Title: The Child is Gone
Synopsis: Pam and Tara experience vampire growing pains.
Update: I've had a lot of this fic in my head/on my laptop for a while but, as I explained over on LC, my little sidekick became seriously ill and I had to put everything aside. I did get some good news Monday. She made it through surgery (mind, it was only last Saturday that docs were saying I would either have to euthanize her or leave her in the hospital to prep her for surgery that she might not survive) where doctors were able to remove a ginormous cancerous mass. Peaches is not out of the woods, but she's made it farther than a lot of people expected her to (a miracle, imo tbqh). After 4 days I got to bring her home from the hospital late last night. So I'm petting her with my left hand and updatin' with my right while she snores her little head off. Much thanks to those (TrueBloodMashups, I see you, homie) who wrote and wished Peaches well. It means a lot to me and she could seriously use all the well wishes, prayers, etc. that she can get.
BKNY's Behind the Story: This is the precursor to events of "Where You Gonna Run To?" that a few of you asked for. I started thinking of how Eric might react to Tara as both her vampah and the daddy of the lady she's courtin' and down the crazy vampire family rabbit hole I went. No music in this fic, buuuuut I did jack the title from a Fiona Apple song. So there. Hope you enjoy!
The sound of hushed laughter and sloshing water billowed up like steam into the humid air of the master bathroom Pam and Tara had unofficially claimed as their own. Much to the chagrin of nearly everyone else residing in the stunning Neo-Classical style home, monopolizing the state of the art room and its enormous whirlpool tub had become something of a post-coital tradition for the vampires.
When their marathon lovemaking sessions ended, the couple often found themselves reluctant if not altogether unwilling to part. The mere act of leaving the intimate hideaway that was their shared cubby felt as jarring as being thrust into arctic after spending days in a tropic paradise. So, in an effort to keep cold realities of the world at bay, Pam and Tara took to taking hot baths together. And this night was no different.
"I feel like I'm living in an episode of MTV cribs," Tara quipped as she closed her eyes and reveled in the feel of the water massaging her body. "You sure ya'll didn't eat a rapper to get this place?" She asked, only half joking.
"Eric's a very wealthy man," Pam replied distractedly from the opposite end of the tub, her voiced tinged with desire as lascivious thoughts of everything she still wanted to do with and to her progeny ran rampant through her head.
"Bath time's over, girls! Eric wants everyone in the gym," Nora's jarringly loud and increasingly obnoxious voice infiltrated the closed door to announce exactly what Jessica had only five minutes earlier.
Pam chuckled as she saw Tara's tongue press against her inner cheek, instantly recognizing it as a sign she was trying her best not to say something she'd soon regret.
"It's not even funny," Tara complained irritably as she stared silver daggers into the door.
Pam knew her progeny was growing increasingly annoyed with their living arrangements. Somehow it wasn't enough to be sharing a twenty-room mansion with Eric, Jessica, and Nora. Tara wanted them to be completely on their own.
"Ignore her," Pam lulled, drawing the saturnine vampire's attention back to her.
Though Tara's furrowed features relaxed, her gaze intensified. Pam immediately looked away. She knew exactly what was coming next.
"For how long?" Tara asked seriously, letting her maker know this was about much more than Nora's obnoxious behavior.
Pam slid deeper into the water, as if that would shield her from having to answer. It was a tactic that seldom worked. Strong hands lifted and shifted her forward.
The moment her sex coupled with Tara's firm torso beneath the heated water, Pam was ready to agree to go anywhere and do anything she asked. But as she felt the length of Tara's upper body tenderly nestle against her, she wanted nothing more than to shield her from anyone and anything that might do her harm.
"Our place is here," Pam replied with conviction as she brushed a stray lock of hair away from Tara's comely face. Truthfully, she was no longer certain of their place.
The American base of the Authority had been completely destabilized. All across the country vampire lackeys, sheriffs, queens, and kings were at each other's throats. Those who weren't trying to seize power were holding onto it for dear life. Unmoored baby vampires were running amok amongst the human population and triggering violence reprisals against vampires all over the country. And, to make matters worse, V was now the discerning crackhead's drug of choice.
America was an increasingly dangerous place to be a vampire and Pam was intent on ensuring Tara's safety. She just wasn't certain of how best to do that.
"My place is with you," Tara affirmed as she smoothed her dark hands across Pam's pale skin, "And your place is-"
"Here," Pam reaffirmed as she withdrew from Tara's embrace and stood to put some distance between them. She couldn't think clearly with her so enticingly near. Stepping out of the bath, she quickly grabbed a fluffy black towel to dry the water cascading off her body.
"…With Eric?" Tara questioned and accused at the time as she followed suit.
