Sookie, Interrupted – Chapter 7 – Friend of A Friend
Lunch at Merlotte’s was amazing, I managed to forget about Rene’s darkness while we chatted and I answered everyone’s questions. They were all so interested in where I’d been and why I hadn’t come back sooner, it was uncomfortable at first because I was lying through my teeth but soon I even bought into the lie myself and it seemed like Valmont had just been a horrible dream. A scruffy but handsome man came out from the back and stood behind the bar. His red hair (natural unlike the waitress!) stuck out at jaunty angles and made him look like he had a halo when the light shone from behind him.
“Hey Sam! Come and meet my baby sister!”
He smiled and made his way over to our table, as usual my first instinct was to check out his mind and realised he was two-natured. I stuck my hand out and concentrated on him as he shook it. Nothing. It was like he was blocking me somehow. It confused me and he must have noticed, he sniffed and raised his eyes to the bandanna tied round my head. You’d have to be more than human or incredibly tuned into Supe body language to notice it, but he sneered, just a little lip curl but a sneer nonetheless.
“Sookie right? Jason’s mentioned you a couple of times, you were a waitress right?” I nodded keeping up my cover. “Too bad you’re not hangin’ around for a while; you’d make a lot of tips here!”
“Well Sam, I’ll take that as a complement! Are you the barman here?”
He laughed “Yes but I’m also the owner. Sam Merlotte.”
“Oh! Well seeing so many people enjoying themselves here must be very fulfilling for you.”
“Well” he laughed and ran a hand through his hair “It would be more of feather in my cap if there was anywhere else to go in this town!”
Everyone at the table laughed and started talking about how they used to just go to each other’s houses and get drunk before Sam opened up the bar. I realised I hadn’t been into town yet.
“Jason, would you take me into town. I’d like to see how much has changed since I … left.”
“Uh … well … “I saw him looking at one of the waitresses, I think her name was Dawn, we hadn’t been introduced but I saw her in other’s minds. “I was hopin’ ta … catch up with some stuff on my day off … yeah catch up!”
I smiled and shook my head, every time he came to see me in Valmont he had a new girlfriend and I could tell by being here that there was nary a woman under 30 that hadn’t fell for his charms in this town. Sam cleared his throat
“Well, I need to go down to the police station to drop off the stuff Maudette left here for evidence. I can give you a ride if you’d like?”
I wasn’t sure if I’d like that or not seeing as he seemed to know something was off about my head gear, but I also wanted to know why one of the two-natured was running a bar in a backwater.
“Sure Sam that would be great! We could get to know each other a little better.”
I looked at him pointedly and he realised that I knew there was something different about him. Jason looked a little angry, oh gosh! Everyone thought when I said I wanted to get to know him that meant sex! I sputtered and babbled something about just being friendly and that just made things worse! I grabbed my bag and told Sam I’d see him outside.
As I waited outside I thought about how pretty the woods were around here, New Orleans is nice and my life there is awesome but something about the countryside just made me feel home. Sam came out and pointed to a truck parked next to a trailer. I pointed to it
“For when you have a late night?”
“Uh … no, that’s where I live.”
His bar is successful, why would he want to live in a trailer? “Well you sure don’t have far to travel to get to work!”
He opened the passenger door for me and held my elbow to help me inside before walking around to the driver side and getting behind the wheel. As soon as his door was closed he turned to me
“I know you’re Jason’s sister but you’re different from him, what are you?”
“Well you’d know about different Mr. Merlotte!” That was harsh but just coming right out and asking what someone was was pretty rude too!
“You know? About me?”
“I know enough to know you’re not human, you’re two-natured aren’t you?”
“I have a gift.”
“A gift huh? That’s why you smell like vampire?”
I took off my bandanna and handed it to him “I don’t smell like vampire, the bandanna does. It’s for my protection in case I run into a vampire on my travels I can tell them I belong to one.”
“But you don’t? Why would a vampire let you use his scent and not demand the benefits?”
“Because I’m not that kind of girl Sam! It’s … my boss, she has … representatives over the state and when I’m away from New Orleans I have to let them protect me.”
“Who in New Orleans has vamp reps all over Louisi … LeClerq! You work for Sohpie-Ann LeClerq!”
“You can’t tell anyone! It might put me in danger.”
He nodded, deep in thought. “That still doesn’t fully explain how you know I’m a shifter. What exactly is it you do for LeClerq?”
