The Viking's Heart (TB,Eric/OC,ADULT) Ch13 8/5/11DEAD&BURIED

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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch10 2/01/11

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:24 am

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary: Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Eleven

Cassie tugged the bodice of her mid-thigh length, lavender and violet lace dress. Her fingers tugged at the ribbon corset strings that laced up the front and tied in a perfect bow at her midsection. The skirt was made of silk damask in lavender and a dark, violet lace overlay that draped in ripples to the tops of her knees. Strips of skin peeked out from the skirt before knee-high tan, leather boots curved down the rest of her legs to a flattering spiked heel that made Cassie's short height an equalizing 5' 8". Cassie smoothed her fingers up the side of her silky-soft boots, zippers following her fingers up the length.

The debate for what constituted appropriate style for meeting a queen had gone on as long as it took Cassie to realize she had two options in her baggage. Number one was the little number she was currently sporting and number two was a jade green, full length, evening gown with silver trim and pearl accents; number two had seemed too over the top.

From 10 am on, Cassie had been too busy to be nervous about meeting this vampire queen of Eric's. She had started out her morning with a logical to-do list: get Starbucks; call BW&B call Shreveport realtor; call movers and a storage facility; and lastly to call Sookie.

Ginger, the skinny blonde with the cougar clothes that had held Cassie and Lafayette up at gun point, had arrived early and was more than happy to get Cassie's venti, white chocolate mocha with two extra espresso shots – which had boded well. However, when Cassie had gotten a hold of Maggie it had been a point-blank-firing, no wiggle room. Cassie had argued, beguiled, and bargained to no end; she was officially unemployed. The following call to the realtor had been fruitful because no more than an hour on the phone and Cassie had gotten an interview for an apartment not two miles from Fangtasia, a quick call to the landlord and Cassie had set up an interview for the next day.

After a short lunch with Ginger in Eric's office, Cassie resumed crossing off her daily schedule. Her call to the movers, the one's Cassie always used, had been bad. Someone had frozen Cassie's property sale contracts and until Cassie was present to sign over the apartment and submit to a walk through, no one was allowed to enter her seafront condo. By the time Cassie hung up with the local police in her city in New Jersey and two other moving companies she had waved the white flag of temporary defeat and hung up. When Cassie finally dialed Sookie's number she had gotten Tara on the line. A quick conversation later and Cassie hung up; Sookie was at Merlotte's working the evening shift and Tara promised to let her know Cassie called.

"You look great. I'd kill for them legs," Ginger said when Cassie came out into the main area of the bar shortly before sunset. Ginger had a rather sickly look about her with too thin arms and legs and skin so sallow it was dark and sunken in dents and angles that took away from any natural prettiness that might have existed.

"Thank you," Cassie said, glancing down again at her dress. She fluffed at her wavy curls and accepted a rum and coke from Ginger.

"I hear you going to see the queen. You excited?" Ginger asked. She was wiping the bar down in preparation for the clubs opening in several hours time and Cassie lifted her drink and elbows when the towel swept by.

"Excited about meeting a politically powerful vampire? Not really. I grew up knowing powerful people and politics is the surest way to corrupt even the nicest person. I'm not looking forward to the scraping and bowing," Cassie answered. She played with the smooth, red stirring straw and watched as Ginger shrugged.

"I think it'd be neat. I hear she's like some movie star from the forties. How awesome," Ginger said. She enthusiastically rubbed at one of the bottles of tequila and smiled.

"She wishes," Pam said dryly as she made her presence known. She took up a stool at the bar beside Cassie and grinned at her. "Queen Sophie-Ann has been dressing like a high paid Hollywood hooker since FDR was all the rage. She's a drama queen alright, but a star is giving her far too much credit."

"And she'd have your fangs for saying so Pam. That's why you are staying here to watch over the bar this night. I trust you know how to behave in my absence," Eric said.

He stood like a wall of muscle, dressed in a grey suit with a black button down shirt beneath the jacket, and he wore expensive dress shoes. His hair hung around his chin in his usual cutting angle and Cassie thought his arctic blue eyes glinted with a particularly icy hardness.

"You saved me from a night of scraping and bowing, so says your pet," Pam said, a wicked fang running out and she winked at Cassie.

Cassie colored red from her cheeks to her forehead and she gave Pam a cutting smile.

"Sophie-Ann does hold to certain royal protocol, but I think you'll find she's not what you are expecting," Eric said. He came up behind Cassie and her body hummed when his strong, large hands sat coolly on her hips, bunching in the material of her dress.

"I withhold judgment," Cassie murmured.

Music from the back of the club started to pulse out from the speakers in the bar and dancers half-clad in sweats and work-out clothes got up on poles and stage platforms and table tops and they began to stretch. Ginger disappeared from behind the counter and leaned over for an order pad.

"Got to go get them their drinks. Today's practice day. We open several hours early for the girls to come in and practice," Ginger explained to Cassie, who stepped back and out of her way.

"We are leaving, Child. Do not kill anyone while I am gone – at least no one that would be missed," Eric said to Pam, who gave him a mischievous grin, and then Cassie felt him pulling her along with him as they swept out of the club.

"How are we getting there?" Cassie asked over her shoulder. His hands were firmly affixed on her hips, guiding her to the back of the club and into the shadows beside the back lot exit.

"We are going to fly," Eric whispered into her neck and Cassie shuddered.

"When does the flight leave?" Cassie asked.

Eric's dark chuckle sent another shudder down her spine and his cool lips pressed to her neck, "Now."

Cassie tilted her head back against Eric's shoulder and the wind picked up around them. Her feet left the ground and Cassie gasped, eyes opening wide in terror as Eric drew her up to his chest, swinging her legs up in a bridal swoop, and they flew higher, like a straight shot into the darkness of the night sky. Gasping, scared and chilled, Cassie gripped Eric's shoulders and bit his shoulder to muffle her whimpers. His body shook in laughter again.

"Lover, I would not drop you," Eric said, and the wind carried his hypnotic voice to her.

"If you drop me I'll kill you," Cassie said fiercely into his shoulder, swallowing back her dizziness.

"So little faith," Eric said, a rich, rumbling laugh vibrating from his chest against the whole right side of her upper body.

It felt like they were flying for ten minutes, maybe twenty, and as Cassie's vertigo dissipated, she braved to open her eyes. They soared over cable lines, telephone poles, rooftops, street signs, and the unhindered nightlife that continued on obliviously below them. The pop and flash of city lights grew brighter and brighter as Eric flew through the night air. There was a smarmy thickness in the southern air that made her skin dewy and Cassie could feel her hair frizzing up from the humidity, curling wilder and wilder in the wind.

Finally, after a half an hour, they landed, slowly, fluidly descending to an immaculate lawn that overlooked a southern mansion. Like a miniature white house, the queen's home stood in all its southern glory; towering white columns, night blooming flowers planted in artful rows alone the front of the property, and broad, wide windows that were thrown open to the moonlight.

"It's beautiful," Cassie said as they passed a Grecian statue lacking arms erected in the middle of a midnight black pool of water that shot spouts of water intermittently when they passed – motion sensory.

"Oh of the oldest estates in all of Louisiana," Eric informed, setting her down in front of the doorway.

"Well if I was Vampire Queen of Louisiana I might go for something grandiose too," Cassie said.

The door opened without them knocking to reveal two men, vampires, dressed in royal guard wear, standing at the same height only two or three inches shorter than Eric. They struck and imposing match, but Cassie merely stayed close to Eric's side, and she strut passed them, her heels clicking against shining, black floors.

"How is the floor made out of?" Cassie asked Eric as he led her down a series of corridors and through a curtained off doorway where he stood perfectly still.

"Onyx, dear. They were carved from onyx. I have them repolished and buffed every day. Beautiful isn't it? Not unlike yourself," said a lilting, feminine voice.

Cassie tried to compose herself, having jumped slightly at the sound of the voice carrying through the indoor pool room. A huge Olympic pool and several white, black, and blue patio sets eclipsed the majority of space in the room. Sitting in a white lounge chair, a willowy red head sat smiling at them. Her teeth were blindingly white, her eyes large emeralds set beneath deep eyelids, and her long, lean legs were on display, spilling out from the flimsy, wispy white gauze material of her robe – it looked like a dress that was cut into pieces and sewed back together in the most provocative way. Her make-up was smoky with popping, cherry red lips and her hair waved in a classic 1940's starlet style. Pam was right – she looked like an old-fashioned Hollywood hooker.

