When Bill rose that night, he was pleased to see Sookie was waiting for him, but his happiness soon disappeared when Sookie informed him about the strange way the people of the town were acting. He wanted Sookie far from the anything supernatural, but now it seemed they were stuck in the middle of something big. He was beginning to wonder if Sookie was some kind of magnet for the supernatural: they all seemed drawn to her. His first thought after listening to what was happening in Bon Temps was to grab Sookie and leave, but as much as he desired it, he knew Sookie wouldn’t abandon her friends.
It hadn’t taken them long to find out who was causing the townspeople’s strange behavior; a trip to Sookie’s house had revealed who was behind it. Bill saw the opportunity to play the hero for Sookie again and had attacked Maryann, who had taken over Sookie’s house. He sunk his fangs into her neck intending to drain her, but the second her blood touched his lips, his body had rejected it violently. He had been powerless to act as Maryann approached Sookie, asking her what she was. Bill had been shocked when Sookie had put her hand on Maryann’s face and a white light had knocked her back slightly. He was less than pleased that Sookie had to support him as they made their escape.
After getting into Bill’s car and driving away, Sookie questioned him while his body tried to expel Maryann’s blood. She wanted to know what Maryann was, but Bill had no idea. Maryann was something he had never encountered before, and his concern grew when it was revealed that she was the bull woman who had attacked Sookie before they went to Dallas.
When Sookie suggested that they call Eric and ask him for help, Bill quickly shot down the idea; the last thing he wanted was Eric in Bon Temps while his relationship with Sookie was in a precarious position. Bill demanded Sookie’s wrist and sank his fangs into it, her blood healing him from the damage Maryann’s blood had caused.
A phone call from Lafayette had them heading to his place. Upon arriving, Bill had seen a young girl trying to buy V from Lafayette; after making her leave, Bill had been delighted when Lafayette let it slip that he was selling V on Eric’s orders. Bill was ecstatic in his realization that he finally had something to use against Eric to keep him away from Sookie.
After being invited inside the house, Sookie was dismayed to see the condition her best friend Tara had been in: her eyes were black, like the rest of the town folk. She had attempted to use her telepathy to reach Tara, but all she could see was darkness inside her. Sookie had refused to give up, and with Bill glamouring her at the same time, Sookie managed to enter Tara’s mind and undo whatever Maryann had done to her.
While Sookie comforted Tara, Bill had taken Lafayette outside under the pretense of learning all he could about Maryann. As soon as the door had closed, Bill rounded on Lafayette, pushing him until he revealed all about his selling V and Eric’s involvement. He listened with rapture while Lafayette told him how Pam had showed up at Merlotte’s and ordered him to resume selling V again, under direct orders from Eric. Bill could barely control his glee as he finally got something to use against Eric. He glamoured the drug dealer into forgetting the conversation.
He walked back into the house satisfied with everything he learnt, thinking that he finally had leverage over Eric. Vampire blood was considered sacred among their kind and selling it was a punishable offense. His satisfaction quickly gave way to anger when he heard Sookie speaking on the phone asking someone for help; with his vampire hearing he could clearly hear who she was talking to. He stomped over to her, intending to snatch the phone out of her hand, but she ended the call before he had the chance.
“I told you not to call him,” Bill raged at her.
“I know,” Sookie sighed, “But we have no idea what Maryann is, or what she wants. We seem to be the only people in town who are not affected by whatever it is she’s doing. We need some help.”
“And you had to ask Eric for that?”
“Who else was I gonna ask?” Sookie replied, “It’s not like I know loads of people who could help us.”
“You really think Eric will help?” Bill scoffed.
“He said he would,” Sookie said with a shrug. “He said he’ll be here within the hour.”
“He’s coming here?” Bill asked, not liking that one bit.
“How else is he gonna help?”
“We don’t need his help,” Bill replied through gritted teeth. “You shouldn’t have called him.”
“He had a right to know,” Sookie argued. “This disturbance, or whatever you call it, is happening in his area. Besides, he might know who or what Maryann is; he is a thousand years old.”
Bill had no response for that. As much as he hated it, he knew Sookie was right. Eric had a right to know as Sheriff of Area Five. He was going against protocol by not informing Eric, but he hadn’t wanted to involve him in it. Bill was angry at Sookie for going behind his back and calling him. He didn’t like it one bit that she sought Eric’s help. By the time Eric arrived, Bill’s anger had cooled slightly and he was able to greet him politely, if not a little stiffly.
He had to bite to tongue, blood filling his mouth, as he listened to Sookie explain everything that had happened in the town. His anger grew hotter when Eric directed all his questions at Sookie. The few times he tried to interject into their conversation, he was silenced by a withering look from Eric.
Eric’s message was clear to him: he was there for Sookie and Sookie alone.
Bill was ready to explode by the time Sookie had finished. He had been ignored by both Eric and Sookie, the two of them continuing on like he wasn’t even there.
As they discussed all they knew, a phrase that Sookie heard Maryann repeating in Tara’s mind, caught Bill’s attention. After asking Sookie to repeat it, he remembered where he had seen it before. Back when he was still with Lorena, he read the same phrase in a book. Bill realized they needed more information on Maryann’s god, Dionysus, and unfortunately Bill only knew one person who might possess it
After much arguing, it was decided that Bill would go to New Orleans and seek an audience with Queen Sophie-Anne, hoping she would have the information they needed. Bill was not happy in the slightest, leaving Sookie alone with Eric in Bon Temps, but he was well aware that he couldn’t take her with him. He didn’t want her anywhere near Sophie-Anne, and Eric had made it clear he wasn’t going to go instead of Bill.
