The incessant ringing of his cell phone had begun to grate on Bill’s nerves; it had been ringing on and off since he had risen earlier in the evening. As much as he would have liked to, he knew he couldn’t just shut it off, so he continued to let his voicemail pick it up as he made his way into Merlotte’s.
He knew who it was calling him and he was deliberately ignoring the call, something he could get into trouble for if it was ever proven. At that time it was a risk he was willing to take. He didn’t want to talk to anyone from Fangtasia until he had a chance to reconcile with Sookie.
His relationship with Sookie had become strained while they were in Dallas. She had been exposed to a side of the vampire world that he had tried to shield her from; he had done everything in his power to show her that the other vampires were sadistic in nature, selfish to the extreme and that he was the only one she could trust, the only one that was different. He had managed to assert a great deal of influence over her in the short time they had been dating. While he couldn’t control her like he could a regular human, he was able to influence her emotions through his blood inside her.
Before Dallas, Bill had been successful in his plan. He had maneuvered her into situations he knew she would be uncomfortable with, making her rely on him so he could gain her trust. He had intentionally exposed her to Malcolm, Liam, and Diane; having once shared a nest with them he knew of their penchant for cruelty.
He realized showing that side of his world to her would go a long way towards gaining her trust and showing that he was different. The three of them played their parts brilliantly, even if they didn’t know they were doing it. They had acted like the animals that he knew they were, engaging in sexual acts in front of the virginal Sookie, shocking and disgusting her. He had to hide his smile when Sookie declared that she was his to all of them, not understanding what it meant in the slightest.
When her brother became a suspect in the death of two fangbangers, Sookie told Bill she wanted to go to Fangtasia; he had been hesitant to take her. He hadn’t wanted to expose her to the Sheriff of Area five, Eric Northman, but what he wanted and what he got were two very different things. He knew regardless of whether he accompanied her or not, she would go to the vampire bar in Shreveport. Their trip to Fangtasia had proven to be a gamble.
Bill knew that Eric would know of Sookie the moment Pam set eyes on her; it wasn’t long after they sat down that Eric summoned them to him. He hadn’t failed to take in Sookie’s own reaction to Eric; Bill knew that if she hadn’t his blood in her body she would have been more susceptible to Eric’s advances.
He could scent her arousal as she stood her ground against Eric, enticing him further; when she revealed her telepathy to him, Bill was almost convinced that it was all over. However, Lady Luck was a fickle mistress and one that had favored him that night.
Eric may have discovered Sookie’s telepathy, but a raid on the bar had made it possible for Bill to sweep Sookie out of the building and back to Bon Temps. Eric was forced to stay in Shreveport and deal with the authorities, giving Bill the time he needed to ensure that Sookie wouldn’t act on the attraction he knew she felt towards Eric.
Bill suffered a minor setback after his behavior with the police officer that had pulled them over as he drove them home. However, following the murder of her Grandmother, Bill managed to once again cement himself firmly back into her life, going as far as to take her virginity. Everything that happened afterwards only strengthened his hold on her: his killing of her great uncle Bartlett, the staking of Longshadow, and him being forced to turn Jessica as punishment, causing Sookie to blame herself.
Eric had even aided him by torturing one of Sookie’s best friends, he had Sookie convinced that all vampires but him were monsters. And then Dallas happened. Sookie, in exchange for Lafayette’s freedom, had agreed to travel to Dallas and help locate the missing Sheriff of Area Nine. In the space of a few days, Bill was forced to watch as all his hard work started to crumble all around him.
Their arrival in Dallas couldn’t have gone better if he had planned it himself. Someone tried to kidnap Sookie at the airport and Bill had gotten to play the hero. The vampires of the Dallas nest had certainly helped him as well: Stan and Isabella fighting among themselves and Stan’s hatred of humans went a long way in reinforcing the image of the vicious vampires that Bill had created for Sookie. What he hadn’t factored in was Lorena’s arrival, and Godric.
He had no way of knowing that Eric had called Bill’s Maker in his attempts to steal Sookie away from him. Lorena held him hostage in his hotel room, making it impossible for him to go to Sookie when he sensed that she was in danger, leaving it up to Eric to go and help rescue her.
