One Year Later
Eric stared out at the sea of people that filled his reception room as vampires, Weres, and humans converged at his royal residences in New Orleans to join in the celebrations of what the supernatural quests believed to be the anniversary of Freyda’s death and the breaking of the pledge it brought about. Officially, it was classified as a celebration of Eric’s continued reign of power, even if he had only been King thirteen years. As Eric flicked his eyes over his numerous guests, his attention was drawn to Bill, who was talking to the King of Indiana, Bartlett Crowe. A devious smile spread over Eric’s face as he ran his eyes over the younger vampire. Bill clearly no idea what the true purpose of the night’s celebrations was really about, and Eric couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when Eric sprang his big surprise.
In the year since Sookie had killed Freyda, much had changed. After spending the night worshipping Sookie’s body and reaffirming their love, Eric had been aghast when he rose the next night to the news Sookie had wanted to return to Stockholm. He had been furious with her accusing her of running again. He had refused to let her leave, something that had only infuriated Sookie. The two of them had proceeded to have a knock down, drag out fight that had only ended when Eric had pinned her to the bed and their anger had morphed into something else and they had ripped each other’s clothes off and proceed to fuck their anger and frustrations out. Once they had both calmed down, Sookie had calmly explained why she wanted to return to Stockholm. She hadn’t wanted to, they had already spent too much time apart and the thought of spending anymore killed her, but she worried how it would look if she and Eric were seen together so soon after Freyda being killed.
As much as he hated to admit it, Eric knew she had a point. He had no doubt someone would use their reunion so soon after Freyda’s death to point the blame at him. It wouldn’t matter that he had an alibi, he would still be accused of being involved or planning it. Eric had been angry that he hadn’t thought of that himself, but he was used not thinking clearly where Sookie was concerned.
After much discussion, it was decided that Sookie would return to Stockholm while he dealt with the fallout from Freyda’s death. Once that was done with he would make a show of trying to find Sookie. He knew it was a risk drawing attention to her, but he feared it would be even worse if she just showed up one day out of the blue.
The fallout from Freyda’s death hadn’t been too taxing. Despite the efforts of some to pin it on him, most had accepted the theory that Marietta had killed Freyda before killing herself. There had been those who believed he was behind it, but they had no proof and the council had declared him innocent of any involvement, especially after, with the help of contacts Desmond had provided, he made it impossible for anyone to perform an ectoplasmic reconstruction, silencing their arguments. Eric had been offered the rule of Oklahoma, but he refused; he never wanted anything to do with the state when Freyda was still among the undead and he had no desire to claim it now. The council had appointed a new monarch, one of Freyda’s former guards. The new Queen had tried to broker an alliance with Eric, something he had quickly shot down.
Over the next year, Eric had made quite the show of looking for Sookie, putting out feelers to those he trusted. He never missed the smug look on the face of Bill whenever their paths crossed as he conducted his search, and Eric couldn’t wait to wipe it off. He even went as far to seek the assistance of the local coven. It had only been a ploy on his part, as he decided to give Amelia the chance to confess what she had done before he sought retribution for her crimes, something she hadn’t done. She had been extremely hostile in their encounter, claiming if Sookie wanted to be found, she would have contacted him herself while knowing full well she couldn’t. Amelia had taken great pleasure in the knowledge that Eric couldn’t find Sookie, taunting him with it and enjoying seeing him suffer.
Eric had left their meeting more determined than ever to make Amelia pay for her actions. He agreed with Sookie that killing the witch would be more trouble than she was worth, but he wouldn’t let her actions go unpunished.
Eric flicked his eyes over to the witch who had been invited as part of her coven. He had employed them many times over the years for various reasons business and personal, but he had always made a point to inform the coven’s leader that Amelia’s abilities weren’t needed nor trusted. Octavia Fant, the coven’s leader had known of the troubles between them, and while she didn’t believe Amelia would deliberately sabotage them, she had agreed to not use her for any business Eric sent her way. Just like Bill, Amelia had no idea what tonight was really about, but she would soon.
Walking to the middle of the room, Eric climbed onto the small platform he had installed for the night. Catching Pam’s eyes, he nodded his head, giving her the signal it was all about to begin.
A hush descended over the room as Eric took center stage, and all eyes focused on him as everyone began to wonder what was going on. Straightening his shoulders, Eric held his head high, and he looked over his many guests before his eyes were drawn to the two large wooden doors at the front of the hall. A gasp spread through the humans in the room as they all saw a cloaked figure standing in the doorway. All eyes followed the mysterious figure as it glided slowly through the room, the sea of people parting as it moved closer to the platform. No one was able to look away as the cloaked figure stepped onto the platform and stood before Eric.
Bending at the waist, it bowed before Eric before reaching into its cloak and pulling out an ornate knife. Handing it to Eric a soft voice uttered from beneath the material, “My King.”
Murmurs spread through the hall as Eric held up the knife for all to see before bringing it to his lips and kissing it reverently. “My Queen,” Eric purred as he reached for her.
Shock reverberated through the hall as Eric pushed the hood of her cloak off her head, revealing her blonde hair and disclosing her identity to all present.
