That man was on crack – CRACK! – if he thought I would agree to wear that at all, much less out in public. There were FBI agents down there doing their secret squirrel shit.
Agents who would see me!
And report back that I was on crack!
At least I knew what my first drop note would be. ‘I’m not on crack! He made me wear it! Pinky swear!’
I could even drop in a vial of my urine as proof!
I didn’t think he could actually be serious, at least I hoped he wasn’t. But the more I stared him down trying my damndest to weasel my way into his head – unsuccessfully, I might add – the more I saw the determination behind his eyes.
And lust. Lots of lust. With his blond hair and blue eyes, it was just like looking in a mirror.
At least he’d be happy we were matchy matchy.
He wasn’t making me nervous anymore – he was pissing me off all over again – but the thought of wearing that outfit had me panicky inside, so my telepathy was locked up as tight as I hoped my legs would remain. I slammed the door in my last act of defiance and stood there staring at the contents of the bag, seeing nothing but black leather, and added another detail to my mental note I could pass on to the FBI.
Eric Northman wasn’t Hindu.
Fuck. I didn’t sign on for this. I’d been so full of myself. So egotistical that it would be no problem for me to just dip into the man’s head and see the answers that had eluded the Bureau for so long – the who, what, where, when, why, and how. I’d throw him face down into a puddle on the ground and stand at his side, with one foot on his back holding him there, while I did my victory pose for the 1940’s news camera flashes exploding all around me.
Christ, I was an arrogant ass.
Now I couldn’t even see a way out of wearing the Elvira outfit taunting me from the bag, but I had no choice. I refused to let him best me – let anyone get the better of me – and decided to pull up my big girl panties and get the show on the road.
Not that any panties would fit underneath that outfit.
It took some careful maneuvering. A lot of sighs, cusses, and deep inhales to get it all on, but I eventually managed, all while wondering how proud would Gran be now if she could see me.
At least the leather would protect my ass from her switch.
So now, there I stood, looking in the mirror with my own crack nearly hanging out of the back of my pants. Low rise and buttery soft, the black leather pants laced up my ass and sat just below my natural waistline. The matching leather halter top was just as skimpy, tying closed at my neck with thin leather bands crisscrossing across the expanse of my back. And then there were the boots. Not boots like his BDSMajesty wore, but high-heeled boots like a dominatrix would wear.
He’d been a very bad boy.
‘Snap’ went my internal bullwhip.
I put them on happily because the five inch stiletto heels would be the only weapon I’d ever get away with in this outfit. Not that I had one on me or even felt like I needed one, which was another tick mark in the ‘Sookie Must Be On Crack’ column.
And just as he’d said, it – did in fact – fit. All of it hugged me as if it had been made especially for me and if I were honest with myself – when, let’s face it; I’d been lying to myself for days where Northman was concerned so it was a banner moment – I kind of liked the look. I didn’t have washboard abs, nor did I belong on a Victoria’s Secret runway, but I had to admit I looked pretty hot.
Not serial killer dangerous, but then he hadn’t given me that vibe yet either. If anything, I was in danger of fooling myself into believing I could get him to agree to pretty much anything I asked of him. He seemed to be a really good sport about things – neither one of us had uttered anything resembling proper workplace conversation since we’d first greeted one another – and he seemed to have a great sense of humor.
Just look at the outfit he’d given me to wear on my first day on the job.
Maybe I should just ask him if he’s the killer?
A rookie mistake – I was sure.
I could always just ask him for a lay instead…
Another mistake – maybe.
I just wasn’t sure.
Since time was a wastin’ I dug into my handbag and pulled out the small makeup pouch I kept inside, adding more shadow to my eyes and putting on a darker shade of lipstick. I’d flat ironed my hair before pulling it up earlier, just to give me something to do so I wouldn’t be tempted by book crack. So I released the clip and restyled it using my fingers, with just the front half pulled back and a few loose pieces hanging down. If he was going to dress me like a fuck doll, I was going to look fuckable and then fuck with him by not fucking him.
