A/N: I decided to try my hand at an all-human fic with a different narrative style. We'll see how this goes! I'd love your feedback as to whether or not this is worth keeping going.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters I just decided to take them to a different era and location.
"You can't be serious," Susannah Stackhouse stared at her older, dumber, better-looking brother in disbelief.
"Sookie," he smiled his most charming smile. She practically growled at him. If he thought that charm and using a pet name was going to sway her on an issue this important he was crazy. Especially because Sookie was hardly even a pet name, everyone in town had used it for as long as she could remember.
"Don't try to charm me, Jason Stackhouse," she snapped back. "I'm not some girl you just met! Are you seriously telling me you want to sell this land that's been in our family for two hundred years and move out to California to try to be a movie star?"
Jason was nodding, seemingly pleased that she had finally understood. And he was. What he really couldn't understand was what she was getting so upset about? He thought it was an excellent plan.
The farm was like an albatross around his neck or Jason would have thought that if he'd known what an albatross was. But what he did think was that it was 1933 and the depression showed no sign of abating. Big farms in Louisiana with large families to work them were barely getting by and they didn't have a big farm or any family to speak of anymore. They had a small farm and now with their Gran dead it was just the two of them trying to run it. And even if they could have made it, which maybe they could have, he was strong and Sookie was the hardest worker he'd ever seen on top of that she'd probably get married when she graduated from high school this spring and that would help too. She'd been seeing Sam Merlotte pretty steady for about a year.
But even with the extra pair of hands, Jason didn't want to lead the hard life his family had before him. He'd seen what life was like in California in a Life magazine at the barbershop and he couldn't get it out of his head. He wanted that. And he was better looking than a lot of those guys, certainly better looking than that Clark Gable or even Douglas Fairbanks. He could find work as an actor. He was sure of it.
Sookie was just staring at him. She did that for a few more minutes and then simply said, "No." She rose and began putting the dinner dishes in the sink.
Jason followed her saying, "What do you mean no? You can't just say no."
Sookie turned from her spot by the sink and looked at her brother. He was her guardian. She wasn't even eighteen. It was true. She couldn't just tell him no, but a part of her sort of forgot that. She'd always been the responsible one, while Jason had always been the wild one. Although she had to admit, he'd come through now that Gran had died. Really trying to be home every night for dinner and working the farm more to make certain they had enough to eat. There wasn't always money, but they'd raised a bunch of chickens and a cow, so there was always food and she grew vegetables too. Sure, there hadn't been much of a crop this past year, but still she thought they'd be okay.
And if anyone would know it was Sookie; she'd been handling the family finances since she was thirteen. And when they'd ever really been tight for money for taxes or medical expenses, Jason had always come through even when Gran was still alive. He couldn't manage it worth a damn, but he seemed okay at making it. She never asked how. Sookie was way too practical to care. She thought for awhile he might have been making moonshine out in the swamps, but whatever he was doing had paid Gran's doctor bills so she could go to her rest without worrying about debt. That was all Sookie needed to know.
She sighed, "Well, of course I can't tell you no, Jason. I'm not your guardian. But don't put the farm up for sale. I'll stay here. I'll marry Sam now instead of waiting like I wanted. We can hold onto it. And then if it doesn't work out, you've got a place to come back to."
Jason was shaking his head, "Sookie, how's Sam going to help you with this place and run his restaurant too? It's hard enough to hold onto that place with people not having money to go out."
Sookie sighed. Jason wasn't wrong there, Sam had more than enough problems of his own, and she hadn't really wanted to get married without even finishing high school. She knew a lot of girls did it, but it didn't seem like a very good road toward a future to her. Of course, a lot of people these days were just thinking about next week, not next year or the next five years. And if she married Sam now, wouldn't she be doing that too?
She'd been thinking of trying to look for work in Shreveport. She was smart and maybe someone would hire her. She wanted to save some money for a while before getting married. It wasn't that she didn't love Sam, it was just that she'd seen how things were nowadays.
Her friend Holly had been two years ahead of her at school. She'd married her longtime boyfriend David three days after graduation. Now she had a baby and another on the way. David had lost his job at the Norcross plant and they'd moved in with his mother. Or Holly and the baby had. David had gone to New Orleans to look for work. He sent money home, some weeks anyway.