"Queen Sophie-Anne," Eric said, bowing slightly. Cassie took his lead and gave a light curtsey, and thanked God for her natural grace because in spite of their pretty appearance, the onyx floors were quite slippery.

"You may join me," Sophie-Anne said, waving her hand at two lounges to her right, one cerulean blue and the other pure black.

"I would like to join you too, Sophie," said another voice, directly behind them.

Cassie whipped around and came face to face with Godric. He wore a pair of white pants and an oversized, grey, long-sleeved shirt that hid a majority of his tribal markings. His eyes were as dark and deep as Cassie remembered and she smiled when he stepped up to her and took her hand to kiss it.

"Godric, what a surprise. By all means, join us," Sophie-Anne said, voice carrying back to them.

Cassie blushed when Godric smiled up at her in friendly awareness, brushing passed her as he followed Eric's lead to Sophie-Anne. Trailing behind the two of them, Cassie felt this whole thing had been planned – and not the surprised that Sophie-Anne claimed it to be – and she shot Eric a dirty look for keeping this secret. She was relieved that someone as powerful and influential as Godric was present, but keeping it from her that he would be there didn't sit well with Cassie.

"Ah, ah, ah, Eric, I would like Cassandra to sit beside me," Sophie-Anne chastised when Eric attempted to take the blue lounge beside her. Godric had taken up a white lounge on Sophie-Anne's left and Cassie gracefully sat, posture rigid.

"Yes, my queen," Eric said, bowing his head in deferment before dropping into the black lounge on Cassie's left.

"Oh, you are a pretty thing. My little Harmon told me you were quite beautiful. He rarely boasts such things, you must be something. Tell me, can you really project yourself to find someone?" Sophie-Anne leaned against the arm of her chair facing Cassie and laid her head on her open palm.

Clearing her dry throat, Cassie nodded.

"Do you speak or are you mute?" asked Sophie-Anne, one delicately arched brow rising in question.

"I can speak. What do you prefer your majesty or royal bitch?" Cassie snarked.

Immediately, Eric stiffened, his cool, pale hand landing firmly the thigh closest to him and his fingers clenched in warning.

Sophie-Anne stared at her for a moment, coolly assessing her before she gave an enchanting laugh and looked to Godric who was staring at Cassie without expression.

"I like you. Harmon was right, but he always is. I made him, you know. He was just too pretty to massacre with the rest of his village. He's been with me for well over two hundred years and I find that he has the best judgment. Now, Cassie, may I call you that? Can you project yourself to find someone?" Sophie-Anne asked, reaching out with one hand to run a French-tipped nail along Cassie's jaw, leaving a thin, red line in its wake.

"Yes. I can," Cassie said.

"Can you do it right now? If I wanted?"

"I could, if I wanted," Cassie said pointedly, throwing Eric a glare when his thumb dug into her inner thigh. "Stop manhandling me or you'll lose that thumb."

Sophie-Anne threw head back and gave a deep, throaty laugh that made Godric smile and Eric smirk.

"I do like them mouthy. You should bring your pet here more often," Sophie-Anne said to Eric and then made a face of penance, "I mean your companion. Harmon said you had issues you with vampire terminology. I don't give a damn about politic correctness, but for you, dear, I'll make amends."

"Is there a reason you summoned Cassie, Sophie?" Godric asked, leaning casually back in his seat, look ten times the leader Sophie-Anne portrayed. It was in his cool stature, the way he held himself – that is what made him a leader.

Batting her eyes flirtatiously at him, Sophie-Anne grinned, "Yes, there is. I'm looking for someone special. I heard from a little birdie, aka King Thadieum, that you had helped out the King of Texas, and that he wanted you back very badly. But I don't see why what King Thadieum wants should matter to me. Unless, of course, you are of no use and therefore would be more useful to me as a bargaining chip. Now, will you find who I'm looking for, or should I start making phone calls to see how much you're worth?"

"She is mine. No one may have her," Eric proclaimed and Cassie found herself jerked from her lounger into Eric's lap. His arms clasped around her waist and Cassie raised both eyebrows at him before staring at Godric who looked decidedly amused.

"You have not fucked her," Sophie-Anne said glacially and Cassie stilled.

"We have exchanged blood."

"And you would disobey your queen for this human?" Sophie-Anne asked, an ugly sneer marring her pretty features.

"Sophie, I think there is a better compromise to be made on Cassie's behalf," Godric said, cutting in where Eric would have replied.

The sneer melted away into a charming smile that held a hint of fang and Sophie-Anne turned to face Godric. They were acting as if Cassie wasn't present and it took all of her self-control and savoir-faire to remain neutral.

"Would you be bargaining on Cassie's behalf, Godric, dear?"

Godric looked to Cassie, took in her stony faced expression, and nodded his head to them both, "If she would so permit."

"Cassie, dear, do you permit him to champion for your cause – whatever that maybe?" Sophie-Anne asked.

Turning her eyes to Eric, who had gone pallid at Godric's words, she assessed her options. A, face the vampire queen on her own. B, let Eric beat his chest and shout that she was his. C, have Godric – a two thousand year old vampire – negotiate the terms of her services. Sighing, Cassie nodded.

"Go ahead, Godric," Cassie said. She relaxed in Eric's arms, despite her rancor toward him, and listened carefully.

"I want Cassie to find someone important, special, and in return, she may stay in Louisiana under my protection," Sophie-Anne said, crossing her long legs and reclining into her lounge.

"What will you compensate her with?" Godric asked, his brows furrowed.

Slight shoulders shrugged softly as Sophie-Anne replied, "Protection."

"And monetarily? And in assets?" Godric pursued.

Sighing, the queen rolled her neck, "I could give her five thousand and a small apartment in New Orleans."

"I paid her fifteen just to go to Dallas," Eric announced angrily and Cassie rubbed a hand across his stomach and shoulders.

"Fifteen then," Sophie-Anne said, shrugging.

"Fifty thousand and an apartment anywhere in Louisiana of Cassie's choosing," Godric said, staring deeply into Sophie-Anne's eyes. They sat that way for several, long, tense moment – well long and tense to Cassie, but for people who have been alive for hundreds and thousands of years it probably wasn't that long.

"And I may call on her when I like to help me locate another?" Sophie-Anne asked.

"Make it a quarter-million and you can put me on speed dial," Cassie said, cutting in when Godric opened his mouth.

Sophie-Anne turned to her then, eyes hard and glinting as they cut through her. She bared her fangs at Cassie and Cassie remained unflinching though her stomach made an awful churning noise and her fists clenched in Eric's dress shirt, stressing the buttons.

"You think much of yourself," Sophie-Anne announced, fangs fumbling her words in a slight accent.

"Damn straight and when I find whoever it is you're looking for, you will too," Cassie promised, folding her arms defensively over her chest.

The room grew quiet and then Sophie-Anne smiled beguilingly. She tossed her strawberry blond hair over her shoulder and reached down beside her lounge chair. Cassie caught sight of a brass bell before it tinkled, the queen shaking it gently, and then the doors to the back by the large, back windows opened and Harmon came in. He did that bizarre floating move that had kept Cassie spellbound at the club and he carried a silver platter with a matching hood – it was obviously pewter or some other metal.

"You heard everything?" Sophie-Anne asked once Harmon stood, hovering inches above the floor, beside her.

Inclining his head Harmon bowed, pulled off the hood from the platter and revealed a packet of papers and a Montblanc fountain pen; it resembled one that Cassie's father had gotten at the ten year mark as a foreign ambassador.

"Our lawyer finished printing it just moments ago," Harmon announced, handing her the fresh contract.

"Um, I'd like to have my lawyer take a look at it before I sign anything," Cassie said.

Sighing dramatically, the queen handed the contract to Godric who flipped through it faster than Cassie could see, it was a blur of pages, and then he handed it back and nodded.

"It is all that you agreed, Cassie," Godric said.