Generally it took a lot to get under Pam's skin, but Tara Thornton could manage it in as little as two words.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Pam questioned harshly as she spun around to face Tara fully. Over one hundred years together made Pam hypersensitive to anything she remotely construed as an attack against her maker and their relationship. However, she truly did not know what Tara was implying.
Pam hadn't seen the signs of resentment and jealously that were slowly starting to manifest each and every time she briskly shot down Tara's quixotic plans to leave Louisiana and strike out on their own.
"Figure it out," Tara spat as she donned a downy white robe.
"Eric is my maker," Pam defended, still not certain as to what she was defending.
"That's funny. I got a maker, too. And wouldn't you know it? We fuck. A lot," Tara replied, her southern drawl dripping with sarcasm.
So that was it.
Mentally berating herself for not opening up about Eric sooner, Pam considered her options. She could simply explain to Tara that no matter how much she used to fuck the man she now considered her father, she'd never been in love with him; that she'd never felt for her maker what she now felt for her progeny. Or not.
Per usual, Pam fell back on the straightforward approach. "Whatever it is you think you know? Forget it. You're wrong," She cautioned in a low voice.
The next minute passed in silence as Tara fought to get a handle on her emotions before speaking. Finally, she took a seat on the edge of the tub and looked up at Pam in a way that never failed to make her heart ache.
"You know, sometimes when we're together you get this look in your eyes like…like I'm the only thing in world worth seein'," Tara began wistfully. "And when you get like that I can't help but think that you love me as much I love you." She continued and stood, a bittersweet smile on her face as she watched Pam's deep-set blue eyes resist closing under the weight of her last three words.
"…But what the fuck do I know?" Tara finished unceremoniously before calmly leaving the room.
Twenty minutes later, Pam watched from afar as Tara and Jessica sat side by side on the glossy hardwood floor of the home's sublevel basketball court. In the aftermath of the Authority escape, Eric had repurposed it as a combat training room of sorts. Though he never said as much, Pam knew her maker was intent on ensuring the survival of his own maker's bloodline.
Her attention turned to Eric now as he easily avoided his sister's silver coated practice sword. At six hundred, she was still no match for her thousand-year-old sibling. It wasn't long before Eric had Nora on her back and the edge of his blade hovering just above her chest.
"Say uncle," Eric commanded playfully, his voice staid as ever.
"Uncle," Nora mocked before swatting her older brother's sword away with a gloved hand.
From the edge of the court, Pam could make out the sound of her progeny laughing, most likely at Nora getting trounced. She wanted desperately to go over and pull her aside, but she didn't know what to say. Tara didn't just want words, she wanted action and Pam was sorely at a loss for both.
In her heart, Pam knew Eric had been her main reason for remaining in Louisiana. Though she'd been released months prior, the normally self-assured vamp still balked at the idea of venturing away from the ancient viking who'd guided and protected her for over a century. She simply felt safer under his wing.
Pam needed time. With time she would find the courage to make a break from the past. With time she could show Tara that she was all she saw for her future.
Unfortunately for her, time was about to run out.
"Ms. Hamby, would you do me the honor?" Eric spoke gallantly, offering the redhead the hilt of the sword Nora had just laid down.
"Actually," Jessica began timidly. "If it's all the same to you, I think I'll sit this one out."
Pam's ears pricked up immediately upon hearing Eric call Tara's name.
"Care to join me?" Eric offered Tara the blade with a smile and Pam felt her entire body tense.
Now was not the fucking time.
Though coated with silver, the practice swords in Eric's hands had dulled edges. In theory, they were very much like the unforgiving practice weapons Eric once trained with as a human boy in the cold Scandinavian reaches of Europe.
Still, anything in the hands of a powerful vampire could mean the true death. Pam knew her maker would never intentionally do such a thing, but concern for her impulsive progeny's safety clouded all rational thoughts about what would and wouldn't happen. She stepped forward before she realized what she was doing.
"Eric," Pam called out, anxiety plainly evident in her voice. "She's too young," She finished in Swedish.
"A child is never too young to learn," Eric replied in his mother tongue.
Tara was standing before Pam had a chance to respond. She didn't know any Swedish, but she was smart enough to know when she was the topic of conversation in any language.
Pam watched nervously as Tara faced down the vampire who towered over her in age, experience, and size.
"I don't fight with swords," Tara spoke as she folded her arms and sidestepped the weapon.
"I'm sure a certain Elijah Stormer would tell a very different tale," Eric goaded. "That is, if you hadn't sliced his head off with my sword."
"Oh snap," Jessica snickered under her breath. The evil eye she received from Tara quickly wiped the goofy smile off her face. "Sorry," She offered, looking every bit the awkward teenage girl.
The distraction was all it took for Eric to sweep Tara's legs out from beneath her with the flat of his blade. "Lesson one," Eric spoke impatiently. "Never turn your back on an adversary."
Tara was back on her feet in an instant, little wounded but her pride.
