A/N: Okay, confession time. I have no idea where this story is going, so I’m tying things up with a messy bow in this chapter. I know, it’s lazy, but this has diverged so far from the source material that I’m struggling to think of ways to keep it going and keep it interesting … please don’t hate me! I just don’t think the time jumps involved would be satisfying and I don’t want to write 5 chapters of ESN between events. Also, the event of Bon Temp Founders day isn’t canon – I just made it up.
The next few days found Sookie feeling incredibly self conscious despite her cheerier disposition. Almost everyone commented on her improved mood, and almost everyone thought along the same lines.
Sookie’s in a great mood. She must have gotten laid.
And how. After round two with Eric, Sookie was both pleased and disappointed that her plan to fuck him out of her thoughts had failed. Pleased because it was the best damn sex she could ever hope to have and disappointed because she knew she would only crave his touch even more. She had agreed to let Eric claim her, but she had no idea it would have meant body and soul.
When Thursday came around, Jackie’s last day in America, her jovial attitude waned. She had never been alone before and the prospect was daunting. Sookie consoled herself that it wouldn’t be forever; Gran would be back home before she knew it.
Sookie had arranged to have Friday off, so she could take Jackie to the airport in New Orleans, but before any of that could happen she had to get through her first face to face meeting with Deidre Merlotte since Sam’s funeral. The telepath waited behind the bar and raised an eyebrow when a very well dressed Deidre breezed into the bar jangling the keys to a BMW.
It’s alright for some. Sookie thought bitterly as Mrs. Merlotte walked around like she owned the place, which was her right as she did own the place. But it rubbed Sookie up the wrong way to know that while she did the dirty work, someone else got the profits. And Sookie knew exactly how much those profits were, she also knew that Deidre knew she knew. So Deidre sashaying into the bar flaunting what Sookie’s hard work and dedication had bought her set Sookie’s teeth on edge mightily.
It also hadn’t gone unnoticed by Lafayette, Sookie could see his jaw tense up when Deidre opened her trap and pissed off everyone in the bar with one, tiny comment.
“There are my employees!”
Holly dropped her tray to her side and looked at Sookie and Lafayette before spinning on her heel and storming away to the kitchen. Deidre poked a thumb in Holly’s direction.
“What crawled up her behind?”
Sookie simply shrugged, she was already formulating a plan. “No idea. Shall we get this sorted? You must be very busy.”
Deidre nodded and walked down the corridor to the back door.
Lafayette muttered under his breath and Sookie had to contain a snort of amusement. She patted him on the shoulder and whispered close to his ear.
“I’m on it, chicklette.”
She followed Mrs. Merlotte out through the back door and gasped as she saw a brand new BMW 3 series convertible parked next to her Gran’s Buick. There was also a large SUV, to which Sam’s trailer was being coupled by two very large Were’s.
“Now, Sookie, I’ve arranged for Herveaux Construction to come out and level this whole area on Monday. Do you have their number so you can contact them in case of any mishaps?”
Sookie nodded and looked pointedly at Deidre’s car. “I’ve hired two more staff but we need two more, maybe even three. And I was hoping you’d consider profit related bonuses and health insurance.”
Mrs. Merlotte gasped. “You don’t want much do you? After all that there ain’t gonna be much left!”
“And there was me thinkin’ ye wanted to keep this open cos it was yer Son’s dream. That is what ye told me after the funeral. If I remember right ye said ‘Sam loved this bar, keepin’ it open is the best memorial he could’ve had’.”
Deidre sighed; she had lost sight of her reasoning for not selling Merlotte’s after the money started rolling in. “You’re right. I had no idea that the bar would make me so much money.”
“It’s not the bar that makes the money. It’s me and Lafayette and Arlene and all the others that work there. Why don’t we have a sit down, look at the books and come up with a plan that’s good for everyone?”
“You’re a good businesswoman Sookie and I’m glad you wanted to take over from Sam. Let’s have a chat in the office with some coffee.”
Sookie nodded and led the way back to her office, winking at Lafayette as he peeked down the corridor. Two hours later she had negotiated health insurance for the staff and a 50/50 split of the profits on the condition that Deidre would be a sleeping partner and wouldn’t have to turn over any money she made on improvements and repairs. Deidre left happy in the knowledge that she’d still be a few thousand dollars better off every month without having to deal with the bar at all and Sookie was only too pleased to let all the staff know about the new arrangement.
