Ten minutes later found Eric and Sookie standing outside the door of the Queen’s hotel room waiting for entrance. Eric tucked Sookie into his side as they waited. Sophie-Anne was playing one of her usual games and making her Sheriff wait to see her even though she had demanded the meeting. Eric could hear Sophie-Anne and Andre behind the closed door, enjoying a donor, and he squeezed Sookie’s waist as he moved his head slightly silently warning her.
Understanding the message, Sookie dropped her shields and scanned the room. She counted four voids, the Queen and she guessed her three children. Sookie rolled her eyes as her mind landed on the human in the room. A quick surface scan told her all she needed to know. The Queen really was a juvenile bitch.
Leaning against Eric, Sookie let her mind wander further, scanning the rest of the floor. She barely held back a snort as she registered Hadley’s mind several doors down. Her cousin was waiting to report their little surprise meeting to her Queen and was most anxious about it.
The Queen made them wait ten more minutes before she instructed one of her party to invite them in.
Sookie barely restrained from shaking her head as she entered the room on Eric’s arm and saw the donor lying naked on the couch. She could see fresh bite marks on the young woman’s inner thigh and both her breasts as well as the evidence of her recent sexual encounters. Sophie-Anne was certainly going out of her way to try and make her uncomfortable. Sookie wondered briefly what the juvenile queen was thinking. Humiliating the girl and trying to embarrass Sookie wasn’t going to score Sophie-Anne any brownie points. In fact, it just made her dislike the queen more.
“Your majesty,” Eric greeted with a small nod.
“Eric, darling,” Sophie-Anne purred, as ran her eyes over in him in a lascivious manner, her eyes lingering on his crotch as she licked her lips making Sookie bristle beside him. “You just missed dinner,” she added, as she flicked a finger at the still naked donor. Bringing her fingers to her lips, Sophie-Anne darted her tongue out and wrapped it around her middle finger before sucking into her mouth indecently. “She was quite tasty,” she said, rubbing her finger over her lips. “Not as nice as Yvetta. She was delicious everywhere. But then, I don’t have to tell you that do I? You enjoyed her thoroughly…”
At the mention of Yvetta, Eric felt a wave of anger shoot through the bond he shared with his wife and he wondered what had caused it. Seeing the expectant look on Sophie-Anne’s face, Eric realized the queen was behind whatever was causing Sookie’s anger.
Sookie silently seethed as she was bombarded with images of Eric fucking and feeding from Yvetta. The images played out like a movie on fast forward, and Sookie forced herself not to react as she watched Yvetta suck Eric off before he ordered her onto all fours and fucked her from behind.
Sookie had to give it to Sophie-Anne; the glamour job was good. It was certainly better than the half-assed job they’d done on Hadley, but Sookie could still tell the memories were implanted and not real. And even if she couldn’t tell the difference she trusted Eric completely. She knew him inside and out just like he knew her.
Sophie-Anne was practically giddy as she watched Sookie. She was sure that by now Yvetta would have planted seeds of doubt in her telepath’s mind, and Sophie-Anne intended to capitalize on it. She’d instructed Andre to glamour one of her donors, who was posing as a pet, to remember Eric’s last trip to her palace. Andre had been thorough in his duty, and, whenever asked, the girl would tell them all how she had watched with the others while Eric fucked Yvetta. Before the meeting with Eric and Sookie, Andre had planted the command in the donor’s mind that the moment she heard someone say “Yvetta,” she would start to think about it.
A scowl began to overtake Sophie-Anne’s face as she realized that Sookie wasn’t reacting the way she was expecting. She was expecting tears and anger. She was expecting to see Sookie scream and shout at Eric and accuse him of betraying her. Things were not going like she planned, and Sophie-Anne didn’t like it one bit.
“So this is the telepath,” Sophie-Anne said finally. A smile began to curl her lips as she let her eyes fall over Sookie, lingering briefly on her ample bosom. She had to admit Sookie was certainly built in all the right ways. She had curves she just couldn’t wait to explore. She felt her fangs press painfully against her gums as she imagined sinking them into Sookie’s breasts.
