Disclaimer: I don't own True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries.
A/N: This is my first attempt at a True Blood fic. It's based on the show, though I've read some of the books. I haven't read a whole lot of True Blood fics yet, so hopefully this lives up to the standards. Enjoy. There's a picture of the OC in my profile.
Hide From the Sun
That was how I would describe Merlotte's Bar and Grill in teeny, tiny Bon Temps, Louisiana on the hot, sticky day I stepped foot in there for the first time. Of course, I'd come to find that the balding man with a beer gut wiping his sweaty forehead with a napkin and demanding another round of Bud from the overheated looking redheaded waitress wasn't this little hole in the wall's only customer. No, Merlotte's could be quite the hot spot.
But not at the current moment.
There was a bored looking girl behind the counter of the bar flipping through a worn looking issue of Cosmo. My ragged Chucks padded lightly across the floor, unheard over the wildly spinning ceiling fans, which were really only pushing hot air around. Leaning my elbows onto the clean counter top, I slid my butt onto a stool and waited expectantly for the dark skinned barkeep to pay me some mind.
Without moving an inch she spoke. "What can I get ya?" Her voice was thick with a Southern twang, something I wasn't entirely used to yet, being from a much more northern state. And she definitely didn't seem happy to be here at the current moment. Not that I could blame her.
"I'm actually looking for someone." Were they here? Hell if I know. But this is the only location I have.
She scoffed. "Do I look like a phone book to you?" Her eyes finally left the printed pages of an article with oral sex tips, a hard glare in them before they softened a little and rolled slightly, her magazine falling to the side as she stood from her seat and came forward. "But I can probably help ya."
I smiled broadly at her. "I'm looking for Lafayette Reynolds. Do you know where I can find him? I know he worked here at some point but…"
The girl snorted and rolled her eyes more dramatically. "But the dumbass comes and goes whenever he pleases. Yeah, gimme a minute." She came out from behind the bar and disappeared somewhere in the back while I tapped my fingers eagerly on the counter and mindlessly bounced on my tiptoes, leaning over the bar and trying to crane my neck far enough so I would catch first sight of the man I'd come looking for.
And sure enough, he emerged, looking like a Harlem god with his doo rag and glistening, onyx muscles, exposed by the tight tee he wore and the fry cook's apron. Of course, the lip liner threw it off a bit.
He began undoing his apron, cussing under his breath. "Damn, who the hell…" Lafayette cut himself off when he looked at me. "What the hell you doin' here ho?" Despite his crude pet name, Lafayette opened his arms, dropping his greased apron on the floor and I trotted up to him, arms wrapping tight around his neck and legs around his waist as I was enveloped in a sweaty, but still refreshing hug. "Ain't you a sight for sore ass eyes."
The bartender reemerged and was watching us with her arms crossed over her chest, eyebrows raised in question as to who I was I'm sure, and what I was doing here.
"You have no idea what I went through to get here," I sighed into his ear. The feeling of relief just the sight of him brought on washed over my body like the warm water of a shower. He let me go and I dropped down onto my own two feet, my friend leading me over to one of the many empty tables.
"The hell you doin' here?" he asked as he sat across from me. I blew my bangs out of my face and licked my drying lips.
"It's a really long story," I exaggerated, letting my back fall into the booth.
Lafayette's dark eyes scanned the deserted restaurant. "Does it look like I'm gonna be busy anytime soon?"
He had me there.
"Okay, it's not a long story, I just don't feel like telling it right now. I just need to start over before I get in too deep." He of all people knew what I meant. I glanced over at the bartender and the redheaded waitress who were standing on opposite sides of the counter, both looking on and whispering to each other. I turned back to Lafayette, realizing he got the hint and wasn't going to push the matter when he rolled his eyes and slumped over the table. "Look, the bottom line is, I'm here, and I need someplace to stay."
"I tell you every time we talk; you ever need a couch ta sleep on, I gotchyou." It was true, he had said that, which is why I came to Bon Temps in the first place. I doubt it was at the top of anyone's travel list, certainly not mine.