"You read that whole thing word for word?" Cassie asked, genuinely astonished. If she could read that fast she'd be the top editor in the country – maybe even the world.

"Yes."

Nodding, Cassie watched Harmon float closer and offer her the pen after Sophie-Anne handed her the contract with a smile of relish. One flourished signature later, Cassie sat reclining again in the white, lounge between Sophie-Anne and Eric, both of whom were watching her intently, and Godric gazed on from his chair, watching with interest.

"You'll need to describe what he or she looks like. I need a picture to go on," Cassie said, closing her eyes.

"She is small, thin, frail looking. Her name is Ariadne. She has mid-length brown hair, deep brown eyes. Her face is beautiful, but she is far too thin," Sophie-Anne listed and Cassie shot up from her seat, jumping to her feet.

"Wait, Ariadne. Does she, I mean, has she ever been to Ohio?" Cassie asked. Her mind kept flashing back to the drug addict she had found in the alleyway, the girl whose life she had saved.

Sophie-Anne stood facing her and Cassie backed up a step to the lip of the pool, her heels clicking and resounding off the walls of the room.

"Yes, she was. I have lost track of her. You know her?" Sophie-Anne asked, stepping closer to which Cassie stepped back, her heels precariously balanced on the pool's edge.

"I saved her life recently. She was in this alley outside of some crappy bar in Youngstown," Cassie said.

Sophie-Anne's red lips puckered and she ran her green eyes over Cassie, analyzing her with a strict calmness and familiarity that stripped her bare. Lifting her head in defiance, Cassie took a step forward and crossed her arms.

"Could you find her again?"

"Maybe. Once I've found someone, it's easier to track them. What's special about her? Why do you need to know where she is?" Cassie asked. It was one thing to find Godric for Eric and another to deliberately put a psychic charge in danger. Cassie did not judge vampires as murders and fiends alike, but there was a cruelty that shined from Sophie-Anne's hard, forest deep eyes.

"I don't that explanations were a part of our contractual agreement. But I'll indulge you since you have already done half the work in preserving this girl's life. Ariadne is a witch. Born and bred, that little girl is one of mine. She was taken several weeks back and she has a drug habit that I have allowed for too long, and now she's getting her fix on the streets and disappearing on and off my radar. I need to nip this issue before it causes me problems. She's afraid of what she is and she's running because I need her to embrace it," Sophie-Anne announced, stepping directly into Cassie's personal space.

"What do you need her for? Isn't New Orleans voodoo capital of the world?" Cassie asked.

"What I need her for is irrelevant. I can promise she will not be harmed in my care. In fact, you are prolonging her self-destructive behavior the longer we spend talking when you could be finding her for me," Sophie-Anne said.

Cassie looked over Sophie-Anne's shoulder to Eric, who was looking at Godric. Great, no help there. Sighing, Cassie looked Sophie-Anne in the eyes and tried to break through her icy façade, to see something that made Cassie feel better about this situation she had somehow landed herself in. She needed the money Sophie-Anne was giving her, maybe not right this moment, but by winter she'd be back to using her trust fund if she couldn't find a job and working for Sophie-Anne was better than sponging off her self-important parents any day of the week.

"Fine. I'll find her. But remember, I can find her any time I want and I'll know if she's being mistreated," Cassie threatened.

Sophie-Anne hissed angrily and Cassie gasped when the queen's hand wrapped around her throat and squeezed. Her flow of oxygen cut off and Cassie felt her feet lift the ground as Sophie-Anne held her suspended mid-air above the crystal blue pool water. Cassie kicked her legs out and when the world began to fade and the sound of Eric and Godric's protests diminished, Cassie struck out with her hand, slapping Sophie-Anne's chest until a dark purple light emitted from her palms and Cassie felt the hand around her throat release.

Cassie hit the pool water with a garbled cry and warmth suffused her body. She opened her mouth and eyes and choked on a mouthful of salty water. Instinct kicked in when Cassie hit the bottom of the ten feet depth and used her legs to propel her up to the surface, gasping as she broke through.

Someone grabbed hold of her arms, digging fingers into her armpits, and hauled her up from the water where she bobbed wading water. Cold skin and cold hands registered in Cassie's mind and she met Eric's cold, blue eyes head on. She slumped in his arms and allowed him to cradle her to his chest.

"You crossed a line, Sophie-Anne," Godric said, voice feriocious and forbidding, though oddly quiet and cool. If anyone pulled off intimidation it was Godric.

"That little…human, burned my hair," Sophie-Anne announced from her lounge. She looked unruffled except for her hair which was now singed at an angle from right to left – the short side just below her right ear. The smell of burned flesh and hair clung to the air and Cassie coughed violently once Eric retook his seat.

"Yeah, well you crushed my larynx, we'll call it even," Cassie rasped, sniffling and wiping droplets of water from her eyes and forehead.

"Do not presume to threaten a queen," Sophie-Anne told her, leveling her with a glare before shooing Harmon, who stood stoically at the doorway waiting for dismissal, to leave.

"Don't fuck with me. I might be human, but I come with a little something extra in my package," Cassie said, though on the inside she was quavering in fear. She refused to show this so-and-so her fear.

"If I'd known you were going to stir up this much trouble, I would have brought Pam," Eric whispered in her ear, his cool breath making Cassie shiver.

"She'd probably have enjoyed the show," Cassie whispered back and then she relinquished her hold on Eric, pushing his arms away, and stood.

"Where are you going?" Sophie-Anne asked when Cassie walked to the other side of the pool.

Dropping heavily, her body thoroughly exhausted for her expended energy, into a black lounge. "I'm finding your witch."

Cassie closed her eyes and for a moment, she just relaxed. She had never emitted a purple light like that before, it was a new freaky power even to her, and the thought of having more undiscovered abilities buried deep was scarier than a pissed-off, Hollywood hooker look-alike vampire queen. Pushing those thoughts aside, Cassie cleared her mind and ignored the chill of the air against her wet body and clinging clothes. She saw Ariadne in her mind and reached for her.

Cassie opened her eyes and found herself standing in the middle of a dingy, over-crowded living room with magazines and trash bags piled high in all corners. Ugly plaid brown furniture and a yellow afghan decorated the space along with a '70's shag rug that had seen better days. A short, wide, wood coffee table sat in the middle of the room in front of an old TV set that had rabbit ears atop it pointed ten-and-two, and a fuzzy rerun of The Honeymooners played from the glowing set.

Looking left and right, Cassie spotted Ariadne curled up on the sofa by a chipped, white front door that's window was curtained off by a stained, grey curtain. She looked worse than the last time Cassie had seen her, which was hard to believe, and Cassie crouched down beside her to sweep her hair from her face. Alive and breathing, Cassie thought in relief.

Turning from the sleeping girl, Cassie stood up and walked to the door. She carefully and quietly opened it and slipped out. She made note of the house number 124 and walked to the corner of the block on the quiet street. The houses were dilapidated and the lawns were yellow and brown with neglect. Minivans and low-riders were parked in most of the driveways and when Cassie took stock of the street sign it read Racine Avenue at the corner of S. 9th street.

Sighing, Cassie looked for anything that would tell her where it was exactly Ariadne had taken refuge. Glancing from driveway to driveway, Cassie found her answer – a newspaper. Rushing forward, Cassie snatched it off the ground and hovered beneath the closest street light. Louisville, Kentucky – that's what the paper read. Cassie dropped it back on the asphalt driveway she had picked it up from and began to wander down the street until she felt the pull of her body and the inevitable fading out.

Opening her eyes, Cassie stared up at the high, white ceilings of Sophie-Anne's pool room and blinked several times to clear her head. The rush of coming back to herself was disconcerting and she took a moment to reacclimatize to her surroundings. Standing, Cassie marched over to where Eric, Sophie-Anne, and Godric sat staring at her.

"That's it? Five minutes and you're back?" Sophie-Anne asked, right eyebrow rising to an arch.

"Yup. She's in Louisville, Kentucky. House 124 on the corner of Racine Avenue and S. 9th street. I'll take a check," Cassie said, holding out her hand with a proud smile. She might not be an editor at BW&B, or be able to live in New Jersey, but she still had a knack with her powers.