“My husband, my King,” Sookie said as she pushed the heavy cloak of her shoulders and let it drop to the floor revealing her red silk dress to Eric’s hungry gaze.
“My wife, my Queen,” Eric announced as he took her hand in his and brought it to his lips, kissing the back of it before pulling her to his side.
Placing a kiss on Sookie’s head, Eric turned to address his guests. “Most of you know this woman here,” he started, surprising Sookie who hadn’t known he was going to speak. “Some of you owe her your life; it was her quick thinking at Rhodes that saved many of us. She has been a friend to the supernatural for many years, giving everything she had and asking for nothing in return. She has fought for us when no one else would, shedding her blood and tears. Tonight I honor the promise I made to her when I did not even know who I was. Tonight I bring her to my side; everything I have is hers. She is my wife and my Queen. All those who owe me fealty will honor her as you would me. A slight against her is a slight against me. Treat her with the same respect you show me, as she is now your Queen.”
His eyes drifted over the room, landing on Bill, a smirk spread across his face as he saw the wide-eyed frightened look on the Civil War vampire’s face. One look at Bill’s face told Eric he knew he was fucked. Eric swore that, if he could, Bill would have shit himself as he looked between him and Sookie.
Oh Billy, you have no idea just how fucked you are yet.
A sudden burst of anger drew his attention away from Bill and back to his new wife. He could see her eyes filled with anger as she glared at someone, following her line of sight his lips curled into a sneer as he saw whom his wife was glaring at.
Sookie’s eyes burnt with hatred as she glared at Amelia; it took everything she had to stay where she was and not attack the witch. She had been willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and let her explain, but as she listened to her thoughts, any chance of mercy she had vanished replaced with the burning desire to tear her limb from limb.
“Lover, what is it?” Eric asked, his tone low and for her ears only.
“The witch,” Sookie replied in a whisper, careful so no one could hear.
“What is she thinking?”
“She’s wondering what went wrong with the spell and how she can fix it,” Sookie told him. “She doesn’t like us together because it makes us happy.”
Wrapping his arm around Sookie’s waist, Eric held her to him, he could feel her need to attack the witch, and as much as he would have loved to see his wife beat the hell out of Amelia, it didn’t want her to do it in front of some many witnesses. “Relax, lover,” he purred. “She won’t be able to come between us again. Desmond found us a witch to break her spell and I promise you she won’t hurt us again.”
“She’s such a hateful bitch,” Sookie spat.
“And she will pay for it, I promise.”
Taking Sookie’s hand in his, Eric led her off the platform and through the throng of guests. He could see the envious looks on the faces of many of the vampires, and he reveled in it. He was well aware that his guests knew of Sookie’s worth and coveted her for themselves, but she was his and no one could dispute his claim this time having pledged to her before numerous vampire monarchs. They would be no conveniently forgetting about it now, and now that Appius was dead, no one had the power to end it. But as he looked at the faces of the other vampires, Eric realized his desire for her, his claim, was very different. His was done out of love, not greed or want of power. He pledged to her because he loved her completely and if he was honest, he always had, even when he didn’t understand what love was.
“Your majesty,” a voice called out halting Eric and Sookie mid-step.
Turning in the direction of the voice, Eric groaned as he saw who had stopped them. Wrapping his arm around Sookie’s shoulders, he pulled her to him as he watched the new Queen of Oklahoma approached them.
“Eric, darling,” she purred, ignoring Sookie completely.
“Athena,” Eric replied coolly.
“Come now Eric, is that anyway to greet an old friend,” Athena simpered as she stepped closer. “We used to be such good friends.”
Eric snorted at Athena’s definition of the former relationship, she had been nothing more than a hole to fuck and a way to piss Freyda off. In fact, he hadn’t touched her in almost eight years, having grown tired of her talents.
“I think you overestimate your importance,” Eric replied. “We were never friends.”
Athena snarled in anger at Eric’s words before setting her eyes on Sookie. Much like her former Queen, she didn’t understand Eric’s fixation on the blonde. A devilish smile lit up her face as she turned back to Eric, “Yes maybe you’re right. We never were really friends, maybe I should have said old lovers.”
“Oh God!” Sookie groaned, rolling her eyes. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” She couldn’t believe they were dealing with this so soon. She knew all about Eric past with the new Queen of Oklahoma, during their many meetings over the past year the two of them had talked about everything. She knew all about his marriage to Freyda, and as much as it pained her to hear it, she needed to know what she would be dealing with once their reunion became public. Eric had told her how Athena, Oklahoma’s new Queen, had tried to seek an alliance with him, going as far as claiming that he should honor the contract he had with Freyda with her. An unheard move, she had claimed that as she was taking over Freyda’s position, she should also get all her assets, contracts, and so forth that came with her throne. Luckily for Eric, the council had dismissed her claims, stating the contract between Freyda and Eric via Appius, tied Eric to Freyda, not Oklahoma.
“I don’t suppose you told her about me,” Athena said, trying to sow seeds of doubt in Sookie’s mind. She wanted the alliance with Eric, and, like Freyda before her, she didn’t intend to let Sookie stand in her way. “He often sought my company when he was visiting Oklahoma, we spent many nights enjoying each others bodies. We grew very close.”
