What if Hadley had never made it to Sophie-Ann? The poor girl was very messed up, and Sookie, Jason, and Gran were very sad to hear when she died of a drug overdose. Though none of them would ever say it, except perhaps Jason, that had always seemed like how it would end for her.
So this means, no one outside of Bon Temps has ever heard of Crazy Sookie Stackhouse and her disability. No vampires coming after her, no bonds to be made. Unfortunately for Sookie, she may not be known, but vampires are out of the coffin, and even Bon Temps can feel the effect.
A/N: I don't really intend for this to be a one shot, but I have had this scene stuck in for head for a while now. If I get any reviews at all, I will continue the story. Otherwise, I suppose it will depend on how much the rest of it bugs me since I will only be posting for myself :P
That being said, who doesn't love reviews? So feel free!
As always, Charlaine Harris owns these characters, and I gain nothing from them other than a deep deserve to read about them.
PS I have no beta, so I apologize ahead for any grievous errors
Not for the first time, Sookie wished that Jason would find some control and not sleep with every skirt that sauntered past him. But no, everyone knew about Jason and his women, and now some of those women were dead. Still, maybe it would do him some good, wizen him up a little.
Of course, she knew her brother had not done it, but there were not many other things that linked the two women. The bite marks certainly did. However, seeing as Bon Temps had never entertained a vampire, the police were having a hard time coming up with a suspect that fit the description, which left Jason.
She had been planning her trip to the vampire bar in Shreveport for several days now. If the police were going to do their jobs, then she would just have to do it for them. Who knew, maybe her disability would actually help her for once?
At first, the question of what to wear was a sticky one. Sookie did not own much black, and she certainly didn't think she could pull off any of those tight spandex numbers you saw on the TV. It was so rare that she even went out, that she decided to go ahead and dress it up. Choosing one of her "date" dresses which accentuated her in all the right places, she let her hair down and put on some shoes that were completely impractical but made her feel incredibly attractive as only a pair of heels can. Looking at herself in the mirror, she couldn't help but think she had done a decent job of transforming from small town waitress to city girl. Still, she had to get past her Gran, so she grabbed an overly large white sweater, covering her bare arms and ample cleavage. The skirt was an acceptable length, so she could get away with that un-judged.
"Sookie, sweetheart, you look beautiful. What is the occasion?" Her Gran's genuine smile made Sookie feel beautiful.
"I am going to Shreveport for the evening to grab a drink." She had rehearsed this a couple times, keeping her face very serious. "I just can't sit around here, and half the people at Merlotte's think that Jason is guilty." She had not technically lied, and she prayed God would forgive her for leaving out some key details.
"I understand, Honey. Now you just be careful. I am not too keen on you going by yourself, but maybe being around strangers will help you relax. Just mind you don't have too many drinks."
"Sam called while you were getting ready; he said you can come pick up your check."
"Alright…" Sookie hesitated a little, not sure if she could get by him quite as easily. "Well, I don't know how late I will be, so don't wait up for me!" Sookie spared a quick kiss on the cheek for her Gran before she swept out of the house. She felt a little silly in her pretty dress as she tucked herself into her piece of junk car, but she hoped no one would be paying attention to what she was driving.
Taking the sweater off before she went in to Merlotte's maybe have been a mistake as she felt the eyes of several patrons roving over her. She desperately tried to ignore the thoughts that were practically being shouted at her. She ignored her brother and his friends, focusing on Lafayette who took this opportunity to comment.
"You lookin' good, girl! Where you get that dress?" Nothing like having a gay man comment on how you look to give a girl a little confidence. Returning his smile, she waved her hand dismissively.
"I've had this forever." She was suddenly feeling very good about her outfit choice.
Sam took this moment to finally turn around behind the bar, almost dropping the glass he was drying. "Dear God Almighty…"
Sookie stifled the giggle that came bubbling up as Sam tried to recover by clearing his throat loudly. "Sookie, why don't you come on back with me?" He reddened a little at his words. "I mean, I have your check in my office." She followed him, sparing a moment for a hug from Rene and a peck on the cheek from JB.
