Ch. 1

New Mexico Desert

Cars were backed up along the narrow desert road in a mile of headlights. No one sitting in traffic was there for New Mexico’s famous cotton candy sunsets. The sky had long since faded into a carpet of stars. Entrance into the park was at a slow creep. Security was extraordinarily thorough. Vehicles were checked – sometimes twice. Badges were inspected. Purses and coolers roughly searched. The American Vampire League’s Annual Desert Jamboree was the most acclaimed social event of the year. It was one of the few public affairs where human and vampire celebrities could rub shoulders, hobnob, and trade business cards.

Out of the coffin but still incredibly elusive, tonight was an entirely unexpected opportunity for Rosalyn Murray to meet one of the most influential Vampire Americans in the country. A colleague had managed to score her a ticket and a meeting with Nan Flannigan herself. Her appointment gave her exactly fifteen minutes to persuade Ms. Flannigan that the AVL should back her vision of national education reform. As an activist and educator, Rosalyn wanted to help vampires pursue university schooling if they so chose. To do that, she needed the AVL to lobby Congress for better loan and funding opportunities. Currently, only humans qualified for federal aid. Contrary to popular belief, not all vampires had vast, unimaginable wealth. Many were quite poor and rampant discrimination made securing a degree and a job difficult. She had exactly fifteen minutes to try to change the world for the better.

Inside the AVL’s private tent, much to Rosalyn’s relief, her presentation went fairly well. Nan appeared impressed with her proposal, albeit noncommittal. Ros was given the contact information of a lobbyist in D.C. and she left with a watery assurance that Nan’s people would follow up. It seemed promising, but the mountain still lay before her. Rosalyn banished the fluttery anxieties in her thoughts. She wanted to relax and enjoy this infamously bohemian party. By all accounts, tonight was supposed to be something between Burning Man and an Oscar party – glamorous but intimate, a little (or very) shocking, and most definitely entertaining.

Booths were set up in orderly rows around the main tent. The tent was unpleasantly packed with people. Rosalyn avoided it in favor of the marketing displays, where she soaked in enthusiastic pitches about vampire businesses or the latest vampire-friendly products. Several eager reps tried to give her flyers or goodie bags, but she politely declined. Beyond the main drag was another row of stalls full of carnival games and rides. She leaned against a railing to watch a merry-go-round with its woozy music and undulating horses sparkling with mirrors and gaudy glass. Further down the line, she bought a sugary confection and then purchased a billowy silk maxi dress in a shop selling imported trinkets and other exotica. The elderly man who took her money was kind enough to let her use a makeshift dressing room in the back to change. She tucked the pantsuit she had been wearing in a plastic bag and her waist thanked her for being freed.

Toward the edges of the fête, the throngs of people thinned out. Ros appreciated how casual folks seemed there. She joined a group listening to a drum circle. The spectators lounged about on benches and blankets, chatting to each other or dancing to the pulsing, punctuated rhythms of the djembés. Several men made shameless passes at her and she ignored them impatiently until they gave up and wandered off. For the most part, it was hard to tell who was vampire and who was human. Rosalyn liked that. Here, in this austere place transformed by lights and sounds and smells, people could just be together. No labels. No rejoinders.Ros was suddenly distracted from her thoughts by a boy. In a sea of laughter and smiling faces, this boy – a handsome young man really – sat by himself at a distance from the revelers, eyes vacant, shoulders slumped. He was eerily still and though his mouth was sensually curved like a bow, he was not happy. His whole being seemed clouded with an aura of discontent. He glanced at a tall blond man passing by. The blond was dancing with a bottle of Royalty Blended in each hand. For a second, Ros thought she saw something change in the young man’s appearance, but it was gone in an instant.