“Not that close cause he still came looking for me as soon as it could,” Sookie replied, refusing to let Athena come between them with her childish plans. Sookie swore sometimes vampires acted worse than children. “And really, when you say close, you really mean he fucked you a few times just to piss off your former Queen.”
Athena startled not expecting Sookie to speak back to her in such a way, “Are you going to let your pet talk to a Queen like that?” she said addressing Eric.
“My bonded, wife, and Queen, can speak to you however she sees fit,” Eric replied. “I, however, will not allow you to speak or address her in such a degrading manner. She is not my pet and you will do well to remember that.”
“You intend to make her your Queen!” Athena screeched reminding him of Freyda.
“I already have,” Eric said. “Sookie is the Queen of all my states. My Queen and the only Queen I will ever have.”
“The council will never allow it,” Athena said smugly.
“They already have,” Eric informed her wiping the smile off her face. “I will never align myself or my states with you. You were a mistake I made years ago, nothing more.”
Athena glared at them both before spinning on her heels and storming out. Eric watched her leave with barely concealed amusement. He knew she wouldn’t let it go. She would still try to seek an alliance and come between him and Sookie, but unluckily for her, Eric knew the vultures were already circling. He doubted she would survive the year.
“Well, that was fun,” Sookie snarked.
“I am sorry, Lover,” Eric whispered. “I didn’t know she would try anything here tonight.”
“I don’t blame you,” Sookie assured him. “Just her. She needs a lesson in shame.”
“Speaking of a vampire who needs a lesson,” Eric said suddenly his eyes landing on Bill again. “Shall we go and say hello to your old neighbor?”
“It would be rude not to,” Sookie replied.
“Indeed,” Eric agreed as he led her towards Bill delighting in the fearful look in his eyes. “Bill,” he greeted.
“Your majesty,” Bill replied bowing. “Sookie.”
“I do not remember giving you permission to address your Queen in such an informal manner,” Eric snarled.
Bill cast his eyes over to Sookie to see if she was going to speak up on his behalf, and when she didn’t, he bowed his head. “My apologies your majesties.”
“How have you been, Bill?” Sookie asked, taking him by surprise.
“Fine, thank you,” Bill answered carefully.
“That’s good,” Sookie replied absently. “I know vampires don’t have varying stages of health like humans, but you never know what can happen. I mean just because you were well when I saw you last, ten years ago doesn’t mean you’re still okay now.”
Bills’ eyes darted to Eric’s a look of horror etched on his face. He couldn’t believe Sookie had dropped it into the conversation so seamlessly. She must have known what it meant, and by the look on her face, Bill realized she did. Bill had known if Eric ever found out that he tracked Sookie down and kept it from him there would be hell to pay. In the beginning he had tracked her down in the hope of rekindling their relationship. Her relationship with Eric had been over and Bill had foolishly believed he could charm his way back into her life and bed, but he had been furious when she had refused him. It was clear to him she was still in love with Eric, and Bill hated it. He had done everything he could to destroy her feelings for Eric cruelly telling her he was back to his old ways and fucking every female in sight. He may have exaggerated Eric’s behavior with his ‘he’s taking four or five donors a night’ and making her believe he’d been doing it from the moment she left, when in reality it had been nearly ten months after she left when he took the first one.
Bill had done all he could to try and destroy any love she had for Eric, telling her how Eric was King and purposely leading her to believe he waited until after he was pledge so he could be away from her. He had deliberately hidden his success at finding Sookie from Eric, lying to him whenever he asked about his search.
“Ten years ago lover,” Eric said, “that is strange as Bill claimed he never found you and didn’t know where you were.”
“You must be mistaken, Eric,” Sookie replied. “Bill found me when I was living in Manchester, and when I was in Paris, and finally when I was living in Denmark. You remember Denmark don’t you, Bill?”
Bill stared at Sookie in horror as she told Eric of every time he had found her. He couldn’t believe she was doing it. He knew their last encounter had been volatile; she had even threatened to stake him when he tried to glamour her husband. He still remembered that bitterly. It was the third and final time he had found her, and it was the time he realized she would never come back to him. She had actually married a human, one who Bill took great pleasure in telling everything about Sookie’s past in hopes of breaking them apart. That was something that had failed; if anything, it only made Sookie hate him. He had not forgotten her threat or that she had actually used silver on him. She had attacked him for a human. Bill curled his lip as he remembered the human male she had married; a cruel glint entered his eyes as he wondered if Eric knew she had married another in his absence. Well, it would only be right to inform him, after all he had told Sookie about all of Eric’s whores.
“I remember Denmark. I remember meeting Stefan; how is your husband?” he sneered.
“You just keep digging that hole deeper, don’t ya?” Sookie replied. “But to answer your question, my ex-husband, whom Eric knows all about, is fine.”
“Indeed, I know all about what happened in my wife’s life while we were separated,” Eric said rejoining the conversation. “I know how you found her in Manchester and tried to frighten her into bonding with you. I know how you lied to her over and over again. I know how you tried to glamour her ex-husband, and I know how you lied to me as well.”