Following Sam into the small room, she watched as he distractedly dug around for the check. However, he didn't hand it to her, instead coming back around the desk as if he needed to walk it to her.
"Are you going somewhere special?"
"Um, I am going to Shreveport for the evening."
Sookie blushed at the implication of his single word question. "Yes, alone… I just need to get away for a bit." She tried the serious face she had pulled with Gran earlier, but she wasn't quite sure it worked.
"If you could just wait…" His eyes were suddenly very intense, and Sookie found a very interesting spot on the floor which required her full attention. "I could maybe go with you. It really isn't safe for you to be going out alone, especially looking like that." His hand ran down her arm, sending goose bumps across her skin.
"Sam!" She took a step back, suddenly very aware of the small office. He just grinned boyishly, but his eyes were very serious. "You know good and well you can't leave the bar unmanned." She decided to ignore his touch; she liked working at Merlotte's and didn't want to ruin it over some stupid dress.
"A man can dream, can't he?" His husky voice seemed to fill the void between them as he leaned in breathed deeply, closing his eyes as he took in scent.
"Sam Merlotte, what do you think you are doing?" His face was inches from her neck, and she could feel his breath tickling her as he exhaled.
"Just be careful, alright? I would hate to have to go to Shreveport and bust some heads." He handed her the check, and she didn't even say good-bye as she rushed out of the building towards her car. What on earth had that been all about?
The drive to Shreveport was uneventful as she badly sang along to the radio. Having gotten surprisingly good directions at the local gas station, she found Fangtasia with little trouble. As she parked, she could not help but laugh at the absurdity of the location next to a Toy-R-Us of all things. Still, it looked very bar-esque with its neon sign and gray/red color scheme.
The first vampire Sookie had ever seen asked for her driver's license. She was practically giddy as she took in the pale women who looked gorgeous despite the overly dramatic "vampire" look she had going on with her flowing black sleeves and corset.
"I haven't been carded in years." Sookie wanted to at least hear the woman's voice.
"I find I can no longer tell how old humans are, and we have to be so careful to not lose our license from… under age drinking." The vampire licked her lips suggestively after the last word as she actually looked at Sookie for the first time.
Usually, Sookie left people to their owns thoughts as much as humanly possible, but just this once she really wanted to know. Reaching out with her mind as she handed the woman her license, Sookie tried to discover what it was vampires thought about, but all she heard was silence. Sure, some people, like Sam, were not as clear as other, but she had never felt this void before.
"Holy shit…" she whispered fervently, staring at the vampire.
"What?" Two fangs clicked into place as the woman's eyes narrowed on Sookie, looking very much the predator.
Self survival kicked in, and Sookie wondered how many Sundays it would take before she could make up for all the half-truths that she was telling today. "I just… you are so beautiful." She blushed, feeling so silly saying it, but the woman took it to mean something else.
"Flattery will get you no where." The vampire's voice was flat, though her fangs were still out. Sookie could hear the angry thoughts of those behind her either at the attention she was getting or simply that she was now holding up the line. The vampire gave her one last look as she handed Sookie back her license. "Those, on the other hand," she looked pointedly at Sookie's chest and practically purred, "can open doors."
Sookie's blush deepened. "Yum…" The vampire seemed to be staring at her neck now. "Welcome to Fangtasia Miss Stackhouse, be careful of some of the patrons, they bite." Her tongue flicked to her still protruding fangs as Sookie made her way through the entrance, trying to calm her nerves and not look back at the female vampire.
Sookie was soon distracted by the "No Biting" signs and framed picture of every vampire ever cast, including some she did not recognize. The human element was no less bizarre, ranging from so-called fangbangers in all manner of odd clothing that reminded her of the vampire at the door to what seemed like tourists, some of them actually snapping pictures. Again she opened her mind to it all, disgusted by several of the thoughts that infiltrated her own mind, but she was surprised to find several more spots of nothingness among the cacophony of sex and wonder that filled the minds of those around her. Taking a moment to think on this very exciting new discovery, Sookie made her way towards the bar.
