Sookie was just washing her dinner plate when she felt a void pass by the edge of her property. Flicking her eyes over to the clock on the wall, Sookie chuckled as she realized it was only a few minutes past sunset. She followed the void as it approached her house and she knew without having to even look that it was Bill. Guess that answers that question. He can’t wait a single night before he has to harass me. Throwing the dishcloth on the counter beside the sink, Sookie turned and made her way to the front of the house. Wonder what crap he’ll spew this time? She counted down the seconds in her head as she waited for Bill to knock. 3-2-1…
Sookie laughed softly when the knock came at the door. You’re nothin’ if not predictable, Bill Compton. She took her time making her way to the door, straightening pictures on the wall, and brushing imaginary dust of her furniture. Reaching the front door, she pulled it open, leaned against the doorframe, and waited for whatever inane drivel he had to offer.
“Sookie,” Bill cried, laying eyes on her for the first time since she had so callously abandoned him. He couldn’t believe she had finally returned after so long. He had been incensed when he discovered she was gone. She may not have wanted him anymore, but she was His and always would be! He hadn’t let her go and he never would. She belonged to him; he just had to make her see that. “Where have you been? I have been so worried. I couldn’t feel you anymore and thought you were dead.”
“No, ya didn’t,” Sookie snorted, not buying his Pitiful Pearl act one bit. She would never fall for his crap again. “Ya knew I wasn’t dead cause ya’ve been houndin’ Jason for my whereabouts since I left.” Seeing a look of disbelief flash across his face, Sookie laughed as she added, “What? Did ya think Jason wouldn’t have told me? He told me everythin’…and I do mean everythin’. Now, if that’ll be all…”
“What? No!” Bill growled, upset that she would dare try to dismiss him in such a manner. “Where have you been? No one would tell me anything.”
“That’s cause it was none of ya business,” Sookie retorted, not fazed in the slightest by his gruff tone. “But to answer ya question… I’ve been away.”
“Away? Where?” Bill asked, trying to soften his tone. He wasn’t happy about the way she was speaking to him, but he could fix that later. First he would have to get her back under his control. He knew it wouldn’t be long until Eric arrived and Bill was determined not to lose Sookie to him again. It was bad enough that he had already lost the crown to him.
“Like I said, it’s none of ya business,” Sookie shrugged. “Nothin’ ‘bout my life is, not anymore. So if all ya came here for was to ask me ‘bout stuff that no longer concerns you, well, then ya can leave.”
“Sookie!” Bill chided, letting his displeasure at her leak through his tone. He had always been able to shame her into behaving in the past and he wasn’t above trying to do it now. The sooner she realized her place was by his side… or rather, at his feet, the better. Her absence had given him the time to reflect on their relationship and he had come to the conclusion that he had been too soft on her. He had mistakenly led her to believe she was his equal when in actuality she was his inferior. He was a vampire, the top of the Supernatural chain, while she was barely a Supe at all. She was mainly human with just a touch of Fae. “There is no need to be rude. What would your grandmother think if she could hear you now? She would be ashamed of you!”
Sookie stared at Bill like she had never seen him before. Given the amount of blood he had shoved down her throat, she deduced she hadn’t, really. She had seen him through rose-colored glasses, but the glasses were off now and she was finally seeing all his ugliness. She couldn’t believe it had taken her so long to see it. “Who the hell do you think ya are to tell me what my Gran would’ve thought?” She snapped; her tone even despite the anger that was burning inside of her. “You met her, what? Twice? You didn’t know my Gran, and you don’t know what she would’ve thought, so don’t ya dare stand there and try and tell me what she would think. Now like I said before, my life is none of your business. I don’t owe you anythin’. I believe I made myself clear before I left, but in case ya’ve forgotten, I’ll tell ya one more time… I’m done listenin’ to your excuses and lies. I’m done with ya manipulations. I’m done with you.” She repeated the words she said the night she walked away from him. She had meant the words then, and she meant them now. Never again would she fall under his thrall. She was stronger now.
Bill stared at Sookie in disbelief. He couldn’t believe she was talking to him in such a manner. He had always been able to manipulate her into doing what he wanted. It might have taken him some time, but he would always get his way. He had her running back to him again and again over the years. He was in her blood…
Bill frowned at the thought. He was in her blood, but as she stood in front of him, he realized he couldn’t feel her at all. There wasn’t even the smallest of twinges. His blood wasn’t in her anymore! She was completely free of him. “What did you do?” He growled.
