Seven Weeks Later
“I need a witch!” Ana announced out of the blue as she walked into Sookie’s office in the Authority’s new headquarters in New Orleans. After the events in the asylum and Salome’s betrayal, the remaining members of The Authority decided it was no longer safe to continue leading from their old headquarters. Salome had known the buildings like the back of her hand, and there was no telling if she shared that information with anyone else.
Sookie arched a brow as she looked up from the reports she was going over and stared at her child. She was used to Ana making strange requests, but she had to admit this one took her by surprise. It was no secret that vampires and witches didn’t mix. Vampires were distrustful of most Supes and people, but when it came to witches they took that distrust to almost paranoid levels. There were times over the years when they had been forced to work together, but nine times out of ten it ended in bloodshed.
“If it’s so you can curse Roman into thinking he’s a member of a boy band again, the answer is no,” Sookie replied, trying to appear stern. She couldn’t fight the smile, however, while she remembered back to a time in the sixties when Ana glamoured a witch and had her place a spell on Roman, making him believe he was the fifth Beatle. Sookie swore she would never forget the sight of her usually straight-laced child sporting a mop top and crooning, “She Loves You.”
“Can I curse him into thinking he’s Lady Gaga instead?” Ana asked in jest. Despite their constant fighting, Ana loved her brother and would never do anything to hurt him. Humiliate him? Absolutely! Although he always gave as good as he got.
“No,” Sookie said after pretending to think it over for a second. “Now, why do you need a witch? You know we don’t mix, and any witch with a lick of sense or power won’t have anything to do with us.”
“I was working with Neith trying to break the glamour on your brother,” Ana answered completely serious. The Russian monarch knew when to stop with her playful behavior and be serious. Now was one of those times. Ana knew how her Maker felt about Jason. The young Stackhouse male was Sookie’s family just as much as her vampire Line was. They had been trying to break the glamour placed on Jason for the last six weeks with little luck. “Whatever those fucking fairies did to him has made him resistant to our glamour, so we were thinking that perhaps another kind of magic could be the answer. We may be able to weaken the hold on his mind enough for us to be able to glamour and free him.
Sookie nodded while she listened to Ana’s explanation. The fairies’ hold on Jason’s mind had been troubling her for some time. She didn’t think it was a coincidence that he started hating vampires again just as she regained her memories and was restored to her full glory. Sookie felt like she was being attacked from all sides, both her mortal and vampire family were under attack.
Sookie needed answers, but, unfortunately for her, no one was willing to give them. The Fae were surprisingly quiet; there had been no sight of them since the night they had fucked with Jason’s head. Sookie was positive they were still around, and it was only her concern for Jason that stopped her from hunting them down. She had no idea if anything would happen to Jason if she killed the one who had cursed him. She knew from experience that they could be sneaky bastards, and she wouldn’t put it past them to have booby-trapped Jason in some way. No, first she would free her brother from their poisonous hold, and then she would hunt the fuckers down and slaughter them.
“What we need is to get our hands on the fucking fairy who cursed him,” Sookie said, anger infusing her tone. She let out a frustrated sigh and combed her hand through her hair. “There used to be a coven of witches in The Quarter, but that was back in the thirties, so they’re probably all dead now,” Sookie snorted. “My contacts are a little out of date, Ana. I know of a witch in Bon Temps, but Holly hasn’t got the kind of power needed to combat Fae magic, and I wouldn’t trust her if she did.” Since she regained her memories six weeks prior, Sookie had been re-evaluating the friendships she had while she was mortal, and she found herself troubled by her lack of sense when it came to welcoming various Supes, not to mention how she had allowed everyone to walk all over her. She had been a doormat to nearly everyone in Bon Temps, letting them walk all over her and then thanking them when they had. Now that she had returned to her true animation and race, giving up her human façade, Sookie could truthfully say there were only three people in Bon Temps she actually liked: Lafayette, Andy, and Terry.
It was a shame Jesus was dead; she had liked him and he would have been perfect. Sookie had also trusted him, well, as much as she trusted anyone not of her blood. The brujo had had real power, and had been much more discreet and respectful than Holly.