“I…I…” Bill stuttered, not expecting Eric to know about Sookie’s ex-husband or half the things he had done. Realizing he was going to be punished regardless he squared his shoulders, “You’re not good enough for her. You just…”
“No, Bill,” Sookie snapped, cutting him off. “You’re not good enough for me; you never have been, and this just proves it.”
“Sookie, how can you say that? I love you.”
“Don’t,” Sookie spat at the same time Eric wrapped his hand around Bill’s throat and pushed him against the wall.
“You dare tell my wife you love her after all you have done to hurt her?” Eric snarled. “Even here tonight you tried to poison us against each other. If you truly loved her, you would be happy that she is happy. Instead, you conspire to keep her miserable. I should kill you for this. You are lucky I won’t.”
Bill’s eyes flicked over to Sookie, thinking she was the reason Eric wasn’t going to send him to the final death. A small smile spread across his face at the thought; as far as he was concerned that was proof that she still loved him.
“Oh no, don’t look at me. It’s got nothing to do with me. I told him he should kill you,” Sookie said, wiping the smile off his face.
“You’ve changed,” Bill wheezed out as Eric’s hand tightened around his throat. “You used to be forgiving.”
“I still am Bill. I just save it for those who deserve it.”
Realizing they were drawing a lot of attention, Eric called over one of his guards. “Secure Bill in one of the cells,” he ordered as he threw Bill to the guard. “Pam will be dealing with him personally.”
Bill’s eyes widened at the news; “No,” he croaked knowing how much Pam hated him.
“Yes, your majesty,” the guard replied.
Pam joined Eric and Sookie as they watched Bill be dragged away. She blew him a kiss as he struggled against the guard’s hold. “You got me a present,” she said, “and it’s not even my birthday, but it is just what I wanted. I’ll see you in a bit, Bill.”
“It is a reward for all your hard work of late,” Eric said smirking at his child.
“Northman,” Russell Edgington called out as he approached the three of them. “I see your parties are as entertaining as ever.” He turned to Sookie. “It is good to see you back where you belong.”
“Thank you; it’s good to be back,” Sookie replied politely. “How is your husband?”
“He is wonderful,” Russell beamed. “I hope you and Northman will be as happy as we are and I believe you once were. As I told that dreadful Queen he was forced to marry once, Eric always thought of you as his real wife and now you are again.”
“Thank you,” Sookie said sincerely.
After exchanging small chat with Russell, Eric and Sookie excused themselves to speak to some of the other guests present while Pam decided to duck out early and unwrap her present. Eric was glad he had the cells sound-proofed or he would have to glamour a lot of humans that night into forgetting the screams Bill no doubt was letting loose. Eric and Sookie spent the next few hours working the room, neither of them straying far from the other. She hadn’t missed Eric taking talking to Octavia and Alcide during the course of the night; and she knew Amelia would soon be paying for her actions. That was something she wasn’t sorry in the slightest for.
Speak of the devil, Sookie thought derisively as she saw Amelia walking towards her.
“Sookie,” Amelia greeted going to hug her former roommate and missing the grimace on Sookie’s face. “How are you? It’s good to see you again.”
“I’m fine, thank you,” Sookie replied faking nice. “How are you?”
“I’m great. I’m married now,” Amelia said, holding out her hand showing Sookie her rings.
“Me too,” Sookie replied, holding her hand out as well. She didn’t miss the flash of jealousy in Amelia’s eyes as she looked at her ring. Eric really had outdone himself with her ring, Sookie thought running her thumb over the pink diamond engagement ring and platinum band.
“It must be great to have a choice this time,” Amelia said, taking a dig at the first time Sookie married Eric. “How did all this happen? Last I heard you were running from Eric.”
“It wasn’t Eric I was running from, just everyone else,” Sookie defended.
“But how did you meet up again?” Amelia repeated.
Sookie smiled her crazy Sookie smile as she realized what Amelia was really asking. She wanted to know how they found each other again, so she could figure out what went wrong with her spell so she could fix it. She was convinced she could separate them again. She didn’t want them together; they were supposed to be a part and miserable. As she dug through Amelia’s mind, Sookie realized that, while she still blamed her for Tray’s death, that was only part of her reasoning for all she had done.
Amelia was jealous. She wanted to be where Sookie was, not necessarily with Eric, but she craved the power being with a vampire of his position gave. She had tried to use Hadley to get closer to Sophie-Anne, offering her an apartment, but the former Queen of Louisiana had shown no interest in her at all. She had shown little attention to her even after she had shown she was a powerful witch. When she had met Sookie, she thought she could use her to latch on to Eric. He would have seen the benefit of having her by his side and quickly claim her for himself. But he had shown her even less attention than Sophie-Anne had. He had been fixated on Sookie and she had begun to resent the telepath because of it. Even her brief relationship with Pam had been down to Eric’s need to keep an eye on Sookie, something she had been furious about. She hated that Sookie was being offered and was refusing what she craved. She had begun to hate all three of them and wanted to make them pay for not wanting her. Tray dying to protect Sookie had only turned her resentment into full-blown hatred; in her own way Amelia had loved the lone wolf. The fact that he had been willing to risk his life for Sookie had left a bitter taste in her mouth. Everyone was willing to fight and die for Sookie, but none of them were willing to do the same for her.
