Chapter 2 – Vampire Revelations
It had been five years since Mr. Finn and my Gran had told me about my Fae heritage and all of the different species of Supe in the world, and things were going okay for me. I was handling my talent well, I was 22 years old, blonde, blue eyed, pretty with an hourglass figure and ample bosom, I was brimming with confidence and hope for the future.
It seemed like any other night at Merlotte’s, Jane Bodehouse was working herself into a stupor earlier than usual but other than that the crowd was as regular as could be. Mel had come in with a couple of the other Hotshot guys, I smiled and winked as they sat in my section, I didn’t get to see much of Mel anymore but there’s always a connection when you share secrets with someone.
As always I had my shields up, it wasn’t even a conscious thing anymore, it was as easy as putting on my socks and dropping it to hear certain people was just as simple a task. Working at Merlotte’s was the easiest way for me to save up to go to night school and get more qualifications, I was hoping to do a course to learn something useful maybe book keeping, I know booooriiiing but useful and it may lead to a better paid job. I stopped my fantasies of wearing pant suits to my job instead of Nike’s and black shorts, to take a pitcher of beer to the Hotshot guys when I heard the volume being turned up on the TV.
“We interrupt this broadcast to give you a special news report” The newscaster sure did look serious; I hoped nothing really bad had happened.
“Earlier today we reported that Japanese scientists had created synthetic blood, a monumental breakthrough for the medical community but tonight we have another group with us to tell us how this will affect them. I’d like to introduce Nan Flannigan, Ms. Flannigan can you tell us a little about who you represent?” The camera panned to a pretty blonde lady with a dazzling smile.
“Yes I can Brian, with the advent of synthetic blood the time has come for my kind to come into the open. I am a Vampire Brian and I am here tonight to tell the world that Vampires, as a race, are among you and mean you no harm”
Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea! I did not see that one coming! Although I knew of their existence, it was still a bit of a shock for them to come out into the open and on live TV too. I guess if you’re gonna do something you might as well do it big, in for a penny, in for a pound as my Gran says. I took a look around at the townsfolk gathered in front of the screen, most of them were looking at it with disbelief, I dropped my shield a little to see what the people of Bon Temps thinking.
What date is it today? I’m sure it’s not April 1st.
She’s a vampire? I wonder if all the vampire chicks are that pretty.
Oh my god! There are demons in our midst! How can I protect my children form them!
I checked to see where that last comment came from and my eyes locked with Arlene, she was terrified so I went over to see if she needed someone to lean on.
“Are you okay Arlene? You look spooked sugar”
“Oh Sookie, what are we gonna do if one of these Vampires comes to our town? No one is safe!”
“Come on now Arlene, the lady on the TV said that they don’t mean us any harm, this new fake blood has taken away their need to suck on humans according to her, and besides from whatever else she’s sayin’ they’ve been around us since forever just hiding. I don’t think there’s anything for us to worry about, in fact we’re probably even safer now that everyone knows they exist – if anyone turns up without a drop of blood in their body the police are gonna know who to blame ain’t they?”
I could see her hair-dye addled brain trying to come to terms with what I was saying “I guess you’re right Sooks, you always know the right things to say when I panic about stuff, you’re so level headed honey what would I do without you?”
“Well your trailer would be a lot messier for sure”
“Hey that’s not fair!” she swung her bar towel at me lightly, hitting me on the butt with it and walked away smiling to her section of the bar.
At that point I decided to see how Sam was taking the news. Sam Merlotte owned the bar; I’d worked there for a couple of years now, as soon as I’d met him at my interview I really wanted to work there. I noticed the familiar red snarl around his brain waves and was glad I’d never have to ‘hear’ my bosses comments if I lost concentration when I dropped something and had to pick it up. Sam was casually drying some glasses behind the bar when I hopped onto a stool in front of him, he looked up and smiled, his shaggy strawberry blonde hair fuzzing around his head like a halo.
“Hey Chere, what d’you think of that Vampire lady? You think the world is ready for that kind of strangeness?”
“Sam, there’s more strangeness than Vamps in the world” he looked scared; this wasn’t going as I planned.
I had wanted to tell Sam about my gift for a long time, we had more than the usual employer/employee relationship, we were friends and we trusted each other. We were both special and I knew I’d have to be the one to broach that subject.
“I mean Vampires right? If they’re real then what else is? Maybe I’ll walk outta here and bump into a Unicorn!” he smiled again, phew that was close I really didn’t want to have this conversation in the bar.