“Hookah you’s on fire!” Lafayette hugged Sookie tight. “You musta kissed that there blarney stone or somethin’ girl.”
“No really, I just reminded her o’ why she didnae sell the place after Sam died. She’s a reasonable woman and that’s a start when it comes to stuff like this.”
“So, explain to me again how the bonus thing will work?” Holly sat an empty pitcher on the bar and leaned on the surface, dollar signs in her eyes.
“The bar gets 50% of the profits. 20% goes in a fund for improvements and repairs, 10% goes to me, 5% each to Laffy and Arlene and the other 10% gets shared between the rest o’ you guys.”
“So I get 10% of the profits every month?”
“No. You get a share of that 10%.” Sookie sighed, explaining this was going to be harder than she thought. “Like, at the moment there are six of ye’s, so at the end of every month you’ll get 1.6% of the profits.”
“1.6%?” Holly’s mouth gaped in offence. “That ain’t much Sookie!”
“Currently the bar brings in round about $5,000 a month in profits, so you’d get $40 on top of your usual salary and tips. But with the new family section going in, those profits are going to go up and up.”
“An extra $40 a month? At least? Plus we’re getting health insurance?”
Sookie nodded, relieved that Holly was finally seeing that she hadn’t been screwed over. “The switch over will start next month, the good part is that Deidre has already agreed to pay for the new family area and for Arlene to get her licence for bartending. So there shouldn’t be anything coming out of the maintenance fund for a while.”
“How long will the family area take to complete?” Lafayette asked.
“Not long at all, couple o’ weeks at the most. All they need to do is clear and level the area, put up a fence and the play area then bolt down some picnic benches.”
“Do you think an August 20th opening is possible?”
“Founders day? That’s for the old fogeys in the Toon Hall!”
“Well maybe it’s time that changed?” Lafayette raised his hands in the air in a dramatic gesture. “Merlotte’s Bar and Grill – putting the Good Times back into Bon Temps!”
Sookie cocked her head to the side as Holly laughed at him. “Y’know, that’s a pretty good catchphrase. We should use that.”
“Babycakes I got catchphrases up the wazoo y’all!”
Adele sat and sipped at her tea, brimming with nerves in the up-market atmosphere of The Willow Tea-room. She was used to Southern Gentility and manners, but this was a whole new ball game. She watched as the waitresses flitted from table to table with their old fashioned black dresses and lace frilled aprons, handing out tea menus and bringing over tiered cake stands full of sugary treats. Sitting next to the ladies of the Glasgow elite with their designer clothes and antique jewellery made her feel like white trash. But the way Billy looked at her made her feel like a Queen.
She had been very impressed that her first outing with Billy had been for afternoon tea. What she had seen and heard of Glasgow social life centred around bars, although they were very nice bars with excellent food, she wasn’t much of a drinker. But it gave her a new understanding of Sookie’s views on alcohol.
“I was wonderin’ if ye would like to come with me to the Botanical Gardens after this, Adele, we could catch the Subway and be there in ten minutes.”
“Oh I love plants and gardens! That sounds delightful Billy.”
They finished their tea and cake and Adele tried to pay for her half of the bill, which greatly offended Billy but the awkward moment passed and soon they were rushing in the rain to get to the Subway station in Cowcaddens. When they got their tickets, Adele patted the drops from her face and neck with a handkerchief and laughed, she felt alive and young again. Billy was a wonderful Tour Guide, and explained the reasons why the Glasgow Subway was often referred to as The Clockwork Orange and the history of the buildings on Byres Road and the west end as they walked the short distance to the Botanical Gardens.
The walk was wonderful, and Adele was surprised to hear that the gardens were maintained by the local authority and paid for by the people of Glasgow; the entry was free so it could be enjoyed by all of Glasgow’s citizens but the highlight was the Kibble Palace. The grand structure took Adele’s breath away and she was in awe of the orchids and marble statues. She was inspecting a very rare specimen of Begonia when Billy slowly took his hand in hers.
“Adele, this has been a wonderful day for me. When my Bernie died ten year ago, I never thought I’d look twice at another woman. I’d really like to see ye again.”
“I’d like to see you again too, Billy.” Silently, to herself, she added ‘and what’s a holiday without a little romance?’
Sookie and Jackie found it hard to say goodbye, although they had known each other for a very short two weeks they had been through more than some friends do in a lifetime. The Telepath didn’t wait around to see Jackie’s plane take-off, she wanted to get driving back from New Orleans before the harsh truth of her loneliness overtook any other emotions. Her journey was silent as was the farmhouse when she stepped inside.