“… Eric would know…” Sookie felt a pang as she thought about her Viking. Things had been strained between them since she had told him of their familial connection. Eric had taken the news better than she thought he would, and worse than she wished. The thousand-year-old vampire had felt betrayed and lied to by all involved, a feeling that only worsened when he discovered Nora had known of the connection. Although Nora hadn’t known the specifics of the relationship, she did know she was a part of Sookie’s Line.
The revelation of the connection had caused tension between Eric and Sookie that she didn’t know how to overcome. Eric’s heart was with her, but his mind always seemed to be occupied, far away; try as she might, Sookie couldn’t seem to reach him. As of late he seemed to be avoiding her completely. “…but he’s out with Nero again,” Sookie continued, trying to conceal her pain.
“They’re patrolling the docks,” Ana replied, moving to sit down beside her Maker. She didn’t need to be connected to Sookie through their Maker/Child bond to know she was hurting. Ana could see it all over her face. She wanted to call Eric out on hurting her Maker, but as much as she would have liked to interfere, Ana knew it wasn’t her place. Their romantic relationship wasn’t any of her business. “There was a report of a nest of vampires hunting down there.”
“I know,” Sookie said softly and tossed the report she was reading to the side. She wasn’t surprised that Eric and Nero had gone to check it out, the two of them had been taking care of the remnants of The Sanguinista Movement since the night Salome and her followers had died. “You should ask Rasul about the witches,” Sookie added, getting back to their original conversation. “Next to Eric, no one knows Louisiana better.”
“What about dear ol’ Bill Compton?” Ana asked teasingly, thinking about the Civil War vampire whom they still had locked in a cell. “He is constantly screaming, ‘Louisiana is Mine!’ Surely he should know of any witches in the State.”
“Bill doesn’t see what’s right in front of his face, let alone in the State,” Sookie snorted. She continued to wonder at how he had survived this long seeing how he was so clueless and wholly inept.
“He doesn’t see much of anything at the moment,” Ana said with a smirk. “The siblings blinded him with liquid silver. Apparently he said something derogatory to Eliza, so Elijah thought injecting silver into his eyes would be a fitting punishment.”
“They always were creative,” Sookie laughed. She knew that she should start thinking about sending Bill to his True Death. He had suffered six weeks of torture at the hands of her Blood, but each time the thought entered her mind, Sookie would remember all the pain he caused. Besides, there were still some in her Line who hadn’t yet had their turn to play with him. Speaking of which… “I heard from Finn earlier. He’ll be arriving within the next few nights. Have Izzy arrange a room for him.”
“Baby brother is coming?” Ana replied as she rested her head on her Maker’s shoulder. “It’s about time! I called him before I left Russia and told him to get his ass over here.”
“Apparently, the Empress of China became rather enamored of him and decided she wanted him as her consort,” Sookie said, explaining his delay. “He said she was quite insistent, refusing to let him leave until he agreed to return and marry her. Finn tried to explain that his Maker had called for him, but she wouldn’t listen.”
“I bet Finn loved that,” Ana snorted, thinking about her younger brother. Finn had a short fuse and the quickest way to set it off was to get in the way of him and his Maker. Like all her children, Finn adored Sookie, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for her.
“He tried to be diplomatic, but…” Sookie trailed off, letting Ana guess what he did when that failed.
“China’s in need of a new leader, right?” Ana said, tilting up her head slightly. It wouldn’t have been the first time Finn killed a vampire in power. His short fuse often meant he exploded in violent glory.
“Yes. He decapitated her with one of her guard’s swords,” Sookie replied rather proud of her child. I need to speak to Roman about appointing a new ruler in China as well. They still needed to decide on leaders for Indiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Nevada. They had appointed temporary stewards after the final deaths of the previous monarchs, but it was time that they re-established the power structure in those States. “It will be nice to have all my children in the same place again. I’ve missed you all.”
“Ah, me the most, right?” Ana asked cheekily. “You can tell me, I won’t say a word!”
Sookie laughed and dropped a kiss onto Ana’s forehead. “You would announce it over the PA system just to piss off Roman.”
“I would do no such thing!” Ana replied, feigning insult. “I…” she stopped abruptly when she heard someone approaching the door and sat up straight.