“So Sam, I was wondering if there was something I could talk to you about in private, it’s nothing bad, I just don’t want any eavesdroppers milling around” I looked pointedly in Arlene’s direction.
“Sure Sooks, you’re here til closing right? Just hang back after and we’ll chat after cleanup”
The rest of the shift went real quickly, we weren’t full but I guess after a newsflash confirming that Vampires are living among us everyone needed a little more alcohol than usual. Even Andy Bellefleur ordered a Jack and Coke and he hardly ever drinks.
It was 1.30am before we managed to get all the customers and staff to clear out but eventually it was just me and Sam. I decided the no nonsense approach was best, possibly the most volatile but skirting around issues wasn’t in my nature after everything I knew.
“Sam, when I mentioned about other things being out there, I meant it. The reason I wanted to talk in private was that I’m one of those other things, a Supe and I know you are too.” Sam just dropped into the closest chair with his mouth open “I’m sorry to be so blunt Sam, but with the Vamps coming out tonight I just thought this would be the best time to tell you about me.”
“It’s okay Chere, I just never realised you were a Supe, I knew you smelled a little different but I couldn’t pin it down. How did you know I’m a Supe too?”
“Your brainwaves, I’m a telepath” Sam didn’t need to know about my Fae background, Mr. Finn had been very specific about keeping that as secret as possible “and your mind is different from humans, that’s how I know you’re a Supe. Do you mind me asking what you are?”
“Well I guess it’d be stupid not to tell you seeing as you’ve laid all your cards on the table. I’m a shifter, more than that I’m a true shifter, we’re very rare.”
“Wow Sam, what do you turn into?”
“Any animal I want, as long as I’ve got an image to focus on, either in front of me or clear in my head, I can turn into that animal, I prefer to turn into a collie when it’s the full moon, but I can shift at any time.”
“Any animal at all? Wow that’s amazing! I mean I know a were-panther and I thought that was cool but being able to turn into any animal you like must be really special”
“Yeah but hey what about you? You can really read minds, I mean how does that work, do you hear them all the time or do you have to be real close to them?”
“It was real hard when I was a kid, I just heard everyone but now I can listen as and when I want, which is very little before you ask, I usually just use it when I don’t trust someone or when someone is trying to sell me something. It’s more effective when I touch the person, I can practically walk around in their brain picking thoughts and images out. Like this one time I was offered a job but the guy only offered it to me so he could try to get in my pants, essentially being able to read people helps keep me out of situations I’d rather avoid”
“Geez Chere, I hope I never give you a reason to go walking around in my brain” he was laughing, this was good, we’re sharing and laughing, I was so caught up in the excitement I almost didn’t notice Sam standing up and bringing his hand up to my face.
His fingers felt a little rough, the good kind of rough that lets you know someone works hard, he traced across my forehead and down the side of my cheek, under my ear, stroking the side of my neck before moving his hand to the back of my head. I was trying to see what he was going to do next but all I could focus on was his lips and when they got too close I looked up into his eyes, they were sparkling and I knew what he wanted to do.
“Sam, we shouldn’t do this, I don’t want our friendship to change” I pulled back from him and looked at him with regret. We had a good relationship; I didn’t want to take the risk of losing my friend and my job because my panties were twitchin’.
“Okay Chere, I see where you’re coming from, but if you ever change your mind I’ll be here”.
I gave him a quick peck on the cheek goodbye and drove home for a shower. Being a 22 year old virgin didn’t mean I was totally dumb about sex, after 10 minutes under the cold water I realised it wasn’t working and turned the temperature up. I let out a long sigh as I slicked the soap over my breasts, rubbing my nipples with one hand I moved the other downwards and settled one of my feet on the edge of the tub while I leaned against the wall and let my fingers slide over my nub.
I parted my folds and gasped at how wet I was, keeping the sexual tension between me and Sam in my mind I traced small circles over my clit, my other hand was pinching and pulling at my nipples, moving from breast to breast like it was controlled by someone else, I felt the pressure build in the pit of my stomach and pressed a little harder on my clit moving faster until I had to bite my lip to stop from making noise when my vision exploded into little white stars.
I wondered how much longer this process would satisfy me; I really needed to find me a man.
Around two years after the Vamps came out of the Coffin (as they put it); things were much the same in Bon Temps. Jane Bodehouse still got toasted every night, my Brother Jason was still a man-whore that chased anything with breasts, Andy Bellefleur still thought we Stackhouses were trash and Sam and I were good friends trying not to give in to temptation. It was a very conscious effort on my part, I knew Sam was just waiting on me crossing that line but I couldn’t do it, the longer we knew each other the more there was to lose.
