*Rubbing hands together and cackling evilly*
Ready for a new chapter? I know I didn’t update yesterday. Like I told one of my reviewers, my muse didn’t go on strike, my body did. I went from feeling sick to being sick and needed my own day of rest, but I worked on this chapter all night and have it for you now. I could’ve split this into to two, but decided not to since I was running late with it anyway and owed you one. It’s probably the longest chapter you’ve seen yet, so enjoy it!
Just one warning, you should all keep in mind Sookie picks unique punishments. If you think back to how she punished people who pissed her off earlier in the story, this chapter should make complete sense to you.
Disclaimer: I do not own TB or SVM. Charlaine Harris, Alan Ball, and HBO do. I just wanted to give their stories an extreme makeover. Ain’t it pretty?
When I was done ransacking the mansion for evidence, I popped back into our room and made sure the jammer was still working before setting it back up on the dresser. I then pulled out my cell phone, the USB drives, the cloner, the keys, and the stakes, setting them all next to the jammer. With Lorena’s dried blood still coating my ass, I felt absolutely disgusting and was planning to take a shower before Alcide came to get us. Since it was about 9:30 a.m. and we had asked him to come pick us up at 11:00 a.m., it was very likely Alcide had already loaded up our travel coffins into his work van and was just waiting for me to give him the signal, which was just a text message. Because of this, I couldn’t pop myself over to my coffin and add all our evidence to it like I had with the button cameras.
In order to teleport somewhere, I needed to visualize the area I wanted to pop to. It didn’t have to be a place I’d been to before, but I did need a visual of it to work off of. Usually, I pulled the image from my own memory or I snagged a memory out of someone else’s mind to use as a map of the area I wanted to pop to. Just today, I had used an image I dug from the mind of a guard last night to pop to the slave quarters and sifted through Tara’s most recent thoughts for a visual of the room she was trapped in. I repeated that process when I popped Tara back to her apartment.
The more recent the memory, the better the template I created would be and the less likely it’d be that I’d end up in a very inconvenient situation. I already found myself in a dumpster once back in Dallas, so (after my fifteenth shower) I decided I needed to make sure I had the freshest memories of the places I wished to go from then on. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what the inside of Alcide’s van looked like. Without that image, I couldn’t pop myself into the back of it and lock the evidence inside my normal coffin. I could pop into the coffin itself, but then I would undoubtedly break the button cameras stored inside. Plus, the coffin was already full. I had emptied out most of my bag and placed the dirty clothes and any extra outfits I brought to Jackson inside the coffin, using it like it was an extra suitcase. Since I couldn’t lock up the other devices, I planned to ask Godric to stay awake and keep an eye on the room to make sure nobody walked in and discovered them until I finished my shower.
To prove to Russell that Godric really was training me in the way of old, we packed extremely light. The whole point of this type of training was to learn how to survive on your own in case something ever happened to your maker or you needed to go to ground for some reason. I emptied everything out of my bag the night before at Alcide’s except for two days’ worth of clothing and a nightgown. I also packed some makeup (a tube of lip gloss, eyeliner, mascara, and a little red eyeshadow), my wallet, and a hairbrush, but that was it. I was charging my phone with a portable battery so I didn’t even bring a charger with me.
After I unloaded all my spy gear, I walked over to Godric’s coffin and entered the code that disengaged the lock. Because he was such a sweetheart, Godric had programmed the date I rose vampire to be the temporary password. I leaned over the coffin to get a closer look at him, trying to decide where the best place would be to zap him with my light. Ultimately, I ended up zapping him lightly on the chest. One second his eyes were closed and the next he shot up into a sitting position. It all happened before I could pull back so we accidentally smacked our heads together.
I knew he was hardheaded, but seriously?
Unfortunately for me, Godric was 2,000 years old and much stronger than I was, so it hurt like a son of a bitch. Godric didn’t seem to be hurting at all and started laughing like a gleeful maniac while I tenderly rubbed my forehead. He pushed me enough mirth to fill the Grand Canyon and I just responded by sending him a push that said he’d enjoy wearing a necklace made of garlic.
Godric laughed all over again, delighted by the pushes I send him whenever he embarrassed or irritated me, and took my offered hand so I could help pull him out of the coffin. He glanced around and noticed the dresser was covered in all my gadgets and gear, so he turned back to me and gave the bond a double tug while pushing me curiosity. I quickly opened up my shields, pushed my influence towards him, and listened with my mind.
You’ve used one stake, so I take it Franklin is dead and Lorena’s been glamoured? he asked.
