“Come on then,” Sookie said while she undid Tara’s restraints. “I haven’t got all night. I’ve got other things to do… Better things.”
“I told ya, I ain’t havin’ nothin’ ta do with that bitch,” Tara snarled, crossing her arms over her chest and refusing to get out of the SUV.
“I’m not having this argument with you again,” Sookie replied, all humor gone from her voice as she stared at the baby vampire. “Now, you can either walk in or I will drag you in kicking and screaming. Your choice…” Sookie rolled her eyes when Tara glared at her in reply. If her old friend thought she was bluffing then she clearly hadn’t been paying attention.
Reaching into the SUV, Sookie wrapped her hand around Tara’s arm and yanked her out. She ignored Tara’s cries of protest as she kicked the door shut. “Give me five minutes,” she said, directing her words at Eric, asking him to hang back and let her return Tara to her Maker.
Eric nodded, agreeing to her request. As Pam’s Maker, he could have demanded to be involved. However, he wanted to see if Pam would accept her responsibilities without his interference. He knew if he was there and Pam saw him, she would do as expected not because it was the right thing and her duty, but because she knew he would be unhappy and force her to if she didn’t. He wanted to see if his child could stop being a selfish bitch and step up to the plate.
“As King of Louisiana it is my duty to lay charges against Pam,” Bill said, reminding Sookie he was still there as he climbed out the SUV and walked around it to stand in front of her and Tara. “I will return Tara to her Maker.”
“No, you won’t,” Sookie snorted. She had almost reached her limit when it came to Bill and wasn’t even willing to play along with his mistaken belief he was still King and in charge. Even if he had still been King, Sookie wouldn’t have taken any orders from him. She had never bowed down to a monarch and wouldn’t start now, especially not with one who was so undeserving of the power bestowed upon him.
“As your King, I am ordering you…”
Sookie saw red at his words and before anyone had a chance to react she pushed Tara to the side and rounded on Bill. There was a promise of death in her eyes as she glared at the vampire who up until a few nights ago she had foolishly thought she loved. “You are not my King and you sure as hell don’t order me to do anything,” she snarled.
“I…” The rest of Bill’s words died on his lips as Sookie reached forward, grabbed his head and twisted it, breaking his neck. She knew it wouldn’t incapacitate him for long, but it would give her maybe a minute to put some distance between them before she ripped his head clean off. Right about then, she would have loved nothing more than to have done just that. Unfortunately, she needed him alive for the time being. She had a plan in motion and, while Bill might have been unaware of it, he was a part of it. Grabbing a shocked Tara’s arm again, Sookie didn’t spare Bill a second look as she stepped over his prone body and made her way into Fangtasia.
Eric didn’t bother trying to hide his amusement while he stared down at Bill. The new-old Sookie was certainly making life more interesting and he couldn’t wait to see what she had in store next. He knew the two of them still had much to talk about. He wasn’t sure what was going on between them, if anything. He had so many questions, some of which he wasn’t sure he wanted answered. Eric was slowly coming to terms with who and what Sookie was; unlike Bill, he wasn’t denying it or pretending what was in front of his eyes wasn’t real. Regardless, Eric knew for the time being their personal relationship would unfortunately have to take a backseat. With the threat of Russell hanging over their heads and a traitor within The Authority, the last thing they needed was to be caught with their pants around their ankles.
Eric cast Bill one last glance before heading toward his bar. He could slip in without Pam knowing and watch the events unfold himself. He had the bond he shared with his child locked down ever since the night at The Moon Goddess Emporium.
Dragging Tara to the front of the line, Sookie pushed past a group of fangbangers, ignoring their cries of protest. Sookie rolled her eyes when she saw Ginger was on the door. As loyal and dedicated as the woman was, she had no right working the door. She had been glamoured so many times she couldn’t remember her own age, so determining if the fangbangers were old enough to enter the establishment should not have been her responsibility.
“Hey, Sookie!” Ginger greeted warmly, waving her right in without asking to see ID or for the cover charge.
“The bar’s closing for the night, Ginger, so don’t let anyone else in. Eric’s orders,” Sookie lied, tightening her grip on Tara while she tried to get away from her. Sookie knew she should have probably spoken to Eric before she closed his bar down, but given what was about to happen, she wasn’t taking any risks. The fangbangers of Shreveport didn’t need to see what was about to go down.
“Okay,” Ginger replied cheerily before turning to the next in line and telling them they couldn’t go in.
“I’m not goin’…” Tara spat, trying in vain to free herself from Sookie’s grasp.
Sookie ignored Tara’s continued protests while she dragged her into the bar. She blanked her face of all emotion as she pushed her way past the fangbangers and made her way to the Eric’s throne where Pam sat perched.