Sophie-Anne felt her body reacting as her mind conjured up all the ways she would enjoy Sookie once she was hers. If she closed her eyes, she could almost picture Sookie on her knees before her. She would make the young telepath please her with her hands and mouth for hours before she would invite her children to play. Sophie-Anne felt wetness pool between her legs, and she didn’t even try to hold back her moan as she pictured Andre, Seigbert, and Wybert fucking Sookie in any way they wanted while she watched. And once they had had their fill, she would let Hadley have a turn as a reward for telling her about her cousin. Sophie-Anne knew Sookie would be disgusted at having her cousin fuck her, and it would go a long way into breaking her. Before long, Sookie would be as devoted to her as Hadley was.
“No, your majesty,” Eric said, interrupting her little daydream. “This is my wife.” His tone was firm and had no room for argument. He could smell Sophie-Anne’s arousal, and had a good idea what caused it. And he swore once again that the childish queen would never get her hands on his wife.
“Hmph,” Sophie-Anne snorted, crossing her arms over her chest. “Frankly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.”
Sookie bit back a snort as she pasted on a smile. She’d heard enough about Sophie-Anne to know not to rise to attempts to bait her. As Sophie-Anne took in Sookie, Sookie took the opportunity to observe the Queen. She had to admit Sophie-Anne was pretty with her flaming red hair and pale skin. Sookie thought she looked like something out of the 1940s movie, but Sookie realized that was all she did: look like. Sophie-Anne had none of the poise or class of the 1940s Hollywood starlets. Sophie-Anne’s beauty was only skin; the rest of her was a very ugly.
“… She smells nice,” Sophie-Anne continued. She furrowed her brows as she tilted her head slightly to the left and tapped a finger to her lips trying to give the impression that she was trying to solve a puzzle. “But her looks are only average,” she pressed on, trying to provoke either Eric or Sookie. “She’s nothing special in that department. Maybe she’s a good fuck,” she mused aloud, her eyes lighting up at the thought. “Andre,” she called to her eldest child. “What do you think? Do you think Ms. Stackhouse here is a good fuck?”
Andre made a show of running his eyes over Sookie, he darted his tongue out and licked his lips as they landed on her breasts. “That must be it, my Queen,” he said finally as he lifted his eyes and met Sookie’s gaze. He grinned once he saw the disgust in Sookie’s eyes. He couldn’t wait until he got his hands on her. He would enjoy extinguishing that fire and breaking her.
Sookie silently fumed as Sophie-Anne and Andre continue to talk about her like she wasn’t there. Her anger grew hotter as they questioned her sexual abilities. She knew they were just trying to provoke a reaction out of her. They wanted her to act out, to throw a tantrum and insult them in some way so they could demand Eric punish her. Sookie knew it was just another one of their attempts to drive a wedge between her and Eric. But they would be sorely disappointed. They may think she was ignorant of the supe world, of the vampire way, but their information was lacking. Sookie was well aware of the way the supernatural world worked. She knew better than to throw a tantrum in front of the Queen. She wouldn’t disrespect Eric by acting like a child.
The longer she went without reacting, the angrier Sophie-Anne got. Try as she might, Sophie-Anne couldn’t provoke Sookie into speaking out. Sophie-Anne desperately wanted Sookie to scream at Eric to defend her. She wanted Sookie to verbally attack her so she could demand Eric punish her. As his queen, Sophie-Anne had the right to demand that Eric punished his wife if she wanted, and she did want that. She wanted to drive a wedge between them by ordering Eric to strip his wife and take his belt to her, but she couldn’t do it without reason.
“It is Mrs. Northman, your majesty,” Eric said. He would have liked nothing more than to rip the Queen’s and Andre’s heads off for disrespecting his wife, but he had to play it smart. He couldn’t make a move against them… Yet.
