This could not be allowed to happen, Sookie was his. Racing as fast as he could to her side Bill began to formulate a plan to keep her from Eric. She would never consider being with someone she hated. Now what to tell her to get her to hate him, something she would never forgive.
“Sookie!” He knew his urgency would cause her to panic, but he couldn’t calm himself.
“Bill? What’s wrong?”
She came racing out of her home and into his arms where she belonged. He held her to him as though he could prevent the future he saw through sheer force of will.
“God, I’ve missed you!” He had never missed her so much in his life, hell he’d never missed anyone so much in his entire existence.
“Missed me? We saw each other a few hours ago. Did something happen at Fangtasia after I left? Did things not go well with Nan?”
He needed to remember that she knew nothing of that horrid future. He’d forgotten all about the conversation with Nan, he supposed he should have stayed for it, but seeing Sookie and making sure she was as he remembered had been far more important.
“Oh Sookie I was so worried. We should go inside and sit down there is so much I must tell you.”
“Alright Bill calm down, everything will be alright. We’ll get through it whatever it is together, as we always have.”
Yes together, just like always. He followed behind her into her comfortable familiar home, taking his customary place on the sofa in her living room. He took a deep unnecessary breathe to convey the seriousness of the situation.
“Sookie, after you left Eric and I spoke of you, he expressed his interest in you once more and I respectfully told him that you were mine. However, this conversation differed from our discussions of you in the past. This time once I proclaimed you as mine he made ….threats. “
“Threats?” Her worried expression told him that she understood the gravity of such a situation even without the details he would supply. He must keep Eric and Sookie apart at all costs.
“Yes, he made mention that if he truly wanted to take you from me there were ways for him to do so with my claim on you being little if any deterrent.”
“Ways? What ways?” He would have to tell her more about his world than he ever had before, but to keep her where she belonged he was more than willing to do so.
“He mentioned that he could go to our Queen and tell her of your existence and petition to be your caretaker. With your abilities the Queen would want you in her retinue and would be open to giving you into the care of a worthy vampire, one she trusted to make you available to her.”
“That bastard! How dare he, why can’t he just leave us alone and let us be happy?”
He squashed his guilt by telling himself that all he said was in effect true. Only the Queen already knew about her due to her cousin Hadley and had given her into a vampires care already…his. This was just him caring for her, keeping her from making a monumental mistake that he was sure she would later come to regret. They were meant to be together; he was only ensuring her future happiness as well as his own.
After Bill ran full speed from his office thankfully his Childe wasn’t far behind him. Looking to his own Childe Eric found her smirking in amusement, yes, life was going to be sweet.
“Pamela, we need to get to work if we are going to ensure that future we both want. You can bet Bill will do everything in his power to prevent it; thankfully he’s not as skilled as we are. First off we need to make note of all the future events Sookie spoke of, to ensure we miss nothing. Then I’m going to need you to dig up dirt on Compton’s deception and find me concrete proof I can bring before Sookie. The sooner she sees him for the rat he is the sooner she can be mine. Lastly we need to come up with a reason for Sookie to come to Fangtasia as soon as possible, I want to see her again and find out what all Compton is doing to drive a wedge between us. You just know he’s doing something and there is no way the little southern beauty will be able to keep silent about it.”
He watched Pam take notes and thought through everything Sookie had told them about what was to come. He needed to be on the lookout for some witches, someone named Debbie, and Quinn the Weretiger. All of that was a little ways off however, for now he had the problem of how to get her here within the week.
“Oh, I know Master why don’t we throw a party and make all vampires in your service attend. Make it mandatory that they all spend the entirety of the party; we could glamour one of her co-workers and make sure it falls on her day off. She won’t want to miss out on an entire evening with Compton and will accompany him for sure.”
It was a brilliant idea; moments like this were why he tolerated her laziness and her sarcasm.
“Of course this plan is twofold for you. You get to help me and throw a party, what did you have in mind for the theme of it?”
He knew his Childe well and every party she ever planned had a theme. Sometimes he would come in and change it, because some of them would force him to dress in a ridiculous manner and he wouldn’t allow it, but there was always a theme.
“The roaring twenties? Sookie can see you in your best tux, and I’m sure someone could be persuaded to regale her of Compton’s more memorable moments of the decade with his lovely Maker.”
Another gem of an idea, of course that someone would have to be a person she wouldn’t readily associate with either himself or Pam. He couldn’t have her suspecting he had anything to do with the telling of such tales. The other problem would be to get her alone long enough for the telling. With Compton by her side he would just stop the entire conversation before it got to the good bits. He had an idea about that, what’s a party without a floor show after all.
