I do not own these characters, they're owned by Charlaine Harris. I'm simply borrowing them.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10:00 p.m. and still no show. I wondered how long it would take him to get here. He was supposed to arrive at 9:30 p.m. and I'd been waiting an actual 45 minutes as I was punctual and always arrived early, just in case. I wondered how the fucking hell I'd gotten here. Seriously? I wanted to interview a modern day vampire? What the hell is wrong with another expose' on Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson. Some coyote just ate her dog. That article would be great and would even encourage animal rights donations. Nope. Here I am. What the fuck was I thinking? No one knew I was here, no one would notice me missing. I'm in a strange hotel in Shreveport, LA, and I had no back up plan.

I'd placed an ad in the local vamp magazine. I wanted a candid, anonymous, interview with a local vamp. My journalist position mainly comprised of interviews with celebrities, but I felt the need to branch out. Since the revalation, everyone from the AVL (American Vampire Legue) to the Fellowship was spouting off with vampire life styles. However, I'd read Ann Rice and I knew the crap spewed on tv and the tabloids was a just that.. a bunch of crap. Why was I so insistent on being the one to show the true side, blow the cover, be the real deal here? What's wrong with wax vamp lips and candy coated fangs for your mouth? It's bullshit, is what's wrong with it. Little ole me, I was going to uncover the harsh reality. Why? Who knows? Maybe my chagrin with my ever boring job prompted me to promote my skills on a new level. Maybe it's the lack of effectiveness of the zoloft I'd been taking. Either way, I was unhappy and self deprecating and I needed something to boost myself. So interviewing the undead, risking my life and possibly my career had been the prospect of the day. Man, I wish I was drunk. Punch drunk. Slap Happy. Something. I wasn't. I was stone cold sober in the lounge of this hotel wishing my guest would fail to appear so I could go to my room, go to sleep and consider this the blunder it obviously was, while maintaining the continuity of my neck tissue. Yes, that does sound nice.

At least I looked my part. Mostly out of necessity. I'd just finished two articles yesterday and now I sit in my work (monkey) suit. My long, wide legged, cuffed suit pants came to my toes. The only part of my 4 inch Jimmy Choo heals that showed was the actual toe. My giraffe print blouse slightly hung but hugged my breasts. My Victoria Secret demi bra was uncomfortable as all hell and I had to pay attention to make sure I did not fall out of it. Stupid sizer at the store, I knew she was a noobie. Oh well. My matching black blazer was not my fitted one, but it was enough to hide my curves and still make me look presentable. My hair was up, in a stark french twist. My make up bland, neutral eye shadow, mascara and lip gloss. I'd not even bothered with foundation.

I looked the stark contrast to chic. I looked professional, but classy. Would this impress the undead? I had no way of knowing. Glancing down I checked out my manicure. Not a chip in sight. The pastel pink nail polish was impeccable and as I glanced at the undersides, I heard someone clear their throat.

As I looked up, I realized that this was an entirely unnecessary action. Vampires didn't clear their throats, but this one needed my attention. I looked up, and up, and up. He was pale, but golden. His skin shined like an asian pear in the dim light. He had shoulder length blond hair which was combed neatly but rested on his shoulders. No pansy pony tail there. Score one for bloodsuckers. His ice blue eyes were aloof but engaging. I noticed the crimson microfiber dress shirt he wore. Not silk, but commensurate enough with the newest trends. His black blazer a perfect match to his trousers. He wore leather boots, I noticed. Trying not to chuckle at the audacity this proclaimed. Once I finished giving him the once over, I looked up into his eyes again. His stone face changed into a smirk. Oh no, he knows what I was thinking. "Mr. Northman? Hello. My name is Sookie Stackhouse. Nice to meet you."

He slid into the opposite stool like a panther sliding into a den. He was lithe, amazing. I tried to remember he was dead, or undead, and therefore alien to me. He was my first and I was simply stuck with the shock of it. I couldn't be impressed, I was stunned. I think. Oh well.

"Sookie, what an interesting name. My name is Eric. I am Sheriff of this area of supernaturals. All are under my retinue." Oh my, his voice was made of velvet. His tenor became deeper as he mentioned Sheriff. I'm done for.

"Mr. Northman, pleasure to meet you. I appreciate your willingness to meet with me. As you know, I simply want an accurate interview with the modern day vampire. I'm not interested in re-enacting Ann Rice's book, nor do I want to waste your time asking about your favorite True Blood flavors or how much leather you wear. In return, I appreciate your not wasting my time either. If you're unprepared for this interview, simply let me know the same and we can reschedule for another time."

He leaned forward on his stool, just as the waitress approached. He sniffed into her "space" and retracted his lips to show perfect fangs. "I'll take a warmed type a positive," and he leaned his head down to gaze into the waitress's eyes. She blinked, shuffled, tripped and walked off. While still showing the same smile with fang, he slid his head upright and turned to me.

"Ms. Stackhouse. My age exceeds millenia. I am wealthy beyond my needs. I am owner of a local club which brings in more money than I could possibly use. I am Sheriff of my area and I am lonely. I responded to your ad as I think we could use some reality around here. We are out, we are about and I am certainly in the public eye. I think I am the perfect example of a first interview. I have many in my employ and almost 100% of them are happy to be so. I work hard, I play hard (he winked then) and I treat my underlings with the respect they deserve. I could think of no better person to proclaim to the world than me. Don't you think?"

He had me at Stackhouse, damnit and I was beginning to drool. "Mr. Northman, I apologize for my rudeness and my ignorance." I looked down just then, watching my straw swirl in my gin and tonic. I felt my chin move upward, and I realized a cold finger was hooked beneath it. It forced me to look up and I did. The sky blue of his eyes had muted a bit. He didn't look like a raging storm wove in his irises, but the calm waters of the Carribean.

"You were not rude, nor are you ignorant. You called for more information and I am here to provide it. Please don't be dismayed." I looked into his eyes and I felt my insides jump. Oh man.

"Do you mind if I ordered another drink before we get started?"

"Of course not."

I smiled weekly into myself. I ordered another gin and tonic and waited on his blood. "So what did you want to know?" he asked.