I shook my head no and sent, Lorena attacked me before I could even begin tryin’ to glamour her. I ended up stakin’ her too… We can talk out loud, Godric, the jammer’s been turned on.
He nodded absentmindedly, too focused on the fact that his month old progeny killed two vampires centuries older than her within the span of a couple hours. Godric was against unnecessary violence. He was trying to actively change the way he lived, but he also realized killing was inevitable if you were vampire, so he taught me how to defend myself and prepared me for the eventuality of killing someone. He didn’t just stop with my training after teaching me the basic moves involved in self-defense though; we started sparring soon after and Godric used that opportunity to relentlessly hammer the idea I should never kill innocents into my brain. By doing so, Godric effectively linked fighting and the bloodshed of innocents together in my mind, conditioning me to think through any bout of violence before I act and avoid harming any innocents involved.
“Tara’s an innocent, master. Franklin was plannin’ on turnin’ her tonight without her consent.” His head whipped up at this and he looked at me with shock while fury galloped across the bond. “And if I didn’t kill Lorena, she would’ve killed me or turned me in to Russell and Tara would be the slave of a psychotic vampire for eternity. I did what I had to,” I explained quietly.
I was worried he thought I killed her unnecessarily and I couldn’t tell what Godric was feeling at the moment because he was too conflicted. His emotions were bouncing back and forth and I was getting dizzy just trying to follow them. Finally, Godric took a couple steps towards me and placed his hands on my upper arms while he whispered, “I’m proud of you, Sookie. I know you wouldn’t end her without cause. I was just worried about the likelihood it’ll come back to haunt us. We only planned to glamour her and we didn’t work out all the angles of her possible death. I’m concerned Russell will figure it out.”
I pushed him reassurance and an incredible amount of confidence as I then started summarizing everything I’d gone through today, “Master, the guards had manacled Compton and chained him to the floor. Someone then hung the keys way up…”
When I finished recounting the day’s events, he was wearing another one of his famous shit-eating grins. I could feel through the bond that he was incredibly impressed with how I took out Lorena, threw away the evidence by literally burning it, and glamoured the wolves to take the blame. My improvised version to cover up Lorena’s death turned out to be loads better than what we had originally planned. We had planned to glamour Lorena into letting Bill go, making it look like she had set him free, and then I’d pop him back here and load him into my coffin just like I did before.
Glamouring Lorena into giving up Bill just wouldn’t mesh very well with what we knew of her personality. From what we’d seen of her since we arrived, it was obvious she wanted to keep Bill with her at all times, not let him go. On top of that, she would’ve let Bill go as instructed if the glamour worked, but she probably would’ve called him back immediately afterwards. Now, because I glamoured the wolves into thinking this all happened before sunrise, it looked like she was feeding Bill and getting ready to take off with him. If she was just releasing Bill, she would’ve fed him during the day and called someone to retrieve Bill since all the other vampires would’ve been dead for the day. However, if she was caught releasing him before sunrise, it would look like she was planning an escape for them both.
She was obsessed with Bill and glamouring her to let him go would only take her so far because there were limits to what we could successfully glamour a person into believing. The closer something was to the core of an individual, the harder it was to successfully glamour that something out of them (like Debbie and her addiction to V). Loving her progeny had definitely become fundamental to who Lorena was at her core and glamouring that out of her wouldn’t last for long. This way, we had two “witnesses” to her demise and they would take the blame for Lorena’s death. All our worries about the glamour holding up in Lorena completely evaporated because, now, there was no longer any Lorena to worry about.
“Should I glamour Bill into thinking Lorena released him, master?” I asked.
He thought everything through for a minute, analyzing all the angles and finally shook his head no, “Glamour him into thinking the two Were guards staked her and released him. Make it look like you glamoured the wolves into collecting him from Lorena and instructed them to meet with our dayman afterwards to turn him over to us. Lorena refused to give him up so they staked her. When the Magister questions him about it, he’ll see you passed his test when he tortures Compton. Otherwise he might believe it to be a happy accident and we really don’t need him issuing you another test. Compton won’t remember seeing you when the sun had already risen this way either.’
“In all honesty, if there was a way to explain your presence during the daylight hours, I wouldn’t have you glamour him at all. We were tasked with retrieving Compton and learning that you killed her in a fair fight would impress him, but it’s too much of a risk letting Compton keep that knowledge.”
I nodded and pushed him understanding. We fell silent for a moment before I felt Godric’s curiosity start to rise in the bond. I gave him a questioning look and Godric smiled at me and flooded me with mischief and intrigue.
