Sookie had been a vampire for one month now.
She had learned a lot but there was still plenty more to learn.
Tonight was all about control, how to not go into bloodlust every time she smelled blood or heard a heartbeat. This was one lesson she sorely needed.
As soon as Eric opened the door to the employee entrance she gagged!
The stench! How could they stand it? It was horrible!
“Eric, what IS that horrible smell?!”
He smiled at her, “That, my child, is the smell of humans.”
“You have got to be kidding! I smelled like that!?” She pointed in the general direction of the main bar room.
“No Sookie, you smelled much better than that.
This odour is the smell of a hundred humans all in one place together. Their collective body heat makes them sweat which brings the impurities in their bodies to the surface and out through the pores.
You are smelling the combination of sweat, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, unwashed bodies, desperation.”
“How do you stand it?”
“I breath only when I have to here and I have to shower when I get home otherwise I can still smell it when I rise the next night.”
“Personally I want to dump all of them in a huge lake with a ton of cleaner then send them all to detoxify! It’s awful!”
She finally managed to walk in the door.
Each tentative step forward was a triumph as far as she was concerned.
Finally they reached his office where the smell wasn’t nearly so bad! She could still smell it but it wasn’t over powering.
Slowly she made her way to the main bar and all eyes turned to her. She cringed! She hated being the centre of attention!
She could see the pulses throbbing just beneath the skin, she could hear the heartbeats. She could even smell the blood as an undertone to the overpowering stench but it was just that, an undertone. There was nothing calling out to her begging to be taken unless it was her own instincts telling her to turn tail and run, to survive.
He led her to the dais, sat her on the throne and stood behind her, hands on her shoulders. He wasn’t trying to hold her there, he knew her instincts were telling her to run and he intended to let her follow her instincts if she should need to. He was offering her the reassurance of his presence in such a place, letting her know he would not let anything happen to her that she didn’t want to happen.
Finally, after ten minutes, she got up and ran out the door and into the woods, breathing deeply of the smells of nature: the earth, the animals, the air around her. Eric was right there beside her, smiling down at her. “You did well Sookie. Ten minutes is more than I expected. We will slowly get you accustomed to Fangtasia as a vampire. Now, let’s find your meal then I’ll take you home so you can wash the smell away.”
“Do I have to go back in there tonight?” She was whining and she knew it!
He smiled slightly. It was rare she actually whined. “Only as far as the office. You can not feed out here since it is considered a public space. We can either go into my office and I’ll have Pam find someone for you or I can take you hunting.”
“Hunting unless Pam can find something other than generic O-!”
“That is what she has been bringing you every time?”
She nodded and sighed. She wanted SOME variety anyway.
“We will go hunting then. Come.” She followed him out into the parking lot. They only had to look as far as the line up where she picked out an older gentleman who had an enticing scent. Sookie took a deep breath of fresh air and walked through the bar to Eric’s office where she had her first taste of B+ and was thrilled with the taste!
They sent her donor on his way and he took her home to wash away the stench of the night.
Over the next few months she slowly worked her way up to several hours, ten minutes at a time.
When she made it all the way to an hour straight out in the bar she was allowed to work the door checking ID’s, watching for trouble and generally keeping the attendance inside within fire laws.
Two hours allowed her to work the bar making drinks and ringing up orders.
Three hours and she was allowed to wait tables.
Four hours put her on display! She was NOT happy about this one but it was one of the rules for a vampire living in Area 5, they had to put in time each month on display for the tourists and fangbangers. As the child of the sheriff there was no way she could get out of it either short of true death and she wasn’t willing to go that route just to get out of being on display.
Five hours changed the rules entirely! Pam handed over all dealings with humans to her: Hiring, firing, schedule making, phone calls were all now her responsibility!
Occasionally she would fill in if someone called in sick or was sent out on assignment by Eric. She could almost make her own hours now since she went in on Monday’s when the bar was closed to do scheduling and hiring of new staff, firing was done on the spot and phone calls could be made from almost anywhere since Eric insisted she have her own cell phone.
The only time she actually had to really be physically in the bar was when she was on display and she was just fine with that. She didn’t have to spend all her time at a place she didn’t like as a human and liked even less now she wasn’t human.