"Oh I think you and I will be great friends once I've had my hair cut," Sophie-Anne said, clapping her hands excitedly before disappearing in a blur.

Cassie turned to both Eric and Godric is surprise and confusion. Godric smiled benignly and Eric sat smirking, arms folded.

"You did well," Godric said.

"Thank you. I'd rather be working on a manuscript or sunbathing, but I guess making a quarter of a million dollars in five minutes works too," Cassie said, shrugging nonchalantly.

"I could think of more pleasurable things we could be doing," Eric said lasciviously.

"Here," Sophie-Anne said, blurring to a standstill in front of Cassie, a check with blue dolphins on it in hand.

Taking it, Cassie looked at the number and took a deep breath looking at all the zeros.

"Now, how about a rousing game of scrabble? Or monopoly? Oh, wait, I know, Yahtzee!" Sophie-Anne said, holding up her bell.

"Not this evening, Sophie. I wish to talk with my Child and Cassie needs rest – she is human," Godric told her and the queen pouted before smiling again and ringing the bell regardless.

"Au revoir then, mon ami. I shall see you again in a few decades perhaps. Take care Cassie, I will be calling. Eric, be a dear and watch her carefully; you can be so reckless with your possessions," Sophie-Anne called to them and then turned to Harmon who answered her summons, Yahtzee box in hand.

As they exited the southern estate, Cassie looped her arm around Eric's waist and looked up at him, her grey eyes met his cool blue and she smiled, "So what was this I hear about more pleasurable things?"

A/N: Thank you so much Carrie for your review. I love reading reviews and yours just made my day. I love Eric and he's so indescribably sexy that he's fun to write. He didn't play an overly active role in this chapter - sorry to disappoint - but let's just say the next chapter will feature him in all his sexual glory. I hope you liked this update and I can't wait to hear your thoughts. EK! :D
Last edited by Egyptian_Kiss on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal~Pamela Vaull Starr

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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch11 3/04/11

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:30 am

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Twelve

Cassie held her arms more tightly around Eric's neck as they flew higher to avoid a light post. Taking a heartening breath, Cassie glanced down at the streets below and saw the faintest hint of a pale blur below. It had been Godric's idea to pow-wow at Eric's residence after Cassie's frightening brush with the queen. Given that the queen's fangs had still been run out as Cassie made her chic, if not damp and hurried exit, Godric had considered it advisable to seek a private place.

"Do you know how reckless that stunt you just pulled was?" Eric asked. Cassie had been deflecting his lecturing tone ever since they took flight, Godric zipping about the streets as they passed overhead. At least the wind stole most of his humbling words and left Cassie with a modicum of dignity.

"I think I handled myself just fine," Cassie said obstinately, shrieking a little when Eric purposefully soared higher. "Stop doing that!"

"That whole thing could have gone poorly before you could have blinked. We are not known for our control," Eric said, lowering them ten feet and evening out his route.

Tucking her head into his shoulder, Cassie sighed. "It's sweet that you're concerned, but I'm fine. Besides, if I had gone in there cowed she would have gone for blood and you know it. Literally and figuratively."

"What you did was foolhardy and I'd caution you against such behavior in the future. You are mine and that is the only reason you are not being punished and publically humiliated at the queen's hand as we speak," Eric informed her. His arms flexed protectively around her and Cassie sighed again.

"Where are we going anyway?" Cassie said, abruptly searching for a change in subject.

"My dwelling," Eric said.

"What about the club?" Cassie asked.

"Pam will close up tonight. You will be staying with me until Sophie-Anne has acquired your apartment," Eric said.

The land below became sparse of buildings and houses, the commercial and residential landscape giving way to countryside and thick foliage. Light posts and telephone poles became further and further apart until they disappeared altogether. A half hour more of flying and the wind became less prominent and the moonlight barely lit the single road beneath Eric's directions. Godric's figure shone more brightly than anything in the stark darkness and shadows of Louisiana swampland.

Her fingers beginning to go numb, Cassie flexed them and Eric playfully pretended to release her and with a shriek her hands were firmly clasped behind his head again. Angrily, Cassie tugged at a long lock of pale blond hair and then bit her cheek to stop smiling when Eric gave her a playful smirk.

"How much –" Cassie began and cut off when she saw the sudden open space below. The road ended suddenly, stopping at a giant brick wall that ran in a wide two mile circle outlining a vast property. The grass stood out in waving roves that appeared like a shadowy lake in the darkness of nature. Large stone statues made of an indiscernible but light colored stone stood ten feet tall, strategically placed in imposing sentient around the openness of Eric's land.

Watching keenly as they descended from the sky, Cassie noted Godric pushing through the front gate and walking at a human pace to the grey granite steps that led up to the four story manor Eric called home. As they landed, Cassie loosened her grip on Eric and practically jumped out of his arms. Her legs gave an unpleasant wobble as the blood flow returned to normal and her eyes perused every inch of the immaculately kept property.

"Wow. I have seen some fine places in my day, Eric Northman, but this is gorgeous," Cassie said, turning in a circle as she assessed the grounds.

"I assume the flight went well," Godric asked her, amusement thick in his voice as he appeared off the cobblestone pathway that led up from the main gate.

"Air Eric is not the most pleasant way to travel, no," Cassie rejoined, refocusing her attention on the two vampires who stood side by side.

Looking at Eric and Godric side by side was a peculiar thing. Cassie could feel the power radiating off of both Maker and Child, but the fact that someone as small as Godric, even with his impressive presence, had made someone as tall and imposing as Eric was a marvel. They both held themselves in that unnaturally still way that Cassie had come to associate with vampires, but more than that, they held themselves in the same way a father and son might – almost identical in stature.

Chuckling darkly, Godric gave Eric a fond look and then returned his attention to Cassie. "Might I escort you inside?" Godric held out his hand to her and Cassie smiled, taking it.

"Hop to Eric," Cassie teased, walking up the steps behind him as he led them inside.

"Cassie, could you tell me more about what you did earlier to Sophie-Anne?" Godric asked as they entered the front hall which was relatively bare compared to the opulence of the well-manicured landscape outside.

"Honestly, I'm picking things up as I go. I've never done anything like that before. I panicked and it must have triggered some self-defense mechanism," Cassie said.

As they continued to follow Eric further and further into his sanctuary, Cassie felt the chill of the stone walls and the decadently polished wood floors. Random artifacts, mostly Norse in origin, stood on purposefully placed pillars, and swords and weaponry decorated the walls as pictures and knickknacks might in any regular person's home.

"She tends to wing it," Eric intoned, his tone arrogantly knowing and Cassie rolled her eyes at his back.

They came to the end of the long hallway that led in from the front entrance, and Eric pulled off the necklace that Cassie noticed he almost always wore. The locket front clicked open with a slight snick and Eric inserted the piece into the coat of arms that acted as a lock and door handle in one. With a powerful thrust of his fist into the center and a turn of the wrist, the door started to unlock. Each tink and whir of the lock mechanism intrigued Cassie as she watched the massive double doors push backward a foot and then slid apart and disappear into the wall – necklace and all.

Behind the double doors was an ordinary looking wall with a single door that had no apparent knob or keyhole, just a simple black screen similar to that of an old-fashioned black and white television. Curious, Cassie leaned forward and around Godric – who appeared unruffled and at ease – and watched as Eric pressed his palm flat, his long fingers extended wide against the screen's surface. A cool blue light emitted from the screen and scanned top to bottom twice before making four deliberate click sequences and it beeped twice before Eric dropped his hand. This door, unlike the first two, simply began rising up from the floor, disappearing into the ceiling above and Cassie allowed Godric to usher her inside.

Beyond the pop-and-flash doors and fancy lock technology, Cassie found herself in a cozy room. The room inside reminded Cassie of something straight out of a castle, stone walls, flagstone floors, and a huge fireplace inset in the far wall. No windows or skylights existed in Eric's private quarters. A tremendous fur rug made of some long-extinct race of animal lay on the floor in front of the fireplace and a chandelier sat high above, shining dimly in the room. Axes and swords crisscrossed over the fireplace and along the flat, jagged mantelpiece that drew the eye upon entering. Several throne-like chairs semi-circled the fireplace and against the left wall sat a long, dark, rich wood dining table; it looked so old Cassie could only guess at its origin and the gnarled knots and petrified appearance gave off an important aura about it. Erect half in the stone wall to the right and extending outward several dozen feet stood the largest bed Cassie had ever seen in her life. The bed was hand-carved and held hints of Eric's Viking heritage, shaped similarly to a longboat but clearly more spacious, it was bedecked in black sheets and a gold spun comforter.

