A Memorable Name
Mind numbingly boring.
I found myself hoping for some sort of intrigue. Anything.
Boredom wasn’t a new concept for me. At my age, boredom had become as much a standard for me as blood and fucking.
I gave up. I’d kicked my legs free of 4 groveling peons and smelled the desperation long enough.
Unwilling to suffer being pawed at by the meat any longer, I centered my sights on an only moderately repugnant volunteer.
She ‘flirted’ with me from the dance floor, the bar, her table. What made her mildly comical was that she had a date that she was ignoring to do so.
I curled my finger, fighting the amusement as her date tried to remind her of his existence as she staggered towards me in bargain stilettos.
I drew her scent in, testing. Measuring how much alcohol and body odor she carried to see if she was marginally tolerable within arm’s reach.
She’d do. She’d do better with a bath, but that involved time I wasn’t interested in investing.
She was, like all too many others, categorized as a ‘quickie’. The vampire version of fast food.
…Not what I really wanted, but available… and cheap…
“Do you have a name?” Not that it really mattered. I certainly wouldn’t bother myself to remember it long enough for her to be through the door.
“Roxie.” Of course it was. Somewhere a tornado was planning to remodel her trailer.
“Roxie, I’m inclined to blood and a blow job. Do you think you can manage the service?”
She took a hard swallow as her pulse began to race, not knowing if she was excited or terrified. I knew it was both.
I sat in my desk chair, reclining back and had to stop her before she removed her top. Some things are better left as mystery.
I had her join me behind my desk, on her knees between my feet. It was probably the highest position she’d ever be given.
I put my hands on the arm rest, hoping that I wouldn’t find myself teaching yet another insignificant freebie how to give me a proper blow job.
Disappointment and more boredom.
“If you can’t keep your teeth out of the way, I can knock them out for you.”
She lurched away from me, startled to say the least.
My eyebrows went up. “What? Have you not heard the expression ‘a blow job worth doing is a blow job worth doing well’? Relax your jaw and push down.”
After a few more minutes of letting my patience be tested I helped her.
She clearly needed a vocabulary tutorial. I put my hands into her hair and pulled her mouth from around my cock and she closed it in her confusion.
“Open your mouth.”
When she did, I rested my tip on her lips…
“This… is a tease.”
I pushed her face further down my shaft…
“This… is a good start.”
Further still, until I found the back of her mouth…
“This… is what you did when I told you ‘down’.”
Finally pushing past and deep into her throat…
“This… is what I meant.”
Her sensitive gag reflex twitched violently, almost making up for the fact that I might as well be jerking off. Her eyes watered as I helped her along, backing out of her throat from time to time only long enough to let her heave in a deep breath or two before shoving her back down.
I’d gotten annoyed enough that letting her take over again was no longer an option. She squirmed, starting to look horrified, but all the while smelling more and more excited. Typical.
Fucking her face offered no more entertainment than watching the wretched drones sneak roofies into one another’s drinks.
I finally managed to get myself close, ‘myself’ mind you… she was no more than a bleeding fuck doll…
I lifted her hand and as I made my deposit, I stabbed my fangs into her wrist and sucked what should have been a sweet meal from her radial artery.
Instead, I discovered her already boring O positive was tainted by a poor diet and recreational drugs.
She’d done nothing for me. Boring and useless. More of the same.
She tried to withdraw and my mood had soured so I forced her head ‘down’ before flinging her away. The whimper she gave me was the high note of the experience, believe me.
After using a tissue to clean her blood from my mouth and hand, I tossed the box to her.
“You aren’t the worst I’ve had to deal with, but you certainly won’t get a recommendation.”
“I… I… I’m sorry.”
She started crying ridiculous tears.
“No sense in wasting the water. You’re the one guilty of false advertising.”
She got indignant and finally she was entertaining. “What makes you such an expert on blowjobs?”
“Because my cock has been in enough mouths to know the difference between a woman who puts care into her work and a whore who expects it to be done for her.”
Bored. I was still completely bored. Out of my mind bored.
I shooed her away and as expected her manners didn’t include closing the door behind herself.
It was all the invitation Pam needed.
“Eric, there is a situation you may want to give your attention to.”
“There is a girl here. Longshadow tells me that she is interrogating vampire about missing fangbangers.”
“Not likely. She’s with Compton.”
That got my attention whether I was interested in giving it or not. “Compton brought her here to play detective?”
Pam gave me one of her annoyed nods.
“Bring her to me. I’ll deal with him later.”
I was signing invoices when in my periphery, Pam stomped in and pushed the girl into the chair across from my desk, closing the door as she left.
I sat back to look her over. Simply put: Spectacular.
She was like… for lack of a better word, sunshine. Sunshine personified.