Sookie knew her story wouldn't go exactly like that. Sam's restaurant had been in his family since 1905. But it still had to make money to stay open. And she owned this house or she would when she turned eighteen, but taxes still had to be paid. And marriage meant babies and babies cost money no matter what you did. And she couldn't stay here without Jason or without marrying Sam. That just wouldn't be alright even in the middle of a depression when people were looking the other way about a lot of things.
Jason sensed her hesitation and pounced, "I've got it all planned out. We can sell the farm and take the pick up and drive it until it breaks down, who knows maybe it will make it all the way there." Sookie smiled slightly. She doubted that, but it was true, you could never know about these things.
Jason looked hopeful at the slight crack in her frosty demeanor and kept going. "Once it breaks down, we'll walk or hitch to the next town and get the bus the rest of the way. That'll keep our costs real low. Then when we get there, we'll have to use some money to find a place to rent. I could stay at a YMCA, but I don't feel right about you living some place different. And then, I'm going to get what they call extra work. I think I'll be in demand because I can ride a horse and I know how to handle livestock and stuff."
"You think there's better work in Hollywood if you know how to handle cows?" That was news to her and Sookie knew quite a lot about the movies. She wouldn't have admitted it to Jason right now, but she would love to go to Hollywood, not to be an actress, she couldn't even imagine that, but just to see it.
Jason smiled, "Sookie, everyone says the Western is going to be real popular for the next several years."
Her brother had given this a lot of thought, which was unusual for him. But she still had a card to play, "That sounds real good Jason, but who are you going to get to buy this old place? The bank is foreclosing on places like ours everyday. And we'll need the money from the sale to rent a place."
Jason smiled brightly and Sookie felt her stomach flip-flop. She thought she'd been trapping him, but she suddenly had the sense that she'd just been trapped. She'd underestimated Jason's desire to get what he wanted and that was a very dangerous mistake. There were a lot of women in Bon Temps that would agree with her.
"I did some work for Jackson Herveaux last month and he has some new crazy business scheme. He bought the old place near ours a week ago and he wants ours too."
Sookie felt the floor drop out from beneath her as she stared at Jason. It had all been a trap. He wasn't discussing it with her; it was done.
"He bought that run-down old plantation that no one has lived in since the War?"
Jason shrugged, "He just wants the land Sook. C'mon Sis, really what's here for us now that's Gran's gone? What's here for you?"
Sookie shifted uncomfortably wanting to protest, but he wasn't really wrong. She'd just thought herself how hard life was going to be.
"And you could get work too!" Jason continued. "You're just as pretty as any of those girls!"
Sookie laughed. She didn't know if she'd agree with that. Maybe she could find work in Hollywood, but she was no Pamela Ravenscroft. Sam had taken her to the movies a few weeks before for her birthday and they'd seen a Pamela Ravenscroft picture and although Sam had made a big thing about how he preferred Sookie's earthy good looks, she thought he was just being nice. She would have given anything to look as serene and beautiful as the moon.
Jason was quite a connoisseur of woman, and if she'd asked, he would have told his sister that Pamela Ravenscroft was a stunningly beautiful woman that any man would want in his bed. But, that Sookie, was like the sunshine and when men looked at her they felt warm and happy. She was just as beautiful but in a very different way. Probably Sookie could be just as sexy, but right this minute she didn't know how and well, he didn't want to picture it anyway. He didn't think that either of those things would get her to Hollywood though and that was his goal. Jason might not be the brightest guy out there, but he knew how to get what he wanted, especially from a woman, even his sister. Sookie sat down at the table again and said, "This time tell me everything. How much is Mr. Herveaux offering? I'll do all the numbers and if it makes sense then... I'll tell Sam that I'm going away for a bit and we'll come back once I've saved some money and we can get married then."
Jason slapped his hand on the table and smiled in victory. He pulled out an envelope where he'd written down everything that Jackson Herveaux had told him and handed it to his sister. She nodded, raised her eyebrows a couple of times and then sighed, "Okay."
Jason laughed, "I guess you better let Sam down easy. I wouldn't rush to give him a wedding date, you never know what can happen."
Sookie raised her eyebrows questioningly. "Maybe you'll meet that Eric Northman you're so sweet on and leave Sam forever," Jason laughed even harder.
Sookie blushed hotly and crossed the room to head out the door. "I'll go talk to Sam now," she snapped. "I'm taking the truck."
Jason sat back in his chair laughing at his sister's embarrassment. "Don't dent it," he called out after her. "We need it."
Sookie swore at him under her breadth and then blushed again thinking of what her Gran would say if she heard her speaking like that.