**A/N: THIS ONE-SHOT WILL BE EXPANDED IN THE FUTURE AND IS THEREFORE NOW CLASSIFIED AS “ON HOLD” **This one-shot is another one of my procrastination results. I’m calling it “AU from True Blood” simply because SVM still hurts my wee heart. So: AU, TB, E/S, yadda. Enjoy!**
The faintly amber light beamed pleasantly through the shiny plate-glass front of the small bookstore, providing both advertising and a shining beacon warmly inviting customers through the evening’s mist. Just off the main thoroughfares in Shreveport, the old building had seen better days yet that only added to the air of beckoning mystery surrounding the little shop ambitiously called Hardrada’s Histoires (ran by Harald, last name ‘Smythe’ to family).
The old purveyor of all sorts of books and literary bits and pieces had either a fondness for vampires or a fondness for vampires’ money – quite soon after the species had emerged from their erstwhile coffins, he had calmly begun keeping “special hours” (graciously staying open until midnight) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
As he quickly built up an older, some might say ancient, clientele, he began acquiring, and promptly displaying, books of a rarer, more specific, and more valuable quality. His shelves toward the back began serving as homes for tomes of a more focused nature, with the ubiquitous fiction sections gracing the front of the establishment. Nary a “self-help” book ever entered his hallowed aisles, aisles which he sometimes even bothered to dust most weeks.
In the back of the store behind the doors with two locks, he would often “do trade with” creatures willing to rid themselves of books and other like items they no longer cared to possess. That side business seemed to be conducted quite lucratively on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. A week thereafter many “new” old items might find themselves displayed to best advantage amongst the worn wooden shelves, tables, and attractively arranged antique crates that littered the place.
On a Wednesday evening Eric the Northman swerved into the only open space in front of the antique bookstore.
Unbeknownst to most of his associates and all of Fangtasia’s pleather-clad “clientèle”, Eric was something of a bibliophile in his decreasing spare time. He had always loved the appearance of books and the way the paper and softly worn leather felt beneath his sensitive fingertips. He was known to spend hours indulging in his sensual fascination with bindings and velum, the rare parchment here and there, and was not uninformed of the ways old manuscripts could be safely handled. He loved the assorted vanilla and almond scents softly wafting in varying amounts from the older books, the scents whispering of nights long past in eras best forgotten.
As always, after slowly extracting his impossibly long frame from his little red Corvette, he paused a moment before entering his secret haven of the past couple of years. Behind the shining glass with its welcoming amber glow he spotted the bespectacled old man still spry – and sharp as that proverbial tack – well into what must be his eighth, possibly ninth, decade. The current, also customary, gleam in the old man’s lively eyes was at once older and younger than possible.
Eric had known men of his uncanny ilk all throughout history – sharp, sly, twinkle in the eye… He couldn’t help but like the old codger, but that didn’t mean he exactly trusted him, either. There was something a bit…peculiar about the man, all those men, something he couldn’t quite identify but that definitely added to the mystery of the place in the here and now. The old man’s conversations could be counted on to go in places never imagined, but their talks were always interesting, sometimes unsettling, but definitely worth the time.
Once inside the door – thankfully the purveyor had long since heeded his advice/glamour and removed the annoying goat bell used to herald a customer’s entrance – Eric inhaled deeply and savored the achingly familiar aromas of leather, worn wooden shelving and furnishings, paper and…and…
What the fuck?
Try as hard as he might, he suddenly couldn’t keep his fangs sheathed or his cock flaccid.
As he searched frantically for the source of the most deliciously intoxicating…the warmest, most luxurious scent he had ever encountered, he met the old man’s twinkling, knowing gaze.
The purveyor steadily held his gaze for a moment, and Eric gave a valiant effort toward resheathing his fangs, but only succeeded in closing his mouth to hide them. Apparently satisfied, the elder inclined his head fractionally, then nodded toward the Supernatural section of the store…not the aisle with the shiny new fiction novels, Eric noted, but the true Supe section toward the back of the store.
In an instant Eric had rounded the corner….then came to an abrupt stop.
Dressed in white and shining like a beacon in the night, she couldn’t have been more than a couple of inches over five feet tall. Hair blonde as sunshine that looked softer than spun silk flowed across her shoulders, and in her small hands she held a book about…
With a snarl of frustration, Eric rose from his daysleep, and cursed viciously.
Wait, he thought long minutes later when reason had somewhat returned. I am a vampire. I do not dream. I die into my daydeath, and then I rise. Vampires do not dream!
Later, as he drained an unusually large number of warmed donor bags (five), he reaffirmed, I do not dream.
But there was no other way to describe it…
With a huff he stomped to his shower and hoped the cold water would do the trick it never actually seemed to do.
Wait, he thought as he stilled completely in the large stall and ignored the warm water sluicing the suds down his toned chest. I. Do. Not. Dream.
With a new fire in his bold blue eyes and movements quick and purposeful, he dried off, donned his favorite black leather pants (softer than butter they were), his favorite form-fitting black t-shirt, and with extra emphasis he jerked on and stamped his feet into his favorite leather boots. He flicked his now-dry hair into place, and called Pam to tell her she was on duty until further notice.
It was Wednesday evening, and Eric needed to see a man about a book…and a Fairy…
**A/N: So…what did you think? The idea for this one-shot came from this sudden image I had of Eric’s long fingers drifting slowly down the spine of an old book, then across the leather cover worn soft over time, the texture appealing to his sensitive fingertips while the faint scent of old vanilla and almond wafted from the paper as he allowed his mind to drift back in time to other books in other places, of hidden alcoves, his head bent while reading well in the darkest of night.**