No matter what my Betty-down-below had to say about it.
“I didn’t realize you had a biker bar!” I yelled through the door, while testing my own resolve to walk out the door in that outfit and testing the girls’ capacity to stay inside of their leather hammocks. If it wasn’t my first day on the job, I might’ve known whether or not he had any tape in his desk I could use to cement them in.
“There are many things you don’t know about me,” he chuckled back to me.
Yeah, like if you have tape to go along with your freaky kinky side.
I wanted to call him out on his, ‘You must complement me,’ bullshit and ask if Burnham had been his leather sidekick too. But then I’d have to admit to knowing about Burnham at all, so I kept my trap shut.
It wasn’t until I was lifting the black garment bag off of the floor when I felt the weight of something else still hiding inside. Reaching in and pulling it out, I may have let out a high pitched squee when I saw what it was.
A jacket! Hallelujah there was a jacket!
And finding it there may have saved him from having a five inch stiletto getting shoved up his ass.
I pulled it on and zipped it up until I nearly choked on the damn thing. I did feel better now that there was less of me showing – even if the fit showed everything I had anyway – and gave myself one last once over before putting on my bitch face and forcing myself into the right frame of mind to pull this off.
Ambiance? I got your ambiance right here buddy.
Throwing open the door, I strut into the room like I owned the fucking place. Mary J. Blige was singing ‘Work That’ in my head and seeing Northman’s gobsmacked face, I cracked my internal bullwhip knowing I was clearly having an effect on him.
And when my eyes dipped lower, I felt confident that I could also report back to the Bureau Eric Northman wasn’t circumcised.
You know, in case they were wondering.
Just as my ‘I am woman; hear me roar’ moment was coming a close, I came to a stop right in front of him and struck an Angela-Jolie-at-the-Oscars-leg-out pose.
But the leather pants I’d poured myself into didn’t move quite as fluidly with me.
The sound snapped him out of his lustful haze with his eyes snapping up to mine as he asked, “Miss Stackhouse…did you just…”
“NO!” I shouted, with my cheeks flaming hot. “It was the leather!”
Another stupid grin came onto his face and he said, “But it sounded like you just…”
“IT. WAS. THE. LEATHER!”
“It’s okay if you did. I understand. Your body is constricted and your bowels are likely…”
“Shut up! It was the goddamn leather!”
Christ, let him be the killer and just kill me now!
Totally. Worth it.
“Don’t be embarrassed,” he soothed, still with a huge ass grin on his stupid face. “Many women have many different reactions to seeing me. Yours was just a first.”
He was lucky he was sitting on where my stiletto heel was gunning for.
Done. I was done playing this stupid game and instead I jumped into the role of boss with him as my assistant and marched over to the door, opening it and pointing towards Mr. Fuckity Fuck’s desk, ordering, “Let’s go! Time’s a wastin’!”
His eyes widened before they flamed as hot as my cheeks, but he stood up without another word and as he walked past me, I heard him say in a low throaty whisper, “Yes Mistress.”
Could leather pants actually show a wet crotch spot?
I ignored his words, my weeping Betty, and the shocked looks of everyone we passed all the way to the elevator. Northman stared down the poor guy already inside until he climbed out so it was just me and him. No sooner had the doors closed when he looked down at me and asked in his fuck me voice, “Going down?”
Dead puppies. Flayed kittens. A steaming pile of horse shit on a plate.
I filled my head with anything I could think of to avoid dropping to my knees – or telling him to – and instead smiled back at him quietly saying, “Boom.”
He chuckled again and smiled, offering, “This is a much better cover for your superhero outfit. And did you notice? No tailoring needed.”
He softly tugged on the waistband at my side, with the seam opening up a couple of inches, as another sound filled the air.
“Velcro?” I asked in horror while pulling it back together. “You…you got me stripper clothes?”
