Great. This country, my old country, invited vampires to safety and NOW I`m told there are rules. Human rules. I can`t glamour anyone to give me blood – or sex. Which means I`ll have to make humans like me to give it to me freely.
I wasn`t planning on following those rules. I mean, I haven`t followed the human rules before. I`ve killed people, stolen from them, even kidnapped some from time to time and I have never followed any of the human traffic laws. I`m not a law abiding citizen. Why would I stop glamouring, just because some human rule told me to? It`s vampire`s nature to glamour.
I might just wait a few days, though. I hated the synthetic crap, but I figured I would have to learn a little more about my surroundings before I went back to drinking human blood straight from the vein, so to speak.
I especially wanted to learn more about my beautiful hostess before I glamoured her. Why did she smell so sweet? She ran a bar for shifters and weres, but she was certainly no shifter. She smelled almost fae, but no fae would start a vampire shelter. That would be like a zebra having a lion shelter.
I would just have to use my charm to make her talk. And if that didn`t work out, I would glamour her.
Problem solved. Now I was going to explore her house to see if there were any secrets hidden somewhere.
It was an uneventful evening at the bar. The weres and shifters were still out enjoying the full moon and humans and vamps apparently had better things to do than to hang out at Sam`s this night. I didn`t mind because it gave me an excuse to lock up early and get home and check on Erik.
He had promised to stay at home, but it`s not like vampires are the most trustworthy creature on this planet. I just hoped none of my neighbors were missing a pint of blood and half an hour of their memory. It had happened before and I really felt bad every time.
I looked for him the minute I came home. I wouldn`t really admit it to myself, but I did feel a bit nervous. Would he be home or would he be out hunting?
It didn`t take long to establish that he indeed was home. Not only was he home, he was in my part of my home, not the vampire part. Well, I had told him to feel at home, so what had I expected?
He was talking on his phone when I got in so I went to my bedroom to get out of my work clothes and into something that didn`t smell of beer and hakkebøf, a kind of a hamburger without the bun, the Danish specialty we serve at the bar. He looked up when I came back to the living room. His phone was on the table and he was rocking back and forth in my grandmother`s old rocking chair.
“Can I get you a blood?” I asked. I was brought up to be polite and I wasn`t about to forget that just because a vampire felt a little too homey in my living room. He nodded yes and I went to the kitchen to get him one. While the bottle was in the micro I planned how to ask him the questions I really needed to ask him. The answers weren`t important to me, but they would be important for his future in Denmark.
I went back in the living room, handed him the bottle and sat down on the edge of the couch.
“So you`re in Denmark now…” I started. He looked at me with a blank face. I thought for a bit and continued.
“How much do you know about vampire rules here in Denmark? Did you contact the queen or one of the sheriffs yet?”
When I asked him about the sheriffs I didn`t mean the ones from the cowboy movies or the one in Nottingham, and by the queen I didn`t mean my queen, Margrethe II. I`m sure my queen would be most hospitable to any vampire that came calling, but the queen I was talking about, was the vampire queen. Vampires had their own system of government with sheriffs, kings and queens.
“No, not yet. I think I`ll wait a little while before I get into the system. And I don`t know much about the rules in Denmark apart from the glamour-rule, you told me about.” Apparently that was amusing because he had a little smile on his lips.
“Ok. You really should get in touch with one of them, you know. It`s none of my business, but the vampires are doing well in Denmark for a reason.” I tried to sound convincing.
“Do you know all the rules?” he asked with doubt written all over his face.
“I know some. Some of the rules are old and I guess international. Some of them are just here in Denmark or in Scandinavia.” I thought for a moment. “I guess the strangest one for you, apart from the one about glamour, would be the fact that vampire hierarchy is just as much a democracy as the human one. You guys elect your leaders here. You don`t fight for ranks as vampires do in most countries.”
He smiled kind of a sad smile. “I heard rumors about that. Personally, I think it goes against vampire nature, but I won`t fight anyone for anything. I just want to be left alone”.
“Ok, then.” I really didn`t want to go further into the whole vampire business. I had told him what I was supposed to tell him. How he used this information was not my business.
“I`ll say goodnight to you then”. Help yourself with blood…from the fridge” I quickly finished when he sent me a sly smile.
Then I felt something else. I felt the familiar tingling of vampire glamour. I looked over at Erik and he looked at me with a huge smile, showing a little fang. I waited for a minute, then I shook my head and walked off.
I turned in the doorway and said “Erik, I told you. No glamour, unless you ask first”. The look on his face was worth a few kroner. You don`t get to see surprised vampires that often. This one even had his mouth open. No fangs.
Tomorrow I would check my files and look into his past.
