Bill barely spared Pam a second glance as he sped off in search of Sookie, tracking her to her house. His lip curled as he surveyed the destruction Maryann had caused in the Stackhouse residence. He walked through the living room, making his way to her kitchen; plans forming in his head with each step he took, the barely livable state of Sookie’s house gave him an opportunity. One he intended to take advantage of. He would invite Sookie to stay at his house until hers was repaired and cleaned, and while she was at his he would poison her against Eric and form a blood bond with her, putting her beyond Eric’s reach.
Bill froze at the sight that greeted him as he entered the kitchen. Eric and Sookie were wrapped around each other in a passionate embrace. Fury rose in Bill as he heard Sookie moaning Eric’s name, as she ground her hips against his. So lost in her passion, Sookie hadn’t even realized that Bill was in the room. Eric had her complete attention as he laid her on her kitchen table, covering her body with his, her legs wrapped around his hips.
Bill snapped out of his haze as he saw Sookie turning her head to the side, inviting Eric to bite her. There was no way Bill was going to allow Eric to taste Sookie’s blood: that treat was only for him. Grabbing a hold of an upturned chair, Bill broke the leg off; before he had a chance to move towards Eric, he found himself held against the kitchen wall with Eric’s large hand wrapped around his throat.
Bill struggled against Eric’s hold, hissing at him in hatred. Eric took the stake out of Bill’s hand and crushed it in his, discarding the splinters, before throwing Bill across the room.
Bill dragged himself to his feet and crouched down as he prepared to attack. When Sookie stepped between them, he hissed at her in warning, but she glared at him defiantly.
“Don’t you hiss at me, Bill Compton.”
“Sookie, get out of the way,” he ordered through gritted teeth.
“And don’t tell me what to do. You will not fight in my house; it is barely standing as it is, I don’t think it would survive you two.”
“Sookie…” Bill started, but was cut off by an irate telepath.
“No, this is my house and I won’t allow you to act like animals in it. If you can’t respect, that you can leave,” she stated firmly.
Bill growled at Eric as he saw him smirking at him over Sookie’s shoulders, causing Sookie scowl at him.
“Don’t make me rescind your invitation, Bill,” she threatened.
The strength in her voice made Bill reconsider the words that were on the tip of his tongue. Looking at her, he knew she meant what she was saying. If he forced her hand, she would rescind his invitation into her house. He reluctantly conceded to her wishes and straightened up, never taking his eyes of Eric, who was antagonizing him just by his mere presence.
“You will have to forgive me, Sookie. Surely you can understand my actions, given the precarious position you were in with… Eric,” Bill said, laying it on thick, trying to guilt Sookie into accepting his insincere apologies.
“I understand that you were not expecting to walk in on what you did, and I am sorry for that,” Sookie admitted, causing Bill to smirk at Eric who was quietly growling. “But that doesn’t give you the right to attack someone in my house and try to kill them,”
“Sookie, I was just trying to defend you,” Bill explained carefully.
“I wasn’t in any danger” She retorted. “Eric wasn’t threatening or hurting me in any way.”
“I saw Eric about to bite you,” he argued.
“And you thought trying to stake him would be a good idea?” Sookie asked exasperatedly.
“He had no right to touch you, or to attempt to bite you and take your blood,” Bill replied through gritted teeth.
“Sookie did not seem to mind,” Eric interjected smoothly. He was thoroughly enjoying watching Sookie chastise Bill; it was far more amusing than any punishment he could have inflicted on the younger vampire.
“Eric,” Sookie sighed.
“Yes, Lover,” he purred, his voice dripping with sex.
“She is not your lover,” Bill raged. “Sookie is…”
“Don’t you dare say it, Bill Compton,” Sookie fumed, pointing a finger at him. “Don’t you dare start spouting that ‘Sookie is mine’ crap. I belong to nobody!”
“Sookie!” Bill exclaimed, not liking the way Eric’s eyes lit up at her words. He tried to appease her. “Sookie, I know you are angry with me, and I will concede that my actions were rash. I blame the shock of seeing what I did. After you were attacked in Dallas, I find myself quick to defend you, perhaps without thinking things through properly.”
“You never do, Bill. You’re quick to anger, and you attack without provocation. This is not the first time you have done this: you attacked Sam not long ago,” Sookie said.
“Being a friend,” Sookie cut him off. Her Gran would paddle her backside if she could hear the way she was cutting Bill off tonight, but Sookie had had all she could take for one night. She knew she shouldn’t have responded to Eric the way she did, but she was not about to back down from Bill. She had been doing that too much lately and her Gran would definitely have paddled her backside for that. Adele Stackhouse didn’t raise no withering flower; she raised her to be a strong woman.
“He was being more than a friend,” Bill sneered.
“Maybe, but at least he was here when I needed him,” Sookie replied icily.
“I explained why I couldn’t come when I felt your fear. I was dealing with the fallout of staking Longshadow to save you,” Bill said.
“Jessica,” Sookie said softly.
“Yes,” Bill admitted, hiding his smile as he played on Sookie’s guilt.
“Who you told me about two weeks later, after telling me that everything was fine,” Sookie said calmly.
“Sookie, I explained about that.”