“Show me, Sookie. Show me what happened in the slave quarters. I want to see how you took down Lorena,” Godric requested. Or ordered. Maybe it was a request and an order? Godric was really good at those.
Reluctantly, I dropped my shield and pushed my influence out to him while pulling with my telepathy and streamed him my memory of “rescuing” Bill. Even if I hadn’t been watching with him, I still would’ve realized when the exact moment came that I landed on my ass in a Lorena-sized blood puddle because he started laughing hysterically. He could hear the thoughts I had during the memory too and found it hilarious that I thought Lorena still got the last word. When he opened his eyes again, he asked me to turn around. I did, not really understanding why he asked this of me, and I blushed harder than I ever had before when Godric started laughing all over again. He was looking at my ass and my pants where the blood coated it.
Is this what they call a blood moon?
Just as my patience started to run out, he said, “Obviously you want to take a shower. I’ll watch over the gadgets and make sure nobody comes in while you go get cleaned up. When you’re done, burn the pants.”
I chuckled and snatched a towel from the wooden case containing all sorts of shower and bath goodies. I was seriously tempted to take a bath, but I didn’t have time to enjoy it. I cleaned up at vamp speed and borrowed a hair dryer from beneath the sink. I dried my hair and moved on to adding a little bit of makeup and put on a dark red eyeshadow that I faded into black, added mascara and eyeliner, and topped it off with a shiny pink lip gloss. Then I opened up my bag and pulled out a pair of black jeans and an old red shirt, just in case Bill bled on me later.
After we finished at the hotel, I’d change out of it and put on a silk tank top that had five thin layers of overlapping fabric. Each layer was cut about four inches in length and overshadowed the top of another. The black straps crisscrossed over my back and the layers alternated colors with the first layer being red, then cream, back to red, and etc. A black belt was attached just beneath the bust, matching the straps at the top and the black hem at the bottom. My outfit for the rest of the day/night would then almost be complete.
I gathered up the cargo pants, quickly rechecked all the pockets, added my ruined shoes to the pile, and released a blast of sunlight to vaporize it all. I then focused my inner eye and pictured a pair of boots with stilettos and a pair of red fuck-me pumps I had at home and called them to me. I’d slip on the heels later and wear them at Fangtasia tonight. I put on the boots, effectively making myself four inches taller, and laced them up before slipping the pumps into my bag.
When I was done, I slung the bag over my shoulder and walked out to join Godric. I turned off the jammer so I could send Alcide a text to let him know we were ready but turned it right back on afterwards. While we waited, I asked Godric to redo my braid and he took the opportunity to teach me some more Swedish. When I recognized Alcide’s mind approaching the mansion, I told Godric and we cleaned up and secured all the gadgets we brought at vamp speed. After we were done, Godric climbed back into his coffin and shut it, quickly falling back into death. I absorbed the light into my spark again and disappeared from view just as two guards opened the door.
The guards, who were Weres, picked up Godric’s travel coffin and loaded it before coming back and doing the same with mine. I followed them out, waited until my coffin was loaded in the back of Alcide’s work vehicle, and shot passed the guards and into the back before they could pull the door closed.
On the way over to the hotel, I made sure to call Eric, check-in, and demand he go to bed. Alcide checked us into a vampire friendly place called the Anubis Inn, which was part of a hotel chain owned and operated by the same people who created Anubis Air. They branched out and worked their way into travel accommodations of all sorts when they saw how well their night flights were doing.
After Alcide checked us in and unloaded all the coffins into our suite, I released my light again. I only had a couple of hours alone with Bill and had to make sure he fed before Alcide returned, so I worked quickly. I cleared a space out in the main room, pushing the furniture and coffee table up against the walls and then spread out a blue tarp, which I stole from Alcide’s work things, along the floor. I pulled one of the heavy metal-framed chairs forward and placed it on the tarp. Bill had gone through a lot of torture last night, so I honestly wasn’t planning on getting too violent with him… unless he refused to answer my questions. I spread the tarp out just in case. It’d be really difficult to explain blood stains to the managers of the hotel.
I pulled a cooler out from our pile of things that Alcide brought in and placed it over by the microwave before heating up a couple bags. Alcide stopped by the blood bank and purchased some bags for us (it’s amazing how many blood banks for profit opened up after the great reveal) in case Bill needed human blood. While it heated, I slipped on the leather gloves again and walked over to Bill’s coffin. Part of me just wanted to leave him in there and revel in his panic when he woke later and realized he was locked in, but the other part of me had waited too long for this talk.
