Chapter 02: What’s Really Real?

SPOV

Well, I had another month before I was off to LSU.  Tara and Amelia had both gotten accepted to LSU and we would be staying in the same dorm but have different roommates.  We knew we could make this work.   It was hard to leave Gran alone but Jason promised to look after her.  Jason knew what my dreams were and he supported me in them.

However,  Quinn tried to approach me a couple of times before I left and got pretty violent, so Gran had me get a restraining order against him, so he could not pester me at school.

Like that would work.

I was at school for a month and everything was going fine.  I liked my classes and I loved my roommate Claudine Crane.  She was in her second year. She was a guardian angel for me or if you think the phrase fairy god mother works out better then use that.  She showed me the ropes and made sure I knew where everything was.  I did not want to be in a fraternity so she made my life bearable.

 She also became my confidant about my past life experiences and told me nothing was my fault.  She said, “Things happen for a reason and just because I slept with my boyfriend does not make me a whore.  I had only one sex partner and that does not make someone a whore.”

I confided in her that he was the biggest mistake in my short life and it would be my biggest regret.  She told me, “that everyone has at least one of these relationships and if I could learn from my mistakes, I would be ahead of the game”.

 Claudine was studying to be a Social Worker so I guess I was her test subject.

Well, I was over the moon about school and I was really enjoying it until I got back to my dorm on Friday September 20.  I was shocked at what I walked in on.   There was a school security officer and police officer waiting there for me.  Apparently Quinn had burst into my dorm room and smacked Claudine around while I was out. He wanted to know where his whore of a girlfriend was.  Claudine wouldn’t tell him.  Needless to say, that scared the ever loving beegeezous out me.   I thought once I left Bon Temps he would leave me alone, was I ever wrong.  I spoke with the police officer and let them know about the restraining order I had and they said they would get a copy and have it extended to Baton Rouge.  Why couldn’t he just leave me alone?

It was then I found out about Quinn’s past at LSU.  Apparently he had stalked another student here at LSU for two years.  They could never prove anything because he was quite careful; the student he was harassing, Catherine Reynolds, would not talk about the incident, it was her dorm mate that brought the situation to the attention of LSU security. Quinn was asked to leave and he never got any certification or degrees in Engineering.

But of course this time he slipped up and had witnesses.  He wasn’t going to get away from it this time.  Claudine and I agreed we would press charges if they ever caught him.   He disappeared from the building as soon as he heard one of the other students calling 911.    I was afraid to stay; I did not want anyone to get hurt because of me.  It was after long talks with both Claudine and my advisors that I decided it was best for me to stay.  Quinn would be headed for Bon Temps and if I went back he could get me alone quicker; they felt I was safer here.

I immediately called Gran and Jason and let them know what happened and they said they would pass the word on to everyone in Bon Temps.  Gran was gossip central so I was sure by nightfall everyone would know what happened and the Bon Temps Sherriff office would be looking for him.  He would not be welcomed there anymore.   They told me I was safer where I was and to have fun and enjoy school.

 I guess that’s just what I needed to do.

By the time I was done with my phone calls, Amelia and Tara made it up to my room and said they were worried about me.  Tara stated that she never thought he would be nuts enough to follow me to LSU and terrify me.  Amelia never used her father’s clout for anything but she immediately got on the phone and called him.  Copley was not happy about what happened and said he would use his PI to find Quinn so he could be prosecuted.   I felt safer knowing I had friends and family that cared about me and would make sure I was safe.

 But in the back of my mind I heard that little voice say:  “For how long are you really safe from him?

Well another month had passed and there was no news on Quinn’s whereabouts, so I was told by everyone that was good news.  I carried on with my life the best I could.

My friends, Tara, Amelia and Claudine approached me one afternoon and said I needed to get out; I was cooped up for too long.  There was a meet and greet with actors from a TV show and they were visiting a nearby Starbucks.  They wanted all four of us to go so we could meet one guy in particular and get his autograph.  They all told me they were in full agreement they would not accept a NO as an answer from me; I knew I needed to get out but I had no clue who this actor was.