“Well” I sighed “Do you know why I was … I left Bon Temps?”
“Yeah some working farm for unruly teens or some such.”
“That’s not entirely true. My parents sent me to a Mental hospital because I could hear voices. The doctor said it was schizophrenia but I’m actually a telepath. My cousin Hadley saw me while she was on her way to the Vampire rehabilitation centre, her maker – Sophie-Ann LeClerq – was with her and the rest is history as they say.”
“Wow! That’s … amazing, sad but amazing. You read minds for LeClerq?” I nodded “Well shit! I understand why you and your family are keeping this under your hats. Don’t worry; I’ll keep your secret.”
“Thanks Sam, I’ll keep yours too.”
“Can you read my mind? Have you tried?”
I snorted “Of course I’ve tried! My own personal safety 101, always check new brains to make sure they don’t mean harm. But no, I can’t read your mind, not specific thoughts anyway, but I can tell your brain signature is different from a regular human.”
We lapsed into easy chit chat after that. Sam pointing out places of interest and things that were different or new in the last few years. I wandered around a strip mall while Sam was in the police station when I came across a clothing store. Tara’s Togs? What were the chances that there were two Tara’s in Bon Temps? Tara had been the only person in school that had given me the time of day and wasn’t nasty to me about my … difficulties. I opened the door and decided to have a look around.
The woman at the desk was instantly recognisable “Hi, Tara?”
She looked at me open mouthed for a few seconds before coming out and standing in front of me “Sookie? Sookie Stackhouse! Is that you girl?”
“It sure is! How’ve you been?”
“Oh my! I’ve been great… I am great! But you! Jesus girl” she pulled me into a tight hug “It’s good to see you home.”
“I’m only here until tomorrow. I got a few days off from work and wanted to come back and see everyone.”
“Well, hell! We got a lot of catching up to do and not much time to do it!”
Just then Rene came in and looked at us both “Uh … Tara? Arlene asked me to pick up her dress for the engagement party.”
“Sure thing, hey has there been any more said about Maudette?”
“Yeah, the police found her covered in bite marks from vampires.” Again his mind went to that dark place but this time I could see Maudette. Her arms, the top of her legs, her neck, she was naked. Wait he wasn’t looking at her body – he was looking at the fang marks! He stopped thinking about Maudette and started thinking about Dawn, no, not Dawn but her neck, her neck with fang marks on it and he raged inside his mind. Why would he be able to imagine Maudette’s dead body so vividly and why was he so angry about the fang marks?
“Do the police think a vampire did it?” Tara brought me back to the here and now. Rene shook his head
“That I don’t know, but I wouldn’t put it past one. Evil bastards the whole lot of ‘em.”
“Was she drained?” they both looked at me “Well, if she was killed by a vampire they’d probably drain her.”
Again his mind was black with anger but he smiled sweetly at me “Not sure. She should have known better than to get involved with them, like a dog they can turn on you.”
With that he grabbed the garment bag and left. I thought about what I’d saw, the only way he would know where Maudette’s marks were was if he’d seen them. I felt my stomach flip flop as I realised that he was there! He was in the room with her when she was dead. Why? Did he discover the body? I quickly agreed to meet Tara at Merlotte’s later and went back to the police station.
Sam was still there, talking to … Kevin Prior! Wow, he was always the weedy kid and now look at him! Sherriff’s deputy! I smiled at them both
“Well look who breezed back in! How you been Sookie?”
“Fine Kevin! Hey can I ask something? About Maudette?”
“Well I can answer some questions but you understand …”
“Yeah ongoing investigation, I know. Who was it that discovered the body?”
He looked at Sam and sucked air through his teeth, Sam shook his head “Sookie, Kevin can’t tell you but everyone knows it was Maxine Fortenberry, well not really discovered but she was the one to call the police and tell them something was wrong when Maudette didn’t show to give her a ride to the library.”
I felt faint. I sat on one of the waiting chairs and digested the fact that the only way that Rene could have seen Maudette like that was if he done it. Either that or he was the type of man who discovered a dead woman and didn’t call the authorities, and that didn’t seem likely from what I’d gleaned from his thoughts. Sam must have seen the look on my face because he said his goodbyes to Kevin and dragged me back out to his truck.
“What’s wrong Sookie? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”
“Oh Sam! I know, I know who killed her!”
“Maudette? How?” I tapped my forehead “Oh right! Well, what can we do about it? It’s not like you can use that as evidence.” He ran his hands through his hair and set them on the steering wheel, gripping it until his knuckles went white.
