Bill Compton had always seemed rather oblivious to me—and obnoxious—though I recognized that he thought of himself as a quite cunning individual.
And a charming one.
Of course, from what I knew of his background, it was a wonder that his head wasn’t even bigger than it was.
That was mostly his maker’s fault, though Bill’s own natural human disposition had also added to his particular mixture of arrogance and self-loathing.
I had no pity for “human Bill,” however: the white slave owner who had moral “compunctions” about the practice, but kept slaves anyway because it was “tradition.”
I scoffed. “Poor, suffering Bill,” I muttered.
Lorena should have been put down before she was able to make a child. It was as simple as that! Certain vampires were simply “born” with mental defects, and I had always felt that Lorena was one of them. She was a brazen vampire who killed enough to cause her to be expelled from many areas; plus, she was fucking annoying.
Just like her spawn.
She had obsessed over Bill from his rebirth. To her, he had always been perfect, an “ideal specimen.”
A specimen of what, I was not willing to fathom.
After turning another child just to try to please Bill—and then setting him free to see whether or not the old “if you love him, let him go” adage would come true—Lorena had become even more batty.
When Sookie had slain her, the telepath had become respected by me—not only for her prowess, but also because of her public service.
Of course, by then Bill had spent too much time in the court of Sophie-Anne Leclerq, so even someone like Sookie could not redeem him—not that she should have been expected to do so, given the circumstances.
In fact, Sophie-Anne’s court had likely been the worst place for someone like Bill Compton to have been if he wanted to improve himself. Oh—Sophie-Anne had not been a horrible queen, but she did love to “collect,” and Bill was good at “collecting.”
He was lauded for it by the queen, which fed his ego.
Of course, he likely also felt guilt for it, feeding his self-loathing.
Bill’s gift as a vampire was in glamouring. Almost all vampires rose with the ability to glamour, but very few of us were born with skills that would have rivaled a vampire of five centuries!
Bill also had a “gift” for assessing “talent”—perhaps another holdover from his human life. At slave auctions, I had been in the position to witness many slave owners in the American South assessing the Africans who had been captured from their homes on a different continent—a continent which many Americans still inexplicably deemed as being populated by somehow “lesser” people. I scoffed at the knowledge that Americans often confused the notions of “inferiority” and “difference.” And, of course, monsters could be found in all cultures. Africa had had its fair share of war, violence, and genocide, but I dared any American to argue that the killing of the first Americans—the native ones—was any less brutal than any other genocide.
I shook my head and focused again upon Bill, whose silhouette I could see through the living room window. Indeed, my experience and observations of humanity had left me with no doubt that Bill Compton had once been an effective purchaser of human slaves, as well as an effective apologist for ignoring the “humanity” of an entire race!
Ironic—given the fact that he harped on his own “humanity” all the fucking time.
He was the worst kind of hypocrite! He’d “procured” for Sophie-Anne, after all. And he intended to manipulate Sookie so that she’d soon be in the clutches of his new king.
However—he continued to see himself as a “gentleman.”
Honestly, when I was in Bill’s presence, all I saw was a fuckwit who was ready to assign blame for his own bad behavior anywhere except where it belonged.
With the man in the mirror.
I sighed as I recalled a time in the 1950s when Bill and his maker and sister had settled with the nest I was a part of in Portland. At the time, Bill had attempted to charm me into his bed.
When I had denied him, he had accused me of prejudice. And—maybe I was prejudiced. I had no inclination to accept an annoying whelp into my bed—not when I was several hundred years older than he was!
And certainly not when I had absolutely no attraction for him!
Bill simply could not accept that someone would find him undesirable. However, honestly, the first word out of his mouth had turned me off for good.
He had mispronounced my name, calling me something like Indeereh.
I shook my head. Even though a hint of my Indian accent remained, I did not purposely “thicken” it was part of a seduction plan—as Bill obviously did. He used his full-on Southern lilt even back then to “increase his allure.”
For me, that “lilt” and the horrible sideburns which had accompanied it had failed. I suppose that I had always felt a little sorry for Sookie Stackhouse because Bill’s performance of gentility had worked on her—even if for only a relatively short period of time.
I was glad that the feisty woman found someone worthier of her in the sheriff.
I watched Bill through the large window as he “supervised” the witches’ work—as if he knew anything about it.
In fairness, I had to admit that Bill had done better for himself than I would have imagined he would—though through a means that I disapproved of.
Of course, his means of “success” wasn’t all his fault.
It wasn’t his fault, for instance, that Sophie-Anne had been greedy enough to allow him to develop his database. Ill-conceived from the start, that technological terror had done more “good” for the Fellowship of the Sun and other similar groups than it had done for vampires—though it was a money-maker.
Even I had to admit that much.
I recalled the day that Eric had learned of Bill’s database. He had called the “core” of Area 5’s vampires to Fangtasia on a Monday night when the bar was closed. The “core” was what Pam had always called the vampires that Eric trusted. We were the ones that he had either specifically asked to live in his area or the ones whom he had come to rely upon over time. Most of the “core” had been in Area 5 for at least a decade.
