AN: This one shot is my first ever piece of fanfiction, so be gentle with me, LOL. Reviews are appreciated, just be constructive with criticism. All the photos I took myself in Sturgis and the surrounding area. The leather clothing mentioned can be found at http://www.bikercrap.com. I didn’t want to infringe on any copyright so did not include photos of this stuff.
Major Thanks to a Fabulous Beta Joyindenver! She was a great help and got back to me very fast, even with the tons of mistakes and work this needed. Any remaining mistakes are all mine since I added a bunch of stuff after she got through with it.
Disclaimer: Things I own: One laptop, one old dog, some family photos, and lots of bills. Things I Do Not Own: Sookie Stackhouse, Eric Northman, SVM, or True Blood. I intend no copyright infringement and make no money from this story.
My name is Sookie Stackhouse, and I’m Eric’s.
As for how I met Eric, I have to tell you about my hometown. You can tell by my accent I’m not from Louisiana. I love it here, but it’s not where I grew up.
There’s just a couple of things you need to know about my hometown, Sturgis, South Dakota. Its a small farm and ranching community tucked in a valley of the Black Hills surrounded by mountains, a forest, lakes, lots of history, amazing scenery, wildlife, and more mountains.
Wild Bill Hickok, Poker Alice, and Calamity Jane all traveled the same twisty, winding roads that still cut through these mountains. Around here we measure distance in fractions of time. For example I can tell you Deadwood is thirty minutes up the hill.
Most of us in Sturgis, knew about vampires long before they came out of the coffin, or at the very least had a strong suspicion of something Other about some folks. Every August the sleepy town of Sturgis became a very large, active, strange place. For one week motorcycles and black leather invaded. Sturgis was host to one of the world’s largest motorcycle rallies. Picture roughly one million Bikers squeezed into our small town. The one main street going through town, Main Street, was barricaded to all except motorcycle traffic and pedestrians, for miles. Vendors flanked every square foot along the sidewalks, selling t-shirts, motorcycle parts and accessories, tattoos, food. Just about anything you can think of, you could find a booth selling it.
Some vendors were regulars; they came every year and set up in the same spot year after year. One of these was a tall blonde man. Eric. I had been working for him every year since I was 16. Gran didn’t like me working downtown but we needed the money too bad. Usually after he had all his leftover stuff packed to take home with him, he’d say “See you next year, Sookie.” or something like it. That meant he wanted me to work for him again.
I suspected Eric was Other from the beginning. I had nothing concrete to base this on, other than the fact that he glowed, but I was the only one who could see that. I didn’t really care too much that he was different; I am too. Plus, besides the normal high school drama, Sturgeons were a pretty accepting bunch. Someone asked me about him once.
“You gonna work downtown this year, Sookie?” Tara asked. She was a co-worker, and a friend, if you squinted real hard and kinda looked out the corner of your eye at our relationship. I like Tara ’cause she always tells you what she thinks. It’s just usually pretty negative. “Laffy said he was gonna work at that same tattoo shop again this year.”
“Of course he is. He gets a free tatt every year on top of gettin paid.” I said. Lafayette, Laffy to his friends, was Tara’s cousin and one of the only real friends I had. He and I were both cast-offs in school and looked after each other best we could. He was gay, I was called Crazy Sookie. Laffy was one of the lucky ones. He got a scholarship to some cooking school in New York and got out of here but he still comes back to work Rally every year. “And yes, I’m working downtown again. I can’t afford not to, you know that.”
“Let me guess, you’re gonna work for that same tall, blonde guy again. He’s weird Sookie. Only ever comes in at night.” Tara told me quite forcefully.
“He’s not weird, Tara. Just different. And so what if Eric works nights. So do you. Makes you weird too I guess, huh? I just hope I get to take vacation this year. It’s kinda killer working both places.” Vendors almost always paid local help in cash, and paid well. I could pay the house insurance for the year and most of the taxes with what I made from Eric in just one week.
“Ya it is. Sleep is a precious commodity in Rally. Just the long days are hard enough and when you add in the traffic noises 24/7, I don’t get much of it.”
“You know you’re welcome to sleep at my place right. I am far enough out of town the bike noise isn’t too bad and I don’t have any campers this year.” Lots of local folks rented out tent space in their yards during Rally, even me just for the extra cash. “My campers aren’t coming this year.”
“I might some nights.” She told me. “Back to work with ya now.” I guess break time is over, darn it.
After the Reveal, Eric changed some stuff in his booth. By the time the Rally rolled around, Fangtasia was a well known name. We didn’t know the owner or any details really, just that it was the first vampire bar ever, and that it did very well.
