Watching and hearing the rabble of fangirls in Fangtasia always leaves me with a satisfied smirk on my face. They gossip and coo over Eric. My man. My vampire. He doesn’t acknowledge it but I know I am the only girl he’s been with in the last few weeks, although he did have that meeting with some hick but I know I’m more beautiful than she is, so there’s no way he would even consider doing anything with her.
I haven’t seen him in a couple of days, but he does that. I remember the things he said while we were making love. It was all in old swedish of course, but that one word that no online translator could recognise was ‘Sue-kee’. He always said that when he came, it must just be his little term of endearment for me. I head back to his office and knock before entering. Urgh! Pam. Again.
“Yvetta. Is there something you want?”
“No Mistress Pam.”
“Then why the fuck are you back here?”
“I was looking for Master Eric. Do you know when he’ll be back?”
“He is away for an undetermined length of time.”
“Do you know where he is? Who he is with?”
“Know your place vermin. If you were important enough to know these things he would have told you, now get to work.”
“He’s with that girl with the big hips isn’t he?”
I leap backwards as Pam descends on me with her fangs drawn but she throws me on the couch and pins me down.
“If you ask me one more asinine question thinking that you have something special going on with the Master I’ll drain you dry. As I said before – get back to work whore!”
I run out of the office and head to the ladies room to calm down. I don’t think I have something special with him – I know I do. The fact that he’s so secretive upsets me, just as I’m drying my tears another woman walks in.
“Oh honey! Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Man troubles.”
“Do you need someone to talk to?”
“I’m … I’m just having trouble getting him to see what we mean to each other.”
“It’s the blonde one isn’t it? The tall vampire.” I nod “Doesn’t he own this place?”
“Yes, yes he does.”
“I’ve been researching him. How would you like to make a little deal?”
“What kind of deal?”
“I’m interested in … investing but I need to know how much money this place makes before I jump in. You help me and I’ll help you.”
“You want me to find out how … lucrative Fangtasia is. Even if I could find that out for you how can you help me?”
“I practice the magic arts. I can help him see his way to his hearts desire – you.”
This is exactly what I need! If I cannot make Eric see how good we are together then this woman will! I extend my hand to her.
“Hallow. Pleased to make your aquaintance.” As she took hold of my hand I felt a jolt, like electricity going up my arm and when she let go my fingers felt numb and … dirty? Like they had touched something inherantly … wrong.
Running in wolf form under the full moon was always exhilarating and my base instincts took hold, freeing me from the social contraints that my human form imposed on me. Panting with my tongue lolling out between my jaws, I stared at the lynx I had dismounted from. Debbie. No matter how many times I swore off her, I always went back during the change. It was like she called out to the animal in me and I had no control, it almost seemed like she had cast a spell on me.
Sunrise would be in a couple of hours, I had to get to a place I could change back and put some clothes on but we were a long way from Club Dead. That meant we were a long way from my truck and my apartment where I would find clothes. I turned to Debbie and she indicated for me to follow her. She seemed to know where she was going, even if we were well away from the usual running routes. I knew I was near Patrol lake. I saw Debbie run towards an old rundown shack and shift back to human.
I could hear the unmistakable sounds of sex. Was this a little known Were hangout? Were’s getting together in old buildings and having orgies in their animal form was something I wasn’t into but I knew it happened, and that would be something Debbie would definitely be into. I crept through the thick bushes so I could get closer, maybe hear or smell if anyone else was in there but it was voices not growls.
“Ungh! That’s it Bill. Right there!”
“Fuck Lorena. You make me burn!”
“Tell me Bill. I want to hear it.”
“Sookie is nothing, she meant nothing to me. You’re my world Lorena.”
Oh shit! Well at least I know where the kidnapped vampire is. Doesn’t seem to be held against his will though. Seems he’s enjoying some alone time with his honey by the sounds of things. What about Sookie? How can he do that to her? I snorted internally – he was a vampire and he used that sweet girl just like any vampire would. Debbie came out of the door in human form – fully dressed and smirked at me.
