6

My First Night

I apologize for not posting earlier this week. We had a death in the family and things have just been so hectic but I'm back now.

Thanks everyone for reading, reviewing, and alerting. Y'all keep me writing. I wish that I could put more focus on this story. I hate that I have to keep everyone waiting for so long in between chapters.

Melody: She's not pulling a Sookie move by staying at Merlotte's. She's finishing out the week. She's still Sam's friend and she doesn't want to leave him high and dry without a fill-in. She's done with Merlotte's and she's moving on to bigger and better things. I assure you. She's not going to remain a barmaid forever.

As always. I hope that each of you enjoys the story. The characters belong to Charlaine Harris but the story idea is mine.


And now here we are. My first night at work. I know that I pretended to be upset about being forced to come here. I need to admit a little something. I'm not upset at all. I'm excited to start working here. I can't wait to do what I do best but before I can, I need to see why Eric was so determined to get me here. It had to be important for him to want me here so urgently. Maybe he needs my skills. Or maybe, he just wants to talk like we did last night. That could be possibility.

As I looked around the bar, everything looked fine. Things looked just as they did last night. There weren't any bad thoughts floating through the air. People were obviously here to have a good time. I have a strong feeling that I've been played by those two vampires once again. There's only one way to find out why I'm here three days earlier than I'm supposed to be.

And from the way I was being manhandled, I was pretty sure that I was about to find out why I was here a lot sooner than anticipated. Pam was dragging me down the hall behind her at a speed that was way too fast for me. I could swear that I was floating down that hallway.

"I told you that I would get her here. I expect to have my shoes by dusk tomorrow night," Pam said as soon as she opened the office door. She soon had a prominent smirk on her face. Pushing me in the office, she said, "She also told me to give you a message. You're an asshole that is high handed. She is not at your beck and call. You don't order her around. And you're a jerk." Her eyes were filled with amusement when she looked at me. "That is what you said, is it not?"

Glaring at her, I nodded. "Not exactly like that but almost."

"I have relayed your message and now I must go. Good evening," she said. And without another word, she pushed me further into Eric's office and slammed the door behind me.

"Why am I here?" I asked Eric as soon as I saw him. "I thought that we had an agreement that I would be here after my shift at Merlotte's or was I mistaken?"

Smiling at me, Eric said, "After out little chat last night, I couldn't wait to see you."

And I almost believed him. That is until I saw that twinkle in his eyes.

He leaned back in his chair as he rested his feet upon his desk. "It's a pleasure to see you this evening, Ms. Stackhouse. I'm glad that you decided to begin working with us a lot sooner than you'd planned. It pleases me. An employee that goes above and beyond the call of duty always pleases me. I can see that we are going to have a wonderful relationship."

And guess what? His smile broadened.

Pointing at myself, I clarified, "I didn't decide. You and your sidekick out there, decided for me. I wanted to finish out the week with Sam. It's only three days. I mean that's the least I could have done since I'm quitting." I crossed my arms over my chest as I glared at him. "I don't know why I decided to work for you. We haven't even signed the contract and you're already dictating what I'm going to be doing. The contract isn't even really going to matter, is it?"

Eric removed his long limbs from the top of his desk and stood to his full height. As he walked around the desk and leaned against it, he said, "The contract will stand. You have my word and you know why you decided to work for me. I know why you decided to work for me. I could see it in your eyes when you walked into my office. You want this life. You're tired of the mundane and you want excitement. You crave it." He was then standing in front of me. Very close to me. "And everything that you want, Ms. Stackhouse, I can give it to you. Do you want it, Ms. Stackhouse? Do you want what I can give you?"

"No," I whispered. "I mean yes. No?" I wasn't too sure of what was going on or what I wanted. I just knew that this tall drink of vampire was getting to me.

He leaned down and his mouth was thisclose to mine. He hovered over me but never made a move. "Are you ready for this life, Ms. Stackhouse?"

I swallowed the huge lump that had suddenly appeared in my throat. Even after swallowing it, I still couldn't speak so I nodded.

Eric gazed into my eyes as he smiled at me. And only seconds later, he moved away from me so quickly that I jumped. "Good," he said as he clapped his hands together. "Have a seat and we'll go over this contract together. Let me know what you like and don't like and we'll make the proper corrections."

I stared at the back of his head as he walked away. No guy, man or vampire, has ever made me forget myself the way Eric does. I've only just met him and I wanted to get to know him. I want to know what his life is like. I want to know he likes to do, where he likes to go. What his hobbies are; especially after what happened last night. I really enjoyed his company. But Tara warned me that it's best to keep my relationship with my boss professional and she's right. After she started sleeping with Sam, things for them changed. And Eric and I could possibly become friends. I don't want to ruin that by doing something crazy. I'd still like to get to know him but the job comes first. It must always come first.

