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Nov. 12th, 2009


Midnight's room at Nightshade Inn, before dawn

Midnight was tired which surprised him. Most "rides", as John liked to call them, never left him so drained. The emotion of longing still panged in his chest. He had given up viewing the Almighty's fingerprints like this as blessings long ago. He only wanted to be rid of it.

In the cab, he called ahead and ordered food so when he walked through the door of his suite, room service had left a large cart with silver-lid plates. A bottle of wine chilled in a silver bucket along side. He emptied his pockets and dropped his bag by the foyer table before he lifted the lid on a porterhouse steak and potatoes.


Harry's House, short of sunrise

The car ride was quiet, at least from Eric's point of view. His mind was a million miles away. He patted Mouse's head when he stuck it over the front seat. He watched the Chicago at night pass. When Harry parked the car, he climbed out and pulled his seat forward for the dog's exit. He didn't bother grabbing the leash he dragged from his collar.

He waited until he was at the door to ask. "What did Murphy find?"

Nov. 2nd, 2009


Harry & Murphy at the Conservatory

Harry pulled the car to a stop at the Conservatory and slid out, bringing his staff with him. He ducked under a roll of tape and looked around for Murphy, purposefully avoiding looking at the crime scene itself. When he found her, he walked towards her. "Hey Murphy," he said quietly.

Oct. 30th, 2009


Fangtasia II, Night

Eric paid the driver as he climbed out of the taxi. He held the leash as Mouse bounded out after him. He smiled as the yellow car rocked with the disembarking dog. He closed the door and crossed the empty parking lot.

Mouse pulled at his leather tether until his nose could sniff the asphalt. He smelled around the outer circle of Midnight’s ward for a good minute before Eric crossed over the threshold to tug him along. As he mounted the steps, he could hear Pam through the open, front doors.


“Good evening, Pam.”

“No.” She walked away from the newly hired staff standing in a circle around one of the tables. Each human in their jeans, tee shirts and pierces all shuffled and casted eyes downward when Eric entered. He didn’t acknowledge their act of servitude or their existence. He smiled at Pam when she announced, “You’re not bringing that thing in here. We open in less than a week.”

“How are things?”

“God damn it, Eric. What are you? His fucking dog sitter now?”

The only response to her tirade was a quiet snort. Eric stepped around Pam and walked into the back without looking back. Once in his office, he dropped the leash to let Mouse have a look around while he went over the pile of paperwork left on his desk. He signed what needed to be signed and sorted what needed to be sorted. He made notes on the opening’s invitation list to make sure Harry received an invite.

He made a few phone calls. Sookie chewed his ear off, but he reassured her that he was all right. She commented that he sounded different, but Eric played it off easily enough. The conversation was short and Eric said goodbye. He called to check on the original Fangtasia. A voice mail was left for Stan Davis.

“Okay, Mouse, you ready to go to work?”

The dog cocked his head at Eric. He opened the door and followed Mouse out. With his “off the leash”, more than a few new employees looked rather worried. One young woman with the least amount of piercing and tattoos grabbed the arm of the man standing next to her.

Mouse sniffed around. He lolled his tongue with what seemed to be a smile at Pam after smelling her shoes. With one look at the dog, she eyed Eric while continuing on with her presentation. Eric walked over to the clean bar and swatted down.

“Come here, boy. I need to you help me find someone. Can you find the gun? Find the person who was holding the gun.”

With his head dropped and his tail down, the dog stared up at Eric. “Three people where here. I need to find the one who shot the gun. Can you find him?”

After another pass through the bar, Mouse barked once. Eric grabbed his leash and let the dog pull him out of the bar. He passed Midnight and John on the way in.

Oct. 14th, 2009


John & Midnight, Midnight's hotel

John followed Midnight to his hotel without actually thinking about it. Once inside his room, he took his jacket off and tossed it aside and pulled his tie loose. He paced back and forth inside the room, his skin still itching from his brush with that power at Harry's house.

Oct. 13th, 2009


Harry's House, Late Night

"Heh," he zipped up and buttoned his pants. Eric didn't bother to dress anymore than that. "If I didn't know any better, I would swear there's something between you two."

He walked towards the front door. "Hide or get dressed."

Outside, Midnight stood outside the wards. He pulled a cigar from inside his coat pocket. With lazy eyes, he studied the house for a moment. He lit his cigar before looking to John. He couldn't help but let his eyes drop. He was thankful for dark-colored trousers. "Behave, eh?"

