A/N: So this is my very first attempt at fan fiction. I've read some great stories on here and thought it about time to contribute one of my own. This will be a Sookie and Eric Story but there will be a while yet where they are separated. I have plans to work on both POV's in the future and already have an idea of where I want the characters to end up. I welcome reviews, comments, suggestions and complaints.
All characters here belong to Charlaine Harris.
"And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time."
-Libba Brey, The Sweet Far Thing
Today is the day, I told myself. There's no turning back if I do this.
Everything's been ready for the past two days and now I just have to get myself to Shreveport. It's ten minutes past eight in the morning and I'm already anxious that my cab is ten minutes late. My flight doesn't leave until half past ten but knowing my luck, the airport might just suffer a zombie invasion. So I need to be prepared. Just then, the cab starts down my driveway.
The very expensive driveway Eric gave you. Oh, stop it.
The thought comes back again as I watch the driver pull up in front of the house. I have to remind myself again that what I'm doing is very much not running. This is me protecting him in the only way I really can. Right? He is going to be so pissed. Pam is going to beat me to death with her favorite pumps. I only hope that they will understand why and forgive me someday when I know it will be safe to come home.
I load my own suitcase into the trunk of the cab. The driver doesn't even bother to offer to lift my suitcase and help.
So much for southern manners. He is so not getting a tip. I climb in with a sigh and a door slam.
"So…airport, right?" The driver confirms it as I nod my head in agreement.
"Yes, that's right," I tell him as he starts to reverse.
"You taking a vacation?" He looks at me in the rearview mirror expectantly, after a few minutes on the road. Looks like a pretty long one with the size of that suitcase. Nobody moves with just one bag.
I look at him from the back seat as I consider what to say. I wonder if this would actually qualify as a vacation. Yes, a vacation from everything supernatural and insane. An undefined vacation from vampires, werewolves, fairies and anything else that goes bump in the night. Or day.
"Yes, I haven't really seen much of the north and what with the fall here now, I thought it would be the perfect time." Knowing Eric, he will somehow find out which cab company I used and which driver he will need to glamour information from. If my mystery novels taught me anything, laying a false trail is of the utmost importance.
She can't be going to just one place with the size of that bag. It looked to heavy for a shopping trip.
Not that you helped, jerk.
"Yeah, right now is about the best you can hope for before it starts to really get cold. Where are you headed off too?"
The farthest place that seems reasonable from where I'm actually going. "Boston." Los Angeles, before catching my connecting flight. This guy was ridiculously more observant than I thought a cab driver had the right to be. I guess he has to be when dealing with a certain type of public.
"Oh, you'll love it there. I took my kids when they were little. They thought they stepped right into The History Channel," he snorted, cracking his first smile since I laid eyes on him. Images filled his head of his two boys running onto an old ship docked in a harbor for tourists. Ropes, masts and wood were everywhere, with one mast having its sails down. At any moment they were expecting a Jack Sparrow look-a-like to come barreling out.
I couldn't help but smile back at his thoughts. They were warm memories for him. Nothing in Bon Temps was really old when you think about it. It was barely a hole in the road during the Civil War. No, anything old in Bon Temps could really only be found after sunset. Still, it would be nice to see Boston, if I were actually going there. "I've always wanted to go there and I can't wait to see the coast and the Atlantic."
We chat for a little while longer about some of the things he did in Boston, while his thoughts fill me with images of the streets and his family running around the city. Someday, I will go to Boston, I say to myself, with a little smile. And not because some vampire wants me to read humans for them, I thought. They could go fly a kite, for all I care.
The rest of the journey was spent in silence, while I thought about what I'm getting myself into by doing this. I think I've covered all my bases. No one should be able to trace me, at least not for a while.
At the end of June I acquired a new ID for myself. It took me about two weeks to realize what I needed to do and where to find the right people. It took an additional three months to do all my research, buy my tickets and prepare everything.
I hated being sneaky about everything and there were a few close calls where I thought I recognized people I knew when I'd go out looking for the right person. Thankfully, they didn't notice me. There were also times when I thought if I just told Eric what happened and what I was planning he might at least try to see things from my perspective. Ha. Not effing likely.
On days I knew that he would be at Fangtasia, I started to scout around other nightclubs in Shreveport, listening. I was listening to the thoughts of hundreds of people per night, waiting for the right person who could be my ticket to a new identity. Most nights I came home with terrible migraines. Money wouldn't be a problem for me this time since I still had what I earned in Rhodes, Claudine's money and some extra I had saved up. There was still a good chunk left from when Eric stayed here during his fugue state.
I found him at a club called Shade. His name was Daniel and he made a nice business of supplying counterfeit IDs, laundering money and having a hand in a few casinos.
