Summary: Can Sookie pull off the role of a beauty queen to find out who is threatening Felipe De Castro’s attempt to unite the supernatural races with a beauty contest? Finalist in the Dead Pan contest on fanfiction.net. SVM/TB
Disclaimer: All characters belong to C. Harris.
Spoilers: Set after Dead and Gone.
Status: Complete. One Shot. Approx. 8,000 words. Pairing: Sookie/Eric.
I wasn’t ready to be out of the house really. Niall had given me an elixir to help with the physical injuries from my torture at the hands of Thing One and Thing Two, but inside – in my head – I was still very damaged. My confidence was at an all time low and I was in no mood to be summoned to Fangtasia by Felipe De Castro so I could help him with goodness knows what! Eric claimed to know just as much about the King’s reasons for the meeting as I did; he’d never lied to me about that kind of thing before and with our relationship finally settling into some semblance of routine, I doubted he’d start now.
We pulled up behind the grey building and Eric ushered me into the bar through the employee entrance. Pam and Felipe (plus entourage, which unfortunately included Victor Madden) were already there, sipping distastefully at the Truebloods in their hands – I guess Eric didn’t offer beverages of the non-synthetic kind when Fangtasia was closed. A couple of tables had been pushed together and we slid into the two spare seats to find out why we, especially me, were here.
“You may have heard I have decided to hold a beauty pageant.” Pam had told me about this idea but we both just laughed it off as a wicked rumour “In the planning of this event, we have received some … letters, threatening to attack the contest in some way, explosive devices have been a recurring theme.”
I put my hand up, like I was in class asking to go to the bathroom. De Castro raised an eyebrow at me before nodding, allowing me to interrupt. “So why go through with it? The Fellowship are just looking for another event like Rhodes, is it worth the risk?”
Victor sighed and tutted, Eric growled at him and Pam sipped her drink emotionlessly. Felipe smiled, like I was a 3 year old who just asked why the sky was blue.
“Miss Stackhouse or is it Mrs. Northman now?” I opened my mouth, Eric squeezed my hand and I closed it again “No matter. This event is open to all females of all supernatural races! It is a coup in uniting the Supe community within the three states I hold and will solidify my position as a progressive ruler. It is most definitely worth the risk.”
“Okay. So I’m here because …”
“You will be entering of course!” Pam snorted and some Trueblood came out of her nose.
“Uh … me? Why?”
“Because your talents will be most useful in finding out how close any threats are. We will have trackers, both Were and Vampire, ensuring the building is bomb free. However we will need someone to ensure that the contestants and other behind the scenes staff are … on the level as you humans like to say.”
“So you want me to enter a beauty pageant so I can read the minds of the other girls and staff and make sure that they aren’t planning to bomb the contest?”
I looked at Eric, he was almost pleading with his eyes for me to go along with this harebrained scheme. I guessed it would look bad for him if I refused, and if I did and something went wrong and people died – I don’t know if I could live with myself. I looked at Pam, she was grinning from ear to ear, obviously enjoying this far too much.
“Okay I’ll do it.” Pam slapped the table and laughed, gasping out random words like ‘bathing beauty’ and ‘swimsuit edition’.
“As Miss Stackhouse is your Maker’s bonded and wife, you will also enter the contest Pamela. She will need an ally close to hand.” Pam’s laughter abruptly ceased and a smile started to grace my own lips.
In the week leading up to the pageant, both Pam and I had tried to weasel out of actually competing and tried to find other jobs we could do. I even tried to pull the ‘I’m not actually a Supe’ card but Eric told me that even if I didn’t have Fae blood, my status as his bonded and wife made me eligible for it.
Pam was having all too much fun waxing my various sensitive areas to ensure I looked good in my bikini. We spent far too much time watching movies with perky heroines we could emulate to try and blend in; so far my favorite had been ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’. Tonight we were concentrating on the nuances of Elle Woods and her Legally Blonde friends.
“Sookie, you’re not doing it right! You have to show more teeth!”
“Pam I’ll need to dislocate my jaw to be able to smile that wide!”
“That can be arranged …”
“Well your bathing beauty smile isn’t perfect either!”
“I’m a vampire; I won’t be expected to smile as much.”
“Argh! I hate this!”
“Stop it! Perky Sookie! Perky!”
“Look Pam, I don’t even need to try that hard, I’m guaranteed a place anyway!”
I had been worried about remaining in the contest long enough to actually be around to read people, but Felipe has ensured that I would make it to the top 10. Eric said I would make it to the top 5 and even win whether Felipe intervened or not.