The one benefit of going to New Orleans and meeting with the Queen was that he could speak to her about Eric’s interference in his relationship with Sookie. As long as Sophie-Anne still believed that he was working to secure Sookie for her, he could consider her an ally against Eric. Bill had already decided to drop subtle hints about Eric selling V while he was there; he hoped that with a bit of luck, Sophie-Anne would take care of Eric, and his interest in Sookie.
Bill arrived in New Orleans a few hours later and made his way into the Queen’s compound, where he requested an audience with her. After being shown into her sunroom he was forced to wait while she finished feeding on her favorite pet, and Sookie’s cousin, Hadley.
The visit didn’t go quite the way Bill had hoped. Sophie-Anne made him wait for hours before she told him the information needed to defeat Maryann. She made him bow down to her childish whims of playing games and pretending to sunbathe. It wasn’t until he mentioned Eric’s interest in Sookie that she showed her vampire side.
Sophie-Anne had been furious with him. She pinned him to the floor as she verbally abused him for bringing Sookie to Eric’s attention, and she reminded him that she strictly prohibited him from doing so. Bill had pleaded his case, informing Sophie-Anne of the situation surrounding Sookie going to Fangtasia, and how he was unable to stop it.
Sophie-Anne ordered Bill to keep Sookie away from Eric by any means necessary; she made it painfully clear that she wanted her telepath.
In an attempt to appease her, Bill had subtly dropped hints about someone dealing vampire blood in Eric’s area. Although he never came out and specifically said that Eric was not only allowing it, but also supplying the V, he hinted at it enough, so Sophie-Anne knew who was behind it.
The Queen hadn’t reacted like he expected. He was sure that she would use the information to remove Eric from his position as Sheriff, and away from Sookie. Instead, she dismissed everything he was saying as unimportant. It didn’t take Bill long to deduce the reason for her strange behavior: he quickly realized that Eric was selling the V on her orders. He filed that little tidbit away to use at a later date, believing that he might finally have found a way to keep Sookie for himself, with the Queen’s permission.
By the time Sophie-Anne had stopped playing her games, it was too late for Bill to leave. Sunrise wasn’t far away and, as much as he hated it, he had no choice but to spend the day at the Queen’s compound and return to Bon Temps, and Sookie, the following night.
Bill was out of the door and on his way back to Bon Temps minutes after the sun set the following day, only taking enough time to thank the Queen for the hospitality. He drove back to Bon Temps as quickly as he could, breaking every speeding law written, not wanting to leave Sookie alone with Eric for a minute longer than he was forced to.
As he drove back he envisioned every scenario he could. Bill was convinced that with the information that he garnered from Sophie-Anne, he would be able to play the hero for Sookie and save the town she loved so much. He couldn’t wait to see Eric’s face as he finally realized that Sookie was out of his reach, and that he would never have her.
Bill’s return to Bon Temps had not gone as he had expected; his dreams of rushing in and saving Sookie turned into a nightmare. After parking in his driveway, he sped over to Sookie’s; he had planned on saving the town folk from Maryann’s thrall, only to discover that he was too late. Bill spied Pam standing off in the distance and, as much as he despised her, he knew she was the only one who could tell him what had happened, and how the town’s residents were back to normal.
“Pam,” he greeted.
“Bill,” Pam sneered. “Did you have fun in New Orleans?”
“It was not a social trip,” Bill reminded her. “I was there seeking information on how to defeat Maryann.”
“Oh yes,” Pam replied with a smirk. “Did you have any luck with that?”
“I got the information, but it seems it is no longer needed.”
“No, I don’t believe it is.”
“Why is that?” Bill asked.
“Eric got tired of waiting for you to stop kissing Sophie-Anne’s ass,” Pam explained. “He decided to take care of the pesky Maryann problem when he rose this evening.”
“How would Eric know how to do that?” Bill questioned.
“Once Eric learnt who, or rather what Maryann was, he remembered a story Godric told him years ago.” Pam said.
“Yes, apparently Godric encountered a Maenad in St Petersburg in 1876. She shared her madness, causing chaos and inciting a massacre which resulted in the staking of a vampire.”
“How did Eric stop her?”
“With a few phone calls and an animal sacrifice, or a Shifter sacrifice.”
“He sacrificed Sam? Sookie will not like that,” Bill remarked, thinking that Eric had destroyed any feelings Sookie might have for him.
“Oh, she understood,” Pam replied with a smirk. “And the Shifter is not dead; Eric healed him.”
Pam’s words finally registered with Bill. He was furious as he realized that Eric knew the previous night of what Maryann was, and how to defeat her.
Eric had effectively got Bill out of the way, getting Sookie to himself for a whole day, even if he had been technically dead for half of it.
Bill had to wonder if Sookie had spent the day sleeping beside Eric, as she had done in Dallas.
He was enraged as he began to understand just how deeply Eric had managed to integrate himself into Sookie’s life. Unaware as he was about what happened in Dallas between them, he did know that Sookie trusted Eric. She would have never gone to him for help otherwise.
Bill decided that he had to destroy the trust, and whatever growing affection she was developing for Eric.