Untainted flaxen locks cascading over her shoulders, alert eyes as blue as I remember a clear sky, her smooth skin was sun kissed and flawless.
A beacon amidst the brassy dye jobs, bloodshot eyes and pickled, unkempt flesh…
She was a breath of fresh air in my fallow chest.
“Eric Northman. I am the area Sherriff.”
“I’m Sookie. Sookie Stackhouse.” That certainly wasn’t a name I’d heard before.
“I understand you are looking for someone?”
“Uhhh… not exactly… well, I’m trying to find the guy who killed a friend of mine and another woman.” She was anxious, yes, but not quite fearful.
“And why do you think you’ll be able to solve this mystery here at Fangtasia.”
“Because… well, I was more hoping someone might be able to tell me something useful. The police in my town don’t seem to care because the women are ‘just fangbangers’.”
“Well, my brother has been with both the victims and I know he didn’t do it, but I’m worried that they’ll start to consider him a suspect. They’ve already questioned him.”
“Miss Stackhouse, at the risk of bursting your bubble, most serial killers’ families are shocked to find out.”
She became rigid and her eyes became clouded by a haze of tears. I found myself troubled by the sight. “Mr. Northman, I realize that. That’s why I’m on my own with this. I came here to see if anyone might have heard of any other victims.”
“Victims your brother hasn’t had sex with.”
She nodded, causing the surface tension on her eyes to break and spilling tears over her cheeks. I handed her a tissue and then wondered why I bothered. I wouldn’t usually.
“So you had the idea to come to a vampire bar and be inquisitive?”
She giggled lightly. “Actually, it was my Gran’s idea… Our grandmother.”
Interesting. “Is your brother in custody?”
“What’s in it for me if I were to help you?”
She made an effort to not smile at my question. “I don’t suppose that you’d enjoy the warm feeling of keeping an innocent man free.”
I actually found that worth a chuckle. “How is it that you are so sure your brother is innocent?”
Her eyes darted to her lap for the first time since our eyes met, piquing my interest.
“I… I… I found one of the bodies. I know my brother couldn’t have done that.”
“And you think a vampire did it?”
“No!… Uh, no. I… Bill said that a vampire wouldn’t have choked them to death.”
And we’re finally at the topic of Compton. “Normally, but over the years we can get creative. What makes you so sure that Bill Compton isn’t the killer?”
She winced when I asked, but a smile took charge quickly. Bright and impish. “Well then, there we go.”
“Pardon me?” Oh, now I was entertained.
“That’s what you can get out of it. If Bill is the killer then you will be able to keep it quiet and handle things yourself so that he doesn’t cause trouble.” And of course, the obvious chance to identify my intrigue in her.
“Well then, let’s go.” I stood up and moved around my desk, putting my hand down for her.
Her nose crinkled with her confusion. “Go?”
“It’s doubtful that any information on the matter will be found here. Come along.”
She stared at me for a moment and then slid her hand into mine. “We’ll need to get Bill.”
When we entered the bar area, ‘looking’ for Compton he was easily seen. He’d been swarmed by fangbangers.
Sookie’s hand was still curiously in mine and she gave it a small squeeze and then tugged back towards the hall.
“Is there a problem Miss Stackhouse?”
“Uh, no. Let’s just go.”
I almost laughed. Far be it from me to argue to spend any amount of time with that mainstreaming pussy Compton. I gave her a nod and held my hand out, directing her to the back door.
Only a moment later, she was secured in my Corvette.
“Care to explain?”
“Why you abandoned your date to ride away with a strange vampire.”
“It wasn’t a date. He was more like an escort. We had a bit of a disagreement before that other vampire brought me to you. She was kind of snippy. Did I do something wrong?”
“What sort of disagreement?”
“Uh… I’m not… like those others. I felt bad that he felt like he should ignore them to babysit me.” Oh my, my, my… now I am enthralled.
“Hmmm, to clarify, since you weren’t going to be his meal for the evening…”
She started nodding. “…It didn’t seem fair for me to keep him from them. We’re only friends.”
“How very considerate.”
“Well, he needs… I guess ‘a good meal’… is that what you’d call it?”
“I wouldn’t necessarily call any of them a ‘good meal’. But better than a true blood, if that’s your meaning.”
She nodded again, moving her body just enough for me to enjoy slight tremors in her cleavage. “Yeah, he’s had a rough week.”
“How so?” Not that I cared in the least about Compton’s state of affairs, but the more she spoke, the more interested in her I became.
“Well, he was nearly drained in the parking lot of the bar I work at and then the same drainers nearly killed me for helping him and he gave me his blood. I probably would have died if he hadn’t. So, like I said, a rough week.”
Unfathomable. “You said you helped him?”