"Lesson two," Eric continued as he offered her the sword once more. "If your opponent offers you a weapon, take it."
Tara accepted the sword now and Pam didn't know whether to be worried or relieved.
"Attack me," Eric commanded, his body language completely open and at ease.
Pam heard her progeny's fangs pop before she saw them. She watched as Tara attacked Eric with the speed and force of a freight train. The ancient vampire easily sidestepped and tripped the charging upstart.
Tara hit the floor once again.
"Lesson three," Eric began again "Never attack first."
Tara stood and heatedly readied her blade.
"If you can defend, defend," Eric advised before suddenly unleashing a flurry of attacks aimed at Tara. She barely had time to raise her sword before the viking's blade was raining blows upon her.
"There are millions of vampires in the world," Eric declared as his sword made contact with Tara's. "Over ninety-nine percent of them are older and stronger than you," He continued, his voice betraying no sign of exertion while Tara struggled to deflect every hack and slash.
Pam stepped forward as Tara, blocking a particularly devastating blow, stumbled backward.
"For you, defense is key. But when defense fails?" Eric asked as he burned Tara's wrist with the silver of his sword to send hers flying into the air. "Run," he continued, sweeping his blade across with a mighty two-handed swing that would have easily lopped the young vampire's head off had she not retreated by way of an impromptu back handspring.
Eric pressed forward, using his brute strength and lengthy wingspan to send Tara ducking, dodging, tucking, and rolling away from his torrent of attacks. The sparring vampires were a blur now as they made use of nearly every surface of the gym.
Though she no longer needed to breathe, Pam's breaths were shallow and frequent now. She watched closely as her progeny used her smaller size, nimbleness, and flexibility to twist and contort herself out of harm's way.
Cornered off court, Tara fearlessly stood her ground while Eric threw his entire body into swinging his blade in her direction. Timing the movement, she quickly jumped above the sword's trajectory and used the wall as a springboard to launch into a devastating spin kick that landed squarely on the tall vampire's chin.
While Eric cracked his jaw back into place, Tara scurried away to reclaim her sword.
"That's enough," Pam yelled forcefully as her progeny, sword in hand, turned to face Eric once more. She could literally feel Tara's rage bubbling up inside her.
The sound of clashing metal rang out once more.
Ignoring Pam's voice, Tara lunged furiously at Eric's middle. The elder vampire parried the attack and brought the hilt of his sword into Tara's stomach with such force she went flying across the room.
"Lesson four," Eric spoke dryly. "Lead with your head; your heart will get you nowhere."
Eric's words merely served to further inflame his pissed off opponent. Tara careened toward him with her sword. Fearing the worst, Pam rushed forward to stand in her path.
The sudden act brought Tara's charge to a screeching halt.
"What part of enough don't you fucking understand?" Pam gritted out as she glared into the scorching depths of Tara's sable colored eyes. Met with gelid pools of blue, the fire in Tara quickly extinguished. Looking more defeated than Pam had ever seen her, she threw down her sword and stormed out.
"Well, that concludes our lesson for today," Eric spoke as Jessica sped out of the room to catch up with Tara. Looking thoroughly disgusted with all the emotional drama getting in the way of a good fight, Nora exited the gym next.
"What the fuck was that?" Pam demanded as she fixed her maker with a look that was equal parts confusion and fury.
"She can't spend eternity between your legs, Pamela," Eric answered casually in Swedish before reaching down to pick up Tara's discarded sword. "All vampires must be taught."
"And I will be the one to teach her," Pam avowed, the edge in her voice making it clear to Eric that he'd overstepped his bounds where her progeny was concerned.
"If the girl means anything to you-"
"She means everything to me," Pam interrupted forcefully.
Inwardly taken aback, the viking said nothing. Instead he scrutinized his progeny as if to pinpoint exactly what had changed within her and when. It was all at once obvious and imperceptible. "Then do what's best for her," Eric spoke finally.
And with those words he watched as his child turned away from him to find hers.
Searching every room in the house, Pam repeatedly came up empty. Phone calls and text messages went unanswered. Even her extrasensory attempts to connect with her progeny had failed, leading her to believe that Tara was doing her utmost to shut her out. Pam was beginning to get nervous. But it wasn't until she stepped into the garage and bumped into a nervous looking redhead that she knew something was seriously wrong.
Jessica avoided Pam's gaze and shifted nervously with her hands behind her back. In the blink of an eye, Pam grabbed the baby vamp by her ear and eyed her treacherously.
"Shethrewatravelcoffininhertr uckandtookoffforIdon'tknowwhereshedidn'ttellmebecausesheknewI'djustenduptellin'youpleasedon'tripmyearoff," Jessica spilled hastily.
Pam released the squirming ginger as fear took hold of her and gripped so tightly she gasped.
Tara was gone.
Story Continues with "Where You Gonna Run To?"