Eric slipped in through the rear of the bar and stood back, concealed in shadows while he watched the vampires in his bar part and let Sookie by. He doubted many of them knew who she was yet, but she held a commanding presence and radiated power. Every part of her screamed, ‘Get out of my way.’ As his one-time lover made her way toward his child, Eric cast his gaze over the other vampires present. He saw the familiar sights of lust, hunger, and disgust on many of their faces as they gazed upon Sookie, and he fought the urge to rip off their heads for looking at her in such a way. He was about to turn his gaze to his wayward child when he noticed a petite vampire gazing at Sookie with a look of absolute wonder.
She knows… She knows who Sookie really is.
Sookie eyed the vampires around her, committing their faces to memory. Some of them she already knew from the times she had visited Fangtasia; others were a mystery. She frowned when she saw so many new faces. It had only been a week at the most since she had last visited the bar, and while that might have only been a fleeting visit, Sookie didn’t remember seeing half of the new vampires there that night. There seemed to be an influx of vampires in Area Five, and Sookie didn’t think they were there because of the good King Compton. From the corner of her eye, Sookie saw a familiar face and she gave a quick shake of her head, silently instructing her to stay back until she had dealt with Pam.
“I believe this belongs to you,” Sookie said, addressing Pam as she climbed onto the dais and stopped in front of the throne.
Pam sneered at Sookie, ignoring her scowling child completely. “No, she doesn’t,” she replied. “She’s your responsibility.”
“I’m not her Maker… You are,” Sookie said, her tone firm while she stared at Pam. “The moment you turned her she became your responsibility…”
“I never agreed to look after her…” Pam started.
“The moment you turned her you agreed,” Sookie replied, interrupting her.
“No, I didn’t,” Pam growled, rising from the throne and stalking forward. She glared at Sookie, hatred clear to see in her eyes. Oh, how she hated the telepathic gash! She would love nothing more than to rip out her throat and bathe in her blood. “I only turned her because…”
“You made a deal,” Sookie finished, cutting her off. She rolled her eyes at Pam’s predictability. The bratty vampire was so self-involved she didn’t even notice the murmurs around from the other vampires. Sookie could hear their disgust at the news that their Sheriff’s child had made a child of her own, and then abandoned her. Pam was becoming mighty unpopular and she didn’t even notice. “You were stupid to make that deal. You shoulda said no, but you didn’t and now this…” Sookie nodded her head toward Tara, “is your responsibility. I’m not here to argue with you, Pam, and I’m not here to ask you to take her… I’m here to tell you. She’s your child, your responsibility, and you will be her Maker.”
Pam stared at Sookie in shock, unable to believe she was talking to her in such a way. She couldn’t believe the nerve of her to come barging into her bar and start ordering her around. Who the fuck did she think she was?
Sookie pushed Tara toward Pam before turning her back on them and stepping off the dais. 3-2-, she counted down as she took a step forward. Just as she reached one, she felt the air around her move, and she chuckled at Pam’s predictability when she tried to attack her from behind. Turning to the side, Sookie grabbed a hold of Pam and used the former madam’s momentum against her, flipping her over. Sookie shook her head as she stepped over to Pam and put her foot on her chest, holding her down. “That wasn’t very nice now, was it?” She scolded, loving the look of shock on Pam’s face.
Pam stared up at Sookie in disbelief; finally realizing she was a vampire. A thousand questions ran through her mind, the most predominant being who was her Maker. It better not be Eric. I won’t fucking have it! Glaring up at Sookie, Pam attempted to remove her foot from her chest so she could get up and give the baby vampire a lesson in the hierarchy. She was older, therefore Sookie was beneath her. Her eyes widened in surprise when she realized she couldn’t budge Sookie. She was stuck beneath her.
Sookie smirked while she stared at Pam. She could almost hear the thoughts going through her head. Oh, no, Pam, I’m definitely not beneath you. Lifting her gaze from Pam, Sookie surveyed the bar. She could see the looks of surprise on many of the vampires faces as well as the humans. “All non-vampires out,” she ordered, barely raising her voice.
Hisses of displeasure went around the bar at her order and many of the fangbangers glared at Sookie. “Who the fuck d’ya think ya are? Ya can’t throw us out!” one foolish fangbanger said, stepping forward and glaring at Sookie. “I’m not…”
“OUT!” Sookie shouted, her voice carrying over the noise of the crowd and silencing everyone. The strength of her voice caused the fangbanger to snap her mouth shut and back up. Even Pam was rendered mute. She felt a chill go through her and wasn’t stupid enough to question Sookie… Yet.
“You heard her, out!” a dark-haired vampire said, stepping forward and herding the customers out. She hissed at the fangbangers stupid enough to try and object.
