Chapter One: Airplanes in the Night Sky

Spending the summer with Jessica and Pam is much better than moving back in with my parents. I’m just happy they let me put my stuff in my old room before I left. I swear I thought they were going to handcuff me to the bed post when they found out I bought a ticket to Seattle. Spending the summer going to free concerts, chilling in coffee houses, and waiting tables all summer. It sounds good to me. My job doesn’t even begin until September, once someone retires. Sookie put her carry on above her, and took a seat. The window, the worst spot on the plane. No that’s probably one next to the emergency doors. Sookie peered over the seat in front of her, looking at the passengers entering the plane. Let’s play the travel game. Who’s going to be Sookie Stackhouse’s travel buddy? Could it be the man the suit, the woman with the crying baby, or possibly the sweaty bald man? After a few minutes of looking she gave up and began reading the romance novel she purchased before boarding.

As the pilots voice crackled though out the place, someone came running through the cabin door. “Sorry.” Eric Northman said to the middle-aged flight attendant. He walked down the isle looking for his seat. He put his jacket on the chair, and stored his bag in the over head compartment. He sat down and looked at the girl next to him. She appeared to be his age. He glanced at her again, from what he could tell she was a bombshell. Everything about her screamed sex goddess, from the way her clothes hugged her curves to the way her lips were set while she was reading her book.

Sookie glanced at the man next to her when he looked away. She finally saw the face of the beautiful washboard abs. This guy was handsome, he seemed like the cute nerd. From what she saw she was definitely attracted to the beautiful stranger. He had pale blonde hair that she just wanted to run her hands through. When she made eye contact with him she saw that he had the most beautiful blue eyes, like the sea, that were kept behind a pair of glasses. Sookie closed the book to look out the window. The plane was slowly moving down the runway. Once the plane was in the air and the “fasten your seatbelt” light had gone off, Sookie looked to her right. The guy also looked over to her. She smiled.

He smiled back. “Hi, I’m Eric.” He paused, extending a very large hand. “Eric Northman.”

“Sookie Stackhouse nice to meet you.” She said shaking his extended hand.

Eric waited a few more minutes to think of something to say. “What are you going to Seattle for?” He asked. That question had sounded better in my head, a lot of questions sounded better in his head. The main one being will you fuck me in the bathroom on this plane immediately?

“I’m looking for a summer job while I stay with friends, what about yourself?”

“I’m following my work.” Eric smiled. Eric looked at the girl named Sookie, who had a very interesting name with a cute accent. She had long blonde hair that had highlights in it that looked white. Her eyes were a magnificent dark blue. He was so fixated on her, that he didn’t even hear her question.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” He gave her a million dollar smile.

“What do you do?” She repeated the question, barely fazed by his smile.

“I’m a photographer.”

“Nice, sounds fun.”

“It is.” He laughed. “I get to go to concerts.”

“Sounds fun.” She smiled. “Do you get paid to do that or just do it for fun?”

“I get paid. I work for Break the Silence.”

Sookie’s eyes opened due to amazement. “How do you like it?” That was becoming a well known magazine for music, its competitor was Rolling Stone.

“It’s good, I can’t really complain. I get to travel and listen to music for a living. What about you? Where do you work?”

“I start working at z100 in September, but I have to wait until someone retires. Until then I get to spend the summer with my friends; looking for a job.”

“Awesome. You’re just out of college aren’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Twenty one or two?”

“Twenty two tomorrow.” She smiled. “What about you?”

“I’m twenty four. I graduated two years ago. My internship asked me to work for them after college.” He paused. “Happy birthday by the way.”

“Thank you.” She blushed. She turned away so he wouldn’t see.

Eric smiled. This girl is cute. I wonder if she’s single. Assuming wouldn’t get me any where. If she has someone I’m gonna be disappointed.

“Do you wanna get drinks tonight?” Eric asked.

“Why not just drink on the plane?”