“I always knew you had a voyeuristic streak Alcide. You better get out of here before the other Were’s show up and you can’t tell anyone what you’ve seen or heard here got it?”
I blew a sharp breath of air from my nostrils and growled baring my sharp teeth. She threw a pile of clothes at me and I shifted back to human.
“They’re Coot’s. He’s about the same size as you, my truck is round the back. I’ll give you a ride to Club Dead for your wheels.” I nodded. I didn’t want to talk to her but now I realised I had to. If she was involved with Coot’s gang, was she involved with the hit on Sookie?
“What are you into here Debbie? Keeping watch so horny vamps don’t get interrupted? A little small time for you don’t you think?”
“You don’t know anything Alcide. You think I’m here to keep watch? Is that all you think I’m good for? I can’t do anything else except menial shit?”
Play it smart Alcide. How much does know? I know they were after Sookie that day and her cousin Hadley was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I just hope you’re not getting in too deep. A member of Coot’s gang put a girl in a coma a few days ago. She was just a waitress, at work minding her own business, she went to put out some trash and boom she was in the hospital.”
“How did you know that?”
“I’ve been contracted to do some work for her, I was there to go over some details of the job.”
“She’s more than ‘just a waitress’, Lorena put out the hit because she thought the girl was Bill’s fated. It wasn’t until she got him here that she realised she was wrong.”
“Fated? What does that mean? And how do you know so much about this?”
“I know so much because I hang around people in the loop, I listen and pick up the details everyone else thinks don’t matter Alcide. Having a fated lover is like the vampire version of the moon landing. Some think it’s a load of old hokey, propaganda spread by vampires who have fallen for a human but don’t want their enemies thinking they’re weak and emotional. If they blame it on fate then they’re clear.”
“And what do the others believe?”
“They believe that there are humans born just for them. When they meet that human the vampire changes, their feelings, their beliefs, their actions become centered around that one fragile being. It’s pretty ridiculous, I fall into the propaganda camp but Lorena is a believer.”
“So what changed her mind that Miss Stackhouse wasn’t Bill’s fated?”
“Other than his refusal to talk about why he was with her, he hadn’t changed, not one bit. Bill is apparently the same old Bill, just more secretive. Russell Edgington swears he met his fated 700 years ago, turned him and they’ve been together ever since, word is he went through a lot of personality changes as soon as he met Talbot.”
I nodded, absorbing everything “So why are you here specifically?”
“I won’t tell you that.”
I knew when to fold with Debbie, if she says she won’t do something then no amount of persuasion will make her. Thinking about all that ‘Fated love’ stuff, vampires having personality overhauls, got me onto Northman, he wasn’t the same vampire that had been described to me, from what I’d heard Northman would rather set his balls on fire than help a human. Yet he was going all out to help and protect Sookie … could she … Nah, I don’t want to think about that.
I’ve been so hopped up on Eric’s blood I haven’t slept yet. I feel like I could climb the walls I’m so full of energy. I never felt like this when I took Bill’s blood. I snorted at the compulsion to use the ‘like a fine wine’ analogy. Eric is dead for the day in the bedroom, before he went he made a few lewd attempts to have me join him for the little dark that was left, his words at my final rejection made me … warm to say the least
“I’m glad Sookie, when you do yield to me I want us to have all night so I can take my time spoiling you for other men. I want to stroke, lick and memorise every millimeter of your curves.”
Bill never said anything like that. He never talked about making love, he just initiated it and I went along. The dreams I’d been having about Eric were in stark contrast to my reality with Bill, at first I thought maybe I’d read too many romance novels but after my experiences with Eric tonight I couldn’t help but get the feeling that they were perhaps more accurate than I realised. Since Godric met the sun I’ve seen a completely different Eric, is it temporary? Is it a side he doesn’t show often? Is it all just an act so I’ll give in to his requests for a roll in the hay?
I sighed and picked up the room service menu, Eric told me to just put anything I needed on the room tab. Maybe an overly full stomach will make me snoozy. I rang down and ordered bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, oatmeal and a pot of coffee and turned on the TV to try and keep my mind on something else for a while. I ate and ate until I actually felt a little sick then stretched out on the sofa to try and nap for a while.