Once the bar was cleared of non-vampires, she stepped toward Sookie and dropped to her knees. “My Lady,” she whispered, staring up at Sookie in wonder.
A look of surprise spread across Pam’s face when she saw Thalia bow before Sookie. The vampire was famous for her surly attitude. She hated almost everyone, and was often disrespectful to those in power. She never once bowed down to Sophie-Anne or Bill when their paths crossed, believing them to be unworthy. And yet, there she was bowing down before Sookie. “What the…” Pam stopped abruptly when she felt Sookie press her foot down harder on her chest. She bit her lip to keep from crying out as she felt the pressure on her ribs.
Sookie ignored Pam while she turned her gaze to the kneeling vampire. A soft smile curled up on her lips as she looked upon the vampire from her line. “Rise, old friend.”
Eric couldn’t help but grin as he watched the scene unfold. It was obvious most of the vampires in the bar had no idea what was going on. The shock on their faces when Thalia went to her knees before Sookie was rather amusing. While that might have been amusing, Pam’s refusal to take responsibility for her child and her cowardly attempted attack on Sookie wasn’t. He was ashamed of his child, something he never wanted to feel. She was lazy, spoiled, and selfish. He knew a large part of the blame for that was his; he had spoiled her after all, but he had also taught her. He had shown her time and time again the importance of being a Maker. He had told her what it meant, and she had ignored that. She had disregarded what it meant to be a Maker and turned someone for her own selfish reasons.
“You have returned to us, My Lady?” Thalia said when she rose to her feet and moved to stand beside Sookie.
“I have,” Sookie replied. “I’m back for good. I’m sure you have questions, but I’m afraid for the time being they must wait. All will be revealed in time, but I have work to do before that. And speaking of which…” A deadly look entered her eyes when she turned her attention back to Pam. “You get one chance; that was it. You ever attack me again and you’ll spend the rest of your very short life in excruciating pain.”
Pam swore she could see her own death in Sookie’s eyes as she stared up at her. She had no idea what was going on, but at that moment she believed her. She believed if pushed Sookie would kill her… or at least try. Pam still held on to her arrogant belief that she could gain the upper hand. As far as she was concerned the only reason Sookie had gotten the better of her was because she hadn’t realized she was a vampire. Pam knew now so she wouldn’t be taken unaware again. Next time she would show Sookie who was boss…
“You’d be a stain on the floor before you even tried,” Sookie snorted, guessing where Pam’s mind had gone. Sookie was just about to drive her threat home when she paused and turned her head to the side. A smile spread across her face when she saw Eric standing in the shadows. She knew he had followed her into the bar. She would have done the same thing if it would have been one of her children who were about to get a rude awakening. She was grateful that he had hung back and let her deal with it first. Sookie needed to see if Pam would step up and be the Maker she knew she was capable of being. Sookie had no doubt Pam had it in her to be a good Maker; she came from a line of great Makers. She just had to stop being so lazy and selfish. “I mean it, Pam,” Sookie continued, staring down at her again. “That was your one and only chance. Don’t make me do…”
Sookie rolled her eyes when she heard Bill shout her name as he came storming into the bar. It was no wonder no one took him seriously as King if he acted like a child throwing a tantrum when something didn’t go his way.
“Sookie… S-O-O-K-I-E,” Sookie replied, schooling him on the proper way to say her name. “It is Sookie, not Sookeh. Come on, Bill, you can say it… Sookie…” She laughed at the constipated look on his face while he glared at her.
“Sookeh,” Bill snarled as he stepped toward her. He was beyond angry at the disrespectful way she was treating him. He didn’t care who she thought she was, or who her Maker was, as her King she would show him the respect he deserved. If he wanted, he could bring her up on charges for her unprovoked attack. “I ordered you to let me handle this whole affair. You disobeyed your King…”
“You don’t see what’s right in front of you, do you?” Sookie said, cutting him off. She glanced down at Pam quickly before lifting her foot and letting her up. “You’ve just got blinders on to everything you don’t want to acknowledge. How the hell you haven’t met the True Death by now, I don’t know.”
Pam scrambled to her feet and took several steps back. She rubbed a hand to her chest, easing the ache where Sookie’s foot had been. She sneered at the back of Sookie, imagining all the ways she could make her pay. There was no way she was going to do what the bitch wanted, she answered to no one but Eric… Eric who was standing across the bar, staring at her in disappointment. Oh fuck. How long has he been there? How much did he hear? From the look on his face, Pam deduced he had heard it all.
