Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Thank you so much for each and every review. All mistakes are my own. I spent the last two weeks working on the final edits for my second book. The cover art is all but done, which means I’ll post a picture on my SeptemberRoberts wordpress some time soon.
Eric paced up and down the hall outside his office until Pam reminded him that it was time for the first show.
Time seemed to slow as the minutes ticked by. It had been over an hour. The show was over, but his office door was still closed. Why was it taking so long?
Dr. Ludwig did not disguise her interest in a telepathic human, and she didn’t show curiosity often. He had worked with her on many occasions, but never for so little money. Sookie was special. That much was obvious.
Dr. Ludwig’s voice carried down the hall when the office door finally opened. “I will see you next week. Practice!” She slapped her hands together to emphasize the word.
Sookie nodded and thanked her. When they were alone in his office again, she grinned. “That was amazing! She knew. She knew all about how it feels.” She sighed and her smile spread to her eyes. “I’ve never talked to anyone like her before.”
“Did she help you?”
Sookie nodded, making her ponytail bounce. “I have homework. It involves you.”
He definitely needed to pay Dr. Ludwig more. “Oh?”
She clapped her hands together and smiled again. “You know how I said I can’t hear you? How you’re silent?” She pointed to her head. When he nodded, she went on. “Well, I need to focus my energy on blank spots like that and ignore everything else. It’s brilliant.”
“That’s your homework?” He lifted an eyebrow. “Does this mean I need to go home with you?”
Sookie blushed. “Well, no, I mean, um, I just need to spend time with you. Or another vampire…just until I get the hang of it. I know you’re busy…” She looked at the floor.
“I’m not busy.” The thought of her spending time with someone else made his skin crawl. “You can come every night to practice. In fact, our second show starts in a few minutes. You could start tonight.”
She took a deep breath. “No time like the present.”
Before they left his office, he blurted out, “We’re not stealing from them.”
Sookie raised an eyebrow. “That’s not the way I see it.”
“I’ve changed the way I ask them, since you mentioned you don’t like it.”
She frowned. “You changed part of your show because of me?”
Eric shrugged. Her asking more questions wasn’t good for anyone. “We should go before Chow lets in the second group of customers,” He positioned her near the front where she would be able to see him. “Focus on me.”
She nodded once before he disappeared behind the curtain.
“Bon Temps still here?” Pam was adjusting her corset.
“Yes. She’s working on whatever Dr. Ludwig told her to do. She needs my help.”
Pam’s eyes lit up. “Does this mean she’ll be spending more time here?”
“Yes. With me.” There was no time for further discussion. It was time for the second show.
“Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be GLAMOURED!” Pam stepped out on the stage and Eric followed a minute later.
Sookie was looking right at him. Her face was calm and focused. She gave him a thumb’s up. It was time to test her focus. If she was blocking their minds, she wouldn’t be able to hear what he was telling them either, even though he wanted her to hear.
He looked out at his half of the crowd. Let the show begin.
I want to take you home. He repeated the thought until all the people in the audience were nodding and smiling. It wasn’t a message for them. He looked at Sookie, who tilted her head and looked from the crowd to him.
I want to touch you. Kiss you. Taste you. Another loop, repeated endlessly as Sookie listened to the audience. She licked her lips and a pink flush spread across her cheeks, and then her eyes were on his. She was breathing hard and frowning.
You want to take out your money and give what you can to the man at the door. Come back tomorrow. He used to tell them to give all their money, but this was the new protocol, and they were happy to comply with his request as he released them from his thrall.
The room quieted as they shuffled out, dropping money in Chow’s waiting hands. Sookie was gripping the edge of the stage.
Eric jumped down next to her. “Well? Did it work?”
Sookie frowned and sighed. “Not exactly.” She opened her mouth as if she was going to say more, but then closed it again. Something had changed. She wasn’t as warm and open as she had been before the show. “Practice makes perfect, right?” She yawned. “I’m beat. Can you take me back now?”
“Of course.” He wanted to know if she heard him. Perhaps she would open up on the drive. “Pam, I’m taking Miss Stackhouse home.”
Once they were back on the highway, she opened and closed her mouth several times before she said anything. “Did you say anything to them?”
An evil grin tugged up the corners of his mouth. “Like what?” He wanted to hear her say it.
“Well,” she took a deep breath. “At the end, I could hear you telling them to get out money. But, I mean before that.”
“What?” He batted his eyes innocently.
“It was working. I was looking at you. And you were so quiet. But you were looking at me, and I wanted to know. I wanted to know what you were saying to them.” She looked out her window. “I guess it doesn’t matter.”
“Doesn’t it?” How much had she heard?
“No. I wasn’t part of your audience. It doesn’t work on me. Glamouring.” Was it jealousy he saw on her face?
“Doesn’t it?” He repeated, his smile revealed his fangs.
“I, I, I…don’t know.” Her heart was racing. “I heard you telling them you wanted to take them home. Touch them.”
He shook his head slowly. “No.”
She sat up and turned toward him. “I know what I heard!”
“I wasn’t talking to them.”
Poor confused Sookie… on to Glamoured: Chapter 9