The way of all things is simply that it is easier to do them the same way they have always been done. This is especially true if they are broken.
This applies to the supernatural as it does to the natural world.
Around the time that the natural world was figuring out they needed agencies to enforce the governing body’s’ rules on the populace, the supernatural world got the same notion. As the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other agencies came to be, so did the Vampire Bureau of Investigation, Supernatural Intelligence Network, Fae Action Committee and the Council Enforcement Team.
As with the human organizations, their supernatural counterparts had specific areas they focused on when policing their populace. The VBI focused on violation of vampire laws, and retained the right to cross kingdoms in the United States to enforce the law as needed. The SIN focused on the crimes of the supernatural races around the world, and worked with kingdoms internationally to keep the peace, with their mail goal being to keep the human race from finding out about their existence before they were ready to be revealed.
The vampire revelation a decade before had been a bit bumpy, with The Fellowship of the Sun rising to power in their shadow. The rest of the supernatural world was in a holding pattern to see what the full scope of fall out would before taking that same risk themselves. They had the time after all, most of them enjoyed longer than human life spans.
Sookie had joined SIN a decade before because she wanted to make a difference. At least that was what she said on her application. The truth in her heart was that she signed up because she wanted to kick some ass and take some names. It was a challenge physically, and to her magics that she had already spent three hundred years honing.
Before SIN the only thing that had been challenged was her patience. The life she was born to was not the life she wanted. After years of arguing with her family she had put her foot down, and run away in the middle of the night. A name change, and some favors pulled in had gotten her foot in the door, and after she had proven her skills and talents she had risen quickly up the chain of command to lead her own field team.
Her rise had been remarkably fast, and there was some envy among her peers, which were culled from a range of supernatural races, not just the Fae. What none of them knew was that if she had come in with her true name she could have risen to power within the agency in half the time. Her true name came with privilege, and it bespoke her skills and talents in ways that would not have required a burden of proof.
That she had to work so hard to prove herself was just fine with Sookie, it was better to take the slow way round than eat another water cress sandwich, and pretend that she gave the slightest fuck about the upcoming Fall Ball. She had buried those memories in a trunk, and shoved it into the corner of her mind never to be opened. It was too risky when you worked with telepathy, and mind readers to do anything other than immerse herself in the role she had chosen to play.
Thus, Sookie Stackhouse was born. A fairy half breed from the backwoods of Louisiana. Late to know her heritage, and bloom her spark, she dropped a zero and become a thirty year old self-educated magical red neck girl who wanted to make a difference.
Her father and brother had been part of human law enforcement, and with her strong spark and quick mind she felt she could bring that same Stackhouse diligence and strength to SIN. Her boss knew the truth of course, Desmond Cataliades, the leader of SIN, had been friends with her family since she was tiny spark. He’d also been wrapped around her tiny pinky for that same amount of time. There was nothing he could deny her, and so when she ran away from Fae, and donned the skin of Sookie Stackhouse he had helped her bury the old life, and light the fire to this new one.
This new life is how she found herself in Dallas, dancing on the stage of vampire bar called Crème. She had been working undercover for a month, looking to make a collar for a new international drug with the street name of FauX. It had first appeared in Europe six months before, and it had the supernatural world standing up and paying attention. The designer drug temporarily gave its human user supernatural gifts. So far they had found evidence of FauX vampire, shifter, fairy, demon and werewolf. The consequences were most often disastrous for the human abuser, and created difficult to contain circumstances for a community that wanted desperately to stay hidden.
So far there had been six separate incidents, three in Europe, two in South America, and one here in the US, where the user had nearly exposed them. SIN’s number one goal right now was to determine what FauX was, where it came from and cut it off at the source; following that trail had led to Crème.
Sookie, through her telepathy, had been able to determine that the owner was not directly involved, but was not completely unaware of what was happening with FauX. SIN now believed the Crème was being used as a contact point for those who trafficked in the drug, so Sookie took the stage, and set about showcasing her shapely form to benefit the investigation.