“It was Rene.”
“Why would he kill her? They hardly knew each other.”
“The fang marks, that’s what he was focussing on in his mind, then he thought about the marks he seen on … oh no Sam! He thought about Dawn! You don’t think he’d…”
“Dawn and Maudette never hid the fact they went to that bar in Shreveport together, Fangtime or something.”
“Fangtasia” his eyes flicked to my bandanna again.
“Uh … yeah. Still don’t explain why he’s killin’ them though. Hatin’ vamps is one thing but goin’ after girls who let them … do stuff is pretty extreme.”
“Not that unusual though. A bunch of willing donors have turned up dead in New Orleans. That’s part of my job, making sure everyone is safe and no-one is a spy to get names or other information.”
“Hmm … so you’re there to … save people?”
“Yeah, humans, vampires, Weres, anyone who works with the Qu … Sophie-Ann is a target for hate groups. How well do you know Rene? Does he have any friends that he hangs around with that seem off?”
“None. Apart from Jason, Hoyt, Lafayette and Arlene he’s a loner.”
“Which makes his acts more psychopathic than anything else.” I huffed out a large breath “We can’t do anything about this, really, and I hate that. What we can do however is protect Dawn, keep a close eye on her y’know?”
“I can do that, my usual form is a dog, I can hang around her place when she’s there alone and watch for any signs. Jason can maybe keep her occupied at other times.”
“Well that’ll have to do for now.” I rubbed my face and wondered what would have happened if I’d lived here and trusted everyone. “Could you take me back to my Gran’s? I’m meeting Tara tonight to catch up and want to change. We’re meeting at your bar but she said she wanted to go somewhere later so I’d better dress up.”
“Sure thing Sookie. Look don’t worry about Dawn, I’ll talk to Jason maybe try to convince him that she’s worth more than one night.” I smiled and raised an eyebrow and Sam laughed “Okay, I guess you know about his rep here in town!”
When I got back to Gran’s I could smell her amazing cooking as soon as I opened the door. I was salivating at the thought of some good home cooking, Chef Dalton was great but no-one could beat my Gran’s chicken and dumplings. I told Gran I would be going out with Tara tonight and she seemed happy I was catching up with friends, not that Tara and I had been close but she was the closest thing I had to a friend in school. We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting about people in town, people I work with (Gran was fascinated that Bill had a living relative across the cemetery from her!), her clubs, Jason’s loose zip on his pants and lastly Frank. Gran had a lot of questions about Frank and I had a lot to tell her. I missed him, a lot, more than I actually thought I would. I told her about Miriam’s weird attitude when she saw us being friendly
“Well. A lot of employers don’t like their staff being too friendly if you know what I mean. You always see stories and TV programmes about how inter-office relationships go south and affect everyone around them.”
“Huh, I never thought about it like that. It doesn’t matter, me and Frank are different!”
She gave me a look that said ‘just watch yourself’ and cleared away our dinner dishes. I went to my room and got out my little dress and my heels and headed for the shower. By dusk I was ready and Gran gave me a ride to Merlotte’s
“Now if you want a ride home you just call me or Jason and we’ll come get you.”
“I think Tara wants to go somewhere else after this, I have enough money for a cab but if I’m still here when we’re done I’ll call Jason, I don’t want you driving around in the dead of night Gran!”
She laughed and said what sounded like ‘likewise’. Tara was already in there when I walked in, Sam was behind the bar and his eyes bugged out a little when he saw me in my dress. We drank and talked and I had to make up amusing anecdotes about ‘Rebel-Ranch’. I was shocked and a little perturbed at how easy it was for me to make up lies on the spot to keep up the illusion that had been created for the people of Bon Temps.
When Dawn came back to see if we wanted another drink I declined, I was getting a little tipsy and didn’t want another hangover like I’d had after the Sherriff’s social.
“Oh come on Sookie!” Tara had only had one drink but she was driving “You can sober up on the way there!”
“The way where?”
She leaned in and whispered, Dawn leaning in to overhear “I’m taking you to Fangtasia! It’s a vampire bar! I figured Jason wouldn’t take you out to sample some real nightlife when you were here and I’ve heard it gets pretty wild there!”
“Oh it does sugar!” One look in Dawn’s head proved it, there was a flash of Eric’s face and I pulled out, I wanted to be able to look him in the eye again at some point, I didn’t need to know what he got up to with her. “Hey I get off in 15 minutes, I was heading somewhere else but could I come with you guys? I got my eye on someone there.”