Amelia had been delighted when Sookie had asked her about breaking the bond. She had been researching a way to do it before she even asked, and was more than happy to do it. She had hoped that breaking the bond would break them apart, and when that failed, she had convinced Alcide to visit Sookie after letting him know the bond had been broken. She hadn’t expected Sookie to kick her out of the house though. That had come as a surprise.
She had been ecstatic when she heard about the contract between Eric and Freyda, loving how much trouble it caused them, and she hadn’t been able to contain her glee when Eric actually married her. She was only sorry she wasn’t there to witness it herself. She would have loved to see not only the effects Sookie’s pain, but she wished to watch the mighty Viking be forced to do something he didn’t want to. Despite what she claimed, she hadn’t been surprised when Sookie ran; she knew she would, and she didn’t really care. She had used Sookie not leaving a message for her as an excuse to try and cause trouble for Eric, accusing him of kidnapping and killing her. She had known he hadn’t done either, but she had hoped if she made enough noise the right people would have investigated him and sanctioned him in some way.
Sookie gritted her teeth doing everything she could to not alert Amelia to the fact she was reading her mind. Everything had been pretty much as Eric suspected. Amelia had preformed the spell to keep them apart out of hatred. She had wanted them to suffer; from her thoughts Sookie realized the spell was only supposed to end when one of them died. Instead, as best as she could tell, it only failed because Eric and Freyda had the same person looking for her. Marcus had been able to find her because he was also working for Freyda. If he would have just been working for Eric he would have never succeeded even if he had walked into her bar, quite the loophole Sookie thought. The more she learned, the more disgusted Sookie became. Amelia had used magic to seduce Alcide into impregnating her just so she could claim his protection, just as she had done with Bob. Her children were just another layer of her manipulations. She had known they would be some fallout if what she did was ever found out, and she had planned to protect herself. She had used people, seduced them, and had their children just to protect herself.
“We…” Sookie started, but trailed off as she made a show of looking around, lowering her voice she continued, “I shouldn’t really talk about it here. Come with me; we’ll go catch up.”
Amelia beamed at Sookie as she followed her out of the hall not believing her luck, so lost in her own head, she didn’t notice the look that passed between Eric and Sookie.
Sookie led Amelia through the royal residence not missing the envious looks on her former friend’s face as she took in the splendor that was Eric’s palace. She took her to Eric’s office, knowing they would have some privacy. Inviting Amelia to sit down in one of the chairs in front of his large mahogany desk, Sookie perched herself on the edge of his desk.
“So how did you meet up again?” Amelia asked, repeating her earlier question.
“It’s quite a funny story actually, Eric tracked me down to the bar I owned in Sweden,” Sookie answered sticking as close to the truth as possible.
“How’s that funny?” Amelia asked.
“It isn’t, but what is, is that apparently someone put a spell on us to keep us apart. As you can see it didn’t work. Obviously the witch who did it wasn’t very powerful or skilled. I mean as soon as Eric looked for me he found me.”
“That’s awful,” Amelia exclaimed feigning shock. “Do you know who it was?”
“Eric thinks it was just some small time witch with little power or brains. A Hallow wannabe, but without any of her power. I mean whoever did it must be stupid.”
“Why’d you say that?” Amelia asked through gritted teeth her blood boiling as she listened to Sookie deride her and her abilities.
“Cause who in their right mind would cross Eric?” Sookie replied like it was obvious. “The last witch who tried to mess with Eric ended up torn to pieces, and she had real power. She wasn’t some jealous, spiteful, back-stabbing bitch. I doubt Hallow ever accidentally turned her lover into a cat.”
“What?” Amelia spluttered her eyes widening in shock.
“Really Amelia, you didn’t think we’d figure it out?” Sookie chided. “This has your name written all over it.”
“Sookie, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Amelia replied, rising to her feet.
“Yeah you do, you know exactly what I’m talking about. So just admit it.”
“Enough, enough of the lies. You forget Amelia, I can hear it all in your head. Admit it Amelia; admit it was you.”
“Fine,” Amelia spat dropping all pretenses. “I did it and you both deserved it. You deserve to be alone and miserable. You’re not supposed to be together.”
“Why? Because you said so. Because you wanted the power Eric has for yourself,” Sookie replied, getting all the answers out of Amelia’s head. “No, there is something else, another reason you did all this. What is it?”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Amelia denied.
“But I do Amelia,” Sookie cooed. “You didn’t know I was going to be here. How could you? So you didn’t perform your little mind shield spell. I can see it all. Sophie-Anne didn’t want you, neither did Eric or Pam, but…” she paused as she pulled the answers out of her head. “Victor, Victor paid you to try and break us up. He promised you a place in his court when he took over from de Castro. You would have finally got all the power you craved, well providing he didn’t drain you, but we killed Victor before he had a chance to make good on his promise, and you were back to having nothing.”
“I don’t have to listen to this,” Amelia snarled spinning on her heels. She hadn’t taken more than a step when she froze her eyes widening as she saw who stood just inside the door. So lost in her argument with Sookie, she hadn’t heard anyone enter the room.
“You are not going anywhere, witch,” Eric snarled.
“You can’t stop me,” Amelia replied foolishly. “I have the protection of my coven and the Longtooth pack.”
