Bill rose the next night with a plan slowly forming in his mind. He knew getting Sookie away from Eric wouldn’t be easy and he would require help. It was clear to him that, for all her power, Sophie-Anne wouldn’t provide much, if any, help. As much as she wanted the telepath, she couldn’t move directly against Eric. Out of everyone, she had the most to lose if it was revealed she was trying to separate a bonded pair—if they were bonded. Sophie-Anne would cause as much trouble she could for Eric, but only behind the scenes. She wouldn’t risk her Kingdom with a direct assault against him, not yet anyway.
She would protect Bill as much as she could; he was not as disposable as some of the vampires in her retinue, and he knew this. He was too important to Sophie-Anne for her to allow Eric to harm him irreparably. He would still have to be careful, but this knowledge gave Bill some leeway.
What Bill really needed was information.
He needed to know everything there was to know about Eric and Sookie. How did they meet? How long had they been together? Did Eric know Sookie was a telepath? If so, did he marry her just to secure her to him? Or does he actually love her? And what of Sookie, does she love him? Or has he glamoured her? Does she understand what it means to be a Sheriff’s wife? Is Eric faithful to her? Is Sookie faithful to him? Does he treat her like a wife, or a pet?
Bill had so many questions but no answers. From what he knew about Eric, he found it hard to believe Eric loved Sookie. The Eric he knew was a cold, heartless, ruthless bastard. He didn’t care who he hurt. Bill didn’t think Eric was capable of love. No, Bill was sure Eric was just using her for her telepathy. He had to show Sookie; if he could show her what a heartless bastard Eric was, he was convinced she would leave him. How he was going to do it though, he didn’t know. Eric managed to hide his true nature from her for over two years; she wouldn’t simply believe Bill if he told her what Eric was really like. Especially considering the bad impression he already made on her.
What Bill needed to do was get Eric to reveal his bloodthirsty side in front of her. Bill had seen Eric tear people apart with his bare hands — something he was sure Sookie never witnessed. If she saw that, she would walk away from him without looking back. What would be harder would be getting her to walk to him. He hadn’t made the best first impression, mistaking her for a fangbanger.
The sound of someone knocking on his front door drew Bill from his planning. He growled in frustration as he stomped to the door; he yanked it open, ready to let the person on the other side have it.
The words died in his throat when he saw who was standing on his porch. He put on his most charming smile. “Good evening, Miss Pumphrey,” he greeted as he let his eyes roam over her.
“Good evening, Mr Compton,” she replied. “I hope I’m not disturbing you, but I have been keeping my eyes open for some properties, as you asked, and I believe I may have found some to your liking.”
“Not at all. Please, won’t you come in,” Bill said inviting her in.
Closing the door behind him, Bill showed her through into the living room and offered her a seat. “What can you tell me about the properties? Why do you think these would interest me?” he asked as he sat down beside her.
“It is actually a small piece of land only about an acre, but it houses three businesses,” she explained in her best professional voice. “The current owners have been trying to sell it for years, without much luck. I remember you saying you were looking for something you can invest in, and this is the best piece on the market at the moment. I don’t normally handle this kind of business; I usually specialize in family property, houses and such, but I happen to know the current owner’s family and when she mentioned it to me, I thought it sounded like something you would be interested in.”
“I think you have outdone yourself, Miss Pumphrey,” Bill replied. “This is exactly the type of investment I was looking for.”
“Please call me Selah, Mr Compton,” she said.
“Only if you will call me Bill,” he said. “I will contact my lawyer and have him handle the business of the purchase. Thank you, Selah.”
“You’re more than welcome,” Selah replied coyly. “Are you settling in okay?”
“As well as can be expected. As you can see, the house needs a lot of work. I’m going to have to find some contractors to repair the damage.”
“Well, please let me know if I can be of any assistance,” Selah said. “I will be happy to help in any capacity.”
“That is very kind of you,” Bill replied. “I must admit it pains me to see the condition my old home is in. I only hope the town has fared better over the years.”
“Have you not had a look around yet?” Selah asked.
“I’m afraid not, I was planning on doing so after I have secured the house,” Bill answered. “The furthest I have been so far is to introduce myself to my neighbors. I was pleasantly surprised to find a Stackhouse still living there. Do you know Sookie? Are the two of you friends?”
“I know Sookie, I wouldn’t say I’m friends with her though. We move in different circles,” Selah replied.
“You don’t like her.” Bill observed.