Tara smiled and said ‘sure’ but inside she was cussing up a storm. It’s not that she minded someone else coming, it was just the fact it would be Dawn. Like me, she was too polite to say anything out loud and figured it was just a few hours of our time so she should suck it up and play nice.
I really didn’t want to go there, not only because it was part of my work, but my bandanna didn’t go with my dress and if Eric caught me without it I didn’t think he’d let it slide. Think fast Sookie! I smiled and told them I’d be back in a minute then asked Sam if there was a phone I could use to have a private conversation. He led me to his office and pointed to his desk, I dug the card Eric had given me out of my purse and dialled his number.
“Hi Eric, its Sookie.”
Why Sookie, are you missing me already?
“Uh … not really. I’m coming to Fangtasia with some friends, I can’t wear my bandanna with my outfit and I don’t know what to do!”
Relax, when you arrive tell whoever is at the bar that you’re there and I’ll come out to … ensure your comfort personally.
“Okay, okay, I can do that. Oh and one of the girls I’m coming with has met you before.”
Lots of women have met me Sookie.
“Oh. Right. Well I’ll see you soon. Bye!”
I hung up and went back out, Dawn was in the bathroom changing and Tara was checking her make-up in a little mirror from her purse. Ten minutes later we were on our way to Shreveport, both Tara and Dawn were very excited. Tara because she’d never been before and Dawn because she wanted to be with Eric again. I kept way out of her brain when she was talking about him. To be honest it was ticking me off, just hours ago she was making googly eyes at my brother and now she’s talking about having sex with another man … vampire … whatever! Jason gets around but I doubt he’d still be alive if he played with two women on the same day. It just wasn’t right, a girl acting like that, like she has no respect for herself, how can she ever expect a man to respect her?
“Dawn, don’t you think it’s a little distasteful to be so overtly friendly with my brother and talk about having sex with someone else the very same day?” She looked at me open mouthed while I scowled at her, Tara was pursing her lips trying not to laugh and thinking it’s about time someone called her out for the slut she is.
There wasn’t room in the parking lot at the club so we had to park across the street. Teetering through traffic in heels wasn’t something I’d had on my top ten things to experience once out of the Looney bin. We got in line, it was long, and Dawn was boasting about how she could probably walk straight to the front and get us in because she’d been with Eric. I was getting pretty sick of hearing about it. Just then I locked eyes with the vampire manning the door, it was Pam. She walked out from behind her little podium and came towards us. She knew me but how would I explain to Tara and Dawn why.
“Miss Stackhouse, how nice to see you again.” The two women glared at me, then looked at Pam, I took the opportunity to shake my head at her
“Oh Pam! I forgot you worked here!” She looked confused for a second then played along smiling “Did Mr. Northman get the papers I dropped off?” Tara and Dawn looked very bewildered “Oh! Sorry guys, my employer has so many business associates I never know when I’ll run into one!”
“Yes, it’s always a pleasure doing business with Sookie” Pam licked her lips suggestively, it made me shiver and not in a good way “Come, you’re too important to wait with the rabble, I shall tell my Master you are here.”
“Thank you very much Pam, we appreciate it!”
Dawn was livid that I had the attention of the lovely Pam, Tara was happy she wouldn’t have to wait in line. Pam led us to the same booth that I’d sat in with Eric the night before; Dawn was not a happy bunny.
“So what is it you do exactly that makes vamps give you the royal treatment?” I almost choked on my own saliva considering I was in fact employed by a royal.
“I work for a very important business woman in New Orleans, I take care of the staff and any issues they have both at headquarters and in branches throughout Louisiana. The vampires who own this bar also happen to be involved with the area office. They keep me sweet and I solve their personnel problems quicker.”
I winked at her to try and lighten the mood but now she just had a chip on her shoulder about city girls thinking they were better than everyone else. Tara on the other hand was suitably impressed
“Wow Sook! That must be really interesting travelling around problem solving, helping ….”
Her voice drifted off as her eyes drifted up. I figured that could only mean one thing. I turned around and sure enough, there was Eric. I nodded to him and he grabbed my hand and kissed the knuckle of each one of my fingers.
“Mmm … Miss Stackhouse. A pleasure to see you again.”
