“So what did they say?” Sookie asked, pressing the phone to her ear as soon as stepped outside. She took a second to check out her surroundings before moving toward her car and leaning against it. “Did they agree to make another appointment?”
“They did,” Lafayette replied. “I just got off the phone wif’ some stuck-up vamp’ wif’ a bad southern accent. After makin‘ a song an’ dance ’bout priorities and state boundaries, an’ how it ‘wasn’t proper for an out of state vampire to visit Louisiana without permission’, he finally agreed. ‘Parently he be tryin‘ ta’ impress his Queen and this party be the way ta’ go…”
“He told you that?” Sookie asked skeptically. Vampires were notorious for keeping things to themselves. They believed information could be a weapon. While in some circumstances that was true, when you were trying to organize a party for them and they wouldn’t even tell you their favorite color, it proved to be a bit of a problem.
“Course not,” Lafayette scoffed. “The fool kept goin‘ on an’ on ‘bout her, it be easy ta’ tell. “My Queen is so lovely. My Queen is so elegant,'” his voice took on a stereotypical Southern accent as he spoke. “The fool be walkin‘ round wif’ a hard on fo’ her I can sees from here. He made its known that ifs they hire us we be liaisin‘ wif’ him directly. I penciled him in fo’ an appointment on Tuesday at eight. You good fo’ handlin’ that?”
“Yeah, I am,” Sookie replied. She knew Lafayette would’ve checked her schedule before booking the vampire and she didn’t foresee anything interfering. It would give her three days to research him and find out all she needed to know regarding… “What’s this fools name?”
“William T. Compton.”
“Seriously?” Sookie snorted, thinking he sounded as if he was a pretentious douche bag already. “He actually introduced himself that way?” She was used to vampires having an air of pretension. Hell, they referred to themselves as royalty, but behind the public masks they could be great fun. When they dropped the air and social graces, they could roll around in the dirt with the best of them. Louisiana’s Queen was proof. To the public’s perception, Sophie-Anne was a regal and sometimes aloof Queen, but behind closed doors she was a wildcat who loved getting dirty with the rest of them.
“Hells, no, the fool actually referred ta’ hisself as “William T. Compton, The Royal Liaison of Her Majesty Queen Freyda Nulah of Illinois.”
“… I think I hate him already,” Sookie said after a moment’s pause. Hearing the door to Merlotte’s swing open, Sookie looked up just in time to see Jackson storm out. She grinned as she saw the obviously pissed-off wolf notice her and turn in her direction. “Okay, Lala, I’ll deal with Mr. Pretentious and put together a basic selling pitch. Chances are you’ll be hearing from the Longtooth Pack sometime this weekend to set up one of Tray’s obstacle courses. Give them a fifteen percent wounded pride discount…”
“Wounded pride discount?” Lafayette questioned, sure there was a story behind that. “That be new.”
“Yeah, I’ll explain it all to you on Sunday,” Sookie replied, smiling at Jackson as he neared her. “You and Jesus still good for dinner?”
“Wouldn’t miss it, Baby girl,” Lafayette told her.
“Okay, I’ll talk to Jas and Portia to see if they wanna join us,” Sookie said. “I gotta go now, but I’ll talk to you later.”
After exchanging goodbyes with Lafayette, Sookie ended the call and slipped her phone into her purse before turning her attention to Jackson.
“I just want to apologize for what Alcide did,” Jackson began, truly embarrassed by Alcide’s behavior. Jackson was by no means the best father in the world, nor the best man. He had done some underhanded things in the past and he knew if Alcide ever discovered what he had been doing lately he would be royally pissed, but for all his faults, Jackson had never tried to blackmail someone into doing something for him or his Pack. “I had no idea he…”
“You have nothin‘ to apologize for,” Sookie replied, cutting him off. “Well, you can apologize for your son bein‘ a dick if you like,” she added, trying to lighten the tension. “I don’t blame you or any member of the Pack… Well, I might blame Rikki and Jannalynn. This was obviously their bright idea. Alcide just let his dick override his common sense…”
“It’s a family trait,” Jackson said with a smirk. “We’ve all let our dicks convince us to do things our minds tell us we shouldn’t.”
“It’s not exactly the same though, is it?” Sookie replied as she pushed off her car and moved closer. She knew full well to what he was referring and felt a shiver run through her. “You never tried to blackmail me into your bed. I came willingly… “ She dropped her voice to a purr as she added, “Over and over again, and in the bed of your truck and office… Do you think your nosy bitch of a secretary knows that all those long meetins’ we had were really you bendin‘ me over your desk and takin‘ me hard from behind?” She giggled as she heard Jackson groan.