As I pondered my current manlessness and looked over my tables to make sure everyone had what they needed, the door swung open and a dark haired man walked over and sat in my section. He was probably just passing through, we didn’t get a lot of new folks in Bon Temps, but occasionally some people stopped in at Merlotte’s on their way to one of the bigger towns or cities. I picked up my order pad and made my way over to his table, the closer I got the better I could see him.
He would have been about average height maybe 5’10”, his hair was in some sort of vague style with large sideburns that looked out of place in this day and age, he was quite handsome but his skin was pale, really pale. Could it be that Bon Temps had its first Vampire visitor? I put on my hundred-watt smile, determined to make him welcome whether he drank blood or not.
“Hi there, welcome to Merlotte’s, what can I get you tonight?”
“Good evening Miss, I was wondering if you had any synthetic blood for sale in this establishment”
“Oh I’m sorry we don’t, we got some after the big announcement but it went out of date, you’re the first one to ask for it in two years!”
“In that case I’ll have a glass of red wine” he looked at me expectantly, I realised he was waiting for my name!
“Sookie, Sookie Stackhouse pleased to meet you” and I gave that expectant look right back
“I’ll be right back with your wine Mr. Compton”
Sam was working the bar when I passed on the order; I could see him looking at our visitor suspiciously. “That a vamp Sooks?”
“Sure is, he asked for Trueblood but ordered a red wine seeing as we don’t have any”
“Hmm… these guys usually live in nests; maybe I should send Terry out to pick up a six pack from the liqueur store before it closes just in case he’s waiting on a friend”
“Oh Sam! That’s a great idea; I’ll let him know when I pass on this wine”
I couldn’t deny I was curious about our vampire visitor, I wondered how he would respond to some gentle questions, and there was only one way to find out.
“Here’s your wine Mr. Compton. Sam, the owner, is sending one of the guys out to pick up some Trueblood in case you’re waiting on friends. It should be here in less than an hour”
“Well thank you for being so accommodating Sookie, but I’m here alone, I recently moved back to my family home and I’ll be residing in Bon Temps for the foreseeable future, I would also appreciate if you called me Bill”
“Oh sure Bill. The Compton Family Manor is across the cemetery from my house. Is that where you’re staying?”
“Why yes it is, I guess that makes us neighbours” as he said that he looked into my eyes intently and I felt a pulling on my mind. I knew about the vampire talent of glamour, they could get people to do things like hypnotising them; I dropped my shields and focused.
Come…….welcome in my home…..leave with me
It wasn’t clear exactly what he was saying but his intentions were not honourable! How rude could you get! I was being really nice to this guy and here he was trying to glamour me and get me to go home with him!
“I guess it does Bill. I have to go and see to my other tables now.” He looked very surprised, I guess he wasn’t used to having his glamour rejected, I’d was definitely going to have to keep an eye on this one, especially if he was only living across the cemetery from me and Gran.
I carried on with my shift, we were busy enough that I didn’t notice when Denise and Mack Rattray moved tables, they had squeezed themselves into Bill’s booth, this would not be good, the Rats (as I called them) were trailer trash scum, both of them had spent time in prison. I decided to listen in a little, as rude as it was for Bill to try and glamour me I couldn’t let the Rats drag him into their way of life.
I don’t know how long this guy’s been a vamp for but we should get $200 a vial for his blood. Just need to be more careful this time, don’t wanna be arrested for draining again.
As I thought, Mack was never friendly without something being in it for him, vampire blood was like the new heroin, it was a very expensive drug and the vampires that were drained to supply it took years to recover even if they had other vamps watching over them. Denise was laughing throwing her head back and stroking her neck, I could see Bill checking her jugular out – ewww! They all got up at the same time; I sighed and decided to intervene a little.
“Hey Bill, don’t you wanna wait for that Trueblood?” he was still looking at Denise’s neck but broke his trance to smirk at me
“No thank you Sookie, I think I’ll be fine”
“Are you sure?” I shot a look at the Rats and then back to him “Not every stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet.”
“Like I said, I’ll be fine.” it was then that I realised how dumb this vamp really was.
I went over to the bar where Sam was and asked him if he still had his baseball bat under there “why Chere? Are you thinking there’s gonna be trouble in here?” he was bent real close so no one else could hear us.
“Not in here Sam but the Rats have just left here with that Vamp, Bill, they’re gonna drain him and sell the blood. I’ll head out to see where they are and you get Andy Bellefleur out there quick before you’ve got a dead vamp in your parking lot!”