“Thank you Mr. Northman” He grinned widely and clicked his fingers. Seconds later Kerry was taking our drink order and Tara was thinking she was glad she came here with me. Not just because of the service but it meant there was someone else who wasn’t dressed like a streetwalker and sporting vamp-hickeys.
Dawn nudged Tara and shuffled further into the booth, she said Eric’s name and patted the space next to her. He raised an eyebrow and looked at me, flicking his hand to indicate he wanted me to make space on my side. I moved and he slid in beside me, Dawn’s rage evident on her face which amused Tara no end. I felt Eric lean into me and rub his face against my shoulder and neck, I clenched my teeth and hissed
“What the hell are you doing?!”
“I’m never forgetting my bandanna again!”
He laughed; it came out as a rumble from deep in his chest. Dawn was drumming her acrylics on the table
“Just what did you say you done for these vamps again?”
Eric stopped his ‘scenting’ and glared at her “Are you suggesting that Miss Stackhouse is something other than completely professional in her dealings with me?”
She changed from irritated to seductive in a second “Well, if she doesn’t want to I could be very unprofessional Eric.”
She got up and stood in front of him, reaching out a hand to possibly stroke his arm when he grabbed her wrist and pulled her down so she her face was a couple of inches away from his. It looked like she enjoyed it … eww.
“Whatever your name is, I am not interested. You insult me with your brazenness and you insult your companions by flaunting yourself. Find another vampire to play with.”
He pushed her away and she stumbled back a couple of steps rubbing where he had held her before standing tall and sashaying over to the bar. Tara was in shock over what had happened, especially Dawn’s behaviour, she couldn’t wait to get back to her fiancé to gossip about it!
“Oh my! I’m so rude! Eric Northman this is Tara Thornton, Tara and me kinda hung out when we were at school. The other girl was Dawn.”
“Yes I knew her name.”
“But you said…”
“If she thought I remembered her she would have been more insistent, you girls came here to relax and enjoy yourselves, not to watch your desperate friend try to get me to bite her.”
“Oh well, thank you … I guess.”
“So Miss Thornton, Tara, you knew Sookie before she … left Bon Temps?”
“Uh … yeah. We were friendly; we had a few things in common.” He smiled and waved for her to elaborate “Well, we both had hard times, kind of outcasts, we both loved to read and we both loved to dance.”
I remembered our dancing very well; we almost got kicked out of school for following a dance routine we saw on MTV for the talent show. As if fate was looking down and flipping me the bird, that exact song came on and I cringed. One look at Tara confirmed that one of my many nightmares was about to come true.
“Come on Sook! I know you remember the steps!”
I smiled tightly and asked Eric to let me out of the booth, my butt had barely left the seat before Tara grabbed my hand and pulled me into the middle of the floor to start the dance routine of shame. I remembered every hip swivel, thrust and grind, apparently a few other girls did too and joined in with us. If we’d been on the bar it would have been just like that movie Coyote Ugly. I chanced a glance at Eric thinking he was probably laughing his ass off at me but instead he was staring at me, the heat from his eyes could have set me on fire and his fangs were fully extended.
The song finished and Tara pulled me back to the booth fanning her face and giggling. I chose to sit next to her and reached across the table for my drink rather than squeezing past Eric to my previous seat. Would it be rude for me to tell him to stop staring at me? We finished our drinks and thankfully Tara mentioned needing to start work early the next day so we got ourselves together and Eric offered to walk us to the car.
“Oh really Eric, there’s no need, we’ll be fine.”
“Nonsense Sookie, I insist.”
Tara gripped my arm and whispered something about gentlemen in my ear. We passed Dawn at the bar; she was hanging off a black haired vampire who looked like he’d won the lottery. Tara asked her if she wanted a ride back to Bon Temps
“Don’t worry yourself” she snorted “I got my ride right here.”
I got the hidden meaning and saw red “Dawn, you’re a bitch and half you know that? If I ever see you anywhere near my brother again I’ll rip every hair out of your head and make a rope out of it to hang you with. You used Tara to get a ride here, you insult my family by carrying on with vampires when you were flirting with Jason just hours ago and you’ve embarrassed us by throwing yourself at our host.”
I turned on my heel and left, Tara trying to keep up with me. It was only when I got to the car I started to really breathe again. I looked up and saw Eric and Tara grinning at me
“Sook, threatening to rip out her hair and make a rope out of it was class! I wish I could have thought of something to say to her but, girl, you said it all.” She came round and high fived me.