“Sookie, where’s your ‘independent woman’ crap? Don’t you want to be in the top 5 because you have done your best not because a man put you there?”
“Pam! That doesn’t even make sense in this situation.”
“I know but you could at least be perky and positive about it!”
The pageant was being held in Arkansas, to attempt to draw some Supe tourism into the area, and arriving at the hotel was like diving into a bimbo convention. Pretty girls from Louisiana, Arkansas and Nevada were everywhere, cooing and throwing fake compliments at each other. Luckily Pam and I were sharing a room, so rather than having to sleep across from someone I didn’t know, I had to sleep across from someone who constantly flirted with me and offered to lick my neck on a daily basis.
“Pam?” she scowled at me as she unpacked her bags “I thought Felipe was progressive. Don’t you find all of this a little … 1970’s?”
“Sookie, for a Vampire several hundred years old that is progressive!”
I sighed and gathered my gown and shoes (courtesy of Eric’s business account – well it is business) and we went down to the changing area for our first foray onto the stage as pageant contestants. I was surprised to see so many of the Were contestants had their own Pageant consultants, Pam and I had decided to work as a team and do each other’s make-up and hair, check our outfits were okay and tell our Rhodes sob stories to the other contestants to gauge their reactions to the Fellowship. It was a perfect partnership, Pam could smell fear and hear increased heart rates and I could ‘read’ any deceptions from the humans and Weres.
There were very few girls taking part off their own back. Most were either children of Vampires in positions of authority, daughters of pack masters, or bonded humans. Three girls had volunteered and they were all very young vampires looking to make their mark in the supernatural world. The Area Sherriff, Bruce Wilson, has specifically bonded to a glamour model two weeks before the pageant, hoping that if she won it would bring tourism to his area.
After some time mingling, and not finding anything remotely suspicious, it was time for us to be introduced. We stood in line, Pam perfectly composed and me, sweaty and nervous, until the announcer (a fairly young and flamboyant vampire called Tredicino) called our names
Contestant 14 – Pamela Ravenscroft, representing the Vampires of Shreveport. Pamela is the child of highly regarded Area Sherriff Eric Northman.
There was a distinct oohing and ahhing at the mention of Eric’s name. I watched Pam stride out onto the runway and twirl and wave at the audience like she’d been pageant trained from birth.
Contestant 15 – Sookie Stackhouse, famed telepath of Louisiana, Sookie is the bonded and pledged of Eric Northman.
There was no oohing or ahhing at Eric’s name this time, there were gasps of surprise and a few hisses of discontentment. I locked down my shields and walked out, smiling broadly and waving regally. Eric was sitting at a table with Felipe and Victor. Eric looked very proud and it was radiating through the bond.
After the introductions we had to change quickly for the swimsuit section. I rifled through the bag I had brought down with me but couldn’t find the suit I’d bought anywhere!
“What is it sweet Sookie?”
“Where’s my bikini?” I noticed Pam was already in her cut-away one piece; it looked very Barbarella but wouldn’t have suited me.
“Oh that! I showed it to Eric and he replaced it with a more suitable alternative.” She went over to her robe and pulled a ball of red fabric. I shook it out to reveal a very understated one piece, well it was pretty ‘Baywatch’ but compared to what the others were wearing it was Victorian underwear.
“Why would Eric want me to put this on?”
“Do you think he wants all of the men in the audience seeing his bonded and pledged almost naked?”
I guess that made sense. I put the suit on and Pam tousled my hair, I put a little more spray on her up-do and we went back out to join the merry conga line. I watched the other girls strut their stuff; a little annoyed that most of them seemed to give an extra wiggle towards the table where Eric sat. I swear that vampire would have Ellen DeGeneres gagging to cop a feel.
Pam was called by Tredicino and I knew I was next. I watched my … friend? Yes! Pam was my friend! I watched her work it, she looked good, well she didn’t look any different than she did any other day but…
Contestant 15 – Sookie Stackhouse
Oh crap! I tottered out on my heels, walking as fast as I could without falling flat on my face and posed on the circles. I sneaked a glance at Eric, who wasn’t caring who saw his fangs were extended. Unfortunately his 2 companions at the table had the same dental issues and lusty eyes – eww.
I was exhausted when we got back to our room but Pam was on some kind of pageant high.
“I’m so excited about tomorrow!”
“Why? Isn’t it just the top 10 announcement and more swimsuit posing?”
“No! It’s the talent section, then gowns and then top ten selection!”
