Welcome to my first True Blood fic (published, that is,). I'm more of an Eric fan than Alcide one, but this is the only true blood story of mine that I'm confident in right now. Enjoy.

Chapter One: Red Sun Rising

"Where the hell is Sookie?!" Ella Merlotte demanded, stalking around Merlotte's Bar and Grille, in search of one peppy, blonde waitress. She flicked her auburn hair over one shoulder, placing her hands on her hips, facing the owner of said establishment.

"She isn't here?" Sam Merlotte asked innocently, raising his eyebrows at the woman he called sister. Ella glared at him, her arms folding over her chest.

"You need to stop covering for her, Sam. I know you carried a torch for her for years, but it's got to stop." Ella informed him, pinching the bridge of her nose in exasperation. "It's getting ridiculous. Sookie hardly shows up as is, and when she does, she's late." She continued with a shake of her head.

"She's been having a hard time lately, Ella. Have a heart," Sam retorted, getting up from his seat, rubbing her arm affectionately.

"Oh yes, such a hard time. Planning a lavish wedding with Compton, and occasionally descending to spend time with us mere mortals,"

"El!" Sam scolded.

"It's true, Sam! She strung you along for years till Bill came along! And she'll probably ditch him for someone else!" Ella ranted. Sam just looked at her, with an eyebrow raised. She gave a heavy sigh. Sam guided her to the seat he had just vacated, crouching in front of her. Ella sighed again. "I love Sookie. You know I do. She was the first friend I made here in Bon Temps. But ever since she took up with Bill, she's been a different person!" She explained to her brother. "Sookie's always been a little selfish, but now she's become completely self-absorbed! Everything revolves around her- what can be done for her. I can't stand it anymore."

Sam made all the appropriate sympathetic noises. "There's nothing we can do about that, El. But you are wound tighter than a spring. What do you say to a run?" He suggested.

"What kind of run?" Ella asked with a mischievous grin.

Sam rolled his eyes at her. "You know exactly what I mean," he responded.

"Who will watch the bar?" Ella asked, hopefully.

"Terry can handle it for a few hours," Sam answered. "So just bang around in here for a few minutes, and I'll go talk to him," he added.

Ella shook her head and laughed. "You're gonna make Terry scared of me," she complained.

"Yeah, well, smart man." Sam retorted, making Ella roll her eyes. Sam got to his feet, winking at his sister before leaving the office. Ella waited till she heard footsteps before she started muttering profanities and slamming file-cabinets.

Sam winced as he heard Ella begin cursing at his approach with Terry. "So, um, yeah, Terry...I was hoping to take Ella out for a run. She's all wound up tonight, so I thought it best I get her out of here before she comes out of the office and starts terrorizing customers and employees alike," Sam suggested to his employee.

Terry nodded in agreement. "You ain't gonna make me go in there, are ya?" He questioned, looking faintly frightened. Sam shook his head and watched relief pour over Terry's face.

"No, but if you and Arlene could keep an eye on the bar for a few hours, we'd be much obliged," Sam requested. Ella punctuated the moment with a loud, "Fuck!" and the sound of glass breaking.

"You're on," Terry said gruffly. "I'll get the broom," he added, before walking away.

Sam sighed , before pushing into the office. "You didn't have to break anything!" Sam complained.

"I didn't do it on purpose, you asshat," Ella spat, sitting down at the desk with a rag wrapped around her hand. Sam sighed, opening a drawer and pulling out the first aid kit, and setting it on the desk. "It's nothing. Just a little cut, but it hurts like a bitch." Ella assured her brother as he unwrapped the cloth from her hand. There was two small slices across her palm. Sam peered at it, using the rag to clean away blood. Fortunately, the small wound had already stopped bleeding.

"You won't need stitches," he told her, rifling through the first aid, and spreading an antibacterial cream over the cuts, and wrapped it- as Terry came in and swept up the small pile of glass from Ella breaking a shot glass. "Thanks, Terry," Sam called to the sandy-haired man. Terry gave a ghost of a smile as response. "Enjoy yourselves," he replied as he departed.