Letting her eyes fall over him, Sookie licked her lips as her gaze fell on the bulge in his pants. “Mmm, I see you do remember,” she continued as she pressed a hand to his chest and slowly dragged it down. “I remember this…” She grabbed his crotch and gave him a gentle squeeze, “fuckin‘ me so hard… It’s makin‘ me so wet…” She moaned as she looked up at him through her lashes. “Do you remember, Jackson? Do you remember how wet I’d get?”
Jackson groaned low in his throat as he stared down at Sookie. The feeling of her hand on his crotch and her words were driving him to the brink of despair. He remembered. He remembered everything. He would remember the feel of her pussy wrapped around his cock long after he forgot his own name.
He knew if his son ever found out that he had repeatedly bedded the woman he had designs on he would probably never forgive him, but Jackson couldn’t find it in himself to care. It wasn’t as if he had intentionally set out to fuck the young telepath. He hadn’t woken up one morning and decided that he would bed her, but he hadn’t resisted or refused when the opportunity had arisen. Why should he have? They had both been single, and, at the time, Alcide was married to Debbie. He didn’t owe it to Alcide to keep his dick out of Sookie. Maybe he should’ve backed away after Alcide and Debbie divorced and his son had made a serious play for her, but Sookie hadn’t shown any interest in his son; she had, however, shown a serious interest in him. Few men, alive or undead, would have been able to resist when a beautiful and talented twenty-five year old was telling them how she wanted to fuck them, and that is what happened. Jackson hadn’t seduced a young and innocent Sookie. A confident and self-assured Sookie had told Jackson she wanted to fuck him!
While he held affection for her, Jackson had never fooled himself into thinking it was anything more than sex. Sookie wasn’t his second chance at happiness and he wasn’t the love of her life… there was no love involved. It was just straight up, no strings attached, hard fucking, and he loved every minute of it.
“I remember,” Jackson growled, the wolf in him leaking through as he fought the urge to buck into her hand.
“… You should just force her to do it,” the angry words cut across the parking lot, capturing Sookie’s attention and pulling it away from Jackson.
Putting some distance between her and Jackson, Sookie raised an eyebrow as she saw Rikki and Jannalynn trailing after Alcide as he left the bar. She didn’t have to be a telepath to know they were all unhappy with her refusal to be blackmailed by them. From the looks of things Jannalynn was now trying to convince Alcide to try a more forceful route.
“Force me?” Sookie questioned, her tone tinged with amusement as it carried across the parking lot. She let out a soft laugh when she saw the three of them stop short, not expecting her to be there. “I would like to see you try.”
An angry growl tore from Jannalynn’s throat as her eyes landed on Sookie and she stormed over to her. The rest of the pack might fawn over her and kiss her ass, but she wouldn’t. She wouldn’t play nice with the telepathic cunt or offer her sweet words. She had a skill the pack, Her Pack, needed, and Jannalynn didn’t care if she had to break every bone in Sookie’s body to make her use it… She hoped she would get the opportunity. A dark smile spread across her face at the thought of hurting Sookie. She had hated the blonde telepath since the day she met her. She hated how her ex, Sam Merlotte, had mooned over her. She hated how Alcide chased after her like a bitch in heat. Most of all, she hated how Sookie was more respected than her in the Supe world.
“Jannalynn, stand down!” Alcide barked, trying to avoid the wreck he feared was about to happen. As much as he wanted Sookie to be his Pack’s Shaman, he knew force wasn’t the way to go. Threats of violence wouldn’t get them anywhere but in a whole lot of trouble. Despite what some people thought he wasn’t stupid. He was more than aware that Sookie was well connected in the Supe world. She had powerful and dangerous friends. You didn’t need to be a genius to realize it. Sookie and her partners had managed to do in eighteen months what took Quinn nearly a decade. They had cemented themselves as major players in the event planning business, and earned the gratitude and protection of some very powerful people.
“No!” Jannalynn replied. “This bitch needs to learn her place. Ya’ll act like spineless bastards around her, acting like she’s The Godfather or some shit. Well, she’s not…” Her eyes flashed amber as she got in Sookie’s face. “You’re not… The rest of them might not see it, but I do. They might treat ya like you’re some kinda princess, but I know who you really are… What you really are… You’re just a cheap whore with a nice rack and useable gift. You’re not special. You’re not important. You’re nothing…”
Flicking her eyes over the angry young Werebitch, Sookie chuckled before shaking her head. “Alcide, take the little pup away before her mouth writes a check your pack can’t cash,” she said, dismissing Jannalynn and her little rant as unimportant.
Jannalynn fumed at the dismissal and shook off Alcide’s hand when he grabbed her arm to try to pull her away. A snarl escaped her lips and her eyes narrowed in anger. She could feel the wolf inside her; snarling inside her mind, demanding she assert her dominance over the female who had weighed her and found her lacking. She was an Alpha; the female Alpha in the Longtooth Pack. Rikki may be Alcide’s current chosen mate, but SHE was The Female with The Power. She was the female Alcide mated with on a full moon. She Was The Dominant Female.