“Sookie you knew this! We watched enough movies. Really did you not prepare something?”
Oh no, no, no, no! This was not happening! I had nothing. I couldn’t sing or throw a baton or play an instrument or even do that weird thing with the water glasses that saved that chick who was the undercover FBI agent! I was so wrapped up in my panic I didn’t hear someone rapping at the door; I was swept up in a pair of strong arms.
“Sookie, my Lover. I felt your distress but there doesn’t seem to be any danger here. What has you so worked up hmm?”
Pam huffed “She has no talent Eric!”
“Oh I wouldn’t say that!” He leered at me “I think making a 1,000 year old vampire scream in pleasure is quite the talent!”
“Eric I can’t drag you onto the stage and have sex with you for my talent!”
“We don’t have to have sex you could just do that thing with your tongue …”
“ERIC! Please can we just be serious here?”
“He was being serious Sookie. This is a supernatural event, having public sex is pretty much expected.”
“I’m still not doing it! There has to be something else I’m good at. What are you doing Pam?”
“Uh … that’s … great! It doesn’t really point me any directions though.”
“Sookie, do you remember a couple of weeks ago I came to your house earlier than expected?”
“Mmmmmm … wait, I already told you I’m not doing that!”
“Not that Dear One, what you were doing when I arrived.”
“Oh! I was dancing and cleaning! That’s it! I can do that!”
“Well I know speed embroidery isn’t awfully exciting but cleaning Sookie?”
“No Pam, I can dance! I just need … uh …” I grabbed the TV remote and searched desperately for a music channel, eventually finding one that was playing ‘Crazy In Love’ by Beyonce “That!”
Eric and Pam were staring at the screen entranced while I tried to memorize as many of the dance moves as possible. I don’t know whether it was a quirk because of my telepathy but I was a very quick study when it came to learning dance moves and picking up new things. Eric put an arm around me and Pam looked at me warily.
“Do you think you can really do that Sookie?”
“I certainly do!” I looked at Eric “He can confirm my skills on the dance floor.”
He was … wistful for lack of a better word, obviously remembering me and Tara’s little show in Jackson and also the scene a couple of weeks ago when he caught me shimmying down the doorframe with a feather duster. I checked the options on the hotel TV and it turned out they had a channel you could select which music video you wanted to watch! I’d need to go shopping as soon as I woke up – there was no way this would work in the dresses I’d brought with me.
I woke up with a renewed sense of fun in the contest; grabbing my credit card I hit the stores of Little Rock with a vengeance. It took a while but I eventually found the perfect outfit, it was a short silver grey dress covered in silver sequins that clung to every curve. I raced back to the hotel to get ready. The sun was just starting to sink in the sky when I’d finished eating with the rest of the live contestants. I still wasn’t getting any vibes that something was going to go wrong. I started to think that maybe Felipe had just made up threatening letters so he could see Pam and me in a beauty contest.
When I got to our room Pam was already dressed in a bubblegum pink latex cat suit, I guess it was a mix of her two distinct styles, and she was practicing furiously. There were piles of cotton and thread everywhere and I was very glad of the fact that my talent only required an outfit rather than any props. I packed my garment bag with everything I’d need and we went down to the dressing room.
The place was buzzing, I wasn’t the only girl dancing, there was a Were called Mona doing a ballet homage to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Rita (bonded human) would be doing a cheer routine to the best chewing gum jingles ever written and a vampire, Keira, would be doing a post-modern dance memoriam to the Irish potato famine of 1740.
Again we were called in the same order as the night before, so I knew once Pam was almost finishing up that I’d be next. She was bowing and thoroughly enjoying the applause she was getting for her speed embroidered portrait of William Shatner – it was scarily accurate.
My name was called and the first bars of the song played as I strutted onto the stage swaying my hips to the rhythm. I made a show of walking up and down the runway turning and winking at Eric when I reached their table, I had it timed perfectly that I was back on the main stage when Jay-Z had finished his rap
I look and stare so deep in your eyes
I touch on you more and more every time
when you leave I’m beggin you not to go
call your name two, three times in a row
I shook, shimmied, bounced and swayed. Raising my arms up and running my hands down my body, making sure I was looking at Eric when I used my hands to spread my knees apart when I dipped to the floor showing off the red sequin boy shorts I had bought to wear under the dress.