Ironically, the most modern thing in Eric's room was a Fangtasia calendar that paid homage to his magnificent body and a catty looking Pam in her usual Fangtasia regalia.

"This is where you sleep?" Cassie asked, her eyes absorbing random facts about his inner-bat-cave, detail by detail.

"Not what you expected of my Child, is it?" Godric asked, a small smile and a hint of pride coloring his words. He had taken a seat in front of the fireplace. Eric stood in front tossing logs from an ornate chest in the process of building a fire. He was always so quiet around Godric.

"Not quite. Though the big bed and black sheets? Yeah, that wasn't a shocker," Cassie teased.

"So you have given my bed much thought then?" Eric asked, turning with that sexy, knowing smirk in place.

Firmly instructing herself not to blush, Cassie shrugged and took to the pewter and wood throne beside Godric, directly in front of the fire and tugged off her boots. Her toes were pinched and uncomfortable and the newly lit fire caused an appreciative sigh to fall from her lips. Watching Eric's muscular back stretch and flex as he added wood to the fire felt voyeuristic and caused tempting tingles to send shivers up and down her spine. Glancing at Godric out of the corner of her eye, Cassie blushed, finding his stare on her.

"You were very brave this night. If not foolish," Godric said to her. His face was placid, almost indifferent, but his eyes told another story – they shined with an admiration that added to Cassie's blush.

"I'm not used to curbing my tongue. I'm an editor. Harsh, to the point, and direct – it's a hard habit to break. I've grown up around important people; it's not about the schmoozing, it's about the attitude," Cassie said. "But maybe I did lay it on a little thick," she conceded.

Nodding his head slightly, Godric looked to Eric who stood after finishing the fire and turned to take in his Maker and Cassie. His eyes had their usual hungry appearance when he ran them over her and Cassie got caught in them.

"You look good on a throne," Eric commented and he took the larger one to her right. Something in the way he said it made that innately feminine part of her preen.

"Cassandra, I would suggest you explore your abilities more in the near future. Now that Sophie-Anne has seen what you can do she will try to acquire you. She has always sought power and you are powerful. She collects humans like humans might collect fine china; if it is pretty to look at and others covet it, she must have it. I would be careful about what you do in your new apartment, surely she will be having you watched, but I encourage you to make use of Fangtasia and other secure areas," Godric began. The way he spoke was so fluid and powerful it made it so easy to hang on each word and take it as a personal truth.

"You might be under my protection, but that will only protect you from those beneath my control. The queen is not queen because she has rested on her laurels; she is ambitious and she will only allow you the illusion of freedom as long as you play by her rules. Which you proved might be more than difficult tonight," Eric cut in.

"I got the feeling she wasn't please, thanks," Cassie said, growing frustrated. Her neck still throbbed with the reminder of what happened earlier in the evening.

"That I have taken an interest in you will keep her at arm's length for now. Sophie-Anne is nothing if not politically minded; starting a war with me would be an outright attack against the state of Texas. The legal document which you entered into with her will keep her appeased for the moment and hopefully create some red tape she will be hesitant to cut through," Godric added, his dark eyes alternating between Cassie's own and Eric's.

"Do you think she'll be calling on me often?" Cassie asked, crossing her legs as her dress started to dry out and the sheer slid of the material slipped up her legs. She felt Eric's gaze on her bare skin and her aroused tingles increased.

"I think, for now, she will be preoccupied with Ariadne. From what she expressed to me while you were…soul searching, the witch has become a problem. Training a witch and keeping her loyal can be quite the undertaking," Godric said. His eyes shot to the fire and Cassie sensed he spoke from experience.

"What is it like…to live for thousands of years? To watch everything and everyone you know fade away?" Cassie asked, her voice whisper soft. It was a private question, intrusive and intimate, but Godric held a fascination for her. He had seen and done things some people have only heard or read about. He saw the dawning of many ages in history and had outlived extinct species of animals and tribes of people that had come and gone with the same permanency that everyone felt their culture had, but in truth was fleeting.

The shadows seemed to become darker, the silence filled with the crackling spit of burning wood, and Godric's placid expression grew darker, deeper, hindered by something strong and silent – furious intensity filling up his face and furrowing his brow.

"Time is an illusion. When you have lived as long as I – have experienced so much of its passing – you understand the reality of living. Everything bends for time, moves forward and unyieldingly never in reverse. I have seen the dawn of polytheism and the monotheist rise of Christ and the Lord. I caught fish before the invention of the fishing pole, swam with sharks that are prehistorically more frightening to the human mind. I wove baskets with the mothers of such traditions and helped dig the ancient irrigation systems that led to the waterworks of modern plumbing. I can speak languages that no one else that exists today could remember or have even heard of."

Godric fell silent and turned those dark luminous eyes on Cassie and the coldness in them made her quiver inside. The depth and darkness called to every lonely, unwelcome, primal emotion that ran unfettered to the abysmal parts of her soul and her fingertips twitched, sparking a tinted violet.

His lips barely moved as he continued to speak, "Being a vampire is tiring. It wears on the joyful, happy, exuberant bursting emotions that humans are so free with displaying and passing off. Reality is harsh, waking up each day to know this is all that you will know from now until the end of time is draining; especially if you are alone. Humans are often so quick to accept the cheater's death, but true death is far more enlivening. To know each day might be the last, each breath one step closer to a yet-to-be-explore mystery is a gift. It keeps these few, fleeting moments worth something. Immortality captured in the human form of beauty and youth might be appealing in life, but in death…it is far less glamorous. That is why we make Children, to give us new life. To keep us alive, so to speak," Godric finished. He smiled the last at Eric and Cassie felt so much pass between them in that moment it felt like an intrusion into their private connection. "But I should be going. I will seek rest elsewhere this night, my Child. Cassie."

The apparent end of that conversation surprised her and Cassie quickly stood and in a very human show of affection, she hugged Godric goodbye. His skin was so icy it took away from the warmth of the fire, but Cassie ignored the internal shiver and pulled back.

"Thank you for being there tonight," Cassie said.

"If you ever need me, I will come," Godric replied and he clasped forearms with Eric when Eric stepped around her to share the less-than-familiar embrace. Men were so particular about how they greeted and dismissed one another, Cassie thought.

"Be well," Godric said and then he was gone, somehow deactivating the doors and disappearing at that impossibly quick vampiric speed.

"My Maker likes you," Eric said. It sounded like a stamp of approval.

"I like him too," Cassie said, staring back at Eric. She noted the fiery look she was receiving and sat back down as Eric came forth to tower over her chair. "Well, now that you have me all alone, what do you plan to do with me?"

They had danced around each other for so long that Cassie wondered if she had built things up too much in her head. Eric's Nordic blue eyes roved over her naked legs and her bare thighs to the edge of her purple lace dress, and he crouched low at her feet, kneeling before her as she sat on one of his thrones. He reminded her of a knight, kneeling before his queen, and when his strong, large hands took up her right foot she gasped a little.

"I plan to savor every inch of you," Eric said strongly, his masculine tone huming with appreciation as he rubbed at the soles of her feet and planted kisses along her calve muscles, his hands working slowly higher. The pads of his fingers felt incredible, Cassie's skin sensitive to each ridge of his fingertips, leaving an invisible mark in their wake.

"The royal treatment?" Cassie teased, gasping when his tongue peeked out and swirled at a particularly sensitive spot behind her right knee.

In lieu of answering, Eric's hands massaged up to the edge of her dress, pushing the hem up to her waist, and he hooked two fingers in her panties, pulling them down her legs, and he repeated the tantalizing massage back up her left leg, her core completely exposed to his eyes.

With an insistent pull, Eric tugged Cassie forward on the throne, and tugged her legs up over his shoulders, her dress bunching higher, exposing her tanned, toned stomach and hips and the smooth planes and dips of her sides. The feel of his breath between her legs caused her eyes to slid shut in anticipation.