“You will be our Shaman!” Jannalynn ordered, baring her teeth in threat.
“No, I won’t,” Sookie replied simply, her voice void of all emotion.
Alcide, Rikki, and Jackson watched with a growing sense of trepidation. They could feel the air around them shimmer and crackle with electricity as the two women stood toe-to-toe. This was not good. It wouldn’t end well. While Rikki eagerly anticipated watching Jannalynn put Sookie in place, and Alcide feared for her safety, Jackson was the only one who feared the ramifications of an altercation.
Jannalynn might’ve claimed she knew what Sookie was, but her actions had proven she hadn’t a clue, but Jackson knew. He recognized it. He recognized power when he saw it; Sookie had IT, the allure, the pull. Jannalynn might’ve fancied herself an Alpha, and to some extent she was right. She was the Alpha-bitch in the Longtooth Pack, but she would never be considered a true Supernatural Alpha. She would never hold that distinction or power, but Sookie would… She already did.
As sexist as it sounded and seemed, Jannalynn would always be second to a man. She would never hold the prestige of being The Alpha in any Pack. She would always have to defer to Alpha males, be they Were, shifter, or vampire.
Sookie would not. She was an Alpha of the Supernatural itself; not just a single specie.
“You don’t have a choice,” Jannalynn snarled, again attempting to assert her dominance over someone she believed was weaker.
“Everyone has a choice,” Sookie replied, her voice even and unfazed. “Even you… You have the choice to walk away while you still have the ability…”
A harsh laugh spilled from Jannalynn’s lips at Sookie’s threat and she canted her head to the side while she ran her eyes over Sookie; judging her and finding her wanting. “Little girls shouldn’t make threats that they can’t follow through,” she said mockingly. She grinned as she heard Rikki’s laughter join her own.
“You should know by now, Jannalynn, I’m a woman of my word. I always follow through,” Her voice dropped and a threat was clear to hear in her tone as she added; “Now this is your last warning. Walk away, Jannalynn. You don’t want this fight. You won’t win.”
“Jannalynn, stand down,” Jackson barked, trying desperately to get her to back down.
“You’re not my Packmaster, old man,” Jannalynn sneered, shooting him a look of contempt. “I don’t listen to you.”
Jackson shook his head at the pigheadedness of the woman and he shot a look at Alcide, silently begging him to reel in Jannalynn.
“Jannalynn,” Alcide said softly, seeing his father’s look and attempting to interfere one last time, but his attempt was weak at best. If he really wanted, he could have removed Jannalynn by force without fear of reprisal.
“No,” Jannalynn growled, quickly looking over her shoulder at Alcide. “You’re a Packmaster, our Packmaster. Your loyalty and obligation should be to the Pack, not to this cunt!” she spat out the words as she turned her head back to face Sookie. “The Pack should always come first…”
Casting her eyes over to Alcide, Sookie wasn’t surprised to see the indecision on his face. He knew if Jannalynn carried through with her threat they could all be facing some serious trouble, but at the same time he wanted to see if it would work. He wanted to see if Jannalynn could force Sookie into being the Longtooth Pack’s Shaman. If she could, it might just be worth it…
Jannalynn gave a feral grin as Alcide stepped back and she stepped even closer to Sookie. “It’s about time you learned your place. You’re at the bottom of the food chain. You’re just a human with a quirk. You’re not one of us…”
“You’re even dumber than you look,” Sookie snorted, cutting her off. She laughed as she saw the look of indignation flash across the young wolf’s face. Leaning forward, Sookie got right in Jannalynn’s face and met her gaze unflinchingly. “Now seein‘ as you seem to be a bit slow, I’m gonna say this slowly so even you can understand. I don’t respond well to threats, verbal or physical. I’m no one’s puppet, pet, or Shaman. I am Sookie fuckin‘ Stackhouse…”
“You’re no fuc…”
Alcide frowned as Jannalynn stopped mid-sentence and he took a step toward her. His eyes widened in shock as he realized his enforcer was beginning to twitch nervously, and he shot his father a worried look.
Jackson watched on helplessly as Jannalynn’s legs gave out from under her and she fell to the ground in a heap. One look at Sookie was all it took for it to be obvious she was behind whatever was happening to the arrogant young wolf.
Sookie smirked as she stared down at Jannalynn; she could see drool seep from her lips and spill down the side of her face. She fought the urge to roll her eyes when she heard Rikki scream. The Werebitch was really quite the drama queen.