Got me lookin so crazy right now
Your love’s got me lookin so crazy right now
Got me lookin so crazy right now your touch’s
Got me lookin so crazy right now
At one point in the song it felt like my ass had taken on a mind of its own, when I checked back with my vampire it obviously wasn’t a bad thing as he was gripping the arms of the chair and Felipe had a hand on his chest to remind him to stay seated. When the last strains of Beyonce were fading, I spun around and dropped to one knee on the stage with my hands flat on the floor.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Supes and humans! That was Sookie Stackhouse with her amazing dancing talents!
The crowd went wild; I looked at Eric’s table to find he wasn’t there but Victor and Felipe were giving me a standing ovation in more ways than one – eww. I waved to the audience as I bounced/walked/ran backstage but before I could get there I was grabbed from behind and pulled into a closet. The cold hand over my mouth prevented me from screaming but once my head cleared from the endorphin rush of dancing on stage in front of an audience, I realized through the bond that it was Eric.
“Lover, I’m not one to beg but if you don’t let me fuck you right now I may have to kill someone to relieve my tension.”
He loosened the hand on my face and I licked it before being turned around and kissed like he’d never ever kiss me again. Our hands were everywhere, pulling at clothes and groping whatever flesh we could expose. I tugged and pulled at the belt Eric had on to no avail and gave him a light kick in the shin when he laughed at me and started to undo it himself. My hands were rubbing against the bulge in his pants, as if the friction would magically make them disappear, soon the covering was gone and I had his hard, gracious plenty in my hand.
Eric groaned and spun me again so I was facing the door and yanked off my shorts, I gasped when the cool air breezed over my heated sex and fingers probed my readiness. A small whimper left my lips as his hand withdrew and my dress was pulled up over my head, it turned to a long drawn out moan when Eric ran his hands down the full length of my naked body until he reached my feet, which were still in 4” silver strappy sandals. I lifted my foot, expecting him to tug at the buckle.
“No, we’re leaving those on My Little Dancing Queen.”
Ungh! His hands moved slowly upwards at the front of my legs while his tongue followed their path over the back of my knee and up the inside of my thigh. Eric’s knees nudged my legs further apart and he buried his face in my wet warmth, teasing me with his mouth.
“Eric, baby, we don’t have a lot of …”
He was fully sheathed in my velvet walls before I could finish what I was saying, then I didn’t know why I even needed to speak. Eric’s length pumped in and out of me at speeds no human man could ever hope to keep up with, I felt his hands wrap around me, one to my breast pinching my pebbled nipple and the other down to my swollen nub. It didn’t take much to make my muscles quiver around him, I was panting and we were both moaning, not caring about how loud we were. He rubbed tiny circles on my pearl as his movements became erratic, his fangs sank into the tender spot between my neck and shoulder and I cried out as felt my pleasure reach a crescendo and Eric howled with his completion at the same time.
Eric cocked his head to one side and told me Pam was looking for me. I flapped and started throwing my clothes back on, the dress was back to front but I would be taking it back off soon anyway. I ran out of the closet and smacked into Pam at the dressing room door
“Sookie! Where the hell …” Her nostrils flared “Oh I see. Well, while you were playing hide the falukorv, I’ve been glamouring the lighting guys to see if they know anything about the threats.”
“No and I can’t even drain them to make myself feel better but I did glamour them into fixing the lights to make that human with the plastic breasts look like she’s made of wax!”
“Okaaaaay. How long until we’re on?”
“Not long enough for you to wash the scent of sex and Eric off. You need to get changed like, five minutes ago. I’ll need to totally redo your hair. Do you want the fang marks showing?”
Completely embarrassed by my behaviour, I skulked into the dressing room and peeled off my dress of shame. I had picked out a baby pink gown for tonight; I just hoped the flush on my skin cooled enough so the colour didn’t look off. Pam tut-tutted as she tried to rescue my hairstyle and fix my lipstick smeared chin. We just managed to squeeze into the line as they were calling contestant 10 – Jacquie Forbes, were-koala (they have fierce claws but are more likely to smother you to death by hugging your face). Tredicino called us one by one and remained on the stage, lining up at the back wall, so they could announce the top 10.
