Three years later
Sookie let out a happy sigh as she leaned back and basked in the warm summer sun. She could feel the rays of the sun replenishing the energy she had spent during her afternoon training and she welcomed the feeling. Three years had passed since Warlow had rescued her from her nightmare and she finally felt at peace.
The road back to her identity or self had been an arduous one and, at times, a torturous journey, but it had been completely worth it. For the first in her life, Sookie felt comfortable in her own skin. She was no longer haunted by the words and actions of others as she once was. She had come to terms with everything that had happened to her. Still, that wasn’t to say she had forgiven or forgotten. The need for revenge continued to rage fiercely inside her, no amount of time or healing would ever change that.
She longed to see all those who had sinned against her pay for their crimes. She needed to hear their screams, feel their blood on her hands, and watch the light go out of their eyes. She craved to break them like they had tried to break her…
“Tried and failed, nya meldë,” a soft voice whispered in her head.
The sound of the voice in her mind made Sookie chuckle and she angled her head in the direction she knew it had come from, looking for the speaker. Sookie felt a wave of contentment wash over her as her eyes landed on Warlow’s beloved wife. “Join me,” she invited, patting the space beside her. A smile spread across Sookie’s face when the woman stepped toward her.
Warlow’s wife really was gorgeous with her flaming red hair, porcelain skin, and lithe body. Heads turned wherever she went, and yet she never let it go to her head. She was as down to earth as anyone could be. Three years earlier, she had welcomed Sookie into her home without a word of protest and helped the damaged blonde heal.
Sookie wasn’t used to having friends, her telepathy usually scaring everyone away, but she could say without a shadow of a doubt that Neave was her best friend. The full-blooded fairy had taught the young telepath so much in the years they had known each other. She taught her how to fight and how to defend herself; she taught her that being different didn’t make you a freak, and most importantly, she had taught her that she could say no, and that she didn’t have to barter using sex to get what she wanted.
Warlow may have helped to make her physically stronger, but it was Neave who helped Sookie become mentally and emotionally stronger. The red-headed fairy had become Sookie’s confidante and counselor. Neave had listened to Sookie when she wanted to talk, never judging her for the things she had suffered nor making her feel ashamed for the times she had enjoyed herself.
That had been one of the things that had haunted Sookie the most. Coming to terms with the abuse she suffered had been hard, but she had managed it. Every lash of a belt against her bare skin, every time she had been required to please a vampire for her Master or Mistress were things in which she hadn’t had any choice. Nonetheless, as much as it pained her to admit, there were some things she had enjoyed, there were things she had chosen for herself. Not everything that had happened over her years as a slave had been bad, there were times she had enjoyed herself and took pleasure in what she was doing. Those things caused Sookie the most distress. She had been a slave, held against her will with no rights, so she shouldn’t have enjoyed anything that had happened. In her mind, she shouldn’t have become friends with any of the vampires and willingly taken them to her bed, she shouldn’t have offered them her blood. Yet, she had, and, for a long time, it had distressed her more than the actual abuse she suffered.
She had tried to tell herself that she had no real choice, that they would have taken her body and blood if she had refused, but deep down inside she knew that wasn’t the case. They had treated her with respect and kindness; they had given her pleasure as well as taken their own. To those chosen few, Sookie had been more than a hole to fuck and vein to tap. She had been a person. It was a shame they hadn’t been in a position to help her though.
“You are getting lost inside your head again, nya meldë,” Neave said as she took a seat on the ground beside Sookie. After spending the last three years helping the young blonde, Neave knew Sookie well enough to know when she was getting pulled under by the darkness of her past. Unlike her husband, Neave knew everything that had happened to the telepath. She knew of the good and the bad, and she was well aware that it was the good that troubled Sookie the most. It was a feeling the pure-blooded fairy knew all too well.
“I was just thinking,” Sookie replied with a small shrug. While it didn’t happen often, at times she couldn’t help but be caught up in her past. She knew she was stronger than those who had abused her, she had survived and they would soon die, but that didn’t mean she didn’t have spells where they could still reach her, or at least the ghosts of them could.
“It’s not a sin that you found a light in the darkness, Sookie,” Neave told her softly. “You should not feel ashamed that you found comfort and pleasure where you could. It doesn’t lessen what you suffered or make it acceptable. In fact, I would say it’s a sign that they did not break you as they sought to. You were more than what they deemed you to be. They didn’t control you…”
“They did!” Sookie argued, cutting off her friend. As much as she hated it, she knew they had controlled her. She ate what they said, slept where they said; she fucked who they told her to fuck, and fed them when they were hungry. “I was their slave, their whore. They controlled me!”
“No, they sought to, but never really could,” Neave countered, her voice calm as to not rile Sookie’s anger any further. “If they would have really controlled you, you would not be here now. The anger and hatred you feel for them would not burn so fiercely. You would not have resisted them, nya meldë, you would not have fought, and you would not have survived. If they had owned you like they wanted, you would have never shared your blood and body with those you chose as it was not the desire of those who called themselves your master. Do you not see, Sookie? The fact that you did choose who to take to your bed is proof you were not broken.”
Silence settled over them as Sookie thought about what Neave had said. She couldn’t deny there was some truth to her friend’s words. Sookie had seen how many of the other pets behaved. Oh! How she hated that word! Pet… It was so demeaning! It was as if she was an animal. She knew that was how those vampires saw her. She had been nothing in their eyes, just a source of food and entertainment. It was how they treated all of their slaves.
