There was a dangerous energy to Sookie when she stalked into Fangtasia. Even the most ardent and stupid fangbangers could sense the threat she possessed that night and did the smart thing and moved out of her way. Fangs dropped while the energy spread through the bar and all eyes turned to the Head of the Vampire World, wanting to know what had caused her anger and what the results might be.
Sookie had used the time it took to drive back to Shreveport to consider what to do with Tara. The ancient blonde thought her anger might dissipate along the journey, but, on the contrary, it had only grown fiercer. Memories of all the times Tara had shit on her played over in her head, the countless times Sookie had apologized to her friend or for her friend when she shouldn’t have. Sookie had weighed their friendship and found it wholly uneven. Since they had been kids, Sookie had given and Tara had taken. The blonde mistakenly believed she owed Tara for being her friend when no one else had wanted anything to do with her. It was a belief she now knew to be untrue. She didn’t owe Tara anything.
Despite what Tara believed, the world did not revolve around her, nor did Sookie’s life. She may have, at one point, wanted Tara in her life, but no longer. Sookie no longer required Tara’s friendship to feel ‘normal’ anymore. Hell, she didn’t want to be normal, period! She was a vampire, the oldest vampire in existence. She had a big family, a family who loved her and accepted her for who and what she was, and most importantly, she had a man who loved her and she loved him in return. She was happy, happier than she had ever been before, and she would be damned if she would allow a vicious, resentful, and twisted bitch like Tara ruin any of that for her.
“Uh-oh, Mommy’s pissed,” Ana said gleefully as she watched her Maker from where she was seated with Eric and Rasul in the Viking’s booth. From the way her Maker was searching the bar, Ana deduced she was looking for someone in particular, and the gorgeous blonde had a good idea of who that was… Tara! Ana was hoping Sookie was finally going to put the foul-mouthed bitch in her place. From the second she had met her eight weeks earlier, Ana had hated the woman. In her opinion, Tara wasn’t fit to lick their boots, let alone be a part of their Bloodline.
Ana knew few vampires rose for the first time and were fully rational about their new existence. It took time to truly come to terms and adjust to how they had changed, but from all she had seen, Tara wasn’t even willing to try to accept her new life. She had bitched and raged at everyone, blaming everyone else for her problems. Ana may have been sympathetic to the woman if she hadn’t repeatedly insulted Sookie and attempted to turn others against her. Ana also hadn’t appreciated the way Tara had looked at Eric that night. She didn’t need her Maker’s telepathic gift to see that the bitter young woman planned to try to break up Eric and her Maker. Tara might not have been attracted to Eric, but then he really wasn’t her objective, she just wanted to take away something that Sookie loved.
Sookie cast her gaze over the bar while she sought out Tara. She knew she was there; she could feel her. Sookie was certain she looked as if she was possessed, but she didn’t care. She didn’t care about the blood that stained her clothes and hands, nor did she care what anyone else thought of her. For far too long she had concerned herself over opinions of others, but now she was in charge! Seeing Tara standing behind the bar, Sookie stalked forward, her steps that of a predator stalking its prey. A vicious smile curled the blonde’s lips as she locked her gaze on her former friend.
Humans and vampires alike scurried out of Sookie’s way, not wanting to draw her anger toward them while a level of anticipation rose in the bar. They could all feel that something was ready to happen, and many were eager to witness the carnage unfold.
Looming just at the bar’s rail, Sookie gave Tara no time to react when she reached across it and grasped the baby vampire by the hair, dragging her over it. Glasses went flying as Tara was forcibly pulled over the bar, a cry of surprise coming out of that mouth.
“What the fuck…” The rest of the words died on Tara’s lips once she was thrown callously across the room and crashed into some tables.
“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t rip your fucking head off right now,” Sookie demanded, her tone calm and even, despite the maelstrom of emotions sweeping through her. She wasn’t acting in anger, she was thinking rationally, and was firmly in control.
“I don’t have to give you a fuckin’ thing!” Tara snarled in reply, flashing her fangs at Sookie. She had no idea why Sookie was attacking her, and she was much too arrogant to believe she had been caught passing information on to Sam. Tara was, once again, underestimating her old friend, believing her too stupid to actually know anything. “You’re the one who…”
Sookie had crossed the bar before anyone had even seen her move and punched Tara in the mouth, not wanting to hear another word out of her mouth. She had heard it all before. The blonde grinned when she heard the unmistakable sound of bones shattering.
