Sookie nodded in approval as she took one last look at the banquet hall. The room looked like something out of a movie, and Sookie couldn’t have been more proud of her staff. They had done an exceptional job of setting up everything and deserved all the praise they would surely hear. She made a quick note on her iPad to give them all a bonus for their work before slipping it back into her bag and making her way to her temporary office. It wouldn’t be long before the vampires rose for the night, and Sookie wanted to be certain everything was in order. They were at the last hurdle and she’d be damned if they would fail now.
The next several hours passed in a work-filled blur, and by time the vampires had risen, everything was in place and Only at Night was ready to go to work. Sookie had introduced Freyda to her faery donor, and the Queen was enjoying her meal. “The party starts in forty-five minutes,” she said, addressing her staff as she stood behind her desk. “The room is set up and Lafayette is personally seein’ to the refreshments, includin’ the blood fountains…” Sookie had never been happier to see her flamboyant partner than when he shown up earlier that morning to handle the catering side of the party. She always hated dealing with that one thing. She had no problem sorting out menus or arranging servers, but more times than not, the palace chefs took umbrage at her being hired. Sookie had hit more than one chef in her years as an event planner. Some of them acted more childlike than Pam and Bill combined. “All caterin’ staff will report to him. Security personnel will report to Jake,” Sookie continued, marking off her list of rules to review. “Finally, a gentle reminder, you’re all here to work, not bag yourself a rich and powerful vampire,” she stated firmly as her eyes landed on a dark-haired young woman as she said the last part. “You serve the vampires glasses of blood, not wrists or necks. You do not disappear with them for a quick fuck… Dismissed! Get to work!”
Sookie signaled for Jake to wait behind as she watched her staff shuffle out of the room. “Not you, Ms Alam,” she said, stopping the young woman. She waited for the last person to leave before turning to face her. She arched a brow as she ran her eyes over her. She had to wonder what Lafayette had been thinking when he hired her. If she didn’t know better, she would have sworn Lafayette was thinking with his dick. The woman was gorgeous; there was no denying that. She had a look that would tempt a priest. Unfortunately, she had the morals to go with it… Or rather, she didn’t. She wasn’t interested in doing any of the work for which she had been hired; she was looking to bag herself a rich vampire.
“Is there a problem, Ms Stackhouse?” She asked huskily, infusing as much sex as she could into her voice. She had heard from a friend that Sookie was a bit of a whore and enjoyed fucking around, and she wasn’t above using that to her own advantage. She needed to keep on her good side so she could work the big events and grab herself a vampire who would look after her, and eventually turn her.
“If you want to bag yourself a vampire, Yvetta, hit a vamp club,” Sookie replied evenly. “Only at Night doesn’t endorse fangbanger behavior at our events.” She had heard everything Yvetta had thought and refused to let it go without mention. She wasn’t running a matchmaking agency, and she didn’t want to lose any business because some of her employees couldn’t see past a pair of fangs. All her employees, be they servers, security, or donors were clean, respectable, and not fangbangers. She wouldn’t cheapen her company by having one of her workers chase after any vampire with a large bank balance and set of fangs.
“What?!” Yvetta exclaimed, feigning confusion. There was no way Sookie could know of her plan. Only one other person knew about it, and Yvetta knew she wouldn’t tell anyone.
“I can and I do,” Sookie said, picking the thought straight out of her head. “I know you’re here to try and bag yourself a rich vampire, but, as I said, hit a vamp club ‘cause you’re fired.”
“You can’t do that!” Yvetta cried, glaring at Sookie. “You don’t have any grounds to fire me. I’ll sue.”
“Check the contract you signed, sweetheart,” Sookie replied unfazed. “It clearly states there is a thirty-day trial period where the contract can be terminated by us without reason. However, you plannin’ to chase after any and every vampire here tonight with a big bank balance is a just reason. Now, you’ll be paid for tonight’s work even though you won’t be gettin’ anywhere near the vampires…”
Yvetta spluttered in indignation as she stared at Sookie. This wasn’t going how she had expected. Her friend had told her that if she got a job with Only at Night she would be able to easily bag a rich vampire without anyone knowing. Her friend had even helped her get the job by providing a fake resume as well as some other stuff. She had managed to charm Lafayette, although that wasn’t easy, but she had managed and he had hired her. Yvetta thought she was set, especially when she had been assigned to work as a server at a Queen’s party. She had already been planning on how she was going to entice a vampire, but now all of that had gone to hell thanks to the bitchy blonde.
“You can’t fire me!” Yvetta spat, refusing to back down. She wouldn’t lose her chance to get a rich vampire now. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
“I can and I am,” Sookie replied, eyeing the young woman with distaste. She had no problem with what Yvetta wanted; she wasn’t the first woman or man who wanted a vampire to look after them, and Sookie knew she wouldn’t be the last, but she could do it on her own time. She ran a respectable business… most of the time. She doubted some people would consider the blood, sex donors, and occasional cage fighting side of her business respectable. Even those sides had rules and everyone was doing it because they wanted. No one was forced to do anything they didn’t want, and they were all paid well. “Jake,” she added, addressing the Were, “please escort Ms Alam out of the buildin’; then inform all security that she no longer works for Only at Night and is not permitted on the property.”
“My pleasure, Sookie,” Jake replied, grinning as he grabbed Yvetta by the arm and pulled her toward the door. The young woman had been annoying him all day with her “better than thou” attitude. He had been meaning to talk to Sookie and Lafayette about it, but given how busy they all were, it had slipped his mind. He wasn’t sure what it was about her, but something had just rubbed him the wrong way and told him she was trouble.
