Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
All mistakes are my own. This story takes place in an alternate universe and doesn’t follow canon.
Trigger warning for self-harm. NSFW for that reason.
Night descended and like a breath of fresh air they showed up with it. Sookie leaned back against the slick booth in the corner of Fangtasia. The vampires were bits of calm in the midst of a tornado of thought. Their brains were still and serene while the humans around them bombarded her. Just like they did everywhere she went. Being a telepath sucked.
Her pulse thrummed in her ears and echoed under the bandage on her wrist reminding her she was alive despite everything. How long had it been since she’d felt alive? The last time she fucked Chad and knew he wanted her? It had been fleeting, but it had been there.
Sookie lived for moments like that.
In that moment, he wanted her more than anything else in the world.
But no one wanted her for long. He came to his senses and left without a word. Just like they always did. Why would she expect anything different?
That’s how it had been since she met him. He wanted her that first night. She knew it. After that, he’d come into Brews and order a beer as if he didn’t know her. As if he hadn’t been inside of her countless times. She hated his game, but not as much as she hated herself for needing him.
She knew she wasn’t good enough for him, but he kept coming back.
“Later?” he would whisper as he paid his tab at the end of the night.
Sookie would act like she didn’t care, but she did. She knew the drill. His headlights would light up her windows moments before his frantic knocks thundered against her door.
She couldn’t wait to open it. To see his eager face and try with all her strength to block out the thoughts of his wife as he fucked her.
She would cling to him, silently begging him to stay and love her. After a string of failed affairs, she had hoped he would be different. But he wasn’t.
“You would be better off without me,” she whispered before he left the last time.
He didn’t hear.
She thought it would be easier to end things. To stop being a burden on Chad and his perfect life. She didn’t belong.
The next time he had come into Brews, playing the game he played, she showed him the spot where she’d cut herself. He recoiled in horror. She wasn’t sure what she had been hoping for, but it wasn’t that! Sympathy, concern, or the slightest hint that he cared for her. Anything but horror.
“What the fuck did you do?”
Her eyes filled with tears. “I wanted you to…” She reached out for him, but he evaded her.
“Don’t touch me,” he spat.
So this is what rock bottom feels like.
He didn’t come back for days.
She couldn’t stand waiting, and she didn’t have the nerve to try again, so she started to spend her free nights in Shreveport watching vampires. It seemed like the perfect solution. She just had to find the right vampire for the job.
Sookie rubbed her wrist. The wound was itchy. Healing to spite her.
“Are you alone?” he asked, pulling her out of the dark crevices of her mind. He was one of the vampires she’d noticed.
“What does it look like?” she stated.
He narrowed his blue eyes before folding his very large body into the booth beside her. “It looks like you’re alone.” He leaned close and inhaled. “The question is, do you want to be?”
She shrugged. “I haven’t decided yet.”
“Let me know when you figure that out.”
* * * *
Sookie returned to Fangtasia the following night after a long day of work. The vampires were already strategically placed throughout the room. She couldn’t watch from her usual perch because someone was in her corner booth, so she sulked over to the bar and sat in one of the stools trying to tune out the erratic thoughts of the tourist sitting next to her.
“What can I get you? Or maybe I should ask what I can give you,” the bartender asked, his cruel mouth turning up at one corner.
Sookie stared at him. “What an original pick up line. Does that usually work for you?” She wanted to laugh. Up until Chad broke her heart that was exactly the kind of line that worked on her.
His smile faltered. “I’m not talking about fucking you.” He inhaled sharply and his mouth twisted up again. “Although I’m sure that would be fun.”
He went on, “You want more than that. That’s why you’re here. You want to die,” he whispered. He motioned to the room. “They all do to one extent or another, but not as much as you. You want death. That’s what we are. Death.”
Her heart slammed against her chest and her mouth went dry. “Gin and tonic, please.”
He didn’t move for a few seconds as if she was going to change her mind. “Suit yourself.”
She slid a bill across the counter, took her drink, and turned her back to him. Despite her years of practice she couldn’t control her face much longer. She could feel his eyes on her back for a long time. It took everything in her power to keep her hands from shaking. So what if he’s right? It’s not going to be him. I’ve been with enough sleezybags in my life. I don’t need to pick one for death, too.
Lucky for her, a group of tittering women burst inside, one dressed as a slutty bride, the others shouting encouraging words. The bartender turned his hungry gaze toward them.
“It’s your last night as a free woman,” one of them said.
“Yeah. Live it up. One last night,” said another.
The bride-to-be hesitated. She didn’t want to be there, but she didn’t want to disappoint her friends either.
