara stated, ignoring how tickled Pam seemed to be by her. "And don't call me doodle-bug," she added pointing her spoon at Pam warningly.
"Whatever you say, honey-bun," Pam replied amiably, and then, still smiling, she scooped some of the deep red ice-cream onto her spoon and popped it into her mouth, moaning softly as the cool cream hit her tongue before sliding the spoon out of her mouth with a wet pop that sent Tara's new vampire hormones into overdrive.
"Damn woman," Tara breathed out appreciatively, struggling to keep her fangs tucked back as she watched Pam slowly lick the spoon clean.
"Your ice-cream is melting," Pam commented, drinking in Tara's hungry gaze even as she gestured at the bowl in Tara's hand.
"Don't care," Tara purred, her eyes locked on Pam as her fangs twitched, itching to come out. "Want you," she whispered, stepping closer to Pam and then wrapping her arm around the blonde's waist.
"We've only been to half of the tents," Pam said, managing to keep her voice steady even though Tara's desire was beginning to affect her, making her fingers itch to dance over smooth dark skin and slip into Tara where she knew her progeny was becoming wet with want of her. "Who knows what other wonders await us."
"I know what wonders await us in our room," Tara husked, unable to stop herself from dropping her eyes down to Pam's breasts, which the blonde's dress teasingly highlighted. "Better the blue-eyed devil you know," Tara murmured, a teasing note entering her voice despite her arousal, and Pam smiled at her before laughing softly.
"We have a room?" Pam asked, liking the sound of that.
"A nice one, with a big bed," Tara replied, slipping her hand down from where it was resting against the small of Pam's back to the perfectly rounded curve of her very fine ass.
"Take me to it," Pam said a little breathlessly, her eyelashes fluttering as Tara kneaded her ass possessively, claiming it as her domain.
"Yessum, Missy Pam," Tara breathed out, grinning at Pam before she scooped the blonde vampire into her arms and sped towards the main house where a big bed and a bottle of blood wine on ice awaited them.
They lay in the bed together, limbs tangled as Tara sat with her back against the headboard and Pam rested against her side, her head on Tara's shoulder as her fingers trailed idly over the defined muscles of Tara's abdomen.
"We had Tracy just after sunset," Pam murmured, her eyes drifting from watching her fingers play over Tara's skin over to Tara's hand which was holding the B&Bs brochure, turned to the blood based menu page. "You can't possibly be hungry," she continued, a note of complaint in her voice as she wished that Tara would put down the brochure and return to playing with her.
"Hunger isn't the point," Tara said, looking over at Pam. "Decadence is," she purred, smiling. "I ain't never been someplace this nice before n' Eric gave me his credit card so I'mma fuckin' use it," she continued drawing a smile from Pam. "We're gonna stay til we've done everything in this here brochure."
"Done everything … eaten everything," Pam murmured knowingly, tilting her head to the side so that she could press her lips lightly against the column of Tara's throat.
Pam was old enough that she didn't really think about food anymore, but at only a month old, Tara was still adjusting to no longer having to do – or being able to do – things that she had done daily during her human life, and Pam understood the allure of the B&Bs menu to her progeny.
"You know it," Tara agreed, her lips turning up happily as Pam tenderly kissed her neck.
Tara loved having Pam beneath her, whimpering and straining, begging for her touch – and she loved being pinned beneath Pam, at the mercy of her makers touch just as much – but there was something entirely satisfying about just holding Pam's hand, or having Pam kiss her, or hug her, or stroke her arm, or touch her face, just because. Those little touches filled Tara with a feeling of warmth and love and she'd come to need those soft touches like she used to need air and the sun. It was a source of endless comfort and awe to her to be touched so tenderly because it showed her that Pam needed – and wanted – her as much as Tara needed – and wanted – Pam.
Pam reached out and angled the brochure Tara was holding towards her so that she could see the print better.
"I did used to love bisque," Pam said thoughtfully when her eyes spotted a blood bisque dish on the menu page. "There was this little place on Larkin St. in San Francisco that made the best bisque I'd ever tasted. They used Delta crawfish as a base and compared to it the most expensive lobster bisque in Paris tasted like stagnant swamp water."
"You lived in San Francisco?" Tara asked curiously, fascinated as always by the tidbits about her human life that Pam occasionally let slip.
"I did," Pam murmured in response, a soft and content sound escaping from her a moment later when Tara's fingers found hers and began to idly toy with them.
"At the turn of the century," Pam breathed out, her mind transporting her back to a time when she walked cobblestone streets on foggy nights. "Last century," she added knowing that her inquisitive progeny would ask. "I lived there for ten years … then I died there," Pam finished softly, a faraway look coming to her eyes as the faint taste of Campari and the feel of warm, thick blood trickling down her arms came back to her.
Tara stopped playing with Pam's fingers after the blonde finished speaking and instead slipped her fingers between Pam's until their hands were linked together.
"How?" Tara inquired softly, her voice both curious and hesitant as she stroked the soft, cool skin on the back of Pam's hand.