Okay folks, here are the results you’ve been waiting all evening for! The ten Supernatural beauties who will be continuing the contest tomorrow night are:
Contestant 6: Gypsy Violet – Bonded of Sherriff Bruce Wilson, Little Rock
Contestant 9: Mona Bouvier – Were-Wolf from Reno
Contestant 11: Keira Gorman – Vampire from Lake Charles
Contestant 14: Pamela Ravenscroft – Vampire from Shreveport
Contestant 15: Sookie Stackhouse – Telepath and bonded/pledged of Sherriff Eric Northman, Shreveport
Contestant 17: Julietta Rocheforte – Vampire from Las Vegas
Contestant 21: Millie Stevenson – Were-Jaguar from Jonesboro
Contestant 25: Denise Allan – Bonded of Sherriff Thomas Beckett, Carson City
Contestant 29: Mandy Brown – Were-lion from Battle Mountain
Contestant 34: Louise Cunningham – Vampire from Baton Rouge
There was a lot of support for all of the contestants who made it through to the next round. I watched the girls called before me bounce, jump and fan their faces with manicured fingers to convey their shock and copied them, hoping that no-one noticed I wasn’t really that shocked. Pam was, it took her a few seconds to realize that her name had been called but she nodded and waved. I wasn’t the only girl not in shock, Gypsy Violet, the ex-glamour model I had previously mentioned was also not as surprised as she acted when her name was called – I would say that made me suspicious but who was I to criticize, really? I’d be keeping a closer eye on her (well her brain anyway).
There were still a good few hours before sunset but sleep was a distant idea for me as we had to meet with ‘The Guys’ to relay our findings so far. I had time for a quick shower and a change into jeans and a shirt – bliss! Pam and I made our way to Felipe’s room for an hour of swapping not very pertinent information. The trackers hadn’t found anything except a group of fangbangers trying to break in; I told them about Gypsy Violet’s non-shock at going through to the next round.
“She’s gorgeous and she did a burlesque strip for her talent – how could she not get through?” Victor had a very good point
“It was more than that, more than confidence. She knew without a doubt she’d make it through.”
“Like you?” Eric, Pam and Felipe stared at him.
“The difference is I’m here to do a job! I’m going to get closer to her, see if I can find anything out.”
“Miss Stackhouse, please forgive Victor’s bluntness. I … we very much appreciate what you are doing for our community here and may I say what a treat your performances have been so far. I look forward seeing how you fare with the rest of the pageant.”
“She will go through to the next round.” I’m glad Eric was confident, I wasn’t!
We left the room, Pam went to find a snack and Eric decided to keep me company and attempt to boost my confidence more while we had some privacy. Pam must have decided to turn her snack into a three course meal; we managed to fit in a fair amount of snuggling after our mutual physical worship before she came back in.
“Well Sookie, tomorrow we have the question round, more swimsuits then the top 5 pick. How nervous are you?” Pam was grinning slyly
“Actually I’m less nervous now than I was before. I knew the top 10 was fixed but I still had to display a certain standard to prevent people from knowing it was fixed! Now I can chill and do my own thing!”
Eric smiled warmly and kissed me goodbye before offering his congratulations to Pam on getting through to the next round. Pam looked a little shocked at that but I could see she was practically giddy at the praise she’d received from her maker. We both went to rest happy.
The next night I made a point of sitting next to Gypsy Violet at dinner and pretending everything she said was hilarious so I could touch her arm or shoulder. She’d been glamoured to the extent her mind resembled a colander, her thoughts were a little disjointed but I got the gist that she was basically under her bonded’s control. I made a mental note to ask Eric if there was a chance he could ever control me like that or if my resistance to glamouring prevented it.
I couldn’t wait for this whole thing to be over. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying the gowns and the glamour and the dancing, my low moods seemed to have been forgotten but I just want to get home, hopefully without any bombs or attacks happening into the bargain! One thing I was surprised at was how seriously Pam was taking all of this. It seemed now she’d had a taste of pageant success she was hungry for more. Her hair and make-up demands were more complex tonight and I saw her practicing her smile in the bathroom mirror (mostly determining how little difference there was between sexy fang and scary fang).
I didn’t know what question I would be asked, I didn’t want to know what question I’d be asked, whatever it was probably couldn’t be answered with ‘World Peace’. I decided on a deep red satin cocktail dress with heels made from the same material and prepared myself for whatever was going to be thrown at me. Rather than forming a line backstage and being called forward, this time we were all perching on stools set out in a semi-circle with Tredicino standing in the middle.
The questions were, surprisingly, normal. Things you would expect to be asked at a pageant. What famous person does your personality most parallel? What quality do you like most about yourself and why? What is the one feature you’d change about yourself and why? I had started to fidget in my stool and was happy when my name was called – at least it would be over.
“So Miss Stackhouse. What is your definition of success?”
I felt my eyes wander over to Eric; he was sending me courage and love through the bond. Seeing him watching me, pride flashing in his eyes, I never thought I would be doing this. I never thought I would enjoy it, I always dreamed of having a human husband and a couple of kids and a white picket fence but that’s all it was – a dream. My reality was that I had a vampire who did everything he could to keep me safe and make me feel loved and that is what was important – the avoidance of misery.