Sookie scoffed. That was one thing she never had to worry about. Friends pressuring her to do things she didn’t want to do. She would have to have friends first.
“What’s your problem?” the first woman asked as she closed in on Sookie.
“I don’t have a problem. I’m just sitting here enjoying my drink. Perhaps you should do the same,” Sookie replied.
The star of the party nodded her head. “Why don’t we order shots?” She didn’t want to draw any more attention than necessary, which she was afraid wouldn’t be possible since Tiffani, the confrontational friend, had a few too many in the limo before it pulled up outside.
Tiffani stood far too close to Sookie and was thinking that she needed to do something to look tough so she could impress the vampire behind the bar. Sookie read her like an open book so when Tiffani accidentally bumped into her, Sookie responded with quick movement backward while she pushed the glass toward the woman.
“You bitch! You spilled your drink on me on purpose.”
Sookie glared at her and got to her feet.
“Ladies,” the bartender said, interrupting their fight. “Take it outside.”
Sookie stalked through the crowd and pushed through the front door. She whipped her hair into a ponytail and waited for the bachelorette party to follow her outside.
Everyone was mortified. Everyone except Tiffani, who strutted up to Sookie with more attitude than she should have. Sookie threw the first punch before Tiffani could open her big mouth.
Tiffani screeched and then her hands flew up to her swelling cheek.
Sookie made eye contact with the bride. “I’m sorry about all this. You seem like a nice person, but your friend is an asshole. You should go home and get some rest. Big day tomorrow.”
The woman nodded and looked at the ground. “Come on you guys. We shouldn’t be here.” It took two of them to help Tiffani into their waiting ride because she was being overly dramatic. “Oh shut up, Tiffani. You started it,” the bride said just before she closed the door.
Sookie exhaled, shook her hand, and winced. She would pay for that tomorrow.
“Are you okay?” The tall blond vampire stepped out of the shadows from the side of the bar.
“How long have you been there?”
“I followed you out.” He closed the gap between them. “Are you okay?” he repeated.
“It’s just a little swollen.”
“That was a nice hit. Let me get you some ice.” He started walking back around the side of the building.
She paused, but then decided to follow him.
He led her to the back door where he entered a code in the keypad. He held his finger up and slipped inside. A few seconds later he returned with a bar towel filled with ice.
She thanked him and wrapped it around her knuckles. “That feels much better.”
“How did you learn to fight?”
She chuckled. “I have a brother.”
“It seems like it’s more than that. I could swear you knew what she was going to do before she did it.”
She lifted an eyebrow. “You were watching me?”
“Let’s just say I’m used to women like her.”
“Why is that?” he pressed.
“Usually it’s because they find out I’ve been fucking their boyfriend or husband,” she stated matter-of-fact. She hated the way that sounded, but it was true. The truth about her sad life never got easier. “Thanks for the ice.” She handed him the towel. “I’m going to head home.” She turned away from him and started walking toward her car.
“Do you want company?” he asked, making her stop.
“I still haven’t decided.” She frowned.
“See you tomorrow?” he asked.
* * * *
Sookie didn’t return the next night. She didn’t have the nerve. Instead, she went home after work. Empty beer bottles cluttered her kitchen counter, including a half dozen of Chad’s favorite brand she hadn’t been able to get rid of yet. She picked up one of his bottles and smashed it against the edge of the counter, sending glass raining down on the worn linoleum floor. Hot tears filled her eyes and sobs wracked her chest. The stench of stale beer filled her nose mixed with the metallic scent of blood. She paused and removed the shard imbedded in her palm. The cut bled freely but didn’t hurt. She was too numb to hurt.
She left a trail of crimson down the hall as she made her way to her bedroom. She stared at the disheveled sheets and started crying again. Her bed still held the remnants of her last encounter with Chad.
God I miss him. I blew it. What we had worked and I fucked it up.
She ripped the sheets from the mattress and screamed. Her blood seeped into the fabric, mingling with their musty cum.
She fell asleep on her floor, wallowing in her failed past. In the morning, she had to peel the fabric off her puffy wound, which had closed during the night. She threw the soiled sheets into her washer and then stood under the shower for a long time, letting the warm water melt away her sorrow. It only took a few minutes to clean up the glass in the kitchen and replace the bedding, so despite how late she woke that day, she still made it to work on time.
All day, she thought about the vampire from Shreveport. Both of them actually. The bartender had known what she wanted and the blond one could give it to her.
As she drove to Fangtasia she made up her mind. Tonight is the night I want company.
Well? Let me hear what you think and then read more here: She Courts Calamities: Chapter 2