So I did what I had to do. I pretended that he had no effect on me. I took the seat that sat in front of his desk as I daintily crossed my legs and waited.

"I like that dress," he said as he took his seat. "Though it is of poor quality and is less than what you deserve, it is becoming on you."

Did he just insult my clothes with a compliment?

I looked down at my blue gingham checked sundress. I know that it's no Vera Wang design but darn. "Thanks?" I said.

He slid the stack of papers that were in front of him to me. "This is for you," he explained. "Everything that we discussed last night is in here. Your pay. The benefits that you are entitled to. The need to have me with you at all times if you have to travel for the job. It's all in the contract. I left nothing out."

I frowned as I picked the contract up from his desk. "What about Pam? Will she ever travel with me or is it just going to be you?"

A flash of something appeared in his eyes but it was gone as quickly as it appeared. "There will be times when she will accompany you … if that is what you prefer."

"Good," I answered as I glanced over the contract. "She may be a trickster but I like her."

He said nothing.

I continued to glance over the contract. Though I understood some of what was in it, I needed someone else's opinion before signing it. "Okay," I said as I looked up. "But before I sign this, I want to have someone read over this for me. He's really good with this type of thing. He also suggested that I not sign anything without him reading it first. My grandpa is very thorough and he wants to make sure that I'm going to be protected. Are you okay with that, Mr. Northman?"

"I am," he assured me. He looked as if he wanted to say something but he stopped himself. "And when we are alone, you can call me Eric. When we are with others, you will call me Master."

That angered me beyond reason. I didn't want to call him Master. I didn't feel that it was fair for me to have to call him Master. I was going to let him have it but I didn't do that. I swallowed down my disdain and agreed to what he'd said. Grandpa said that it's a necessity that I show Eric the utmost respect; especially when we are with others. "Okay," I said as clearly as my voice would allow. "I will call you Master in front of others. That will not be a problem."

If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that he was shocked. I could only guess that Pam told him what I'd said the of my interview. He cocked an eyebrow and nodded his approval. "It's imperative that you do that when we are around other vampires."

"I understand," I assured him. "I know that it's a sign of respect and I have no problem with doing that."

I guess Pam's going to have a field day with that. My 'I'm not gonna' statement was just a dream.

He rested his arms on his desk as he stared at me. "I appreciate your willingness to do as you're told." He stood up from his seat and crossed his arms in front of him. "You are one of the few that's allowed to call me Eric but you can only do so when we're not in the company of the important supernaturals in our world. Unless circumstances change, you are to never call me Eric in front of them."

Privilege?

Really?

And why would circumstances change? How would they change? I guess that's something that I will ask him later.

Still, I didn't complain. "I can do that. That will not be a problem."

Smirking, he asked, "You have no problem with that?"

He knew that I did but I shook my head no. "I do not, Eric."

His eyes smiled this time as he spoke. "I like the way my name rolls off of your tongue, Sookie."

His smile was infectious but I remained cool Sookie. I didn't react to it at all. I just wanted to leave. I was mad as hell about having to call him Master and I wanted to go home. I was tired. I'd worked a long shift at Merlotte's and I needed a long hot bath and good night's rest. I took my contract from his desk and said, "If we're done here, Mr. Northman, I'd like to leave. I have to get home. I have other plans which you'd rudely interrupted when you had Pam kidnap me."

Bathing and sleeping are plans. They're not big plans but they're plans just the same.

His face was soon harder than previously was. "No. You will not go off to meet your man."

What?

Before I could reply to him, he continued on with his angry rant.

"You are to work here tonight," he exclaimed. "I sent those waitresses to the bar to fill in for you so that you could work here. Not go out on dates. I want to put your skills to use for at least an hour or two. I'd like to get a feel of what you can do. That is why I sent Pam for you. I need to test the service for which I'm paying. I'll meet you at my table in five minutes."

"Is that why I'm here?" I asked. "There's no big emergency? Nothing has happened?"

He propped his feet upon his desk and crossed his hands behind his head.

I don't know why I believe anything that they say to me. They're both a-holes. "You make me so mad," I declared.

"Meet you out there in five," he repeated.