He managed to escape Lorena by hitting her over the head with a plasma screen television, then made his way to the Fellowship of the Sun church. Upon his arrival, he was shocked to see Eric changed to the altar, agreeing to trade his life for those of Sookie and Godric. Steve Newlin had been pointing a gun at Sookie when Bill rushed into the church to save her. Jason Stackhouse, of all people, beat him to it by shooting Newlin in the hand and forehead with a paintball gun.
From that point on things got steadily worse for Bill. Instead of jumping into his arms like she was supposed to, Sookie fought against him to free Eric from the silver, and then the members of the Fellowship from Stan and a group of the Dallas vampires. Bill hated standing idly by while Godric did what Sookie had pleaded with him and Eric to do.
Bill had heard many stories about Godric: he was well respected within the vampire community, and many believed him to be one of the oldest vampires in existence. When Eric confessed that Godric was his Maker, Bill had been intrigued. He was expecting a vampire very similar in mentality to Eric: cold, ruthless, and willing to do anything to get what he wanted. It had only taken a few minutes in Godric’s presence for Bill to realize he was wrong: he wasn’t cruel or vicious; there was humanity in him, and Bill didn’t want Sookie anywhere near him.
Bill hadn’t wanted to return to the Dallas nest, but when the Sheriff of the area invites you to his nest, you cannot decline. He stuck to Sookie’s side all night, limiting her interaction with Eric and by extension Godric. He was not happy when she questioned him about his whereabouts while she was being held at the church. He gave her half-answers, never really answering her fully. Lorena’s arrival at the nest was both unexpected and unwelcome; he quickly lost control of both the situation and Sookie as she went toe to toe with his Maker. With growing resentment, Bill was forced to watch as Godric once again saved Sookie and then, to add insult to injury, ordered him around like he was a nobody.
Bill cursed the fact that he was outside when the bomb went off; it should have been him inside protecting her, not Eric. He should have never listened to Eric when he told him to get the humans, but he let his thirst for blood overpower his rational side. He paid for that when he went back inside and saw Sookie straddling Eric, her lips attached to his chest while Eric’s hand cradled her head. He could almost feel all his hard work come undone as Eric’s blood entered her body, overpowering his, and putting them on equal footing. He took little pleasure in the fact that Eric had apparently tricked her into taking his blood.
Once back at the hotel, Bill sought a way to salvage all his hard work. Embellishing on the effects vampire blood would have on her, he implied any attraction that she held for Eric would be due to his blood. Bill had tried to leave as soon as he rose the next night, but Nan Flanagan had prevented him. He had been furious as he sat the hotel room listening to Nan chew them all out, while Sookie cast longing looks at Eric. He was not happy when Sookie had chased after Godric, instead of staying with him when the meeting ended.
He had been stuck in the hotel room thinking up ways to get Sookie away from Eric and the Supernatural world when the sun rose, making him die for the day.
When he rose the following night, he was surprised that Sookie was not beside him. Upon further inspection he discovered that she wasn’t in the hotel room; he suspected that she hadn’t been back since she left to go find Godric. His mind whirled with endless possibilities of what could have happened to her: his mind conjured up images of Eric kidnapping her and forcing more of his blood on her, of Lorena returning and hurting her.
Bill ignored the fact that he couldn’t sense any fear coming from her, but instead, she seemed to be feeling content. He was convinced she was in danger and raced out of his hotel room, intending to track her through the blood he had in her body. As he stepped into the hallway, he realized that she was closer than he first thought her to be. He moved across the hallway towards the door opposite his and Sookie’s room: Eric’s room. Just as he was about to barge in, the door swung open and Eric stood in the doorway, a towel wrapped around his waist beads of water sliding down his chest.
“Good evening, Bill,” Eric greeted. “Did you rest well?
Bill stared at Eric in shock. Of all the things he had imagined, what he was seeing was not one of them. He knew Sookie was in the room; her distinctive scent hung heavy in the air.
“Where is Sookie?” he asked.
“She is sleeping. She had a busy night,” Eric replied with a smirk.
“Busy night?” Bill questioned. Seeing Eric’s undressed state, Bill’s eyes narrowed, “Sookie is mine, you had no right touching her.”