“Nooo,” he lied innocently. “I got you a suitable outfit for your weekend crime fighting hobby.”
“What in the hell would fit under it?”
And why was I arguing like I actually had a costume I traipsed around town in on any given Sunday fighting masked men trying to rip off little old ladies?
Oh yeah. Because I was on crack.
“I’m dying to know, so feel free to show me,” he replied with no amount of shame.
“You might get your wish because I’ll kill you if you pull on my pants again,” I lied just as innocently.
“Care to make a wager?” he asked with the heat intensifying in his eyes. And his voice. “I’ll bet I can have you begging me to rip your pants off before the night is through.”
That’s what I’m afraid of.
I scoffed instead of throwing myself at him to try and let our leather pants make more cow babies, asking, “Why? Are you gonna set them on fire?”
You’re too late. Betty’s already on the job, coating down the insides with her fire retardant cum spray.
Suddenly he was all up in my grill. Or – more like – he was as close to me as our leather body condoms would allow and said softly, “If you can deny what’s going on here – what’s going on between us – then they’ll surely burst into flames all on their own.” Closer and closer he moved until we were one giant cow as he whisper taunted, “Liar. Liar. Pants on fire.”
He rubbed up against me – or maybe that was Betty making a grab for his hose, feeling the flames tickling down my baby chute.
And then I burst out laughing.
Because our cow condoms farted.
“See?” I snorted at the sound, sounding like my sex kitten had been on a weeklong reality TV Jackass binge. “It. Was. The. Leather!” I added victoriously.
Another sound filled the air – the ding of the elevator signaling we’d reached the casino floor – so he backed up and without taking his eyes from mine, he smiled, “This discussion isn’t over.”
It is for now…
He had no choice but to walk out since the crowd waiting to go up weren’t concerned we – I mean he – was discussing going down.
Christ, it all made me dizzy.
I trailed after him, needing two steps to match every one of his giraffe strides, while we walked the perimeter of the casino floor. I kept my shields locked up tight because of the sheer amount of people there and also because I didn’t want to know what they thought of me in this outfit. He was much more aloof in front of everyone else, ignoring any and everybody, and only speaking to me. He’d stop every once in a while and point out who the pit bosses were, the floor managers, the high rollers, the hotel’s concierge – anyone who he thought I might come into contact with at some point while working for him.
Northman had been right about the ambiance of the place. I knew different versions of the song painted the House of the Rising Sun as a brothel or maybe a jailhouse in New Orleans. It depended on who sung it because it could describe a woman who followed a drunk or a gambler to New Orleans and became a prostitute. And another described an alcoholic gambler who’d met his ruin there. Or told from a son or daughter’s perspective, the lyrics told of how they’d killed their drunkard gambler father who had beaten their mother to death, with the jailhouse being where they could see the sun coming over the horizon.
None of them were about rainbows and sunshine.
The theme of the casino was just that. No rainbows or sunshine. It offered tourists a place where they could come and feel scandalized. Be frightened by the appearance of mingling in danger and flirting with death and yet remain perfectly safe within the four walls.
At least they thought they were safe.
We didn’t stay in the casino for very long before he towed me over to the three separate bars. All of them were just as loud and noisy as the casino and each one had its own theme. Brothel, biker, and Wall Street.
An odd combination, but all filled to the brim.
It was in the seedier biker bar that I saw the stare aimed our way from one of the bartenders and I took a chance to lower my shields a little just to get a peek at what had him so attuned to us, but I got nothing from him.
Just another bump in the road.
Either the tight leather or Fireman Betty had short-circuited my telepathy.