Pam didn't like to talk about her human life, and Tara wasn't sure if her maker would talk about it presently, but she was curious and couldn't stop herself from asking. She knew, of course, that Eric had made Pam, but she'd never been able to determine how the two of them had met or why Eric had finally decided to bond himself to another after going almost nine hundred years without turning anyone.
"The streets of San Francisco were a dangerous place for a lady at night," Pam breathed out, "and I was no lady which made them even meaner. I'd known for a long time that I wasn't going to die of old age in a comfy bed by a crackling fire. Women like me never went cleanly or comfortably," she continued, staring straight ahead, unwilling to meet Tara's eyes at that moment. "I didn't lose my life, Tara. I gave it," Pam stated firmly before finally tilting her head up to meet Tara's eyes again.
"Why?" Tara asked softly, caught and captivated by the haunted, despairing look in Pam's eyes.
Pam's lips twisted into a humourless smile when Tara's question reached her ears.
"I may have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but it'd been ripped out before I was twenty. I wanted to be at the top of the chain again," Pam replied, referencing what she'd said to Tara the night she had taught Tara how to feed without killing. "I was tired of always doing what I had to and never being able to do what I wanted to because of it. I was tired of fighting, and being scared and used and … nothing. I was terrified of growing old. I'd seen what my life would have become if I didn't change things and I'd been trying, for so long I'd been trying but nothing made a difference … and then I met Eric, and I knew he was the answer. I knew he could change everything … and, well, I'm nothing if not determined."
"You made him turn you?" Tara asked, her eyebrows drawing together in surprise.
That wasn't what she had expected to hear. She'd never gotten the impression that Pam had been turned against her will – Pam was too joyously vampire for that – but Tara's history with vampires had unconsciously blinded her to the possibility that a person might actively try to become one, and so her ideas about how any vampire was made all involved various degrees of coercion.
Eric was old, and strong, and handsome, and with the way Pam doted on him, Tara had assumed that Eric had been the one to pursue Pam; that he had stalked her like the anti-hero of a young adult novel, hunting her, charming her, and seducing her before finally bringing her into the dark to walk beside him.
"I presented him with an option, and he made the smart choice," Pam responded simply.
"What would you have done if he'd made the dumb choice?" Tara asked insightfully, rightfully intuiting that Pam's actions, whatever they had been, were desperate and dangerous.
"Died I suppose," Pam replied matter-of-factly. Living had been a far more frightening prospect to her than dying back then. If her gamble had failed, then it would have failed, and she wouldn't have had to worry about anything again. "It's what humans all do eventually, isn't it?"
"That they do," Tara murmured in response and unconsciously her hand lifted to touch her temple where Debbie Pelt's shotgun had blasted away part of her skull.
"But now," Pam began, lifting her hand and using it to gently guide Tara's hand away from where the lethal wound had been dealt, "we're eternal, you and I," she continued softly, cradling Tara's hand in her own. "We're going to drink sparkling blood, eat overpriced food, fuck 'til the sun comes up, and when night falls again we'll walk through the garden of night blooming flowers and do whatever the fuck else we want, because we can. Because we are the overdogs now," Pam declared, and her cold, dead heart flushed with warmth and almost seemed to beat again when Tara smiled at her.
"I love the way you talk," Tara breathed out. "I could listen to you forever," she continued, charmed, awed, and enthralled by Pam as she so often was.
"Yes, you could," Pam drawled pointedly as she smiled over at Tara, "which is entirely the point," she went on, stroking Tara's cheek gently.
Pam looked down at the silk sheet pooled at their waists and picked up the brochure that had fallen from Tara's fingers as they had talked.
"What else do you want?" Pam asked, looking at the menu.
They were on their first official date at a romantic Inn, naked in bed, and Pam was tired of talking about the past, and death, and humans.
"Belgium Blood Mousse drizzled in AB-," Tara replied immediately.
She'd had her eye on that earlier.
"Good choice," Pam complimented, nodding her head in approval. "I always love a dish where the garnish is more expensive than the fare, especially when someone else is paying."
"In that case, let's get the blood chutney too," Tara replied and Pam smiled her agreement.
Pam eyes turned back to the menu and she found something that felt a little bit like excitement or anticipation swelling inside of her as she did.
"You know," Pam began thoughtfully as her eyes continued to scan the menu, "after more than a century it feels strange to be ordering food that doesn't talk, but I may be looking forward to it," she admitted, and Tara smiled brightly, pleased to see Pam pleased.
"So, the long-ass drive was worth it?" Tara asked softly before she pressed her lips to Pam's temple.
"Honey, the long-ass drive was worth it the moment we pulled over to the side of the road," Pam drawled huskily as she trailed her fingers teasingly up Tara's nude thigh, just like she had teased her fingers up Tara's leg in the car. "All of this," Pam continued, shifting even closer to Tara and snuggling against her until she was practically in Tara's lap, "is caviar and crème fraîche served with a dry white wine."