Oct. 12th, 2009


Fangtasia II, Near Midnight

He ended up on the roof of Fangtasia II to complete his circle of rum, chicken blood and bourbon. The mixture evaporated into a purple mist to seal off the bar from a certain wandering god. He pulled a cigar from his suit coat pocket. He ran it under his nose and inhaled. He screwed it into the corner of his mouth.

"Hey! Merlin!" With a hand wrapped firmly around one of the front porch beams, Pam leaned out to yell up at the roof. "Are you done yet?"

"I am finished." Papa Midnight didn't raise his voice. He flicked open his Zippo lighter. His cigar caught fire and burned ember bright against the night sky.

"Can you come down and do me a favor then?"

"If you wish." Midnight pocketed his Zippo. As he exhaled a pillar of smoke, he looked up into the night sky.


St. Claire Velvet Room, Late Night

The road runner rumbled up to the curb. Eric pushed on the steering column stick to shove the car into park. He turned off the engine and leaned back in the driver's seat. He wondered if the Reds could smell it. It was deep seated under all the other scents, but the burnt smell was there. The building was new: brick, gothic, fitting with the Chicago neighborhood's esthetic. It was still a mansion, but not built ever to be a home. The sign above the door and on the corner read "St. Claire Velvet Room."

He slipped his arm over the bench seat back. He leaned towards the wizard in the passenger seat. For a second, he looked Harry over with a worried eye. He looked bruised and unrested. He didn't doubt that he was up for the task, but Eric contemplated Red Court perspective while he looked over their new club. Very pretty people wandered in and out. A few humans stood around the entrance. Eric noted two bouncers/body guards that had beating hearts standing at the front door.

"Shall we announce ourselves or simply let ourselves in?"

Oct. 4th, 2009


Harry's House, Late Afternoon-ish

Eric opened his eyes. He smiled at Harry. Much to his surprised, the wizard was still in his arms and still in bed. Even though his life had become a whirlwind of too-much-interesting-activity, he found Harry was the calm center. Surprisingly, Harry was the calm center.

His hand twitched to brush his fingertips over his warm skin. He inhaled to smell their mingled scents and sex. Eric lifted his head enough to brush his lips over his cheek and lips. His exhale blew over Harry's stubble. Eric stilled not to wake him, but to watch him sleep.

Sep. 23rd, 2009


Outside McAnally, Night, Eric & Harry

His feet left the rough, black-topped brick of the back alley. He thick, dark vines twined around his body faster than he could pull them off. Eric snarled as his legs were pinned together against the brick wall of the building. As he yelled, small, bark covered vines slithered over his mouth and held his fangs at bay.

With is arms bound against the walls straight out from the shoulder, Eric felt a twinge of panic when a small figure wearing a purple scarf wrapped around his head stepped from the shadows. Vines flowed from under his feet to cover all the buildings and garbage. The body Ghede Masaka inhabited was short and frail. His lips were thick and his mouth wide. He looked at Eric with milky white eyes.

"Alo, Mister Northman." Under his extended left hand, Ghede Masaka set a terracotta pot on the ground. Creeping plants twined around the base. "Mwen regret sa we have to meet like this. But I have been promised a great treasure for your death."

With a wave of his hand, a large thorn sliced through Eric's wrist. He howled as he thrashed against the overgrowth. Blood dripped down and fell into the pot. Ghede Masaka put another pot under his other wrists. "Ou konprann? You must die for me to live."

Sep. 14th, 2009


The Bell Luna, Afternoon

It was delivery time at the bar. Hank had her clipboard and greeted each alcohol and soft drink vendor personally. Crabman helped sort crates and boxes out while she checked sheets. She would only giggle at the loaders when they dared to flirt with her. Never realizing her own strength, she would swat their shoulders and send them walking away a sore spot and a confused look.

To save Crabman's back, she was hauling the crates of rum to the storage room. Her hair waved back and forth along her shoulderblades. She skipped her way back into the bar.


Next morning at Harry's place, Thomas & Eric

Thomas knew, of course, that Harry was out.  He'd waited very specifically until he'd seen his little brother leave with their "kid", Mouse.  It was after noon, but still early enough that he was fairly sure that Eric would be asleep.  He didn't let that deter him as he slipped past Harry's wards and opened the door into the apartment.  He closed it up again firmly, making sure there was no sun leaking in.  Then he went into the bedroom and sat down in a folding chair near the foot of the bed.  He managed to lounge as if it were just another throne and crossed one leg over the other.  He sat and watched Eric, waiting for the vampire to wake up.