“Yes, you did. You explained after I found out, just like Uncle Bartlett and Lorena. What else are you hiding from me, Bill?” she asked.
“Nothing. Maybe I was wrong to hide those things from you, but I only did it to try to protect you.”
“You can’t protect someone from the truth Bill. No matter how much you try, it always comes out,” Sookie told him sadly.
“I did what I did because I love you,” Bill replied.
“That is your excuse for everything, and I always accepted it: Jessica, Uncle Bartlett, Lorena. Because you wouldn’t do those things if you didn’t love me, would you Bill?”
“No, Bill, don’t. Don’t say it again. Because it is not going to work this time, those words no longer excuse everything. If anything they damn you, because if you love me, truly love me, you wouldn’t hide things from me, you wouldn’t treat me the way you do…”
“What is wrong with the way I treat you?” Bill asked, genuinely confused. “I treat you with respect.”
“You try to control me, telling me to be quiet whenever I try to say something.”
“That is for your protection. Other vampires will not tolerate you being so outspoken; they would be much crueler to you,” Bill explained carefully, as if he were speaking to a child. “I know it is hard for you to understand, but in the vampire world you are considered to be beneath us. They would not listen to you anyway.”
“Eric listens to me; he encourages me to speak. He might not agree with what I say, but he listens,” Sookie replied.
“Eric is only interested in your telepathy and your body. Don’t fool yourself into believing he cares about you or your opinions,” Bill chastised, temporarily forgetting that Eric was in the kitchen with them.
“Godric listened to me; he believed me to be someone of worth. He saved me twice when he didn’t have to, and told a roomful of vampires that I was important.”
“Godric was…” The sound of growling cut Bill off and his eyes darted towards Eric. The older vampire was glaring daggers at him. Part of Bill was tempted to goad Eric into attacking him in front of Sookie by saying something derogatory about Godric, but one look at Eric told him that would be a bad idea. “Godric was different. He had lived so long that many of the rules that vampires live by no longer applied to him,” Bill said, choosing his words carefully.
“You mean he evolved, he no longer lived in the dark ages. Godric saw nothing wrong with treating me like an equal in the short time I knew him.”
“Godric was unique; most vampires don’t think that way,” Bill huffed.
“Then maybe they could have all learnt something from him. You may not see me as your equal, but that doesn’t mean I am beneath you. I may not be able to do all the things you do, but I can do many things you can’t do. Being a vampire does not make you better than me. It just makes you different.”
“Sookie, that is a very naive way to think. Vampires are stronger and faster than you; they have abilities that you will never have unless you are turned, and I know you don’t want that. I may not like it, but in the eyes of other vampires you are only human.”
“Only human,” Sookie repeated in a whisper. “Well, this human can take a nice stroll through the park on a sunny day, or walk into someone’s house without being invited. I can digest food and wear silver jewelry. Can you do any of that?”
“Don’t be childish, Sookie,” Bill said harshly.
“I’m not being childish Bill, I am just listing the things that give me an advantage over vampires. I may not have hundreds or even a thousand,” Sookie looked over her shoulder at Eric before continuing, “years of experience, but I am willing to learn, which is something few vampires are willing to do, it seems.”
“Is that why you were kissing Eric? Because you wanted to learn?” Bill sneered. He was slowly losing his control. Sookie was not supposed to talk back to him: she was supposed to just accept his word without question.
“No, we… I got caught up in the moment. I won’t deny that I am attracted to Eric, but I shouldn’t have let it get as far as it did,” Sookie admitted.
“It is just his blood; I explained that it would make you attracted to him sexually. What you feel is not real,” Bill said, trying to regain his control. “Sookie, you know this is true. Two days ago you hated Eric, and now you are saying you are attracted to him.”
“I may not have liked him, but I never hated him. Maybe the attraction I feel for him is only because of the blood he tricked me into taking, but I don’t know that for sure. I’m not saying I want to date Eric, but I can’t ignore the way he makes me feel. I’m sorry Bill,” Sookie replied.
“Sookie, what are you saying?” Bill asked, aghast.
“I think it would be best if we didn’t see each other for a while. Until I know what I really feel, I think it would be best if both of you left.”
“You don’t mean that,” Bill said, moving towards Sookie, making her take a step back.
“Yes, I do. Dallas changed many things, or maybe it just made me see things more clearly. I need some time to figure things out.”
“Sookie, this is Eric’s doing; he is manipulating you into doing what he wants,” Bill argued.
“No, he is not. You can’t blame Eric for everything Bill; he is not making me do anything. Now I would like for you both to leave,” Sookie stated firmly.
“I am asking you nicely, Bill, but I will rescind your invitation if you force me to,” Sookie interrupted, refusing to be swayed by either of them.
Eric smirked at Bill before nodding his head in Sookie’s direction. “This was not how I wanted the evening to end, but I will respect your wishes, Miss Stackhouse,” he said. Taking her hand, he placed a lingering kiss upon her knuckles before backing away.
Bill glared at Eric, but had no choice but to follow him out of the house. He knew Sookie would rescind his invitation if he pushed her. He would wait until tomorrow, when she had calmed down, and would speak with her then, without Eric around to influence her.