"Tell me you want me," Eric ordered, his tongue coming out to lick her nether lips, a long, slow glide of moisture from her opening to her clit.

Moaning low in her throat, Cassie nodded and gasped, "I want you."

"Say my name," Eric insisted, his tongue giving another, more insistent flick.

"I want you, Eric," Cassie said. "God, please, Eric."

In reward, Eric's tongue dipped lower and began thrusting in and out, her sheath moistening and her musk growing stronger. The taste of her drove him into a frenzy, but years of sexual prowess left Eric able to continue in a deliberately slow pace, building faster incrementally with each tug of Cassie's frantic hands. His tongue swirled hotly inside her and Cassie bit her lip to the point of bleeding before crying out in a powerful orgasm, her limbs trembling in release.

Chuckling with male satisfaction, Eric slowly rose up her body, a mix of his saliva and her feminine juices leaving a wet trail climbing from her hot pussy up her toned abdomen and stopping only briefly to tease her belly button which caused her whole stomach to clench wantonly. Rough, lightening-quick hands pushed Cassie's dress up over her breasts and when she felt him press his muscular, suddenly-shirtless chest against hers, she raised her arms for him to remove it.

"You taste delicious," Eric whispered, his tongue flicking out at her left ear as blew gently into it, and then swirled the tip of his tongue along her jugular. He brought his lips to hers, leaving a taste of herself on her lips as he swept his tongue out to taste the blood from her bitten lower lip. They groaned together.

"More," Cassie whispered, tugging at his pants as he quickly disrobed. The man had undressing down to a science because before it could fully register, Cassie found herself sprawled out on the giant bed, the soft gold comforter felt like fine chenille, and then all thought left her as Eric cupped a breast in each hand.

"You have such beautiful breasts," Eric said, husky with want.

"Thank you," she whispered back, pulling his head down to one, feeling his tongue come out to swirl around the nipple before taking it between his teeth in a light bite that tinkled her nerve-endings and shot fire through the center of her body. All her attention was on his hands and his tongue and the hard, heavy press of his thick length against her inner thigh. It had been too long since Cassie had indulged and Eric was more than ready to please her if his massive erection was any indication.

She felt the tiny prick of Eric's fangs as they started to run out and before she could think to protest, or more-the-like beg him to continue, they sank deep into the soft flesh. Each eager suckle of his mouth on her breast brought her body to the peak of orgasm only to recede and then bring her to the edge again.

"God damn it, Eric, fuck!" Cassie shouted, her eyes shooting open when he withdrew his fangs and lapped strongly over her nipple.

"I do not want you to peak too soon. Wouldn't that be a shame?" Eric asked, his eyes dancing with mischief and power. He was drunk on sexual potency and damn if Cassie didn't find that all the sexier.

Running her hands up and down his biceps, she gave them a squeeze before dropping a hand to cup him, tightening into a fist around his prick. The heavy veins and thick bulge would have frightened a lesser woman, but Cassie spread her thighs wider, hooked her legs behind him back, and tugged with all her need and reveled in the feel of his weight as he came to rest against her. The tip of his mushroom head rested against her warmth, and Cassie stared up into Eric's eyes as she rocked her hips, her slickness rubbing against his length, moistening him, readying her, and toying dangerously with their control. On a downward rock, Eric clutched her thighs, stopping her movement and the large head rested at her opening. With a passionate cry, he entered her, relishing in the uncontrollable noises he caused her to produce. With one stiff, hard push he buried his cock to the hilt inside of her and Cassie cried out, all breath lost to her.

Eric didn't stop to adjust he continued to rock into her warmth, his arms holding the bulk of his weight as he thrust turgidly into her, over and over again. The fullness inside of her made her fingertips itch, her cheeks blushing furiously with warmth, and as she thrust up to meet him his grunted in her ear. The sound of his pleasure was like a drug, empowering, overwhelming, and enviable. Nothing in her life, no sexual experience before this, could have prepared her for this intense connection. It went beyond the titillating exchange of blood, the fleeting caresses and teasing comments. Having Eric inside of her, pumping into her, made Cassie feel in a way she had never achieved before. She clenched her inner-muscles around him and he groaned so hoarse and so low it sounded like a growl and his hips picked up the speed. Their thighs met in a clapping so furious and quick it rang through the room and echoed off the stone walls and floor. The temperature between them rose and Cassie started to keen out a long, rippling orgasmic cry when he pulled one leg so high it pressed into her shoulder and gave new depth to each upward pump of his cock.

"I'm so full, so full," Cassie shouted. "Oh God, Eric, gonna, oh – "

"Come now," Eric commanded, his bouncing thrusts speeding up so quickly it was a blur that she could only dream of keeping up with and the new level of expedience sent her flying over the edge of multiple orgasms that sent wave after wave of liquid gushing out over his length, down his heavy sac, and spraying the sheets and his thighs. Each pump of his prick felt like another orgasm, induced a dizzying level of pleasure. He slowed to a stop inside her and she felt his still hard cock buried to the hilt. "Tired yet?" He asked teasingly, nipping at that special spot below her ear.

Taking a couple deep, fortifying breaths, Cassie met his eyes, "Give me more."

Something flared inside his gaze and Cassie felt him grow impossibly larger inside of her and her vagina clenched to keep him still inside her. Sweat was dripping off of her and her breath was still coming in pants, but she obliged when Eric slid free, leaving her bereft of his fullness, and turned on her side, lifting her leg up to the arm as he settled in behind her. When the familiar press of his erection against her opening came, she thrust back against him, his hand coming up to join hers in holding her leg suspended so that she lay open to his pumping member.

Their skin slapped together, wet and fervent and the slick slide of him in and out cast dancing shadows along the stone wall, the firelight silhouetting their movements. His tongue licked along the back of her neck and Cassie gave a submissive tilt of her head. "Bite me," she seduced, the hand supporting her weight clutching at the covers when he did. Some of her blood spilled down her back and where it ran his tongue followed. He shifted behind her, groaning deeply when her sheath fluttered around him in another slew of orgasms, and an open, bleeding wrist appeared before her mouth. Without a thought, Cassie bit down on his wrist, relishing in his cry of satisfaction, and gorged on his intoxicating blood.

The moment it passed her lips, hit her tongue, and filled her stomach with its burning, vivid flavor a stirring, fervid and instinctual, grew at her core. Slicker, hotter, all-enveloping desire roared in her veins and Cassie grew frenetic. Each spiraling tendril of passion and pleasure intertwined and exploded. Her nerves gave an adrenaline rush like a straight shot from her brain to her breasts to her molten-hot core. Eric swelled inside of her, sped up in that incomparable way until finally Cassie came and Eric joined her.

"Mine," he shouted, biting into her neck, her lips still attached to his wrist, and he continued to thrust each demanding pump until he had spent the last of his seed inside of her.

High beyond belief, Cassie finally let her jaw unclench, releasing Eric's bloody wrist, and his fangs slid out from her neck. One of his hands clutched her to him, the other drew his comforter over them before coming up to soothingly brush her hair and neck in soft strokes. Their legs laid together in a tangle and his soft member lay intimately against her backside. Cassie vaguely heard Eric murmuring something in her ear, but it all swooshed away as she lost consciousness.

Author's Note: Thank you so much, Carrie! You are such an inspiration to me. You make me feel so special and I'm sorry it took me so long to update, but between writer's block, finals, and work, I've had a lot to contend with, not to mention my other fanfic. Now that the new season of True Blood is on maybe I'll be inspired more often. I hope you enjoyed this chapter, as well as everyone else lurking out there. I hope to have another one up in a few weeks. Let me know what you think, EK!
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal~Pamela Vaull Starr

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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch12 6/29/11

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:08 am

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Thirteen

Cassie sighed behind the desk in Fangtasia's office. She was ready to finally head home to her new apartment when she had gotten the call. One of Queen Sophie-Anne's men was going to be dropping by with a picture of someone that Cassie was to locate. At Eric's insistence, Cassie was to do all of her work for the queen at Fangtasia under his watchful eye. It had been two weeks since they had first been intimate and ever since Eric's eyes burned with lust and possession. Not that Cassie was complaining.

