A/N: Finished work earlier than expected so I figured you guys deserved another chapter for being so patient. Just had a read through the reviews and they are amazing, support is a great motivating tool for a writer so you all have me smiling happy.
Disclaimer: I do not own True blood; I just borrowed the characters for a bit of fun!
When Sam had informed her that Jessica was changed young Sookie hadn't prepared herself for the fact the newly turned vampire was barely eighteen, if that. The youthfulness in the girl made her heart ache, the fact it was clear the turning had to have been under special circumstances due to her being under the stated limit for the turning of a human, didn't make the situation any better.
Who could possibly want to be a vampire that young?
There could have been many reasons as to why Jessica was no longer human, none of which seemed positive as they ran through Sookies head. It wouldn't have been for the reason of power, not when it was clear just looking at the girl she didn't have a tactical bone in her body. It had always surprised her how well she could read vampires, only Bill being the exception to that rule.
Then again, thinking back it wasn't as if she had felt completely comfortable around the civil war vampire. Gran had approved, it had been one of the sole reasons she had allowed him to try and court her.
But Jessica…Jessica being turned for the purpose of violence just didn't seem right, not when there were a lot more humans out there who would be capable of more than a teenager who looked completely out of her element.
She wasn't rude enough to ask.
It wasn't until a slight nagging at the back of her memory had her already planning to ask Eric about her that Sookie found her curiosity pushed momentarily to the back of her mind. As Sheriff he had to know each and every vampire in his area, Jessica would be no exception.
It did have her hoping that Jessica was turned by a kind vampire, one who had taught her or hopefully was still teaching her the ways of her new life. Anything less just didn't seem acceptable.
Walking over towards the red-headed teen she frowned when she caught sight of the girls' uncomfortable expression. It was still quiet, only a few customers scattered around the place, all of which were in Arlene's section and the majority of them her previous bed mates.
Sookie certainly did not want to know if they were back for more or not.
"Uh…" Snapping her head around Jessica looked relieved to see her, eyes widening briefly before a small smile curled at the corner of her dark lips. "Sookie, right?"
Nodding. "Hi! Yeah, did Sam tell you that I would be showing you the ropes today?" she asked as she made her way into his office to drop off her things. She saw Jessica nod as she followed her into the small room, her own uniform ironed neatly and washed clean. "Cool, you want an apron?" Sookie held up the light fabric.
Looking around her briefly, Jessica grabbed it with a shy smile before tying it around her waist. She was pretty, probably another one of the reasons why Sam had hired her. "You're the first person here other than Sam who's spoken to me," she mumbled after a few minutes.
Sookie frowned. She really did wish she could be surprised by that.
"Ignore them," she smiled reassuringly. "Tara and Arlene are hypocrites, Sam's just a little skittish and unfortunately being a waitress means dealing with rude and unfriendly people."
"Just…" Sookie started, "just don't go out with strange people who approach you ok? We've had some past issues with drainers and I'd hate for you or any vampire to get hurt." Just the thought of grown men and women going after such a young girl, vampire or not, was extremely unsettling.
The fear which showed immediately on Jessica's face told Sookie all she needed to know about how long she had been a vampire for. If she had been even a few years old she would have been able to mask her emotions better, but the fact what she was feeling wasn't attempted to be disguised in the slightest told her that it was unlikely she was even more than a year old.
She wasn't rude enough to outright ask.
Still, asking Eric couldn't hurt.
Spending the next hour showing Jessica the ropes proved to be more difficult than Sookie had thought. It wasn't the fact Jessica didn't try, because she did, but her age was clearly coming through when she proved to be easily distracted, not to mention frustrated with having to serve people in general.
Didn't she realise she had chosen to be a waitress?
Shaking her head, Sookie leaned against the bar as she watched Jessica lead a table of two to their table. Maybe being a hostess would work better for her.
"I can't believe Sam actually hired a vampire."
Surprisingly, Arlene didn't say it in a cruel way, rather shocked. Turning around Sookie's lips quirked slightly when she took note of the magazine her friend was holding, the front article centred around vampires in general. It was an informative magazine, a drastic change from her usual gossip mag.
"What's with the research?" she nodded towards her hand.
"Well," she sniffed. "Since you made it very clear to me that the vampires in Fantasia were off limits-"
Sookie cut her off, "I didn't say that Arlene. Just…I'm not going to get involved. If one of them wants to be with you then that's none of my business, but I'm not telling them to sleep with you."
"Probably not my best decision I have ever made," Arlene cringed as she thought about it. The more she recalled how she had acted that night the more embarrassed she was. How was it possible she had been desperate enough to ask Sookie of all people for help? "So you won't mind if I head back there one night?"
