Please Hold - Chapter One

Author's note: This is my first attempt at a fanfic after years of reading. It's an All Human/Alternate Universe story. I've taken plenty of liberties with Ms. Harris's characters – but I will unfortunately never own them. I don't have any idea of speed/length or timeliness of updates. I would love feedback.

As I waited for my interview, I repeated my inner mantra: Don't be nervous, the worst thing that can happen is you don't get a job you don't have. I took a deep breath as I flipped through my slim – and mostly empty – portfolio. Résumés – check. Certificates and Transcripts – check. Questions for the interview – check. First day questions (just in case) – check. I had checked my hair and face in the ladies room prior to coming into the office and a quick slide of my finger in the side pocket of my bag confirmed that I had not lost Amelia's keys. She had insisted that I take her safer (more reliable) car to the interview. I decided that it wasn't a battle I wanted to fight. I had turned off my cell phone in the car as well – rather than look like a crackberry addict like the girl next to me or fidgety like the girl across the waiting room. I set my portfolio in my lap, crossed my ankles, folded my hands, and took a look around.

The waiting room was nice – anyone could tell it was for important clients not like a doctor's office where I always feel like a head of cattle in a feed lot. I had arrived early and the lady at the desk had noted the time – so I was glad I had. Fortunately, there was a clock across the room so I didn't have to keep checking my watch. I tried to suppress my smile at the easy listening version of "Fernando" playing softly in the background. I knew "there was something in the air that night…" would be running through my head for days.

Six months ago, if you had told me I would be in a conservative suit featuring a navy blue pencil skirt and pumps in the office of Ravenscroft, Northman, and Davis Consolidated Holdings – New Orleans Branch, I would have laughed until I cried. I was finishing my associate degree so I could work in my then fiancés offices as a receptionist for his surveying company. It was amazing how much your life can change in the blink of an eye or in a skipped heartbeat. I closed my eyes willing the memory of squealing tires and a bloodstained white dress away.

"Ms. Stackhouse-Herveaux? Mr. Northman will see you now." A red-head with too much makeup smiled at me from beside the reception desk. Grateful at least to be freed from walking down that particular memory lane, I popped up from my seat with a smile and a small wave as I scooped up my bag from the floor. As I strode (Amelia had made me practice my power walk for the past few days – my landlord is insane!) across the room, I dropped my portfolio into my bag – shifting it to my left hand. As I got closer to her, I noticed she had a smiley-spacey look to her. She smiled and held out her hand, "I'm Ginger – follow me please".

I smiled as I shook her hand, "I'm Sookie."

She turned and swayed her way airily through the large oak double doors. We walked down a corridor of desks with serious young men and women busily whispering into phones and typing on keyboards. I had read that the CEO was Swedish so I had a vision of high end IKEA style office furniture. I was pleasantly surprised by the subdued dark wood with high shine marble floors. As I clicked along behind Ginger I tried to not become slack jawed. We paused at an elevator with a security guard standing not far away. The elevator dinged and we stepped in. There were only two buttons: L & E. Ginger explained, "This is the direct-express elevator to the executive floor. Usually we use the main elevators, but the accounting firm on the fourth floor is remodeling and it takes forever right now. They should be done tomorrow though."

The elevator opened on an open area decorated similarly to the office downstairs. There was a severe looking older lady behind a central desk, and two other unoccupied desks beside the double doors on each side of the open area. There was another pair of closed doors in the center of the opposite wall. I stood next to Ginger hoping she would take the lead. The angry librarian looking lady raised her eyebrows looking me over once and turning her piercing gaze on Ginger.

"Um, this is Ms. Stackhouse-Herveaux. She's Mr. Northman's nine-thirty interview." Ginger seemed flustered and rushed words out of her mouth. I tried to smile. It may or may not have come out as what my brother Jason calls my "crazy Sookie grin."

"Stay where you are. I will see if Mr. Northman is ready for you. Ginger, here are the project binders we need made for tomorrow's meeting – have them copied, collated, and placed in binders before you leave tonight." Angry Librarian handed her a two inch stack of papers.

"Y-yes ma'am, Ms. Flanagan, of course." Ginger seemed to stagger under the weight of the pile and slipped into the still waiting elevators. As I watched her disappear behind the sliding doors, I realized the Librarian – I mean Ms. Flanagan – had already moved to the double doors to the left, softly knocked and moved inside, allowing the door to close. I didn't want her mad at me, so I didn't move from the spot.

After what seemed like hours – at least to my toes in these shoes – she reappeared, "You may go in now." She held the door as I walked past her, letting it close behind me. I tried not to jump at the thunk of the heavy oak door. I turned and looked across the office with an expansive leather topped desk and giant standing behind the desk.

"Ms. Stackhouse-Herveaux – do have a seat." I tried my best to neither catch flies nor drool as I slipped/stumbled into the straight backed leather chair in front of his desk. How did I end up here?

Like it? Hate it? Should I bother with more? Let me know! Also, I have no beta, so volunteers would be welcome – I'm a good proofreader, but it's always easier to work on someone else's work. Happy St. Patrick's Day!