Dedicated To: The amazingly talented actor Nelsen Ellis, who portrayed the lovable Lafayette Reynolds- November 30, 1977 - July 8, 2017
I keep having these dreams; they seem so real, so totally bizarre. I’ve had them for as long as I can remember. I’ve never told anyone, never really had a reason too. The dream starts out well enough, I’m swimming, I love to swim, but that is a luxury I have little time for in my crazy life.
In the dream, I jump into the clear, cool pool, immediately it changes into the dark, icy blue ocean. I can feel the coldness of the water as it chills my skin.
Even though my local pool had turned into the vast ocean, I still feel at home. My surroundings are still familiar to me, and it wasn’t because I’d had the same crazy dream so many times. It was as if I’d actually been there like I belonged there...
I continue to swim even further out to sea and that’s when things really get strange. I feel a change deep within myself, it’s hard to describe other than my whole body feels like it’s transforming...
The wildlife is such an amazing sight; I see exotic plants and colorful schools of fish. I swim over, under and beside cute groups of dolphins, large and small turtles, long eels and frightening stingrays.
As I submerged deeper into the depths of the sea, my eyes began to adjust to the darkness. I venture even further into the abyss, my soul is telling me I have a destination and to use my heart as a compass. Now it is completely dark, but I’m not afraid, my eyes are now completely adjusted to the pitch blackness, and I see unique creatures that illuminate light from their own bodies.
I twist and turn about in the water, observing the different sea animals as they curiously approach me.
Out of nowhere, I’m attacked by these things.
They move so fast, all I see is a blur and I can’t tell how many of them are attacking me. I feel arms grabbing me, pulling me, hauling me off and away from their world and before I can blink I’m being shot out of the water like a missile.
That’s when I wake up to my wretched, depressing life...
My love life consists of screwing my boss Sam Merlotte. What I like about him most is that he made my crazy ass feel normal...at times. And, I truly believe he’s a good guy, but I really know little about his past or where he came from. He just showed up a few years ago and bought the local bar.
Recently, I gave Sam my two weeks’ notice and he seemed okay with that. I’ll always be grateful that he was nice enough to give me a job when all of my opportunities had run out.
I know Sam is still in love with my best friend Sookie Stackhouse. They dated when he was new in town, but she was never happy with him. For over a month now, Sookie’s been dating a vampire named Bill Compton. I’m not sure what to make of that mess. She said she’s happy, although I can’t see how she could be with a vampire; still, I wish her the very best.
Sookie and I grew up in the prejudice, racist town of Bon Temps as an outcast. I’m an outcast for obvious reasons, but for Sookie...She has this strange ability. She can read people’s thoughts and that really freaks people out.
I don’t mind her though.
Sookie’s brother, Jason, and grandmother Adele, Gran as she would have me call her, are like family to me, I cannot count how many times Gran Stackhouse has taken me in, fed me, and clothed me when my mother was too drunk to even get outta bed.
For as long as I remember, I went to school hungry and dirty. As a young child, I got taunted and teased because I always looked a mess. That’s because my mornings were spent cleaning up Mommas puke off the floor and helping her piss soaked ass in the bath.
Now, I’m done taking care of my pathetic excuse of a mother and after another fight, I’m forced to leave home. Well, it really wasn’t a fight, because the drunken cow hit me in the back of my head with an empty Captain’s Morgan bottle. Wish I could say that was the first time I’d been assaulted by her.
Needless to say, after twenty-five years, I’m fed up with her constant physical and verbal abuse; I don’t think things will ever change either.
My dad left my mom and me when I was seven, so I ask my one and only cousin if I can stay with him for a couple of weeks.
Thankfully he agreed and welcomed me in.
A week later my mom tells me she’s a religious woman, who found God. Well good for her, cause she’s lost me.
My cousin, Lafayette Reynolds is a handsome, strong black man with a heart of gold. He’s cool, sharp-witted and I love him with all my heart. He also wears makeup that would make Ru-Paul proud. Don’t get me wrong, La-La is nobody’s fool and he’ll beat your ass within an inch of your life if you disrespect him in any shape, form or fashion.