“I uh… had a feeling they were up to no good and when I saw their car in the lot after closing, I knew something was up. They held him down with silver chains. I fought them off… Hey, it’s after midnight, what do you suppose we can get done tonight?” Oh, my… If ever there was a reason to lie…
“I’d like to talk to your brother. He might have information that would be more useful to me as a vampire than it is to a human.”
“As you said, he’s had sex with two victims. Their habits might tell us something, perhaps which vampire they might have been with.”
“Your bartender said that they had both been in your bar.”
How the fuck would Longshadow know that? “Did you bring photos with you?”
She immediately started digging through her little purse and pulled out a pair of pictures, holding them up.
I took them from her and looked them over quickly. “I’ve seen them both.”
“Did you see who they left with?”
I held one out for her to take back. “They both offered themselves to me. This one was ghastly.” I offered her the other one. “I spent… some time with that one though.”
She cringed slightly. “They offered themselves?”
“Not unlike the mob surrounding Bill Compton earlier.”
“And Dawn… What does ‘some time’ mean?”
Dawn. Another forgettable name. “Private time, but I assure you that she was perfectly healthy when she walked away from our only meeting.”
“Are they all so disposable, interchangeable?” She sounded so put upon, so incensed. Her tone was punctuated with a beguiling wrinkle between her pale eyebrows.
I shrugged, enjoying my scolding. It had been a while since anyone had the audacity. “They make themselves as such. Try to remember that they come to Fangtasia. To them, we are an escapade. To us, they are a meal.”
“Point taken. You never answered me. The other vampire was persnickety. Had I done something wrong?”
I started laughing. “Here I thought that word was almost forgotten.”
“I like it. I might bring it back.” Her sass… There is something about her.
“Her name is Pam and you didn’t do as wrong as Compton. He knows better our rules. He should have discussed your intentions before letting you interview vampire publically.”
“As I said. It was Bill’s folly. As a human, you could have gone to a human bar and behaved as you did tonight. Our etiquette is more ceremonial. He knew that. You did not.”
As conversation waned, I took notice.
Years. It had been years since I had spent so long in such close proximity to a human and smell neither fear nor arousal in obscene amounts.
She sat quietly even though our speed was making her anxious enough to hold her shoulder strap with both hands.
The temptation to slow down was there, but only in the interest of settling her nerves. I was far more attached to the idea of watching her tone…
…the way her legs moved when she braced herself into the turns… that was tempting.
She finally spoke again, surly to give herself something to do. “Uh, Mr. Northman, would you be offended if I suggested that we not meet my brother at his house.”
“I imagine that it would depend on why.”
“Well, he isn’t too fond of Bill. I don’t think it would go over really well to show up unannounced in the middle of the night.”
“Where do you suggest then?”
“My house would be fine. Or if you’d rather, we could go to my work. I’m sure my boss would let us use his office.”
I gave her a surprised look. “The bar where drainers frequent?” Being ambushed by drainers wasn’t on my to-do list.
She giggled. “Aww. Don’t be scared. I’ll keep you safe.”
I would have laughed, but the look on her face was very serious. “Your house will be preferable as long as you are comfortable.” Smaller, less crowded.
She nodded with a grin on her face, pulling a cell phone out of her purse and dialing. She leaned over towards me slightly. “If I were in cahoots with drainers, you’d be in trouble at my house too, ya know…” She gave me a wink and sat back again as her grandmother answered her call.
“Hey Gran, I’m sorry to wake you up…”
“Sookie? What’s wrong? What’s happened?”
“Nothing. Everything is fine. I found someone who’s willing to look into things and he wants to meet with Jason.”
“Wh… Well, that’s just lovely.”
“There’s a catch though. We’re on our way to the house now. Could you call Jason and have him meet us there?”
“Oh sakes! I’ll do it now. Lord knows that boy won’t pay no mind to you. Why didn’t you just wait until tomorrow?”
“He’s a busy man. When he offered to help, I took him up on it before he could change his mind.”
“Bless you both then. Let me call the boy. See you soon.”
“Miss Stackhouse, you failed to warn her that you are taking a vampire to her home.”
She winced, sucking air past her teeth. “Oooh. I’m sorry. Okay, she’s going to want to know what you did during the civil war first… then the general history questions will start.”
Impossible. In the years since the ‘revelation’ the elderly are the least accepting demographic. Set in their human ways, most of them disbelieving or bitter about their own mortality.
She suddenly looked panicked, making me realize I was staring at her. “Mr. Northman, I’m sure you know what you’re doing, but it would make me feel better if you were looking at the road.”
I found myself apologizing for frightening her and, again, unsure why I’d bother. “Your ‘Gran’ isn’t frightened by vampire?”
She giggled at the suggestion. “Oh Lord no. Bill might as well be a shiny new toy. She’s all but done a formal interview. She says that you guys are walking history libraries. She wants Bill to speak about the Civil War to her club.”