Without thinking, she pushed herself off the ground and went to him. Hopping onto the boulder where he was perched, the crunch of loose gravel under her hands announced the intruder to him. He did not react to her presence, so she turned to him.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, her voice thick with concern. He barely moved a fraction in acknowledgement of her. Ros placed a sympathetic hand on his arm. The cuffs of his white dress shirt were neatly rolled up to his elbows. He balked, stunned at her audacity, at this transgression. He looked at the offending hand in horror, but could not find the right words to explain it. “You don’t want to be here,” she said. It was not a question.

He did not so much as blink in response. She ran her hand up and down his arm several times, spreading her heat and scent over his forearm. The young man stared mutely at her hand, bewildered that a human would dare touch him so freely. He should be furious. He tried to remember why that was the case. “You did not care for it when those drunk men invaded your space,” he finally said. It came out a little more coldly than he intended.

“You saw that?”

“I see everything.” I have seen everything, he seemed to say.

“Hmm. Could have fooled me. He’s the only thing you’ve noticed all night.” She jutted her chin at the blond, who was surrounded by a throng of guests vying for his attention. Somehow the disheveled bow-tie unfurled around his collar only made him more attractive.

“Looks can be deceiving,” the younger looking man replied cryptically.

Ros did not really know much about vampires, but she knew enough not to assume. “He is yours?” she guessed. The slight press of his lips and a passing flicker of pride in his face was all she needed for confirmation. In spite of his studied mask of indifference, he could not suppress what Eric was to him.

“A son,” she wondered aloud, appreciating the magnificent specimen in the crowd. He was gorgeous, nevermind the pink stain of spilled blood that striped his shirt.

The vampire next to her narrowed his eyes. “You are observant.” He did not say ‘for a human,’ but he might as well have. The words stung in her ears, unspoken.

“I am going for a walk. Join me, if you like.” She slid off the rock and dusted off the bottom of her new dress.

The invitation was jarring to the boy. Wrong. He suddenly connected his piercing gaze with hers. “I am the most dangerous thing in North America.” It was meant to be a threat. It was probably true. And he said it with a soft-spoken voice that was more than a little tragic.

Ros put her hands on her hips. “Oh? Well. I’ll be safe from the scorpions and other critters then.” She gave him a pert smile and started off alone into the desert. There was already a considerable distance between the din of the party and herself when she began to think he would not join her. He chose that exact moment to materialize at her side. “Took you long enough,” she said, trying to hide the start he gave her. “Let’s go as far as that rocky outcrop, yes?”

He cocked his head. “You’re not afraid to go off alone with a strange vampire?”

“Not any strange vampire,” she retorted.

He stopped dead in his tracks, wary of a trap. Still, she smelled clean – no trace of silver or wood on her, no scent of vampire other than his own on the palm of her right hand. “Do you know me?” he asked, his tone accusatory.

“No. Do you know me?” she said haughtily.

There was no hesitation in her response, nor did her heartbeat speed up. She was being honest, the boy reasoned, if not incredibly naive. He did not know her. He could leave now and never know her. Part of him wanted to take her out into the desert and hurt her, perhaps push her down into the sandy ground just to prove a point. But then he was not sure whose point it was. The thought filled him with shame. He turned towards the place she had chosen in the valley and inhaled a slow, measured breath. They were upwind. Nothing in the air indicated an ambush. They would be alone, together.

“Fair enough,” he sighed.

Rosalyn snatched up the young man’s cold hand and started off. He stared at their joined limbs in disbelief, allowing himself to be led forward. Predator! he shouted at her in his mind. She merely looked back over her shoulder at him with a kind smile. “C’mon!”

They walked in companionable silence, although the steady sloshing in her veins and her deep breaths of the cool, arid night were noisy to him. After a while, she dropped his hand and threaded her arm through his elbow instead. He supposed it must be more comfortable for her. It was not altogether unpleasant for him. “There are coyotes there, maybe a half mile northwest,” he pointed out. He knew she could not see through the inky darkness. “Shall I protect you from them?” he asked, the slightest bit of a wry smile snaking across his mouth.