Of course, there was an even darker part of me that wanted to kill Bill, like the movie. I couldn’t do that though, my bloodline was depending on us to deliver Bill to the Magister and get his focus off of us. Godric knew I wouldn’t kill him because of that very fact and hadn’t even commanded me not to because of it. My urge to protect my family outweighed my need for justice and he knew it.
But I could still have a little fun.
Decision made, I typed in the code, lifted the top, and plucked Bill out with my vampiric strength. I quickly sat him down on the chair and unlocked one of his wrists and used that free link to cuff him to the chair. He was strong enough to damage the chair if he really wanted to, but its weight would slow him down and hinder him just long enough for me to pop away if he lunged at me.
As soon as I laid eyes on that self-loathing asshole again, my emotions began to tighten and shrink, like my fairy side was tucking them away, hiding them deep inside. I felt myself becoming more predatory and aggressive the longer I looked at him. While I waited for the blood, I lazily stretched myself and flexed my muscles, loosening myself up. The microwave went off and I snatched up the bags at vamp speed and dumped them back into the cooler. I sank my fangs into one as I walked back over to Bill and drank it, needing to settle myself and reinforce my current zen-like behavior before I woke him up.
I quickly trashed the empty bag and set the cooler down next to my own chair a couple feet away. I tested the strength of his chains again before taking a step back, out of arm’s reach, removed my gloves, and leaned over to give his bare and bloody chest a nice, strong zap of sunlight.
While he screeched like a banshee and flinched, I chuckled to myself and taunted him with a pat on the cheek, “Wakey, wakey, Beehl. We need to have a little talk.”
He watched me sit down and pick up the cooler with furrowed brows while his mind tried to figure out where he was. As he took in his surroundings, he realized we were no longer in Russell’s mansion and relief started to swell within him. I opened the cooler, pulled out a blood bag, and held it up in question as I tucked the cooler next to my chair again. His fangs dropped and he nodded while licking his lips. I chucked it at him and he reached up and caught it with vampire reflexes.
With the hand that was still chained.
He followed the chain with his eyes back to where it was cuffed to the chair and realized his feet were also still bound.
“Drink,” I commanded.
He bit into the bag and drank, since there really wasn’t much else he could do when he felt this weak, but kept his eyes on me. The more he drank, the clearer his thoughts became and he finally started grasping the enormity of the situation he had found himself in. Bill thought I was saving him earlier, now he was beginning to understand there was a very real possibility I hadn’t been rescuing him at all…
I had been hunting him.
When he finished the bag he dropped it on the tarp by his feet. Alarm shot through him when he noticed the tarp and the hairs on the back of his neck started to rise.
“Here’s the deal, Bill. You answer my questions and I’ll give you more blood. You don’t answer them,” I said lazily and smiled sinisterly as I pulled out my silver dagger, “and you’ll be givin’ me blood instead.”
His eyes widened and he nodded slowly. He swallowed once and said, “Sookie, I have not felt your presence in over a month. I thought you had died, sweetheart. You can ask me anything, of course, but do you really need to chain me up to do it?”
“Oh, I think so,” I nodded, “I remember another meetin’ the two us of had where I thought I would be safe being alone with you and got the shit beaten out of me instead. Do you remember that, Bill?” I asked and he winced. “Do you remember havin’ two psychos nearly beat me to death so you could drown me in blood?”
He cleared his throat nervously and looked away from me. His mind answered my question before he could even open his mouth and I watched as Bill glamoured the Rats into attacking me. He glamoured them to specifically bring me to death’s door and watched it all happen. Then he swooped in to save me, pretending to be my knight in shining armor when really he was the villain in this fairytale.
Bill quickly put two and two together and realized I already knew about the queen and that he was sent to procure me, so he kept his eyes trained on the floor and answered me softly, “I was ordered by Sophie-Anne, Sookie. I had no choice.”
I pulled a blood bag out of the cooler and tossed it to him for answering honestly. He immediately bit in and drank. When he finished, I asked another question, playing with my dagger absentmindedly while I spoke, “Were you ever gonna tell me?”
“I hoped to, some day, I swear it,” he said with a pleading voice. “I did not know why she wanted you. As I got to know you, I purposefully kept you from her.”
That wasn’t an honest answer. First off, he did know why his queen wanted me. He figured it out and realized I was part Fae. After hours and hours of research, he had learned about some day-walking myth that claimed Fae blood worked like some type of vampire sunscreen, protecting those who drank it from the rays of the sun. Secondly, Bill planned to always keep me in the dark. He never wanted me to learn the truth and he figured if he drugged me enough, I’d never find out or ask him about it either. Instead of confronting him, l tossed him another bag and let him start digging his own grave.