When Eric showed up that year, instead of selling everything labeled Sturgis Rally this or that, it was all Fangtasia related merchandise with Sturgis and the year listed somewhere unobtrusive. All of us Sales Girls were expected to wear black leather everything; pretty skimpy black leather. The only bonus I could find was that he supplied it all, and we could keep it afterwards. Most of it, I would never wear anywhere else, ever, but it was a nice perk all the same.
Skimpy black leather was pretty much the norm during the rally. Some ladies didn’t even wear that. They put on the smallest shorts they could find or a thong and painted their chests with whatever struck their fancy. The way the law reads, ladies just have to have their lady bits covered including nipples. So a painted chest and a thong was considered legal public attire. And believe me, there were always those that pushed the limits. You didn’t even have to look very hard to find them.
I usually wore the previous year’s more conservative leather pieces to my real job as a local convenience store clerk, and then changed into the new year’s skimpier leather stuff Eric would provide.
Eric always paid very well, but expected us to produce higher sales. I got pretty good at flirting with the customers and finding exactly what they wanted. I hoped no one noticed my over the top flirting, but Eric never missed anything.
I kinda had a helper in knowing what people wanted; I am telepathic. I heard in their thoughts what they were looking for and then I would find it, or as close as we had in the merchandise available. I made a lot of sales, made a lot of tips, and had a lot of happy customers complimenting me to the boss. I went home with a killer headache most every day though.
I got pretty good during middle school at blocking out other people’s thoughts, but I still slipped up from time to time, and was generally known as Crazy Sookie.
With the huge crowds the Rally drew it was either figure out how to block all the voices or go crazy for real. Math class helped too. I was always pretty good at math, so I could just concentrate on that; kinda zone out until it was just the numbers and me. I learned to shield well and mostly made it through my life without too many problems with my head.
Life, however, was not easy. I worked hard to pay my bills, but some months no matter what I did, the ends did not meet. It didn’t help that I was alone in the world. My folks and my big brother died when I was five in a flash flood. Jason, my brother, was older, and already a star quarterback of the high school team. My parents were taking him to a game that day, and left me at Grans, since the long drive and crowds were not very pleasant for me then.
Since both my parents were only children, that only left me and my Gran. She raised me as best she could, but we were always looking for ways to make a little extra money. Now don’t get me wrong, we were grateful for everything we did have, but there wasn’t always enough for extras like cable TV or new clothes from the Wal-Mart in Rapid City. Usually we bought everything we needed from the second hand stores, or Pamida once in a while. Pamida was kinda like Wal-Mart, a little bit of everything ‘cept groceries, but cheaper, and here in town.
I started working as soon as I could to help Gran with the finances, and saved what I could. One year my Christmas present to Gran was a new roof. The house was paid for, it had been in the Stackhouse family for several generations. Rooms were added on or changed as needed to fit the family at the time. Unfortunately, Gran had a heart attack, followed closely by a stroke, and passed away shortly after I finished high school. I will forever be grateful she got to see me graduate. Now it was just me. The only Stackhouse left. Gran had left a will, thank goodness, leaving everything to me except for a few antique cavalry pieces she left to the museum out at Ft. Meade just outside of town. My folks and my brother were buried next to Gramps, who died before I was born, so I put Gran as close as possible to him so they could be together again.
I was pretty mad at Gran for a while after she passed. She left a letter for me with her will, telling me why I was different. Turns out I am not all human. I am part fairy, royalty at that. She knew the truth about me and still she let me struggle in school and work. She knew and didn’t tell me. I figured she was ashamed of her affair, but later I guessed she was just trying to protect me. In her letter she told me it was super important that nobody ever knew that I was fairy. She said I had been hidden ’cause the fairies would use me as a breeding machine, willing or not. In her letter she also shared with me my true name. I always thought I never had a middle name, turns out I do. I was always Sookie B Stackhouse. I spent a lot of fun time with Gran guessing what the B was for growing up. We guessed everything from Beatrice to Bubba. It’s actually Brigant, for my biological Grandad.
So that’s my background; now back to Eric.
I was working sales for him as usual, when one vamp got a bit rough and handsy with me. He got right up in my face grabbed my shoulders and pushed my head off to the side. His mouth was headed for my throat fangs out and all when Eric showed up. I was pretty scared he was gonna bite me right then and there whether I wanted it or not.
Eric ran in and stopped him just in time. It was a bit weird though. All he said was, “She is mine.” The vamp (I had seen him around, but didn’t know his name) just froze.
After a cold scary stare off, he let go of me, and looked at me.”Is this true?” he asked. I could feel a tickling itch in my head while he talked to me.
I wasn’t sure what he was asking, but it sure seemed better to agree with Eric than otherwise, so I said “Yes, I’m Eric’s.” Me and my tiny leather outfit skedaddled pretty quick after that. My shift was over anyway, but I didn’t really care about my job at that point. I just wanted to get home.