“I don’t wish to speak ill of anyone,” Selah said carefully, “but Sookie is…” she trailed off as Bill caught her eyes, she could feel herself falling into his as the room began to sway.
“Tell me the truth: what do you really think of Sookie Stackhouse?” Bill asked, forcing his glamour on her.
“She’s white trash, uneducated and poor. She might have managed to trap herself a rich husband, but it doesn’t change what she is,” Selah replied honestly.
“Do you know her husband?” Bill asked.
“No. I saw him when he visited her when she was working at Merlotte’s and I know of his reputation, but I’ve never met him.”
“Do you know how they met?”
“Do you know when they met?” Bill huffed, not happy with the limited information she was providing.
“When?” he growled.
“Three years ago.”
Bill was interrupted from his questioning by his cell phone ringing. “Hello.” he greeted.
“Be at Fangtasia in forty-five minutes,” Pam said in a bored tone.
“It takes an hour to get from Bon Temps to Shreveport.” Bill replied.
“Then you better hurry or you’ll be late.” Pam cackled.
Bill growled in frustration as the line went dead. Turning to face Selah again, he took a minute to let his eyes take in her glamoured state. Her brown hair hung loose, hitting her shoulders; the first few buttons on her white blouse were undone, showing of a hint of cleavage; her black skirt had risen up, sitting high on her thighs. Bill felt his body react to the stimuli her appearance provided. He cursed not having the time to enjoy her properly.
“Take off your skirt,” he ordered. Bill watched as Selah did as he commanded, revealing her black panties. “Sit back on the sofa and spread your legs.” Bill knelt between her splayed legs. “You want to feed me, don’t you, Selah?”
“You want to please me, don’t you?”
“Good girl,” Bill said as he ran a finger over the inside of her thighs. His fangs ran down as he heard the blood pumping through her veins. Lifting her right leg slightly, he bit down hard, making her cry out. He took a few mouthfuls of blood before retracting his fangs and running his tongue lightly over the wound to seal it. He groaned as he stood up, his erection pressing painfully against his trousers. A quick check of the time told him he didn’t have enough time to satisfy his other hunger.
“Put your skirt back on. You will not remember any of the questions I asked about Sookie Stackhouse tonight. You will remember offering to feed me, and you will return tomorrow and offer yourself to me again. You will not mention what happen here tonight to anyone. Is that clear?”
“Good girl,” Bill sneered. He realized she could help him with the image he was trying to assume. “You will act like you’re my companion. You will only give your blood and body to me, unless I order otherwise.” Satisfied she would follow his orders, he released her from his glamour. “I’m afraid we’ll have to cut our meeting short. I have some business to attend to in Shreveport.”
“Oh,” Selah said disappointedly. ”Well, I don’t want to keep you from your business.”
“I would much rather be spending the evening in your company, Selah.” Bill said, laying it on thick.
“Another time, maybe.”
“Another time,” Bill agreed. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to leave right away.”
“Of course.” Selah replied as she stood up.
Bill followed Selah out, locking the door behind them. He escorted Selah to her car and watched as she climbed in before he made his way to his car. He followed Selah’s car down the driveway, before heading in a different direction as he made his way to Fangtasia.
“Bill will be here in forty-five minutes,” Pam said, cackling as she hung the phone up.
“Good,” Eric replied, “Now, what did you find out? Why is Bill really in my area?”
“It was like we suspected,” Pam said, sobering as the knowledge of what she discovered settled upon her. “According to Melanie, Bill was sent here to procure someone for the Queen, someone who would be a huge asset to her Kingdom.”
“Sookie.” Eric said.
“Yes. Melanie didn’t mention Sookie by name, but she said Bill was trying to procure a telepath.”
“How did they learn about her?” Eric asked. “We have done everything in our power to keep her off their radar.”
“The Queen’s favorite pet is Sookie’s cousin,” Pam said. “Apparently her mouth is as loose as her legs. She’s been telling Sophie-Anne all about her cousin who can read minds, to curry her favor.”
“She sold Sookie out so she could become Sophie-Anne’s chief cunt licker,” Eric growled. “How did we not know Hadley was related to my Sookie?”
“Different last names; she always has her head buried in Sophie-Anne’s crotch; I’ve never met her,” Pam rattled off. “Sookie never mentions her. All she said about her was she had a cousin who ran away from rehab, after stealing their grandmother’s check book. This would have been about six months before she met you. We knew we wouldn’t be able to hide Sookie forever. Have you told Sookie?”
