I walk through the doors of the Shifter’s bar and it is as if time stops for all inside. Everyone stops to stare at me and I can’t help smirking in response. The women stare at me hungrily while the men stare at me enviously; they all either want to be me or they want to be with me. My eyes scan the interior looking for the Stackhouse girl, but I do not see her. I do however see the Shifter; he is tense behind the bar, wondering why I am there. It is none of his business why I am here; I do not have to clear my plans with him. One of the waitresses comes rushing towards me, fluffing her hair as she swings her hips. I recognize her as one of the fangbangers from Fangtasia; she had just offered herself to me a few days ago. Given the vapid, pathetic humans in the bar, she was the best of what was available. She wasn’t the worst I’ve had, but she wasn’t the best either; I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m the best she’ll ever have.
The brunette stops ridiculously close to me, her breasts brushing my chest with every heaving breath she takes. Desperation is not a turn on, but I guess they don’t teach that at “How to be a Whore” ettiquette school. “Hey handsome,” she says in what she thinks is her most seductive voice. “To what do we owe this unexpected pleasure? Where you hoping to enjoy some of the local flavor here at Merlotte’s?” She asks her question while sliding one of her fake red fingernails down her throat. I wish I had brought Pam with me; it would have been entertaining to listen to Pam’s digs towards this pathetic bloodbag. A human would have to be something truly extraordinary or have the most exotic blood in order for me to favor them with my attentions a second time or to come looking for them specifically; the trash in front of me has none of these qualities.
Deciding I don’t want to waste my time here a minute longer than I have to, I catch the brunette’s gaze and begin my glamour of her. “I have no interest in you this evening and you will leave me alone,” I speak quickly and quietly so the others do not hear. Before releasing her from my glamour, I take a step back so she is no longer in my personal space. Once my hold over her is gone she asks me if I would like a booth or a table. I tell her I want a booth in Miss Stackhouse’s section. The brunette makes a face but escorts me to a booth along the wall furthest away from the gawking patrons. Once I am seated it is as if someone hits the play button on the DVD player because everybody resumes what they were doing before my arrival. Or they try to anyway. A group of men resume their game around the pool table, the patrons at the tables continue eating what is supposed to pass for food, and the waitresses continue to move among their customers. There is one woman, though I am being generous in calling her that, watching me suspiciously. She looks like Jabba the Hutt with the make-up of Tammy Faye Baker. I flash my fangs and she scurries out of her chair, dragging one of the men that had been playing pool with her. Chuckling to myself, I continue to sit for a few minutes waiting for Miss Stackhouse to appear. I wonder if she is this inattentive of all her customers; it’s a wonder she makes anything in tips.
“What are you doing here this evening Sheriff?” The Shifter has left his position behind the bar to come over and speak with me. He is standing uncomfortably beside my booth, maintaining what he considers to be a safe distance. Many of the patrons are trying to watch us covertly, but they are not trained in the art of subtlety.
“My business is not with you this evening,” I say dismissively. My lips curl in a sly grin before continuing. “Why don’t you run along and go mark your territory somewhere else?” I know the Shifter has an affinity for changing into a Border collie; someone obviously watched one too many episodes of Lassie as a child. It amuses me to tease Weres and Shifters about their otherness since they are still in the dark as it were.
His hands curl into tight fists by his sides and his body shakes with tension. He demands again, “Why are you here?”
The smile drops from my face and I lean towards him slightly. My voice is soft but that does not diminish the harshness of tone. “My business is not with you Shifter. You would do well to remember that I do not answer to you. Now, be a good boy and find my waitress.” The Shifter stomps off towards the kitchen, barking orders at his staff to get back to work.
A few more minutes pass before a breathless, bubbly female voice breaks into my thoughts. “I’m so sorry it took so long for me to get to you! I was out back on my break and no one told me you were here. Welcome to Merlotte’s; my name is Sookie. What can I getcha?”
My eyes are drawn to the woman beside my booth. She is a tiny one; I am easily a foot taller than her. The thin white t-shirt clings tightly to the curves of her breasts which are rising and falling rapidly, as if she had run in to get to my table. My eyes drift down to the black shorts which emphasize the golden color of her shapely legs and hug the firm globes of her buttocks. And her scent . . . even over the stench of stale beer and grease I can smell the honey and sunlight wafting off her skin. My fangs and cock throb again seeing her up close; she is quite mouth-watering.
Miss Stackhouse shifts nervously on her feet and has a tight smile on her face. My perusal of her body has made her uncomfortable; I know several ways to ease her tension…focus Northman! This is a business arrangement, nothing more! I know Sophie-Anne won’t care if I feed and fuck from her pet’s family, but I don’t think Brigant will be as tolerant. The last thing I need is for him to claim a blood offense.
My eyes finally meet hers; her eyes are troubled and the color reminds me of sapphires. Her lips move into a tight, uncomfortable smile as my silence continues. “If you need more time, I can come back.” She shifts uncomfortably on her feet again, looking ready to flee. I need to stop staring at her like a perverted asshole or else she will run away. “Do you have any of that synthetic blood?” Not that I have any desire to drink it; True Blood tastes worse than pig’s blood poisoned with silver and left to rot for a week. I wouldn’t know what that tastes like but I did use it to torture a vampire once; I feel nostalgic thinking about the good old days. When a vampire could be true to his nature and didn’t have to act like a pussy because of social media backlash. Pam wants me to be trending because the fangbangers want to fuck me, not because I went on a homicidal rampage in Bumfuck, Louisiana.