“A protection that will be revoked if what I have learned here tonight proves to be true,” Alcide said as he stepped out from behind Eric.
“Alcide,” Amelia gulped.
“Amelia what have you done?” Octavia asked as she and Bob entered the room behind Alcide.
After watching Sookie lead Amelia out of the hall, Eric had made his way over to Octavia. He had had countless encounters with the old witch over the years and the two of them had developed a quite pleasant business relationship. He had explained everything that he suspected and requested she follow him to his office so they could deal with it. Octavia had been skeptical, not believing for one second Amelia was capable of doing something so spiteful, but she had agreed determined to prove him wrong. On Eric’s request she had also asked Amelia’s husband Bob to accompany them while Eric spoke to Alcide. Now, as she stood inside the office, Octavia couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She couldn’t believe Amelia could be so cruel and deceitful.
“Octavia, it’s not what it sounds like; I swear,” Amelia defended.
“No, it’s not,” Sookie agreed, “it’s far worse.”
Dread swept over Amelia as she stood by helplessly as Sookie revealed every little thing she did. She shrank under the gazes of Bob and Alcide as Sookie told them how she had used magic to trick them into her bed and bear their children. She had been stripped bare by time Sookie was finished, all her sins laid out to see.
“How could you?” Amelia cried, facing Sookie.
“How could I?” Sookie scoffed. “You have the nerve to ask me that after all you’ve done. You brought this on yourself. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but all I’ve heard from you tonight, is you wondering how you can fix the spell you placed on us; you’re not even sorry. You’re only sorry you got caught.”
“That’s not true,” Amelia cried.
“Damn it Amelia, stop lying,” Bob shouted surprising everyone with his forcefulness.
“I’m not,” Amelia swore clinging desperately to any chance of survival. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done it, but I thought I was doing what Sookie wanted.”
“Did she also want you to use magic to seduce us?” Alcide growled thoroughly disgusted with her. He couldn’t believe she could stoop so low. He always wondered how he ended up in bed with her that first time and why he kept going back, especially considering he had a girlfriend at the time, one he was beginning to fall in love with.
He had put the first time down to alcohol. He had been drinking away his sorrows after an argument with his girlfriend when he ran into Amelia, although he now realized she had been looking for him. Why else would she have been at the Hair of the Dog? He had been racked with guilt the next morning, having cheated on his girlfriend, Jill, but the guilt hadn’t stopped him seeking her out again. His thoughts had been consumed with her almost to the point of obsession. He hadn’t cared that she was married or that he had a girlfriend at that point. He had chased her to New Orleans more than once, even going as far as fucking her in her marital bed. He had paid Bob no concern, not even feeling guilty that he had taken his wife in his own house. His obsession with her had only stopped when she found out she was pregnant with his child, something he now knew she planned. Knowing she had used magic to seduce him caused a bitter taste in his mouth; he felt violated and he couldn’t help but hate her for it.
Amelia was a loss at what to say. She couldn’t defend her use of magic to get both Alcide and Bob into her bed without admitting everything she had done had been purely selfish on her part. She couldn’t tell them she had planned it all out before she even placed the spell. “I… I…”
“You’re a disgrace to witchcraft,” Octavia said, disappointed, “you seek power you have proven you’re ill equipped to handle. You toy with things you have no right to. I am ashamed to have been your mentor, a role it seems I failed.”
“Octavia, no,” Amelia cried. “You were a great teacher.”
“If that was the case, you wouldn’t have magically raped two men,” Octavia replied disgustedly.
“What? No, I didn’t. I wouldn’t,” Amelia said, shocked to be accused of such a thing.
“You used magic to get them to sleep with you,” Octavia replied. “You took away their choice. That is illegal, even by human laws. What you did was disgusting and I’m ashamed to ever have called you friend.”
“But it wasn’t like that,” Amelia argued refusing to believe what she did was anything like rape.
“It was exactly like that,” Bob interjected. “Was it even my idea to marry you or did you use magic to get me to propose to you as well?”
“I swear it was your idea. I didn’t do anything to make you.”
“Unfortunately, your word means nothing now,” Bob retorted. “I can’t believe a word you said.”
“Bob, please,” Amelia pleaded. “I swear, I only used magic on you to forgive me for turning you into a cat and for my affair with Alcide. Everything else was real.”
“No, it wasn’t,” Bob replied. “None of it was real because, if it was, you would never have used magic on me at all. I can’t believe you. I don’t even know who you are and I don’t think I ever did.” He turned to face Sookie. “I’m sorry for all she has done,” he added. “I promise I had nothing to do with it.”
“I know you didn’t,” Sookie replied as she hopped off the desk and moved to stand beside Eric.
“Our whole marriage was a sham,” Bob spat casting Amelia a scornful look, “but it ends now. You’ll be hearing from my lawyer. I want you out of the house.”
“Where am I supposed to go?” Amelia asked. “What about the children?”
“Where you go I don’t care, and the children will be better off with me. There is no telling what you will teach them,” Bob replied before storming out of the office.
