The True Death: chapter 1 Tommy Mickens

Tommy Mickens loved being a shifter. He loved it so much that he had a hard time when faced with the idea of socializing with humans when he couldn’t use his abilities. Many thought him ill mannered, because of his blunt and often off-putting behavior, but really, Tommy simply lacked the social skills to belong to human society.

His parents had done little to help him straddle both worlds, forcing him to trick and swindle humans from the time he was a small child. They’d never lived honest lives, the Mickens, and before Tommy was old enough to dog fight, Melinda and Joe Lee used to insist he shift into a little bird, fly into open windows, and steal whatever he could get his beak on.

Tommy never got to keep any of it. It was always sold for booze, or drugs, or to pay the rent for another week so they wouldn’t end up living on the street in whatever town they were holed up in.

As most kids do, Tommy had a difficult time reconciling the idea that his parents, who he was supposed to look up to, love, and aspire to be like, were complete and utter useless assholes. Joe Lee beat the shit out of both Tommy and Melinda more often than not, and more than once, even as a small child, Tommy had plotted his death in the hopes that he and his mother could escape and make it on their own.

After all, they were both the brains and the brawn of the family. Joe Lee used them.

But as happens with children, eventually they turn into adults, and while nurture can be held responsible for many personality traits, some people are just motherfuckers.

Tommy Mickens was a motherfucker.

The worst thing about Tommy was that he had an inferiority complex that made him feel like the world owed him. It was someone else’s fault that he’d been dealt such a poor hand. Someone needed to pay for that. Since no one was owning up, he took it out on everyone.

And then he’d met the one person who was possibly more of a motherfucker than him.

His brother, Sam.

And then he’d shot him.

Some people would have taken that as a sign that it might have been time for some changes. Time to go straight, to get one’s life in order. Not Tommy.

Tommy used his injury to his advantage. In more ways than one.

He regretted telling Sam about Maxine Fortenberry’s natural gas bonanza, but he’d thought it would have brought them together.

And Sam was the one person in Tommy’s life that he desperately wanted to approve of him. Maybe it was because he was successful, able to be human when the situation demanded it. Maybe it was because he’d known a life away from Melinda and Joe Lee, or because he’d overcome his weaknesses. Or some of them at least.

Tommy never thought that much. His mind was instinctual and self-serving.

Tommy also loved being a pig. He usually opted for a boar, because it was a more badass shift, with the tusks and all.

He was a big ass boar, with a bristly grey coat and a squeal that made all the lady boars come a runnin’. Tommy thrived in the dirt, rubbing himself all through the mud and rooting all around. Bon Temps, with its swampy areas was perfect for piggin’ it.

But being a boar wasn’t as prestigious as some of the other things shifters shifted into, like a stallion, or a bull, or even a dog.

So he did his boar shift alone, and on the down-low.

And lately, his favourite place to run was the abandoned Stackhouse property. Partly because it was abandoned, but partly because he knew it would piss Sam off, since he carried some sort of torch for the hot waitress that had once lived there, before she’d been murdered by some vampire.

Or at least everyone thought she had been.

Tommy forgot all of that as he stripped out of the new jeans from Walmart that Maxine Fortenberry had bought him a couple of days earlier and took off into the woods.

-xxxxx-xxxxx-

Eric Northman had no idea who he was, but he knew he was one lucky vampire. Sookie Stackhouse was the prettiest, best smelling girl he’d ever met.

Not that he could remember a lot of girls he’d met. But she was really special. And she liked him. He could tell. She had to, to put up with having the clumsy, somewhat simple man he’d been turned into.

From what he’d heard about his former self, he was very surprised that she was willing to take him in, even though the blonde vampire called Pam who had shown concern for him, which he’d returned by throwing her across the room, was paying her. She was going above and beyond though, spending the whole night hunting him down after he drained one of her delicious smelling kin-folk and saving him from the sun.

Even if she had brought that damn wolf with her.

And she’d almost kissed him. Eric’s still heart soared at the thought a day later.

So he decided that in order to make her care for him, he needed to show her that he was a man. Not a child.

No, Eric needed to be a man, worthy of a woman’s love.

So he did what he remembered doing the last time he’d tried to get a woman’s attention. He went out to find her tribute.