She immediately went back to the Buick and drove to Merlotte’s. She had never been this alone before. There had always been someone there for her to go home to. She briefly thought about calling her Gran and telling her that the danger was over, that she could come home now. But she knew that was just selfish. Before Jackie left, Sookie had been happy for her Gran because she was having such a good time in Glasgow. She scolded herself for putting her own needs above her Gran’s and went to sit in the bar.
The next few days passed slowly for Sookie, despite her best efforts to keep busy. She clocked off at 6pm on Monday and went home to change for her meeting with Eric’s business associates. As promised, he had sent Bobby with a disguise for her. A wig (in a shade of red that Arlene would call whorish), a tight black vinyl dress that barely covered her ass, a tiny purse and stripper shoes, complete with clear heels and platforms.
She snorted at the outfit and remembered when Ann had taken her to a nightclub called The Cathouse for her 18th Birthday. She would look just like the sexy Goths that would stub out a cigarette in your eye as soon as look at you. Once she had wiggled into the dress, with the help of lots of baby powder, and fixed her wig, she looked like a completely different person. She tested the limits on the dress, lifting her knees and striding across the floor. Once she was satisfied that she could run in it if the opportunity called for such an activity, she picked up the purse and set out all the things she might need.
No matter what combination she used, there was no way she could fit her cell phone, gun, lipstick and wallet in there. She swapped out the gun for a small hunting knife but still had no success. Her phone was small, a Motorola V600, but couldn’t fit in the purse with the knife – and there was no way she was going out without a weapon. She decided to take her phone but leave in the glove box, after all – the only reason she would need it is if her car broke down.
Eric waited in his office as his business associates gathered in the main bar. He knew Pam was staring at him from the doorway, but he ignored her questioning glares. Much the same as every night since him and Sookie had sex. Pam was curious and very, very annoyed. Eric never hid things from her, especially when it came to their conquests. On a few occasions they had even shared. But it was unheard of for him to answer her question of ‘How was she?’ by stating that it was none of Pam’s business.
The Vampire Sherriff didn’t know what was wrong with him. He felt … he simply felt. Eric didn’t feel; feelings were something he was beyond in his millennia of survival. He seethed in his chair, thinking that she should have been killed when he was intrigued by her. As if intrigue always led to feelings in every case. Now Eric was faced with emotions, some he had never experienced but knew about from the vast amount of reading he had done. Eric was toe to toe with a woman who challenged him verbally and sexually.
Sookie had surprised Eric, with her appetite and vigour. She had enchanted him with her soft curves and breathless cries. She had excited him with her confidence and demands. In short, Eric was fucked. And he knew it. So did Pam.
“When will Sookie arrive? Your other guests are getting restless.” Pam picked at her fingernails.
“I asked her to arrive at 8pm.” He checked his watch, 8.02pm. “Hmm … strange.”
Eric searched for the blood tie, it was minimal, vague, she was very close but it would take a strong emotion for him determine anything from her other than location. His concentration was interrupted by pounding at the employee door. Frowning, Pam pulled it open to reveal a very flustered Sookie.
“Sorry I’m late! Bastardin’ bag was too wee. Where d’ye want me?”
Eric smirked and wiggled his eyebrows. “For now, why don’t you just drape yourself over me like a cheap jacket? You are supposed to be my pet bimbo after all.” He tapped his chin thoughtfully. “I think tonight your name should be … Lacey.”
“Who’s Cagney? And, more importantly, why don’t I get to be the glamorous blonde?”
“Fine … Candy, then.”
Sookie nodded and mock saluted him before attaching herself to his side like a limpet. The ruse of having Sookie pretend she was a brainless pet worked like a charm. Besides Eric’s business associates being annoyed that he thought it was appropriate for her to be there, pawing at him and asking stupid questions. The questions weren’t stupid at all; they guided the human’s thoughts toward specific things so Sookie could get a better reading from them.
The businessmen grimaced as Sookie sat on Eric’s lap and whispered sweet nothings in his ear. Oblivious to the fact she was actually telling him what their thoughts were. Despite her misgivings about the task, Sookie actually found she was having fun. When the meeting was over and all of the secrets had been unearthed, the businessmen left. They were confused as to the purpose of the meeting. No new business or opportunities had been discussed and no deals had been closed. It was all very strange to the humans but they put it down to Eric’s Vampiric nature and refrained from questioning his judgement.