She knew she was supposed to feel resentful about putting herself on display like this before both the supernatural and human patrons who came to Crème each night, but in her heart she reveled in it. Dancing in a thong, bra, and a cowboy hat with six guns strapped to her sides was about as far away from frilly dress box stepping as you could get. It delighted her very soul to shake her ass, and ride the pole whipping the male clientele, and the female as well, into a sexual frenzy. It made her feel beautiful and powerful to be desired by so many that she knew could never touch her, not her body and not her heart.
Here she could be and do anything she wanted as she waited for her prey. Telepathically, she culled the patrons listening as she danced in time to Emf’s Unbelievable.
Fuck I’m so hard right now…
I’d take her home and show her what a real man…
Fucking slut, parading yourself around like that…
I’d like to suck those tits…
Where’s dat sexy hooka at? I needs to gets me some fuckin’ V!
That last was her co-worker at Crème, Lafayette, waiting to make a drug connection. She had tagged him as a low level offender within seconds of starting her job here, but let him slide. She wanted the bigger fish.
That muthafucker be late again! Shit. I bet it’s ‘cause his ass is so fine he thinks he can be all ‘I gets there when I gets there.’ His ass is fine, though. Can’t argue with that, even he does piss me off!
Sookie suppressed a smile as she slid down the pole again before squatting and running her hands up her thighs toward her center. She liked Lafayette, despite his questionable habits. She also found his colorful way of speaking and thinking to be quite charming, if slightly uncouth. He was for the most part honest. He was what he was, an attractive, original, homosexual black man. What he said was what he thought. Couth or not, it was refreshing to meet someone who did not front when it came to who they were.
Sitting in the dark far corner from the stage was her back up, right hand man, werewolf and former Navy Seal, Alcide Hervaux. Crème’s owner had been extremely nervous about a mysterious meeting due to go down tonight that SIN believed had to do with FauX. She had brought him in for back up. They had worked together for five years now and she trusted him with her life. He was a good man.
A good man who had the occasional thoughts about his boss that she elected to ignore for the most part.
This particular setting made it a little more difficult than usual. He knew she was a telepath. It was one of the advantages of working stake outs with him. Over the years they had developed a set of hand signals that allowed her to direct him while he communicated with her silently. She didn’t think he was intending to broadcast to her at the moment, but he was as much in her thrall as the rest of the audience.
So fucking hot, God, is she ever going to give me a shot? Oh, when she bends over like that I could just-
She motioned to him to get his attention, reminding him that he needed to focus on the room and not on her ass. She couldn’t see his face, but she was sure he was blushing to have been caught out like that. Sorry, Sook, he sent back to her. Nothing else was needed to reassure her that he had his eyes back on the prize.
She took a turn on the stage, and looked down to see someone standing before her. As her gaze swept him from head to toe for a moment she lost the beat of the music, and missed a step. Quick to recover though she stepped forward, and started to dance just for this stranger.
All the better to see you my dear, she thought as she shot him her best smile and continued her examination. He was tall, very tall. Six foot four or five, wearing a tan jacket and a Stetson cowboy hat; broad shoulders sandy hair and blue eyes. Blue eyes that made her burn wherever they landed on her body.
Vampire, her senses told her just as she heard his thoughts for the first time.
There was nothing else. No lascivious thoughts, no comments about her outfit. No inner monologue about how he would like to take her somewhere and show her something. Just…awe. The rest of his mind was silent.
When their eyes met, he smiled at her. A real smile. She was grinding on the stage like she was riding a bucking bronco, and all he was thinking was how beautiful she was. She missed another step. Unbelievable, as the song says, she thought, and kept dancing just for him. The rest of the room fell away, the job fell away, her fake life, and her real life all fell away. There was just those two blue eyes cutting into her, and making her body do and want things that her body had never done and wanted before.
If he had crooked his finger she would have leaped off the stage and into his arms. If he had horse outside she would have climbed up behind, him and rode away from this place and never looking back.
If he crooked his finger, but he didn’t. Instead, he mentally shook himself, and she watched a mask slide back into place.
No time, no fucking time, she heard him think. Maybe after she’ll let me take her for drinks. After what, she wondered just as Lafayette cut into her mind again?
