It had been a beautiful May day as I headed into work this morning. The sun was shining bright and it was the kind of day that made me wish I had the day off.
I’ve always been a sucker for a sunny day, especially one that isn’t yet too hot and has a nice cool breeze. I knew exactly where my chaise was, still in its rightful spot in the old tool shed behind my family farmhouse. I had yet to actually pull it out this year and I was sad to see such a pretty day go to waste.
Of course, I needed the money too much to even entertain the idea of calling in for my shift. Not that I would have actually done it. In my six years of working at Merlotte’s, I had rarely called in, unless it was truly something unavoidable. Sam counted on us waitresses to show up on time and do our job and I was never one to fail Sam.
Reluctantly I made my way in through the employee entrance in the back of the bar and towards the office. Sam was mulling over the morning paperwork, his hand ran through his strawberry blond hair as he looked up.
I smiled softly over to him before holding out my purse for him. Ever since Merlotte’s opened, the waitresses have kept their purses in Sam’s desk. Normally, people weren’t so trustworthy, but with Sam, you always knew he would never impose on your personal belongings.
“Mornin’ Sam! Got a big order in today?”
Sam scowled and the smile on my face faltered. It wasn’t often I had seen my boss in a bad mood. He was generally an easy going person and being near him almost always made me feel better. But today, he was in a bad mood.
I could read it in his thoughts. Though I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that had him so irritated, but his thoughts were a snarly greyish-red. It’s always hard to read a shifter’s thoughts and sometimes the best I can interpret is their mood based on the coloring of it. Perhaps, in a sense I can see their aura?
I never really try to fully understand my interpretations of moods. In fact, I normally tried to stay out of everyone’s head, especially Sam’s. He had once confessed his fondness for me and though we’ve had our share of passionate kisses, he’s my boss and I just can’t go there. I like my job and I would hate to have to leave on account of raging hormones and regretful decisions.
“Is there something I can help ya with, Sam?” I asked hesitantly.
“No, no. Just trying to figure out our expenses for last month.”
He waved away my offer and lifted the papers once more, his face showing his intent and focus was firmly on his task at hand. Not wishing to bother him, I nodded silently and slipped out of the office.
It was a slow Monday morning, but I certainly hoped Sam’s mood wasn’t an indication of how the day would go. Instead of worrying about my friend, I set to work on my tasks at hand. I restocked the bar and set to work on wiping the glasses, before moving to refill all the salt and pepper shakers in the bar.
I had a few customers, but for the most part it had been quiet and I attempted to busy myself in the meantime. By early afternoon, it was clear it was going to be a slow day and as I finished tallying up Bud Dearborn’s ticket, I had resolved to ask Sam if I could cut out a bit early. As I headed back to Bud’s table, Andy Bellefleur burst through the front door, his face red and his breathing hard.
“A tornado touched ground in the northern part of the parish.” He exclaimed and Bud and I looked at him in surprise.
Sometime during my attempts to keep busy, I lost track of what was happening and failed to realize how dark it had become outside. Tornadoes weren’t completely uncommon in our neck of the woods, but they certainly were a rare occasion.
I proceeded to retrieve a glass of ice water for Andy as he relayed all the details to Bud. The twister had touched down in a remote part of the parish and besides a downed power line and a few uprooted trees, nothing major had come from it.
“They are issuing a tornado warning for the parish. You should see it, Bud.” Andy continued after taking a big sip of his water. “The clouds are circling and I bet there will be another.”
Bud and I took a glance out the blinds of the bar and I was surprised to find the sky filled with dark blackish clouds. I couldn’t be sure, but it did seem as if the base of the clouds were slowly rotating. I chalked it up to an overactive imagination though. What did I know about predicting tornadoes and certainly Andy’s excitement and anguish was contagious.
Pushing away from the window, I chided myself for such silliness. Tornadoes were serious business, but they rarely touched ground in Renard Parish and the idea of more than one in a single day was an impossible idea to grasp. I set to work on re-wiping down the tables in my section and soon, ideas of tornadoes and the weather outside were pushed aside as I focused once again on keeping busy.
That is, until Andy’s radio went off…
“Detective Bellefleur? We’ve got another touch down, this time in Bon Temps.”
Andy and Bud stiffened and I could feel the pulsation of fear from the rest of the patrons in the bar, despite my best attempt to block them out.
“Where at?” Andy asked the small hand held radio.
“Sweet Home Cemetary. Out by the old Compton and Stackhouse places.”
I stiffened as I heard this news. A cold chill coursed through my veins. A tornado was near my home. Near Bill’s. The very thought seemed to leave me dumbfounded.
Andy’s gaze fell upon me and after taking in my reaction he once again spoke into the radio.
“How bad’s the damage?”
The radio went silent for what seemed like several long moments, before the tiny voice spoke once more.
“Don’t know. It’s still on the ground, but they’re estimating it’s a 3, maybe 4.”
My heart began pounding rapidly in my chest and yet, I still remained frozen in my spot. There was a tornado near my home, near the home of my neighbor and former lover, Bill Compton and I was filled with fear.
For it was not just Bill who I was fearful for. No, my fear was also for the vampire who was tucked away in the hidey hole under the spare bedroom closet. For it was Eric Northman, my bonded and somewhat husband who was tucked away for the day in my old home…
Part One | Part Two