In spite of this, unlike most of the others Sookie had never served them the way they desired. She might have given them her blood and her body after she had learned resisting only caused her pain, but she had never given them her mind. She never worshipped them like the other slaves, and Sookie refused to use the word ‘pet’ unless she absolutely had to. The others had doted on them, happily serving their masters and mistresses. Although, they hadn’t had much choice seeing how they were all glamoured, but not her. They had never been able to glamour Sookie, something for which she had been punished, but that had been a punishment she had been happy to take because it meant…
They couldn’t control me. They could beat me, whore me out, and threaten me all they liked, but they could never fully control me because… I never let them! I was stronger than them. I refused to let them break me.
A small smile began to curve Sookie’s lips as she accepted the truth of her thoughts. She might not have realized it at the time, but taking a vampire of her choosing to her bed had been a small victory.
“I survived,” Sookie said with a firm tone. “They didn’t break me.”
“You did, and soon you will get your revenge,” Neave replied with a vicious smile.
“Sooner than you think,” Warlow said, startling both the women as he appeared by their side. He chuckled at the twin glares Neave and Sookie shot him. His women were more alike than they knew and he hoped they never realized just how much power they had over him. The two of them had him twisted around their little fingers, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for them.
When he had rescued Sookie three years earlier, Warlow never knew he would come to care for her like he had. His wife was the love of his life, but the blonde telepath had a special place in his heart. Sookie might not have been a vampire, but Warlow thought the same of her as he did his vampire children. She was his blood just as they were. Warlow was happy his wife wasn’t a jealous or possessive woman, especially considering he had taken Sookie to his bed.
Neave never felt threatened by Sookie, even though she knew her husband’s feelings for the blonde weren’t strictly platonic. She knew Warlow cared for Sookie, loved her even, but it wasn’t the same kind of love he held for her. Neave was the love of his life, she was the women he would put above all others. The two of them had been together for almost two-thousand years, but sex no longer held the same meaning to them as it had when they first joined. Neither of them cared if the other shared their body with another. The bond Warlow and Neave shared was far deeper than just the physical. They were connected at the very core of their beings, and nothing or no one would ever break that.
“What do you mean?” Sookie asked, a hint of excitement leaking through her voice. She hoped he meant what she thought. She had been training hard and was ready to unleash her anger on those who had wronged her.
“I mean the time for you to get your revenge is almost upon us,” Warlow replied with a dark grin. “The latest report I received has shown me of the opening we have been awaiting. We should discuss it inside,” he added as he held his hand out to his wife and helped her to her feet. Warlow wrapped his arm around Neave’s waist and waited for Sookie to stand. While it was common knowledge among the members of his household that he could day walk, he wouldn’t discuss business outside in the daylight, especially not when they were conspiring to kill vampires. “I have the meeting room set up.”
Sookie practically jumped to her feet at his words. The time of waiting was almost over and she could hardly contain her excitement. Sookie all but sprinted into the house and toward the meeting room. “What have you learned?” She asked as Warlow and Neave followed her into the room.
Warlow grinned at her enthusiasm. He was happy to see her so excited about something, even if the thing she was excited about was killing. “There is to be a vampire summit in America in three months time,” Warlow replied, explaining what he had learned. “It is the one-year anniversary of vampires revealing themselves, and the vampires in control in the United States have decided to celebrate the anniversary by holding a summit. Monarchs from all the States have been ordered to attend, and they have all been permitted to bring a party of at least five with them…” Lifting his head, Warlow caught Sookie’s gaze and he prepared to tell her what else he had discovered. “Sookie, from what my sources tell me, many of the vampires who abused you will be at the summit…”
“Can you get me in?” Sookie asked, her tone becoming hard at the thought of getting her hands on some of the vampires who had abused her. This was what she had been awaiting.
“I can,” Warlow replied with a nod. “It will only be a matter of time before I am invited to attend the summit, and I can take you as part of my retinue. However, if you are to be a part of my party, you will need a disguise. No one must be able to identify you, not human nor vampire. Sookie Stackhouse is dead after all.”
Shortly after he had brought her to Ireland, Warlow had arranged for Sookie’s body to be found and identified. As far as anyone was concerned, Sookie Stackhouse died three years ago in a house fire in Dallas, Texas.
“I can disguise her,” Neave said, joining the conversation. “Sookie has become quite accomplished at controlling her fae powers, and with my help we will be able to place a glamour over her so no one will be able to recognize her.” The full-blooded Fae was proud of the young hybrid; Sookie had come a long way in such a short amount of time. “We can even disguise her scent.”
Warlow flashed his wife a smile before turning his attention back to the young blonde. “You realize you won’t be able to kill them all at the summit, yes?”
“I know,” Sookie replied somewhat reluctantly. As much as she would have liked to kill them all, it would only draw too much attention. Killing one or two vampires would be easy to explain, but wiping out all of them would only bring on questions that she didn’t want anyone asking. “Still, it’s a good place to start. They’ll be enough suspects so I’ll be able to slip away without anyone being wary of me.”
Warlow nodded in agreement. Depending on who she targeted it would be easy to foster the blame on someone else; all vampires had enemies, especially the ones in power. Warlow frowned at that thought, with power came enemies, but it also came with strength, well, it did if you were a good leader. “There is one problem I foresee,” he admitted with a sigh.
“What?” Sookie asked, hoping it was something they could easily overcome.
“The summit is to be held in New York,” Warlow announced. He exchanged a look with Neave when she realized what that meant. Out of all the States to host it that would have been his last choice, not because he thought it was unworthy, but because the monarch of New York was probably one of the most respected in the world. Security would be tight.
“I don’t understand,” Sookie confessed, flicking her eyes between Warlow and Neave. She knew she was missing something, but she didn’t know what. “Why is that a problem?”
“It is a problem because of whose territory it is,” Neave replied. “New York is the territory of…”
“The Viking,” Warlow finished for her. “Eric Northman rules New York!”