Still, you can just imagine the bullshit he’s dealt with on a daily basis in this hick-town.
A couple of weeks spent at Lafayette’s have been a real eye-opening experience. He has this webcam and the things I’ve seen... Christ, I so wish I hadn’t. One day I saw fine ass Jason Stackhouse dancing in a George Bush mask with nothing on but tighty-whiteys...
That was some crazy, freaky-shit.
Staying with Lafayette allowed me to save up enough money to get me to Shreveport. My cousin wanted to know why I was moving so far away. I voiced to him that I honestly feel that I’ve no life in Bon Temps, never had much of one, to begin with. I for damn sure, have no future here.
I felt the need to go away in order to find myself.
He kept asking me to stay, but I flat-out refused, my mind was made up. So my cousin gave me a big hug and promised to keep in touch and he has. He calls me every Monday.
Now that I’m living in Shreveport, I plan to find better work and save more until I can finally settle in New Orléans. My plans are to further my education at a university and eventually have a respectable career; I’ve always wanted to own my own business...
I’m just hoping one of these places will hire me. Nonstop I’ve been busting my ass looking for a job. But none of my previous employers besides Sam will put in a good word for me. Not that I’m surprised, I hated all my jobs and the only boss I ever liked was Sam. He told me he did the best he could when one of these bigoted business owners called him for a reference.
It’s been three months since I left Bon Temps and my money is running low. My car broke down last month, so I scrapped it in order to pay rent. If I don’t find a job by the end of this week, I won’t have money for food and barely enough to pay rent this month.
The only place I haven’t tried is that vampire bar.
The place has had a ‘help wanted’ sign up for the past two weeks. I’ve heard so much about the nightclub from my new neighbors, the weird, the bad and the totally fucked up. But at this point, I’ve run out of options.
So I’m going tonight...
Club Fangtasia, Shreveport Louisiana
Despite the fact I no longer needed to, I took a deep breath.
Unbelievably, I could smell the familiar aroma of the Baltic as she walked in. I could have sworn I felt the sweet mist of the sea fill my lungs and the cool ocean breeze becomes entangled in my hair. I focused only on her as she strolled her way through the crowd of my club; her unique scent reminded me of a time long ago. Pleasant memories filled my mind, visions of my childhood days spent fishing with my father, glimpses of my baby vampire nights along with fond glances of Godric as we sailed the night seas in search of undiscovered lands flashed before my eyes...
How can this be?
All humans have a natural scent, some better than others, but nothing like hers.
Why does she smell so fucking good?
Her scent is so unique, so tantalizing, not even her cheap lotion and perfume could mask it. My eyes fixed only on her as I observed the mystery walking closer towards me. She moved across the floor as graceful as a ballet dancer.
The lights above played with her long, raven mane, such a rich shade of onyx, just as the moonlight shines upon the dark waves of the night sea; her eyes, framed by long dark lashes fluttering against high cheekbones. With a perfect nose and full rosewood lips- she seemed the picture of perfection. I admired her supple curves and smooth, mahogany-hued skin glistening with perspiration.
I cursed the gods for making her skin so beautiful.
She appeared to be alone and out of place, yet, I was pleased to observe the young woman giving a valiant attempt at not showing it. She was tough, strong in body and mind, definitely more than any human I’ve encountered in ages. She didn’t seem to be looking for a vampire and no one, human or vampire seemed familiar with her.
Why is she here?
Entranced, I continued to regard the lovely woman. My eyes flitted over her sexy frame; she wore snugly-fit black jeans shorts, a deep purple midriff-baring tank top, and matching canvas shoes. A pleasant change from the countless pale and sickly thin humans who lined up for me, she was closer now, her enticing scent filling my body with arousal. At the same time, the lovely woman was becoming more conspicuous; other vampires detected her scent. They wondered which lucky vampire she belonged too.
Including my child; Pamela Swynford De Beaufort.