"It'll only be until I can afford something on my own, I swear." Again, his eyes rolled. "Speaking of, I need a job. There's gotta be some clubs around here, right?"
Lafayette gave me a sour look. "I thought ya'll came down here ta get away from that shit?"
Sighing, I nodded. "I know… but… beggars can't be choosers, right?"
"Honey, the only club around here is a vamp bar, and you go dancin' there you'll end up bein' sucked dry." I shuddered at the thought. "Lemme talk to my boss. We're down a waitress anyway."
My eyes bugged out. "Ohmygod! Thank you! You're way too good to me, you know that?"
"Hell yes I know that," he said with that patented attitude, but his eyes held amusement as he got up and I followed. We went towards the back and stopped at an obvious office door. "Wait here."
I did what I was told as Lafayette went into the office like he owned it, leaving it cracked a little behind him. I know eavesdropping is wrong but I couldn't help but go over to the cracked door and listen in.
"Sam! My brotha! My boy!" Oh, he was laying it on thick.
The boss sighed with a slight laugh. "Whaddya want Lafayette?" I peeked through the door and caught a sliver of the boss' sandy, sun-bleached hair and flannel shirt before Lafayette leaned both hands on the desk, blocking my view.
"I'm gonna be straight with you. My girl's in from Jersey. She's gettin' away from some real rocky shit and she's stayin' with me for now but she needs somethin' ta get her goin'." Lafayette moved back and I was able to catch sight of the boss again. He sat with raised eyebrows and a knowing smirk on his face. Obviously he knew how Lafayette was and I felt bad for putting him in this position. He didn't like to feel as though he owed people. He did what he had to do to live the way he wanted to, and asking for favors wasn't high on his list of favorite things.
"Are you askin' me for a favor Lafayette?" The boss looked rather smug as he threw his arms behind his head, lacing his fingers and creating a cradle.
"Can you give my girl a job or what?" The boss leaned to the side slightly and his eyes looked in my direction though I was sure he couldn't see me.
"That her, peekin' through the door?" Nevermind. Busted. "Why don't you come on in here honey."
Shyly, I cracked the door open more, inch by inch and stepped into the office. "Hi."
"What's your name sweetheart?" he asked, standing up.
"Nicolette. Nicky is fine though."
"Sam Merlotte," he introduced himself, offering his strong looking hand, which I took. "You got any restaurant or bar experience."
"Um… well… I worked at a bar." I gave Lafayette a sideways glance as I said this.
"Great, so what did you do. I can put you in s a bartender or a waitress." He shoved his hands in the pockets of his nice-fitting jeans.
Why did I open my mouth? "Uh, well… I…"
Lafayette grunted and exasperatedly threw his head back. "Fuck me. She worked at a titty bar Sam."
Sam looked taken aback. "Oh… so you… well, of course… I mean, you're a very pretty girl. Not that you look like you'd do somethin' like that. Not that it's a bad thing--" Sam stopped himself just as he was about to stumble over more words trying not to offend me. "You know what? How about I put you on a test run as a waitress tonight? You'll be on about four. We get a rush in at about six, so you'll have some time to train with one of the other girls."
Is he serious?! "Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll bust my ass, I promise!" What a fucking relief.
"That's what I like ta hear" He tossed me a Merlotte's shirt "Wear some shorts and any sneakers are fine for now." I nodded eagerly. "That's about it. I'll see ya around four."
"Thank you again, so, so much," I gushed as I walked out of the office. I really didn't expect to find a job that easily. Of course, I technically was only on a trail, but I can't see myself being incompetent enough not to do a halfway decent job.
I waited for Lafayette outside the office, doing a small celebratory dance and was caught, my friend looking at me like I was on crack. I composed myself and cleared my throat, pretending as if I hadn't just been shimmying in excitement as we headed back out to the dining area.
"So, he's the boss?" I asked, to which Lafayette nodded. "He's kinda hot."
For that comment, I received another weird look.
"Girl you trippin'."