It was funny that on that same afternoon I got an email from my friend Janice about taking a ride with her to Shreveport for the weekend of October 27th; she wanted me to get away from my troubles and have some fun with her family.  I told her I had to take a rain check because I had plans with Tara, Amelia and Claudine.  She knew I was in good hands so she did not press the subject.

The Saturday of October 28th was approaching and I was nervous to go out of my comfort zone.   But I knew I had to get back on the horse and deal with my anxiety.  Well I was told by the girls there was a new Vampire TV show that started last fall called “Blood Moon” and the guy they wanted to meet was one of the main characters.  He was a Werewolf, the leader of the wolves, but according to the show, he was called the Packmaster; I had no clue what they were talking about.  I never watched much TV so I was clueless.  They told me he was about 6’5” tall, built like a brick wall, curly thick black hair with green eyes.  His name was Alcide Herveaux and he was a local boy from Shreveport, funny I never heard of him before but I was going with them anyways so I could appease their worries for me about becoming a hermit.

We arrived at the Starbucks and the place was packed, so we had to wait in line for our turn.  The girls told me there were a couple of other cast members there, but they really didn’t care about meeting them; just the hunk sitting in the last chair at the table.   He had a great smile and I was intrigued but not enough to let my guard down.  I was getting real fidgety; I felt like I was being watched so I kept looking around but I did not see any one, but I am sure I sensed something.

 I asked the girls if they wanted a latte my treat and they all said yes; we had already been standing in line for over an hour and I needed to get away from everyone. I needed to calm down.

As I stood in the coffee line, I noticed a tall blond man standing to the side, watching all the action.  It seemed odd how he had dark glasses on and a ball cap, it looked like he was avoiding the confrontations of the meet and greet hoopla.  He noticed me watching him and smirked; he had a nice smile when he let it out, but then one of the show’s people walked up to him and they spoke quietly.

 I then turned away to mind my own business.  The girls were still a mile away from the table when it would be my turn to order so I knew I still had plenty of time. Again with my spider sense, I knew someone was watchin me but I couldn’t seem to figure out who or where they were standing.   I was getting bored standing in the order line so I had turned sideways again and began watching the tall blond man.

I think I shocked him a bit when I politely asked him if he wanted anything.   He quietly told me, “No thank you.”

 Well that was out of my comfort zone, I thought to myself, why was I comfortable with this stranger? I was even able to speak to him.  Hmmmm, I will have to think about that later.

 I placed my order and stepped to the side to wait, while waiting for my lattes I noticed I was being stared at so I smiled back at him.  I caught him off guard again and he turned beet red.  Hmmm something else to think about later, I have never made a man blush before.

Why was I so comfortable with him? I collected my order and walked by the man in question and said quietly, “Nice meeting you.” He just smiled.   It was a beautiful smile that just made me melt.

I bounced back to the girls with our order and waited in line with them.  It was another fifteen minutes before we made it to the front of the line.  Conveniently we had finished our lattes and I had discarded the garbage, just in time.    Tara, Amelia and Claudine were all so excited when we finally got up to Alcide so that they could get his autograph and I could get a picture of us with him as a group.   We were told you were only allowed one per person so I agreed to use my picture as a group shot of us, since I was clueless to who he was.  As we were getting ready for our picture, I saw the blond man walk casually over to the back of the table; he moved in and stood beside Alcide. It was odd that he took off his glasses and hat.  I wasn’t too sure what was going on behind us but everyone was squealing in the line that followed us.   The picture was taken and Amelia turned around to say thank you to Alcide and about fainted.  I was clueless, so I made our apologies for holding up the line and ushered the girls out.   The screaming continued but as I walked by the blond man, he quietly said to me “Nice meeting you too” so I just smiled back.

It did not go unnoticed by the girls that I had spoken to the blond man.  That somehow I knew him.  Who the hell was he?

As we started to go outside, I saw him being ushered out of the front room and into the back offices.  Again who the hell was he?   As I watched him, the girls started bombarding me with questions.  Flustered, I finally told them to stop.  I told them we needed to move away from the side door so we weren’t blocking it.   As we walked toward the parking lot, I noticed the blond was being ushered into a waiting vehicle in back corner of the building.  He noticed me too and we both waved goodbye to one another at the same time.  He smiled, I blushed, what a pair we are.