“Happiness. You can be the richest person in the world or someone with more friends than spaces in their phone’s memory but if you’re not happy, then you’re not successful. Do what makes you happy and you’ll find success.”
“Wonderful answer Miss Stackhouse! Next we have Gypsy Violet.”
I made my way back to my perch and tried not to cringe when Gypsy answered what magazine she’d love to be on the cover of. She was wearing a floor length gown in see-through cornflower blue chiffon with tiny panties and two glittery circles instead of a bra. I felt like Professor McGonagall next to her despite my sassy outfit. Once the questions were over we all filed backstage to change into our swimwear, Pam made a bitchy comment about Gypsy just going out naked – it was the only way she could show anymore flesh. I know Supes in general aren’t modest and revel in nudity whenever possible but it was obvious that this girl was flashing everything in an effort to win something and I don’t think that sat well with any of the other contestants.
We posed in our skimpies once again, I was oblivious to the looks anyone else was giving me – I only had eyes for Eric. Tottering off in our heels to the applause of the audience to change, again, for the announcement of the top 5, I realized I never thought about what the winner of this crazy shindig gets! Pageants always have prizes, what kind of prize would a Supe pageant have? Extra strength Nair for a shifter winner? A super-tasty human for a vampire winner?
“Pam, if one of us wins, what exactly do we win?”
“I was wondering when you would ask that. The prize is $10,000 with the ‘option’ of a night of passion with Felipe De Castro himself.”
“Urk” I threw up a little in my mouth “Why did you do that thing with your fingers when you said ‘option’?”
“Hmm … well you might have an out seeing as you’re pledged, but none of these other girls are married in a human or supernatural sense so they will be expected to perform.”
“That’s … awful.”
“Sookie, you must understand that to most of the girls who have entered this pageant, having relations with a King, a King of three states no less, is quite the honor.”
“But I won’t have to, will I? Eric won’t let him … do anything to me.”
“My Master won’t let him anywhere near you if you win my telepathic friend! The last time I saw him being this possessive was when he bought his first TV with a remote control!”
I laughed weakly and changed into my evening gown, ready for finding out if I’d be staying in a contestant capacity or lurking around backstage with the creepy AV guys. The ten of us trooped onto the stage for the judgement. Tredicino made a big deal out of thanking everyone for participating and what a great opportunity this was for all Supes in Nevada, Louisiana and Arkansas, I just wanted him to tell me whether I was in or out so I could get back to my room and take my shoes off.
Okay folks, here are the five Supernatural beauties who will be taking part in tomorrow night’s final:
Contestant 6: Gypsy Violet – Bonded of Sherriff Bruce Wilson, Little Rock
She went nuts, jumping, bouncing, crying, then her boobs escaped from her tiny outfit and she stopped to push them back in. I checked her brain – no real surprise, something stinks here.
Contestant 11: Keira Gorman – Vampire from Lake Charles
Usually vampires let very little emotion show, so it was a shock when she jumped up and hugged every one of us who was left; I think I may have even seen a small red tear threaten to fall down her cheek.
Contestant 15: Sookie Stackhouse – Telepath and bonded/pledged of Sherriff Eric Northman, Shreveport
What? Oh! That’s me! Oh my stars! I just sat, smiling and nodding until Pam nudged me. I stood up and bowed, shakily, Eric’s amusement and smugness pouring through our connection.
Contestant 21: Millie Stevenson – Were-Jaguar from Jonesboro
Another bouncer, I all of a sudden felt bad about my lack of enthusiasm but I never thought I’d make it this far. I was glad for Millie, she was real nice when I’d talked to her before, I hoped she’d win.
Contestant 25: Denise Allan – Bonded of Sherriff Thomas Beckett, Carson City
Like me, Denise was very surprised to get through to the final but didn’t let it show, no siree. There were tears and flapping hands everywhere. The five of us were herded to centre stage but before I stepped forward Pam grabbed me and gave me a bone-crushing hug
“I’m so happy you got through, I promise not to fuck up your hair tomorrow night because I didn’t!”
I wasn’t quite sure what to say to that so I smiled and nodded. Tredicino was saying … stuff, I’m not sure what, I was still in shock. We got backstage and I was tackled by Eric
“Lover I knew you could do it!”
“Whoa there big boy! I haven’t won y’know!”