When I got home I had another killer headache and was super tired on top of it. Working 18 hours a day will do that to a person. My normal Rally routine was to work the morning shift at the store, leave there, and walk to Eric’s booth. Usually I would grab something from a food vendor on the way, so I could have at least one meal that day. Seeing as how there was always a lot of food available, and a great variety too, I got to explore other cultures, in a way, every August.
My favorite cuisine was Indian tacos. Its basically a flat taco made of fried bread dough. Kinda messy to eat, but extra yummy. I really wanted to try a gyro, but so far I hadn’t been brave enough.
When I got home, I grabbed a snack, took a Tylenol or four, and went to bed. I needed as much sleep as I could get, because it would start all over the next day.
But this night would be different. Eric followed me home. I grabbed my snack as usual, and just as I sat down to eat, there was a knock on the door. I invited Eric in since he wanted to talk to me. I was tired, sore, and hungry and didn’t want to stand in the doorway all night. He told me to go ahead and eat, but that he wanted to explain what he meant when he told that other vamp, Bill I guess was his name, that I was his.
“It means no one but me can feed from you, try to have sex with you, touch you. Talking to you is generally ok but only if I am there and give permission.” Eric told me.
“You’re telling me that I need your permission to have a chat with someone! I don’t think so! I’m not going anywhere near you if that’s what you think!” I wasn’t touching the sex part of his speech if I didn’t have to.
“It is for your protection.” He told me angrily. “Vampires have a skill we call glamour. Just by looking in your eyes I can make you say or do anything I want. If I am not there, who knows what you will end up doing or saying without knowing.”
I wondered if that was the tickling itch I felt earlier. Hmmmm…”What does it feel like? Can you try it on me? Not anything gross, just like touch my elbow or something.”
“I can.” He looked in my eyes and I got that tickly itch again behind my eyes.
“Huh, that feels weird. I think that other vamp tried to do that. It feels the same as when he was talking to me.”
“Precisely why I need to be present when you ‘chat’ with other vampires. Bill could have made you say you were his. I couldn’t stop him from biting you then.” Eric didn’t seem real surprised it didn’t work on me. “It doesn’t work on you because you are part fairy.”
I froze. Gran’s letter said no one was supposed to know. “Part fairy?” I asked.
“Yes, I can smell it. I don’t know which line, nor do I want to. Older vampires have better senses than younger ones. To the youngest of us, you just smell good. To someone of my age, I can tell you are roughly one quarter fairy, maybe less. Fairy blood for a vampire is like handing an alcoholic a full bottle of rum, purely irresistible when undiluted.”
“I smell like a rum and coke? Fantastic.” I relied sarcastically. I was really curious about the “someone of my age” comment but figured I could always find that out later.
“No, you smell more like candy and sunshine. Your blood is diluted enough that you would be safe from older vampires, Even if you chose to feed one of us, me for example. Younger vampires like most of those here would run the risk of draining you. Sookie, I would like very much for you to be mine. If you choose to be mine, I would move you to Louisiana with me. I would support you financially, meet your every need. If you are willing, I would be monogamous to you both in feeding and sexual relations but only if you are willing. I have never, and will never force sex or feeding on anyone.”
“I like to work. I like to do for myself. I would go nuts just sitting around all the time. Plus I need to be around people.” I stopped short there. I hated people knowing what I could do.
“I know you are a telepath.” He told me
“How did you know about my disability? ” I asked
“I have known one other in my life and made an educated guess based on your conversations I have overheard with my customers. I would have you work with me at my businesses reading my employees, vendors, and customers. I pay very well, and offer several benefits like paid vacation and health insurance.”
“Can I think about it?” I didn’t want to make a snap decision I would regret later.
“Of course. I will leave in three nights. Think about it and tell me at my booth before I leave town. Sooner would be better. I would prefer to have time to set up movers for your things and hire someone to care for the house while you are not here. In the meantime, you can continue working for me like always.” Then he kissed me and left without another word.
My hangups about going were simple and easily fixed. He hired a moving company for my things like heirloom furniture, china, handmade quilts, that kind of thing. He also hired a contractor to update, upgrade, and maintain the house for me. Just like he promised. I figured I could rent it out to someone to pay for the taxes and whatnot. I couldn’t let it go, it was all I had left of my family.
The only other thing I was leaving behind was a dead end job, and a few (sort of) friends. Mostly they wanted me to tell them about their boyfriends’ secrets. Ya know, are they faithful, do they love me, that kind of thing. Sometimes they wanted to use my house for a party, sometimes they wanted a babysitter. No one really wanted me around otherwise (I would know). My boss loved me though, there was no theft on my shift, ever.
I figured I could always come back if I wanted to, and Eric said he would always come back for the Rally. So I decided to go with him.
I was Eric’s, and I knew what that meant now. It meant I was safe, protected, wanted, comforted, for the first time ever, I was wanted.