He laughed. “Well they are a little expensive, a little bottle is five bucks.”

“How about we see how this goes,” She pointed to the space between them “and we’ll go from there.”

“If that’s what you want.” Eric thought for a second. “So does that mean you have a boyfriend?”

“Isn’t that a little forward?”

“It probably is, but you gotta be to make it in this world.” He smiled.

Sookie thought it over. Should I answer truthfully or just lie? We have an hour before we land, do I really wanna give him this much information?

“Do I get to hear the answer to this question?”

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“I do not. You still haven’t answered my question.”

“There used to be someone, but they didn’t make it to the second round of the game.” She replied, thinking of her previous boyfriend William “Bill” Compton. He cheated on her with her roommate Lorena Ball, in her bed.

Eric raised his eyebrows. “No one is in the picture?”

“It’s exactly what I said.” Sookie looked him in the eye. This guy is persistent. Does this mean that he is going to be a needy guy? You’d think I would of learned by lesson already. She bit her lip as she moved to look out the window.

Eric sighed with a smile. He put his head back against the seat headrest. Positive thinking is what gets me through anything. Please don’t let me screw this up. Eric you will not forgive yourself if you do this. When Eric hand’t heard a word out of Sookie he started to get worried. He smiled when he heard her voice.

“So when’d you get the tattoo?” She said looking at his arm. She had glanced over and seen the tattoo sleeve on his left arm, and a nordic symbol on his right forearm.

“College.” He laughed. “My frat brothers and I got them together. They wanted to get our letters, but I had to talk them out of it.”

Sookie laughed hysterically. “I find it hard to believe you were in a frat.”

“I was in the frat house that had all the killer parties, not to mention I was social chair. So I have great party planning abilities.” He laughed.

Sookie smiled, it made sense. “What college did you go to?”

“University of Tennessee.” He smiled. “What about you?”

“NYU.”

“I looked there, but I couldn’t go because it cost as much as my dad made. My father was in the military, and the discount there wasn’t nearly as great as Tennessee. “

“Yeah, I have so much in college loans it’s not even funny.” She smiled.

“So do I, but it’s not something I want to think about.” He laughed.

Sookie thought for a second. “So what do your tattoo’s mean?”

Eric laughed. “We got something that we thought meant unity, but it was the symbol for Odin. The norse god. It all worked out in the end for me since I’m Swedish, but my frat brothers look like idiots.” He moved his forearm so she could touch it.

Sookie looked at it. “It’s nice.” She smiled.

“You can touch it if you want.”

Sookie smiled. She ran her finger over the tattoo. She always liked the way tattoos felt on the skin. She noticed Eric smiled as she ran her fingers over the tattoo. The spot where her fingers just left had risen with goosebumps. “What about the sleeve?

“It’s supposed to be good versus evil. My friend told me to get it.” He laughed. He flexed his arm a little bit. I hope she didn’t notice me doing that.

“I like it.” She smiled. “It’s not something I would expect. Angles and demons.”

“Why’s that?”

“I never thought of it as a tattoo idea.” She laughed. I sounded so blonde there. He is gonna think that I am some girl who doesn’t know anything.

“Well I like to think of it as the good and evil we have in ourselves. We try to fight it in ourselves, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.”

Sookie starred at him. “That was profound.” She said in shock.

“Thank you.” He smiled. “I did plan out what I wanted to a few months before hand. I actually drew this.”

“That’s really cool.” Sookie smiled at Eric.

“Do you have any tattoo’s?” He asked.

“I have three.” She smiled.

“Really?” He looked at her in shock. “Where’d you get them. I can’t even see them.”

“I have “no fear” written on the side of my foot. There is a lady bug on my stomach. I also have a owl on my shoulder.”

“Do I get to see any of these?” Eric questioned with a smile.

Sookie bit her lip. “I can show you the lady bug.” She pulled up her shirt “I got that when I turned eighteen.”

