The gift that keeps on giving 😀
Day 20: A GIFT FOR MAZZABLUE FROM THE QUEEN OF AREA V
Of Sequins and Feathers: Part Two
Sookie fidgeted uncomfortably as she teetered on the outrageously high heels Gladiola had forced her to wear. Yes, she conceded, they made her legs look amazing as her new and crazy friend claimed they would, but that wouldn’t make a lick of difference after she fell and broke something, probably her neck.
I should really keep a lookout for the men with the padded jackets, Sookie thought rather humorlessly, deciding it was better to laugh than cry or scream…or go on a murderous rampage. Laughing was the much better choice and the least likely to put her in some serious and very much illegal trouble.
“You look amazing,” Gladiola said, drawing Sookie’s attention away from the defense she was cooking up in her head and back to the present. “You’ll be the Belle of the ball…”
“I look like I walked out of a porno!” Sookie countered, pulling on the hem of the outlandishly short dress Gladiola had thrown at her and ordered her to wear. The telepath was by no means modest when it came to clothing. She knew she had a good figure, not runway-thin, but curvaceous, and Sookie had no problem flaunting what she had. Still, in the blonde’s mind, there was a difference between flaunting and downright revealing!
The dress Gladiola had chosen (Sookie had no idea where her strange, new friend had found it because it hadn’t been in her closet), didn’t just teeter on the edge of revealing, it plummeted right over and landed upside-down! The dress, white in color, was form-fitting, low cut (meaning she couldn’t wear a bra), and Sookie swore if she bent over, everyone would be able to see…well, never mind! It was not her style at all; however, in the couple of hours since she had met Gladiola, Sookie had learned it was pointless to argue. So, she’d grumbled like Hell and put on the scrap of fabric disguised as a dress.
“Maybe you’ll meet a plumber who’ll let you play with his wrench?” Gladiola replied helpfully, thinking of the benefits of looking like one of those women. From all the movies she had watched, plumbers and wrenches seemed to be a staple. “I could do with a good wrenching myself. It’s been far too long. The last time was…”
“So, where is the party again?” Sookie asked suddenly, wanting to change the subject quickly. The last things she wanted to know about were the intimacies surrounding Gladiola’s love life. Gladiola didn’t seem to have any social boundaries, so Sookie doubted she had any hang-ups concerning those topics either. She sure as Hell didn’t want to know what other uses she had for the feathers on her headdress!
“Shreveport,” Gladiola replied, but didn’t elaborate, knowing full well if Sookie knew where they were headed, she would turn around and head by home right away. Her new, blonde friend needed to let go and have some fun for a change! Real fun, not the boring and staid kind the dull people of Bon Temps were accustomed to. No, what Sookie needed was the kinda fun that bordered on illegal! She needed Gladiola’s kind of fun!
“I already got that,” Sookie snorted while running her eyes over the somewhat familiar streets of Shreveport. Not for the first time that evening, Sookie wondered why she let Gladiola convince her into going to a party. It was completely out of character for Sookie to just take off with a stranger like she had, yet, that was exactly what she had done. She barely took the time to weigh the pros and cons, or dangers, for that matter, apart from her ‘You could be a serial killer,’ speech. She was a telepath, for God sake; she knew the dangers better than most! Still, there she was, in Shreveport, dressed in an outfit that would make a Kardashian blush, and heading to a party in some unknown place. “Where in Shreveport?” She guessed it was close, seeing as they had parked the car down the road and were now walking. “Whose party is it?”
“A friend,” Gladiola answered while she led Sookie around a corner and toward a large building where people were lined up outside. “Well, not really a friend of mine. An acquaintance, colleague…employer?” She ran through a few different terms, trying to find the best one to describe the person. “I’ve done some work for them a few times. I met them through my uncle who works for them. You’d like my Uncle Desmond, he’s fun in a way that’s totally not…” she frowned as she tried to make sense of that in her own head. “He’s boring and serious, but he can be devious, and devious is fun. So, he’s fun in a boring, serious, and devious way…”
“You have no idea what you say, do you?” Sookie said drolly. “You open your mouth, the words come out, but you have no clue what they are. It must be fun…”
“Now who’s being sarcastic?” Gladiola retorted, a small smirk tugging on her lips. Although, to be honest, Sookie wasn’t wrong. Half the time Gladiola didn’t have a clue what she was saying until after she’d said it. Despite what many people, mainly her family, thought, she wasn’t insane. Crazy? Yes. Insane? No. There was a difference. She was the same kind of crazy Sookie was. Not telepath crazy, but other crazy. Although, unlike Sookie, Gladiola didn’t care what people thought of her. If she did, she wouldn’t go around dressed like she did. She had learned long ago not to let the opinions of others affect her. “Doesn’t matter anyway,” Gladiola nodded toward the building while she added, “we’re here.”
