Hadley’s eyes snapped open and widened in fright as they landed on a very awake, very pissed off, and very in control Eric.
Hadley fought back the wave of fear as she stared at a furious looking Eric. A squeak escaped her lips as Eric tightened his hold on her throat. For once in her life, Hadley was at a loss of what to say, and one look at Eric told her even if she wasn’t, he wouldn’t want to hear it. As she sat above him, she wondered where her plan went wrong. It worked in the past. What was it about Eric that made him immune to it? What made Eric immune to her charms?
Swallowing as best she could with Eric’s hand still wrapped around her throat, Hadley parted her lips and darted her tongue out to wet them. “I…” she began, but before she had a chance to say anything else, she felt a hand tangle in her hair and yank her back hard.
“Get the fuck away from my husband, you bitch,” Sookie snarled, as she dragged her cousin out of the bedroom.
Hadley stumbled as Sookie dragged her out of the bedroom, her knees scraping along the carpets painfully, but Sookie didn’t care. She wanted her out of the bedroom and away from her husband. Anger like she had never felt before welled up in Sookie as she threw Hadley to the floor. She knew her cousin was up to something the minute she left the dining room, but she never expected this. When Sookie had felt Eric’s confusion and then anger, Sookie knew Hadley was somehow behind it, and she realized that Eric was the target this time and not her. But she still wasn’t prepared for what she had walked in on. It was clear to her what her cousin was up to the second she entered the room, what she had hoped to achieve, and Sookie was furious.
“Looks like I’ve gotta take some more trash out,” Sookie spat, as she glared down at Hadley. As she stared at Hadley, Sookie didn’t think she had ever been so angry before. She was used to people throwing themselves at her husband, it came with the territory, but none of them ever tried to assault Eric in such a way and none of them had been her cousin.
“Sookie, please,” Hadley begged truly scared, as she stared up at her cousin. “I can explain.”
“This? You can explain this?” Sookie hissed, as she waved her hand around. “Oh this I’ve gotta hear.”
“I didn’t mean… I didn’t want…” Hadley paused, as she took a deep breath. Tears welled in her eyes and she let them fall, hoping to play on Sookie’s sympathies. “It wasn’t my choice. I didn’t want to… He…”
“I swear to God, if you try to say Eric forced you against your will, I will kick your ass,” Sookie threatened, cutting Hadley off. “My husband is not a rapist. And I will not allow you to accuse him of something so despicable.”
“I wasn’t going to say that,” Hadley reply shakily, realizing she had to come up with a good story and quick. “I… I… just meant I didn’t set out to do this. It wasn’t my choice and that I was the donor requested for this.”
“Are you really trying to claim that Eric ordered a donor and specifically asked for you?” Sookie snorted. She swore Hadley got stupider by the minute.
“It’s the truth!” Hadley cried feigning sincerity. “I’m sorry, Sookie, but he asked for me by name. He says he has a thing for big-breasted blondes. I didn’t want to betray you, but this is my job. I can’t risk turning down a request.”
“Can you believe this?” Sookie asked, directing the question to Eric, who had just walked out of the bedroom, having gotten dressed.
”The story is just like your cousin, pathetic,” Eric said, as he moved to stand beside his wife.
“Hey!” Hadley screeched indignantly, as she lifted herself to her feet and pulled the front of Sookie’s nightgown up, covering herself up. “I’m not pathetic.”
“I beg to differ,” Eric snorted. “You are even more pathetic than the vermin that visit our bar.”
”Do you honestly expect me to believe that?” Sookie asked, cutting Hadley off before she even had a chance to reply.
”It’s the truth,” Hadley replied. “I wouldn’t lie to you.”
“No, Hadley, you wouldn’t tell the truth,” Sookie countered, her tone taking on a hard quality. “I can’t believe you’re actually going to stand there and claim my husband requested your services. Eric is right, you are pathetic.”
“Pathetic?” Hadley repeated it, as a sneer curled her lips. “I’m so pathetic that your husband was begging me to fuck him. He said he wanted some good pussy for a change. Someone who knew what they were doing and didn’t just lay there like a limp doll. It’s not my fault your husband prefers me to you.”
“And there’s the Hadley I know and hate,” Sookie snorted. “The one who thinks the whole world wants her and couldn’t tell the truth if her life depended on it. Eric wanted you?” Sookie laughed, “Oh, that’s a good one. I suppose he even told you to wear my nightgown as well. Do you even hear the words that come out of your mouth? Do you even believe them?”
Hadley bit her lip as she looked down, trying to come up with a reasonable explanation as to why she was wearing Sookie’s nightgown. One look at her cousin told Hadley that she wasn’t believing a word she was saying, but she wasn’t ready to give up yet. If she could talk her way out of the hotel room, she could go to Sophie-Anne and her mistress would get her out of the hotel to safety.