I heard him hissing at me to wait as I turned and went out the door, I crept between the parked cars to get a little closer to where they had Bill tied down with silver chains, they already had two bags of blood drained out of him, where the hell were Sam and Andy? I was 10 yards away from them, outside striking distance unless they had a gun, I couldn’t hang around for Sam to convince Andy to actually get off his butt and do some of the police work he was paid for.
“Hey what are you doin’ to him?” I yelled from my hopefully safe vantage point.
“Damn it Crazy Sookie, you just go on back inside, you don’t need to bother yourself with what we’re doin’ here”
“I won’t let you drain that vamp, not in Sam’s parking lot. Just put everything down and walk away Mack”
I brought the bat up to my shoulder, hoping they might respond to the fact I was armed. Unfortunately the only response I got was Mack unsheathing a knife and heading my way. This was not good. At the same time he lunged towards me, I swung the bat at the arm he held the knife in, and the blade nicked my side before he went down.
I heard Denise screeching like a banshee and turned to see her running towards me with her hands like claws in front of her, she knocked me down and tried to dig her nails into my face but I had the bat over my chest and used both hands on it to push her off. There was no way I could fight both the Rats, I had nowhere to run to, they had me against one of the cars, was this really how I was going to die? Killed by the Rats trying to save a rude vampire?
“EVERYONE DROP WHATEVER THEY’RE HOLDING AND PUT YOUR HANDS UP”
I swear I’ve never been so happy to hear Andy’s gruff voice. I dropped the bat like it was on fire and stretched my hands up as far as I could. The Rats sneered at me and took a step back. Andy came over and was cuffing Mack when I heard the sirens, Kevin and Kenya leapt from their police car and came over, Kenya produced her cuffs and took care of Denise while Andy was leading Mack to the squad car.
“Mack and Denise Rattray, you are under arrest for vampire draining and being in possession of a class A drug” he continued to read them their rights as Sam ran towards me with a first aid kit and a pack of Trueblood.
The cut on my side didn’t need stitches fortunately, Sam done a real nice job of patching me up. We turned our attention to Bill, he looked grey, the bag Denise had been filling before I interrupted was half full. I went to remove one of the silver chains over Bill’s wrists but stopped myself, a vampire that had so much blood removed could be very dangerous.
“Can you sit up?” I asked as I opened one of the bottles.
“Yes” I handed him the bottle and realised how pissed off he looked.
“Is there someone we can call to help you get home?”
“I know the number of the area sheriff for the vamps I’ll give him a call Sooks” Sam said, then he ran back to the bar.
When it was just me and the dumbest vamp in the county, I relaxed against a tree and waited for Sam to come back. I relaxed so much I didn’t realise I had dropped my shields without thinking, it hit me that I couldn’t hear Bill, I’d had to really concentrate on him earlier when he was trying to glamour me but looking at him downing his 3rd bottle of Trueblood I couldn’t hear him at all. Well that’s an interesting development.
Sam came back over about 15 minutes later, he looked worried about something. “What’s up Sam? Did you manage to get Bill’s area whatever on the phone?”
“Yeah Chere, his sheriff is on his way, seeing as the perpetrators have been arrested he needs to do an official investigation for his superiors, he’ll be here soon, he’ll probably want to ask you some questions”
“Oh” that was code for me to get my story straight and think up a lie to cover up how I knew they were gonna drain Bill. I thought fast “Everyone knows the Rats have been in prison for draining before, it was pretty obvious from the way they were acting that they weren’t interested in being best buds with Bill here”
“That’s right Chere, the Rats are never up to anything good, but you should have waited for me and Andy before you ran out here”
“Then it would have been too late and you’d have a dead vamp in your parking lot” he looked down and shook his head.
“You’re right Sooks, but you’re also very lucky you didn’t get killed by those two whack jobs!” I knew he was right, I just couldn’t go running into situations like that again, I took Sam’s hand and he looked into my eyes.
“I know Sam, I won’t be that careless again, I promise” I turned to look at Bill and noticed he had finished all the Truebloods.
“You’re not gonna attack me if I take these silver chains off are you?”
Bill just looked up at me, he could have been sad, or maybe depressed – no that wasn’t it, whatever he was feeling I don’t think any harm would come to me so I unwound the silver chains from his ankles first then moved onto his wrists and was taking the final chain from his shoulders when a high powered engine and screeching tyres pierced the usual night time noises.