Having to press her way through, she could not help but notice how she stuck out, and she began to regret the outfit she had been so proud of. She obviously did not fit in with the black leather or velvet of the enthralled, but she also did not look like the tan shorts and Hawaiian shirted tourists who were thrilling seeking for the night. With a sigh, she settled her skirts around her appropriately as she sat on a stool.
The bartender sidled over, his straight black hair falling forward as he leaned on the bar in front of her. "What can I get for you pretty lady?" She was beginning to wonder if all vampires showed their fangs this much as his slid out. His smile made it feel less threatening than the woman outside, but she had to swallow all the same. "I would love a… gin and tonic?" She asked questioningly. Part of her knew they didn't just sell synthetic blood here, though she could see a display of it. This was a bar after all.
"My pleasure." The vocal purr seemed to be a vampire trait as well. It was odd to see a man who was obviously Native American look somehow pale.
When he returned with the drink, he did not set it down, holding it out to her instead. She raised an eyebrow at him but took the drink all the same, realizing his intention as their fingers touched. She gasped a little at how cold they were and not from the rocks in her drinks. His chuckle was throaty, and he seemed to be very pleased with himself.
Taking the opportunity of his continued attention, Sookie decided to get down to business. She took a long sip of her drink to steady her nerves. "Do you mind if I asked you a question?"
Now, it was his turn to raise a brow, but he began to nod slowly, leaning in closer. "You can ask me anything you like."
She hesitated again, knowing he had a very different idea of what her question might be even without being able to read his mind. Still, it had been an open invitation. Start with something simple, Sookie.
"I never asked, what is your name?"
"You may call me Long Shadow." His fangy smile was making her uncomfortable. "And your name, or should I refer to you as beautiful." Yeah, he was laying it on thick.
"I'm Sookie, nice to meet you." Her Gran would be proud at her politeness.
She even offered her hand, but he just looked at it, almost confused. It would seem hand shaking was not a thing in the vampire world, noted. Finally, she pulled three photos from her small purse and laid them on the bar top.
"Have you seen these people?" He did look a little surprised but to his credit actually studied the pictures.
"The women have been here before, but I have never seen this man." He held up the picture, looking from it to Sookie. "You must be related… a brother perhaps?"
She did not like the way he said it, but nodded all the same. "Hmmm, the possibilities…"
It took all of her years of reading people's thoughts not to grimace at that, but she continued on before he became disinterested. "Do you know if there was someone in particular they spent time with while here?"
His eyes sharpened to points, and she felt her breath hitch. "No, and no one else here noticed either. No one," he said rather pointedly, "that comes here notices something like that."
"Ah." The people in Bon Temps may have thought she was crazy Sookie, but she was notice stupid Sookie. She knew this conversation was over. "I see. Thank you for answering my question and the drink."
He placed a finger on one of the pictures before she could slid it away; it was Dawn. "She wanted to die… I mean, more so than the rest of them." His eyes indicated those in the bar. "Of course, we are Death, so any who come to us willingly are simply asking for it."
His pupils seemed to dilate as he focused solely on her for what felt like a minute. Sookie began to get very uncomfortable at his expectant look. "Wouldn't you like to come to me later this evening?" His voice was surprisingly sultry, but Sookie could not believe the proposition.
"Excuse me, I don't know what you are accustomed to, but I am a lady, sir. I do not just hop in bed with every bartender who makes a good gin and tonic!" Her chin was held high even as a though of Sam slipped into her mind at that very odd moment.
He cocked his head to the side, staring at her intently though obviously puzzled as if he was trying to read her mind. "What are you?"
"What do you mean? I am just a waitress." She liked this look even less than his fangy smile. Without so much as a good-bye, she took the remains of her drink and retreated to a booth in a dimmer corner where she could not see his eye watching her. Something had obviously happened, and she had missed it somehow.