“No!” Sookie shouted before Hadley could continue. “No more. For God’s sake, Hadley, stop lying. Don’t deny it,” she added quickly as she saw Hadley open her mouth to speak. “I know you are lying; for once in your life tell the truth.”
“I am,” Hadley lied, still refusing to give up. “Eric wanted me. He requested me.”
“Cheese and rice,” Sookie cried, as she took a step towards her cousin and got in her face. “I know you’re lying, Hadley. I can see it all,” she pressed her finger into the middle of Hadley’s forehead, “here.” Seeing the look of fright spread across Hadley’s face, Sookie chuckled. “You just remembering I’m a telepath, cousin?”
“That’s not possible, they glamoured me…” Hadley trailed off as she realized she had said too much. She took a step back as her eyes darted around the room.
Old hatred welled up in Hadley as she stared at her cousin. Everything that was wrong in her life was Sookie’s fault. Everyone loved Sookie more than her. Her mother Linda would’ve preferred Sookie to be her daughter; she was Adele’s favorite grandchild, and Jason always protected her. None of them cared about her. It was all Sookie, Sookie, Sookie. Why couldn’t they all see that Sookie was a freak?
“Stay outta my head, you freak,” she shouted . Acting without thinking, Hadley threw herself forward, intending to attack her cousin. But before she had the chance to hit her, she found herself pinned to the ground by homicidal looking Eric.
“Touch my wife and I will kill you,” Eric growled, his words a promise and not a threat. He had been content to let Sookie handle the situation, even if he did want to snap her neck for her actions and lies. Eric had been disgusted when he rose to feel Hadley on top of him. Despite her attempts to mask her scent by wearing Sookie’s nightgown and filling the room with the smell of sex and blood, Eric hadn’t been fooled for a minute. Eric would never mistake someone else for his wife; he knew every part of her. Sookie smelled like home to him. Hadley would never have been able to pass off as her. She smelled used.
“Eric, baby, let her up,” Sookie said, coaxing him as she put a hand on his shoulder and rubbed it. “She’s not worth it.”
“You owe your life to my wife,” Eric snarled in Hadley’s face before releasing his hold on her and rising to his feet.
Hadley sucked in a deep breath as she felt Eric’s weight lift off her. “Thank you,” she whispered shakily, as she pulled herself to her feet again. The fear on her face was clear for both of them to see.
“Don’t thank me,” Sookie replied before rearing back and punching Hadley hard in the face. She grinned as she heard Hadley cry out in pain.
Hadley started at Sookie in shock as she held a hand to her nose. Blood oozed from between her fingers, and she wondered if Sookie had broken it. She couldn’t believe Sookie had hit her. In all the years growing up together, Sookie had never once raised a hand to her; she never fought back, even when she should have. Sookie had always turned the other cheek. As she stared at her cousin, Hadley began to realize she didn’t know this woman. Sookie wasn’t the same person she once knew.
“You hit me!” Hadley cried, stating the obvious. “Gran would’ve…” before she had a chance to finish, Hadley found herself flat on her back again, only this time she had an irate Sookie on top of her.
“Don’t you dare bring Gran into this,” Sookie screamed, as she grabbed Hadley by the throat. “Don’t you dare try to tell me what Gran would’ve wanted. You don’t know anything you spoiled bitch.”
“Sookie, please,” Hadley begged, trying to protect herself from her cousin’s assault. She had never seen Sookie so furious before, and she was truly scared.
Sookie felt years of suppressed anger and pain rise up inside her and she unleashed it all on her cousin. As she let her hand fly she remembered every cruel, spiteful thing her cousin had done. She remembered the nasty words she would throw at her and the beatings she took as Hadley and her friends bullied her. Sookie remembered how as soon as she would show interest in a boy Hadley would come on to him and have sex with him just to spite her.
“Lover, do not do something you will regret,” Eric said, pulling Sookie off a crying and bloodied Hadley. He held his wife to his chest as he stared down at Hadley, almost daring her to move.
It was a few minutes later when a knock came at the ending their silent standoff. With Sookie tucked into his side, Eric moved towards the door and opened it, revealing the hotel’s head of security.
“Mr. Northman, I’m Todd Donati, head of hotel security. You reported that you had a breach of security.”
“I did,” Eric replied, as he took a step back and invited the man to enter. “It seems Ms. Dellahousey here decided to let herself into the room I am sharing with my wife and molest me in my daytime rest. When I booked our room here, I was assured security was included and was second to none.”
“I didn’t,” Hadley shouted, having regained her voice. “He rang for a donor and requested me personally,” she lied, as she dragged herself to her feet again. “He’s only saying this because his wife, my cousin, caught us.”
