Disclaimer: True Blood is the property of Alan Ball and Charlaine Harris. I make no money from this.
Authors Note: I want to thank the lovely and talented FranklinsMuse for helping write this story. Her other Franklin/Tara stories can be found here.
I'd also like to thank BooksCatsEtc for her work as beta. Please check out her awesome Franklin/Tara fic here.
A vacation is like love - anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia. ~Author Unknown
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Tara Thornton was prepping the bar for the day's lunch crowd when Jake Beauchamp, the postman for Bon Temps, came in with the mail.
"Hey there Tara. Glad I caught ya. I gotta a certified letter that ya need to sign for; ya can do it here and save yourself a trip to the post office."
Tara glanced up from wiping the bar, a look of confusion marring her pretty features.
"A certified letter? Nobody should be sending me a certified letter. Ya sure it's for me?"
Jake shrugged. "Says right here Deliver to Ms. Tara M. Thornton. From 'Moonlight Romance' care of TBBN Studios." Jake winked at her. "Moonlight Romance, huh? Well if you're looking for love I'm available."
Tara smirked as she signed for the letter. Jake was nearing retirement and could have been Sheriff Bud Dearborn's twin brother. He liked to flirt with the young women around town, but everyone knew he was harmless. She was more intrigued by the mystery letter and nodded absently in response when he left.
She was reading it for the third time when her friend Sookie Stackhouse came over to see what had her so distracted.
"This letter says that I've been selected as a contestant for a new reality show called 'Moonlight Romance.' They want me to fly to New Orleans in six weeks to start taping. I ain't never even heard of this show!"
Hearing the words 'Moonlight Romance', Arlene rushed over. "That's the new show that everybody's talking about. They put all these women in a mansion and they get a chance to date a rich bachelor." She sighed, throwing Tara an envious look. "Some folks have all the luck."
Sookie beamed at her friend. "Tara, that's great! But six weeks don't give you much time to prepare."
"You mean it don't give ME much time to prepare," Arlene grumbled. "Just take off for God knows how long with no consideration of all the extra work that's gonna end up on my shoulders. As usual."
"Arlene, didn't you just hear me say that I ain't never heard of this show? I don't know how these folks got my name! And what ya mean by 'as usual?' Ya saying I'm irresponsible?"
Lafayette heard the yelling and came in from the kitchen. "Yo! All this hollering is getting on my damn nerves. Y'all need to chill the fuck out or y'all gonna scare away all our customers 'fore lunch even get started. What's going on here anyway?"
Arlene answered. "Your cousin here got picked to be on that new Moonlight Romance show even though she claims that she don't know nothing about it." She glared at Tara. "I hope you have a good time partying in the French Quarter while the rest of us are back here in Bon Temps working ourselves into an early grave!" She stormed out of the room, close to tears.
Lafayette had a sheepish look on his face that immediately made Tara suspicious.
"Lafayette, did you have anything to do with this?" When he looked at the floor and didn't answer, her suspicions were confirmed. "You entered me on a reality show without telling me?"
"Calm down, hooka. I sent that in on a whim. I wasn't expecting you to get picked. I think you'd show a little more appreciation, since you gettin' a free vacation."
"Lafayette, I don't know if I wanna do this. I really ain't interested in meeting nobody."
"Girlfriend, is you outta yo mind? This is a chance to live in a mansion and be treated like a queen for free. Lots of folks would kill for the chance you got. Just look at it as a free vacation; a chance to get away from all the shit that's been happening around Bon Temps lately. And nobody expects you to fall in love with whatever raggedy ass bachelor they dig up. Everybody knows reality show couples never work out, so just go to New Orleans and have fun."
Tara looked at Sookie, who nodded. "Lafayette's right. You deserve to be the one getting pampered for a change. And who knows, this guy just might turn out to be Mr. Right." Tara rolled her eyes and Sookie laughed. "Now let's get you ready for a trip to New Orleans."
The next six weeks were a whirlwind of activity. After Sam reluctantly agreed to give her time off, Tara found herself in a limousine being whisked away from Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana and heading for a mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans. She wondered what the hell she had let Sookie and Lafayette talk her into.
The Three Amigos