Eric had warned us about Bill’s database—warned us that the sanctimonious ass would likely try to question us subtly.
If he hadn’t already.
Eric also warned us that Sophie-Anne might order us all to be “forthcoming” with Bill. He suggested that if any of us wanted or needed to fabricate our pasts in any way, we should begin getting our paper trails in order.
Given the fact that I’d participated in a “maker pact” with Rasul and had been his lover for years, I had asked my sheriff for help in covering up my own past.
Help which Eric had provided to both Rasul and myself.
Officially, a “maker pact” was one of the larger crimes that could be committed in the vampire community—but only if one got caught.
“Unofficially”—such a pact was often welcome.
Basically, when forming a “maker pact,” two vampires would vow to bring the true death to each other’s makers. It was a simple enough concept—and I had even anonymously penned a script about a similar theme. It was called Strangers on a Train, and Alfred Hitchcock himself had directed the film. I’d not made a penny off of the film, but I’d been gratified by the outcome nonetheless.
The truth was that neither Rasul nor I would have taken such a serious step as a “maker pact” if we had not been desperate. Rasul had been turned along with his younger sister, Fatima. Fatima had been but thirteen at the time of their turning, but their maker had used her like an adult woman—reveling in taking her virginity again and again, given the fact that her body would heal each time her hymen was broken.
And—because of a maker’s command—Rasul had been powerless to do anything!
Even worse, his sister had been commanded to stay un-dead and endure night after night of their maker’s sadistic impulses.
Not surprisingly, Fatima had met the sun by choice the day after I’d killed her and Rasul’s maker. Her death had been a fucking tragedy, but I likely would have done exactly what she did. In truth, Rasul probably would have met the sun with his sister—if he didn’t still have his end of the “maker pact” to fulfill. In the end, I had been very glad he’d had a reason to live.
Where my own maker was concerned, I had been luckier than Fatima—in some ways. Less lucky in others.
I had been a widow and the mother of three children when my maker “noticed” me. Given that status, I had been somewhat independent, and my own family had been prominent enough to make sure that my children and I had all that we needed.
On a stormy October night, my maker—sick bitch that she was—followed me home from my aunt’s deathbed, and she glamoured me to issue her an invitation. She made me select the child I “wanted” her to kill—after she threatened to drain all three of them if I did not comply. I chose my youngest child, who was only two at the time, because I figured that he would be less aware of any pain.
Less able to make horrific memories on his way to the afterlife.
I still remembered his screaming.
My maker had “made” me later that night, and—in so doing—she had made me abandon my other children too. However, as promised, she had left my two elder children to live—not that I had ever been able to see them or care for them again. Later, I learned that my family had taken them in. I also learned—courtesy of my mentally abusive maker—that my family thought that I had killed my youngest child before forsaking my other children.
She’d glamoured my remaining children to believe that too—to judge me as the worst kind of monster.
My maker was a bitter woman, and I came to almost feel sorry for her—given the fact that her own journey into vampirism was almost as horrific as mine. But I could never forgive her for what she had done to me and my youngest child. His death had been needless—her attempt to “get back at” the world for taking from her.
Still, I do not think that I would have ever formed a “maker pact” unless I had been positive that my maker would never let me go. And—worse—she had made me several sisters.
After forcing them to choose which of their human children she would drain—just as I’d had to choose.
She had been made into a monster, and she forced me and her other children to witness and endure her maliciousness time and again.
I was grateful the day that Rasul put a stake through her bitter, black heart.
Of my vampire sisters, two met the sun not long after our maker’s death. They were the “middle children” and had never acclimated to vampire life—not that our maker had helped them to do so. My younger “sibling,” Padma, like me, had chosen to live on. In fact, I had taken Padma under my wing, and she, too, had settled in Area 5 under Eric’s leadership.
One reason why we had chosen to stay in Area 5? We knew—unequivocally—that Eric would never allow a vampire like our maker to survive in his territory.
Unfortunately, Eric’s ideas about what constituted a “bad” vampire had much to do with the cruelty he had suffered at the hands of his own shitty maker. I was grateful Appius was dead—another thing that I knew his bonded was ultimately to be thanked for—but I knew that Eric was still having to deal with his maker’s machinations.
However, I had a feeling that Eric had a plan to thwart Appius’s wishes—or, at least, I hoped that he did.
It was too bad that Eric had never found another vampire who was capable of completing a “maker pact” with him. But locating a vampire old enough to kill Appius—let alone one willing to make such a pact—would have been almost impossible.
Rasul and my own quid pro quo deal had led to our having a romantic relationship, though we had managed to keep it a secret for more than a century.
Needless to say, our history as co-conspirators and lovers was not something we wanted to find its way into Compton’s database.
Eric had graciously provided me and Padma with completely different histories. And he had made sure that Rasul had a “clean” history too. And—because of that—my lover and I would be able to go “public” soon. And no one would be able to connect us to any kind of “maker pact,” given the fact that our “official” histories no longer overlapped anywhere.