What the hell was this place? Who was this woman? I`ve never met a human I couldn`t glamour.
I didn`t like not knowing. And I certainly didn`t like that I couldn`t glamour her. Glamouring is what makes us safe in the human world. It`s the thing that gets us what we want.
I didn`t find anything when she left me alone in the house. No diaries, no hidden papers, nothing more than a few personal pictures and her grades from Nykøbing Falster gymnasium. And a computer with a code I couldn`t crack.
This was an enigma and I love cracking them. I didn`t exactly mind that the enigma was beautiful too. And her smell….
I woke up early the next morning. I knew what I was going to do and I was impatient. I got up and went to the kitchen to put the kettle on. While the water was boiling, I went to my study and started my computer. I mentally looked over my shoulder before I typed in my password, opened a program and typed in another password.
To put it like this: my passwords are not the names of any dogs I have owned, the name of my favorite football team or the type of beer I prefer. My passwords are made to ensure that no one can access my computer. They are as safe as passwords can be in a world of hackers and computer geeks.
The program I was going to check out was not meant for me. It was a program made for vampires by vampires. It had originally been on a CD and it had almost been impossible for me to obtain the yearly updates. Now the program was online, which made it so much easier. The vampires on the other end of the digital line didn`t know that I was a mere fangless mortal.
I had the vampire queen`s permission to use this program. She understood that I couldn`t host all kinds of vampires without knowing who I was dealing with. But I had to promise her never to tell anybody that I had access to the program. She would have lost her next election if it ever came out that she had allowed me something made for vampires only.
The program was a database containing all known vampires, their backstory, their present place of living and news and updates on them.
I typed in the name Erik in the database and it came up with a number of suggestions. Most vampires changed names from time to time and apparently quite a few of them had been called Erik at some point of time. I cursed myself for not asking about his last name.
Luckily the database had pictures of most of the vampires so I just clicked on the names until a familiar picture came up. Erik/Eric Northman aka Leif. It also stated 20 other names he apparently had used in his undead life on several continents.
I found out that he was over a 1000 years old and that he had been a Viking when he was turned. A real Odin-believing, swordfighting, Viking-ship-travelling Viking. I mumbled some nasty words over the fact that vampires rarely wanted to talk about their pre-vamp days. I love everything about the Viking age and here I had a live, well sort of live, Viking under my roof and I couldn`t ask him about all the things I was dying to know. Actually, he couldn`t even know that I knew he had been a Viking. I sighed.
I clicked on the link called “Current situation” and read:
Eric Northman is currently in Europe, precise whereabouts unknown. Last known address Shreveport, Louisiana, USA where he ran a nightclub called Fangtasia. Fangtasia was burned down to the ground in one of the many terrorist acts by the Fellowship of the Sun in 2008, killing five vampires and 3 humans.
I felt a sweat break on my forehead and I realized I had been holding my breath while reading.
I clicked on the link called “Children “:
Thyra, vampire aprox.1254, staked by humans aprox.1431.
Mathilde, vampire aprox.1439, forced to meet the sun by humans 1602
Hildegaard 1605, staked by humans 1799
Pamela, vampire 1804, killed in terrorist act by humans 2008
Oh no. That was my only thought. Oh no. His business had been burned down and his child was dead. He had fled from the USA, not Eastern Europe or the Middle East, but vampire-friendly USA. I had read about the FotS, but I didn`t know that they were actually succeeding in making vampires leave the country. I felt a sudden anger. What was wrong with them? Who were they to decide that vampires should die and vampire businesses should burn?
I kept reading the rest of the information on him, made some mental notes, turned the computer off and went outside in the winter sun. It was cold, but I was so deep in my thoughts that I didn`t care. I felt truly sorry for Erik. I could feel tears coming to my eyes.
I went inside again and before I knew what I was doing, I opened the security doors to the vampire section of my house and entered his room. I just needed to see him. Comfort him.
I opened the door and saw him splayed on his stomach, naked. I thanked all my gods that he was sound asleep because I was blushing like a teenager. His muscular back ended up in the sexiest behind I had ever seen. And in Denmark you get to see a lot of naked behinds. We are Scandinavian and we like nudity. This behind was something I would never see at the beach or in the sauna, though. It was just so darn sexy.
I suppressed the lust that had come up in me and remembered the sadness I had felt just a few minutes ago. I couldn`t lust after a vampire that needed my sympathy. My hand caressed his chin and his cheek and I bent down and gave him a kiss on his forehead. “I`ll get you back on your feet, Viking,” I whispered.
I went back to the kitchen to prepare for dinner. Sam`s bar was closed today and I wanted to stay at home, hopefully in the company of Erik. I had questions, but I didn`t know how to ask them.