“Indeed, it was certainly … stirring to see you stand up for your friends and family so passionately. I hope, despite your absent travel companion, you had a good time tonight.” We both nodded “Well, be assured you both are always welcome in Fangtasia anytime.”
We thanked him for his hospitality and started the drive back home. Being used to vampire hours, I wasn’t very sleepy when I got back to Gran’s but I went to bed anyway and let my brain digest everything that had happened over the course of the day. I felt a little bad when I thought maybe Rene would kill Dawn because she’s such a bitch, she might be a horrible person but she doesn’t deserve to die for it. At least Sam would be keeping an eye on her.
By the time I woke up the next day (after a very interesting dream about Eric), I just had enough time to have breakfast, pack up my stuff and say I tearful farewell to Gran. Jason seemed a little off when I got in the truck, I asked him why and he told me that Dawn was supposed to meet him in a bar in Monroe last night. I was so angry I actually growled. He was shocked when I told him that she piggybacked on me and Tara’s night out so she could bag a vampire
“So she was just stringing me along until she had the chance to get fanged? I should give her a piece o’ my mind, hell I should do it in Merlotte’s just for embarrassment factor after what she did to you and Tara!”
I could just imagine Jason shouting at her in Sam’s bar, then I thought how suspect that would make him if Sam couldn’t stop Rene from killing her. Sam was also counting on Jason to keep an eye on her.
“Jason I’m going to tell you something, I read someone’s mind yesterday and I know who killed Maudette.”
“Well you should go to the cops.” I looked at him “Oh, yeah, right, sorry!”
“I also found out that Dawn is next on the list. If you fight with her and she dies, then you’ll be suspect number one. Sam is gonna keep an eye on her and he was hopin’ you’d help out. Don’t try to be a hero, if you see something suspicious just call 911.”
“Okay, okay. Who is it?”
“I can’t tell you that, as much as it pains me, we’re kinda using Dawn as bait to smoke out the killer. Watch Dawn and you’ll find out who it was okay?”
“That’ll have to do.” He cleared his throat “So Fangtasia again huh?”
“Urgh I know! What are the chances? I come here to get away from vampires for a couple of days and where does Tara take me for a night out! It was good though, Eric was nice, we didn’t pay for a drink all night. It’s good to know the owner.”
“Hell Sookie, I’ve known Sam for years and I don’t even get a free toothpick! Just be careful this Eric doesn’t want you to repay the favour.”
“Why would he want me to buy him drinks? He only drinks blood … oh! I see. Well don’t you worry about me Jason I’ve got everything under control.” Except my raging hormones. Eric is strong and powerful and very very sexy, so I had one little dream! What heterosexual woman wouldn’t right? RIGHT?
The drive back to New Orleans was much the same as the drive to Shreveport two days ago. Every time I asked the driver a question all I got was a grunt in response, wonderful. When we pulled up at the residence Frank was waiting outside for me. I leapt out and ran into his arms, the driver dumping my bags unceremoniously next to us.
“I missed you so much!”
“I missed you too, how was Bon Temps?”
“Good.” I lied, it had its good points, discovering a murderer wasn’t one of them “Jason and Gran are well, I caught up with a couple of folks I knew before I got sent away, it’ll be easier next time.”
“Yeah you won’t have to spend your break getting introduced to everyone again. Did the Sherriff give you any trouble?”
Apart from making me pass out and rubbing himself all over me? “No, no trouble at all, he was very accommodating.”
“Yeah” Frank snorted “I’m sure Northman was. He has quite the reputation as a ladies’ man.”
“Well he must have been on his best behaviour. No pick up lines or touching of inappropriate places at all.”
By this time we were outside my room door, I put my key in and opened up. I was completely speechless when I noticed a large canvas hanging over my bed. That definitely hadn’t been there before I left! It was huge and rather than being an expensive or rare piece of art, it was an old photo of me, Hadley, Jason and Gran that had been printed onto the fabric stretched over the frame. I ran to my bed and kneeled on it, running my fingers over the happy faces that stared out.
“This is amazing! Did Hadley do this?”
Frank shrugged “I guess so; no-one has really spoken to me much since you’ve been gone. You know how the vamps are with weres.” He turned to the kitchen counter and pulled an envelope from under the coffee maker. “Here this is for you.”