“Not even if she asked me to?” Eric taunted.
“She would never ask you to touch her,” Bill snarled, his anger taking control. “She hates you.”
“You know what they say Billy? There is a thin line between love and hate.”
“Where is she?” Bill asked through gritted teeth.
“I already told you,” Eric sighed, “She is sleeping. Poor thing was tired out. She barely had enough energy to pull on some clothes before she passed out.”
“You’re lying,” Bill snarled, “My Sookie would never share a bed with you, not willingly anyway.”
“I’ve never had to force anyone to share my bed,” Eric growled, “Can you say the same?”
The dig at his past made Bill take a step back. He was not proud of the things he did when he was with Lorena, and the last thing he wanted was for Sookie to find out about them. Realizing that he wasn’t going to win a war of words against Eric, Bill straightened his shoulders, glaring at Eric. “Sookie is mine,” he stated, “Now where is she?”
“She is sleeping,” Eric repeated, “Now I understand that you sleep/rest in the ground, but civilized people sleep in beds.”
“Let me in,” Bill demanded.
Eric smirked at Bill as he let him into the hotel room, closing the door behind him. He made no move to cover himself as Bill tore through the hotel room, yanking open the bedroom door to see if Sookie really was there. Bill couldn’t hold back the growl as he saw Sookie lying fast asleep in the bed, dressed in one of Eric’s shirts.
The only thing stopping Bill from screaming at her and dragging her from the bed was the fact that neither the scent of blood nor sex was anywhere in the room. Whatever had happened in that hotel room, he knew that Eric and Sookie hadn’t had sex.
A small smile spread across Bill face at the realization that Eric hadn’t tasted Sookie, and Bill was determined to make sure that he never did. The smile quickly disappeared when he realized that Sookie had spent the day sleeping beside Eric willingly. He didn’t need to wake her to know that she had chosen to spend the day in Eric’s bed; even if nothing happened, Bill was not willing to let it slide. Sookie was his; he should have never let her leave the night before to go after Godric. He knew that wherever Godric was, Eric would have been close by.
Bill crossed the small space and walked to the side of the bed, leaning over. “Sookie,” he called as he shook her gently.
The sound of someone calling her name roused Sookie from her slumber. Her eyes darted around wildly as she struggled to remember where she was; the events of the morning came tumbling back as they finally landed on Eric. Rubbing a hand over her eyes, she mumbled, “I hoped it was just a nightmare.”
“Sookie,” Bill said more forcefully, getting her attention.
“Hey Bill. What time is it?” she greeted, surprising him. He was expecting her to start stammering out excuses about why she spent the day sleeping beside Eric, not ask what the time was. He regarded her carefully; he could see no hint of embarrassment or guilt in her delicate features. Bill was unsure of what to make of Sookie’s new sense of self-assurance.
“It’s after sunset,” he answered a touch of reprimand in his voice.
“I kinda knew that already,” she said with a small laugh. “I guess I slept the day away.”
“Were you injured this last night?” Bill asked.
“No,” Sookie replied, puzzled.
“Then why didn’t you return to our hotel room?” Bill asked. “Why did you spend the day with Eric?”
“Godric met the sun this morning,” Sookie explained tearfully.
“What does that have to do with you staying with Eric?”
“Bill!” Sookie cried. “Eric’s Maker decided to meet the sun and I wanted to make sure he was okay. I know what it’s like to lose the most important person to you; it might not be the same as when I lost Gran, but no one deserves to suffer that kind of pain alone.”
Bill had scoffed at the idea that Eric needed anyone; he knew that he was a heartless bastard, and he was sure that he was just using the final death of his Maker as a way to manipulate Sookie.
Bill was dismayed to see that it seemed to be working, but he kept his mouth shut in front of Eric. He knew anything he said in front of the older vampire would just backfire on him; he needed to get Sookie away from him and back to Bon Temps where he would be able to isolate her. After a while he could hopefully feed her more of his blood and reassert his hold over her.
