This is a short, fluffy story I wrote to give myself a break from some angsty sections of Just in Time. There's about ten chapters in total and everything but the last two chapters are finished. I plan on posting at least two chapters, maybe even three chapters, a week until it's finished.
I hope you all like it! Please be kind enough to let me know what you think!
"It wouldn't kill you to pretend to pay attention to me, at the very least!" Pamela Ravenscroft tapped her expensively shod foot angrily as she glared at her maker.
Eric Northman slowly raised his head from the spreadsheet he was studying. The numbers for this quarter were not adding up and the vampire was admittedly paying more attention to the offending columns of numbers than to the conversation Pam was mostly having with herself.
Shoving the pile of papers to the side, Eric turned his steely blue eyes to the beautiful blond in front of him. As ill-mannered as she mostly was, he knew she wouldn't be this insistent over something trivial.
"What is it?" To his credit, he never even thought of the missing money again.
"I think there may be a telepath in the area." Pam let her words hang in the air as she struggled to keep a triumphant look from her face. It was largely a failed effort and the young vampire gave up as astonishment took over her maker's impassive features. She grinned impishly as he stared at her with narrowed eyes.
"Explain," he barked harshly. A calculating expression slowly overshadowed the surprise he'd shown. Telepath's were rare creatures. In his thousand years on Earth, Eric had yet to meet one in person.
"Remember the brunette from last night?" Eric nodded his head brusquely as Pam licked her lips lasciviously. The dim-witted beauty had proved remarkably adventurous in bed. "Well, it turns out she's from a town in the Northern reaches of Area Five called Bon Temps. She was trying to engage me with stories of all the "freaky shit" she's seen around the town. It was all pretty standard stuff – probably wolves and shifters – until she told me about this crazy waitress who can tell what people are thinking."
Eric sat up straight in his chair. He'd known of Bon Temps, of course. As Sheriff of Area Five, Eric felt it was his responsibility to keep tabs on all supernatural beings in the Area, not just vampires. A shifter ran the local watering hole in the small town. There was a small, struggling family of werepanthers in a neighboring community.
There were also decades-old rumors about Fae sightings in the vicinity of Bon Temps, but other than a lingering aroma in the air, a Fae presence in the Area had never been substantiated. Otherwise, the small, quaint backwater locale boasted nothing else of note.
Or, so he'd thought.
Had there been a telepath hiding under his very nose all this time? How had she managed to avoid detection, even in a sleepy little town like Bon Temps? As Pam's loose-lipped dinner had proven, people talk about things they find strange. It wouldn't just be supernaturals who would find a telepath a useful acquisition. Eric was cynical enough to understand the worth of a telepath to the human authorities, too. Her own government wouldn't hesitate to snatch her up if her abilities were proven.
"It's strange, don't you think, that I should hear of this little town twice in one night?" Eric mused aloud, his thoughts on an earlier phone call. The call in itself had been strange and unexpected. The pragmatic vampire didn't believe in coincidence.
"Who else mentioned Bon Temps?" Pam's voice was curious, while still managing to convey her complete distaste for the very idea of the small town. She considered Shreveport to be provincial, never mind a backwater swamp.
"Sophie-Ann called earlier to let me know Bill Compton would be relocating to my Area. Turns out his ancestral home is located in Bon Temps and he will be residing there." Eric had actually wondered if he were being punished with banishment to the crumbling remains of whatever pre-war shack he'd spent his human years in. But Sophie-Ann's surprises had kept on coming. "She says he's to be left undisturbed. He's apparently working on a top-secret project for her, one which she will reveal when she's ready. In the meantime, we are to give Mr. Compton his space."
"Fuck a goddamned duck! Are you serious?" Pam's shapely eyebrow quirked upward. "There's no way in hell any self-respecting vampire would want to live in a place like that. Not now, when we can live wherever the hell we please. There's got to be a connection to the telepath, Eric."
"It's an unusual choice for him, certainly," he allowed. Bill Compton was known as the Queen's procurer, a ruthless, bloodthirsty vampire who would use any means necessary to obtain whatever it was his Queen desired. If she learned there was a telepath in her state, there was no telling how far he would go to procure such a treasure.
"When is he due to arrive?" Pam asked.
"Within the next week, she said."
"Then you better hurry," his progeny replied, nodding her head. "You don't have much time."
"Where am I going?" he asked, hiding a smile. He knew where he was going. He just liked to fuck with Pam's head once in a while.
"I assumed you would be going to Bon Temps, Eric!" She spoke with a touch of exasperation.
"Why would I go there?" He looked up at her with a sincere expression of confusion marking his handsome features. "Fuck, Pam, you just said no self-respecting vampire would go there. What are you trying to say?"
"You know that's not what I meant, Eric!" Her face was priceless as she argued. "I thought you'd want to go there to find the telepath."
"And I am," he laughed as her expression turned to outrage. It was so damned easy to mess with her.
"You're such a child!" Pam glared at him, resisting the urge to fling something heavy at his head. "Why do you find it necessary to tease me all the time?"
