A/N: Hello, and welcome to this new adventure! This will be a short story (3-4 chapters at the most), but it's been something that has been brewing in my mind for a bit. Many thanks to the wonderful Asrailefay for being my Beta on this and for being the sounding board that I need when the characters get a mind of their own. I own nothing TB related. I hope you enjoy!
"I'm so proud of you, Sis! You did it," Jason Stackhouse said as he pulled his younger sister into a big hug, the proudness that he felt radiating off of him as he pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "Brigette is super bummed that she couldn't make it to the ceremony, but she's going to try and cut out of work early to meet us at the restaurant."
Sookie Stackhouse smiled, hugging her brother back tightly before letting go. "There's no need for Brigette to miss work," she told her brother with a huff as they made their way to his truck, waving to someone she recognized in the crowd of people they walked through. "Just like there's no need for you to be wasting your money on me and some fancy dinner. Its's not a big deal, Jase," she added as she got into the truck, tossing the items that she was holding into the backseat.
"Not a big deal?" Jason asked incredulously, throwing a look at his sister as they drove. "Not only are you the first Stackhouse to graduate from college in years, most likely ever, you got your Masters, Sook! And in psychology!" he added, turning the truck onto a busy road. "You best believe I'm going to take you out to some fancy dinner. Hell…I had to put a deposit down when I made the reservation months ago, so you can only imagine my relief when you actually did graduate," he said with a teasing grin, letting out a big laugh as his younger sister smacked his arm.
"You're such an ass, Jason Stackhouse!" Sookie replied with a laugh, resting her head against her brother's shoulder as he drove. "But seriously, a deposit? Where in the hell are you taking me? You know I'd be fine with a meal at Merlotte's," she added, rolling her eyes at the look Jason gave her.
"If Gran were still alive, she'd tan my hide for taking you to a bar for your celebratory dinner; especially one that you used to work at," Jason told Sookie, shuddering slightly at the memory of Gran reprimanding him when he was younger. "I got us reservations at that fancy place here in Shreveport…the one with the French sounding name that no one can pronounce. It opened at the end of last year, I think," he added, pulling into a busy parking lot. "And we're here!"
Sookie looked out the window at the restaurant, her heart aching slightly as she saw the name. "It's not French, Jase," she murmured as she got out of the truck, wrapping her arm around her brother's as they made their way towards the door. "Vårlov," she pronounced expertly, willing her heart and mind to halt any memories they were threatening to bombard her with. "It's Swedish," she added softly as they walked inside, moving to stand in the line that led to the hostess station.
Jason raised a brow at his sister as they slowly moved up in line, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her close. "If you know how to pronounce it so well, you want to tell me what it means?" he asked, though they made it to the hostess station before Sookie could respond. "Reservation for Stackhouse," Jason said with a smile, causing the girl behind the podium to let out a nervous giggle as she grabbed menus before leading them to their table. "Also, when did you learn to speak Swedish?"
"Spring break," Sookie said softly as she took her seat, not elaborating on if she was talking about the 'what' or 'when' that Jason was questioning. She murmured her thanks to the hostess as she took the proffered menu, raising her brow as she caught Jason staring at her with a strange look on his face. "I happened to learn a word or two in Swedish last year. Why someone decided to name their fancy restaurant after a week of debauchery, I don't quite know."
A tinkling laugh sounded behind Sookie, cutting Jason off before he could come up with some smart-mouthed reply. "Ridiculous, I know. But there's no changing the mind of a hardheaded fool. Welcome to Vårlov, folks. My name is…Sookie?"
Sookie's back stiffened at the newcomer's voice, nearly fumbling her menu as she turned to look at the younger girl standing at their table. "Pam?! What in God's name are you doing here?" she asked in disbelief, quickly getting up to hug the equally shocked girl. They hugged each other tightly for a few moments, both at a loss for words to say as they pulled away. "I can't believe you're in Louisiana!"
"I decided to go to LSU here in Shreveport," Pam offered in explanation, blushing slightly when she saw the look of surprise on Sookie's face. "Pamela Northman," she said to Jason, offering her hand for him to shake. "I met Sookie in Miami last year. She really helped me out with some trouble I was in."
"Jason Stackhouse," Jason answered, raising a brow as he shook Pam's hand. "You seem like a nice girl and all, but I don't need to hear about the 'trouble' that my sister encountered while on spring break," he said with air quotes, causing both girls to splutter a little and Sookie to smack him upside the head. "Hey! Don't ask, don't tell, right?"
Pam rolled her eyes a little and shook her head. "And here I thought you were exaggerating when you said you had an airhead for a brother," she said, shrugging her shoulders a little when she saw the glare Jason shot her way. "So…Stackhouse, huh?" she asked, turning her attention back to Sookie.
Sookie nodded a little, her heart beating loudly in her ears. "Northman," she replied softly, finally getting the last piece to the puzzle that she'd been trying to complete for the past year. Her eyes flicked to the double doors a bit behind Pam, her breath catching in her throat as she came to a sudden realization. "What are the chances that you just happened upon this restaurant during its hiring phase?" she asked quietly, feeling all the blood drain from her face as she saw the younger girl break out into a big grin.
"I'm gonna go grab waters and give you guys some time to look over then menu," Pam replied, completely ignoring Sookie's question as she turned on her heel and practically ran towards the doors that led to the kitchen.
Jason looked between his sister and the swinging double doors, a look of concern coming to his face as he saw how pale Sookie was as she sat back down. "Everything okay? You look like you just saw a ghost or something," he said quietly, picking his menu back up to glance over it.
"Or something, indeed," Sookie replied softly, shaking her head a little as she glanced down at her own menu. Coincidences happened all the time, right?