I used my ability as her maker and called upon my progeny through our blood bond, I was able to stop her just before she neared my guest, but not before I noticed her lustful gaze. She was certainly about to flirt with her. Instead, I gave her the signal to summon the raven-haired beauty to my side. No one was going to talk to the mysterious woman of my club before I got a chance to do so first.
Tara made her way through the bar; unsure where she was going, she searched for an empty seat to rest after her long walk. She wandered with caution, uncertain about who to approach or how to ask for a job in a vampire bar. She was halfway through the club when she was unexpectedly approached by a tall blonde woman. The golden-haired stranger was strikingly beautiful, dressed in a shiny black leather cat-suit, her lips and nails were fire engine red. Tara thought her whole look screamed ‘vampire’ until she realized she was a vampire.
“You’ve been summoned Cupcake,” The blonde drawled apathetically as she stood with both hands on her trim hips. Lustfully, she ogled Tara from head to toe, at the same time indulging in her amazing scent. The former Madame felt an instant attraction to the pretty, doe-eyed human and hoped that her Sire was willing to share.
“Excuse me?” Tara defensively scoffed. She had no idea what the ‘dead-chick’ was talking about, none the less, she did not like the sound of it.
“See that fine vampire sitting up there, Cupcake.” The leggy woman turned her head towards the stage.
Tara turned in the same direction, his green eyes locked onto her brown ones. “Yeah...” she mumbled unable to remove her eyes from his. He was the first ‘thing’ she noticed when she walked in. It was as if his very presence commanded a response from her. He was impossible to overlook. Pam was not surprised by Tara’s reaction to her maker, lots of women and some men have similar reactions.
“He and I own this fine establishment,” she drawled dryly “so if you would kindly join us.”
Tara figured the owners would certainly be the best ones to ask about the job. “Uh Okay...” was the only words she managed. She was a nervous wreck, her heart beat rapidly accelerated.
“My name is Pam, what’s your’s Cupcake.” Pam’s icy blue eyes peered unblinkingly at Tara’s cleavage.
“Tara...” The petite woman replied with as much attitude as she could muster; she was taken aback by Pam’s bold behavior and annoyed at being called ‘Cupcake’.
Pam liked the name ‘Cupcake’ better and decided, that is what she would call her; she said nothing more as she made her way to the stage.
Tara hesitantly followed.
As she got closer she noticed the expression on the pale man’s face, it was that of one who had been mildly inconvenienced... Like a customer waiting for a tad too long for a servant to return with some fetched item. His long legs stretched out in front of him, a lazy, sexy slouch filling the seat. He wore all black, dark jeans, a black wife-beater, and biker boots. For a moment, she ogled the strange little talisman on a cord around his neck. Looking into his big, jade eyes, told her a different story, he wanted something from her, but what?
Tara squinted and cursed to herself. ′Goddamn, he’s sexy.′
“Eric, this is Tara, Tara Eric.” Pamela drawled lazily, pulling her from her thoughts.
“Please be seated ...Tara...” The way he said ‘Tara’ was slow and deliberate, his voice was profound.
As she primly sat in the seat on his left side, without thought, he reached over and gently took hold of her hand. He pressed his lips against her indulgent, fragrant scented flesh and a blast of desire coursed into his entire body, her heat transferred directly into him; he felt a warmth, which he had never felt before. He wondered how a mere touch would have that effect on him. ′Jag vill ha dig...′ When fully aroused, it was in a vampire’s nature to feel pure animalistic lust, involuntarily his fangs fell. Although difficult, he resisted all his primal urges.
The vampires’ kiss and the site of his fangs caused Tara to gasp slightly. She was surprised his hands were not cold to the touch, but that did not stop her whole body from shivering. Her cheeks burned and her stomach did somersaults. She gulped, placing her free hand on her chest. Her heart was beating at such a rapid pace. The feel of his smooth face and cool soft lips on her skin gave the young woman cravings she did not want to have towards a vampire. She felt foolish letting a vampire touch her like that and even more foolish for enjoying it.