Sookie was at work, and although he’d promised to stay inside and down in his room, Eric quietly snuck out the back door, careful to lock the house up so no one would interfere with her belongings, and ran into the night.

It made him sad, the thought that the sunlight they’d shared was most likely the last he’d see, and he found himself full of regret that they hadn’t shared it together. But he’d been so inebriated that all thoughts of reason and common sense had gone out the window.

It took Eric some time to decide on a worthwhile tribute. He’d considered flowers after passing a wild rose bush, but they seemed somewhat juvenile, the type of thing he would have given a girl when he was a mere child.

When he caught the scent of the boar, just over the hill, he knew it would be the perfect thing to bring her. He would make her bracelets from the tusks and they would remember his tribute to her whenever she wore them. He even remembered how to prepare the meat, just right, over a spit. He’d build a firepit in the back yard, and he’d enjoy watching her eat it tremendously. Her soft plush lips, her teeth tearing at the tender meat.

He had the feeling he’d like watching anything Sookie Stackhouse did with her mouth. Even if it was scolding him.

He stripped off the blue sweater she’d put him in, careful to remember where it was so she wouldn’t have to find him another one and found a downed branch that he broke off and carved into a spear with the small knife he’d found in her kitchen. It was rudimentary but would be effective none the less.

He listened carefully for the sounds of the boar over the ridge. The grunts of the animal mingled with the wet sounds of the mud at the edge of the bog. He used his vampire speed to move closer to the animal and stood behind a tree watching it roll in the mud, happy as a pig in shit, under the light of the moon.

Eventually, the large animal grew tired of its dirty exercising and began to lumber towards the woods to forage. Standing with vampire stillness, the boar was unaware of Eric’s presence behind the very tree it moved towards, perhaps because of the natural gas emissions from the bog. The animal shuffled and sniffed at the air, oblivious to its impending death. It lifted its head, the nostrils on its disgusting nose flaring as it inhaled the damp swamp air.

With a swift motion, Eric brought his spear down, stabbing the animal through the heart. It squealed loudly and fell to the ground. Its eyes, shocked, met the vampire’s before its body suddenly shifted into human form; a scrawny white ass in the air and gangly limbs stretched in all directions.

Eric was disgusted. So much for the delicious meal and beautiful tusk bracelets for his Sookie. He briefly considered making her something from the human’s ribs, or saving her a finger, but he had a suspicion that would not have the desired effect on the young woman.

The human bled out onto the forest floor. Eric used his foot to roll the body over and finally got a look at the human’s face. It was a young boy, less than twenty years if he had to guess. Stupid shifter, he thought. The boy shouldn’t have been in the woods at night pretending to be a real animal in the first place.

Eric was indifferent to killing and this time was no different, but he knew that Sookie would not be happy that he’d accidentally killed a shifter while trying to kill a prize boar for her. Eric also knew that Sookie was a person who respected honesty and she had already proven that she would keep his secrets. He thought about burying the body in the woods where no one would find it; he could do that quickly and efficiently, but there were too many Weres and shifters in the area who might, literally, come sniffing around for the body. Though his first instinct was to dispose of the body, he was hiding on Sookie’s property and he didn’t even know who the human was. It saddened him, but he knew that she would know what to do with the body.

A splashing in the swamp caught his attention and Eric grinned. Crocodilia.

A few minutes later, he threw the shifter kid over one shoulder, and the hundred pound gator over the other. He’d chosen a young one, reasoning that the meat would probably be more tender.

When Sookie arrived home later that night, her feet sore and her clothes reeking of the beer that Jane Bodehouse had dumped on her ten minutes before her shift ended, she was thrilled to see that Eric, probably bored with being closed in all evening had thoroughly cleaned the house. The floor shone, the mirror in the entryway sparkled.

And something smelled amazing.

She practically skipped into the kitchen to find Eric, sparkling clean and shirtless, wearing one of her gran’s old aprons and a pair of athletic shorts cooking something in a large pan on the stove.

“What is that?” She asked curiously, as she came to stand beside him.

“Crocodilia. I wasn’t sure how to prepare it, since they aren’t native to the North Sea, but I thought I’d try.” He smiled at her sweetly. “I know you told me to stay inside…”

Sookie sighed. “Eric, you stayin’ inside is for your own good. There’s witches lookin’ for you, and the king of the area wants your head. I mean it.”