Sookie was fuming. Bill had tried to talk her out of going to this Twenties Night at Fangtasia, but she would not be dissuaded. She wasn’t losing an entire night with him just because that arrogant a-hole decided on a whim to throw a party. Who did he think he was anyway, demanding that Bill attend for the entire evening?
She’d found a Flappers dress at a vintage dress shop in Monroe, she would have preferred another one but this was the one she could find that fit all of her criteria. Not too short, her size, and didn’t look like a moo moo. Yes, she was going to Fangtasia, but she was considering it as a date with Bill.
Her dress was red with beaded fringe that swayed with every step she took. She could just imagine what it would do when she danced. It came down to her knees and while the bust was a bit form fitting the skirt was looser to allow movement. She wore a long string of pearls knotted just below her chest to create a bit of a loop that also moved freely. She finished the ensemble with a headband with a large red feather and red heels that sparkled when they caught the light.
While she didn’t agree with why they were going she had to admit she loved the costume. Glancing over at Bill she thought not for the first time that the time period suited him for more than present times. His hair was slicked back which she didn’t like since she enjoyed running her finger through his dark mane but he did cut a nice picture in his tuxedo. She could not wait until she got him out on the dance floor.
When they finally pulled into the Fangtasia parking lot, the trip seeming twice as long since Bill obeyed the speed limits for once, she supposed he wasn’t looking forward to this evening as much as she was. As he opened her door she began to get absolutely giddy. Looking over all the fangbangers standing in line she saw quite a few who’d taken the twenties style in broad strokes making it their own twisted version, and then there were the others who hadn’t bothered with dressing up at all. They had instead kept to their usual Fangtasia attire of strips of tape over their nipples and micro miniskirts or for the guys fishnet tops and low riding leather pants. She’d known when she’d chosen the outfit that she would likely be the only one besides the vampires who would look even remotely like they’d dressed to theme but she didn’t care. She was determined to have fun.
Pam had seen Bill’s car pull up and had been keeping a close eye on the pair. Bill looked just as much of a rat as always, only now with his slicked up hair he looked like a drowned one. Sookie on the other hand, she looked like she’d just stepped out of the twenties, and that dress, her Maker was going to love that dress red was his favorite color after all. The look on Bill’s face was priceless and he hadn’t even been told about what he’d volunteered for yet. They’d already found a random fangbanger and gotten a vampire who’d known Bill back then to tell her some of his more sordid past. She’d made sure that she would only tell Sookie about it, coupling that glamour with one erasing her memories of a feed so that if Sookie looked into the girls mind she wouldn’t have any reason to believe she was lying. Then she’d find her before leaving so that she could wipe the memories from her mind completely. The point of this was to out Bill to Sookie as the bastard he was, not out him and every other vampire to the entire world.
As she watched their approach she allowed her fangs to drop and prepared to make an award winning performance.
“Why Bill so good to see you this evening, and Sookie I must say the twenties look delicious on you. Come on in the both of you, and Bill I personally can’t wait to see your show.”
She’d saved the last part until they were right behind her already in the club. As predicted Bill whipped around at the mention of his performance.
“Show, what are you talking about Pam?” His tone was bordering on demanding and she for one couldn’t wait until she could retaliate for that. They were far too close in age for him to be able to pull that superiority bullshit on her. Not to mention that most vampires their age found their place in the pecking order based on their maker and when it came to that, well hers was definitely bigger.
“Didn’t your invite tell you? That stupid Ginger, rest assured she will be punished for the oversight. You and Saul will be performing for the masses.”
“I did not agree to do any such thing!” Like his agreement was even needed, not likely Bill-y boy.
“Sorry Bill, but you got volunteered. We all know how much you loved the twenties; I mean you painted the town red every night. So you and Saul will be performing the Charleston for the vermin, showing them how it was really done back in the day. If you have a problem with it, take it up with your Sheriff.”
She knew he wouldn’t. He wanted to keep Sookie away from Eric and if given the choice between talking to Eric to try futilely to avoid his public dancing debut, which would mean bringing Sookie into direct contact with her Maker, or dancing one little dance she knew he would dance up front where he could keep his eyes on her at all times. Wrong choice, but still the choice he would make every time because he had no real sense of strategy.
Looking at Pam’s smirking visage Bill knew he didn’t really have a choice. Eric wouldn’t let him out of it even if he did talk to him, and there was no way he was letting Sookie anywhere near him. Turning to Sookie he gave her a mournful look of regret.