‘Bout damned time yo ass showed up, hookah!
Oh, no. This was the vampire here to sell V? Inside she cringed. That would never work. Slamming her mind shut to him, and turning to dance away from tall, blonde and bad news, she pretended that what had happened had not just happened. She had a job to focus on, and no time to play with dirty little vampires who broke dirty little rules.
She pretended like she was not crushed and disappointed. After a decade she had gotten good at pretending.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw the owner at the door, acting way out of sorts as a tall woman swept in like she owned the place, headed for a booth marked reserved. Using her supernatural senses she picked up that this woman was a were and from the air of magic that hung about her she was also likely a witch. Signaling to Alcide that they had one on the line, she continued to dance, wanting whoever the target was waiting for to arrive before they broke cover.
She focused in on the magical were but got nothing. The target had a magical block that protected her mind from invasion. She did hear Sookie knocking though, and within moments her laser gaze zeroed in on the dancer. Before Sookie could signal to Alcide that she had been made and to move in, behind her Lafayette screamed.
“AW, FUCK NO, BITCH, I AIN’T GOIN’ TO JAIL!”
Flipping around she saw the tall vampire reach out to her co-worker, attempting to calm him with glamour, but the damage had been done. The crowd moved toward the door like a stampeding herd, and she lost sight of the suspect in the mass of moving people.
Signaling Alcide, she leaped from the stage, pulling her not so fake guns, and started moving to the door. Cursing internally that she could not just teleport outside and remain unseen by the human crowd, she fought her way through, but by the time she got to the door her suspect was nowhere to be seen.
Alcide took several deep breaths in an effort to catch her scent but came up with nothing. As she blocked her mind, she also blocked her scent.
This deep cover operation was blown. She turned back and headed inside, rolling up on the giant vampire, hell flashing in her eyes.
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?” Glancing around the now empty room he leaned down into her face.
“VBI, we’re shutting this place down for trafficking in V.” Pushing her face right back into his she let loose.
“V? Please! Your clumsy stupid VBI ass just busted a SIN operation for a single user bust! Your ass is mine for this!” He smirked at her.
“If you want my ass, there is no need to yell. I will let you have it, if you ask me nicely.” CRACK! She didn’t think, she just balled up her fist, and punched him in the face. His body rocked back from her blow, his head turning away. When he turned back, his fangs were fully extended, and there was blood on his lip. She watched it heal, infuriated that she could not inflict more permanent damage on his beautiful smirking face. He licked his lip.
“If you like it rough, I only play the top, lover.” She drew back again, but before she could swing Alcide caught her arm. She turned on him in her rage barely registering the growl from the vampire behind her.
“Sookie!” Alcide said, trying to break her out of her madness. “Sookie!” he shook her when she didn’t snap out of it right away. Before she could respond there was a blur in front of her, and the vampire had Alcide by the throat, his toes barely touching the floor.
“This is between me and the lady, wolf,” he growled out, his fangs still on display.
“Put him down you overbearing blood sucker!” she yelled at his back. When he did not immediately comply, her hand lit up and she hit him full force in the back with a bolt of Fae light, sending both him, and Alcide across the room, crashing into a booth, completely demolishing it. Immediately, regretting her impulsive display, she darted across the room checking Alcide. He was out cold, but breathing evenly. He would wake up in a few minutes. Then she turned to the cowboy vampire and knelt beside him.
He had a piece of the wooden booth lodged in his side, dangerously close to his heart. Fear rose up inside her, followed closely by regret. They tasted bitter, and made her stomach roll over, and threaten to empty itself. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Mister.” Slowly, she reached down taking the wood in her hand.
“Careful,” he gasped out. Her other hand reached out to soothe him, resting on his cheek.
“Shhh,” she said as she teleported the wood away. He sighed in relief to have it gone. She watched his flesh heal, leaving only the tear in his clothing, and bloodstains to show that there had ever been a wound. When she looked back up at his face she saw him watching her intently. She fell into his gaze again as his mind opened to her.