I was able to ascertain from his thoughts that between his dealings with dirty politicians and the vampires that used him to keep some of their business transactions secret, he never worried about law enforcement because he had enough dirt on the higher ups to bring anyone of them down with him and enough vampire muscle to make a few people disappear quietly. I haven't even talked to him yet and I already didn't like him. So much for giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Then again, he is a criminal. His thoughts also told me that he was arrogant and his belief that he was above the law would someday soon get him into a lot of trouble. Also, playing to his ego would get me what I needed.
Pfff…men and their egos. Ain't that always the same.
I put on my southern manners with an added tipsy twist when I approached him. We talked briefly about the club before I went into the mentally prepared speech I had for why I needed his services, that I wasn't a cop and that I needed them done quickly and quietly. Gran would be rolling over in her grave if she could see the way I was acting and what I was doing. Not to mention if anyone saw me who knew me or Eric. I hate lying to people and hated having to give half truths about anything but I've realized that sometimes you just have to adapt to circumstances. Being surrounded by vampires for the last few years taught me that. So this is me…adapting to circumstances.
I told him I had some vampires after me. I said that one of them tried to kill me and I needed to get away from him.
When he asked me why the vampire wanted me dead, I told him it was because I wouldn't do what he wanted, that I wouldn't leave with him. All of that was true. I just left out the rest about Felipe and Victor scheming to get me away from Eric, about Victor wanting to destroy Eric and take Louisiana for his own and about using me to control him.
I told him that I heard it on good authority that he was the best in Louisiana and other vampires speak highly about him. And bless his criminally negligent heart; he agreed to make me a new Louisiana ID with a different name and address in Shreveport, a new passport with the same information, a new social security number and even new birth records.
The only reason I was prepared for the price he named was because I was able to pick it from his head right before he told me. I also gleaned from his head that it was a fair price. He didn't get where he is by having a reputation for greed. I had to pretend and tell him that I would think about but told him I would contact him the next day with my answer. I wouldn't risk calling him from my home phone, or my cell, so I asked Sam for a few minutes during my break to make a private call in his office where I accepted the amount and agreed to meet him on my day off to work out details.
I was jolted out of my memories with my arrival at in front of the terminal. This time the driver helped me with my bag. I caved and gave him his tip. He had kids, after all. Although, they were probably in college by now.
Just entering the terminal made my heart start hammering like crazy and my head start to cave. Thoughts of flight times and remembered toothbrushes, children's books and security protocol start filling my head before I can slap my shields together. There's still time to go back home. It's barely nine and I could pretend I never did any of this. No. No…Sookie Stackhouse, you are no quitter. You are a survivor and you will get yourself together.
I take my newfound confidence and march on over to my check in desk. What if they recognize my ID is a fake? They'll call security and arrest me, that's what. What if they notice my wig?
Don't be nervous, Sookie. Do not act nervous. I take a deep breath and step up to desk with a big smile. "Good morning ma'am. How are you today?" Excited, yes. Nervous, no.
She smiles back at me. She is way too happy this early in the morning. Fifteen minutes until I can get some caffeine in me. "Good morning, I'm doing well. And yourself?" She extends her hand for my itinerary.
Giving her my new ID and flight information, I continue to smile, "I'm doing great. I'm a bit of nervous flyer though. I've never flown this far. I could also really use some coffee to give me a jumpstart before I just fall asleep right here at your counter." Stop talking, Sookie. I take that as my moment to lift my suitcase on to the scale.
One way. Not too many people going one way from here with so little luggage. The attendant smiled at me. "Not to worry. Statistically, flying is one of safest modes of transportation. Safer than driving, any day,"she states, smoothly. Honestly, when will people realize that driving is ten times riskier than flying?
She tickets my luggage for Los Angeles while my heart starts pounding again. My hands are a little shaky, so I try to keep them out of sight from the check it girl. "Yes, I remember reading that somewhere. Still, it makes me nervous." At least if I can pass my nerves as a fear of flying that will make things easier.
She smiled slightly again. "Is Los Angeles you final destination?" Her concentration was focused on filling in the information on her screen. She needed to know whether I would be continuing, so they could track me in their system if there's a problem.
Since my other flight is with a different airline, I figure that would require different information through a different company. They wouldn't share that kind of information on passengers unless it was requested. At least, I hope not.
"Yes." For approximately six hours. Enough time to claim my suitcase, head toward the airline for my next departure, eat and wait to board the plane. Since, all my previous flight experiences had been on Anubis and what I guessed was not the normal airline treatment; I had no idea what to expect this time on a regular flight. I booked an economy seat in my effort to conserve funds since it was only a few hours to L.A. and an upgraded seat for my longer flight.
Finally, after being handed my ticket and walking away with only my purse and carryon left, my nerves began to slow. Security wasn't nearly as bad as the stories I've heard and doing everything the guard wanted, I was through line in just a few minutes.
It was nearing ten now and I was able to find my gate without much difficulty. Waiting to board though started my heart racing while I looked around at every face that passed wondering if someone knew what I was up to. Claude! Crap, I knew I forgot something. Dialing his number, I was elated to get his voicemail. I was almost positive I would since it was still early enough that he'd be sleeping off last night.