"Move it!" Pam hissed as she nearly bowled over a busser, glaring at the young boy as he scrambled to get out of the blonde's path. Pam was nearly shaking with adrenaline by the time she made it back to the main work station, crossing her arms over her chest as she impatiently waited for the head chef to finish his current task. "What would you say if I told you I finally figured out her last name?" she blurted out, practically bouncing from foot to foot as she waited to be acknowledged.
Eric Northman sighed as he set down his knife, grabbing a towel to wipe his hands off as he looked at his younger sister. "Now's really not the time for games, Pam," he murmured, rubbing a hand over his face as he heard his sister let out a sound of exasperation. "I appreciate you trying to cheer me up, but we're slammed both out there and back here. I need you to let this go and focus on your job. Take these out to 25," he said, nodding at the plates that he just finished garnishing.
Pam opened her mouth to fire back at her brother, then clamped it shut as she saw the look he gave her. "Fine. But 34 has an issue with their appetizers and demanded to see the chef," she informed him, shooting one last glowering look his way before grabbing the readied plates.
Eric furrowed his brow as he looked at the tickets around him. "Pam, 34 hasn't even-" he cut himself off as he heard the tell-tale sound of his sister leaving the kitchen, letting out a sigh as he tossed his towel down. "34 hasn't even put in an order yet," he grumbled to himself as he weaved through the other workers in the kitchen, pausing a moment to compose himself before shoving his way through the swinging doors. He made his way over to the table that Pam had mentioned, observing the fact that the man and woman sitting there still were nose deep in their menus. "What seems to be the problem, folks?" he asked as he came to a stop behind the woman's chair, watching as the man looked between his companion and Eric in pure confusion.
"My head waitress implied that there was some issue with…" Eric trailed off as the female shoved her seat back in a hurry to stand up, barely able to catch her as she tripped over her own feet and nearly fell. "I've got you. You're alright," he murmured, both confused and a bit concerned as the woman kept her face pressed against his chest. He stiffened slightly as a familiar scent invaded his nose, but quickly shook that thought from his mind. It was common for many women to wear the same type of perfume, right?
"I bet you say that to all the girls," Sookie whispered, a small smile coming to her face when she heard the sharp intake of breath come from above her head. When he'd spoken moments before, she had briefly wondered if she was dreaming. Hell…if she hadn't seen Pam before, she would have been dead set on the fact that everything was all in her head. "Hey there, stranger," she finally said after a few moments, pulling back to look up at the face that had haunted her thoughts and dreams for over a year.
Eric stared down at the woman in his arms, almost too afraid to blink and lose sight of her. "Älskare," he breathed out as his hands came up to frame her face, barely pausing to fully think about his actions before claiming her lips with his. "Please tell me this isn't a dream," he murmured after a few moments, forcing himself to pull back from the deep kiss they had just been engaged in.
"And here I was hoping that this was all a dream," Jason piped up from his spot at the table, his expression showing that he was clearly unimpressed by the display that just occurred. He knew that his baby sister was more than adult enough to make her own decisions, but that didn't mean that he wanted to watch her suck face with some blond giant of a man in the middle of a restaurant. "Care to introduce me to your friend, Sook?"
"Sorry I'm late! Wanted to change out of my scrubs first, and then traffic was a beast trying to get over here," a cheerful voice interrupted, Brigette Stackhouse swooping in to kiss her husband's cheek before turning her attentions towards her sister-in-law. "Congratulations, Sookie! I'm so-Eric? What in the hell did I miss?" she asked as she tilted her head in curiosity, a grin coming to her face as she saw Sookie's turn beet red.
Jason's jaw dropped as he looked between his wife and his sister, his face turning almost as red as Sookie's as he felt his anger level rising a little. "Clearly I'm the one who's missing something here. How do you know this Thor lookalike who is far too comfortable with my baby sister over there, Brigette?" he asked as he crossed his arms over his chest, trying to wrap his head around the whole situation.
Brigette shrugged as she settled into the empty seat next to her husband, choosing that moment to bury her face in Jason's discarded menu. "I'm guessing 'it's a long story and it's your sister's to tell' isn't really going to fly with you right now, Jason Stackhouse," she said after a few moments, fully aware that her husband was currently staring her down.
A loud crash from the kitchen caused Eric and Sookie to jump apart from each other, a stream of quiet curses leaving Eric's mouth as he shoved a hand through his hair in frustration. "I need to get back there and make sure my damn kitchen isn't on fire. Stay, eat. I'll be back out as soon as I can," he murmured, brushing a gentle kiss over Sookie's lips as he helped her back into her seat. "It was nice to see you again, Brigette. And Jason, it was a pleasure to meet you after hearing so much about you last year. I hope you all enjoy your meals," he added with a smile, pressing a final kiss to the top of Sookie's head before rushing back towards the doors to the kitchen.
Sookie blushed once more as she looked between her brother and sister-in-law, reaching over to smack Brigette's shoulder when she saw the shit-eating grin on her face. "So…you always said you didn't want to hear about our trip to Miami, Jase," she supplied, hoping that the mere mention of the previous year's spring break trip would turn her brother off of the subject. It wasn't that she didn't want to tell him. She just felt that some things were best left a secret from her sibling.
Jason let out a sigh, waving down the nearest waitress so that he could order a bottle of wine for the table. "Well, that was before Miami apparently followed you to Louisiana," he offered in reply as he leaned over to look at the menu that his wife now held. "Since it looks like we're going to be here for a while, why don't you both enlighten me and start at the beginning…"
Translations: Vårlov = Spring Break / Älskare = Lover
A/N: Thank you so much for reading, and I hope this little bit intrigued you! My plan is to get the next (longer) chapter up within the next couple of weeks :-) Until next time!