“I am sorry sweetheart, but it seems I’m going to have to leave you for a short time during the evening. It won’t be for long and I’ll keep an eye on you to make sure you aren’t harassed.”
“It’s alright Bill I’ll be fine.”
God he loved her smile. Now if only he knew what Eric was up to, he was always up to something where Sookie was concerned.
Sookie thought the night had gone relatively well so far, all things considered. Eric had kept his distance up on his throne. While she hadn’t been able to convince Bill to dance she had danced a few times on her own. Now it was time for his performance and she had a perfect view from their usual seat off in the corner. He’d been so apprehensive about leaving her alone, it had been sweet.
Now as Pam announced the evening’s entertainment she felt someone come closer to her, glancing towards the intruder she found a small brunette woman covered in bite marks making her way towards her. She sat at the table with her without an invitation but she didn’t mind. Space was kind of limited with so many in attendance, it would be rude to begrudge the woman a seat that wasn’t even really being used. A quick dip in the girl’s mind told her she was harmless, so she just let her be.
“You’re here with Bill right?” As conversation starters went that was a little abrupt, but her Gran would tan her hide if she didn’t at least try to be civil and polite.
“Yes I am. Do you know Bill?” It was unlikely, she seemed like the usual type for the fangbanger crowd and Bill was mainstreaming. Unless he met her here during one of his mandatory visits and just forgot to mention it.
“No, I know Jamie. He and Bill go back a long way, when you two came in tonight he pointed Bill out and told me a little about him. Are you Lorena?” She was more than a little insulted at that.
“No, I’m not.” She knew her answer was a little terse, but the mention of Bill’s Maker made her mood turn sour.
“Oh right I should have known you’re not wearing the necklace.” The girl wasn’t even really looking at her as she spoke, too transfixed by the performance.
“Necklace?” She found herself curious in spite of herself. What necklace was she referring to?
“Yeah you know the one; Bill must have told you the story especially with the theme of tonight’s party. The one Bill gave Lorena during the twenties.”
“No can’t say that he has.” She tried not to care, she really did, but this stranger knew more about Bill’s life than she did and something just wasn’t right about that. Besides Bill never really gave her anything, was it wrong to be jealous of a gift given a lifetime ago? Especially one given to a Maker Bill obviously no longer held any affection for.
“Jamie told me the story. Do you want me to tell you or do you want to ask Bill about it?”
“You can tell me if you want. Bill’s so old I’m sure he has plenty of other stories to tell me.” She knew she was getting into a grey area with that, but damn it he was her boyfriend and if he wouldn’t tell her anything about his past she would find out for herself.
“Well according to Jamie, Bill and Lorena met this couple at the start of prohibition and they…”
She listened intently to everything the girl said. By the end of the story she thought she was going to be sick. How could Bill, her Bill, ever do that to anyone? Looking up as the music ended she realized she’d been so engrossed in the disturbing tale of Bill’s past she’d missed the entire dance. Bill was looking over at her with a worried expression. What was she going to do?
Eric watched Sookie throughout the entire dance. He hadn’t been able to take his eyes off her since she walked into Fangtasia. He loved her in red. As he watched the girl tell Sookie of Bill’s hidden past he didn’t need his blood in her to know her reaction, it was written all over her face. Her horror and disgust there for anyone to see. When the number finally ended she was blinking back tears and Bill was moving hurriedly to her side, the fangbanger scampered off to find someone available and Sookie tried to compose herself. Now for his part in this whole production, standing from his throne he made his way slowly towards his target.
He would feel bad for playing on her ignorance and compassion, but he had the advantage of knowing that she would be leagues happier by his side. Even she had admitted as much to Pam. This was simply a way to hasten future events along so that they could both be happier sooner.
Sookie watched Bill race towards her obviously concerned and she still had no idea if she should confront him and ask for the truth, wait and ask him later in private, or try to play it off. Finally as he reached her, the moment of truth arrived, and she played it off.
She didn’t know why but something deep inside her said to keep her newfound information to herself. For some reason the thought of telling Bill she knew something about his past that he hadn’t told her sent shivers of fear down her spine. She’d analyze that later right now she had bigger problems. Their host was making his way towards them.
“That was a superb performance Compton. Ms. Stackhouse I could not help but notice your tears is everything alright?”
“Like you care!” She might not be able to blast Bill with what she thought of him at the moment, but there was nothing stopping her from taking aim at Eric for his high handedness.