Bill had remained silent while Sookie had changed back into her dress in Eric’s bathroom, trying hard to ignore the half naked vampire who was staring at him smugly from the opposite side of the room. It didn’t escape Bill’s attention that, when Sookie exited the bathroom and walked back into the bedroom, Eric’s eyes followed her hungrily. His arousal could be quite clearly seen through the white towel and Eric had done nothing to hide it. He hadn’t missed Sookie’s reaction to it either, the blush that covered her face and the sound of her heartbeat picking up as the scent of her sweet arousal filled the room.
Bill had been shocked that Eric hadn’t made any lewd comments to her; he merely smirked at her before walking into the bathroom himself.
Bill escorted Sookie back to their hotel room, and he watched as she packed up the last of her belongings. He remained silent the whole time, as a message to Sookie that he was upset with her. Sookie paid him no attention as she finished packing her suitcase. They met Jason on the way out of the hotel and Bill was forced to watch with growing anger when Sookie had continued to make small talk with her brother, oblivious to his displeasure.
Bill had expected Sookie to have offered him an explanation as soon as he had her away from Eric. He knew that Sookie could tell that he was unhappy with her and he was waiting for her to apologize to him, to tell him that she hadn’t wanted to spend the day with Eric, but he had tricked or forced her to do so. To his continued shock, she didn’t seem to care. She laughed and joked with Jason, barely sparing him a second glance.
Jason wasn’t as oblivious to Bill bad mood; excusing himself to use the bathroom, he gave them a few moments of privacy.
“Why did you spend the day with Eric?” Bill asked as soon as Jason was out of earshot. He let all his disappointment show, trying to shame her into telling him everything he wanted to know.
“I already told you,” Sookie sighed. “I just wanted to be there for him, and after Godric’s death, he needed a friend.”
“Eric doesn’t want a friend,” Bill scoffed. “He didn’t need you either, he was just preying on you.”
“That’s not true,” Sookie argued.
“I’m sorry Sookie, but you don’t know Eric like I do.” Bill told her. “He was taking advantage of you, using your grief to manipulate you. Preying on your naivety.”
“You’re wrong,” Sookie stated firmly. “You weren’t there; his grief was real, and he was hurting. He couldn’t fake that.”
“Eric is quite the actor,” Bill sneered, “Or have you forgotten how he tricked you into taking his blood?”
“I haven’t forgotten.”
“You have no idea how devious Eric can be, Sookie,” Bill said. “Or how the Supernatural world works. Eric didn’t get to be Sheriff by playing by the rules.”
“You’re right, I don’t know how the Supernatural world works,” Sookie admitted. Bill smiled, thinking he had won, but the smile was wiped off his face as she continued. “Because you’ve never told me. The little I do know is because others like Eric or Sam have told me. I know you don’t want me to be part of it Bill, but I am part of it. If I’m gonna survive, I’ve gotta learn how to live in it. You can’t protect me anymore Bill.”
Bill had been struck speechless by the time she’d finished; he was expecting her to tell him everything, not for her to basically speak against him. He was losing control of her and he didn’t know what to do. She was supposed to seek his protection and guidance, not chastise him for trying to shelter her.
Blaming Eric for her new attitude, Bill swore to keep her away from him at all costs. Bill didn’t want to involve Sophie-Anne Leclerq, the Queen of Louisiana, unless it was absolutely necessary, but he realized he might not have a choice. Eric was interfering in his mission, even if he wasn’t really following the Queen’s orders anymore.
He had no intention of handing Sookie over to Sophie-Anne, which was the original plan. Sookie was his now, and he wouldn’t give her up for anything or anyone.
Bill continued to push Sookie, wanting to know what happened the night before with Godric and Eric. However, Sookie remained steadfast in her refusal to tell him what transpired on the rooftop of the hotel Camilla. All she would say was that she made a promise to Godric, and one she intended to keep. As much as Bill tried, he was unable to get Sookie to tell him what the promise was. She had stood firm in her resolve, telling him that it was between her and Godric and no concern to him. Bill had been unhappy that she would willingly hide things from him, but as things stood then, he knew Sookie would not tell him.
Bill was not going to put up with the way Sookie talked to him or the new bond she seemed to be developing with Eric. He hoped he would be able to talk some sense into her when they returned to Bon Temps, but a delay in their travel plans meant that it was daytime when they arrived, and he was dead for the day.