Pam followed Sookie and Eric back to the office, salivating over the Telepath’s rounded hips as they swayed to and fro in the skin tight vinyl. When Sookie sat on the couch, Pam sped over and claimed the spot next to her before Eric could get there. The Sherriff raised an eyebrow, but perched on the edge of his desk.
“That wisnae so bad.” Sookie smiled. “It was a bit fun actually!”
“I’m glad you enjoyed the boring part of our evening.” Eric smiled. “Wonderful work Candy.”
“Now that your reading is over, you can remove your disguise.” Pam grinned.
“I don’t have anythin’ to change into.”
“What a pity.” Pam patted Sookie on the shoulder. “You’ll just have to be naked then!”
“Get yerself tae fuck!” Sookie spat. “It’s bad enough with him bein’ a perv, I don’t need your lesbian innuendo as well.”
“If we could get to more serious business, ladies?” Chastened, Sookie and Pam nodded at Eric. “Tonight, I noticed I couldn’t feel you Sookie. I would like you to have some more of my blood, it will enable me to track you and ensure your safety.”
“Are those things an issue? You and Pam are the only Supes that know about me, I’m as safe as any other bar manager in America. I’m no plannin’ on runnin’ off anywhere, so you willnae need to track me. I don’t see the need for it.”
“It’s just in case.”
“Well ‘just in case’, I always carry a weapon and ye know I can take care o’ myself.”
“Yes, Eric, from what you told me of the ambush by the rednecks, Sookie is more than capable of defending herself. Or is there another reason you would like to be connected to her?”
Pam’s smile was sly and her eyes sparkled with mischief. Eric’s thoughts raced, if he demanded Sookie take his blood then he would be confirming that Pam was correct in her verdict that he simply wanted to be connected to Sookie. He was still coming to terms with his need for the Telepath himself; it would be a long time before he admitted it to anyone else. Even if that person was his child.
“Fine. But as soon as there is the merest hint that you have been discovered or that you may be in danger then I will not have any arguments about it.”
They discussed more about the meeting, and before Sookie knew it – it was 2am and a very large yawn escaped her mouth. Pam bid them farewell and left Fangtasia in search of sustenance. Eric took Pam’s place next to Sookie on the sofa and reached over to remove the wig. Sookie made a horrible whining sound when she felt how sweaty and matted her real hair was as she pulled the pins out and shook her head.
“You look like you’ve been caught in the rain.” Eric smiled.
“I more likely look like I’ve dipped my heid in the deep fryer.” Sookie grumbled as she raked her fingers through the knots and used the pins to secure her tresses in a messy bun. “Is there anythin’ else ye wanted to talk to me about?”
“Talking is so overrated Lover.” Eric stroked his cool fingers up Sookie’s thigh. “I can think of many, many, things much more interesting than talking.”
“Well maybe it’s time to stop thinkin’ and actually do somethin’?” Sookie licked her lips and fingered the pull on the zipper on the front of her dress.
“Good idea.” Eric batted her hand away and tugged at the fastening. “I think it’s time to unwrap my present.”
“I didnae realise I’d brought ye one.” Sookie watched as Eric slowly unzipped the dress, revealing more of her creamy flesh.
“Sookie, every moment with you is a gift.”
Before she could say anything else, Eric covered her mouth with his. Their tongues battled for dominance and their hands clawed at each other’s clothes. They rolled from the sofa onto the rug on the floor of the office, trying to find the perfect position where as much of their skin was in contact as possible.
Sookie’s head lolled back on her shoulders and she groaned wantonly as Eric checked her readiness. When he slid inside her so easily her back arched with pleasure. Sookie knew no other being would fill her like Eric, he belonged inside her.
Eric stroked, kissed, nibbled and caressed all of Sookie’s sensitive spots that he had discovered from their previous encounter. He knew which places caused her to shudder and moan and he took his sweet, sweet time drawing all the different reactions from her. The slow pace was indulgent and Sookie briefly thought that this must be what gourmet sex was like.
Her climax built gradually, sending euphoric waves through her entire body. Every touch, every thrust, even the sound of Eric growling his approval at her reactions, sent her spiralling into an abyss where she could barely remember her own name.