“Of course, Mrs. Northman,” Andre sneered. The Queen’s second despised Eric more than anyone else. Andre was well aware that, given the chance, Sophie-Anne would replace him as her second with the Viking. Sophie-Anne had desired Eric for decades; she wanted the protection he could provide her. If she had Eric at her side she would be virtually unstoppable. “So tell us, Sheriff, is Mrs. Northman a good fuck?” Andre asked, hiding none of his contempt.
“My wife is a lady,” Eric replied, barely concealing his anger. “I know that is something you have never had any experience with,” he added, pulling no punches and insulting the Queen in the same sentence. Eric grinned as he saw the look of anger flash over Sophie-Anne’s face. “But you will treat her as such if you want to keep your head.”
“Don’t threaten my child,” Sophie-Anne snarled, quickly stepping forward to defend her child from the threat.
“Then do not disrespect my wife,” Eric growled. He might have had to temper his reactions, but he’d be damned if he would let anyone disrespect his wife in such a way. Eric stared at Sophie-Anne, his eyes boring into hers, showing her the seriousness of his threat.
Sophie-Anne shivered as she felt a trickle of fear washed over her at the look in Eric’s eyes. She could tell his threat was serious, and if she pushed any further, he would take Andre’s head off without a second thought. As the knowledge seeped in, a plan began to form in her mind. She realized Eric wouldn’t willingly give up the girl. And even if they managed to poison Sookie against Eric, the Viking still wouldn’t let her go. He was just as possessive over her as Bill claimed. No, they would need a way to eliminate Eric that couldn’t be tied to them. And Eric might have just inadvertently provided them with one.
“Of course; forgive Andre, Sheriff,” Sophie-Anne replied through gritted teeth, directing the apology at Eric and not at the woman both she and Andre had actually insulted. Apologizing even when it wasn’t sincere wasn’t something Sophie-Anne ever liked to do. In her twisted mind she believed herself to be above everyone, and she shouldn’t ever have to lower herself to apologize. “I’m sure Andre didn’t mean any disrespect. He was merely curious about the appeal of your wife.”
“My wife’s appeal is of no concern to Andre,” Eric said firmly, seeing the Queen’s apology for what it was. Meaningless. “Or anyone else for that matter,” he added, fixing his gaze firmly on Sophie. “Sookie is mine…”
“Does Mrs. Northman…” Andre sneered her name, contempt clear in his tone. He couldn’t believe Eric had lowered himself to marry a human. As far as Andre was concerned, humans were good for nothing but fucking and feeding. Not even Sookie telepathy exempted her from that. All that meant was that they shouldn’t drain her. Telepath or not, in Andre’s mind, she was still just a bloodbag, and she was only there for his pleasure. “Agree with that?” He asked finally. “Does Mrs. Northman accept your claim? Did she accept it without coercion?” Andre didn’t care if she did or didn’t, before he cared Eric could’ve kidnapped her and be holding her against her will.
“That is a fine question, my dear,” Sophie-Anne twittered, as she gave Andre a look of approval. Like Andre, she didn’t care, but believed it would give Sookie the illusion of caring. “Did you take Ms. Stackhouse against her will, Sheriff?”
“No,” Eric growled insulted at the mere mention of doing something so disgusting. He knew Sophie-Anne didn’t care either way; she was just playing one of her silly little games. “I have never taken anyone without their consent. I have more honor than that.” Eric didn’t miss the anger that flashed through Sophie-Anne’s eyes at his jab at her. It was common knowledge that Sophie-Anne had no honor; she believed the rules didn’t apply to her. Eric couldn’t way to show her how wrong she was.
“Is that true, Ms. Stackhouse?” Sophie-Anne asked, turning her attention back to Sookie. “Are you with Sheriff Northman of your own free will?”
“It is Mrs. Northman, your majesty,” Sookie replied, her tone calm. “And yes, I am. I am Eric’s.”
“Hmph,” Sophie-Anne snorted before she could stop herself. “Of course she would say that in front of her master,” she added, as she pasted on a sweet smile.
“Your majesty…” Eric began, a feeling of dread growing in his stomach. He had a good idea where Sophie-Anne was going with it, and he didn’t like it one bit.