“Come in, Izzy,” Sookie called out before her personal assistant had a chance to knock. She smiled fondly as the young brown-haired woman opened the door and walked in. She may not have known her for very long, but Izzy had been a godsend. The pretty brunette was intelligent, respectful, loyal, and extremely proficient at doing her job.
“Sorry to disturb you, Boss,” Izzy said as she tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. “I have a message from Pam. She told me to tell you, and these are her exact words: ‘that mangy fucking dog is sniffing round and causing trouble again. His scent was found all around your house in Bon Temps.’”
“Fucking Sam!” Sookie cursed, knowing full well to whom Pam was referring. He had taken to her new-old state even worse than Alcide. He was determined to cause as much trouble for her, and vampires in general, as he could it seemed. “Call Pam and tell her I will take care of Sam,” she continued, putting a plan together in her mind. “When you’ve done that, will you arrange for one of the spare rooms to be opened? I am expecting a guest soon.”
“Sure thing, Boss,” Izzy replied, making a note of it even though she knew she wouldn’t forget. “Oh, before I forget, the results for the latest donor screenings came back and there was a problem with two of the donors. I informed Molly of the results; she has entered them into the database, and said she would take care of the donors.”
“It’s just one thing after another lately,” Sookie groaned. She wasn’t happy to hear some of the donors weren’t clean, but at least they had caught them before anyone became infected. Sookie would have to remember to reward Sandy for suggesting the new screening protocol on all donors. Sookie was rather shocked at how different things were since the Great Revelation. Even though she had lived through it as a mortal, she hadn’t truly grasped how things had changed from the vampire perspective. Gone were the days of having to glamour a human so you could feed; now the humans lined up to be bitten. It had taken Sookie a while to adjust to it all. The first time she had gone to feed on a human after she regained her true identity, Sookie began to prepare to glamour someone in order to feed discreetly. The post-Revelation way of feeding was certainly much easier. Vampires no longer had any fear of starving with all the fangbangers begging to be bitten, but, at the same time, it still held a serious threat of danger. There was Hep D, drainers disguised as fangbangers, and anti-vampire fanatics and those were just for starters.
Getting up-to-date on all the latest news and procedures had been exhausting, and Sookie already needed a break. She would have loved to been able to get away for a week or two with Eric. The two of them could have spent their time fucking and feeding, and just reveling in their vampire nature. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to be on the horizon for Sookie any time soon, and not just because Eric seemed to be avoiding her. No, she had far too much work to get done. There was Jason, Bill, the Fae, uncovering any remaining members of The Sanguinista Movement, restructuring The Authority, and appointing new Monarchs…and now apparently dealing with fucking Sam as well.
Oh, how I long for the days I could just rip the head off of anyone who annoyed me! Things used to be so much simpler! Fighting and fucking without a care in the world. Those were the days!
“OK then,” Sookie continued, deciding to take control of everything. She was The Child of Lilith, the Head of her Line; she’d be damned if she would be bullied or sit back while others did her work! “Tomorrow I’ll go to Bon Temps and deal with Sam once and for all. Izzy, I need you to arrange transportation for me and my party. I want to leave no later than thirty minutes after sunset, and I would like you to accompany us.”
Izzy nodded and noted it all in her planner. She hadn’t been to Bon Temps before, but she had accompanied Sookie to Shreveport shortly after she took the job. “Would you like me to arrange a donor for you before you leave, Boss?”
“No, that won’t be necessary,” Sookie replied after a split second thought. “I’ll stop at Fangtasia before heading to Bon Temps.” It would give her the chance to catch up with Pam and see how Tara was adjusting. The jury was still out when it came to her former friend. Tara was still filled with anger and bitterness, fighting Pam every step of the way. Pam, however, had made great strides in such a short amount of time. She was rising to the challenge of being a Maker just as Sookie knew she could. It was just a shame Pam was stuck with such an unpleasant woman for her child. Turning her head to the side, Sookie smiled at her child and added, “I take it you want to come with me?”
“Yes, please, Mommy,” Ana replied cheekily. She wouldn’t pass up a chance to visit Fangtasia. Ana loved the cliché of it all. She could find herself a meal and good fuck while Sookie dealt with the shifter.