Eric licked at the sheen of sweat on Sookie’s neck. The heat emanating from her was beyond anything he had experienced before, his eyes rolled back every time he re-entered her succulent warmth. He tried to hold back as Sookie’s orgasm made her tighten around him, but it was so good to let go. Losing himself in her was the happiest he had been in hundreds of years.
Sookie wobbled to her car as Eric looked on with amusement at her post-coital shakiness. Sex with Sookie was unlike anything he had had with other women, he couldn’t get enough of her. But he had duties to undertake and Sookie required rest. He waved from the back door of Fangtasia as the Buick drove by, wondering if it would be worthwhile to request a space in Sookie’s home that could be made light proof.
The Telepath drove home in a daze, shifting gear and turning the wheel without really concentrating. It was only when the car sputtered and jerked that she was drawn out of her sex-induced mind-fog. The Buick continued to roll along the road after the engine died; the lights flickered once then went out, leaving Sookie in the pitch black. She turned the key and pumped the gas pedal with no luck.
Sighing, Sookie pulled her cell from the glove box and flipped it open. No reception. She squinted at the thick woods that continued down both sides of the road. She was in the middle of nowhere, with no way of calling for help and it was at least a two hour walk to Bon Temp city limits.
“Okay cokey, back seat it is!”
Sookie got out of the car and popped the trunk, pulling a very ugly afghan from it before opening the back door and tossing the blanket inside. Just as she was about to crawl on to the back seat and lock up the car for an uncomfortable night’s sleep, she heard twigs cracking from the other side of the road. Slowly, she reached for her purse and pulled out the knife. Just in case. Standing and turning around in a circle, the Telepath searched with her mind and found two fuzzy brains.
“Who’s there?” She said in a calm voice that contradicted the mixture of fear and anticipation the crept through her bones.
A woman stepped out of the woods, accompanied by a feral razorback hog. She held a wand of some sort in her left hand; it had a tuft of something on the end. She was wearing a kind of shift, which was dirty and torn and her mouth was smeared with something dark.
“You belong to the Northman.” Sookie nodded, knowing that she had let him claim her in the eventuality that it would protect her if she ran into any other Supes.
“And who, or what, are you?”
The woman smiled and Sookie could see the blood of whatever she had eaten still coating her teeth. “I’m a Maenad. I need a message taken to Eric Northman.”
Sookie shifted her stance as she saw the woman move; somehow she instinctively knew this creature meant to attack her. The knife twitched in her hand as the muscles in her fingers prepared for a fight. When the Maenad moved, the hog moved with her. It was slow and gave Sookie time to crouch, readying herself to spring forward with the weapon.
The Maenad’s arm tensed and Sookie ducked as she raised it to strike, thrusting her knife upwards and burying the blade in the Maenad’s breast. The creature roared and her eyes blazed with fury as Sookie removed the knife and went to strike again. The Maenad dropped her wand and grabbed Sookie by the throat, cutting off her air supply as she raised her higher off the ground. Sookie wished she had taken more of Eric’s blood after all; maybe she would have been stronger, faster … more.
Sookie kicked and slashed at the air with the knife as the Maenad laughed. “This is one fight you will not win. Yes, this will be a message that Northman cannot ignore.”
The Telepath was dropped to the ground, wheezing as air filled her lungs. Sookie’s eyes widened and she tried to find the strength to move as the Maenad’s claws got closer. She felt the sting of the claws across her neck and brought her hand up to try and hold the ribbons of skin in place. Sookie noticed it getting darker and darker and wondered where the moon went. That was the last thought she had before the blood loss sent her into unconsciousness.
Eric had been halfway through a report when he felt it. A sharp spike of fear. He flew, literally, out of Fangtasia and toward Sookie. He had to slow down so he could pinpoint exactly where she was, but the longer it took him the harder it was to find her. He roared into the night when the scent of her blood carried on the wind, following that trail to his Lover, he found her, barely alive on the road and surrounded by the scent of wild animal and something else.
“You know what I want Northman.”
He heard a cackle and if it were any other human lying in his arms, he would have followed the sound to find who had committed the act in an effort to gain his attention. But this wasn’t any other human. It was Sookie. Her heart was in the last throes of giving up. Eric knew it was time. He lapped at her vicious wound as he pressed his open wrist to her mouth, holding her body at the right angle and making sure his blood ran down her throat.
Eric hoped he wasn’t too late for this to work. But it would be three days before he would find out.
A/N: So … there we go. I didn’t say it was the end for Glasgow Sookie – just this particular fic.