“That depends. What are they plotting?” she whispered playfully.

“Nothing. They are sleeping.”

“What are they dreaming, then?”

At that, his smile grew, ribbon-like.

The underbrush became unexpectedly thick and prickly. Rosalyn gathered her skirt around her tanned thighs and tied it into a knot. “Here,” he offered, putting an arm under hers to help her hop over an especially nasty bunch of cactus. He kept track of where she had touched him, where he had touched her. Mentally he composed a cartography of scents mingling and exchanged. She of rosehips and mirth, he of vetiver and time.

“Sorry. I didn’t think it would be a challenging walk.” She tread more carefully than usual, concerned she might scratch her ankles and accidentally provoke her companion. They reached the rock formation. It was taller than they expected. The smooth planes of the rust and red stone were still hot from the sun. Ros pressed her face against its windswept surface, stretching out her arms. He imitated her in curiosity. The warmth seeped into his skin and he decided he liked how embracing the earth felt.

They meandered the area, exploring. She found an abandoned bird’s nest and they peeked on tiptoes at the forsaken speckled eggs. He found a geode broken in half, revealing the violet crystal structure hidden inside. He gave her one half and she slipped the little treasure into her bag.

The moon continued to climb high into the sky, flooding their private canyon with gentle light. The young man was examining the contours of the rock wall when Ros was struck by his alarming beauty. Her heart must have faltered, because his head snapped back in her direction.

“Do you like music?” she asked.

“Some of it. I don’t really care for loud things.”

“No, I don’t suppose you would.” She pulled out a shiny rectangular object from her purse. “Would you mind?”

“It’s a cellular device?”

“Yeah, but it plays music too.” Rosalyn called up a Van Morrison song. Carefully, she put the phone into his shirt pocket. The oxford cloth was immaculately pressed, but had orange dust smudges from where he had leaned against the rock. She brushed at them lightly, tidying him. Where the white fabric pulled against his muscular shoulders, she could see he had tattoos. She wanted to know, but could not imagine asking. “Will you dance with me?” she asked instead.

“I don’t know the steps.”

“Sure you do. We’ll make them up. They’re right here.” She pointed to his chest.

“You must know that our hearts do not beat. Nor do organs contain human passions.”

“I wasn’t pointing to your heart, silly.”

He raised an eyebrow in surprise. “Traditionally monsters are thought not to possess souls.”

“It’s also a tradition that most people are total idiots, my friend.” He snorted a laugh and pulled her easily into his arms. They swayed lightly to the music, spinning each other before settling into a slow rocking rhythm. Ros rested her head against his shoulder and sighed with a hum. “You’re very old, aren’t you.” It was not quite a question.

He hesitated before nodding, his chin brushing in her thick chestnut hair. The woman’s rich and heady aroma flooded his senses and he could not quite will himself to block it out. They danced to several more songs, all of which were older than she by years. He was musing about possible reasons why she carried around music from the early 1970s on her portable telephone when the last song ended and she pulled away.

“Thank you.” She curtsied playfully. “Thank you for sharing with me.”

“My lady,” he replied solemnly, bowing deeply. He questioned what he had actually shared with her. What had he given that merited thanking? He wanted to give her a compliment, he decided. Something honest and true. “Your eyes are very beautiful. Like they snatched a rainbow right out of the sky. I think you have every color in there.” He leaned down to peer into them. She blushed and looked away, nervously tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. She did not know that he had been rolling that tendril between his fingers as they danced, rubbing her oils into his skin so her natural perfume would stay there for a week, at least. He wished he could better put into words how she appeared to his preternatural vision. ‘Prismatic,’ he was about to say, but she spoke first.

“Your eyes are like sage brush or the sea. I can’t decide which,” she said.

“Sage brush?” He had never heard eyes likened to shrubbery before. He considered the idea and decided that he liked it. Sage was sacred, hardy, aromatic. It was found virtually everywhere and it was ancient. It was even useful to humans.