“Not yet Sookie but you will! Soon all of the supernatural world will know you are not only brave and talented but the most desirable woman in three states!”
I wondered how that could ever be a good thing but decided to roll with the mood and let myself get swept back to my room for some celebratory love-making with extra complimentary snuggling afterwards.
The next day I was nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I’d had a few nasty glances my way from the girls who didn’t make it through and made a point of not listening to them. I should have been, seeing as that was why I was here after all, but I knew that any thoughts they might have wouldn’t be as nice as the glares my way.
I kept to my project of reading Gypsy whenever I could. I found out her real name was Nora Fromes, I can see why she’d change it what with the business she was in and all. I also found out that Bruce was giving her something very special to wear tonight, she didn’t know what it was but she hoped it was very expensive. She also hoped she won so she could have sex with the King and more interesting was that Bruce – her bonded – was encouraging it, curiouser and curiouser. The day passed in a blur of activity, the final was being televised on VNN (Vampire News Network) and The WC (The Were-Channel), so there were plenty of non-bitchy brains to poke around in. As before, I found nothing suspicious.
Finally the sun had set and it was time for the finale, Pam was positively excited and seemed to enjoy having her own personal Girl’s World to play with as she teased my hair to 80’s Madonna levels and beyond. My gown for the final was gorgeous; it was ice-blue silk with a corseted bodice and layer upon layer of material swishing around my legs. Tonight would be more questions, then the announcement of the winner. In a change from the previous night, we would all be asked the same question and the remaining girls would be placed in a soundproofed booth.
Gypsy, Keira, me, Millie and Denise were backstage waiting to be called forth. In a change from her usual clothing, Gypsy was wearing a modest empire waist dress with no see-through or cut away parts at all, she looked very uncomfortable
Damn it Bruce, this underwear is killing me! I can hardly walk in it!
I tried to find out what she was referring to but she’d been glamoured. She was also the first to be called for the question round and the remaining four of us were ushered into a small room and instructed to put on headphones. We stood smiling at each other, Denise was over the moon at having gotten this far but was very nervous in case she won as her bonded wouldn’t have any choice but to let Felipe have his way. I felt bad for her. Millie was also nervous, I put a hand on her arm to comfort her and read that she was excited at the chance to have sex with a king and help to unite the Supe species. I guess Pam was right.
Keira was called next and I got a little jumpy seeing as I knew I’d be next. I almost leapt out of my skin when a hand touched my arm. I took off the headphones, trying not to undo Pam’s work on my hair (she’d drain me if anything happened to it!) and tried to walk as proudly as I could to the stage where Tredicino met me and shook my hand. I smiled and waved to the audience, catching Eric’s eye. In a bizarre move he gave me a big grin and two thumbs up, it just looked funny with the fangs and all.
“Sookie, what do you think is the best path for peace between all Species?”
Heck this was easy! I’d been practicing it for goodness knows how long!
“Tolerance Tredicino. We need to stop seeing everyone as different Species and see them as people. There are good Vampires.” I looked at Eric “And there are bad Vampires. Good Were’s and bad Were’s, I think you see where I’m going with this!” The audience laughed lightly “The Supernatural world needs to work together to prove the more hateful members of the human world wrong. It will be a long hard road and many changes will need to be made but I think it can happen if you want it enough and if we keep fighting amongst ourselves then the bigots are winning.”
“Thank you for your eloquent answer Sookie! Next we have Millie Stevenson.”
I waved to the audience and went to the side of the stage to sit with Keira and Gypsy. Gypsy was glaring at me, in her head I saw that her answer had been ‘More parties, preferably orgies’, and she was still finding her underwear to be the bane of her existence. The last two girls were asked, Millie thought more positive discrimination within Supe businesses would integrate the Species and promote peace through working together. Denise thought peace could be accomplished through large mixed social gatherings.
“We’re going to take a break folks; we’ll be right back after these messages to announce the winner of the first Miss Supernatural pageant!”
I followed the stagehand back to the dressing area and watched Gypsy wiggle and fidget for 5 minutes. Pam came over to touch up my hair and complemented me on not sweating on it too much. I mentioned to her about Gypsy’s strange behaviour.
“She has a problem with her panties? I’m surprised she’s wearing any – she doesn’t seem the type. You on the other hand …”
“I like wearing panties Pam! Her bonded, Bruce, gave them to her, he also very enthusiastic about her winning and getting busy with Felipe. I’ve been forced into this to find out who wanted to blow up the event only to find the most suspicious thing is someone else’s underwear!” By the end of my rant I was hissing “Did anyone check these letters out? Scent? Return addresses? Anything?”