The ‘full tummy’ plan worked until a cell phone woke me up from another Eric dream, possibly the most non-sexual Eric-centric dream I’ve had. We just … talked, well I talked and he listened, smiling and nodding, taing in every word that left my lips. I checked the time on my phone before I answered the thing. Urgh! I’d only been asleep for 20 minutes! I croaked out a hello
Sookie?! Oh thank God you’re okay. You’re okay aren’t you?
Yeah, yeah. Are you in a hospital?
“No. Russell took Eric and me back to his place and I got healed there. I’m fine now. Where are you?”
I’m back at the apartment. Where are you?
“At Erics hotel, he needed to get me out of there before sunrise.”
I’m so sorry Sookie. I’ll come and get you, I found some things out this morning that I want to talk to you about.
That sounded ominous. I told him which hotel I was in and that I’d meet him in the lobby. I just wanted to shower and get back into my own clothes. I left a note for Eric to tell him where I was and went down and hid in a corner, keeping my shields at maximum to prevent hearing what the receptionists thought of my physical appearance. He pulled up after 30 minutes and I scurried out, jumping in the passenger side before he managed to open his door. I shouldn’t be able to move that fast, that’s it, no more vamp blood for me – ever.
The drive was silent although Alcide spent quite a lot of the time flicking his eyes towards me. Maybe he was waiting for me to say something, he’d be waiting a while if that was the case. Back at his place I immediately collected my toiletry bag and some fresh clothes and locked myself in the bathroom. Under the hot water I realised how tense I was from the previous nights debacle. I slowly and purposely relaxed every muscle from my head to my toes and felt some relief flow down the drain with all the dried blood. I realised that even though I’d taken the call from Alcide, I hadn’t checked my phone and Hadley’s phone for messages. I had 5 missed calls and 3 text messages from Tara. As I listened to the voicemails she left it was obvious that she knew what happened the night before. I sighed and sent her a message
I’m fine, all better. Promise to tell u everything when I get home Sxx
Alcide was in the kitchen, filling up two plates with what looked like a kind of risotto. I wasn’t really hungry after my mammoth breakfast but I thanked him politely and took a mouthful anyway. It was good but while I was chewing I thought about Grans pecan pie, I could really do with some pie right now.
“Alcide this is great but do you by any chance have some pie? I already had a big meal at the hotel but I could really use some pie about now.”
“Uh … Janice brought over one of Mom’s cherry pies last yesterday. I’ll get you a slice.”
He took away the rice dish and brought me a plate with a large slice of pie on it. Just as I was about to break off a piece on my fork, I thought about how much the red sauce looked like blood. Shaking my head I took a bite. It was good, but not Grans.
“So what did you want to talk to me about?”
“Umm … maybe we should move to the couch. Get comfy?”
Very suspect. I picked up my plate and sat down on his big squashy sofa, stuffing a big bit of pie in my mouth and staring at him. He didn’t look comfortable at all.
“While I was out running last night we went down to Patrol lake. There was a shack there so I decided to check it out because I heard … noises coming from it.” I nodded and motioned for him to continue while focussing my vision on the remains of the pie “There were two vampires in there and they were … uh … y’know.”
“That’s not what I’d call it but they were talking and the male vamp was called Bill and the female was Lorena.”
“Okay, I knew where they were, I heard it last night.” I swallowed hard, Eric had told me they were being ‘intimate’ but I guess I’d just hoped it was a rumour “Is that it?”
“Your name was mentioned.”
“He … Bill was saying that you meant nothing to him, that you were nothing.” He at least had the good grace to look away while I processed that. “Sookie, I’d understand if you just wanted to leave, I’ll take you back to Bon Temps today.”
“No. We’re here for a reason. Eric has been ordered to bring Bill back. I didn’t come here for that – I came for answers and I’ll get them. If I really was nothing why did he bother with me in the first place? I need to know Alcide.”
“Okay, I get that. Sookie, you’re one ballsy lady. For what it’s worth, I think you’re too good to be with a vamp.”