"I'mma guess that's your fancy pants way of sayin' all'a this is a cherry on top," Tara replied sarcastically, though she was smiling as she said it.
"It's true," Pam breathed out, dipping her head down to kiss Tara's clavicle. "I don't often wear pants, but when I do they're fancy," she purred and beneath her Tara's body shook with laughter until Pam pressed her mouth to Tara's, drawing a happy sigh from the young vampire.
"You wanna go down the piano bar before dawn?" Tara asked when they parted, sounding a little dazed as if half of her mind was still focused on the feel of Pam's lips on her. "They've got a Bessie Smith impersonator singing at four."
Pam glanced down at the brochure and then smiled at Tara before she lifted her hand and pinched Tara's cheek, making Tara gasp and then glare at her as slapped at Pam's hand, knocking it away from her face.
"What?" Pam asked innocently as Tara watched her with narrowed eyes. "You're just so cute," Pam cooed, completely undeterred by the displeased look on her progeny's face.
"And what did I say to amuse you?" Tara asked peevishly.
"That's no impersonator," Pam said, gesturing to the brochure in Tara's hand. "Bessie Smith is singing in the piano lounge at four."
"Bessie Smith is dead," Tara said automatically, realizing even as she said that, that being dead didn't mean what it once did.
"So are we," Pam replied stroking Tara's hip.
Tara was silent for a moment, thinking, and then a smile touched her lips.
"Bessie Smith, huh? Fuckin' A," she breathed out and Pam chuckled softly before leaning up to press her lips against Tara's, kissing her slowly and deeply as she reverently stroked her cheek.
"You know any other dead celebrities who ain't so much dead?" Tara asked curiously as she shifted on the mattress, shimmying down slightly so that she and Pam were lying side by side.
"It's not like there's a newsletter," Pam replied dryly and Tara's eyes narrowed at her again, but Pam simply leaned forward and kissed the tip of her nose and whatever irritation Tara had been feeling instantly evaporated.
"You knew about Bessie," Tara pointed out.
"I'd seen her perform in Harlem in the 20s," Pam responded, "and then I bumped into her in '78 at Studio 54."
"Studio 54," Tara breathed out thoughtfully, before shaking her head. "I bet you still have the dress you wore."
"That's a bet you'd win," Pam replied. "A female vampire should never get rid of a quality piece of couture. Throughout my long, fabulously dressed life I've learned that if you hold onto something long enough it's likely to come back in style."
"And to think they said I was crazy to hang on'ta my hammer pants. But looks like in thirty years I'll be the one laughin'," Tara responded and Pam rolled her eyes at her, but the long-suffering expression couldn't mask the twinkle in her eyes.
Ignoring Tara's self-satisfied expression, Pam leaned over top of Tara and reached out to pick up the phone that lay on the bedside table.
"Let's find a way to occupy your mouth other than talking," Pam said as her fingers brushed against the receiver.
"My clothes usually end up hangin' from ceiling fans when you say that," Tara commented, enjoying the way Pam's body pressed against hers as her maker leaned over her.
"I've already got you naked," Pam pointed out, emphasizing her point by tweaking one of Tara's nipples.
"Don't start somethin' you ain't about to finish," Tara murmured, squirming a bit beneath Pam.
The feel of Pam's body on top of her and the sensation of Pam's fingers playing with her nipple were beginning to work her baby vamp hormones into a frenzy.
"I never do," Pam husked before pinching Tara's nipple again and smiling when Tara whimpered. "It's going to take them a while to get here," Pam continued silkily, smoothing her thumb soothingly over the now diamond hard nipple she had been teasing. "Whaddaya say, we work up an appetite?" she purred, leaning down to kiss Tara slowly and deeply as she massaged her breast.
"Mm," was all Tara was able to vocalize as Pam's fingers teased her, and Pam smiled into their kiss before pulling back.
Tara released a sound of protest and automatically reached for Pam, wanting Pam's mouth on her again, and Pam moaned in response and dipped her head again, unable to refuse Tara, not this, not when she wanted it just as much.
"Easy now," Pam husked a minute later when Tara's legs wrapped around her and her progeny's hips began to buck up into her, silently begging Pam for more.
Pam drew her thumb across Tara's lips in a move that made Tara tremble beneath her, and the open, suppliant look in Tara wide, beautiful brown eyes, nearly annihilated Pam's self-control.
"I promise," Pam breathed out, her voice rough and husky, as her eyes devoured Tara's lips, "I'll take good care of you," she breathed out, and Tara moaned because she knew it was true, because Pam had never once failed to leave her trembling with pleasure; tears often leaking from her eyes from the strength of her orgasm and her love for the woman who had given it to her.
Pam dipped her head down and brushed her lips against Tara's again, softly this time, seeking to reassure her progeny rather than excite her, and Tara sighed softly in response as her body relaxed beneath Pam's.
A tender smile graced Pam's lips, and then she brushed her lips against Tara's cheek before stretching slightly to the side so that she could push '0' on the phone and begin ordering a feast for them to enjoy after they had finished feasting on each other.