"Hi Claude, its Sookie. I'm sorry to call so early but I wanted to ask you if you could stop by Bon Temps tonight instead of Monroe. I left something for you and Dermot in the kitchen. It's important that you get it either today or tonight. I won't be there when you get to the house so you won't have to expect me. Also…Eric might also show up at some point during the night. Probably early, knowing him. So you should…be prepared…for that.
"Anyway, that's about it. I'll talk to you soon…be safe."
It wasn't until the plane had taken off that I felt myself relax and drift off to sleep. There was plenty of mind chatter on the plane but it was mostly of the mundane business sort. In my sleep deprived state it took me longer to block it out but eventually I drifted off. I managed to get about two hours of rest last night before my nerves got the better of me. I spent the rest of the night going over everything in my suitcase, making sure every document was in my purse and my letters were placed for Claude, Dermot and Eric. I had made sure that for the past few nights, Claude and Dermot would stay in Monroe. I arranged for some time off with Sam, even though he wasn't pleased about it. In a few days I'll have to call him and let him know I won't be coming back for a while and if he could tell Jason. As much as I love my brother, he wouldn't understand why Eric's protection of me just isn't enough.
As much as I wanted to believe Eric would always be able to protect me it took what Pam said for me to realize that there was no simple way out of danger between the three of us. And from what Pam said, Eric wasn't thinking as clearly as he used to since I came into the picture. My Viking needed his head squarely on his shoulders, in more ways than one, if he was going to go after Victor…and maybe Felipe.
I woke just as we began our decent into Los Angels. I needed to make my way to bathroom and make sure my wig still looked like my real hair. It was real hair, dark chestnut in color and went about two inches below my shoulders. I had used it when I took the photo for my new ID. When I landed, I planned to find a salon to cut and style my hair so that it looked similar to the one in the photo.
After landing and getting my suitcase, I made my way to check in with my next flight and went through security again. Even though I had made it through the first flight without problems, I was still on edge because this time I would have to show my fake passport. There were no suspicious thoughts from the man behind the check in counter, thank god, and I shouted a thank you in my head to Daniel for being as good as he claimed to be.
It was a little after four-thirty in the afternoon Louisiana time when I found myself a little café to get a coffee and a sandwich. I cannot believe how gargantuan this airport is. All of the Shreveport airport could fit inside LAX, planes included and there would still be room for more.
I had a text from Claude waiting when I turned my phone back on. Dermot and I will be there around 5 and we will leave before the vampire arrives.
Crap! That's in half an hour. I can't answer my phone now. I watched too much CSI to know someone can figure out where you are from your phone's location. I decided, best to keep it on silent for now. Well at least I don't have to worry about Eric going berserker on them when he finds out.
As if my luck couldn't get any better, I spotted a hair salon while I was moving through the duty free shops. Leave it to L.A. to have a hair salon in an airport. Perfect! Now I won't have to wear that damn wig the whole flight.
Stepping into a bathroom, I pull out the pins in my hair and throw the wig into my carry on. I run my brush through my hair before twisting it up and under one of Jason's old baseball caps.
No one needs to see a brunette walk out as a blonde, only to walk out of a salon a brunette again.
In the salon, I tell the girl how I want my hair trimmed and colored and she frowns at me while I catch her thoughts.
Beautiful blonde hair and she wants to go dark? Does she even know how many people would kill for hair like hers? What is she thinking? "Are you sure you want to go that dark?" California practically worships blondes. "It'll be months before it starts going back to its natural color." She looked concerned for me. As if I was making an impromptu (another word-of-the-day) decision.
"I'm positive. I need a change." I don't want to color my hair. And I know how many people would kill for it.
"Alright, follow me," she sighed. At least I can give her some nice definition and some layers. Highlight in the color would be perfect.
I couldn't help but smile. At least her thoughts were enthusiastic.
By the time my new look was finished I was mentally preparing myself to look not like Sookie Stackhouse. I needed to look like the woman in my new photo. I needed to look like Sabrina Summers. At least Tara would have found my choice of last names funny.
After I left, I found a lounge to wait in until it was time to board. I grabbed one of the books I'd stowed in my carry on and began reading. Since I couldn't bring library books with me, I bought this one. It was on the staff recommendation shelf in the Shreveport Barnes & Nobel entitled Blood Hollow by William Krueger.
I didn't realize how long I was reading until my purse started to vibrate on my lap. Sunset had come in Louisiana and I hadn't realized it.
I couldn't help my hands starting to shake and dampen. My heart started to hammer again as I reached for the phone in my purse. I knew who it would be of course, before I even looked at the caller ID.
A/N: And there you go! Chapter 1 of my first fan fic. There is a lot to come in the future.
Will Sookie answer Eric's call?
Where is she really going and why?
What's waiting for her at the other end of her plane ride?
Mystery! Vampires! Fairies! Oh My!
Please remember to review!