“Like I said, Bill, none of ya business,” Sookie retorted, refusing to explain herself. She owed him nothing. “Now, get off my property. Ya not welcome here anymore.” Sookie went to shut the door when Bill slammed his hand against it preventing her from doing so.
“You owe me an explanation,” Bill said, his voice firm. In Bill’s mind, she owed him much more than that, but it would do for a start. He needed to know what had happened to her, and where her newfound strength was coming from so he could squash it and get her back under his control. I will need to get my blood into her again…
Sookie shook her head while she eyed Bill with contempt. She could almost see the wheels turning in his head and she didn’t need to be a telepath to know what he was thinking. It was written all over his face.
“You disappear without a word, abandoning me in my time of need…” Bill continued.
“Yeah, ‘bout that,” Sookie said, cutting him off before he could continue with whatever he was going to try and shame her with. “Last time I saw ya; ya were rejectin’ the cure and goin’ on ‘bout how it was your time to die. What happened? Dyin’ didn’t seem as good if I wasn’t ‘round to cry over ya?”
All Bill could do was gape at Sookie in reply. That was exactly the reason he had taken the cure. Without Sookie present to cry over him and eventually giving up her Faery Light to kill him, dying seemed pointless. He had already lost his hold on her; there was no point in not taking the cure. “No,” he replied finally, after the silence had stretched too long. “I realized giving up and dying would not be fair on Jessica. You might not have cared…”
“There’s no might ‘bout it, Bill,” Sookie interrupted with a snort. “I didn’t care… I don’t care.”
Bill glared at Sookie. “As I was saying,” he continued. “You may not have cared, but Jessica did. I wasn’t going to punish her just because you abandoned me after infecting me.”
Sookie couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh my God! Guilt, Bill? Really?” She knew what he was trying and she had to hand it to him, he was nothing if not persistent. Next I’ll be attacked in some parkin’ lot and he’ll be the only one ‘round to save me. Well, sorry, Bill, I don’t play that role anymore. “Yeah, that ain’t gonna work. Ya see, before I left, I had an interestin’ little chat with Dr. Ludwig…” Sookie grinned when she saw Bill’s eyes widen in surprise. Yeah, ya weren’t expectin’ that, were ya? “Can ya guess what we talked ‘bout? No, well, that’s not surprisin’,” she continued before Bill had a chance to reply, “ya never were too good at admittin’ ya faults. Anyway, like I was sayin’, I had an interestin’ little chat with the doctor, and she told me somethin’ quite shockin’. She told me it wasn’t me who infected you, but you who infected me. She also told me how she had already told you that.” All the amusement drained from Sookie’s face as she stared at Bill in disgust. She couldn’t believe she had ever defended him. She couldn’t believe she had ever loved him.
“So ya see, Bill, ya little guilt game ain’t gonna work. Neither is manipulation, coercion, bullyin’, or threats. I’m done with ya for good, Bill. So do us all a favor and slink off back to ya house and stay as far away from me and my property as ya can. Cause I swear, if I see ya anywhere on my property without an invite…” Sookie lifted her hand and let a ball of faery light form in her palm. “I’ll go supernova on ya… And, Bill, just for the record, goin’ supernova won’t drain me of my Light anymore. That little problem got fixed…”
Bill’s eyes were the size of saucers as he stared at the light in Sookie’s hand. He was having trouble processing everything that had happened. He couldn’t believe she had threatened to kill him if he so much as came near her again. As he lifted his gaze and looked into her eyes, he knew she meant every word of it. If he pushed her, she would kill him. Four and a half years ago, he had been willing to die just to tie her to him forever, but now he realized that would never happen. She knew the truth about him infecting her. Now, she would burn him to a crisp and step over his bloody remains.
Closing her hand, Sookie squashed the light and took a step back. She didn’t give Bill a chance to reply before she shut the front door in his face.
It was about an hour later when Sookie heard a car coming down her driveway. Dropping her shields, she scanned her property searching for the mind to see who it was. She shook her head as she registered the void just past the edge of her land. Well, ya not actually on my property, so I’ll let it go this time. Turning her attention to the vehicle, Sookie smiled as she sensed one human mind and one void. Rushing to the front door, she yanked it open just in time to see Jason pull up in front of the house.
“Jason!” Sookie cried as she raced down the porch steps toward her brother. She had kept in regular touch with Jason over the years; he had even visited her a few times each year, but she still missed him and was happy to see him.