“Come now, Eric,” Sophie-Anne purred, “you know as well as I do that pets rarely, if ever, speak out against their masters while in their presence.”
“Sookie is my wife, not my pet,” Eric countered.
“She is human, you’re a vampire, therefore she’s a pet, regardless of what silly title you give her,” Sophie-Anne replied dismissively. “You’re her master, just like I am your master…”
“You are my queen, not my master,” Eric interrupted, his voice taking on a hard quality.
“I am your queen,” Sophie-Anne amended stiffly, her eyes blazing with anger. “And as queen it’s my duty to ensure all my subjects are acting appropriately. It would reflect poorly on me if I didn’t. And none of us would want that, would we?”
“Of course not, my Queen.” Andre was quick to agree.
Sophie-Anne smiled at her child before continuing, “Then for my own peace of mind, I demand… Sorry request,” she amended with a small laugh, “to speak to Ms. Stackhouse alone. That will not be a problem, will it, Sheriff?”
Eric wanted to growl that it would. As Sookie’s bonded, he could refuse the Queen permission to speak to Sookie alone, but unfortunately that would do more harm than good. As at that moment, Sophie-Anne and her pathetic children were unaware that Eric and Sookie knew about their real agenda. Eric couldn’t risk to tipping their hand. Compton’s trial was set for the following evening, and Eric couldn’t make a move until Sophie-Anne’s scheming was laid bare for all to see.
Even with knowing all that, Eric still didn’t want to let Sophie-Anne speak to his wife privately. He wasn’t worried about what Sookie might say; he trusted his wife completely. It was the immature Queen, who caused him to worry. Eric knew Sophie-Anne would try to poison Sookie’s mind against him and sway her to her side, not that it would work. Eric was still loathed expose his wife to Sophie-Anne’s cruel and spiteful nature.
Tapping into the bond he shared with his wife, Eric sent a burst of caution to Sookie, and barely contained his grin when he received a sudden jolt of disgust followed by determination. Understanding the message, Eric straightened his shoulders and the stare down his queen. “Of course not, your majesty,” he said. “My wife would be happy to speak with you.”
“Is that right?” Sophie-Anne simpered, her painted red lips curling into a smile, believing she had gotten the upper hand. “Is that right, girl? Are you happy to speak with me alone?”
“I am, your majesty,” Sookie answered, hiding all her disgust. In the three years she had been involved with Eric and vampires in general, she had never met one who disgusted her more than Sophie-Anne, and that included the disco triplets. At least with Malcolm, Diane, and Liam they never pretended to be something that they weren’t. They were the bottom of the barrel vampires and they knew it. But Sophie-Anne was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, just like Bill. That was probably why the two of them got on so well. They saw a likeness in each other. “Although I don’t see why it’s needed; my answer won’t ever change,” she couldn’t help from adding.
We’ll see about that, Sophie-Anne thought. “Now, Sheriff, if you’ll excuse us, I will speak to your pet.”
“No,” Eric said bluntly, making no attempt to leave.
“No?” Sophie-Anne repeated shrilly.
“Yes, your majesty, no,” Eric reiterated. “I am not leaving, I agreed to let you speak to my wife alone. Just you. No one else,” Eric eyed Andre as he spoke the last part. “I will not leave Sookie in a room full of vampires she’s unfamiliar with.”
“I could order you to leave,” Sophie-Anne threatened. ”And I could take my wife with me,” Eric countered.
Sophie-Anne let out a huff as she crossed arms over her chest. Her eyes bored into Eric’s showing him her displeasure. She tapped her foot against the floor as she waited for Eric to back down and do what his queen ordered. Eric simply arched a brow in reply.
“Fine,” Sophie-Anne huffed. “You can stay in here, and I will take your pet in to the other room. Girl, come with me,” she ordered, as she spun on her heels and stormed towards the separate bedroom.
Sookie sent a burst of exasperation through the bond to Eric before following Sophie-Anne.
This should be fun, she thought as she entered the hotel room’s bedroom.