The force of Sookie’s punch sent Tara flying back crashing into another table and knocking it over. Pain bloomed in her face and she felt blood pouring out of her mouth. A look of shock filled the fledgling vampire’s eyes as she stared at her former best friend. Tara lifted a shaky hand to her face, gingerly cupping her broken jaw. She couldn’t believe Sookie had hit her!
“You never fucking learn, do you?” Sookie growled as she stalked forward, never taking her eyes off Tara. She could hear some of the vampires in the bar rounding up the fangbangers, glamouring them to forget what they had seen before throwing them out. However, in that moment, she didn’t care. Her attention was on Tara. “You think you can continue being a twisted and bitter bitch, do whatever you like, and not have to worry about the consequences? Well, you’re going to face the consequences, and guess what? I am the fucking consequence!”
“Sook…” Pam began, stepping forward, trying to come to the defense of her child though she wasn’t sure why. Tara had been nothing but a pain in the ass since she had been turned. Pam had tried over the previous eight weeks to teach the angry baby vampire, but Tara refused to learn, believing she knew everything already. “My Lady,” she corrected swiftly, showing Sookie the respect she was due as the Head of the Bloodline. “My child is…”
“A waste of fucking blood!” Sookie spat, cutting Pam off. “I should’ve never asked you to turn her. It was a mistake.” Her eyes softened as she turned her gaze to Pam. She was pleased that Pam was attempting to come to her child’s defense, even if the attempted loyalty was misplaced. Tara didn’t deserve Pam’s loyalty, not when she wasn’t showing any in return.
Taking a step back, Sookie cast her eyes over the bar, taking note of all the vampires present. There were a number of vampires there who weren’t of her blood, but they had all pledged fealty to Eric as the temporary Steward of Louisiana. Sookie didn’t normally like handling family business in front of those not of her Line, but she would make an exception this time. They all needed to learn that you couldn’t fuck with her or her family.
“She has been spying on us for the shifter in Bon Temps,” Sookie announced, informing all present of what Tara had done.
Every vampire present hissed at Tara once they learned what she had done, letting her know she would find no allies there. No one would side with her. She was truly on her own.
Tara glared at Sookie, refusing to admit she had done anything wrong. Sam was her friend, and she had every right to talk to him. So what if she told him where Sookie was, what she was doing, anything regarding the security measures at Fangtasia, or even where Pam and she went for their day rest? She was free to do as she pleased!
Sookie shook her head while she stared at Tara. She could tell Tara didn’t care at all. The disagreeable and hostile young woman was so consumed with her own delusions of self-importance, she never stopped to think of how her actions might affect anyone else. Or rather, it was more that she never stopped to think, she simply didn’t care. Tara would be the undying, eternal victim.
“I should just end you now and stop all of our suffering,” Sookie said. “You are not cut out for this life. The wise thing would be to send you to your final death.”
“You won’t do that,” Tara sneered, her jaw having all but healed. She was smugly convinced that Sookie wouldn’t end her. For one, Lafayette would never forgive her. Tara also truly didn’t believe Sookie actually had it in her to kill a friend.
“Won’t I?” Sookie questioned with a smile. She took a step toward Tara and spread her arms. “Take a good look at me, youngling. The blood you see on me is Jessica’s. The foolish little girl attacked me and I ended her without a second thought.”
A hint of caution entered Tara’s eyes while she looked over Sookie. She had noticed the blood on her, but hadn’t bothered wondering how it had gotten there, never mind whose it was. Hearing it was Jessica shocked her. Tara knew how protective Sookie had been over the redheaded vampire. Yet, knowing all that, Tara still didn’t believe that Sookie would kill her. The blonde was too tender-hearted to kill her first friend.
Turning her attention to Pam, Sookie beckoned her great-great granddaughter forward, instructing her to take a place to her left. “She is your child, Pam. Are you willing to allow me to hand out her punishment?”
Pam eyed her child conscientiously. She wasn’t a child she had wanted, nor did she particularly like her, yet she was the only child she had. It had taken Pam some time to accept her role as a Maker, but she finally had. She wanted to be a good Maker, like hers was. She wanted to teach her child and help shape her into someone great. Pam felt as though she had failed, because despite her feelings, she wanted Sookie to dole out Tara’s punishment. Not because she wanted to transfer the responsibility and absolve herself of it, but because she knew Tara would never accept her life as a vampire. Tara would never be anything other than a foul-mouthed, racist bitch who hated vampires for no other reason than that they were vampires. In that way, she was very much like Bill Compton.