“I like it.” Eric smiled, wanting to reach out and touch the tattoo. “What about the one on your foot?”

“Then it means I have to take my shoe off.”

“I’ll put it back on for you if you want.” Eric offered with a sincere smile. He was genuinely interested in the tattoo on her foot. Not just touching her and making her feel like a piece of meat.

“I’ll put it back on.” Sookie lowered her shirt and leaned down to take off her boot. She removed the sock. “I got this on my twentieth birthday.”

“Do you care if I take a closer look?”

“Go for it.” She smiled.

Eric pulled her foot up to his lap. He admired the simplicity of the tattoo. No fear are simple words to live by. “I like this a lot. It’s really nice.”

“Thank you.” She moved her foot from his leg, placing her sock and shoe on. She smiled at him. “Think you’re gonna get anymore?”

“Probably not.” He smiled. “Are you?’

“I don’t know anything is possible, but it would have to be special for me to get it.” She answered honestly.

“Why’d you get an owl on your shoulder?”

“Well the owl symbolizes wisdom, and I thought an owl would be appropriate on some part of my body. I just thought it would look good with a bikini.” She openly admitted. Besides, she thought, tanning is a big part of what I do. Who wouldn’t want to have a tattoo openly shown in a bikini.

Eric laughed. It probably does, he thought to himself. He looked at Sookie before speaking. “So are you going to stay with friends while you’re in Seattle?”

“Yeah, just some college friends who got jobs out here. I haven’t seen them in a while and thought it might be a good time before work controls my life.”

“Sounds fun.”

“Hopefully it is. I haven’t seen these girls in a year.” Sookie smiled, thinking back to all the memories they shared. She remembered she was having a conversation and hadn’t been contributing. “Do you know anyone in Seattle? Or do you just do your work?”

“I’m gonna be staying in a friends place while he’s away for work, but I have a few friends out here. Some are from school, others are from work, but a lot of them are the people I meet. Sometimes they’re the bands that I interview. A lot of them are new up and coming groups. So they haven’t learned to hold back from the press, which is often in my favor.”

“That sounds like fun, you can always say I’m with the band.”

“My press badge always works too.” Eric flashed a smiled.

“Well remind me to call you when I want to go to a concert.” Sookie flirted.

“I’d like that.” Eric flirted right back. Sookie smiled at him. She’s cute, Eric thought to himself. She has a really cute smile, it looks innocent, but there is something behind it.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we ask all of you to buckle your seat belts because momentarily we will be landing in Seattle, Washington.” The captain announced over the plane speakers.

That was a fast trip, Sookie thought to herself.

“So can I convince you to get a drink with me?”

She thought for a minute. “I guess so.” Eric smiled at her. When they landed they walked to baggage claim together.

“Did you find your bag yet?” Eric asked after he got his.

“Got it.” Sookie grabbed her bag just as it was about to pass her. It was a small cheetah print suitcase.

“That’s a small bag.” Eric commented. “What you need all summer is in that bag?”

“I’m pretty tiny so everything I need is in here, but you also gotta add in what I buy.” She said with a laugh.

Eric smiled. Well that explains a lot. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only person who’s checking out her body, he thought when he saw some guy looking at her. ”There’s a benefit to you being tiny.” He said to himself.

Sookie laughed. “Was I supposed to hear that?”

“Not exactly.” He laughed.

“So what’s the other benefit?”

“I’m not drunk enough to tell you.” He laughed.

“I’m a big girl, I can handle it.” Sookie laughed. I think I have an idea what you mean.

Eric got quiet. “I need to be drunk to tell you.”

“We can skip dinner, and just get drunk.”

“Yeah, but then you’re going to be a sloppy drunk, and I don’t wanna have to see you like that the first night we meet.” He laughed. “Besides I know a great place where we can get something to eat. Also alcohol is a must there.”

“Hey, Eric! What’s up man?” A cute guy smiled at him.