“No. I wanted to be sure before I told her. I didn’t want to worry her if it wasn’t necessary. I will tell her tonight; I won’t hide this from her.”
“What are you going to do about Compton?” Pam asked.
“Nothing,” Eric said with a smirk. “I’m not going to let on I know about his little mission.”
“What? Why?” Pam questioned.
“As long as he is here trying to procure Sookie, Sophie-Anne won’t send anyone else. I have no doubt by now he has told her about my relationship with Sookie, and if I know Sophie-Anne, she will be furious. She’ll want Bill to find out everything he can about us. I can monitor Bill and stay one step ahead of Sophie-Anne at the same time.”
“You know Sophie-Anne isn’t just going to let this go,” Pam warned. “You know how she is when she wants something. She thinks she’s entitled to everything she desires, and she will do whatever it takes to get Sookie.”
“She will not take my wife away from me,” Eric roared. “Sookie is mine; we are bonded by blood and married by human laws.”
“I accept that, but Sophie-Anne won’t,” Pam said carefully.
“Sophie-Anne will not have a choice once I’m finished,” Eric replied darkly. “She will never get her hands on my wife. For now, it is Compton we have to worry about; he is doing her bidding. I want to know everything he knows, everything he does; contact Lisa and have her set up the surveillance. Make sure she takes every necessary precaution, I don’t want to tip Compton off because she got sloppy with her work.”
“She’s never failed us before,” Pam said, “but I’ll be sure to make sure she understands the consequences if she fucks up.”
“Good. I don’t want Compton anywhere near Sookie, but I know that will be impossible now he lives across the cemetery from us, and he will be at the bar at least once a week. Under no circumstance is he to be left alone with her. I will fill Sookie on everything tonight, so she knows what is happening.”
“I will make sure he is never alone with her.” Pam assured.
“Is there any area business I have to handle tonight?” Eric asked going through the papers on his desk.
“Nothing important, just minor issues.” Pam replied.
“Good. I’ll see to them now while I wait for Bill to arrive,” Eric said. “Make sure he is escorted straight through to see me. Why don’t you go and keep your Mistress company?”
“You mean, why don’t I go and make sure Sookie isn’t helping out in the bar.” Pam retorted.
“That work is beneath her.” Eric growled.
“She likes helping.” Pam said.
“I know; doesn’t mean I have to like her doing it,” Eric grumbled. “I hire people to do that, but she refuses to listen to me.”
Pam laughed as she walked out of Eric’s office. She enjoyed watching Sookie stand up to Eric; few vampires dared stand up to her Maker, but the little telepath had never shown any fear in his presence. Even when they first met and Eric tried to intimidate her, she stood her ground and earned his respect, and eventually captured his heart.
Sookie smiled at Pam as she approached Eric’s booth. “Let me guess: Eric sent you to make sure I’m not helping out,” she said.
“He did,” Pam smirked. “I’m beginning to wonder, my telepathic little friend, if you help out just to annoy Eric.”
“I would never do that Pam,” Sookie said. “I like to be helpful.”
“You like winding Eric up,” Pam countered laughing. “You know he hates watching the vermin hitting on you; it makes him act possessively and…”
“Like a bad ass vampire, which is what the fangbangers all come to see, which makes them happy and spend more money, which makes Eric happy and Eric…”
“Stakes his claim on you by fucking you into near unconsciousness, which no doubt makes you happy.” Pam interrupted. “That’s quite devious, Sookie. I’m impressed.”
“Pam!” Sookie cried, embarrassed. “I wasn’t going to say that.”
“Not denying it though, are you?” Pam chortled. The humor vanished from Pam’s face as she spied a red-haired fangbanger approaching the booth. She sneered at the woman as the stench of fear and desire reached her sensitive nose. Pam’s eyes narrowed as she saw the disregard the fangbanger showed Sookie.
“Hi,” the redhead breathed, in what she believed was a sexy tone, as she stroked a finger along her throat, down to her cleavage. “I’m Sandy…”
“Why would I care what your name is, you filthy little whore?” Pam snarled.
“I, er, I thought you might like to drink from me.” Sandy stuttered.
“I don’t feed from trash,” Pam dismissed.
“I’m not trash!” Sandy said.
“You’re worse than trash. What is worse than trash?” Pam made a show of thinking it over. “Sewage,” she exclaimed. “You’re sewage: vile and toxic. I would never lower myself to feed from you; my tastes are much more refined. I only feed from the best.”