Eric watched his child as she warred within herself. He could sense her inner turmoil. She was fighting with herself, and Eric was proud to realize that none of her feelings were steeped in selfishness. Eight weeks ago she would have readily agreed to pass responsibility over to Sookie. Pam wouldn’t have spent even a moment’s thought on it; she would have simply said yes. She had changed drastically in such a short span of time. She was finally growing up.
“Yes,” Pam said finally, having come to a decision. Her eyes widened in surprise when she felt Eric send her a burst of pride. She had expected him to be unhappy with her decision, but his acceptance told her she had done the right thing.
“Block the bond,” Sookie instructed, her tone firm once she got her answer. “Tonight her pain belongs to no one but her.”
Pam stiffened slightly, but she did as instructed. It was the first time since she had turned Tara that she had silenced their bond. Even when she hadn’t wanted her, Pam still felt her through their shared bond. It felt strange to Pam to suddenly not feel her child, and she struggled briefly to leave the bond closed.
Tara rolled her eyes while she listened to Sookie bark out orders as if she thought she was the queen of the world. She was convinced Sookie was just trying to scare her into acting the way she wanted. Like I’ll ever do what they want. They fuckin’ killed me… So lost in her own bitterness, Tara never even noticed when her bond with Pam fell silent. “You ain’t gonna kill me… again. Lafayette won’t…”
Sookie moved before Tara had a chance to finish her sentence. She tackled the baby vampire, wrapping her hand around her throat and slamming her down hard on the top of a table. “Lafayette hasn’t got a fucking thing to do with this!” Sookie snarled, baring her fangs at the foolish woman. She temporarily let go of Tara while she grabbed a chair and broke off the leg. “I make the fucking rules here…” she brought the chair leg down hard on Tara’s chest, driving it into her flesh, intentionally missing her heart by just mere centimeters.
Tara’s eyes widened in horror when she felt the stake pierce her flesh. She had no idea what to do as Sookie held the stake in her chest. Should she fight, try to run, or stay still? Fear as she had never before felt rose inside her, yet despite everything she felt, she still couldn’t accept what was happening nor her own blame in it. As far as she was concerned, it was just more proof that Sookie was to blame for everything.
Pam clutched her chest unconsciously as she watched Sookie stake her child. She had the bond locked down tight and couldn’t feel anything but a phantom pain. It took Pam a second to realize that Sookie had intentionally missed Tara’s heart, and she couldn’t help but wonder what the ancient blonde was up to now. It seemed as if Sookie always had a plan.
“I can take you out of this world whenever I like,” Sookie said, her tone deadly clear while she attempted to impart a bit of knowledge to her former friend. “No one would be able to stop me. You live for no other reason than I bid it… but, I promise you, you will soon regret it.” Sookie kept a firm hold on the stake, keeping it pressed into Tara’s chest, and not allowing her vampire healing to push it out. “Ana,” she called, seeking out her second eldest child.
“Yes, My Lady,” Ana replied respectfully while she stepped closer to her Maker. She was sorry that Sookie hadn’t killed the bitter and twisted young vampire, but she knew Sookie had to have a good reason for not doing so. She always did.
“Do you still have possession of the catacombs?” Sookie asked.
“I do, My Lady,” Ana replied, a dark glint entering her eyes when she realized what Sookie was planning.
“Do you have room for a selfish, bitter, and hypocritical baby vampire in them?” Sookie inquired while she slowly began to pull the stake out of Tara’s chest. It was clear to her that Tara had no idea what she was talking about, but she soon would.
“I will make room,” Ana told her Maker almost giddily. “I can contact Carter and have him arrange everything, if you wish.”
“Make the call,” Sookie replied as she stood, tossed the stake to the side, and took a step back. “Inform him the package will arrive in two nights.”
Tara snorted while she shakily pulled herself up. She pressed a hand to her chest, wincing when she felt her blood seep between her fingers. She knew Sookie wouldn’t kill her. As far as Tara was concerned, Sookie was all talk. “I knew ya wouldn’t kill me,” she sneered.