Sookie shot Ana a fond look before turning her attention back to Izzy. “I have no desire to stay in Bon Temps overnight, so please arrange accommodation in Shreveport as well.” The old farmhouse no longer held the same meaning to her it once did, and she wouldn’t be clinging to it stubbornly.
“We should take the siblings with us,” Ana suggested, thinking about the security aspects. She knew they could both take care of themselves, but being a Queen had taught Ana to never overlook the importance of security. It only took a split second and one lucky shot to kill a vampire. “As well as day guards if we will be spending the day there.”
As much as she hated the idea, Sookie knew Ana was speaking sensibly. There had been a target on Sookie’s back since the day she was born and it had only gotten bigger over the years. “Have Dieter arrange that, Ana. Is that everything, Izzy?”
“Yep,” Izzy replied with a nod of her head. The young brunette had been cautious about working for vampires due to all the bad press surrounding them after Russell Edgington had gone psycho on TV and killed someone. Izzy didn’t buy into the belief that all vampires were evil; she knew they were all dangerous, but she thought the same applied to humans. Next to vampires they may not be obvious threats, but humans were far from harmless. There were just as many evil humans as there were evil vampires, if not more. Izzy refused to hate and fear an entire race because of the behavior of some.
One of the things she loved and respected above all else regarding vampires was that they didn’t give a shit that she was gay. They didn’t care about race, religion, sexuality, or gender. It didn’t matter to them. They honestly didn’t care if you were gay or straight, and you weren’t considered weak just because you were a woman. “I will have everything ready for you by the time you rise, Boss.”
“OK, you may as well take off the rest of the night,” Sookie had no more need of her for the night, and knew she would have a full day ahead of her tomorrow. Sookie smiled as she watched her young assistant bounce out of the office after saying her goodbyes.
“Mommy,” Ana said, drawing the word out in a teasing manner. She grinned at the exasperated look on her Maker’s face.
“You’re not too old to be put over my knee, Ana,” Sookie threatened, only half-joking. She didn’t punish her children unnecessarily or cruelly, but when the need called for it, she wasn’t afraid to show them who was boss. She never abused them, but they all knew she wouldn’t hesitate to put them in their places if necessary.
“Yes, My Lady,” Ana replied respectfully, knowing when to stop with her playful behavior. “Why did Pam call Izzy and not you or Eric directly?” She asked curiously.
A huge smile spread across Sookie’s face at the question. “Probably because Pam has a crush on the sweet Miss Izzy,” she said as she stood. “Not that Pam will admit to it. If you ask her, she will just say she wants to fuck Izzy, but evidence suggests otherwise.”
“At least Pam has taste,” Ana replied with a grin. Izzy was a little too sweet for Ana, but she could definitely see the attraction. The young brunette was certainly much more appealing than that bitch Pam had turned. Now there was someone whom Ana could not stand. She had met Tara once and it had taken a command by her Maker to keep Ana from killing the foul-mouthed, bitter bitch.
“She does,” Sookie agreed. She thought the two of them would be good together; Izzy had a wicked sense of humor when she let herself relax that would match Pam’s perfectly, and Pam actually showed a softer side of herself when she was around the young brunette. Sookie was kind of tempted to play matchmaker between them, but she knew if it was going to happen between them, it would have to be on their terms. They couldn’t be forced or tricked into it. She wouldn’t interfere in anyone else’s love life, especially not when her own was so fucked up.
Sookie let out a sigh as she pondered over the train wreck that was her current love life. She had no idea what was going through Eric’s head or whether he still wanted her the way she wanted him. It was all rather depressing. Fuck it, she thought, shaking away the negative feelings. She wasn’t going to sit around and weep into her blood. “Come on,” Sookie said and made her way to the door.
“Where are we going?” Ana asked as she rose to her feet and followed her Maker out the door.
“I’m all worked up and need a release,” Sookie said, leading her child through the new compound. “Fucking is out of the question,” she added. There was no way in hell she was going to risk everything she had with Eric for a quick, meaningless fuck. He was the only one she wanted. “So I’m going to get very violent.” She grinned at Ana as she stopped outside the door that led to the new cell area and tapped in the code.
“Here I was, thinking Bill was completely useless,” Ana replied with a laugh and followed her Maker into the cell area.