Sipping on her white Russian, Cassie stretched out languidly in Eric's office chair. He was sitting up on his throne entertaining the masses while Cassie was stuck in his office waiting for the queen's man.

Three rapid knocks preceded Pam's entrance to the office. A SM vision in black mesh and electric blue leather, Pam glided into the room with a placid, bored expression adorning her sexily made up face. The click-click of Pam's stiletto boots snapped Cassie out of her stare.

"I am not your secretary," Pam started in an even tempered tone, "so you will receive this one message: Sookie called. She'll be by later. Andre from the queen's estate is here. Eric wants you to remember to choose your words carefully. I can't imagine why," Pam said.

Cassie had recounted the events that had transpired at the queen's mansion the next evening for Pam who had given an amused smile and what passed for a compliment to Cassie for her bold words. However, it had now been picked up as a continued point of fact that Cassie had a temper when provoked. Through this, Cassie and Pam had formed some weird relationship – not quite a friendship, not quite an acquaintance. Eric seemed to enjoy this fact, something about his human and his Child bonding.

"Thanks. I owe you a pair of shoes," Cassie said in compromise. Pam was not one to do secretarial work, like taking messages, and it was a testament to Pam's good mood (not that it showed on her face) for the evening that she had even bothered to relate the message.

A wicked smirk graced Pam's blood red lips and she winked, "I'll send you the bill for my next pair." With that, Pam proceeded to exit the back room with a snappy sashay to her high heeled walk. It was an irony of life (or rather death) that Pam played the role of vampire dominatrix so well when in her free time she looked like someone off the cover of a Good Housekeeping magazine – all pastel sweaters and knee length skirts.

Not a minute after Pam had exited the office another knock resounded and a short man, almost childlike in appearance, came strolling into the room. Cassie had started to notice a developing trend in Sophie-Anne's Children, most of them were just that, young kids. This one looked darker than most of the others, his brow furrowed with his dark hair slicked back in gelled perfection, and he wore a fitted suit that made him look like he was playing dress up in his father's clothes. The formidable look on his face and the seriousness that straightened his mouth into a line detracted any notion that the vampire before her was even remotely innocent or childlike.

Like most of the employees that the queen sent, Andre did not speak. He handed over a glossy 5x7 photo of a portly man in his thirties who was already showing signs of baldness and had a jovial expression on his face resembling that of Santa Claus.

Andre seemed to hover in front of the desk expectantly and Cassie spared him a perfunctory smile.

"Take a seat, this can take a bit," Cassie said. She had gotten better and better at locating people faster and faster, but finding a psychic charge was like pinpointing a single light bulb on a nationwide grid. Thus far, Cassie had yet to have to stretch that net to outlying countries, but the last one – a pregnant woman in her late thirties – had been right on the border of Mexico and it had taken at least fifteen minutes of "soul searching" as Pam had dubbed it.

Andre did not respond, not that Cassie had expected anything more from him, and drifted over to the door.

Reclining back in her seat, Cassie propped her crossed legs up on Eric's moderately organized work desk, and held the picture. Committing the man's face to memory, Cassie closed her eyes and tried to see him. The familiar tingle and sucking sensation happened almost instantly and Cassie was gone from Fangtasia.

The man that Cassie had been sent to find was sleeping on a sectional couch in plaid pajama pants with a crushed beer can held against his bare chest like a teddy bear. His mouth was open in an unattractive gape and he was emitting a rumbling snore. He looked several pounds lighter than the picture Cassie had used to find him and his skin was haggard with stress.

"Invading people's privacy can be a very nasty habit," said a voice behind her and Cassie whirled around with a surprised jolt.

This man, tall and thin with rakish good looks was all too familiar to Cassie. She had seen him once, in a photo that had been tucked in one of her mother's home design books. When Cassie had been young her little fingers dipped into all sorts of places that had her mother scolding her. Cassie remembered the day she found the picture, her mother had been with her tea society. He looked so much like herself that Cassie took a step back in discomfort.

"Who are you?" Cassie asked, glancing around trying to find anything that might tell her where she was so she could finish this business transaction quickly. There was a checkbook sitting on the table in front of the couch.

"I think you know who I am," the man said, strolling leisurely to a free armchair by the unlit, cobblestone fireplace. "But I'll humor you since it is the first time we've officially met. I'm your uncle, Brendan. And you are my niece, Cassandra. But you go by Cassie."

Assessing the situation, Cassie determined that her uncle, if he was her uncle and a small a tiny part of her new it to be true, was all too sure of himself. Putting on her stoic face, Cassie took a power stance: arms crossed, back straight, head high, and jaw tilted in indifference.

"What are you doing here?" Cassie asked. Glancing again at the checkbook, Cassie edged closer to the table and pretended to be checking if the man sleeping on the couch was still indeed sleeping; given the beer can and five more crushed up and littering the floor just like it, Cassie knew she had nothing to worry about.

"I'm here on behalf of a friend of mine. You know, for someone so diminutive you have been a big thorn in my side," Brendan stated, looking utterly relaxed while analyzing his nails. He had a metropolitan style with light brown hair in an expensive cut, his clothes a little too fashionable for most men, and an eat-your-heart-out set of Irish features. "You seem to have swept in and found some very important people just one step faster than me."

Cassie took a deep breath and seated herself on a chewed up floral patterned ottoman beside the coffee table opposite Brendan, near the couch potato, and in front of the little black checkbook. In this psychic state, Cassie felt especially sensitive and the hostility radiating off Brendan, despite his casually pleasant expression, had set her on edge. Trying to keep his mind on the conversation rather than her task at hand, Cassie shrugged.

"I didn't know this was a rat race," Cassie said. But she had suspected it. Queen Sophie-Anne had been getting her money's worth on Cassie's skill; so much so, that Cassie had virtually no time for a social life, let alone time to find a local job as an editor.

"Life itself is a race to the finish, and I don't like losing. I work for some powerful people, Cassie, and you are making them and me very unhappy. When you leave here I don't want to see you again. For whatever reason you are stalking my charges, I want it to stop," Brendan said, and Cassie felt his eyes on her as she had reached for the checkbook and she froze as a sheer blue shield formed a bubble dome over it. "I'm not done talking. You will not come here again, and you will stop looking for people. Are we clear?"

A dead stillness overcame the room and Cassie forced herself to relax her hand, placing it on her knee rather than hovering over whatever magical shield Brendan had erected. Meeting his eyes there was a warning there. Gulping softly, Cassie sucked in a fortifying breath.

"No. I'm not going to stop and if you think you can bully me you don't know as much as you think you do. You have power? Congratulations. Being different is the new normal in this world. I've worked with powerful people before and you don't scare me," Cassie told him confidently, raising her brows in condescendence. One good thing about growing up as a politician's daughter was knowing how to schmooze and how to hold your own – even if the smart survivalist inside her was screaming to disappear and forget about the checkbook. Cassie had a job to do and she was going to do it.

Brendan's face turned darker and the light in the room seemed to gather around him, his face gleamed with a new glow, and Cassie knew she had to pick her moment. Reaching for that intangible something inside of her, Cassie drew her inner-strength, pooling it until her skin felt hot and her heart beat a frantic cadence. For a brief moment Cassie wondered what this little power play would do to the environment, and then everything exploded.

Cassie leapt out of her seat at someone invisible tug to her chest, her body colliding with the wall by the couch. Tossing up her left hand, Cassie watched as a jet stream of purple, ultraviolet light beamed in a steady flow from her outstretched palm. Her hand blistered and she cried out in pain even as she dove forward – out of the way of a similar looking blue ray – and snatched up the checkbook from the table. Her body jammed between the couch and the table and Cassie rolled over and looked up to see Brendan huffing above her, two hands gathering a basketball sized amount of blue power in his hands. Praying that she wasn't leaving this poor man to his death, Cassie closed her eyes and let the comforting tug of her body pull her away just as the ball came crashing down on her chest.

Gasping, Cassie rocked forward in her seat, eyes popping open and fists clenched. Her feet fell away from the desk top and Cassie panted harshly. In her fist she clenched the little black checkbook.

Andre, who stood in the same position by the door, raised an eyebrow and came forward as Cassie tried to regain her sense. She smelled something awful burning, and when she brought up her free hand, she patted at her hair only to realize it had been singed.

