We call it a night and Jason dropped both Gran and I back at the farmhouse before going back to his penthouse in Shreveport. Gran soon kissed me goodnight, leaving me to unpack my belongings. I hadn’t brought much, mostly my summer clothes and my suits. I left all my warm winter stuff in Boston seeing as the lowest temperature in Louisiana would be around 40 degrees. I sighed at what little I had. I would need to go shopping tomorrow before heading for Fangtasia.
I still thought the name was pretty cheesy, but apparently it worked with the tourists and the fangbangers. At first I had thought that the novelty would wear off quickly after the Great Revelation, but according to the financial report I had gotten last month I had been wrong. Maybe the fact that He was ‘enthralling’ the vermins, as She put it, every night by sitting on a throne helped. Not that I had seen it for myself, tomorrow would be my first time at Their bar.
I looked around what had used to be my room when I came down to visit and sighed. The white dresser and vanity, which were antiques that had been in the Stackhouse family for generations, were more than okay, but the tiny single bed? Seems like I would need to go to a furniture store as well during my shopping spree.
I took a quick shower, braided my long hair and brushed my teeth before turning the light off.
Morning came way too soon and after nearly falling down the small bed I was heading down for some breakfast.
”Good morning, Gran!”
Gran was already dressed for the day and behind the stove cooking bacon.
”Good morning, Sookie dear. Hope you had a nice sleep.”
I grabbed a mug and got myself some fresh coffee.
”Yeah, speaking of sleep… I need to do some shopping today and I was thinking of maybe buying a new bed and mattress for my bedroom. The rest of the furniture is perfect, but I’ve been used to sleeping in a King Size bed for so long…”
”You fell off the bed?” she laughed. ”It happened to Jason too, when he first moved down, before he bought that Penthouse of his.”
”Yeah… And I need some more clothes. My Boston wardrobe is not suitable for hot Louisiana day.”
She put a plate in front of me, full of bacon, eggs and biscuit. It smelled so damn good.
”Eat before it gets cold. I’m gonna do some gardening then I’m off to my DGD meeting.”
”Thanks, it looks delicious.”
”I don’t know what they feed you in Boston, but you need more meat on your bones, little girl. And a good tan wouldn’t be bad either.”
I sighed. The eternal debate with my Gran about my weight. It’s not my fault if I can eat anything I want without gaining a pound. But the tan might be a good idea. Our brownstone was located near the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston, which meant that we didn’t have that much of a backyard.
”I think I’ll follow your advice and lie around in the yard.”
I finished my plate, put it in the sink and went to check my cell phone. Sam Merlotte hadn’t call, but I had one text message from Her.
Can’t wait to see you, Tinkerbell.
He’s been more cranky than usual, seeing you might help.
Her and Her nickname… But I shouldn’t complain, Tinkerbell was better than Plum Sugar, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
When I came down in my bikini, hoping it wouldn’t scandalize Gran too much, I stopped to look at the pictures hanging on the wall. I smiled at my parents’ wedding picture, photos of my dad and Aunt Linda as small children and of Jason, our cousin Hadley and I during one of my last summer in Bon Temps. Aunt Linda had died a couple of years ago after a long battle against cancer without her daughter by her side. Hadley had runaway at 16, got into drugs, came back at 20, got put in rehab, then ran away from rehab but not before stealing Gran’s checks book.
”Gran, have you heard from Hadley?”
She sighed. ”No… I would have thought she would have come down for your father’s funeral seeing as his obituary was in most newspaper… That child was always way too wild. I just hope my worst…”
She couldn’t finish. But then, I knew what she meant. We were all hoping the worst case scenario wouldn’t come true. That she wasn’t some Jane Doe found dead in a dark alley in New Orleans.
”Now, go get a tan, sweetheart, then enjoy some shopping. I don’t think I’ll be back for dinner, think you’re gonna be okay by yourself?”
I smiled. ”Don’t worry about me, Gran. I’m a big girl.”
The rest of the day passed in a blur. I went to the Monroe Target to complete my wardrobe, buying myself several pairs of short shorts, tank tops and sundresses. I found a really cute halter top, sweetheart neckline white dress with red flowers that would be perfect for tonight. I would get noticed immediately and people would most likely underestimate me. Really, have you ever seen a lawyer, one that works for vampires, dressed as such for a business meeting?
I finished my shopping spree with a stop at Ashley Furniture. It didn’t take me too long to find the perfect bed. The Silverglade King Size bed I choose was the first one I saw and it was love at first sight. It looked antique enough not to clash with the white dresser and vanity that already graced my room. After choosing a very comfortable mattress, handing my credit card to the vendor and being told that my purchases would be delivered the next day, I was heading back to Bon Temps.
It was nearly 3PM and my stomach was growling. After a quick tour of ‘downtown’ Bon Temps – if we could call the main street downtown – I realized there wasn’t many option for a late lunch so I settled to go back to Merlotte’s.
Unlike the night before, the parking lot was almost deserted. There was a pickup truck by the trailer behind the bar and a white convertible Mercedes that had seen better days. The place was empty, except for a woman sitting at the bar, clearly drunk as a skunk as Gran would say.
”Um, is the restaurant closed?”
”Lafayette!” yelled the woman.
What was it with those Bon Temps people and yelling? A tall black man, head covered in a bright coloured scarf, hoop earrings, fake eyelashes and eye shadow came from what I assume was the kitchen. Gran had sure hit the bull’s eye when she said he was ‘flamboyant’.
”What you want, Baby Jane?”
”A refill and that” she slurred, pointing at me.
”Hi” I said, smiling. ”Are you open for business, or…”
”We sure are open, Little Miss Sunshine. Tell Lala what you need.”
”You’re Lafayette Reynolds?”
”You heard of me?”
My smile grew a little bit more.
”Yes, my Gran and brother told me about you. Adele and Jason Stackhouse? I’m Sookie Stackhouse.”
”You is Ms Adele’s granddaughter? Well, ain’t you a looker like that brother of yours. Y’all Stackhouses are all good looking bitches.”
I laugh. ”I’ll be sure to tell Jason you said hi.”
”Now, what can Lala cook for you, sweetheart?”
He cooked me a delicious Southern meal with a tall glass of sweet tea. When I went back to my car there was two Border Collies waiting for me.
”Merlotte you really are stupid if you think I would fall for that. Call me when you’re ready to talk business, Shifter.”
I drove back to the farmhouse and spent the next couple of hours getting ready for tonight. Showers, shaving, hair and make-up, the whole nine yards. I looked at myself in the mirror, satisfied. I don’t know why, but my heart was racing. I mean, I was meeting Them to talk business… I had known Them almost all my life… I had also had a crush on Him since I was 5…
I drove down toward Shreveport, making sure not to miss any exit. Fangtasia was located in a commercial district, close to a strip mall and next to a Toys “R” Us. I parked next to His car, an even flashier blood red Corvette, and went toward the entrance. There was a long line, but She was playing the bouncer tonight. Several people loudly told me to get back to the line, but the moment She saw me she growled at them.
”Tinkerbell. You’re late. He’s grumpy and keeps playing Angry Birds on his phone.”