Sookie’s eyes widened in alarm when she finally noticed the place Gladiola had taken them. “Fangtasia!” She whispered-hissed. “Are you outta ya mind?”
“Yes,” Gladiola answered truthfully with a nod of her head. “What’s wrong with Fangtasia? You ever been before?”
“No,” Sookie admitted somewhat reluctantly.
“So, what’s the problem?” Gladiola asked genuinely confused. “You’re not prejudice against vampires, are you?”
Sookie felt a bit foolish at her overreaction; she had nothing against the place personally as she just admitted she’d never even set foot inside. She had just heard loads about it, none of it good. Mainly from Bill and Sam, Sookie reminded herself. Throughout their relationship, Bill had gone on and on about Fangtasia and how horrible it was. He had gone out of his way to influence her opinion on the place and vampires in general. Bill had built himself up to be a kind of noble vampire while he painted every other member of the undead as savages and like a lovesick fool, she had believed him. Meeting the ‘Disco Triplets’ had certainly helped cement Bill’s warnings. Sookie knew now Bill was just trying to isolate her and keep her for himself. He had intentionally exposed her to them, trying to scare her, and make her believe he was the only good vampire.
Sam, on the other hand, was just an outright bigot. He hated anything ‘Supe,’ even though he, himself, was a shifter. Not that he’d ever shared that little bit of information with Sookie personally, no, she had discovered that all on her own! Sam was a hypocrite of the highest order. It never dawned on him that most of the stuff he told her wasn’t common knowledge amongst non-Supes. Hell, Weres and shifters hadn’t even revealed themselves yet. Sam just couldn’t help himself, he bad-mouthed anyone who was different; vampires, Weres, even other shifters! Sookie was grateful Sam never knew how different she was. Sookie had managed to keep her telepathy concealed from everyone outside her family, and even a few inside. She thanked her old babysitter Claudette every day for teaching her how to build shields and control them. Sookie didn’t want to imagine what her life could have been like if Claudette hadn’t been on hand to look after her when she was a child.
“Old conditionin’ dies hard,” Sookie answered only half-joking, thinking of the way Bill tried to control her. “I’ve got nothin’ against vampires…well, except for my ex. Him, I hate.”
“Vamps are like people. You’ve got your good, bad, and ugly,” Gladiola replied. “You can’t judge them all on the actions of one… Although,” she added after a brief pause, “I understand why you hate your ex. Dude was a jackass.”
“You know Bill?” Sookie asked, her interest piqued by Gladiola’s apparent familiarity with him. She certainly described him perfectly.
“Unfortunately,” Gladiola admitted, shuddering at the thought of the antiquated vampire. If there was a reason to hate vampires based on the behavior of one, it would be due to William T. Compton. He was the kind of vampire who gave all Supes a bad name. “I met him years ago, before you knew him…and before you ask, no, a big fat NO! I never dated him or anything like that. I wasn’t that stupid… No offense,” she tacked on hastily, remembering Sookie had been that stupid.
“None taken,” Sookie said, shrugging her shoulders. Dating Bill hadn’t been one of her brighter ideas. In fact, it had been the stupidest one she ever had, and she still half-blamed her grandmother for introducing them. Of course, Adele was dead now, so Sookie couldn’t fully blame her for encouraging her to give Bill a chance. “How’d ya meet him?” She asked, curious to know more about her new friend.
“At a gathering in New Orleans,” Gladiola answered, choosing her words carefully, not wanting to give too much away when it came to the Supe world. She knew Sookie wasn’t human, thanks to her Uncle Desmond. He had confided in her about his old friend, Fintan, his affair with Sookie’s grandmother and that he had fathered her two children, but Gladiola didn’t know how much other the blonde had in her. Gladiola knew Sookie was different, she could sense that much, but she had no idea how much Sookie herself knew. Gladiola believed Sookie had the right to know, something her Uncle Desmond agreed with, but they were powerless to inform her due to The Dae/Fae Peace Treaty of 1476. They were forbidden to outright tell her, but if she learned the truth by other means, then they could share the truth with her. Effing politics. “My uncle attended a social event in the city. One of his most important clients threw a massive ball and he invited me along. I met Bill then. He was worked for Sophie-Anne at the time…”
“Was she the Queen then, too?” Sookie asked with a dazzling smile, cutting Gladiola off. It was obvious to her that Gladiola was talking about the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, Sophie-Anne Leclerq. She giggled at the surprised look on her new friend’s face, “I’m not uneducated backwater trash. I know all about the vampire power structure and politics.” Bill may not have mentioned it, but Sookie wasn’t as ill-informed as he would have believed, or he wanted her to be. She knew about the power structure of more than just vampires as well. Sookie learned from an early age she was different, so she had spent years learning what else was out there. Many of her lessons had come from her old babysitter, Claudette. Sookie knew her babysitter hadn’t been human and, as soon as she was old enough, she had called Claudette out on it.