The tightness of her smile eases and she looks apologetic as she replies. “Um, no I’m so sorry we don’t. Sam bought some years ago when y’all revealed yourselves, but it went bad.” She bites her lower lip and it takes every ounce of control for me not to growl. I want to bite that lip; I want to know what she tastes like, see if she feels as soft as she looks. She steps forward and whispers, “You’re our first vampire.” I’ll be her first and last vampire if I have any say about it.
Wait, what the fuck was that? Where the hell did that come from? Shaking my head to rid myself of these thoughts, I turn my focus back to her. “Just bring me something alcoholic to drink.” I don’t care what it is, but if I don’t order something I’m sure the Shifter will try to bounce me from his bar…hmmm, maybe I won’t order anything after all. I could use a good brawl to clear my head.
She cocks her head to the side reminding me of the Chihuahua Pam insisted on buying after seeing that ridiculous movie about a blonde college girl that ended up going to Harvard Law School. She thought the Chihuahua in her purse was the latest fashion accessory. However, Pam’s fascination with the dog didn’t last once he started chewing on a pair of pumps. She was going to punt the dog across a field like a football, but I made her glamour one of the waitresses at Fangtasia to take care of the dog. I couldn’t fault the dog for doing something in its nature, just as I wouldn’t fault a newly risen vampire for not knowing how to control their impulses. “I thought y’all only drank blood,” she says to me.
I can’t help the smirk that settles on my face as my eyes moving hungrily over her body. “Oh there a few other fluids I enjoy drinking.”
The smile drops from her face as her hands curl into fists. She places her hands on her hips and retorts angrily, “I’m not gonna listen to any nasty talk. I am a lady and deserve to be treated as such!” She stomps off towards the bar, I’m assuming to get me a beverage. Her reaction is interesting; I’ve had women pretend to be angry with my advances but usually it is part of the cat and mouse game we play that ends up with us fucking. Something tells me that Miss Stackhouse’s reaction is not an act; she is truly offended by what I said. My eyes drift to where she is leaning against the bar, talking in hushed whispers with the Shifter and another woman behind the bar. They are talking quietly so as not to draw attention, but my vampire hearing allows me to know that the Shifter is questioning her; he wants to know why I’m here. The two behind the bar both caution Miss Stackhouse to avoid me, but she waves them off, saying she’ll be fine and can handle me. I have something she can handle…
The Shifter passes her what looks to be a beer and she storms over to my table with it. For all her agitation, she sets the beer gently on my table. “Do you need anything else?” Professionalism outweighs her irritation with me and I find myself admiring her spirit.
“Please,” I gesture towards the vacant bench across from me, trying to appear pleasant with a small smile on my face. “Sit. I would like to talk to you.”
She shakes her head no at me. “Thanks but I’m working; I’m not allowed to sit with the customers. Besides I have other customers I need to take care of.” She tries to move away but I have a hold of her wrist before she can turn her head to look away. I do not wish to hurt her, merely keep her from walking away. The Shifter moves from behind the bar and a few of the men stand up from their chairs seeing me holding her wrist.
“Sook?” A man that I recognize as Miss Stackhouse’s brother comes up beside her, his expression angry and his hands curled into fists by his side. I have to give him credit for being willing to defend his family, even if it would be a foolish endeavor in this case. “Is this asshole botherin’ ya?”
“Northman, get your hands off my waitress and get outta my bar!” The Shifter stands on the other side of Miss Stackhouse, his face mottled with anger, his pupils glowing slightly as he tries to fight the need to shift.
“Wait! Northman? Are you Eric Northman?” Miss Stackhouse’s expression changes from hostile to confused, though the tension in her body seems to increase hearing my name.
“Yes, I am Eric Northman.”
Her eyes flick down to her wrist then back to my face. I nod at her silent request and release her from my grasp. She turns to pacify her brother and the others in the bar by saying it is all a misunderstanding, nothing to be concerned about. Her brother shrugs his shoulders and asks her to bring him and his friends another pitcher when she gets a chance. The Shifter is harder to defuse, but he ends up stomping back to his office and slamming the door. He’s either calling for back up or looking for a stake. As long as he is no longer interfering with my attempts to speak with Miss Stackhouse, I don’t give a fuck where he goes. She gestures that she needs a minute and checks on her other tables. If I doubted her telepathy before, I do not now. Even the most skilled of waitresses is not able to fulfill all their customers’ requests without being asked; she brings refills, condiments, and checks all without being asked. If this is how she wants to use her telepathy, I will hire her at Fangtasia; she’d make a killing.
Once it appears that there is a lull among her tables, Miss Stackhouse fills a glass of water and comes to sit down in the vacant half of my booth. “You mind tellin’ me why you’ve been havin’ my family followed for over a week?”
“What makes you think that?” I thought I had made it clear that everyone was to maintain their distance from the Stackhouse family; no one was supposed to make contact. Heads are going to roll when I find out who fucked up my orders.
Her poker face is nearly as good as mine, because I cannot get a single clue as to what she is feeling. Most humans would fidget out of nerves or fear; a human’s smell also changes based on the emotions they are feeling, the more negative the emotion, the more pungent the odor gets. But I’m getting nothing from Miss Stackhouse; it’s like dealing with a vampire. “I may be blonde but I’m not stupid,” she says derisively. “You’ve had people followin’ me, my brother, and my Gran. Why?”
Looking around the bar, I see that we are still the focus of some of the patrons remaining as well as the waitress I previously fucked. The Shifter has resumed his post behind the bar, staring at me with open hostility. This is not something I want to discuss in front of others. “It’s a private matter. Can we discuss this later?”
She nods her head in understanding and takes a long drink of her water. “Bar closes at 2; I should be done shortly after.”
I nod and rise from my seat. I pull my wallet out and drop a $50 on the table. “I’ll see you at 2,” and vamp out the door.