He nodded solemnly. “I know. I won’t go out again.”

“I was so worried about you the other morning. I thought you’d burnt to a crisp.”

Eric grinned. She did care, he thought to himself. It was only a matter of time before she’d be his. “Perhaps Pam can pay you more, and you can stay home with me.”

Sookie sighed again. She was probably going to have to do just that, because he couldn’t be trusted to be alone. It wasn’t like she was getting a lot of hours at Merlotte’s anyway. Someone would take her shifts until this was all sorted out.

“We’ll see.”

Eric could hardly contain his excitement at the idea of having her all to himself for nights at a time. “Sit down. It’s ready.”

It was delicious. Whatever Eric had stocked her kitchen with, Amnesia Eric had truly used to its fully advantage. Sookie devoured every last bit of the spicy meat, while Eric watched, enthralled.

“I missed my dinner break tonight. This was very nice of you,” she said, patting her stomach.

“Perhaps you could reward me,” he waggled his eyebrows innocently.

Sookie knew exactly what he’d want, and she gave it to him. She inched towards him, ever so slowly, and their lips met.

And in this, she knew it was still Eric. From her dreams, in his office that night, before everything had come crashing down. He kissed with a thousand years experience and passion, moving his arm around her neck and winding his hand in her hair.

It was nice to be the center of someone’s universe. Sookie had never been that before, she thought to herself, and she probably never would be again. Everyone in her life had these deep seated ulterior motives, and Eric was probably a close second to Bill when it came with keeping things from her. She winced, remembering when he’d chained her up in his basement.

But somehow, even though he kissed like him, she knew this Eric wouldn’t do that, which both pleased and concerned her.

She’d been angry at Eric for the lengths he’d gone to save his own ass since she’d known him, but in the back of her mind, she knew he’d do what he had to to survive, and that he cared for her, which meant he’d do what he had to to keep her alive as well.

It was a small consolation after all the shit she’d been through, but one nonetheless.

“You’re tired,” he whispered, after they kissed for what seemed like forever. “We should go to your bed.”

“That’s your come on line?” Sookie giggled. “So I can go to sleep?”

“If you want,” he said coyly, knowing from her heart-rate that that was certainly not what she wanted.

“You’re still an arrogant bastard.” She grinned at him for a minute. “Maybe let’s go to the couch.”

He threw all the dishes in the sink and scooped her up before she had the chance to stand. The couch was a far better location, and Sookie had just reached for the tie on his apron when he pulled away.

“What?” she said, confused and a little frustrated. She’d certainly not anticipated him having that reaction since he’d been trying to sleep with her for months.

“I have to tell you something,” he mumbled. “You’ll be mad later if I don’t.”

Sookie looked at him curiously. “What is it, Eric?”

“I killed someone,” he said, his voice low. “But it was a mistake. I thought he was a boar.”

Sookie’s eyes went wide, and her first thought was that he’d killed Sam. He’d left the bar far earlier than her, making some weird excuse about going to a meeting. For what, she hadn’t asked, distracted by thoughts of her houseguest.

“Where is he? The person you killed.”

“He was a boar when I killed him. I thought you would be pleased. I was going to make it a gift for you, but I had to settle for the crocodilia.”

He was very old fashioned, Sookie thought, a little impressed that he’d planned to kill a boar for her and even more impressed that he’d killed a gator.

But then she remembered that he killed a person.

“Take me to the body, Eric.”

He nodded, a bit dejected and Sookie followed him outside. They walked for about ten minutes until they reached a small clearing.

Sookie let out a sigh of relief when she saw that it was Tommy and not Sam. It wasn’t good that he’d killed Tommy, but it would have been worse if it had been Sam. People liked Sam. Sometimes. No one liked Tommy, aside from Maxine Fortenberry, who didn’t really like Tommy. She was just using him as a Hoyt replacement.

“You killed my boss’s brother,” she said quietly, looking up at Eric.

“Sorry,” he whispered. “It was an accident.”

She patted his hand. “It’s okay. He was kind of a shit anyway, but you should really stop killin’. We have to get rid of the body.”

“I left some crocodilias in the swamp back there.” He nodded towards the woods.

Sookie shrugged. “Swamp it is.”

**********************

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to vote to tell us who you want killed off next week!

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