She downed the rest of the drink, taking a piece of ice between her lips as if it could cool her racing heart down. After steadying herself, she began to look around again. She needed to ask more people about Dawn and Maudette, but after the fiasco with Long Shadow, she had no idea how to go about doing it without pissing off more vampires. Tangled in her own thoughts, she couldn't help but notice a very striking man with a woman standing just behind him. His blond hair and pale skin was a beautiful contrast to the dark jeans and simple vest he wore as if they were made for him. The ensemble made him look like a model from the cover of some romance novel, though Sookie could not be sure whether he was playing the hero or the villain. There was no doubt in Sookie's mind that he was a vampire, and she found he frightened her a little.
She actually thought he might have been looking at her as well, but it was hard to tell in this light. Eventually, she noticed Long Shadow being summoned, though she tried not to stare as they had some furtive conversation. The blond dismissed the bartender with a flick of his wrist and then Sookie was sure he was staring at her. Immediately, her eyes went down to her empty glass which was suddenly very intriguing. The air around her seemed to be condensing. She had felt this earlier when Long Shadow had stared at her, but it hadn't been this strong. She was quickly becoming uncomfortable and regretting not taking Sam up on his offer when the feeling suddenly disappeared. She felt her mind relax though she hadn't known how tense she was until then.
A waitress approached her table with another gin and tonic. Sookie couldn't help but note how garbled the girl's thoughts were. Not quite like Sam's which always just felt like they were a different tune than she was used to, her thoughts just seemed muddled somehow.
"I'm sorry; I didn't order another." Sookie gave the girl a polite smile.
"It is from the owner." The waitress looked back towards the blond man. Of course, he would own the freaking place. Sookie was glad she had never heard of vampires who could read thoughts. Hell, she hadn't ever heard of anyone who could.
"Um, would you thank him for me?" She had not been in this situation before and had no idea what the proper etiquette was.
"He asked if you would join him. He would like to talk to you about the questions you had for Long Shadow."
She swallowed hard, wondering if she had gotten herself in trouble. Still, she did need to talk to someone else about the girls and the owner of the bar seemed like a good bet. "What the hell?" She took the drink with a smile, lifting it in his direction and then slammed in back in a few gulps before setting it back on the waitresses tray. She couldn't quite make out his expression, but it looked as if he might have laughed.
With determination, she rose, flattening out her skirt with her palms and made her way towards him. He held out his hand when she got close enough, and she stopped dead in her tracks, feeling uncomfortable but the odd separation, as if he was holding an audience. In fact, that is was he seemed like. Some lofty version of King Arthur without the round table. Sookie had to wonder if this was what normal girls felt like as he looked her over. Not knowing the exact intention of the look and every detail he took in, she felt oddly flattered by his appraisal.
He finally met her gaze, and his strikingly blue eyes pierced through her as she did a little study of her own over his strong feature and impeccable cheeks bones. Dear Lord, no one should look that good, and they definitely shouldn't know they do as he obviously did by the smirk that now covered his face at her own wandering eyes.
"Miss Stackhouse." The way he spoke made Sookie wonder what language he had originally spoken. Something about his cadence and a slight hint of an accent made her think it wasn't English.
"This is Pam, and my name is Eric. As I am sure Ginger told you, I am the proprietor of this establishment." He managed to sound bored by it all.
"Pleased to meet you both." She couldn't stop her hand from moving forward, though she quickly moved it to hold on to other wrist as if that were her intention all along and not a handshake. Eric's lips twitched at that, but it was so quick, Sookie didn't even have time to realize it.
"Well, aren't you sweet."
"Not especially." The words popped out of her mouth before she even though, but she kept up her smile, bordering on the crazy Sookie smile.
Both vampires laughed outright at this, but it died away too quickly. "I understand you were asking my bartender some questions." Eric's voice had returned to bored, though he was still inspecting her as she shifted uncomfortably.
"Would you like to know about our sleeping habits, or our feeding habits?" She managed to actually sound annoyed as if these were common enough.
"Neither actually, thank you, ma'am." You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And Pam looked somehow astonished by the reply. Were people just not polite to vampires?
"Pam, why don't you like Miss Stackhouse ask her question?" Eric sounded somewhere between amused and annoyed.
"Please, call me Sookie."