“This is a serious accusation, sir,” Donati said, as he looked between them. It was clear something had gone on there. But it wouldn’t be the first time a husband had been caught playing away by the wife. Although it was the first time a vampire had been involved he believed. “Do you have any proof?” he asked.
“Mr. Donati,” Sookie said softly, as she lifted her face from Eric’s chest and faced him. She smiled as she felt Eric’s arms wrap around her. “What time do the donors start work?” she asked.
“They don’t have a specific timetable, but their shifts start fifteen minutes after sunset each night,” Donati answered unsure why she wanted to know.
“And according to the leaflet in our room, you don’t accept overnight donor bookings. If a vampire wants a donor, they have to book him or her once the kitchen is open so to speak,” Sookie said.
“That is true,” Donati nodded. “It’s hotel policy. While non-vampires can order room service the night before, the hotel doesn’t allow donors to be booked in advance. It saves for disappointment if one donor becomes unavailable,” he added delicately. “It’s also a security measure for the donors. We have a fifteen minute waiting period so the vampires can rise safely and become…alert.”
“I see,” Sookie replied, seeing the truth behind his words. They waited so no vampire rose hungry to a fresh donor and drained them. “What time was sunset today?”
“6.04pm,” Donati answered automatically still not seeing where she was going.
“And what time is it now?” Sookie asked finally.
“6.12pm,” Donati replied, looking at his watch.
“I believe there is your proof,” Eric said, smiling proudly at his wife.
“I believe you’re right,” Donati agreed.
“What?” Hadley cried. “That doesn’t prove anything.”
“She really is stupid, isn’t she?” Eric snorted.
Donati shook his head as Hadley tried to once again claim her innocence and blame Eric. It was obvious to him now that she was lying. “I offer my sincerest apologies for the breach in security, Mr. and Mrs. Northman. I assure you it won’t happen again.”
“I wanna know how it happened this time,” Sookie said, even though she already knew. “How did she manage to let herself into our hotel room when I had the only key, and I used it to let myself in.”
“I will get to the bottom of it,” Donati promised. “I assume you want to press charges?”
“We do,” Eric replied, as Sookie nodded in agreement.
“Sookie, no!” Hadley pleaded, unable to believe her plan had gone so horribly wrong. Sookie was supposed to be running to Sophie-Anne right about then, she wasn’t supposed to be facing arrest. She just hoped Christian would be able to help her before Donati called the police.
“Get her out of my sight,” Sookie said, as she moved to stand beside Eric.
“Of course, Mrs. Northman,” Donati replied, as he grabbed the still protesting Hadley by the arm and pulled her to the door. “Again, my apologies.”
Donati froze as he opened the door and saw a vampire with his hand-raised ready to knock.
“It seems I arrived just in time.”
“Roman!” Eric said, as he stepped forward and offered a respectful nod. “What are you doing here?”
“I bring greetings from the Ancient One as well as a message,” Roman replied, as his lips pulled back into a smile. “The trial has been brought forward and will now take place this evening at 7 o’clock. It’s the first bit of business that will be addressed. The Ancient One has also declared due to the actions here tonight and the consequences they could have caused, Ms. Hadley Dellahousey will be taken into vampire custody and she will also face trial.”
“What? No!” Hadley shouted, as she heard his words. This couldn’t be happening. They couldn’t interfere like this. “You can’t do that. I’m human.”
“A human who not only got involved with vampires, but accepted and agreed to honor our ways,” Roman informed her with a sneer. “I will personally escort Ms. Dellahousey to a holding cell where she will be prohibited from having any visitor except her legal council until the trial begins. Mr. Donati, please hand her over to me.” Seeing Donati hesitate, Roman offered him a smile as he sought to assure him. “She will receive a fair trial, but I’m afraid I can’t allow you to take her. As I’m sure you have already guessed, she had help with her actions here this evening.”
Donati nodded his head as he handed Hadley over. Roman was right; he had suspected she had help. It was the only way she could have gotten the hotel room key.
“Thank you,” Roman said, as he took possession of Hadley, his hand gripping her arm painfully. “Mr. and Mrs. Northman, both of your presences are required at the trial. But you already knew that,” he added with a smirk.
“We will both be there,” Eric promised.
“No!” Hadley cried, her eyes darting from Sookie to Roman and then back again. “Sookie, please help me.”
Sookie laughed as she took a step forward. “Help you?” she said, as she placed a hand on the door. “How do you expect me to do that? I mean, who do you think I am, the Queen of Louisiana?”
Hadley froze at Sookie’s words, a sense of dread filling her. She couldn’t know. It was impossible. They were so much smarter than her. But one look at Sookie told Hadley she was wrong. They knew everything. The last thing Hadley saw was Sookie’s smiling face before she slammed the door in her face.