After he finished that one too, I asked, “How long would that have lasted, Bill? How long did you honestly think you could keep me from her? You should’ve told me. If you had ever cared for me, you would’ve told me and we would’ve worked out what to do next together.”
“But I do care for you, Sookie. I had already found a solution, sweetheart. I planned on asking for your hand after we got back from Dallas. I even bought a ring and plane tickets to Vermont. After we married, I would’ve told you everything. We would’ve seen the world together and I could’ve kept you safe from her,” he said with a wistful smile on his face.
The disturbing thing was, he actually believed I would’ve gone along with that. He believed we would’ve gotten married and we would’ve toured the world. He convinced himself I would forget all about my family and friends in Bon Temps and we would never return to Louisiana. That way, Bill would be everything to me. He would be my whole world.
And I would be his telepath on a leash, favorite blood bag, and personal sunscreen.
When I caught that stray tidbit floating around in his thoughts, I pushed myself even deeper into his mind than I had before, analyzing how Bill Compton truly viewed me and what his genuine thoughts of me were. I combed his mind for everything he truly felt and learned instantly that he wasn’t in love with me. He had never been in love with me. He had been fascinated with me. I was a mystery to him, one that he was determined to solve. When he got his blood in me, the intensity and purity of my emotions had blown him away and made him even more curious. And after he drank my blood? Well, he was already becoming addicted to my emotions and how I tasted just sealed the deal for him.
He was obsessed with me and literally addicted to three things about me, none of which being my character. It all boiled down to feeling my emotions, drinking my blood, and the way I made him feel… and all of that combined into a pretty package? It made me intoxicating to him. Then there was my naïveté and lack of knowledge of the supe world, which made me even more irresistible to someone like Bill. For the first time in his undeath, someone treated him like he was a godsend. He loved seeing the devotion in my eyes and knowing he was a hero to me. He thrived on that knowledge.
When that devotion started fading from my eyes and I began challenging him more and more, he made a decision to flood me with more blood. The maenad’s attack was an act of extremely good luck in Bill’s eyes. He realized he might not get another chance to feed me for a while and decided he would soak the flame of stubbornness and fight still burning within me with as much blood as possible. Bill took that opportunity to try to force enough blood down my throat to suppress my freewill, attempting to turn me into a blood slave, but his plan was interrupted and halted when Eric commented on how much he was feeding me.
Did I mention I loved that smug Viking? Because if I hadn’t, I really should.
“Yeah,” I scoffed, “that’s incredibly romantic Bill. I could see why you would wanna marry me. Who wouldn’t want his own personal pet telepath? And what a way to keep a supply of delicious blood handy! Sounds like the ideal marriage to me. It’s a bummer that I’m vampire now, huh?”
Not for me though. I now had a set of snappy teeth I could use to tear his throat out.
His eyes widened again and he vehemently shook his head before dropping his voice an octave and thickening his Southern drawl as he argued, “No. It is who you are, Sookie, not what you are that I love, and will love always. Until I meet the true death!”
My fangs dropped and I vamped forward, coming to a stop in front of him in a crouch. Not prepared in the slightest for my reaction, he flinched backwards while I growled. I used my voice in an understated way, coming across as eerily calm as I spoke, “Love? You don’t even get to use that word.”
The hairs on his arms stood on end and a chill slid down his spine. He opened his mouth to say something else equally dramatic and frustrating, so I just cut him off.
“You manipulated me into fallin’ in love with you!” I spat out at him.
“No!” he argued. “No, the love you felt for me was real. Your feelings were genuine!” he yelled back. I was incredibly grateful Godric had booked a room that was sound-proof in that moment.
I reached out and slapped him. And I slapped him hard. His head whipped to the side from the force of it and a loud crack echoed through the room, the sound of my palm connecting with his cheek.
“You and I both know that’s not true, Bill,” I whispered. He slowly turned back to look at me with an extremely guilty expression on his face. “I know what love feels like now. The love I feel? It’s so much stronger than what you forced on me,” I said in a soft and seductive voice, “You’ve felt the strength of my emotions, Bill. Can you imagine what I feel now?” I sighed longingly. “How intense and wonderful and beautiful it would be to experience love from me?” I smiled to myself, giving him the impression I was caught up in that feeling right then and there before I murmured, “It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever encountered.”