“Alcide, hey man.” The two shook hands and half hugged. “How are you?”

“Pretty good. How about you?”

“Good man.” Eric smiled. “Oh, this is my friend Sookie Stackhouse.”

“Hey, nice to meet you.” Alcide took her hand and kissed it. “I’m Alcide Herveaux, an old frat friend.”

“Nice to meet you too, I’m just the girl that he met on the plane. I think he’s gonna get some drinks in me and hope for sex.” Sookie told him honestly.

Alcide laughed. “You’re funny.” He looked at Eric. “I like her.”

Eric laughed. “Me too.” He paused. “Come on, let’s get going I wanna get something to eat.” They walked to the car. Sookie walked behind the two guys. Eric took her bag and put it in the trunk.

“Thank you.” She smiled.

“No problem.” He said as he opened the door for her. Sookie smiled as she got in the back seat. Who says chivalry is dead? She checked her phone while she waited for the guys to get in the car. She had a message from her friend Jessica: HEY, LET ME NO WHEN U LAND. WE CAN ALL GO GET DINNER! She had another message from her friend Pam.: HEY JESSICA IS GETTING WORRIED ABOUT U. LET US NO WHEN U ARRIVE SO SHE WILL GET OFF MY CASE. Sookie laughed. She sent back a message to Pam: HEY MET A CUTE GUY ON PLANE. GETTING DRINKS W. HIM. HOPEFULLY BE BACK IN THE MORNING. DON’T WAIT UP.

The guys got in the car and were laughing. They were like two little kids who we’re getting back from a play date. Alcide was tall, just as tall as Eric. He had curly brown hair that went to his shoulders with warm brown eyes. He seemed nice. When she shook hands with him, it seemed like he had rough hands. As if he did work outside. He was the opposite of Eric. He didn’t seem artistic, but he was more down to earth.

“So are you showing her that great restaurant on Cassie Court?” Alcide asked.

“If you mean Merlottes then yes I am.” Eric smiled. The two bumped fists, like they were still in college.

Yeah that are definitely like little teenage boys, Sookie thought with a smile. She looked at the scenery as she sat in the backseat. This place is so green. It’s a lot greener than Louisiana and I thought that place was green.

“What about you?” Alcide asked.

“Sookie?” Eric turned to her. “Day dreaming or sleeping?”

“Sorry, I was looking at the scenery. I haven’t seen this much green in a while.” She smiled.

Alcide laughed, as well as Eric. “That answers my question.”

“Which was?”

“Where are you from?” He smiled through the mirror.

Sookie laughed. “I’m actually from a small town in Louisiana outside of Shreveport. I’ve only lived in the city the last four years. The only time I go home is breaks, even those are far and few now.”

Alcide nodded. “I’m from here, the only time I got to leave was when I went to college, but now I’m back.”

“I’d like to live here. It’s pretty cool.” Then I’d get to see my friends, Sookie thought to herself.

“Most city people, like yourself, like it.” Alcide laughed. Sookie laughed with him. They drove for a little under an hour before Alcide turned in to a parking lot. “So I guess I’ll see you guys later.” Alcide said as Eric and Sookie got out of the car.

“Yeah, just drop the stuff at the apartment. I’ll make sure she gets home safe.” Eric laughed. “I owe you man.”

Sookie waited until he closed the door. “He’s not coming with us?”

“No he has to get back to work, so he’s gonna drop our stuff at my place and then I’ll drive you to your place.”

“Okay.” She smiled. She followed Eric in to the bar. He ordered two beers for them. “Thank you.” She said when he handed her a beer. They walked over to a table and sat down.

“So what are your plans for your birthday?” Eric asked casually.

Sookie thought for a moment. “I think my friends are throwing a party.” She shrugged. “I’m not sure though.”

“That should be fun.”

“I guess, but you should come. I’d be nice to know someone.” Sookie flirted effortlessly.