“Sookie!” Bill placed a restraining hand on her arm as though his presence could keep her quiet. Why hadn’t she noticed that before? Did he do that all the time or just when they were around other vampires? Then again, when weren’t they around vampires or other Supes that made her being quite a necessity?
“No Compton let the girl speak, she obviously has something to say to me.”
Looking back at Eric seeing his smiling face she just wanted to hit him again, but knew that would be a disaster. She might not be able to do anything physically, but she could damn well give him a piece of her mind. Decision made she lifted her chin a fraction in defiance, gather her courage, and let loose her verbal assault.
“If you must know I think it’s really underhanded of you to threaten Bill as you did, and how dare you try to drive us apart. You should be ashamed of yourself.” Before she could say anymore Bill placed his hand on her arm again jerking her to his side. That was really annoying and if she was honest, kind of painful.
“If it’s alright with you Sheriff I believe Sookie and I should be going. She’s had a long day and is obviously tired.”
“No problem at all Compton. Have a good evening Ms. Stackhouse.”
Bill all but dragged her out to the car. The entire ride back to Bon Temp was made in silence. She knew why she was mad, but why was he. It wasn’t like she’d accused Eric of something he hadn’t done, Bill himself had told her about his underhanded threats, so why hadn’t he wanted her to say anything? And what about what that girl had said, had Bill really done those things? She had a lot to think about over the next few days.
So Bill was trying to fib his way to a new future. He could say he was surprised but that would be a lie and Eric made it a habit to never lie to himself. He knew he would need to do a little damage control where Sookie was concerned. Thanks to Bill’s creative storytelling he wasn’t exactly in her good graces. Leaning back on his bed he thought over everything he knew about Sookie and tried to come up with a good peace offering.
He thought about paying to have her home remodeled as it had been in the future but that seemed too forward at this stage of their relationship. He needed an apology gift not something that would be seen as a bribe or as him being high handed as she liked to say. It needed to be something small but meaningful or fun for her, something she would accept but nothing that would make her feel like he was trying to buy her friendship.
That was what was needed after all, friendship. He knew just the gift.
Sookie looked at the man, Bobby Burnham, up and down. He was extraordinarily average in both his looks and unfortunately in his attitude towards her. He didn’t think she was good enough for his “Masters” attention, if he only knew the truth. After looking him over she looked back at the envelope he still held out to her like it was a snake. What could Eric possibly be sending her?
“What is it?” She knew she was being rude, but she figured it was alright if their attitudes matched.
“I did not ask. You’ll have to open it to find out.”
Sighing she reached out and took it, she would have refused but Bobby here didn’t seem the type to just walk away with his orders still left undone. She knew she should be inside starting her shift, but Bobby had waylaid her outside of Merlotte’s when she’d gotten out of her car. He’d apparently been waiting there for her for hours, since he’d been under strict orders not to wake her up.
Watching him turn and walk away without another word she stared back down at the “gift” in her hands. Should she open it, or throw it away? She figured she might as well look inside. Tearing it open she glanced towards the door of Merlotte’s to see if Sam had come out looking for her yet. Thankfully he hadn’t. Pulling the contents free she looked back down at her hands and stopped. There in her hands were four tickets to see Florence and the Machine tomorrow night in Shreveport, and a note.
I apologize for anything I might have said to either you or Bill to cause this animosity you feel towards me. Please know that it was unintentional, I would never now nor any time in the future threaten either of you in any kind of underhanded way. Hopefully you will get to know me better in the near future and you will find I am a very straight forward man. Until then I hope these tickets for you and your friends help to absolve me at least a little in your mind, I’m told this group is quite popular. My olive branch may be cast aside and I would understand if it was, but I had to at least try.
Your future friend,
Biting her lip she wondered what she should do. Bill would be upset if she went seeing it as a ploy by Eric to steal her away from him. Shaking her head to clear her mind of that thought she wondered not for the first time when she’d gotten to where she made her decisions based on Bill’s reactions. Decision made she turned and walked to the bar; opening the door she was greeted with a collective hello which she greeted with one simple question.
“Hey guys, which of you likes Florence and the Machine? Cause I got tickets.”
Eric looked down at the tiny thank you card Sookie had sent him. He’d taken to running his fingers over the letters penned in her elegant swirl whenever he was thinking about her. The first part of his plan had worked, he’d managed to thaw her heart towards him if only a little bit. Now the question becomes what to do next. Nothing immediately came to mind; he supposed he just had to sit back and observe, waiting for his opportunity to present itself.