Tara spoke up this time since I was only taking one question at a time. “Sook how the hell do you know Eric Northman?”

My response was, “Who the hell is Eric Northman?”

Claudine and Amelia looked at me, dumbfounded.   The girls proceeded to tell me that Eric Northman is the star of “Blood Moon”; he was the main character and vampire in charge.

 “OOHH” I said “he was just a nice guy I spoke to while I was waiting in line for our lattes.”

They all just looked at me like I was nuts.   He was handsome and I couldn’t wait to see our picture to see what he looked like without the glasses and cap.  I smiled, knowing I had a small crush on this guy I would never see again. So why was I even bothering to get excited over seeing what he looked like in my picture?  That was another thought for later. Much later when I was by myself…

Fantasy material.  YUP!

Amelia stated we needed to leave Starbucks parking lot and pointed to Walgreens so we could get my picture developed so each one of us could have our own picture.  Amelia offered to pay for all four pictures plus a frame for each one of us.  We all thanked her.   We walked over all high on the experience, but I felt like I was being watched and followed, I kept looking around for Quinn but I did not see him. I did not want him to ruin my first experience out of the walls of LSU.  The girls saw I was twitchy so I told them what was up and that while we were in Starbucks I had the same feeling.  They all became very watchful.  They wanted my day to be a good one, too.

As we waited for the pictures to be developed, we walked around Walgreens.  Of course, Amelia found items she needed, as did Tara; they were taking forever.  I was good to go, as was Claudine, but where did she go? She was just standing beside me.

 As I walked back to the photo counter, I heard the clerk arguing with a man; this very same man was at Starbucks a few minutes ago.  He was not happy that the clerk was not giving him copy of the picture we had just taken next door with the “Blood Moon” cast.

 The clerk told him, “He was not allowed to have one of our pictures without our verbal permission.”  The mystery man told the clerk, “he would not take NO for an answer”, the clerk was only trying to do his job correctly; so being the good girl I am I spoke up and asked what the problem was.

 The man turned around rather flustered and introduced himself as Bobby Burnham from “Blood Moon”, okay, and I thought to myself, so what.   He said he was asked by Mr. Northman to acquire a copy of the picture you girls had taken with him and Mr. Herveaux.   Bobby Burnham never told me why Mr. Northman wanted a copy of the picture, he just said that Mr. Northman wanted him to get one and to try and get our names.  That Mr. Northman would be extremely grateful if we obliged.

I thought for a moment that this guy was full of shit when the person I saw speaking to the blond man at Starbucks walked up to him and told him to hurry up that they were leaving.  I made the decision to give permission to the clerk for the photo to be made and purchased by Mr. Burnham.  However, when giving our names I only gave first names but at least I put them in the order we stood in the picture….. Smart of me huh…….  Before leaving, Mr. Burnham handed me an autographed photo of Mr. Northman that simply stated “Nice meeting you, Eric.”

 I thanked Mr. Burnham and he walked away.

 I turned bright red and my knees buckled.

What the hell was that?  Why did it affect me that way?   Why did he want our picture?

 So many questions and no one to answer them.

The girls headed back to me as I was getting my composure back.  They noticed I had a picture in my hand and retrieved it from me.   They all gushed.  They wanted to know what the hell I said to Eric that would have him tracking me down and giving me a signed picture with a special message.  I told them I had no clue; I was just nice and polite to him.  I told the girls Mr. Northman wanted a copy of our picture with our names.  They all got excited; way too excited until I told them I only gave our first names.

Tara’s comment was, “Damn it, Sookie, how is he supposed to find us if you only gave him our first names?”

I just shook my head and laughed.

 Amelia paid for our pictures and we all walked out of the store.

There was some commotion outside of Walgreens but Tara and Amelia directed me towards the car so we could go back to the LSU campus.  I ended up not looking around and just got into the car, I figured the commotion was due to the actors next door at Starbucks.

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