Without further ado, Sam and Ella left the bar, slipping into the woods. "You haven't run with me in ages, Sam. You've been going with your little support group," Ella remarked; as the pair began stripping down in the dark seclusion of the woods. Sam gave her a guilty look. "Even less since you've taken up with that Luna chick." Ella added.

"I'm sorry, El..." he started to say. Ella just gave him a reproachful look and shifted. A moment later, an Australian Shepherd dog with a blue merle coat stood in her place. The dog sat, cocking her head at Sam.

He sighed and joined her. A few moments later, a Collie and Aussie raced through the woods, nipping playfully at each other- stopping to wrestle every so often. It was about two hours later when the two stumbled out from the woods, behind Sam's trailer, laughing, as they fastened their clothes, before disappearing into the trailer. "I swear you threw me into that patch of mud on purpose," Sam complained, laughing as Ella pushed him playfully.

"Well, consider it payback for when you tossed me in the lake," Ella retorted. From the kitchen they had emerged into, they could see a light on in the living room. "Did you leave a light on?" Ella whispered to her brother, who shook his head. Sam went back to the door, and picked up the shotgun that leaned next to the door.

With Sam armed with the shotgun, Ella let him lead into the living room, where a lovely woman with caramel-brown skin and midnight black hair sat waiting- her dark eyes burning holes into Sam. "Luna! What the hell are you doing here?!" Sam demanded, lowering the gun.

"Who the hell is she?!" Luna responded, getting to her feet, her blazing eyes turning to Ella.

"My sister," Sam answered, mystified.

"That is such bullshit, Sam!" Luna cried. Ella just looked at Sam in amazement, before moving past him.

"My name is Ella Merlotte, and I am Sam's sister. So who the fuck are you?" Ella informed the woman, who retreated back from her.

"Ella! Leave us alone, will you?!" Sam barked at his sister, making her turn a dirty look at him.

"I don't like being accused of being your whore, Sam." Ella remarked darkly, before spinning on her heel and heading for the front door. "I'm going to stay with Tommy tonight," she muttered, grabbing Sam's keys to his truck, and leaving.

Sam flinched as the screen door slammed. "I'm sorry, Sam...I just...she's not blood to you, and I can smell both of you, your scents intertwined in here, and I got so mad... and then the two of you came out of the woods all laughing, and your clothes disheveled..." Luna explained.

"I know what you thought. I understand, too. But that doesn't mean it's okay." Sam told her, shaking his head. Luna made a distressed noise, moving to wrap herself around him. Sam shook her off, taking a step back. "That's my sister, Luna. She's been with me for eighteen years, since she was eight years old. She is the most important thing in the world to me. And that means her approval, her opinion, is just as important to me," Sam continued.

"And I did a horrendous job of getting her to like me," Luna concluded. Sam nodded slowly. "Then what happens now?" She asked.

Sam shrugged. "If you're serious about me, you have to apologize. I can't move forward in a relationship with a woman who basically called my sister a whore, if she doesn't regret it." He answered.

Luna moved forward, and laced her arms around him. "Well, I am serious about you. And I will apologize to Ella. I just think it should not be tonight, so she has a chance to cool down." She suggested.

"Thank you," Sam said, pressing a kiss to Luna's forehead, before moving to her lips. The phone rang. Sam sighed, pulling away to draw his phone from his pocket. "Hello," Sam answered.

"Why do I have to deal with Ella?! She's a bitch!" Tommy Mickens exclaimed.

"The two of you have that in common," Sam retorted.

"Oh, har-fucking-har." Tommy replied. "Yo, bitch! If you're going to stay here, make me a fucking sandwich!" Tommy yelled to Ella.

"Oh, go fuck yourself, Tommy!" Sam heard Ella respond. Then there was the sound of Tommy laughing, before hanging up.

A few days later.

Ella was behind the bar, cleaning glasses that night, keeping an eye on everything. Sookie had actually showed up- on time, no less. So that was one less thing off Ella's mind. Tara was bitching about something as she filled drink orders, but Ella was paying her very little attention.

Sam was off tonight, god knows where, leaving Ella in charge of the bar. Tommy was there too, bussing tables and making googly eyes at Jessica, the vampire hostess.