"Sookie then, what did you need to know?" Her name sounded odd rolling off that velvety tongue.
Without asking for permission, she stepped forward, seeing Pam tense out of the corner of her eye. She set the picture of Maudette and Dawn on the table in front of them. After Long Shadow's reaction, she did not want to bring her brother into this again.
"Do you know either of these women?" She asked quietly, not having backed up.
Eric pointed to the picture of Dawn. "I have tasted this one." He said it with a little too much nonchalance, and Sookie did not want to know all the implications of that statement. His eyes met Sookie's again, and his smirk returned. "She enjoyed pain."
Pam reluctantly said she knew the girls as well, but had not had either of them. She had a demeaning remark for Maudette which Sookie chose to ignore as she picked the pictures back up and put them in her purse.
"Thank you so much for your help. I will just leave you all alone now." She smiled politely, but before she could turn away, Eric addressed her again.
"Won't you tell us why this is so important? Surely, we deserve that after being so… forthcoming." He smiled over the words, though his fangs were still retracted which made Sookie grateful.
"The women were killed in my town."
"Surely the police are handling it."
"Well, both of them had bite marks, but there are no vampires in Bon Temps."
"I still fail to see how this promoted you to Detective Sookie." Sookie couldn't help but giggle at the title, though Eric was obviously not as amused as she was. It would seem he was used to receiving full reports from those around him, not just half answers.
Once she had recovered, she decided it was best to give him the full story. After all, she doubted it could do any harm. Maybe he would have more insight. "The police aren't willing to go anywhere outside their jurisdiction, and since my brother had slept with both the girls, they have decided he did it."
"How were they killed?" It seemed like an odd leap to Sookie, but she answered just the same.
"They were strangled."
"Then maybe it was your brother because it wasn't a vampire."
"It wasn't my brother!" She barely kept herself from yelling, but her eyes held the fire her voice did not.
"How can you be so sure? I am guessing he has no alibi if they have accused him. I have seen the things that humans are capable of over the years."
"I…" She almost told him that she could see in his head that he didn't, but something about the way that Eric was studying her made her want to withhold that information. She didn't talk about it with her friends, why would she tell a complete stranger? "I just know… he is my brother."
"Well," Eric seemed to accept this human emotion though his face told her he thought it unreasonable. "a vampire would have drained them. At least, any vampire I know would have, and they would not have left the bodies to be discovered either." The cold, calculating way he said that made Sookie wonder how many times he had done just that.
"Now, it is my turn to ask a question of you." It was not a request.
"Alright." It would be rude not to allow it, even if she had a choice.
"How did you avoid my glamour?" He had leaned forward, elbows on the table as his vest sagged forward revealing the shadows a of perfect chest.
"I'm sorry." Sookie's averted from the alabaster masterpiece to look at his face once more trying to piece together the meaning of his question. "How did I do what?"
"Do not play coy, Miss Stackhouse." So he was back to last names.
"I am not playing anything. I don't understand your question." She tried not to pout, but it was hard when someone had practically called her a liar. Especially when she was telling the truth for what felt like the first time that day.
Looking skeptical still, Eric continued. "I was attempting to influence you earlier, but you did not respond. I thought perhaps Long Shadow was over exaggerating, but I have never had a human ignore my glamour like that."
"You and Long Shadow were doing what? I'm sorry Eric, I know you think I am playing dumb or something, but I don't know what you are talking about." She practically pleaded with him to believe her, she was very uncomfortable with people thinking her untrustworthy.
"Eric, I think she honestly doesn't know."
"Thank you, Pam, I can see that." Eric turned from his vampire companion in annoyance, turning his considerable attention to Sookie again. Sookie felt the strain in the air again, as if currents that could not exist were sweeping against her. When Eric spoke again, his voice was cool satin. "You will sit by me."
Well, that was just rude. "I am fine standing, thank you very much." Sookie's voice was crisp despite her discomfort.
"Pam?" Eric's companion obviously understood much more in her name than Sookie did, but the power stopped when he spoke.