So beautiful. Is she a fairy? I’m pretty sure she just hit me with a fairy bolt and teleported that wood out of my side.
Not wanting to give away her telepathy she didn’t respond to his internal monologue. “You’ll be fine, now,” she said instead.
“What’s your name?” he asked out loud.
“I’m Eric.” Despite everything, she smiled.
“Nice to meet you.”
“Is it really?” remembering how they got here, she smiled again.
“Well, that’s what people say when they meet for the first time.”
“But is it really?” She knew what he meant. She knew what she wanted to say. She said something else instead.
“Ask me again, after we finish the paperwork, and my boss yells at your boss about this cluster fuck.” He smiled then, too and slowly sat up.
Four hours and two mountains of paper work later….
Sookie and Eric found themselves in the back of a SIN surveillance van patched into their bosses, Desmond the head of SIN and Godric the head of the VBI. “And so,” Desmond went on, “Godric and I have decided that you two should head up the joint SIN and VBI task force on FauX.”
“WHAT?” Sookie and Eric said in disbelieving unison. Godric spoke then.
“This drug FauX could expose the supernatural community to the world. Desmond and I realize that in light of tonight’s events it would be best for our agencies to cooperate, and pool our knowledge and resources. This is not open for discussion.”
“No, it is not,” Desmond echoed. “From this moment on until this situation is resolved, you two are partners.” The satellite connection terminated leaving Sookie and Eric in silence. After a few moments she moved to exit the back of the van. Alcide had been waiting outside.
“SIN and the VBI are setting up a joint task force to investigate FauX. Return to base and await further instruction there. I will be in touch.” Alcide nodded, looking like he wanted to say more. She shook her head slightly, indicating that now was not the time. He nodded stiffly, and walked away. She knew she had only delayed the inevitable but, one shit storm at a time. She turned back to the van now and saw that Eric, too had stepped out.
“From the way you give orders I can see why you think you would make a better top.” Her mind was still reeling from the nights events, her attraction to him, the assignment of a new partner, and a million other things. This left her mouth on autopilot.
“Fuck you, Northman.” He smirked and dropped his head.
“No, I don’t think so, Miss Stackhouse.” The way he said her name made a shiver run through her. He shouldn’t say her like that. Not if this was business, and this was business. All business. Wait, what does he mean no? Did he just turn me down?
“Did you just-”
“Yes, I did just turn you down.” Were vampires telepathic now? “I will not be ‘fucking’ you.”
“Oh,” she said, trying her very best not to sound disappointed, and let down, trying very hard not to remember how she had felt when she saw him for the first time. Before she could think of something to say next he vamped in front of her, pressing his body against hers as he held her arms to steady her.
When I take you, it won’t be fucking.
“When I take you, it won’t be ‘fucking’,” he said softly, his lips so close to hers she thought she could feel them move against her skin as he spoke.
I will not be the bottom, or the top, and neither will you. I will be exactly as it should be.
“I will not be the bottom, or the top, and neither will you. It will be exactly as it should be.” He stayed right there, and she looked up again into his eyes, and lost any response she might have had to that.
Now, tell me
“Now, tell me,” he said, still not closing the near imaginary distance, and completing this drive by kissing.
“Tell you what?” she asked dreamily.
Was it nice to meet me?
“Was it nice to meet me?” She meant to nod yes, but she nodded into his lips, and the kiss that had been hanging on the edge, fell over. It was soft and sweet and somehow hotter than any kiss she had ever had. It lasted but a moment, but would echo through her body for days to come, along with the words she got from his mind.
Beautiful, perfect, Sookie. I think I’m going to love you.
I’ll take that as a yes. See you tomorrow, partner.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” he said when he pulled back. “See you tomorrow, partner.” He whooshed away then, leaving her standing in the middle of the empty street at four in the morning, dazed, confused and slightly elated.
I finally met a man who says exactly what he thinks. No fronts, no lies, just real. It took her several minutes to convince her body to move in a general homeward direction. She managed to suppress the giggle that wanted to come out, but lost the battle on the skip in her step as she disappeared into the night.