"Address?" Andre asked, his face indifferent.

"I need to speak with the queen," Cassie said in response and she gulped in the cool air.

Lifting her hand up to her face, Cassie saw that her palm was bright red and a circular burn mark outlined where the stream of purple power had shot from her hand. Pressing it flat to the surface of Eric's cool desk, she shivered.

"Her majesty is busy," Andre replied, face placid and uninterested once again.

"Oh yeah? How about you tell her that if she wants this address she needs to see me. When I found this guy," Cassie said, holding up the picture, "he wasn't alone."

Andre regarded her coolly, his face unchanging.

"Eric," Cassie called out calmly, biting her tongue to let cooler head prevail.

Seconds passed and the office door opened to reveal Eric. His large imposing frame filled the doorway and as usual he looked gorgeous; tight shirt, leather pants, perfect hair. His eyes ran over the pair and Cassie gave an internal shiver.

"Lover?" Eric asked, zipping to her side too quickly for her eyes; he leaned a hip against the edge of his desk.

"Something happened. I need to see the queen," Cassie told him, fist still clenching the checkbook.

His ice blue eyes fan over her from head to toe and one hand came up to collect a portion of her scorched hair. He twirled the smoky locks in between his fingers and then spared Andre a glance before pulling his cell phone out from some unforeseen pocket. A minute later Eric was speaking quickly in a foreign language before he disconnected and turned to Andre.

"You may go. The queen will be arriving tomorrow night," Eric informed him.

Andre's indifference slipped just then, his expression turning ugly. Maybe it was the fact that Eric had trumped him. Maybe it was the fact that Eric had dismissed him. Maybe it was the fact that Cassie had gotten her way. For whatever reason, Andre was suddenly very angry. He hissed out something too low for Cassie's ears, and then lunged at Eric. Cassie jerked back in her seat, the chair tipping back precariously, and she watched as in one solid movement, Eric punched a hole in the wall, ripped out a chunk of wooden beam, and stabbed Andre in the chest.

Never in Cassie's life had she ever seen anything like it – watching a vampire die. His body seemed to implode; blood, guts, and mush splattered the floor, the desk, Eric, and even the side of Cassie's face. Watching the true death be administered was something akin to something Cassie had read in a horror manuscript while working at BW it was almost beyond words.

When the mess settled, Eric dropped the stake and wiped a majority of blood from his face before turning to her. "It seems we are in need of a shower, Lover. Come."

Cassie stood up on shell-shocked legs and wobbled to his side. She paused in front of the gooey remains on the floor and squeamishly shifted from foot to foot. Eric chuckled closely to her ear, and Cassie allowed him to lift her up into his blood flecked arms and walk her out of the office into the parking lot, passed an intrigued looking Pam, and into the cushiony passenger seat of his bright red, sports car.

"What do you have in your hand?" Eric asked, once they were cruising at a solid 120 MPH toward his home. It was unsettling to see him looking at her instead of the road, but she had seen far worse this evening than a vampire with the need for speed.

"A checkbook, from that house. I found the man in the picture, but I wasn't alone. My uncle was there – or at least he said he was my uncle. My mother's brother, Brendan. I thought it might have the guy's address," Cassie said, blurting it all out in one breath and finally letting her death grip on the object go when Eric reached for it. Her fingers were numb from clenching it for so long and so hard.

"Have you done this before? Brought something back with you?" Eric asked, eyes on Cassie.

"No," Cassie said, shaking her head. In the past, Cassie had tried to outrun her gift, not embrace it. She could push objects and people around – that she knew, but the purple energy, the physical wounds, the checkbook transporting – all of these were new. And not really an improvement or a comfort, Cassie thought with a sigh.

"Tell me what happened," Eric demanded, flipping through the checkbook with one hand while steering with the other.

Cassie told him everything in detail and when she finished, Cassie felt more emotional drained than before she had started. It was clear from the way they were driving that they were not headed to her new, fully furnished, all expenses paid apartment. As the landscape became sparse and earthy, Cassie recognized the path to Eric's fortress.

"My apartment," Cassie started to say in vague argument. She wanted the comforts of home; clothes, food, coffee – coffee. God, a double shot of espresso from her new Starbucks machine would be the best thing in the whole world.

"I want you with me tonight," Eric said. Knowing Eric that would be all he would say if she didn't push.

"Why?"

Turning his head to her, Eric smiled, "I want to shower with you and then fuck you until you fall asleep."

Cassie fought back a blush, not willing to give his arrogant cockiness the satisfaction, and she pictured all the ways he could take her, all the ways he had taken her, the feel of his hard, thrusting prick deep inside her, and Cassie shivered. Eric smirked. He had noticed.

"Eric, business first, pleasure later," Cassie told him. "I want to know why the queen has been sending me after these people. Something Brendan said didn't sit right. He said I had been one step ahead of him. What does that mean? Why is the queen going after these people and why are Brendan's bosses, whoever they are, trying to get to them first?"

Something in Eric's calculated stare, which was now suspiciously directed at the road instead of Cassie, made her think he had already been asking himself these questions. Who were these people? Why were they important? What was the queen really planning? Who were Brendan's bosses? Cassie's brain was working overtime even as her body sagged with exhaustion against the car door.

"An answer would be nice?" Cassie said when it became apparent Eric was not planning to offer one.

"I don't know," Eric finally said and his handsome face looked sour at the prospect. Eric hated not knowing things. Almost as much as Cassie hated the idea that she had been duped; the queen had to know something she wasn't sharing and that meant trouble for everyone.

"We should call Godric," Cassie said a minute later as they pulled into Eric's property.

"My maker has more important things to think about," Eric said, his voice suddenly bitter.

"He said he was there if we needed him, and Eric, we need him," Cassie said, crossing her arms and turning in her seat to fully face him.

"We know nothing. I will not call him when we do not even know what we need help with," Eric told her, getting out of the car in a very end-of-discussion way.

Gritting her teeth, Cassie shoved her way out of his car and slammed the door shut with an extra oomph of anger. "He could at least help us figure out what the queen is hiding. She seems to be afraid of him."

Eric was in front of her then, grabbing her by both arms as his eyes surveyed his surroundings. He turned his angry glare back on her after a full eye-sweep, and frowned.

"Do not say things like that. It's treasonous and even if you are mine, the queen has a stake in your life. I do not wish to face the true death because you were too stupid to keep your mouth shut," Eric whispered viciously.

Eric had never spoken to her this way before and Cassie's face turned to granite at his tone. It hurt to hear him call her stupid, to tell her to shut up, to invalidate her ideas. Cassie had no romantic notions that Eric considered her his equal, or that he was the type of man who was into pillow talk, but she'd be damned if she let him treat her like a servant, beneath him.

Shoving his chest with all her might, Cassie let that burning, tingling power rip through her palms and watched as it sent Eric back in a five foot skid. He was unharmed, but Cassie hadn't wanted to hurt him – she wanted to show him who was the boss of her, and that was indisputably Cassie.

"Give me your keys," Cassie demanded, holding out an expectant hand.

Eric's fangs ran out where he stood, but he made no move to do as she asked or to force himself on her again.

"Give me your God damned keys," Cassie bit out, anger a living, breathing force inside of her. Her body trembled and she felt that too hot energy running just under the surface of her skin, control flimsy. Her fight with her uncle had woken something deep inside of her and the control valve was set to wide open.

"Lover, come inside, we will…talk," Eric finally said, still not moving closer to her.

Shaking with visible rage, Cassie stalked over to him and held her hand in front of his chest, "I wanted to talk before, now I don't. Give me your keys."

Watching her with cautious eyes, Eric reached into his pocket, pulled out his keys, and handed them to her. His fingers brushed her skin only slightly, the palms still encompassed in a purple aura, and his expression became intrigued.

Huffing, Cassie stalked away from him, got in the car, started up the purring engine, and rolled down the window. Sticking her head out, Cassie said, "I'll come back when I want to talk. It's just you and your hand tonight."

With that, Cassie threw the car in reverse and sped out off of Eric's property, her body lighting up the inside of Eric's red car like a violet Christmas tree.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal~Pamela Vaull Starr


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