“That should be interesting.”
“Are you older than he is?”
“Oh boy. I’ll pray for you.” Fascinating.
“Miss Stackhouse, you mentioned that you were friends with Bill Compton when I assumed that he was your date. Are you involved?”
“No, are you asking me out?” Impertinent too.
“What would you say if I did?”
“Well, I suppose that would depend on how you ask.” She cut her eyes at me in a way that shifted my curiosity.
“That is good to know.”
“You should probably get comfortable calling me ‘Sookie’ first though.” She winked at me again. She truly had no idea what she was flirting with.
Sookie and I had barely cleared the top step before the front door swung open to reveal a jovial elderly woman.
She stepped out to the porch with her hand out to shake mine, so I obliged. “Adele. Adele Stackhouse. Thank you for taking the time. Come in. Come in. Can I get you a bottle of that blood, uh, Mr…?”
“Northman. Eric Northman. No, thank you.” I followed her into her house just as puzzled by her lack of apprehension as her granddaughter’s.
The women led me to their living room and offered me a seat.
“Gran! Did you get out of bed and start cleaning?” Sookie tossed her purse down on the end table and started winding the cord around the vacuum.
“And what else would you have me do?”
“You didn’t need to vacuum a room we haven’t been in since it was cleaned yesterday… Mr. Northman, I’ll be right back. I’m going to change.”
“How am I supposed to get comfortable calling you ‘Sookie’ when you’re being so formal?”
Her eyebrow twitched, but rather than saying anything, she slipped into a dark hallway leaving me alone with a woman who should for all intents and purposes be terrified of me. She was smiling as though she was hosting tea with the queen.
“So, Mr. Northman, are you friends with Mr. Compton?” Hardly.
“Not exactly. We are acquainted though. You could say that I’m his superior.”
Her smile continued to brighten her face. “Out of curiosity, what were you up to during the civil war?”
I snorted, and Sookie called from the back of the house ‘warned ya’. “I assume you mean the American Civil War?”
She blushed. “How embarrassing. That’s pretty vain of me, isn’t it? Yes. The American Civil War.”
“I was on the other side of the world at the time. I spent several years in St. Petersburg.”
“Oh that sounds lovely! What was that like?”
“Not what I would call peaceful. Russia was having its own growing pains at the time.”
“Of course. Emancipation Reform, right? It was like a worldwide neighborhood brawl. Everyone fighting themselves.”
I gave her a nod, impressed with her curiosity and knowledge. Before I had the chance to elaborate, Sookie returned from the back of the house in her ‘something more comfortable’. Very short shorts, and a simple t-shirt. She unceremoniously sat on the sofa next to me, pulling her legs up to sit on her knees.
“Alright Gran, leave the man alone. He’s here to help. Stick to poking Bill with a stick.” ‘Man’?
“I don’t mind. I prefer her questions to the nonsensical queries I usually get.”
She smiled at me sympathetically. “Coffins, capes, Dracula, Lestat?”
Her grandmother became affronted. “That’s absurd. They’d really waste your time like that? Those questions can get answered on that internet thing! I’d rather hear about what it was like to be around back then. Lestat! Pish tosh! Anne Rice and her smut.”
Sookie giggled. “Gran, you read every word of ‘smut’ she wrote.”
The ‘old’ woman laughed. “And I enjoyed it, but fiction is an imagination on paper.” It felt very strange to like a human, but Adele Stackhouse was growing on me.
Sookie lifted her hand from the back of the couch and patted my shoulder. “You sure I can’t interest you in a blood?”
I found it nearly impossible to behave, but somehow managed to gracefully decline and opted for the ‘mystery’ at hand as a topic for conversation.
As Sookie rattled on about the few details of the murders she knew, Adele Stackhouse listened carefully. I had a few questions, but nothing stood out.
“From what you’re telling me it sounds as though the killer is targeting women for being with vampire. Perhaps a variety of hate crime.”
They both nodded.
“And since your brother has known them, seen their markings, it would make sense for him to be a suspect. Unless there is someone else who has been with both of them.”
They nodded again and my attention was drawn to the vehicle making its way toward the house, blaring absurd hillbilly strain.
I was very interested in how Sookie seemed to notice the approach almost as soon as I did. How much of Compton’s blood had she been given?
She left the sofa and went to stand by the door.
“Oh Lord! Gran, where was he when you called him?”
“Merlotte’s with his friends. Why?”
Sookie made an annoyed hiss. “Because that idiot is drunk as a skunk.”
She had my undivided attention now.
How could she possibly sense that? Her brother wasn’t even out of his truck.
I’d given myself away. My interest was written all over my face…
…knowing that she’d inadvertently said something noticeable caused fear in her for the first time tonight.