The fairy hadn’t been able to tell Sookie everything, on orders of the ruling Prince of Fae who said Sookie was to be left uninformed of their ways until he was ready to go to her, but she had been able to teach her about the other Supes in the world. The Prince, in his overblown belief of his own superiority, never thought to forbid anyone to teach Sookie of non-Fae things, and it was something Claudette had taken advantage of for years.
“How?” Gladiola asked, seemingly perplexed. The last thing she expected was for Sookie to know about the Supe world. She was shocked, happy, but shocked!
“Same way I know you’re not human,” Sookie replied, enjoying surprising Gladiola. “Same way I know I’m not. I might be blonde, but I’m not stupid! I know when people are different.” She wasn’t going to tell Gladiola how she knew; she didn’t trust her that much. She’d known the second Gladiola appeared in her yard that she wasn’t human. The colorful and crazy woman had been pinging against her shields from the time she’d shown up. It wasn’t a bad feeling. It was rather pleasant, if she was honest.
Different, that was definitely one way to put it. Flicking her eyes toward the bar, a smile tugged at Gladiola’s painted lips when she noticed the rigid-looking blonde standing outside, manning the door. “You wanna go and meet some more different people?” She asked.
Running her hands over her barely-there dress, Sookie flattened out a few ripples and straightened her posture, “Well, I didn’t get dressed up in this scrap of fabric for nothin’.”
Linking her arm with Sookie, Gladiola pulled the blonde with her while she made her way to the front of the line, ignoring all the moaning people they passed. “Pam,” Gladiola greeted before walking by the vampire at the door, not waiting for her to allow them entry, knowing she and Sookie, as her guest, had automatic entry, thanks to the owner. Gladiola slipped her hand down Sookie’s arm and gripped her hand while she led her into the Den of Iniquity that was Fangtasia.
“Welcome to Fangtasia…”
The second she stepped inside Fangtasia, Sookie felt a wave of minds press against hers. For one, long, agonizing minute, she heard every thought in the club, the yearning to be bitten, the desire to be taken, and the unnatural need to be possessed by any vampire willing. The place swam in desperation, it clung to the walls, and covered most of the party guests. It was painful to feel and hear, and Sookie considered turning on her heels to get the Hell out of there. However, as she learned long ago, Sookie quickly took control of her own mind and forced the others to retreat, strengthening her shields as she did so. Her mind was her own and she refused to allow anyone else hold sway over it.
While the voices faded, Sookie centered herself, and finally looked around the place. Fangtasia was everything she thought it would be and nothing like she imagined. It was dark and eerie and everything stereotypical about vampires. It was as if it had inserted itself into a niche and was exploiting it for all it was worth. There was no truth to be found in the place, so, in that sense, it was rather sad.
On the other hand, for a place that embodied everything clichéd about the undead, it felt so alive. The club had an energy to it, one that thrummed with promise. It spoke of unforgettable evenings and memories that would last a lifetime, but only to the mortals who entered its doors. The vampires were much harder to read, and not just because their minds were blank to Sookie. Their faces held no expressions, their chests unmoving, as their lack for the need of oxygen made them appear statue-like. If it weren’t for their eyes, Sookie would have believed they were statues! Oh, but their eyes told a different story. Life shone in the eyes of the undead; it was a beautiful thing to behold.
Fangtasia, Sookie realized, was nothing like Bill had claimed. She was eager to explore the place and discover more, starting with the blond-haired Adonis, sitting on the throne who hadn’t taken his eyes off her from the moment she walked in…
AN EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS TO THE QUEEN OF AREA V FOR GIFTING MAZZABLUE WITH THIS STORY. THERE WILL BE MORE CHAPTERS TO THIS OVER THE NEXT COMING DAYS. DO LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS AND LIKES AS ALWAYS THEY DO END UP WITH THE QUEEN OF AREA V!
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