Sep. 13th, 2009


Back at the Nightshade Inn, before dawn

As soon as he'd climbed into the cab, he'd considered telling the man to take him directly to the airport. Against his better judgment, he told him to go to the hotel. The man dropped him off with a dirty look as John tossed money at him through the window. He swaggered through the lobby without a look at any of the vampires that were there. The girl at the desk tried to politely wave him down and get him to put out his cigarette, but he ignored her too. After a ride up the elevator, he found himself back in Pam's room, standing in the bedroom and staring at the bed. Making his decision for the night, he tossed his jacket and shirt, then slipped out of his pants. He stretched out on the bed on his stomach, his arms and legs stretched out just enough, and waited.

Sep. 9th, 2009


Bella Luna, Nightly Meeting

Eric sat back down at the table in the center of the section for eating. Most of the pack had finished there meals and mingled by the bar and on the dance floor. The stage was dark as it was early yet, but Nauti cut through the dancing crowd for her set. He watched a short, dark-hair man walk into the bar tentatively. He looked out of place with his button down shirt fully buttoned and his thick glasses.

The man pushed his way to the bar where he asked Hank a question. Her facial expressions lit up as the two of them started discussing something. Eric couldn't make out what was being said over the music and noise of the bar. He sighed and placed his hands on the arms of the chair to rise.

Sep. 8th, 2009


Fangtasia II, Nightfall

Come night fall, Pam was surprised she didn't have to glamour anyone at the police precinct. A few phone calls late in the afternoon and a successful, high price lawyer on retainer opened doors for her. She pulled her rental Lexus up to the darkened Fangtasia II. The police tape from the mock front porch had been removed. She pulled into the nearest parking space and turned the car off.

A dark man exited the rear driver side door. His dark eyes scanned the front of the building. As he closed the silver car door, he glanced around the lowly lit parking lot. He exhaled the smoke from his thin cigar and curled his lips back to show white teeth. He sauntered to the front of the car. "Is this what you called me for, John?"

Pam climbed out of the car. Her black, PVC thigh-high boots with four inch heels clacked against the pavement. Her matching PVC Daisy Duke shorts left nothing to the imagination as well as her strapless corest. With her long, blonde hair teased and stacked on top of her head, she smiled at Constantine.

Sep. 5th, 2009


The next day, late morning

Harry woke late, his muscles still feeling stiff and well-used.  The slight ache made him smile as he stretched, even more so when he had to push Eric's arm off of him to be able to start to wriggle off the bed.  He showered and dressed quickly, then went into the kitchen to pour himself some orange juice and eat a bagel.  After he'd eaten, he went back into the bedroom and picked up his pendant from his nightstand.  "It's a shame you're asleep," he said quietly to Eric.  "You'd probably enjoy this part." 

Harry sat on the edge of his bed and held the pendant flat in the palm of his hand.  After just a few moments, the pendant started to glow.  Harry held it up to his mouth and whispered Thomas's name into it, using just enough power to make the compulsion very hard to ignore without forcing it onto his brother.  Certainly, it was a way to get Thomas to meet him without the Raith's knowing.  It was also a way to put him and Thomas back on even ground after his brother had used his White Court power on him.  The compulsion would act as a reminder that Harry was no soft touch for his vampire half-brother to push around.  Then he turned around and gave Eric a lingering kiss.  "Love you," he murmured, and then put his pendant over his neck and pulled on his boots.

He wasn't very surprised when, after about a half hour of aimless driving, Harry followed the pull to Mac's.  He parked the Road Runner and went inside, waving to Mac before walking over to a table in the corner and sitting down across from Thomas.

"You know, they have this new invention.  They're called telephones."  Thomas raised his beer to Harry in greeting.  "They're usually less rude than pushing a magical compulsion on someone before they're even fully awake."

"The way I see it, that just makes us even."  Harry sat quietly until Mac brought him a lemonade.  After Mac was gone, Harry sat back and looked at Thomas.  "Are you okay?"

"Do you really want to know?"  Thomas's eyes were hooded, hiding any emotions from Harry.

"Yeah.  I do."  Harry shrugged, and just like that, their argument was behind them.  Thomas sat up and smiled in that way that you couldn't help but react to, even without any power behind it.  They talked for a little while, Thomas telling Harry about Justine and carefully avoiding any topic of the Court.  Finally, he asked why Harry had wanted to talk to him.

"Actually, Eric has a favor to ask you."  Harry sat back and looked at Eric.  "You know the Sheriff is dead.  Eric is interviewing the courts to find a replacement."  Thomas nodded.  "He wants you to actually find one for him."