"Sookie, come here and let me lick that golden skin of yours." Sookie managed to look Pam in the eye as a weaker version of what she felt from Eric, or she was beginning to guess it was from him, washed over her. Still, she could not keep the deep blush that she could feel spreading to her neck.
"Now, there is no need to talk nasty." She did not like the way they looked at each other.
"What are you?" It was Pam who asked this time. Having felt like an outsider all her life, having two vampires ask her that in one day was not helping.
"I don't know why you all think I am something more than just a waitress from the middle of nowhere…" Her voice trailed off as she heard a rather alarming thought and looked around to locate the man it came from.
"Now, if you will excuse me, I will just be going." She turned around to leave for real this time, screw good manners. But when she turned around, she bumped face first into Eric's chest. She put her hand against his chest to push herself back, but large hands completely encircled her upper arms, hastening just enough to cause a twinge of pain. She strained her neck to look up at his face, realizing how unreasonably tall he was even in her impressive heels.
"Where exactly do you think you are going?" Eric was used to doing the dismissing. No one just walked away from a conversation with him. Especially not cute little blonds with interesting talents.
"I am going home Eric. I am not some fangbangers to be toyed with. I obviously don't belong here, and I would like to leave."
"Oh, you most certainly do not belong here, but we are not finished yet." The mischievous gleam in his eye did nothing to steady her nerves, but she could hear the police officer getting anxious.
"Look, I know that man over there." There she went, just flat out lying this time. Is that what it took to be around vampires? "He is a police officer, and he works undercover." At least those weren't lies.
Eric's eyebrows raised. He wanted more information before he let her go, he could feel her irregular heartbeat but couldn't tell if she was lying or simply afraid. Had they been in a more private location where his club was not at risk he would have just found out the old fashioned way, mores the pity.
"Let's just say he isn't exactly the tourist type, so if he is here, then there is probably a sting." Again, not at outright lie, but she could not think of a way to insert the information about someone feeding on the man that Pam had kicked earlier without incriminating herself. "You may be comfortable assuming nothing illegal is going on here, but I am not and I would rather not be caught up in some police operation."
He looked thoughtful for a moment, never releasing her arms. When he looked down at her again, his eyes were still pensive, but also hungry. "Come with me."
"No, I will not go with you." She struggled a little, though she could barely move when he tucked her against him. Her struggles stopped when she heard him groan suggestively from her wiggling.
"That was not a request Miss Stackhouse."
"I will kick and scream, you will not make it out of here without a scene. The police officer may not do anything now since he is undercover, but it will be hard to explain afterwards for a public figure, won't it?" She was proud of her rationality.
"The police officer?" Eric questioned, though she wasn't sure where he was going with it. "What's his name Miss Stackhouse, or did you just make it all up?" She had calmed down enough that he would know if she was lying.
Her mouth dropped open, but she couldn't even come up with a lie. Luckily for her, Eric seemed to hear the sirens close around them, and looked to see the man obviously nervous as he inched his way towards the door to greet his fellow officers.
A word in a language she did not understand left Eric's lip, and he bent himself until they were face to face. "Why must you be so stubborn, Miss Stackhouse? Most women would be more than happy to be whisked away by me."
"I am not most women." She said through gritted teeth.
" anyone ever told you have you smell delicious." His nose went to her neck, much the same way Sam had earlier, though he seemed much more focused on her jugular. He looked as if he wanted to say, or do, more, but the sirens were getting closer. They wouldn't come for no reason, and he needed to be not in jail to take care of the legal matters. "This is not finished." His anger made Sookie's heart stop for a moment, then he was gone.
She waited as long as she dared, hoping he would not be waiting for her outside. She had no idea the strength of survival instincts that a 1000-year-old vampire possessed. Making it to her car without incident, she locked her doors and took off without hesitation, barely making it out before the squad cars surrounded the place.
Oddly enough, after her initial fear melted away only one thought kept reoccurring to her. How nice it would be to have that mental silence around her. Maybe she could find a nice vampire who wanted a crazy friend somewhere.
A/N: I am trying stay true to the original story while still keeping it interesting. Obviously, if I continue writing things will change pretty dramatically.