“Well they all smelled like the Sherriff, but he’d been handling them …”
“They didn’t smell like anyone else?”
Before Pam could answer me, we were called back onto the stage. Gypsy was chanting in her head ‘You just need to get him on top of you’. What the hell? On stage they had set up a bed, oh Lord, they would do … it! Right there in front of everyone! Felipe was strutting like a peacock, eyeing us five girls like we were prize chunks of T-Bone, I glared at him and he dropped his gaze before casting his eye to a very irate Eric. As we passed by him I whispered in his ear.
“Gypsy’s panties, there’s something wrong with them! Stay away from her!”
He looked at me like I, well like I’d just told him to stay away from a beautiful woman’s panties. Aargh! I shuffled from foot to foot, not really caring about the contest anymore. Looking back I could see Pam watching as closely as she could without actually being on the stage. Tredicino called for quiet and the drum roll started. I was gesturing across my pelvis to Pam and pointing to Gypsy but she didn’t seem to understand me, no wonder really, it was a pretty ridiculous notion.
“Fourth runner up … Denise Allan!” Denise was handed a bouquet of mixed flowers and escorted a little away from the rest of us.
“Third runner up … Keira Gormley!” Keira was presented with an untouched human donor and went to stand next to Denise.
“Second runner up … Millie Stevenson!” Millie got flowers too … wait! That meant only me and Gypsy were left!
“First … runner … up …” I looked at Pam, her finger nails had scored marks in the wooden beam she was clinging to. Eric was gripping the arms of his chair and looking very excited. “Sookie Stackhouse!”
Flowers were handed to me and I was pushed over with the others but I had to warn Felipe! I dropped the flowers and tried to see through the confetti and balloons that were falling everywhere; I raced over to the King to find Gypsy was already on the bed with him. I grabbed at his shoulders
“No Felipe! It’s the panties! You can’t touch her something’s wrong with her panties!”
Pam and another security guy came over and pulled me away from them, Felipe looked at me like I was a crazy person. Eric was missing from his table. Shit! The King went back to giving Gypsy her ‘prize’ but when he flipped up her skirt he jumped back. I leaned over to get a better look only to find that her uncomfortable panties were actually a C4 encrusted chastity belt!
“What is going on here?” Felipe roared. Everyone was quiet until Bruce Wilson took to the stage dangling a key from one hand.
“You think I appreciate a sham takeover from Sophie-Ann then another from you barely two months later? Did you think that Arkansas had absolutely no vampires left?” He gave an evil chuckle, huh! I thought only movie villains did that! “Gypsy’s chastity belt is rigged. If you tamper with it in any way it will go off, taking everyone in a 20 meter radius out in less than a second. The only way to stop it is with this key to unlock the belt.”
A team of Vamps rushed Bruce and he flew up, through the roof of the building out of sight. Where the hell was Eric? He could fly too! He’d be able to catch Bruce and get that damn key back! Felipe, Pam and two security Vampires started fiddling with the chastity belt.
“It’s no use” Pam looked worried “He’s long gone by now. Our only choice is for someone to take her out of here and sacrifice themselves.” Just then Eric appeared and was met with a barrage of ‘where the hell were you’ from about 20 different people, until they saw his ripped blood covered clothes.
“I was detained by the full tracking team, they were in on it.”
“Eric” Felipe was panicking now “Can you pick locks? We can’t break it or it’ll go off.”
Eric walked over to Gypsy where she was laid out on the bed, practically comatose from the realisation that her bonded had put her in exploding panties and made her forget what they were. She took one look at Eric and her inner sex kitten made an appearance, Gypsy licked her lips and smirked at him. I was about to race forward to rip her hair out when Eric quirked his eyebrow at her and there was a chi-chink noise before the chastity belt fell from her body. There were murmurs of surprise from all over the auditorium.
“I thought it was just a myth!”
I looked at Eric and he smirked. It annoyed me at that point in time.
Felipe stared at my husband in awe. “You really can relieve a woman of her underwear with one eyebrow!”
I couldn’t help it, I broke down snorting with laughter as the bomb squad came in and took Gypsy’s dangerous lingerie away with a big pair of pincers and a very large, very insulated box. Every vampire was on their phone to put out the hit on Bruce Wilson. It was a roundabout way but I eventually worked it out in the end. Another mystery solved. I cuddled into Eric and asked him if we could go home, he raised an eyebrow and I tripped over my panties that had fallen around my ankles.