The bell on the door clanged as a man with long dark hair and darker eyes entered. He wore a leather motorcycle jacket and a smirk. He was a Were. As were the two men at his back. Tommy and Ella had both stiffened at their entrance- the Weres were sniffing the air, not even trying to be discreet. After a moment, the leader went straight to the bar, where Ella stood.

"Hello there, sweetheart," he drawled, a wolfish grin (no pun intended) shaping his lips.

"We don't want any trouble," Ella told him, placing the glass she cleaned down, and under the bar, fingering the gun resting there. Tommy walked over to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ella.

"What do you want?" Tommy demanded. The Were ignored Tommy, instead focusing on Ella.

"You got plenty of Shifters 'round here," he remarked idly.

"What do you want?" Ella repeated Tommy's question.

"I'm Marcus Bozeman, the Pack Master in Shreveport." He informed her.

"Impressive." Ella deadpanned dryly. Marcus gave a bark of laughter.

"I'm looking for someone. Perhaps you can help me. I believe he works here. Sam Merlotte," Marcus suggested. Ella and Tommy traded a look. "You see, he's been banging my wife. And I'd like to have a word with him," Marcus continued.

"I'm going to have to ask you and your friends to leave." Ella requested, gripping her gun tightly, readying to pull it out.

"I'm not leaving till I see Sam Merlotte," Marcus refused.

"Listen, Man. Sam's not here. He's probably banging your girl wherever the hell they are. So why don't you get the fuck out of here!" Tommy remarked, only for Marcus and his friends to growl. Marcus lunged across the bar at Tommy, only to find the muzzle of a gun between his eyes.

Ella flicked off the safety, watching the Weres freeze with uncertainty. "No-one comes into my bar and disrespects someone. You disrespect my employees, my customers, my bar, you disrespect me. And you don't want to do that," Ella announced in a very cold, calm voice.

"You're going to leave. And you're not gonna come back. You go home, and deal with your own bitch, and stop blaming someone else for your fucking marital problems. Your wife is the one who wronged you, not Sam." She instructed, moving back from Marcus- but keeping her gun trained on him.

She saw the flash of rage that passed through his eyes. "You got fire, sweetheart. I like that." Marcus said with a wink, as he and his friends slunk towards the door. "But next time you might not be so lucky. You might not have the upper hand. And then I might have to put you in your place like the bitch you are." He continued.

Ella had to grab Tommy's shirt to keep him from throwing himself at Marcus. "You could try." Ella replied. The Were laughed, and left. Ella clicked the safety back on the gun, and gave it to Tommy. "I gotta go find Sam. If those Weres find him, he's dead." She said urgently, shucking off her apron.

"I'll come with you." Tommy told her, and Ella shook her head.

"No. I need you here if they come back." She replied, shoving the apron in to a shelf of the bar.

"And if they do?" Tommy asked, his gaze drifting to the gun in his hand. Ella shook her head, taking the gun and tucking it beneath her apron.

"You get Andy or Sheriff Dearborn. We have the right to refuse service to whoever we like. And I already kicked them out once," Ella answered him, pointing at the sign Sam had installed upon Bill Compton's move to Bon Temps. Tommy looked slightly disappointed, and Ella sent him on his way. She turned to the window separating the kitchen from the bar. "Lafayette, you're in charge." She told the cook, who merely grinned and saluted her with a spatula.

With that, Ella rushed out the back door and into the woods before shifting. There, she sniffed around, before picking up the faint scent of her brother, and following it. Once she crossed into Shreveport, Sam's scent seemed even fainter than before. Fighting a sense of anxiety, Ella stopped for a moment, to collect her wits.

That's when she saw the wolves meld from the darkness. Weres.

Ella growled, trying to slink back the way she came, only to bump into one of the wolves. She howled in agony as the wolf wrapped its jaws around the thigh of her left hind leg. In panic, Ella shifted back to her human form, her crying strained and animalistic. The Weres around her shifted, too; and surrounded her.

With a few blows, Ella faded into the blissful black of unconsciousness.

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