"And," I said. "I didn't have a date, Mr. Know-it-all." I stomped out of his office and slammed the door behind him. I walked down the hall and back into the bar as I looked around for his table; which wasn't really a table. It was a booth. I knew which one was his without needing to be told. It was the only booth in the bar that was empty and sitting underneath a bright light. I could only assume that the bright light was so that he could be seen by everyone that walked through the doors. He needed to be seen as the biggest and baddest thing in the bar.

"Arrogant jerk," I mumbled.

And I did just what I was told to do. I sat at the booth and waited for him. I read the minds of the people that were in the bar. No one was thinking of anything that was important. Not at first. At first I just heard thoughts of sex, sex, and even more sex. Then this guy walks into the bar and he looks right at Pam. He didn't look around the bar at any of the patrons or the other vampires. He set his sights on her. She was leaned against the bar talking with Long Shadow. They appeared not to have noticed him. I couldn't help but notice him. He was broadcasting loud and clear. He pulled a picture from the inside of his jacket pocket. He glanced at it before putting it back.

She must be Pam. She's the one. She's the one that he wants.

I leaned in closer as I stared at the man.

Whatever he wants, he will get. My master wants her.

I got up and eased my way to the table closest to the booth. I needed to get a better look at that guy's face. I studied his face but he wasn't someone that I've ever seen. He doesn't really stand out as far as looks go. He looks like your typical Joe.

Where is her maker?

It then dawned on me. If I could just get a little closer to him. If I could just brush against him, I could see. I just needed to see.

I can take her.

He was thinking about when he'd make his move and I didn't have time to waste.

"Pam," I whispered as I went back to the booth. I needed to get her as far away from that man as possible.

She turned to look at me. I motioned for her to come to me. I made sure to look fearful. My eyes were wide and my heart was pounding in my chest. "Come to me," I whispered. "Hurry."

She looked at me. Long Shadow didn't even look in my direction. I guessed his vampire hearing was on the blink. Pam blurred herself to where I was. The guy took the first seat that he saw as he watched her blur away.

She sat down next to me and stared at me.

"I know that you lied to get me here," I said. "And I should be so mad at you but I'm not. I'm glad that you lied because tonight, you need me. Do you see that guy over there? The one with the spikey hair and wearing the black lipstick?"

"Which one?" she asked as she looked around the room.

"The one with the piercings in his lips, eyes, and nose."

Her eyes were trained right on him. "I do."

Before telling her what I heard, I had to make sure that it's safe. There were several vampires out here with us. And grandpa warned me about vampire hearing. They can hear everything ... or so I thought. Long Shadow didn't even hear me calling for Pam. "Is it okay to speak business out here?" I asked. "Do we have to go somewhere private to talk?"

"It's safe," she said. She pulled me close to her and not in a sexual way. I could feel her body stiffen when she went on alert. "This area is spelled. No one outside of this table, except for me and Eric, can hear what's being said. What do you know?"

"Do you know that guy?" I asked.

She began to caress my cheek. I'm thinking that it's to make people believe that we are lovers. Maybe to throw them off somehow. I was cool with it. Just as long as she remained professional. "I do not."

"Stay calm but he's here to take you."

Pam immediately dropped her hand from my cheek but began to run her fingers through my hair. "What did you hear?"

"His thoughts were that you're the one that he wants … his master wants you," I answered. "I don't know who he is but I can only guess that his master is a vampire. Either way, he's come for you. Before tonight, are you sure that you've never seen him?"

Pam glanced at the guy from the corner of her eye. "I have not," she said as she smiled. "Come. We must tell Eric." She gripped my hand but we never got to slide out of the booth.

Eric was glaring down at us and he was pissed. I can only guess that he'd heard what Pam and I had said.

"What the fuck is going on here?" His eyes were icy and cold as he stared at me. Maybe I'm supposed to be sitting on the opposite side of the table or something. Maybe he overheard me telling Pam what happened and he wanted to be the first one to know. But that's not how this works. She was here and she needed to know what was going on.

Pam stood from her seat and forced Eric to sit in her vacant spot. She pushed me and Eric together. I thought that she wanted me tell him what I'd told her. I was wrong. She was in the mood for playing games. "Master," she said. "Sookie has something to tell you and you need to listen to what she has to say."

I noticed something in her eyes and I didn't like it. I shook my head no. "What are you ...?"

"I think she has a little crush on you," she said. "She told me that she'd like a little kiss before telling you what have a right to know. Can you believe it? She's trying to bribe you."

I was so embarrassed. I began to shake my head rapidly. I wanted Eric to know that I never said any of that stuff. Pam was lying on me. "Master," I began. "I never said that. I would never bribe you with a kiss. That's not what I'd do."