His brows furrowed and curiosity started to overwhelm him. Bill did remember. In fact, he couldn’t forget it. The emotions he felt from me had been the most intense in his life and he had never felt more human than he did when he felt what I felt. Feeling my emotions had kick-started his own, kick-started something that he had thought to be lost for eternity. After so many years at Lorena’s side, Bill had begun to truly feel monstrous, to feel empty, and I brought him back from that dark abyss without even trying and made him feel renewed. He felt things for the first time in decades when he was with me. He felt like a human man, which is what truly got him addicted to me. That’s what he craved most, after all, to be human again.
“Who?” he asked. “Who brought that out in you, Sookie?”
“It’s so powerful, Bill,” I continued in a dreamy voice, ignoring him. “It burns so brightly, so intensely. It flows through my veins like sunlight and I swear it physically warms me. Can you imagine being caressed by hundreds of hands all at once? Being blanketed in thousands of tender kisses and embraced by light itself?”
“Who? Who, Sookie?” he asked desperately and his mind churned with envy.
Love had been the one emotion Bill couldn’t evoke in me. He had flushed my veins with his blood and done everything he could to make me love him, but it hadn’t worked. My emotions had been so utterly unique and intoxicating that he had tried to flush out as many as possible in a sadistic attempt to experience every human emotion through me, which was something I’d gleaned from his memories. Eventually, he forced his own experience with love on me in a pathetically desperate attempt to see that warmth in my eyes, hoping he could kick-start my own ability to love like I had kick-started so many emotions in him. It was literally eating him up on the inside to think someone had gotten me to feel that in less than a month when he hadn’t been able to.
I smiled sinisterly again and, suddenly afraid of my answer, his stomach dropped. I pulled my braid over my shoulder and ran my fingers along it so he could see the Viking hairstyle. His eyes narrowed when he noticed it and I stroked it tenderly as I whispered, “Eric.”
He snarled and tried to move forward but the silver rubbed painfully against his skin. He wasn’t strong enough yet to move aggressively and battle that pain at the same time so he immediately collapsed back into the chair. Burnt flesh filled the air and he hissed, “Eric?” I nodded and smiled again. “Eric could never love you, Sookie. He will never love you. He will use you.”
And what? Bill hadn’t?
Jealousy, rage, and envy were clouding his thoughts, turning them black and snarly. It was driving him mad to be compared to Eric, especially since the comparison was not going in his favor.
I rolled my eyes at him and said, “Well, even if that were true, and it isn’t, I love him, Bill. And feelin’ that love? It just makes it painfully clear to me that I never loved you.” He started actually shaking in his seat with rage. When I asked the next question though, he froze completely, becoming preternaturally still. “Who was it, Bill? Who was it that you felt love for? You pushed that emotion to me but you never actually felt it for me.”
He looked away and protested, “I did love you. That was what I felt for you.”
Well, now we were getting somewhere. He just admitted he had sent me love when a second ago he had been adamant that feeling was my own.
Genuine my ass.
“No,” I said slowly while his mind answered the question with a name his mouth refused to form. “No, you didn’t. Is this how you felt for Caroline, Bill? Your wife?”
He jerked and turned back to look at me with vamp speed.
“It is, isn’t it? You tried to turn me into Caroline,” I said incredulously while he shook his head in denial. “I’m not her, Bill. You’ve always tried to treat me like someone I’m not. Now, I know who. I’ve never been the type to stand on the sidelines if people I know and love are hurtin’ when I know I could do somethin’ about it. You? You tried to suppress that urge, put out that fire. You wanted me to be the typical Southern flower who watched as her big, strong man took care of everythin’ for her.” I tsked him like he was a toddler and added, “Ya know, Eric doesn’t treat me like that. Instead of tryin’ to put out that spark, he fans it into a flame. Then he sits down and warms his hands with the heat from it. He enjoys it.”
“Eric is an idiot,” he muttered.
I laughed. Bill Compton calling Eric an idiot? Now that was funny.
Silence filled the room when my laughter trailed off and I lowered my voice, making it icier than a ski run in the Alps, when I said, “You tried to force me to be somethin’ I’m not. Tried to compel me to do somethin’ that just wasn’t in my nature… just like your maker did to you. Just like Lorena.”
“I am not Lorena!” he snarled viciously and his fangs dropped.