I didn’t have anything to say to that. I excused myself and went to my room to lie down. Again I was woken by my cell phone, it was dark outside so I figured it would be Eric.
Once again I was surprised when I woke, Sookie wasn’t in my suite but she’d left a note. I was surprised because I felt disappointed that she wasn’t resting next to me when my eyes opened. Never have I wished to have a woman next to me while I rest, what the hell is going on with me.
I quickly heat a couple of those vile Truebloods and chug them down before showering and dressing quickly. We had to move on Lorena tonight and I didn’t have timt to mess around with whiny donors. I flew to Alcides and rapped loudly on the door. When he answered and invited me in I could hear Sookie on the phone with someone, she was frightened, worried. I was too far away to hear who she was talking to and she wasn’t saying very much at all.
I didn’t have anything to say to the wolf, he’d abandoned his charge while she was injured, if he thought I’d wipe part of his Father’s debt after this he was very wrong. We sat in silence until Sookie entered the room. Her face was ashen and the anxiety rolling from her was almost too much to bear. Almost. She looked at us and blew out a breath from puffed out cheeks
“We have a problem. Hadley woke up. I’ve sent Jason to visit with her, try to keep her calm y’know.”
“Good idea Sookie.” But not good enough, we don’t need her to ask questions “I’ll call Pam to go over there, maybe we can use glamour to do some damage control. Have you checked Hadleys cell for missed calls?”
“Yes, there was just a few text messages, one was from ‘SA cell’ asking how she was enjoying her vacation, I replied to it, just a basic ‘having a great time’. Are we taking care of Bill tonight?”
“Yes. We should get a move on, we don’t know if there will be guards. I can do recon from the sky before we solidify any plans.”
I called Pam as we made our way to the Weres truck. Sookie sat in the back looking worried and biting her nails while Alcide gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles. I wasn’t tense or worried, I was looking forward to what I was going to do to Compton when his snivelling body was within my grasp. The way he treated Lorena in Dallas was incredibly stupid, he humiliated her, painting large targets on both his and Sookies bodies.
If he had taken a moment to actually think about what he was doing, what he was saying, then we might not be in this mess but then if I hadn’t made the call to his deeply disturbed maker in an attempt to find out what on earth he was up to, everything could have been avoided. I was in too much of a hurry and cursed myself for letting my needs for information overrule my pragmatism.
If I could kill my maker I would. Here I am, a proud battle trained vampiress with a body that brings mortals to their knees and he has me running telepath interferance. I was already in an extremely bad mood due to that idiotic dancer barging into the office the night before, I really had to hold my tongue when Eric called me to go and see some cousin of Sookies in the hospital.
I don’t know what he’s playing at with Yvetta, he should know better than to let them get attached, I know even less about his fascination with the telepath. She’s stubborn, disobedient and moody, in short – a bitch. I park and make my way to this girl … Hadleys room to find a man next to the bed. Well, well, well, if it isn’t brother Stackhouse. Hadley looks at me and beams
“Hi there! Who are you?”
“I am Pam.” Pam I am, in my head I snorted at my own little private joke. “Jason is it?” Sookies brother nodded “What is the prognosis?”
“The what now?”
“The prog … nevermind … how is Hadley? How has the incident affected her?”
“Oh! Some cuts and bruises, the head injury caused some memory loss. She knows who she is but she keeps asking where Sophie-Ann is. I don’t know any chicks with that name. The doc says she should be okay to go home after the nyoo…rawl..ah..gee tests come back.”
I had to hold in a laugh at the description of our Queen as a ‘chick’ and his concentrated expression at trying to say neurology correctly “Hadley, what is the last thing you remember?”
“I was in Merlottes and Sookie asked me to put some trash outside.”
I noticed Jason open his mouth and I clapped a hand over it, looking in his eyes “You will not speak until I ask you to.”
This will be more difficult than I thought, I can’t glamour her into forgetting about something she doesn’t remember. I can take out the hospital stay, but if she eventually remembers the attack then she wonder why she wasn’t in hospital. I guess that could be explained by telling her she was unconscious. It will have to do. I wait until a (quite attractive) doctor comes back with a large file and tells us that there is no permanent damage and Hadley can go home. I thank the doctor for her time and slip my phone number into her hand.
