Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to "True Blood."
Chapter One: Interview
"So Miss Layla Oxley. Old name. English I believe. Originates in Staffordshire does it not?" Eric spoke without looking up from his desk.
"My Great Grandparents live there."
"Meaning they're still alive." Layla smiled.
"Terrific. I was sorry to hear about your Casino."
"So was I." She spoke almost in a sarcastic tone. A little annoyed by his lack of manners to actually make eye contact.
"Have there been any leads to the culprits?"
"Not yet. It definitely was a professional job. But I'm sure I'll find out who it was."
Eric turned the page of his book. "You? Don't you mean the police?"
"Did I say the police? No, I think I might be able to more efficiently deal with the situation."
"Miss Oxley, are you suggesting..?"
"Not at all. We're entirely different venues. Whoever did this was someone who was threatened by my casino's success."
"Glad to hear I'm not a suspect."
"Mr. Northman. As much as I love small talk I'd rather you just tell me why you asked me here."
"Of course. I asked you here because I have a business proposition."
"As you know, we're a rather new and small venue. We recently had to …let go of our long time partner and bartender Longshadow. And according to my associate Pam, you serve without discrimination humans and vampires alike in Shreveport. Is this true?"
"Good. I also understand you did a lot of hands on approach in the running of your hotel and casino."
"That's right. I tried to be involved in every aspect of my business."
"On many nights you even bartended?"
"Are you offering me a bartender position?"
"If you're willing. I know it will be at least a year until they can rebuild your hotel. So I'm offering one, two years until you go back to your own business."
"Mr. Northman if you want a bartender, why don't you just hire a bartender."
"You didn't let me finish…"
"You seem more interested in A Tale of Two Cities. All due respect you asked me here, the least you could do is show me the courtesy of eye contact.
Eric glanced up towards her.
"I don't appreciate your tone. I suggest you change it." Eric glared directly in her eyes and attempted to glamour her into complying.
"Do you understand?"
Layla glared back at him.
"I understand you have some sort of authority position in the vampire community. That's to be commended I'm sure. And you're probably hundreds of years older than I am, you've seen things that take far much longer than a lifetime to see. I'm sure like any intelligent, learned man everyone has to earn your respect. But, I know without a doubt in those hundreds of years you've been alive, someone…at least one person taught you common courtesy."
Eric looked towards her. It didn't work…he felt a little bewildered but you'd never know it outwardly.
"It wasn't my intention of offending you… but you didn't let me finish."
"My apologies then. Go on. Why do you want me as your bartender?"
"Well, we're quite selective at the humans we hire…I admire the fact that you are very young, and already you've accomplished so much, I also understand that you as well are very educated. You've made a name for yourself in your community as well as ours. Pam says you've employed vampires over humans on several occasions. I would like, to someday expand Fangtasia into a chain. A household name, and establish it much more than it is now. Us vampires however are limited to…well certain hours of operation. To expand I need to attend several meetings, make business plans, loans and all things of the sort. I'd like to have you officially working for me as a bartender. But eventually, I'd like to introduce you as an associate. Perhaps we even merge our businesses one day."
"Excuse me if I'm wrong but aren't you notorious for having a sense of hierarchy when it comes to humans?" Layla relaxed back in the chair.
"I assure you, vampires aren't like the media likes to…"
" I was talking about you, just you."
" I wouldn't be so quick to judge."
"Alright then. You know what Mr. Northman…"
"You may call me Eric."
Layla bit the inside of her cheek. He was trying to make nice.
"Eric, I think I'll give you a try. Can't say you've won me over with your charm and gentlemanly sway, but I think you're a smart businessman…Seem to know what you're doing. And I'm always looking to expand. When do I start tending to your bar?"
"I assure you it's temporary until some of my regulars become… accustomed to your presence. I must tell you that you have a rather, appealing scent about you."
" I think comments such as those are probably equivalent to a pick up line. I won't tolerate it from anyone."
"You really should take it as a compliment."
"Fair enough, changing the subject… Have you ever dealt with True Blood?"
"Served it at both the hotel and casino bars."
"Excellent. Is tomorrow to soon to start?"
"Yes. I think sometime next week would be more appropriate."
"Monday then." Eric rose from behind his desk. "Nine p.m."
"Alright then. Eric…" Layla held out her hand. Eric looked down then slowly extended his hand to reach hers.
"I'm looking forward to it. I'll have Pam give you the paperwork sometime in the next few days."
Layla nodded and left his office. Eric sat back in his chair.
"Pam." Eric called.
A few moments later, Pam walked it and shut the door behind her. She sat down and slightly smiled.
"Survey says?" Pam grinned while she raised her left eyebrow.
"I have to say, I didn't believe you, but you were right. She can't be glamoured."
"Isn't she the cutest little button you've ever seen?"
"Not sure if I'd describe her as cute. More, overtly confident and sharp tongued. Intriguing nonetheless. Can she be trusted?"
"I've never been one to trust a human. But, she is very forthcoming and she did testify for that vampire accused of killing that girl on the news. I believe she sees us as equals."
"Well I wouldn't go that far, but I agree, I think we can trust her."
"Are you sure it wise to make her bartender ? I mean, you saw her, you smelled her."
"One of us will always be here. Besides, If I can't glamour her, no one else will be able to. Let us just make sure she's walked to her car every night." Eric grinned.
"I'll have you take the paperwork tomorrow to her offices."
"Alright." Pam and Eric looked down to a snapshot of her picture on the compiled file.
"Layla. Rolls off the tongue rather nicely." Pam remarked.
"She'd make a good edition to our ranks." She suggested.
"Yes, but for now, an even more powerful ally."
"Utom bara för nu , efter en tid Jag vill smaksinne henne." Eric grinned.
The two shared a laugh.
"Glamour or no glamour." Eric exposed his fangs as he looked down at the picture.