“Yes, like sage I think. But your skin is even more striking.” She boldly ran her fingertips down his arm. “It’s opaline. Luminescent. Like it is made of the moonlight itself.” He shaded his gaze behind heavy lids and thick lashes. His skin was increasingly translucent, more truthfully, and every vampire who recognized it for what it was regarded him uneasily. “Sorry. Did I say the wrong thing?”

“No. It’s just…I have not fed in a very long while,” he admitted impulsively. He could not say why he felt compelled to share such a deeply private thing. As soon as the words passed his lips, he regretted them. Now she would be fearful of him as she should have been all along or – he shuddered – she would proposition herself like a blood whore and it would ruin this strange encounter for him. Either would certainly spoil whatever fleeting appetite he might barely feel.

It came as a surprise when she did neither. The woman started hunting about until she found a spindly patch of poppies. “May I?” she asked him, bent over her knees.

“May you what?”

“Pick this?”

“Why ask me?”

She wrinkled her brow in thought. “Well, for one, I think it is illegal. Or maybe that’s just in California? But more because it is yours.”

“Is it?” he said with a breathy laugh, perplexed and fascinated by her.

“Of course. You are part of all of this.” She gestured to the expansive vista, then to the canopy of sky overhead, “This…wonder.” She closed her eyes as if she could feel it. He shrugged, unsure.

She snapped the flower at its base and returned to him. A slight breeze twisted her hair around her face. She replaced her phone in his shirt pocket with the yellow blossom, patting it in securely. “There you go. So you remember.”

He caught her hand before she could move, trapping it over his silent chest. Over the place where she accused him of having a soul. He stared for a long moment at the delicate curve of the petals and then at the delicate curve of her mouth. He had assumed she would pluck the gift for herself. He could not remember the last time someone gave him something so simple. So necessary. “Together we flow into the mystic,” he whispered, recalling the lyrics of her old music. He brushed his lips over her knuckles, leaving the ghost of a kiss there. She broke into a smile that reached all the way to those entrancing hazel eyes.

“See? I told you that you weren’t seeing everything.” She gave him a teasing pinch on the chin. “You should press it in a big book of poetry when you get home. That way it will always be in bloom.”

“Does it have to be a book with poems?”

“Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure it does. Otherwise it loses its magic.” She winked.

“Witch,” he teased.

“Mage,” she retorted. He rewarded her with a shy, lopsided smile that erased the millennia from his haunted gaze. “We should probably get back, huh?” She gently extricated herself from his grasp and turned to leave.

He hesitated. “Wait,” he said. In a blur, he was standing before her once more. “Did you truly want my company? Such that it is?”

She wondered how someone could be simultaneously so earnest and yet apologetic. “Of course. It was perfect.”

“May I ask for something in return? You are not obligated to say yes.”

“Okay.”

“May I have the honor of drinking from you?”

She took a step back. “I didn’t come out here for that. I mean, I’m not that kind of woman. I’ve never even done that before.”

“I know. I can tell. It is why I ask. You are the only reason I would even consider asking.”

She fiddled with a tassel of her purse nervously, a bevy of questions swirling in her mind. “You know, there are a lot of crummy people who come to this thing hoping for exactly that sort of experience.”

“Why do you think I was so miserable.”

“Well, I think it is more than that, but I see your point. I only came to ask for the AVL’s support. They are interested in my activist work.”

“Oh?” He considered mentioning that the AVL was a sham – an organizational front in no way connected to their real politics. He would decide later, once this had played out.

“Yeah. I’m trying to help out young vamps.”

He laughed. “And the elderly as well, it would seem. So? What do you think about giving an old man a much needed pick me up?” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“Errrr…Well…”

He shook his head, chuckling at himself. He never quite pulled off such hammy flirtatiousness as well as his child. He tried a different tactic. “You know, in the old days we didn’t stand around arguing with our meals, asking them what they wanted.” He took a step toward her, straightening his posture and allowing his ancient omnipotence to roll off him in waves. It was a power play, executed with supreme dexterity.