Sookie shook her head while she stared at Bill. Without someone to point it out to him, he would never get it. He lived in his own small-minded world, refusing to change with the times. “I have told you time and time again who I am. You’ve seen the oldest vampires you know bow before me and show me the respect I have earned, and you refuse to accept it because it doesn’t fit in with what you believe. You’re blinded by your own stupidity. You don’t even see what’s going on in this bar, let alone your State…”
Bill bristled at the insult and straightened his spine, attempting to glare her into submission. He was blind to nothing and saw everything. He was a good King who ruled his subjects fairly. “There is nothing that goes on in my State that I don’t know about,” he replied arrogantly. “I know everything…”
“Yeah, then how come you don’t know you’re on the verge of a takeover?” Sookie questioned, interrupting him. Hushed whispers spread through the bar at her words, and Sookie could see a worried look pass over a few vampires’ faces.
Sookie’s question caused Eric to cast his eyes over the bar, cataloguing the vampires present. A shiver of worry went through him when he realized what Sookie meant. There were at least six vampires in his bar who didn’t belong there, who didn’t owe fealty to Louisiana.
“Don’t be stupid,” Bill sneered, dismissing her words. “I’m not going to…”
“Open your eyes and stop being so fucking stupid,” Sookie snapped, reaching the end of her tether with him. “You’ve got a fucking scouting party in the bar. You’re on the verge of a takeover and you’ve got your head too far up your own ass to even notice…”
“I was appointed King by The One True Authority,” Bill replied as if that was all that mattered. “They would never sanction a takeover.”
“Yeah, but not everyone follows The Authority,” Sookie countered. “There’s that other faction that would sanction a takeover, especially against an Authority puppet King.” Sookie chuckled when she heard Bill sputter at her title for him. “You know that’s what you were, Bill. You were Nan’s puppet and nothing else. But you see, it doesn’t matter what you want, it doesn’t matter what The Authority wants…” Turning in a half circle, Sookie locked her gaze on a greasy-looking vampire. “And it sure as hell doesn’t matter what The Sanguinista Movement wants. It only matters what I want, and Louisiana is mine!”
Moving quicker than anyone could see, Sookie appeared before the vampire, wrapped her hand around his throat, lifted him into the air, and slammed him against the wall. “You carry a scent you shouldn’t, young one,” she snarled. “I wonder why that is?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” the vampire, Victor, wheezed, forcing the words from his lips as the force of Sookie’s grip crushed his throat.
“Of course you don’t,” Sookie snorted, shooting him a look of utter contempt.
“Sookeh, stop this,” Bill ordered, taking a step forward. He was more convinced than ever she had gone crazy. “You can’t go around attacking people.”
“Thalia, be a dear and shut him up, will you?” Sookie replied never taking her eyes off the vampire before her.
“What?!” Bill sputtered. “No…” The rest of the words died on his lips as Thalia attacked him, caving in his skull and knocking him out.
All eyes were on Sookie, no one dared look away, wanting to see what was going to happen next. Pam couldn’t believe her own eyes. The Sookie in front of her was not the one she knew. This one was brimming with power and wasn’t afraid to use it.
“Your Master was a fool to send you here,” Sookie continued. Canting her head to the side, she inspected the vampire, trying to unravel his secrets. “Then, your Master has always been a fool.” Tightening her grip on his neck, Sookie grinned when she felt her fingers pierce his skin and slide into his flesh. Blood dripped down her hand, coating her skin. “I have a message for your Master, tell him… The Child of Lilith has returned…”
Gasps spread through the bar at Sookie’s announcement and many of the vampires stepped forward, trying to get a closer look at her. Disbelief mixed with joy and Sookie knew the word would soon spread that she was back.
“… And the State of Louisiana is under my protection. If he wants it, he will have to go through me…” Pulling him away from the wall, Sookie threw him across the bar and vamped after him. “And he really doesn’t want to do that.” Turning her head, she stared at a terrified-looking female vampire while she placed her hands on either side of Victor’s head. A sinister smile spread across her face. “Make sure you tell him that,” she ordered as she twisted Victor’s head and ripped it off, sending him to his True Death. “Now get out!” Sookie threw the slowly disintegrating head at the female vampire. She grinned while she watched half a dozen vampires race out of the bar at vampire speed.
Turning around, Sookie sought out Eric, zeroing in on him easily. Lifting a hand, she raked it through her hair, grimacing when she remembered she had vampire blood on it. “Can I use the phone in your office?”
Eric arched a brow in confusion at her request. He knew she had her own phone, he had seen her use it not that long ago. Why would she want to… Eric bit back a groan when he realized why she was asking. She wants to talk to me in private. “Of course,” Eric replied. “Let me show you where it is.” He took a step forward before pausing and looking over at his child. He was bitterly disappointed in her and he let her see it. Her actions that night had shamed him. “Pamela, clean up this mess… Yourself.” He captured her eye, letting her see he was deadly serious before turning back to Sookie and leading her back to his office. As he closed the door behind them, he had to wonder what she wanted to talk to him about.