For all anyone else knew, he and I were meeting that very night.
Yes—I owed Eric Northman much. But that was not the only reason—or the main one—why I was loyal to him. I had respected Eric from my first meeting with him. Initially, Rasul had asked me to come to Louisiana to be closer to him, but settling in New Orleans might have given us away. Being in Area 5, however, was ideal. And Rasul had assured me that Eric would be a fair leader. My beloved had been right.
By the time Padma and I settled in Area 5, Rasul was already acting as Eric’s spy in Sophie-Anne’s court—though he was not asked to be a “traditional” spy. Eric just wanted to know about any truly asinine plans that were afoot so that he could protect his people. To the old queen’s credit, there had not been many of those, but sometimes the queen or Andre got a little “out of control.”
All in all, Rasul had never had any moral dilemmas about working for Eric. Moreover, Eric had saved Rasul’s life during the takeover too! As soon as Eric had known of de Castro’s moves, he had alerted Pam, who had alerted the “core” of Area 5. Eric’s next move had been texting Rasul to tell him to get underground—literally and figuratively.
Most of Sophie-Anne’s court had been slain, but Rasul had hidden just long enough for the violence to end—thanks to the heads-up from Eric. After that, Rasul had made himself indispensable to Victor Madden—though, thankfully, my beloved’s tenure in the capacity as a spy would soon end.
After that, Rasul and I would be able to begin seeing each other openly for the first time in our long lives—ironically, thanks to our fictitious backgrounds in Bill’s database!
Eric was planning to make Rasul the sheriff of Area 1—a nod to both Sophie-Anne and Felipe.
A nod to the “establishment”—so to speak.
I was prepared to be Rasul’s lieutenant.
“You have always been stunning in the moonlight,” Rasul purred at he came up behind me. Stealth was my lover’s “gift.” That was why he had always been a good spy.
“And you have always been a sweet-talker,” I responded.
“I can talk sweetly,” he whispered as he took me into his arms. “I can do many things—sweetly.”
He kissed me fiercely—not surprising since we’d not shared a private moment together for more than a month.
“I know,” I whispered when he moved his lips to my neck and nipped there. “But you cannot do them now,” I added with a moan.
“Oh—trust me. I could,” he grinned. “But you are right. We have jobs to do now.” He glanced toward the house before leering back in my direction. “Plus, I want to take my time reacquainting myself with every inch of your body.”
If I could have melted from his heated look, I would have. “I look forward to the reintroduction,” I agreed.
Reluctantly, Rasul pulled his eyes from mine and looked back at the house. “What’s been going on?” he asked.
“What’s been going on with you?” I asked of his bloody and torn shirt.
“Just a little skirmish—and a bit of blood for effect,” he grinned boyishly.
I chuckled and gestured toward the house.
“About three minutes ago, the witches started the spell,” I conveyed.
“I wonder what the spell will actually do. I know that Eric and Sookie do not wish to break their bond,” Rasul commented as we both witnessed the witches—Bob and Amelia—chanting over a caldron.
“I know,” I agreed. “But I have no idea if the spell they are conducting now will have any effect on anything.”
“Whatever they are doing will need to smell of magic for Bill to be convinced that it is real,” Rasul commented.
“I am certain that Eric would have thought of that detail,” I returned.
“To be sure,” he agreed.
We were silent for about five minutes as we watched Bill and the witches through the window. Luckily, Bill would not think it odd for Rasul to smell like me since I was one of Eric’s people, so I allowed myself to lean again him.
“I cannot wait until we are together in all ways—at all times,” he whispered.
I chuckled. “Most of the time—not all. Do not forget that I am an independent woman.”
“I can take that,” he returned with a chuckle as we saw the witches finish their spell.
We stood in companionable silence for another fifteen minutes—just watching the actions in the house and a frustrated Bill Compton, who kept checking his phone as if expecting a call.
“We must survive tomorrow night,” I whispered.
Unlike many of the vampires in Area 5, Rasul and I knew that Eric’s plans had only begun with Madden; they certainly did not end with Victor’s death.
“Yes—and we will survive. I know it.”
“Well—as long as you know it,” I said teasingly.
“Absolutely,” he chuckled.
“Ready?” I asked, preparing to turn off the signal scrambler that had been interfering with Bill’s phone.
“Absolutely,” I grinned.
“You know what to do in there?” I asked.
“Thalia was very specific,” he assured before kissing me quickly and jetting to the door of the home that Bill and the witches were occupying.
I smiled in his wake. I had confidence in Rasul—and in the Viking who led us both.
A/N: I hope that you all enjoyed Indira’s POV. I wanted to show an insight into what was happening from a POV that I haven’t explored before, and I’ve always been intrigued by the possibilities of Indira. Sometimes I enjoy moving away form a main character for a POV in order to show how those main characters are viewed. It’s fun for me. I hope you didn’t mind it.
Please comment if you have the time and inclination.
Many thanks to Seph for the wonderful new character banners!!!