"You make it easy, my child," Eric stood and sauntered around the desk to face his loyal progeny. Bending from the waist, the ancient vampire dropped a fond kiss on Pam's smooth, unlined forehead. "You know I love you."
"You have a funny way of showing it," she pouted. She was miffed, as usual, but he knew she was easily mollified. "Honestly, Eric. Dear Abby is always saying-"
And with those magic words, Eric tuned her out easily. Her fixation with the advice columnist was a mystery the ancient vampire had no interest in solving. His mind had long since learned to automatically turn to more pressing matters when the cursed name came up in conversation.
The supposed telepath was the most pressing matter of the moment. Despite his great age, the vampire wasn't overly ambitious. He had no designs on the throne of Louisiana, or any state. He was, however, highly pragmatic. Eric rapidly considered and rejected multiple ideas for securing her as an asset for his personal retinue. If nothing else, a telepath could be a valuable bargaining chip, should he require one.
"Eric!" Pam's voice again broke through his thoughts. "I don't know why I bother trying to talk to you when you are like this!"
"I don't know, either," Eric admitted truthfully. He did have a terrible habit of tuning her out.
"I asked if you had a plan yet," Pam repeated herself irritably.
"Nothing beyond tracking her down in Bon Temps. I should have a better grasp on things once I've met her. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves. This could turn out to be nothing but a wild goose chase."
"I don't think so," Pam retorted. "After listening to all the stories of "Crazy Sookie", I'm guessing it's for real."
"Sookie?" Eric let the name roll off his tongue. "I've never heard that name before."
Pam laughed. "I know! I actually asked her what the fuck a Sookie was when she first mentioned her. Apparently, her name is Sookie Stackhouse. She's a waitress at Merlotte's Bar." The blonde vampire paused. "She lived with her grandmother until she died a couple of years ago. Word is the Stackhouse girl left town for a couple of years then, and has only recently returned. She worked for Merlotte before, and he gave her another chance when she came back."
"How old is she?" Eric shook his head. For some reason, he had assumed the telepath was older, mature even. Pam's tale made her seem much younger.
"Dawn mentioned being in school with her, so I guess they are the same age." She shrugged helplessly, no more able to properly discern human age than Eric. "Early twenties, I guess."
There was a marked scarcity of information known about telepaths. Their abilities were spoken of in hushed tones, legends passed down through generations. No one knew where their powers originated. Eric's thousand years of life told him magic would have to be involved on some level. It was assumed the powers were derived from supernatural blood, but it was only theory.
Since little was known about the rare breed, including their natural lifespan, he was pleased to learn she was young, by any species standards. Her youth also offered the advantage of being able to woo her to his side the old-fashioned way, too. Eric was not above using his handsome face and incredible physique to his advantage. He idly wondered if she were attractive.
"I think I will pay a visit to Merlotte's tomorrow evening," he said. "In the meantime, find any information you can find on her. I want to know everything there is to know; her family, her friends, her job, her bank account. Everything. Most of all, I want to know where she was the last couple of years."
"I've already started discreet enquiries," Pam was nothing if not efficient. "I will have a preliminary report for you before sunrise. I glamoured Dawn into telling me everything she knew about the girl, and that information is all in your e-mail. In short, she has no family other than an older brother, even though she claimed to have spent the last couple of years living with distant family. The brother is the town lothario and is more interested in his conquests than his sister. Other than the missing couple of years, she lived a quiet life as a social pariah."
Eric sat back down in his leather chair and propped his booted feet up on the edge of the wooden desk. It would be easier to get her to agree to his demands when she had little holding her to her old life. Relocating wouldn't be strictly necessary, as long as she was willing to travel, but it would be preferable to have her at his beck and call in Shreveport. The practical vampire couldn't see the worth of an asset he couldn't control.
"Excellent," Eric paused and looked at his child. She really was the accomplishment he was most proud of. "You did well, Pam. Thank you."
"You are welcome," Pam nodded regally, a hold-over from her human days as the repressed older daughter of an aristocratic English lord. He'd had the title, but not the fortune, even though you would never know it by the extravagant way he and his family lived. After Pam's successful turning, Eric had quietly bought up all of her father's debts before paying the social-climbing Viscount a visit at the gentleman's club he frequented. A heavy glamour ensured the impoverished lord would be more prudent in the future.
He nodded his head in return, casually tucking strands of blonde hair back behind his ear. "I'm going to head home and make a few calls to New Orleans. Somebody there must know what Sophie-Ann is up to." There was no way he'd chance making such sensitive calls from Fangtasia's office, no matter how much soundproofing he'd installed. His home office was as secure a location as he could obtain.
He stood up and slid a fine black leather coat on over the black cotton tank shirt he wore. Picking up his car keys, he shoved them into his pocket before making his way to the door.
"Send me the information as soon as it comes in. I'll see you here after sunset tomorrow."
As great Viking warrior made the fifteen minute drive to his secure resting place, he wondered on his luck at having a telepath fall into his lap.
He had to be the luckiest fucker on earth.
What do you think? Want to read some more?