“Sook!” Jason shouted as he climbed out of the passenger side of the car and ran up to her. Wrapping his arms around his sister, Jason lifted her up and spun her around in a circle. “I missed ya, sis.”
“I missed ya, too, Jas,” Sookie laughed.
Putting her down, Jason took a step back and took a good look at her. “Ya’re lookin’ good, Sook,” he said, wrapping his arm around Willa’s shoulders when she came to stand beside him. He might have visited her a few times since she left Bon Temps, but Jason still remembered the broken look on her face the night she left. He didn’t think he would ever forget that look, nor would he forget the pain he felt rolling off her. His sister had been broken that night. It was the remembrance of that look and pain that kept him from fully accepting Eric into his life. Jason knew Eric would always be a part of his life due to Willa. He loved the brown-haired vampire more than he had ever loved anyone, and he knew Eric would always be a part of her life. He didn’t have a problem with that, but his loyalty to his sister had stopped him from truly accepting Eric. Jason knew it was only a matter of time before it happened. He knew his sister better than almost anyone, and he didn’t doubt she would eventually make her peace with the Viking vampire. Sookie wasn’t built to hold a grudge; she was too forgiving to ever hold onto any kind of anger and hatred.
As he looked at her, Jason realized she had already let go of those lingering emotions. She looked calm and filled with peace. She was at ease. He smiled at the look; she wore it well. There was no weight on her shoulders. She looked free.
“Thanks, so do you,” Sookie replied. “Hey, Willa,” she added, smiling at the young vampire. “Ya look great.” When Jason had told her he was involved with Eric’s youngest, Sookie had been surprised and slightly concerned. She had hoped Jason was aware of what he was doing. If she had been suspicious or bitter, she might have worried that Eric had instructed his child to get close to her brother to try and discover her whereabouts. Yet that thought had never even crossed her mind. Despite their situation, Sookie sensed that Eric would never stoop so low. That was the kind of thing Bill would have done, and had tried to do with Jessica. As far as Sookie was concerned, Eric had too much honor to try something so underhanded; especially knowing how betrayed she felt when she had learned the true reason for Bill’s return to Bon Temps.
No, her concern hadn’t been for her brother. Well, a part of it had, but the larger part had been for Willa. Sookie and the baby vampire had gotten the chance to know one another during the six months after she was turned and Eric was away. She liked the young woman and didn’t want to see her hurt if Jason was just being his usual tomcatting self. She loved her brother, but she wasn’t blind to his less than discerning sexual habits. It had only taken one long phone call for her to realize her big brother was in love and serious about Willa. The way he had spoken about her was all the proof Sookie needed.
Sookie knew the cloud of hers and Eric’s mess hung over the happy couple’s head, and she had done all she could to assure them both that her feelings or problems with Eric wouldn’t roll over onto them. She and Eric were both adults, they could sort out their own problems without making Jason and Willa suffer. Sookie was smart enough to know that they wouldn’t always be able to avoid it, but they could make it so Jason and Willa weren’t caught in the middle. She was also aware that Jason was holding out on accepting Eric due to her and she intended to deal with that issue.
“Thank you,” Willa said, wrapping her arm around Jason’s side and snuggling into him. “Are you happy to be home?”
“I am,” Sookie replied with a nod. “I’d be even happier if a certain neighbor WOULD GET OFF MY PROPERTY BEFORE I LIGHT HIS ASS UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE! “ Sookie screamed the last part at the top of her lungs while her eyes zeroed in on the place where she sensed Bill standing. She had felt him creep closer when Jason and Willa climbed out of their car. “Ya’d think threats of death would deter people.”
Jason snarled as he turned in the direction Bill was standing. “Compton givin’ ya problems already, sis?” he asked, trying to find him among the tree that surrounded Sookie’s property.
“He’s awake, Jas, so of course he is,” Sookie snorted. “He came runnin’ over here just after sunset doin’ his Pitiful Pearl routine.” Seeing Jason and Willa’s confused looks, Sookie let out a soft laugh. “Ya know his, ‘Sookeh, I was so worried. I couldn’t feel you anymore,’…blah, blah, blah. When that didn’t work, he fell back on the old guilt trip attempt… ‘I wasn’t going to punish her just because you abandoned me after infecting me…’”
“The motherfucker actually said that to ya?” Jason growled. “I shoulda staked that goat fucker when I had the chance.”