I walked over and opened it. It was a note from Hadley:
Surprise! I wanted to do something family orientated seeing as I’m not quite ready to visit home just yet. Maybe in a couple of years we can take the road trip together, but until then we can look at this picture and talk about what we’ve both left in Bon Temps. I’ll see you tonight at the reading but might not have time to speak to you, until I do – be safe, take care and know that whatever I’ve done in the past I’m determined to make up for when I’m able.
“Aww, that’s so sweet!” I set the note down and went over to my bag that Frank had put on the sofa when I felt hands on my shoulders, moving down to rub my upper arms.
“Sookie, how much did you miss me?” he murmured into my neck “I want to show you how much I missed you, please Sookie, let me show you.”
I turned around and Frank planted his lips on mine in a deep, deep kiss that I felt all the way to my toes. His hands were everywhere, leaving trails of goosebumps and fire under my clothes. He picked me up and took me to the bed, setting me down on the edge and kneeling between my thighs. I felt my shirt being tugged and pulled until it was bunched up under my armpits and Frank removed his lips from my mouth and latched onto one of my breasts through my bra.
“Frank … wait … I’m not sure … we’ve never gone this far before.”
“Please Sookie, I’ve waited too long, just trust me baby, I can make you feel good.”
“Will you stop if I ask you?”
“Of course I will” he sat back a little and cupped my face with his hands “Just relax Sookie, go with the flow but tell me if I do something you’re not comfortable with.”
I nodded and he went back to caressing my skin with his fingers and mouth. I pulled my shirt over my head and Frank moved his lips to my neck nipping at the flesh with his blunt teeth. I arched my back to bring his attention back to my breasts and he took the hint cupping one with his hand and taking his mouth down to the other, sucking, rolling, pinching and pulling until my nipples were like pebbles inside the underwired contraption. It felt really good and I wanted more, I reached back and released the catch on my bra and Frank pulled it out of his way, throwing it across the room.
I grabbed at his shirt pulling it up; if I was topless then he should be too right? This is it; I’m going with the flow. I can do this. He pushed me back so I was lying down and leaned over me, settling his lips on mine and massaging my tongue with his. I felt him unfastening my jeans and stiffened
“Shhh … its okay baby. I know you’re nervous but I’ve done this plenty of times before, trust me.”
I nodded and let him pull my jeans off but in the back of my head I was thinking about what a weird thing that was to say. Why tell me about how much experience he’s had? He brought his head back to my nipples and his hand gently stroked the flesh around the inside of my thighs. God it felt good, I wanted more. I pushed my hips forward to try and entice him into touching me where my body was telling me needed touched the most.
“You’re eager for a first timer; they usually just lie back and let me do my own thing.”
He moved my panties to the side and stroked the heated flesh there, it felt like when I put the shaving cream on to do some garden maintenance. Then it hit me, what did he just say? I pushed him slightly to get his attention
“What do you mean ‘they’? Are you a serial virginity reliever?”
He laughed lightly and carried on stroking, moving his fingers and finding … oh Lord! I didn’t want him to stop but he hadn’t answered me yet. I reached down and gripped his wrist
“Frank? Tell me what you meant.”
“It’s nothing, I’ll tell you another time.”
I grabbed his face with both hands and forced myself into his mind, he wasn’t projecting anything in particular but he was nervous and angry at the same time.
“It’s not ‘nothing’ Frank. You’re … hiding something. I can’t do this if you can’t be truthful to me!”
He sighed and sat back on his heels “I’m the oldest son of the packmaster, therefore one of the preferred breeders. When the females reach maturity, I … it’s my responsibility to ensure the pack is well populated.”
I scurried backwards on the bed “So when a girl is old enough you take her virginity and get her pregnant!”
“Basically. I know this is a lot to take in but can we talk about it more afterwards?”
“What? No! This is huge! When was the last time?”
“Its pack business Sookie, I don’t feel for them the same way I feel for you.”
“That’s not what I asked you! When was the last time Frank?”
“Two weeks ago.”
“WHAT? Two weeks? But we were still close, we were together or so I thought. Oh my God, I can’t believe this!”
“It’s pack business like I said; it’s like doing the dishes or sweeping the porch – a family chore that has to get done.” I looked at him incredulously “Wait, that didn’t come out like it was supposed to.”
“Get out Frank. Just get dressed and get out.”
“Please Sookie, you have to understand…”
“GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!” I kept screaming it until I was bright red and he opened my room door, as he was walking out Bill and Hadley ran in to find me almost naked, huddled under my bed sheets with tears soaking my face and neck.