Eric lingered over me as his arm went around my waist. I wish that I had come up with the idea to bribe him with a kiss but I'd never do that. If I'm going to let him kiss me, it's going to be a real kiss. It's going to be a kiss that he's never going to forget. I may be inexperienced but I'm sure that when I give myself to Eric, I'm going to be the last woman that he'll ever want to touch in his entire existence. I guarantee it. When the time comes, Eric Northman will be mine. But tonight is not the time.

"Pam has obviously told you an untruth … a big, fat lie." I glared at her before speaking to Eric once again. "And, Master, my first kiss won't be in a vampire bar with others sitting around watching us," I said. "When I let you kiss me, Eric, it won't be in here and it won't be in front of others."

His fangs dropped in place as he gazed into my eyes.

I gently pushed against him as to get my bearings. "We don't have time for Pam's games, Master. We have work to do."

His fangs snicked quietly back into place. "You are correct, Sookie. Tell me what you have learned this evening."

"There's going to be trouble in your bar tonight. Look at that man across the bar," I ordered. "He's wearing the lipstick and has the piercings in his face."

Eric glanced to his left quickly before looking at me.

"Did you see him?"

He nodded his head yes.

"He's on a mission."

That's when Pam slid in next to me. She placed her hand on mine but quickly removed it when Eric growled. You heard me right, ladies. Eric growled and his grip on me tightened. Maybe he's the one with the crush. "Forgive me, Master," she mumbled. "Sookie's gift appears to be quite magnificent. She has been on the job for no more than ten minutes and she's already earned her wage."

Eric released me but gazed deeply into my eyes. I think that he wanted to kiss me.

"Come," Pam said. "Let us speak in your office, Eric."

Eric walked ahead of us … with my hand in his. Pam trailed behind us.

Once the door to the office was closed, Eric and I stared at each other. Oblivious to the fact that Pam was in the room. I've been around men before in my life but I've never felt such an attraction to anyone like this. I don't know what it is about him. I know very little about him. Why am I attracted to a man that is a stranger to me? He could be a serial killer for all I know. That's more than likely a given since he's a vampire.

"Sookie!" Pam yelled. "Tell him."

"Oh," I said as I shook myself out of my reverie. "There's a man out there that came here to get Pam. He said that he wants her. He said that his master wants her. Do you have any idea who his master is? I tried searching his mind but I saw no face. I can't see faces unless I'm touching the person that's having the thoughts."

Eric was instantly on alert. "Did you get his name?"

I shook my head no.

"We need to go back out there," he said. "We can't let him get away."

"I'll be back," I said. I didn't wait for a reply. I walked out into the bar and there he was. He was looking past me and down the hall to Eric's office. I leaned onto the bar and smiled at Long Shadow. "Cranberry juice," I said.

"Sure thing," he said. He was staring at the guy as he poured my drink. As he slid it to me, he asked, "Did you hear something? Is that why you three went back to the office?"

I wasn't sure of what to tell Long Shadow so I didn't tell him anything. I kept it light and simple. "No. I haven't heard much tonight. I do see a couple of people that I'm a little leery of. Do you see that guy right there?" I asked as I looked at Pam's would be attacker. "I don't trust him. I'd like to ask him a few questions." I added two other people for good measure. I pointed at two girls that were thinking that they could sleep with Eric. They did nothing wrong but still, their thoughts bothered me. "What about those girls right there. Have you ever seen either of them in here before tonight?"

Long Shadow shook his head no. "Not once," he clarified.

"Hmmm," I said. "I'd like to question them. It's nothing major or anything like that. It could be nothing. I think they're just rubbing me the wrong way. I need to question them to be on the safe side. Think you can get them for me and tuck them away somewhere so that I can get a feel on 'em?"

A look came over Long Shadow's face that scared the hell out of me. "I think that I can."

"Don't hurt them," I hurriedly added. "They haven't done anything. Not yet."

He smiled as his fangs slid down. "I won't hurt a hair on their human heads."

I smacked the bar and grinned. "Thanks for the drink," I said before returning to the office.

When I walked into the office, Eric and Pam were on their cell phones. They were talking a mile a minute and in decibels that I couldn't hear. And I was fascinated with them. Even after what I'd told them, neither of them looked the least bit concerned about it. They looked so calm and at ease. This guy walks into this bar and is after Pam and it's as if it's no big deal. They don't know who he is or what he wants and they're not worried. Soon, I began feeling things that I'd never felt in my life and I knew exactly what they were. Fun. Awesomeness and adventure. Fearlessness and fight. Determination and will. These are things that I've been missing in my life. This was fascinating.

I was made for this life.