And I just wanted to give him a big, comforting hug.
When I woke up I immediately smelled that someone had been in my room. It didn`t take me many seconds to figure out who the culprit was. Sookie.
Anger rose in me. She had come to my room when I was at my most vulnerable and you never do that to a vampire. I was mad. But I was also curious. Why was she there? What was her agenda?
I got up and listened to the sounds of the house and went for the ones that sounded human. I found her in the kitchen with her back towards me. I smiled a cruel smile. I would teach her not to disturb the sanctity of a sleeping vampire.
I moved as quietly as only a vampire can. We don`t breathe, we don`t make floorboards creak, we move fast. When I was just behind her, I leaned in and whispered in her ear.
“What were you doing in my room?”
She screamed. I wanted her scared and figured her scream proved my mission accomplished. I stayed close to her with my most sinister face to keep her fear level in the red area for a moment. I needed her to know that I wanted control.
She turned around and her face wasn`t the face of terror, it was the face of pain. Then the most wonderful smell met my nostrils. I inhaled deeply and looked down. She had cut her finger instead of the carrots she was chopping up for her dinner.
She looked at her finger and at me, and then she surprised me. She held the finger up to my mouth. My fangs came down immediately and I grabbed her wrist and shoved her finger into my mouth. It was the sweetest blood I had tasted in years. I sucked deeply and moaned.
She narrowed her eyes and pulled at her arm.
“Could I have my finger back, please?” she asked with a little smile.
“You have the most exquisite blood, my dear,” I said without thinking. Where did the my dear come from?
“Yes, so they tell me,” she replied with a little sigh. I hadn`t expected that reply and immediately asked her how many vampires had bitten her. She looked me straight in the eyes, probably to understate what she was going to say.
“No vampire has ever bitten me. I told you – I`m not a vampire lover. And before you make any jokes, when I say vampire lover, I mean fangbanger. I just hate that term. It`s so degrading.” She stepped back.
“But I have had vampires living with me for over 10 years, on and off. I have had minor accidents before this one, and I do know it`s common courtesy to offer your blood to vampires when you bleed around them. I do follow vampire etiquette, to some extent”. She looked away, blushing.
“And I do know that one should let sleeping vampires sleep in peace. I don`t know why I went to your room, but I can assure you that you have nothing to fear from me. I`m sorry if I offended you or made you feel insecure”.
I laughed out loud. Me… insecure? Never!
She looked at me and asked me, out of nowhere, if I could fly. Of course I can fly and I told her so. That made her smile.
“Look, my dinner is ready now and I have blood in the fridge for you. When we are both done eating, I would like to show you something, if that`s ok with you. I think you`ll like it. ”
I looked at her trying to decipher what she meant and she probably sensed my apprehension.
“It`s just a small drive away and it wouldn`t involve any other people… or vampires.”
I just nodded slowly.
We had our dinner without any conversation. Usually people yap my ear off hoping to get my attention, but this one was quiet. I almost wished she would talk more.
After dinner, she put on her coat, scarf, mittens and a woolen hat. I figured she had planned for us to be outside, so I put on my coat as well. Not so much to keep warm, but so I wouldn`t stand out too much. Back home in Louisiana, I would stand out because of my height and my long blond hair, but a lot of men are tall and blond around here, making me blend in more. I wasn`t sure I liked that, but it did serve it`s purpose for the time being.
She took me to her little tin can of a car. I would definitely have to get my own set of wheels soon. It was an embarrassment to be seen in a Polo. I grunted.
We drove through Nykøbing, crossed the bridge over Guldborgsund and turned right in the roundabout. Suddenly, we were in the middle of a forest. Nykøbing really was a tiny town. I had just started to wonder what we were going to see in the middle of a dark forest when we came to a huge parking lot where Sookie stopped the car and got out.
She went towards a wall and I followed her. Then, she surprised me (how many times was this woman going to surprise an old vampire like me?) by getting very close to me and putting her arms around my neck. I could feel her warm breath on my shoulder and her curves against my chest.
I immediately reacted. Her blood earlier this evening and her body being so close to me made my fangs come down. I couldn`t understand why she would take us way out in a forest to make out when she had soft beds and heated rooms in her home, but who was I to complain? I suddenly realized that I wanted this woman. And I realized that I hadn`t had sex or significant amounts of human blood in weeks.
I felt a familiar stirring in my pants and leaned down to kiss her, when she said “Could you fly us over this wall, please? There is something on the other side I want to show you and it`s only open in the summer so we have to sneak in instead”.
That was a cold shower, if there ever was one.