“Oh, and, Yvetta,” Sookie called out before Jake pulled the young woman through the door, stopping them in their tracks. “Say hello to Amelia for me…” Sookie grinned as she saw a look of shock flash across Yvetta’s face. “Get her out of here, Jake,” Sookie shook her head as Jake dragged Yvetta out the room. Fuckin’ Amelia, she cursed silently. It looked as if she was going to have to a little chat with the poor excuse for a witch. Her continued attempts to fuck with her business were getting tiresome, and she had enough.
Letting out a sigh, Sookie decided to put Amelia out of her mind and deal with her later. Right then she had a party to make sure went off without a hitch. Sookie let out a curse as she checked the time. Dealing with Yvetta had cut into her time and now she had less than twenty-five minutes to change and get to the banquet hall.
Grabbing the garment bag that hung from the back of the door, Sookie quickly unzipped it, pulled out her dress, and laid it over the back of her chair. She was grateful that Lafayette had done her hair and makeup earlier in the day. She would only need to give it a soft touch up and she would be good to go. Sookie quickly stripped naked before slipping on a pair red lace boy shorts. The style of her dress made it impossible for her to wear a bra. Sookie smiled as she ran a hand over her dress. She had been wanting to wear it for months, but never found the right occasion until now. Something told her tonight was the right time. Picking it up, Sookie carefully pulled it on. The last thing she wanted to do was rip it before even getting the chance to wear it properly.
Looking in the mirror that Freyda had provided for her, Sookie nodded in approval. The red dress clung to her body, hugging her curves, and showing off her leg with its thigh-high split.
“Now don’t yous looks like the belle of the ball,” Lafayette said, startling Sookie and making her spin around. “Baby girl, yous look good enough to eat.” Lafayette snapped his teeth at Sookie playfully.
“Nobody’s eatin’ me tonight,” Sookie replied with a grin as she did a twirl, showing off her dress.
“I’m sure the Queenie will be disappointed,” Lafayette countered teasingly, having heard all about Sookie’s little tumble with Freyda.
“I doubt it,” Sookie snorted. “She’s had Claudette between her legs for the last hour, and you know how thorough Claudette is when it comes to her job…”
“That bitch would spend her life on her knees if she could,” Lafayette replied good-naturedly. He wasn’t overly fond of fairies as a race; the trouble they had caused Sookie early on having soured him on them, but Claudette was the exception. She had none of the pretension the rest of her race had. She was as dirty as him and Sookie, and he adored her. “Who ya got supervisin’?” he asked, knowing Sookie wouldn’t send a full-bloodied faery into a vampire’s room without the proper protection. They took security very seriously. No one would harm one of theirs and get away with it.
“Gladiola and Diantha,” Sookie answered as she slipped on a pair Jimmy Choo’s. “Once they’re done, they’re gonna work the floor as security for our guys.”
“Good,” Lafayette nodded as he stepped closer to Sookie and fixed her hair. “Speakin’ of workin’, I saw Jake escortin’ Lil’ Miss Accent out, what happened?”
“Lil Miss…” Sookie frowned in confusion. “Oh, Yvetta?” she added, realizing to whom he was referring. “I fired her. She was lookin’ for a rich vampire to take care of her,” she told him. “It was all she could think ‘bout. She was plannin’ on offerin’ up her surgically enhanced goodies to any vampire who looked wealthy. I told her to hit a vamp bar.”
“Hmm, how didn’t I see that?” Lafayette asked, slightly put out that Yvetta had gotten by him. “Her resume was impressive and I checked out her references and no white flags came up.”
“We can thank Amelia for that,” Sookie replied a hint of anger leaking through into her tone. “It seems that bitch hasn’t learned to keep her nose outta our business yet.”
“Amelia?” Lafayette questioned, taking a step back.
“Yeah. Apparently, she and Yvetta are old friends. She told her all about Only at Night, the work we do, the vampires with whom we work, and how I’m a bit of a whore who enjoys fuckin’ ‘round. The bitch provided her with the fake resume, so no doubt her references are down to her as well.”
“Fuckin’ fake-ass witch bitch!” Lafayette cursed, incensed that Amelia still hadn’t learned to mind her own fucking business. “Ya know, hookah, I’d never hit a woman, but I’d almost make an exception for her. She needs slappin’ like the bitch she is.”
“No arguments from me,” Sookie snorted. It was only because of Tray that Sookie hadn’t hit Amelia years ago. “Tell Maria-Star; if ya lucky she’ll slap Amelia for ya. She’s just waitin’ for a reason.”
“Tray needs to get his head outta his ass and realize Maria-Star is perfect for him,” Lafayette replied. “They’d have cute little wolfies.”
“They say love is blind, Lafayette,” Sookie said as she reached for her red and black masquerade mask. “In Tray’s case that’s true. Ya ready?” she asked as she slipped the mask on and made sure it wasn’t going to fall off.
“Hookah, ya should know by now, I was born ready,” Lafayette smirked. “Yous go do ya thing on the floor and I’ll keep things runnin’ backstage.”
Sookie smiled at her old friend as she leaned in and brushed a soft kiss over his cheek. “Then let’s get this show on the road.”
Stepping out into the hallway, Sookie froze as a flash of a familiar blonde caught her attention. She frowned as she saw someone disappear into one of the other rooms. That looked just like… Nah, can’t be. I must be losin’ it, she snorted. Hooking her arm around Lafayette’s, Sookie allowed him to escort her to the banquet hall.