Alcide glared at Amelia with thinly veiled hatred. The depths of her manipulations were truly depraved. He thought himself lucky, she only used magic on him to get her pregnant and not marry her, not that that was okay, far from it, but at least he wasn’t in Bob’s position. Despite what many believed, Alcide wasn’t stupid. He knew she had done it for protection against Eric. Her actions could have caused a war and killed many.
“As packmaster of the Longtooth pack I am revoking your friend of the pack status,” Alcide started startling Amelia. “No were in my pack will come to your aid if you are in trouble. We will not avenge you if you are harmed. In the eyes of the pack, you are no one. You are not welcome at any establishment or business that belongs to one of us. Bryce is my son and is welcome to run with us when the time comes, but you are not welcome. If you were two-natured I would abjure you,” addressing Eric, he added. “No were will seek retribution for any punishment you hand out. We will not go to war over her. As far as the Longtooth pack is concerned, she no longer exists.”
“Alcide, no, you can’t do that,” Amelia shouted. “He’ll kill me.”
Alcide ignored her cries as he strolled to the door. Pausing in the doorway, “It’s good to see you again, Sookie,” he said before walking through the door, leaving Amelia to her fate.
Amelia stared at the door in shock. She couldn’t believe Alcide had left her to fend for herself. He knew what Eric was like, how vicious and cruel he was, and to leave her to his mercy was in Amelia’s opinion far worse than anything she might have done. So she put a spell on Eric and Sookie to keep them apart. She hadn’t sentenced either of them to death, she thought overlooking her deal with Victor. They would have both been fine without each other, maybe a little miserable, but they deserved that. Her actions hadn’t put them in danger. In Amelia’s mind, she was the innocent victim here. Eric and Sookie had destroyed her marriage, destroyed any protection she had with the Longtooth pack, and from the frown on Octavia’s face, ended a long-standing friendship. Yes, as far as she was concerned, she was the injured party here.
She glared at Eric and Sookie, “Are you happy now?” she spat. “Have you gotten what you wanted?”
“Not quite; you are still breathing,” Eric growled advancing on her making her shrink back in fear, “The only reason you are not floating in a swamp somewhere with the other filth is because Sookie convinced me otherwise. You would be wise to bite your tongue and not make me change my mind.”
Amelia looked to Sookie; the news that she had stopped Eric killing her gave her the small hope she would survive the night. “Thank you,” she choked out, the words leaving a bad taste in her mouth. She had decided to do and say anything to survive the night. She would lie, cry, and beg; she would even offer up her body for their pleasure if she had too.
“Don’t thank me, I didn’t do it for you. And no one here wants your body; they never have,” Sookie replied, knowing exactly what Amelia was thinking.
“Then why?” Amelia asked, genuinely curious and ignoring the crack about no one wanting her.
“Because I knew if Eric killed you the witches and the Longtooth pack would feel obligated to avenge you. Countless would die because of you, and you aren’t worth it. You’re not worth one life, even your own. But you already knew all this. You knew Eric wouldn’t risk a war with witches and werewolves. You thought you were safe…”
“But you thought wrong,” Eric finished. “I may not kill you, but you are far from safe. In fact, by the time I’m finished you will probably long for death. You will pay for your crimes.”
“What crimes?” Amelia spat all pretense of remorse gone at hearing they weren’t going to kill her. She could make Alcide and Bob forgive her and get back their protection so no one could touch her. “I did you both a favor. You’re toxic together. You’re better off apart. Sookie was always complaining about everything. She never wanted to be a part of our world…”
“Our world,” Eric cut her off. “Not yours. Not anymore. You are no longer a part of it.”
“It’s my world too, and you can’t stop me being a part of it,” Amelia sneered.
“No, but I can,” Octavia interjected. “You have broken the code of our coven. Your selfish, cruel actions could’ve put us at war with a vampire King of three states; you could have wiped us all out. You have used magic to do harm; you used it to manipulate a packmaster. It’s clear to me that you’re not deserving of the magic you possess. You have no respect for our ways or beliefs. You believe you can do anything you like without care of those you harm or the consequences of your actions. The last witch who believed that ended up dead at the hands of the King’s child. You’re lucky they brought this to our attention and didn’t just kill you.”
“Lucky?” Amelia screeched. “They ruined my marriage.”
“No, Amelia, you ruined that yourself. You lied, cheated and manipulated Bob. You only have yourself to blame.” Turning to address Eric, she added, “I apologize for what she did.”
“It is not your apology to give,” Eric replied, “but she will never give one.”
“At least not one she means,” Sookie interjected. “She’s not sorry in the slightest. She doesn’t think she’s done anything wrong as far as she’s concerned, she’s the victim here. She’s actually trying to think of a spell she can use to get out of all this.”
“Get out of my head,” Amelia screamed, lunging for Sookie. It was all Sookie’s fault. If she hadn’t come back none of this would have happened and no one would have known what she did.
Eric got between them before Amelia had even reached Sookie. Wrapping his hand around her throat, he lifted her into the air, his fangs snapping down. “Attempt to attack my wife again and I will kill you after I spend weeks torturing you. You will scream, beg, and plead for mercy and for death,” he said before throwing her against the desk smirking as he heard her ribs crack as she collided with it.