I can’t believe that shit went down last night. Franklin had to throw a few shots of whisley down me to get me to stop being the hysterical scream queen before he could take me home. I knew getting involved with those vamp muthas Sookie’d get hurt, but then she wasn’t shot with an arrow by a vamp, and she wasn’t on a date with a vamp when it happened, in fact, it was the vamps that took her away to make sure she was alright. Shit. Maybe I’m just pissed because it’d be easier to blame the fang gang.
I also can’t believe I agreed to go on another date with Franklin! He just looked me in the eye and said that he was sorry our first date hadn’t turned out nice and that he’d love to try again. I tried to say no but something in his eyes told me to say yes. So I did. Phone chime – text message, please be Sookie, please be Sookie! Oh thank the Lord! She’s okay although how she can be ‘all better’ from being skewered with a fucking arrow is beyond me. Damn straight we’ll talk when she gets back! That crazy bitch is up to her hoo-ha in weird shit and I want to know exactly how much danger she’s in!
I park close to the mall and make my way to Dillard’s to get a nice outfit for my second-first date with Franklin. Bon Temps really needs to get some decent fashion stores, I’m getting sick of hauling my sweet black ass all the way to Monroe to find party dresses. As usual there’s lots of nice stuff that’s way out of my wallets league. I find a couple of dresses to try on and hope Sam can give me a couple of extra shifts to even out my bank balance.
The one that looks best is a beautiful rust coloured satin and, obviously, the most expensive choice. One of the employees almost knocks me over when I step out of the changing cubicle, turning and apologising profusely as a woman in another cubicle starts shouting about how the service in here is beyond poor. The employee hands her the clothes she had and takes another handful from her
“You know, I don’t know why this store doesn’t employ more competant staff. Is it too much to ask you people to find what I’m looking for?”
“No madam.” The girls badge says ‘Claudine’ nice name, pretty like she is. “However I do have a desk to keep an eye on. Dillard’s does offer a personal shopper service for an additonal fee, then you would have a member of staff all to yourself rather than having to share them with the many other customers who shop here every day.” Ooh nice! Putting the bitch in her place while smiling, I gotta learn me some of that!
Complaining lady steps out to check herself in the big mirror, holy shit! What the hell is she wearing? She starts bitchin’ and moanin’ at Claudine again, like it’s her fault that they don’t stock cocktail dresses for women who’s asses are twice as wide as the rest of their bodies. I thought I was downright nasty to folks for no reason but at least I was never horrible to a complete stranger who was tryin’ to help me out! Claudine tells her that she’s already tried on everything in the colour and size she asked for and suggests maybe getting something tailor made to complement her shape better. I love this girl, I’m gonna shop here all the fucking time! Just then bitch lady raises her hand to slap Claudine, nuh uh hell no!
“I wouldn’t do that.” I grab her wrist.
“Who the hell do you think you are? Do you know who I am?”
“I think I’m the woman who stopped you physically assaulting a store advisor for no good reason and for the record I don’t give two shits who you are!”
“That’s it! I’m never shopping here agin!”
The look on Claudines face isn’t disappointment at that revelation. I stand back and keep an eye on bitch lady until she’s gone before a pick up my dress to go pay.
“Thank you. I can usually handle customers like that on my own, no-one’s ever tried to slap me before though.”
“First time for everything ain’t there? I’m Tara, it was nice helpin’ y’all out.”
“Claudine, but you probably know that!” she pointed to her badge “I don’t usually do this, but I appreciate you stepping in here. Let me give you a discount on that dress Tara.”
“That would be amazing Claudine!”
We talked while she was ringing up my purchase and tapping in the discount, I did a little math and realised she’d given me almost 40% markdown. I told her about the idjits I get in the bar and that she should come see me if she was ever in Bon Temps. She looked kind of strange when I told her where I was from, maybe she had an ex that lived there or some shit.