"He wants... what?"  Thomas blinked and looked at Harry blankly.

"Someone that's not there just to promote their Court.  Someone who'll keep the truce.  Someone who's good for Chicago."  Harry looked evenly at Thomas.

"Don't even go there," Thomas shook his head at Harry.  "You know me.  I don't do responsibility."

"Yeah, I know," Harry grinned.  "But I bet you can find someone."

After a little longer, Harry and Thomas left, both going seperate ways.  Harry drove home after stopping to pick up some more orange juice and vitamins.  He let himself in and dropped his coat and pendant on the couch before kicking off his shoes and crawling up onto the bed.  He nuzzled his way up Eric's chest to kiss and nibble at his neck.  He moved up a little further and kissed his mouth, sucking his lower lip into his mouth and rubbing his tongue across it.

Aug. 29th, 2009


Nightshade Inn, Night

Eric road shotgun as the road runner pulled up before the Nightshade Inn. The famous vampire hotel was located in Chicago’s lucrative Loop. He pointed towards valet parking and waited for the human door man to open his car door. His face was smooth as glass and bored as watching grass grow. He waited for Harry until he walked in the front door.

The Nightshade Inn was an exclusive hotel and it showed it. Marble counters and floor, stained wooden walls and crystal lighting fixtures screamed luxury. No one looked at anyone else. A small group of rent-a-bite humans waited in the sitting area of the lobby. A couple of vampires walked through on the way to the bar holding hands.

He walked past the front counter to the row of elevators. He pressed the button for the suite level. He folded his hands together and watched the numbers over the closed lift doors light. “Only the best for Pam.”

Aug. 26th, 2009


Fangtasia II, Night

Cops cars lit up the parking lot like a blue and red Christmas tree. Yellow tape blocked all the entrances to the large, Louisiana-style porch except for steps that lead to the front door. Eric walked through the doors without listening to a single policeman or S.I. agent. He stopped in the center of the main room.

The wooden bar looked to be the altar with blood caking the counter top and wood decorations. On every wall, symbols were drawn in blood. Eric smelled death. He walked over to one of the seven body bags on the floor. He pulled the zipper back. A very pale Becky showed her former boss that she had been gutted and her intestines used in some sick manner.

"Eric Northman? I am Detective Sergeant John Stallings." He stood over Eric. From his back, the detective tried to size up the vampire. He had one hand on his gun.

"Who found them?" Eric glanced over his shoulder at the detective.

"Your sound technician, Mike Watson. DJ Mike stated he came in for a final sound check at six o'clock this evening and found this." He pushed a page on his notepad. "Where were you last night?"

Eric stood. "Time of death?"

"Mr. Northman, where were you last night?"

He stepped around the detective as he reassembled his phone. He powered it on and dialed. "I need you. Tonight if you can. I'll keep my phone on as long as I can."

"Mr. Northman, I asked you a question."

"And I asked you. What was the time of death?"

Detective Stallings shoved his notepad in his coat pocket. "You can either answer them here or downtown."

"Really?" Eric raised his eyebrows. "You think I am going downtown?"

Aug. 24th, 2009


Harry's House, Late Afternoon

Late afternoon registered on his skin as Eric shifted underneath the layers of blankets and quilts. He inhaled and smiled. Harry. Harry lied next to him underneath his arm and leg. With the slightest of movements, he pressed his nose to the back of Harry’s neck and inhaled. He smiled.

His fingers brushed through his chest hairs. His nails dragged over the skin of his belly. Eric used his legs to slowly pull Harry’s straight so his hand could wander lower. He pressed a kiss to his shoulder. With his tongue he tasted the bruises from the night before. He smiled at bit a particular purple mark.

Aug. 23rd, 2009


At the Bella Luna, later that afternoon

"I assure you, Mr. Hendricks, I will be quite safe." John stood outside of his car, smiling a little at his bodyguard.

"With Sitri, yes. With the sister?" Hendricks shook his massive block of a head, as if to argue.

"Hendricks. Go back to the house with Ms. Gard. If you do not hear from me in two hours, then you can mount a full rescue, I promise." Gard was standing outside another car, waiting patiently for Hendricks. "Ms. Gard, you know the usual ways to contact me should something arise."

"Of course." The tall blonde slipped into the car, followed reluctantly by Hendricks. Marcone watched as they drove off, then opened the main door to the Bella Luna and walked inside. He was greeted by Nauti smiling at him from near the tables.

"Sitri's not here," she said, smiling up at him.

"Actually, I'm here to speak with Hank," he answered smoothly. "Where would I find her?"

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