“Who? Her?” Sandy spat, pointing at Sookie. “She’s white trash, and everyone knows it. She’s probably been with every vampire here.”
Pam’s hand was wrapped around her throat before anyone even saw her move. “You dare insult my Mistress, you worthless bloodbag? It is only by her grace I don’t drain you dry.” Pam threw her to the floor hard. “You’re pathetic. Now get out of the bar and never return; if you do, my Master will deal with you, and you don’t want to face him after insulting his wife. Indira, make sure she leaves.”
Sandy was dragged out of the bar by a brown-haired vampire as Pam watched. “Things are never dull around you, Sookie.” she said as she sat back down.
“You’re going to blame me for that?” Sookie replied. “I didn’t even open my mouth.”
“I know, I was surprised,” Pam said. “You normally scream at us to let them go. Are you not feeling well?”
“Very funny, Pam,” Sookie said. “You know I haven’t said anything like that in years. I know you couldn’t let it go when she insulted me; it would have looked bad if you had. I may not like it, but I do understand. I promised Eric I would do my complaining in private.”
“You’re finally learning,” Pam snarked.
“Yeah, and it only took me a couple of years. How long did it take you to learn not to argue with Eric?” Sookie asked with a smirk. Her smirk turned into a frown when she saw Bill walk into the bar.
Upon seeing Sookie sitting in the booth, Bill crossed the bar and approached her. He paused briefly as his eyes flickered over Pam. “Good evening,” he greeted.
“Bill.” Pam replied in a bored tone.
“Good evening, Mr. Compton.”
“Please, call me Bill,” he said with false charm. “I would like to apologize for my behavior last night. It was unacceptable. I hope you can forgive me.”
“Apology accepted.” Sookie said gracefully.
“Thank you, Sookie,” Bill replied. “May I call you Sookie?”
“No,” Sookie answered without thought, making Pam laugh. “We are in my husband’s – your Sheriff’s – bar. All the vampires, with the exception of Eric and Pam, call me Mrs. Northman or Mistress. It’s what is expected. I’m sure you understand.”
“Of course, Mrs. Northman.” Bill gritted out, shocked she had spoken to him in such a way.
“If you have finished annoying my Mistress,” Pam said, “the Sheriff wishes to see you. Follow me.”
Having no choice, Bill nodded to Sookie and followed Pam through the club to Eric’s office.
“You’re late.” Eric said as Bill walked through the door.
“My apologies, but Shreveport is an hour’s drive from Bon Temps and I was only given forty-five minutes.”
“I don’t want your excuses,” Eric replied. “I believe when you requested permission to move into my area you agree to follow my rules; that means being here on time when ordered.”
“I also believe I informed you what is acceptable at Sophie-Anne’s court might not be acceptable here. I understand Sophie-Anne is more welcoming of certain sexual practices; she encourages the sharing of pets. She is a very giving Queen.”
“Yes,” Bill replied hesitantly, unsure of where Eric was going.
“In fact, I believe Sophie-Anne is a big fan of voyeurism; she enjoys watching and being watched. I will admit that is something I have enjoyed in the past, but since meeting my beautiful wife, I no longer partake in it. I do not watch others, and no one may watch me and Sookie, ever.”
“Sheriff…” Bill started a sense of dread settling over him.
“I explained the rules to you,” Eric continued, refusing to let him speak. “You were aware Sookie is my wife. It is not as if you are uninformed. So perhaps you would like to explain why you sat in the tree outside my house, watching me and my wife make love, whilst you pulled on your meager excuse for a dick? ?”
“Shut up,” Eric roared. “I do not wish to hear your excuses or pitiful lies. You spied on something you had no right to see: you got off watching my wife ride my cock. My wife is a lady, and will be treated as such. I would end you for this, but you’re not worth the paperwork,” Eric’s eyes darkened as he glared at Bill. “But do not for one minute think you will go unpunished. Pam is very creative when it comes to coming up with suitable punishments; I was just going to cut off your hand, but Pam came up with a much more entertaining punishment. By the time she is finished with you, you will wish I had simply cut off your hand.”
Bill couldn’t conceal the look of fear as Pam’s laughter filled the office. He started to regret ever agreeing to procure the telepath for Sophie-Anne, not that he had a choice in the matter. As he looked between the furious Sheriff and a cackling Pam, Bill prayed to a God he no longer believed in, he would survive his latest mission.