Sookie doubted even if she said yes Arlene would listen to her. Her thoughts confirmed as much.
"No, just be careful."
God forbid Arlene upset the wrong vampire who had told her no.
Rolling her eyes, Arlene looked behind her "the red-heads making her way over."
Following her line of sight Sookie frowned in confusion at the sight of Jessica's excited expression. Since the girls shift had started she had worn nothing but a bored expression on her face. She had been acting like the child she was. What had changed now?
"You've been to Fantasia?"
Ah! That explained a few things. "Yes…"
"That is so awesome!" She grinned excitedly, clapping her hands in a manner that only made her seem younger than she was. "I've heard about that place. Is it true it's full of vampires who stand around looking all serious and shit and packed with humans who will do just about anything to be with one?"
Not how Sookie would have put it, but it was hard to say Jessica hadn't hit the nail on the head. "Basically," she settled with.
"Cool! Can you take me some time?"
Sookie knew the answer to that even before the question crossed her mind. "No."
Almost immediately Jessica's excited expression turned sullen, even Arlene looking shocked at her rather frank response.
"Why not?" she whined.
"Because you're not old enough."
Now Jessica definitely looked confused. "But I'm a vampire," she stated as if Sookie didn't already know, as if that changed everything.
Sookie sighed. "You have to have a vampire escort if you are under the age of two years-"
"Vampire years," Sookie corrected, not wanting to admit that she had read Fantasia's policy on vampires in the area one night when she was bored out of her mind and both Eric and Godric had disappeared while Pam was still stuck on door duty. She had seen the booklet sitting on the lower shelf in his office and ended up reading the night away.
That brought Jessica up short. "So if I can convince my maker to let me come, I could?" she tried.
Sookie shrugged. "I guess." All she knew was that it would be the makers responsibly to keep an eye on their childe, and any casualty or misdemeanour would fall on them. Eric wasn't known to be a forgiving sheriff, but Sookie had never seen any newly turned vampires in there. The majority of them were in their older years.
Not near either Godric or Eric's years, but still impressive all the same.
"It's up to your maker, Jessica. I'm only telling you the rules of the place; whether or not you would be an exception I don't know."
She didn't run Fantasia. She helped out yes, but that was the full extent of it.
Still, it seemed to placate Jessica enough to stop asking questions as she went back to work under Sookies careful watch. She would have been worried about her own hours being subjected to being cut if it wasn't for the fact Sam had made a big step when it came to hiring a waitress who wasn't human.
It was worth the risk as far as she was concerned.
The only person who seemed to be concerned about it was Tara, which was an annoyance all in itself considering she barely turned up for work as it was. If it wasn't for the fact Sam had slept with her Sookie doubted Tara would still be working here, but since sacking meant a law suit most likely he must have figured it would simply be less effort and cheaper to keep her on even if she didn't show up half the time.
She had tried to mentally cut him out after that.
It wasn't that she intentionally read her friends minds. If she was being honest they were the last people she would want to know what was going on inside their heads. If she truly knew what they thought of her…if she did that with every person who seemed outwardly nice, she wouldn't be able to get friendly with anyone, let alone have actual friends.
It was harsh, but it was true.
"Are you going to Fantasia tomorrow tonight?" Arlene asked as soon as Jessica made her way over towards a table, seemingly forgetting the girl could hear just fine from where she was standing on the other side of the room. She was a vampire after all.
Sookie shook her head, "I have the night shift here, covering for Tara."
Seemingly just as surprised at the fact Tara had switched a day shift for a night shift Arlene's eyes widened. "Do you think she's going to the club?"
That was something that still brought Sookie up short. What was Tara really doing at a vampire club of all places? She had obviously expressed her distaste, and yet she had been their multiple times with Arlene. At least the other waitress was admitting her intentions.
"I don't know and I can honestly say I don't care," Sookie admitted. She had barely spoken to Tara since the whole confrontation at Fantasia. "I just hope she understands that the rules that apply to humans don't apply to vampires."
"You surely know a lot about their kind, Sookie?" Arlene frowned, dropping her magazine on the corner of the bar.
Sookie shrugged. "I get on better with them." Which was the truth. They respected her in a way that no other human did. It was nice.
With that said the rest of her shift passed quickly, Jessica soon fitting into the role of both hostess and waitress well as soon as she had grasped onto the fact that just because she overheard customers talking about her behind her back didn't mean that they expected to be heard. It was almost amusing just how many customers seemed to forget that being a vampire wasn't just another name for a human who didn't sleep, but they had enhancements that as humans they simply didn't have.
It was amusing to say the least.
So, what did you think?