I shook my head sadly and argued, “You have the potential to do so much good in this world, Bill. With the strength of your glamour, you could help people. You could glamour those in pain not to feel it, help those with severe phobias get over their fears, treat people suffering from trauma and glamour the hurt right out of them. So much good… if only you put that devious and manipulative mind to better uses. Instead? You used your hold on me through the blood to pull my strings like a puppet. Just like Lorena did with her hold on you through her blood and the maker’s command.”
“I am not my maker!” he growled.
“Really, Bill?” I asked calmly. I stood up slowly and started weaving my dagger in and out of my fingers like a coin trick I once saw, completely ignoring the burn while I circled him, stalking him like a lion would as I laid out my trap. “Maybe you should really think about this, because I’m pretty sure I see some similarities.”
The entire time we had been talking, I had been rummaging through his mind and collecting memories for this precise moment, especially the recent memory of the conversation he had with Lorena. I had been sifting through them, mining for memories in which he had abused his vampire abilities like I was an old-timer panning for gold. I collected them all and stored them in a corner of my mind as I led Bill further down the rabbit hole. Now I was going to give him a glimpse into the looking glass.
When we were done, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was as mad as a hatter.
“The things you’ve done, Bill,” I sighed out. “Caroline would be so disappointed.” He hung his head a split-second before I started streaming his own memories back to him. I began with the women Lorena forced him to lure in. They were so innocent, so hopeful. Like me, they originally found his Southern façade charming. Like me, they thought he was the perfect Southern gentleman. Like me, they judged a book by the cover.
I really should’ve known better. I was telepathic and I knew for a fact some of the best looking people in the world had insides that would make a person’s skin crawl.
Ted Bundy, for example.
Bill started to tremble as he watched. When I was done with those, I fluidly transitioned his thoughts into memories of him and Lorena making love as they killed them. I showed him their faces, slowing down the speed of the memories to linger on them as they cried out for help. Then I moved on to the memories of the times he had instigated the hunts. Bill had been an active participant. After a few years of watching Lorena do these things, he figured to hell with it, shrugged his shoulders, and joined in. He was not an innocent bystander. Knowing he had done all these things literally made me want to vomit. He had touched me with those same hands and that knowledge disgusted me.
“I stopped,” he gasped. A couple blood tears had escaped and now the room was full of the wretched scent that accompanied his blood. “I stopped and made Lorena release me. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I would never have done those things if it hadn’t been for Lorena.”
Yes, it was true, he did stop. But, honestly, he gave up one atrocious act for another. Instead of taking their lives with his own hands, he collected them and turned them over to others. He didn’t deliver the killing blow, but he still handed down the death sentence.
I leaned down from where I now stood behind him and whispered in his ear, “Really, Bill? Did you? You used to lure them in for Lorena. Now you lure them in for monarchs. You can’t blame those deaths on Lorena, can you?”
I restarted the memory reel again, slower this time, and replayed the memories of every person he had ever procured. He whimpered as he watched and more blood streamed down his face. I showed him what they looked like before he had taken them, many of them fresh and hopeful, not like the depressed stripper he collected for Russell. Then I showed him what they looked like once they became blood slaves. I slowed the pace down even more and added in the memories he had of their fates, at least of the ones he had encountered later. Some of them were even drained right in front of him. Others spent weeks under the thumb of a vampire before their bodies gave out. The truly unfortunate ones were forcefully kept alive by vampire blood. And the ones I wish had died? They were turned and now serving out their eternities under vicious and abusive masters.
“You still enjoy watching the light fade out from their eyes…” I said in a condescending tone. Bill’s entire frame shook as a sob wracked his body. I finally stopped the influx of memories after I replayed the memory of having me beaten to drown me in blood. I leaned down once again to speak in his ear, whispering something else I had pulled from a memory, the same words he had said to Lorena earlier this morning, “She made you her mirror.”
“No!” he shouted as blood dripped down his cheeks.
“Yes,” I murmured and stood up, “You did embrace her nature after all, Bill. You just acted it out in a different way.”
I walked back around and took my seat in front of him, studying him. His face was covered in blood and he held himself like a broken man. There wasn’t much else I could do to Bill Compton to hurt him. Lorena had massacred him earlier and he still hadn’t broken. He looked more lost now than he did after years of torment and abuse at her side. I could feel my thirst for vengeance slowly receding, I felt sated.
“You. You’re doing this, aren’t you? You’re forcing this on me.”
Godric commanded me the night I rose vampire never to tell anyone about my Fae gifts, so I didn’t confirm or deny it, I let him form his own conclusions and shrugged. He reached up and wiped his face as he thought through it all. I brought his attention back to me when I asked, “How does it feel, Bill? How does it feel to have somethin’ so powerful forced on you by somebody you thought loved you?” I looked down and cleaned my nails as I then whispered, “Does it hurt?”