She swallowed thickly. “And how, pray tell, would you have done this back in the old days?”

“I could tell you. Are we doing ‘this’ now?”

“I don’t know. Answer me first.”

He gave her a heated look and his pupils flooded open, hungry. It was by no means a simple task to allow her to truly see him but restrain his influence. He did not want her glamoured. He wanted her. Raw and uncomposed.

He stepped even closer. “In the old days, I would have pushed you against that canyon wall and fed from you, deeply, trapped between the chill of my immovable flesh and the heat of the sun still set in this valley’s stony bones. I wouldn’t have asked and you wouldn’t have thought to say no.” He traced a finger down the throbbing pulse in her neck. A trail of gooseflesh rose in its wake. “And if you were receptive to it – and you would, I think, have been open to the idea – I would have taken you, roughly, until there was no more pleasure to be wrung from your gorgeous, tight little body.”

“I would have been caught between a rock and a hard place, so to speak,” she managed to say between shaky breaths.

“Mmm.” Her teasing loosened something in him he had not realized was coiled so tightly. He was suddenly conscious of how absolutely ravenous he felt. She bit her lip nervously, unaware of how much this excited him. Her movement invited him closer. A nagging thought told him he was getting dangerously carried away, but he snapped it away.

Yes, his whole body screamed. Give into it; chase this feeling down. Feast upon it! The idea throbbed in his throat. He could not tear his eyes off her and his desire ached in tune with her pulse. He quickly allowed it to win. Oh yes, he wanted her, he decided. And he would have her, thrumming. Into him, onto him, over him, out of him.

She raised up a wrist upturned – an offering with consent. He shook his head slowly. “Not there.” His nostrils flared widely to better draw her aroma deep into his chest. Inhale, exhale.

They stood so close they could feel each other’s breath. Hers warm, his cool.

‘Where?’ she mouthed silently, eyes wide.

“Oh, look!” he said in surprise, pointing to something behind her. She went to spin around and he struck. He was so fast she barely registered the movement. She cried out in shock. She felt nothing but him. Cool lips and tongue and blunt teeth kiss and sucked and scraped at her throat. It was the pleasure of a lover’s mouth.

“Oh!” she gasped.

He wound his fingers in the ends of her hair and tugged lightly, arching her back and forcing her chest against him. She groaned unwittingly, melting into his embrace. He was everywhere, caressing her hair and her curves and her face. All too soon he withdrew, leaving her breathless. He wrapped a hand around the back of her neck, letting two fingers fall over the tiny wound, compressing it.

Her vision was hazy with lust and her lips were parted, all too tempting. He stole a searing kiss, discovering her hot mouth with long, desperate passes of his tongue. She returned the kiss just as feverishly and when she bit his lip and moaned, he actually went weak in the knees.

“You taste divine,” he confessed.

“That can’t have been enough,” she panted into his mouth.

He leaned back to see her more clearly. He licked his lips with an impish smile. “Oh, I’m not finished.” The words zinged through her, electrifying. She let her head fall back against the hand that braced it and she closed her eyes. He struck the wound again, this time with more force. As he did, he pinched a nipple through the gauze of her dress. The sensation distracted her brain, drawing her attention away from the inevitable sting of his bite and confusing one touch for the other.

She laughed in realization. “Mmm, you are good, mister!” She slid her hands into his hair, loving the roll of his head as he ravished her.

He let out a rumbling chuckle into her neck, feeling more like himself than he had in ages. “Yes, I am,” he boasted, keeping a tongue pressed against the punctures. He toyed with the beautiful marks he had made in her skin, letting her blood flow down her neck so he could lick it in long stripes. Each time, she reacted. The kisses set her body alight in a bonfire of erotic tension.