“That’d be fun.” Eric smiled back. “So what do you want to eat?”

“It doesn’t matter to me. I’d be fine with jut drinking.” She took an other sip of beer.

“I was thinking we could split fries and hot wings. We might as well stick with bar food right?”

Sookie nodded. “That sounds fine to me.” She waited as Eric went up to the bar and ordered for us. She smiled at him when she came back. “So when do you start working?”

“Some time at the end of the week. I have to go take pictures of the show, then the next day I do a shoot of the band. It’s pretty cool. I know a lot of bands, that people wouldn’t think I know.” He smiled.

“Remind me to get your autograph, before you’re famous.” Sookie joked.

Eric smiled. “So what are you going to do for the summer?”

“My goal is just to get a job waitressing, and hang out with my friends.” She shrugged.

“Do you like waitressing?”

“Not really, but it’s how I made my money in order to pay for college. So it’s really nothing new for me.” Sookie took the final sip of her beer. “I’m gonna get another do you want something?”

“I’ll have another.” Eric smiled. Sookie walked up to the bar getting two more beers. Eric watched her as she walked. He had no problem admitting that he watched as ass as she walked. He raised his eyebrows.

Sookie smiled at the bartender. She made sure that her shirt was low.

“What can I get for you?” The bartender asked back. He was young and good looking. He had curly strawberry blonde hair that was tucked behind his ears. The sleeves of his red plaid shirt were rolled up past his elbows. She knew that she could get him to not check her id.

She smiled. “Can I have two beers and two tequila shots?”

He nodded as he served her what she wanted. “Ten dollars.”

She handed him the ten. “Thank you.” She winked. He nodded in return, with a smile on his face. She walked back with the drinks and placed them on the table. When she sat down she pulled her shirt back to where it was originally.

“Did he card you?” Eric asked.

“Nope.

“He checked my id twice.” Eric frowned at her.

“Well I have two weapons here that work for me.” She laughed. Sookie moved a tequila shot towards him. “Drink up.”

Eric lifted his shot glass. “To an interesting end of a night.” Sookie lifted her glass up then gracefully drank back the shot. Eric did the same. “Tequila?” He questioned.

“What else is there?”

He smiled at that. Just as he was about to say something a waitress came over carrying their food. “Thank you.” He smiled as she placed it down, taking their empty bottles and shot glasses with her. She smiled back at him widely. He didn’t seem to notice as he took a bite of a fry.

Sookie smiled to herself. Now I know how he feels when I used my boobs to get alcohol. She bit in to a fry. “So what do you do when you’re not here during the summer?”

“I’m at the main office in New York.” He replied. “I do photo shoots or I go around the city and do there what I’m gonna do here.”

“What’s the best band that you’ve interviewed?”

“Hm,” Eric thought “I’d probably say Young the Giant. This was two years ago, before they hit it big.”

“You met them?” Sookie smiled. “I am beyond jealous I’ve been listening to their song on repeat all week.”

“They are pretty cool guys. They are the main guys I’ve stayed in touch with. I’ll be sure to get you a pass if they are in New York again.” He smiled at her. Sookie smiled back, laughing. After they had finished eating, and drinking quite a bit, they left the bar. Eric had called a taxi and they were sitting safely inside. He kept his hand on Sookie’s leg. He paid for the taxi and they began walking to his apartment. “Which one are you?”

“Second floor.” He smiled as he pushed the button for the elevator. It immediately dinged open. Sookie followed Eric to his apartment. She smiled when he held the door open for her. As if he read her mind he told her, “I was always told that chivalry is the way to a girls heart.”

“Well you’re doing a good job so far.” From where she was standing she could see that her luggage was in the apartment. She leaned against a wall.

Eric smiled. He leaned against the opposite wall from her. Sookie took two clumsy steps toward him. She fell in his arms. “You okay, did you have too much to drink?” She could see concern was on his face, but there was also a wistful smile.

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