Another tear slid down his cheek during the ensuing silence before he finally nodded and choked out, “Yes, yes it does. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Sookie.”
For once, he answered me honestly.
“It’s not enough to be sorry, Bill. What’s done is done and you can’t change it,” I sighed. “I’m the one who’s sorry. I’m sorry the kin of all those other people you killed and procured won’t get justice, but I guess turnin’ you into the Magister for the sellin’ of vampire blood will have to do…”
With my words he brought his eyes up from the spot he’d been studying on the floor and he tiredly asked, “What do you mean?”
I quickly pushed my glamour towards him and said in a voice that dripped sex, “Eric never sold V for the queen, Bill. You did. You sold the blood right out of your own home and even attempted to blackmail Lafayette into sellin’ it for you. You didn’t think you would need to use your glamour on him and thought a simple threat would suffice. The queen called you and warned you the Magister was lookin’ into the uptick in V related crime in the area and you panicked. You called your maker for advice, but she used it against you and told her sovereign, who then had you kidnapped. What a stupid move.”
He nodded in agreement and gave me a sheepish smile as he robotically said, “Really stupid.”
In reality, it wasn’t far off from the truth. He hadn’t called Lorena for advice, but I read from Lorena’s mind that she had been bribing several people in Sophie-Anne’s court for information 24/7 on her progeny. Someone had overheard something about the queen punishing Bill for my death by providing her with his own blood to sell and reported it to Lorena. Before Bill got involved, the queen had been using her own blood and that of her progenies. After Bill screwed up in Dallas, at least in her opinion, she told him he was going to start ”earning his keep” since he had obviously failed at procuring me and began draining him on a daily basis during the two weeks of his punishment. Once he was released, he had to report back to her compound every three days to make another donation to the crown.
I’d feel guilty, but that would be impossible after seeing how many lives Bill had ruined.
“Yeah. Idiotic,” I said with a nod and a bright smile. The idiot smiled back. “And earlier today, I didn’t come for you. Two of Russell’s wolves did. Surprisingly, it looked like they had actually been glamoured into freeing you. Lorena didn’t wanna give you up so they fought and somehow managed to stake her. Then they collected you and put you in a travel coffin before drivin’ you out to meet Godric’s dayman, another Were. The dayman brought you to the hotel and turned you over to us. I woke you from your rest with silver. You never saw me in the slave quarters. I was never there.”
“Of course not, Sookie,” he laughed. “How would you have gotten there? The Weres came for me.”
I leaned forward then, resting my elbows on my knees and fiddling with my knife, and added, “And you will remember everythin’ we talked about for the rest of your life. As far as you know, I’m not telepathic, but I did make you take a good, hard look at yourself, didn’t I?”
When he thought about how I had asked him how it felt, he would think I was referring to how he felt being reminded of something so serious and painful. He’d probably even assume the Were guards had overhead his conversation with Lorena and reported it back to me. Thinking I was telepathic would be the one thing he wouldn’t do, though, thanks to my glamour.
His smile fell and he agreed in a solemn tone, “Yes, yes you did.”
“And you will never call me sweetheart again, will you?” I asked in an icy tone.
“No, I won’t.”
I pulled back the glamour, stood up, and said, flatly, “The Magister figured it out, Bill. He knows about your side business sellin’ blood. It’s why we came for you.”
Bill sat in silence, thinking about everything he had remembered today and what lay in store for him as I walked over to my coffin, the one I owned, slipped my gloves back on and pulled out a small necklace and a much thicker, long silver chain. I vamped back over to Bill and looped the chain around his other arm before he could react and secured it. He just sat there, too wounded from the earlier exchange to give a shit what happened to him now.
I vamped back in front of him, crouched before him, and said in a dark tone that made him shiver, “There’s one more thing, Bill. You fuckin’ took my virginity from me knowin’ I didn’t care for you and you owe me a blood debt. Consider this repayment.”
I then dropped the silver necklace down the front of his pants and stood up while he screamed. He’d burn for hours and I was sure nobody would be removing it when we got to Fangtasia. I’d cut it off, but I’d already touched that thing more than I’d wanted to in one lifetime. Besides, I had a feeling Godric or Eric would want that honor.
When he kept screaming like a pansy, I picked up an end table and brought it down on his head. Thankfully, it worked and I knocked him out. He’d stay in his day-rest state until sunset. I’d pay for the damages to the room later.