“Amelia, enough. You have shamed yourself enough,” Octavia said, her voice rising slightly. “I give you my word she will not use magic to get out of this or to harm you in anyway,” she added addressing Sookie. “I will personally see to that; I promise.”
“Octavia no,” Amelia cried aghast tears streaming down her face from both pain and the knowledge of what she was going to do. “You can’t.”
“I can and will,” Octavia stated firmly. “You have disgraced our coven, and as its leader it is my responsibility to punish you accordingly.”
“Octavia, please,” Amelia begged.
“No, I won’t allow you to continue to practice magic you have proven you’re ill equipped to handle,” Octavia said solemnly. “You have shown you don’t possess the responsibility that comes with being a witch. I won’t allow you to harm anyone else. Your majesties,” she addressed, “I will make sure she can’t interfere with either of you again. Come on Amelia, it’s time to leave.”
“No!” Amelia screamed, unable to believe what Octavia was planning on doing. “I won’t…”
“You can either willingly leave with Octavia, or I can have Pam drag you out, and I’m sure you remember what happened the last time you pissed Pam off,” Eric interrupted smirking.
Amelia unconsciously lifted a hand to her scarred cheek. She had never forgotten the rage Pam held the night she scared. Amelia had been terrified of her, if truth be told. She was more scared of Pam then she was Eric, and that was saying something because Eric was terrifying. Placing a hand over her stomach, Amelia took a shaky step towards Octavia her eyes downcast as the realization of everything she had lost hit her.
“I hope you’re happy,” Amelia spat. “You’ve ruined my life.”
“Ecstatic,” Eric admitted.
“It’s a bitch when someone interferes with your life and tries to ruin it, isn’t it?” Sookie asked.
“Now get out of my house. If I ever see you again, I will kill you regardless of the consequences,” Eric finished threateningly.
“She will not bother you again,” Octavia assured him before dragging Amelia out of the office.
“Things are always more interesting when you are around lover,” Eric said chuckling.
“Is that your way of saying you missed me?” Sookie asked smiling at him. “What’s Octavia going to do to Amelia?”
“If I understood her correctly, she is going to bind her magic,” Eric told her. “She won’t be able to perform magic anymore.”
“She’s gonna make her a squib?” Sookie replied sniggering. “Are you okay with that? I know you wanted to kill her.”
“I am; in a way this will be far worse. She will no longer be able to perform magic. She has lost all her connections in the supernatural world. Like I told her, this is our world and she is no longer a part of it, just an outsider looking in. Regardless, she is no longer our problem.”
“So, what are we gonna do now?” Sookie asked. “Should we rejoin the party?”
Eric raked his eyes over Sookie, lingering briefly on her breasts, feeling his pants tighten. “I think not,” he leered, stalking towards her and backing her up to the wall, his body caging her in. “It is our wedding night and I believe it is customary for a husband to worship his wife and make love to her all night long.”
“Do you think you’re up to it?” Sookie taunted. “I mean you’re not as young as you used to be.”
“I assure you lover, I am more than up to it,” Eric growled thrusting his hips against hers showing her just how up to it he was. “But don’t just take my word for it. Allow me to demonstrate.”
Not giving her a chance to reply, Eric grabbed Sookie’s hips and threw her into the air and over his shoulder, loving her small squeal of surprise. He sped through his palace towards his bedroom. Throwing her on the bed, he crawled on after her, bracing himself above her. Eric stared down at her, her blonde hair fanned out over the pillow beneath her, a sweet smile on her soft lips that he just had to kiss.
Lowering his head, Eric placed his lips on hers in a gentle kiss. He rested his body over hers as he sank into the kiss. He poured all his feelings into it, his love, his happiness, and his lust as his hands moved over her body caressing her.
His touch lit a fire in Sookie and she tugged desperately at his clothes dying to feel his flesh against hers. Never one to deny her, Eric stood up and quickly shed his clothes before ripping Sookie’s dress and underwear, making her gasp.
Eric worshipped her with his hands and mouth, bringing to her to completion many times before moving up her body and joining with her in one powerful thrust. The room filled with their moans of pleasure as they moved together in perfect sync. Their bond was wide open as they both flooded it with their love and happiness. Eric took her to the brink of ecstasy more times than she could remember as he made sweet love to her. They clung to each other as they came, words of love whispered between them.
Sookie lay in Eric’s arms, her head cushioned on his chest as he traced patterns on her back. The sun had rose over an hour ago and Eric was starting to feel its pull, but he was reluctant to give into it, wanting the night to never end.
Sookie smiled against his chest as she felt his refusal to surrender to the sun. “Always so stubborn,” she chided playfully.
“Not stubborn, happy,” Eric corrected placing a kiss on top of her head. “I do not want this night to end. I want to stay here with you.”
“I know you do,” Sookie replied softly, “and if I could make it happen I would. But I used up my wish a long time ago.” Lifting her head, she stared into his eyes. “Sleep, my love. I will be here when you rise. I won’t leave.”
“Promise?” Eric asked.
“I promise. I’m not going anywhere, Eric. You’re stuck with me forever.”
“Forever,” Sookie repeated.
Forever. Eric whispered in his mind, a smile on his face as the sun finally claimed him for the day. He had never looked forward to something as much.