“He did,” Sookie nodded. Raising her voice slightly to make sure it carried to Bill, she added, “Course, that was before I told him ‘bout my little chat with Dr. Ludwig. He was quite surprised to hear I knew the truth that he infected me and not the other way round. Guess he thought I’d never find out…”
“Wait, what?” Willa interrupted, confused. She flicked her gaze between the siblings. “Are you saying that it was Bill who infected you with Hep V and not the other way around?”
“Yeah, didn’t ya know?” Sookie replied. Jason had been there the night she found out and Sookie assumed he had told his fiancée about it.
“No,” Willa said, shaking her head. “I can’t believe he led you to believe you were responsible for infecting him. Was he planning on dying allowing you to believe you were to blame?”
“That seemed to be his plan,” Sookie shrugged. “I guess he thought I’d blame myself forever and never move on from him.”
“What a bastard!” Willa spat, thoroughly disgusted with Bill. She knew from Eric that Bill was attempting to manipulate Sookie in some way, but she had no idea how far he would go in his efforts. She couldn’t conceive of the notion that anyone who claimed to love someone would stoop so low. “Eric will kill him when he finds out,” she added without thinking.
“Let’s go tell Eric,” Jason said, being completely serious. “I’ll drive.” Sookie might have been able to let go of her anger and hatred, but he hadn’t. He hadn’t forgot the tears Sookie cried over Bill, he hadn’t forgotten the pain he caused her, and he sure as hell hadn’t forgotten the beatings she had taken because Bill so desperately wanted to get his blood in her. Jason had been ready to kill him when he discovered that. He would never forgive the vampire as long as he lived.
“If anyone’s gonna kill Bill Compton, it’ll be me,” Sookie announced. “Besides, ya supposed to be havin’ ya bachelor and bachelorette parties tonight. He can wait for another night. He ain’t worth screwin’ up ya plans.”
“He ain’t worth nothin’!” Jason spat loudly. “I swear, Sook, if that fucker shows up at my weddin’ I’m gonna stake him on my own. I don’t care whose date he is. He ain’t welcome!”
“Sounds good to me,” Sookie shrugged. She wasn’t going to defend Bill or try and persuade Jason not to kill him. If Bill showed up at her brother’s wedding, she would stake him. She wouldn’t let anyone ruin Jason and Willa’s wedding. “Now, what’s the plans for tonight?”
“We are meeting everyone at Bellefleurs,” Willa answered for them. She always thought vampires were bloodthirsty, but as she listened her fiancée and future sister-in-law threaten death on a vampire, she realized they had nothing on the Stackhouse siblings. It was a crazy family she was marrying into and she couldn’t wait. She had finally found her place in the world with Jason, Sookie, and of course her Maker, Eric. “Everyone should probably be there by now…”
“I should probably warn ya, Sook,” Jason said, cutting in, “Lafayette’s probably plannin’ on kidnappin’ ya. He’s been flyin’ ‘round like he’s high since he heard ya were comin’ home. He’s been callin’ me every day askin’ me if today is the day ya’re comin’ home.”
“Why didn’t ya tell him the date I was comin’ back?” Sookie asked.
“And spoil the surprise?” Jason chuckled. “Not a chance. He’ll be so happy to see ya. He’ll be at Bellefleurs with the rest.”
Sookie frowned as she stared at Jason. “You’re havin’ ya bachelor and bachelorette parties together at Bellefleurs?”
“No,” Willa replied with a laugh. “We are meeting everyone there, and then Jason and his friends will go onto another bar or club. I’ll just be having my party there. Eric offered to let me use the new club for it, but…” She trailed off not sure if she should tell Sookie the reason she had refused.
“Ya didn’t know if I would want to be ‘round Eric,” Sookie said, guessing the reason.
“Yes,” Willa admitted, slightly apologetic. “He’s not… Eric won’t be there tonight,” she added. “He knew you were coming back and didn’t want to make you uncomfortable.”
Sookie smiled at Willa’s words. At least one vampire knew showing up unannounced was not the way to go. Trust the Viking to be thinking about what she might need and not want he wanted. “Okay,” Sookie said softly. “I’ll just go freshen up, and then we can go.” She was just to her door when she heard Willa call her name. Peering over her shoulder, she arched a brow when she saw Willa climb up the porch steps.
“Whatever is between you and Eric is just between the two of you and I won’t get involved, but…” Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a cream colored envelope and handed it to Sookie. “Eric asked me to give you this. He didn’t think you would get it if he sent it the traditional way.”
Sookie’s hand shook as she took the envelope from Willa. “Thank you,” she whispered, her eyes glued to the envelope. As she stared at it, she wondered what it would say… I guess there’s only one way to find out…