Altogether too indulgently, he deepened the bite a smidgen more and sucked hard, drawing in a mouthful of blood. He held the wound closed while he leaned back and slowly let the fluid glide down his throat in a thin trickle, savoring the pleasure of it for as long as possible. He was reluctantly sealing the wound with his saliva when she laughed. “When did we end up on the ground?” He looked around, baffled. He was flat on his back in the dirt and she was astride him.

“Haven’t a clue.”

“I thought you said I would be the one being pinned down?” she teased.

“Impertinent wench!”

“Wild satyr!” she shot back.

He lifted her to her feet and dusted her off, giving her backside a swat for good measure. She twisted out of his light hold and skipped off to retrieve a shoe that appeared to have fallen off, forgotten. They made their way back to the gala hand in hand and were nearly there when he halted and spun her to him. He inspected the bite mark he had left on her, running his fingers over the twin dimples. It was already starting to bruise. “Does it hurt?”

“It’s fine. It’s kind of tingly numb.”

“It will be dark purple by tomorrow,” he lamented. “It’s how I feed.” He had never been one to ram his massive fangs in people and slurp his meal down in one go. He liked to play, using only a fraction of his fangs’ razor sharp length. There was more finesse to it and certainly more pleasure to be gained by prolonging the experience.

“Well,” she shrugged. It seemed pointless to worry about it now. “Everyone has a style, no? Yours definitely works.”

His face darkened. He did not like her words. He did not want to think about other vampires’ disgusting habits and her. “Never let anyone else drink from you.” She scoffed. He took her by the arms. “I am serious. Promise me. I want it to only be me.”

“Hey! Jealousy doesn’t suit you. Come on.”

He swallowed, unsure how to explain the anxiety he felt. “Promise me. And while we’re at it, don’t you ever go wandering off alone with a vampire again. Never.” He gave her a little shake to punctuate his point.

“Seriously?” she said, astonished.

“Promise!” he ordered.

“Fine. I promise.”

She did not understand him. He had to make her understand. He panicked. “I want to heal it,” he blurted out. “Let me heal it.” He sliced his tongue and was kissing her throat before she could respond. Before he could register his own actions. Before she comprehended the claim.

They walked the rest of the way in silence, both stunned by the other’s behavior. He did not let go of her hand. At the edge of the party, he kissed her shoulders and her sweet mouth one last time. “Thank you,” he whispered. His cheeks were flushed pink and it made him look deceptively young.

“Anytime.” She nuzzled him with the tip of her nose and planted a kiss on his lips.

“Be careful what you wish for, as they say.”

She smirked and straightened his flower, relieved that it had not been too crushed in their fun. “Don’t forget. A big heavy poetry book.”

He nodded. “So it is always in bloom.”

She left him with a wink and a toss of her hair. Moving through the crowds, she passed by the tall blond. He was no longer double-fisting expensive drinks. He now had two women, one tucked under each arm. She did not see the blond’s head snap in her direction as she walked by, or how he dumped the women to the ground as he whipped to his feet. They both cried in protest and one angrily splashed her drink on him with a curse.

Near the main tent, Rosalyn picked her way carefully through the throngs of people, avoiding the shadows where the party had grown a bit louche. For some reason, several of the vampires she walked past were weirdly twitchy and quick to step out of her way. Her fingers automatically went to the vanished spot on her neck and she pulled a curtain of her hair around to cover it, just in case. She could still feel his mouth on her and it brought an irrepressible smile to her face. She might be grinning like a loon for weeks, she reckoned. She was almost to the gate when a massive figure materialized before her, blocking the exit.

“Excuse me,” she said. She looked up to see the hulking blond. His brow was deeply furrowed and he looked her up and down gravely, searching. He went to say something but was at a complete loss for words. He reached for her, but retracted his hands, leaving them hanging awkwardly mid-air. “I said excuse me.”

“Whatever you’re paid I’ll double it. No. I’ll triple it,” he said.