“What the fuck?!” Alcide growled, as he dropped to his knees beside the incapacitated Jannalynn. A gasp of horror flew from his lips as he rolled her onto her back and saw the empty look in her eyes. It was as if the light had gone out inside of her. “What’s wrong with her?”
“She picked a fight with the wrong person,” Jackson answered, his eyes never leaving Sookie. He wasn’t sure what she had done or how she had done it, but Jannalynn had just learned why she should never threaten the young telepath.
“What?!” Alcide exclaimed, his eyes shooting to Sookie. “You did this? Why? How? What did you do to her?”
“That little quirk I have is called telepathy,” Sookie said softly, as though she didn’t have a Werebitch drooling on her shoes. “The mind is my playground,” she continued, not really giving him any answers. Her demonstration should have been enough. She shouldn’t have had to explain that in addition to reading minds she could also tear them apart or fuck with them. That was what she had done to Jannalynn. She had closed off certain pathways and placed blocks in others, effectively making her brain dead. “How I did it is none of your business. Why I did it… Well,” she smiled as she stared down at the two of them. “It’s like I told you all… I don’t respond well to threats.”
She gave Alcide a minute for her words to sink in before she crouched down in front of them. She flicked her eyes over Jannalynn and let out a huff as she undid the work she had just done, wordlessly telling Alcide that she wasn’t happy about reversing it. Once the light returned to Jannalynn’s eyes, Sookie stood up straight and stared down at the two Weres.
“There is nothin‘ just human about me and what I am is something your tiny minds can’t even comprehend. I’m so far above you on the food chain that you look like an ant on the ground to me. Never threaten me. Never try to force me to do anything I don’t want because next time you try…” Her eyes locked on a terrified Jannalynn’s as her voice took on a hardened tone, “I won’t bring you back. You’ll spend the rest of your life as a brain dead Were who can’t even shift. Do I make myself clear?”
Jannalynn mumbled a yes as she stared up at Sookie, eyes widened with fright. She could feel her muscles slowly tightening in her body as she regained control and she scrambled to her feet. Fear was clear to read on her face and she put as much space between herself and Sookie as possible. She had never felt so out of control of her own body and mind before, and she hated it. She hated feeling weak. That was precisely what Sookie had done to her. She had made her appear weak in front of her Packmaster and other pack members
“I trust this is the last I’ll hear about bein‘ your Shaman,” Sookie said, directing her words to Alcide.
“It is. I swear,” Alcide replied, eyeing her with a healthy amount of fear as he stood up. He still wasn’t sure what she had done to Jannalynn, but he had been terrified and he didn’t want to risk the same thing ever happening to him.
Sookie nodded, but said nothing. There was nothing left to say. After rooting around in someone’s mind and short-circuiting them, trying to exchange small talk was absurd. She wouldn’t explain and she wouldn’t apologize.
Alcide gave Sookie a small nod of respect before he wrapped an arm around Jannalynn, steadying her, and barked at Rikki to go get in his truck. Sookie’s eyes followed the three of them as they crossed the parking lot to his truck, climbed in, and drove away.
The sound of the door to Merlotte’s bouncing off the wall caught Sookie’s attention and she angled her head to the left just in time to see Sam disappear inside in a huff. She couldn’t help but roll her eyes at his small snippet of thoughts entered her mind. It seemed the good owner of Merlotte’s had seen Alcide, Jannalynn, and Rikki leave just minutes after her, and knowing his ex-girlfriend as he did, Sam was expecting trouble. He had stayed back, concealed from view by the entrance, and watched as Jannalynn had threatened Sookie. He had been planning on stepping in and coming to Sookie’s rescue once Jannalynn had suitably scared her.
Sorry, Sam, but this is one damsel who doesn’t need a knight in tarnished armor.
Sookie let out a breath as she closed her eyes and let her head fall back. Only Sam would be pissed that he didn’t get to play the hero and save her from the filthy Weres despite standing back and watching one threaten her first.
“Well, that was… terrifying,” Jackson said, his brow furrowing in concern as he eyed Sookie.
Sookie chuckled softly as she cracked open an eye. “More so for Jannalynn,” she murmured before cracking her neck and leaning back against her car. “But if it got the message across…” She trailed off with a shrug, not showing an ounce of remorse.
“I think your message was received loud and clear,” Jackson replied. Only a fool would’ve ignored it.
Jackson eyed Sookie carefully, his gaze assessing as he took her in. He could see the slight fatigue on her face, the pinching of the skin around her eyes, and he realized what she had done had affected her as well. “Are you okay?” It was a stupid question, but the only one he could think of at that moment.
“I’ve got a bit of a headache,” Sookie answered with a tight smile as she opened both her eyes and met his gaze.
“Anything I can do?” Jackson asked, genuinely wanting to help.
A mischievous smile spread across Sookie’s face as she eyed the elder Were. “Now that you mention it…”