A truly frightening smile lit up Sookie’s face while she eyed the baby vampire. Tara had no idea what she was in for, she had yet to realize that there were far worse things than death. Ana’s catacombs were one of those things. “You will soon be wishing I had,” she replied ominously. “Death would have been a welcome alternative to what awaits you. Ana, why don’t you tell Tara about your catacombs?”
“It’s a tomb deep beneath my palace in Russia,” Ana explained, her tone taking on a haunting quality. “No light reaches it, nor sound or smell. It’s completely isolated. No one to talk with, no one to touch. You will be completely and utterly alone. Few survive it intact; the silence drives them insane…”
Tara tried to appear unfazed by Ana’s words, but Sookie could see the fear in her eyes. Ana wasn’t lying when she said few survived the catacombs intact. It took someone of great strength to survive years of isolation in one piece. The need for company was ingrained within each and every one of them. For it to be denied them was agonizing. Normally, Sookie wouldn’t ever think of inflicting that kind of punishment on a fledgling vampire. Death would have been kinder, but Tara had pushed her too far. Her constant verbal attacks on those around her, as well as her betrayal where Sam was concerned had shown Sookie that not only couldn’t Tara be trusted, but she also needed a major attitude adjustment. If she survived the catacombs then maybe, just maybe, she might be considered worthy of the gift of immortality.
“Ya can’t do that!” Tara snarled, finding her voice. There was no way in hell she was going to allow them to lock her away like she was some kind of criminal. If anyone should have been locked away, Tara believed it should have been Sookie. She had all but killed her after all. “I’m not gonna let ya…”
Sookie reached for Tara and fisted her hand in her hair, silencing her tirade. She was done talking to the baby vampire. It was time Tara learned that she didn’t get to mouth off to anyone she wanted anymore without repercussions. “Ana, contact Carter and arrange everything,” Sookie ordered, ripping clumps of the struggling Tara’s hair out as she dragged her across the bar. “Eliza, Rasul, clear the bar,” she added, wanting all vampires not of their Line out. She watched as they did as ordered, quickly escorting the other vampires out. “Eric, will you help me secure the baby vampire?” she added, pausing by the edge of the dance floor and looking back at the Viking. She wanted to spend a few minutes with her mate.
Eric grinned at Sookie and moved to follow her. Seeing her lay down the law with Tara had been an incredible turn on, and he wanted to show her just that. He had loved Sookie when he thought she was just a human, he had loved her when he thought she was a fairy, but all those feelings paled in comparison to what he felt for her right then. Vampire Sookie was his true mate. “It would be my pleasure.”
He had a coffin in the basement that would hold Tara until she would be shipped off to Russia. Eric had heard of Ana’s catacombs; they were legendary throughout all Eastern Europe. Vampires feared ending up there as they were truly horrific. He doubted Tara would survive them as for someone who was so bitter and judgmental, she craved contact with others. She couldn’t judge others if she didn’t interact with them.
Sookie smiled at Eric, letting her features soften as she gazed at the man she loved. “So, what do you think… Twenty… twenty-five years… Think that’ll be long enough for her to get with the program?” She asked almost absentmindedly.
“Fifty might be better,” Eric replied, realizing what Sookie was doing. He spoke about Tara as if she wasn’t there, letting her know that she no longer held any importance. For the duration of her punishment, she was no one. She no longer existed to the Bloodline.
“Fifty,” Sookie mused. She nodded in approval. “Chances are everyone she knows will be dead by the time she’s released… Providing she’s still in one piece. I think that’d be…” She trailed off as the door to the bar swung open and Elijah came strolling through.
Sookie’s eyes widened in shock when she took in the sight of the handsome vampire. Seeing Elijah wasn’t shocking, no, what was shocking was what he had with him. “What the… This can’t be… Somebody tell me I’m not seeing that!” She said while she pointed at a skittish, young dark-haired woman standing beside Elijah. The woman couldn’t be more than twenty-one, and unless Sookie was very much mistaken, and she knew she wasn’t, the young woman was wearing a nightgown. However, what really threw Sookie was the gag in the woman’s mouth. Elijah had gagged her.
When no one said anything, Sookie pushed Tara at Rasul, and took a step toward Elijah and the woman. She looked vaguely familiar and Sookie wracked her brain, trying to identify her. She remembered a recent political rally that had been covered on the news and she groaned when the realization of who the woman was hit her. “You kidnapped the Governor of fucking Louisiana’s daughter!”