“Paid?”

“How much does your agency pay? I’ll give you whatever you want if you come to Dallas with us.”

“Agency?”

“Donors Anonymous? Elite Bite?” he guessed. She shook her head, confused. Realization hit him full force. It was not just his maker’s scent all over her. The blond smelled a trace amount his maker’s blood. And her blood. Mingling. In a flash, he flipped the hair away from her neck. He blinked once, then twice, in stunned recognition. “How…”

“You’re not making much sense, buddy. Maybe you’ve had a little too much supermodel tonight.”

He ignored her and pressed his large hands together in a plea. “Please. Whatever you said, whatever you did to get him to drink. Please tell me.”

“We just talked. Not about that. About other stuff.”

“And then he fed. Just like that?”

“Sort of. You live in Dallas? Christ, that’s probably part of the problem.”

“Wait, he told you he hasn’t been eating?” he asked in utter disbelief. He shook his head in astonishment and threw his arms around her, trembling.

“Ow!” she gasped. “Let me go! You’re squeezing too -” She thumped his back with a fist. Her resistance was futile.

“You are literally my favorite breather in the entire world. Gods, woman. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, I guess?”

“I am eternally in your debt. On my honor, I swear it.” She had no idea that his word was his bond. He started to explain when something distracted him in the crowd. “Shit. Here, quick, before he catches me. Give me your number.”

“Why?”

“Godric is terrible about phones. He refuses to have one.”

“Who is Godric?”

He dipped down to inspect her pupils, expecting to see remnants of a glamour lingering there. He found none. Only clear, unusually pretty hazel eyes. “Oh you have got to be…this is perfect. Just perfect! Are you telling me that you managed to convince him to feed after nearly a year of starving himself and you didn’t even bother to ask his name?”

She looked sheepish. “It didn’t come up.”

He was ready to rip his hair out over his maker’s antics. Of course Godric had chosen some equally maddening woman. Like two peas in a freaking pod. “Let me guess: he marked you as his and didn’t even worry about getting your number.”

“Marked me? No, he healed -”

“Give me your number, woman!” he barked impatiently, throwing a glamour into it. The information tumbled out of her effortlessly and he typed the numbers into his phone with lightening fast thumbs. “Name?” he glanced up, still holding her in his thrall.

“Ros. Rosalyn Euphrenia Murray.”

“Fantastico.” He released her from the compulsion. “I’ll have Godric call you soon.”

“Okay. That would be nice.” She hitched her purse on her shoulder, ready to get out of the desert and into the clean sheets in her hotel room. The hulking blond was already strolling back into the crowd when she remembered something. “Wait!” she called out. “What’s your name?”

He spun wistfully on his heels and came to a stop with a little hop. “I am Eric Northman, Son of Godric and Sheriff of Louisiana Area Five, at your service.” He bowed, arms held wide. Then, in a flash, he was gone, vanished into the sea of party-goers. The goofy smile returned to her face again with full force, so insistent it hurt her cheeks. Yes, that smile would definitely be there for a while.


A/N: What did you think? Please leave a review. Reviewers get a slow dance with Godric and Eric’s undying dedication. 😉

The playlist on Rosalyn’s phone was as follows:

Van Morrison, “Moondance”

Van Morrison, “Into the Mystic”

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young “Helplessly Hoping”

The Moody Blues, “Nights in White Satin”

Procol Harum, “Whiter Shade of Pale”

Bob Dylan, “Girl from the North Country”

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Image credit: Denna McMurdie

One comment

  1. VictoryInTrouble

    I decided to read your other stories. I’m not sure why I never did before except that maybe I just always re-read Rune Songs.
    This is a fantastic start. Godric behaves just how I would think. I like this bold Ros and how she got to him without even really trying. I love how thankful Eric is for her. This is exactly how I would thin she’d be toward Godric. Just so happy for his happiness. Can’t wait to read more!

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