Pam was hysterically staggered by the scene. Her thousand-year-old Sire just ‘dropped fang’ like a horny baby-vamp. She was beside herself with amusement. She smirked, self-gratified that her nickname for the new human was a perfect fit.
‘Cupcake- Sweet, little and just plain sinful...One bite is never enough.’
A mortified Eric could feel Pam’s overexcited hilarity from within. She didn’t need to laugh or say a word out loud, her expression showed it all. He was just as surprised as her at his involuntary reaction and with a low grunt he retracted his fangs.
“Pam, would you be a doll and get Tara a drink,” he asked without taking his eyes off the dark-skinned beauty.
“Fine,” Pamela drawled as she rose from her seat. “What’ll ya have Cupcake?”
“Uh, I’ll have a vodka and cranberry.” Tara answered she could use the ‘courage’ juice.
Now that Pam was gone the Norseman could proceed with his plan to glamor her; he glared into her big almond eyes. The vampire’s gaze was unwavering, his stone cold stare and silence made her uneasy, causing her to shift awkwardly in her seat. Her throat was suddenly dry, she didn’t realize how dry until now, she could barely swallow. She could have sworn that Eric seemed to be totally aware of what he was doing to her. He had an all-knowing look in his eyes and a devious smirk on his unbearably handsome face. They eyed each other evenly for several moments, or so Tara assumed. Eric was relentlessly attempting to glamor her. Tara sullenly, glared back at him, with one eyebrow cocked as she fidgeted in her seat.
“Tara, what brings you to Fangtasia?” He asked; masking his confusion by breaking the silence. The ancient vampire was not sure what to make of this human puzzle.
“I saw the ‘help wanted’ sign and thought I’d ask about the job,” She answered, however, unsure if she still wanted the work. The whole vampire scene was too strange for her liking. But this was the closest she had gotten to an interview since she arrived in Shreveport. “Are ya still hiring?”
Eric recalled Ginger’s whining about needing help with her daytime duties. He believed Tara’s peculiar admittance and inquiry, even though he was unable to glamor her into knowing for sure, he could sense the woman’s sincerity. The Viking mused at the notion of Tara being the first human at Fangtasia who wasn’t seeking a vampire for sex or blood. He presumed she had never been with a vampire before and actively thought about changing that. Before Eric could respond Pam was back with Tara’s drink.
“One vodka and cranberry for Cupcake,” Pam handed the glass to Tara and sat back down beside Eric, her eyes returned to Tara’s cleavage. “I made it myself,” she added proudly.
“Thanks,” Tara mumbled as she took hold of the cold glass. She was too thirsty to be offended by Pam’s bluntness. Her lips quickly wrapped around the red straw as she sucked in the ice-filled beverage. Shutting her eyes, she allowed the refreshing drink to ease down her throat, gulp after delicious gulp. Once the glass was empty, she opened her eyes.
Startled, she flinched at the sight. Several vampires had all gathered around the edge of the stage, peculiarly staring at her; she was rarely without words, but for the first time in her life she was shocked into silence. All of the vampires in the bar had congregated in the general vicinity, silently gawk at the startled woman, their eyes voracious and immodest.
Before Tara could think otherwise she blurted out. “What the fuck are ya’ll lookin at!?” She quickly took her free hand and slapped it over her mouth. She cringed inside at her outburst.
‘Great, you’re yelling at the customers already, they’re never gonna hire you now...’
A humiliated Tara glanced at both Eric and Pam. They were smirking, eying each other, genuinely amused by her actions. Tara’s outburst had sent the other vampires strolling away from the stage and back to mingling again. The tall blond vampire found himself in a rare place, unconditionally intrigued by her. Eric stood from his throne, as he did; he extended his hand and without thinking she took it.
She couldn’t resist touching him once more and her stomach did that funny thing again. Her heat surged through his body and all his cravings began to evolve a new. The pale man positioned himself dangerously close to her. He beamed two large, emerald eyes, filled with hunger and lust for her. She made an unsuccessful attempt at not looking back at him with the same hunger and lust and found herself out of breath.
“Tara, you’re hired.”