I made a mental note to walk through again – in my normal clothes – during the daytime to try and get a read on him then. Since my shields were up, I couldn’t be sure who from the Bureau was lurking about. They would be rotating different teams of two in and out of the casino for the duration of my employment. I would only be able to recognize very few of them since I hadn’t been in training for very long when Burnham had been killed. They’d planned on my orientation going on for another month before taking Burnham under the Patriot Act guise, but his death threw a monkey wrench into their plans. All contact between us stopped as soon as I submitted my application, but before we severed communication they verbally buoyed my confidence. They told me I was smart and since none of his employees had ever been one of his victims, I would fine. That I’d learned enough to get the job done. How I only needed to gather intel, not stand in front of a judge and jury to plead the government’s case in a court of law. I was a small fry and they would handle the big stuff.
But mentally all they thought was, ‘She’s not ready. I hope she doesn’t fuck this up.’
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Whatever. I was used to people underestimating me based on my looks and youth, so I would just prove them all wrong.
Who I did notice that night were the women. All shapes and sizes from every walk of life and the one thing they all had in common was they all wanted to be in my five inch stiletto heels.
And not because I had it like that.
It was because they all wanted to be standing at Northman’s side and have his attention. He wasn’t acting nearly as familiar as he had been when we’d been alone in his office or the elevator, so it was easy for me to see the differences in his persona. The man who’d been sexually challenging me – I couldn’t call it harassment when I kind of enjoyed it – was nothing like the man who’d walked out of the elevator. This guy was stone faced and all business. It was like he’d put on an invisible shield that warned others not to approach him, but he’d left a Sookie-sized hole in it for me to reach through.
I didn’t know whether to be happy or frightened. That he’d done it or that I could tell the difference.
Stupid fart sound bonding.
I got nervous all over again when he led me into the nightclub. If he made me dance with him I just knew those Velcro seams weren’t going to hold out.
Him or me. Heads or tails. It was a 50/50 tossup on who’d do the ripping, but a 100% guarantee they’d be ripped off regardless.
But it turned out I didn’t have to be nervous at all because we’d merely walked the perimeter of the dance floor and then right back out again, but I did notice the slight look of disgust on his face whenever one of the women in his path would give him their fuck-me-eyes.
And hopefully he didn’t notice the die-now-bitch glare in mine.
I was confused when he led me down the hallway that went to the parking garage when I suddenly realized he was probably going to show me my company dream killer car, so I halted my steps and said in a dead voice, “I saw it already.”
He stopped and turned to look down at me when I saw the spark of recognition in his eyes as he asked, “You mean your car?”
“Your car,” I hissed, suddenly pissed off all over again.
I almost told him to turn back around so the sight of his ass in those pants would make me happy again.
“You’re angry,” he surmised.
“You’re astute,” I snapped back.
“Why?” he asked seemingly confused. “Is it the wrong color?”
“Seriously?” I asked, quickly becoming furious. I’d held it in all weekend long, but now that I was used to seeing his great-grandbabies waving at me from their leather crib, I didn’t hold back. “You think I’m so shallow that I’d be pissed off over the wrong color? I’m pissed because you think so little of me to believe that I’d want you to buy me that car. I wanted to earn it for myself and now you’ve ruined the only dream I’ve ever had. And seeing as how you’ve dressed me up like a common whore, I can see just how you expect me to earn it.” I took another step closer to him with all common sense flying out the window as I poked him in the chest and said, “I am not a whore who spreads her legs for flashy cars, fancy crack-filled suites, or whatever else you planned on throwing at me. You’re paying me to be your personal assistant.” Mr. Fuckity Fuck’s thoughts came back to me in that moment and for some strange reason I felt utterly betrayed. I knew it was irrational considering I was technically the one sent to betray him, but it didn’t make the pain any less real, so I ended my tirade with, “If you hired me for being a natural blond with a big rack then consider this me tendering my resignation. I’m better than that. I have more to offer than that and I deserve to be somewhere where I’m appreciated for more than my tits.”
Fuck the FBI gig. I’d wait tables back home at Merlotte’s before I’d put up with anybody’s bullshit.
My neck hurt from craning up to stare him down, despite the added five inches to my height, so I saw the flash of remorse in his eyes right before something else flashed in them.