Bill had been anxious since he’d risen―not nervous, just eager to get the evening over with and to get Sookie back to the mansion. He’d thought several times about going to Sookie before the 10 o’clock time that she’d set, but he had resolved to proceed carefully with the telepathic fairy this time―at least until she was safely tied tightly to him.
Lillith’s being there had helped to pass the time, and they’d had sex for old time’s sake the night before as well as earlier that evening. However, Bill did intend to try to be faithful to Sookie if she was able to satisfy him sexually, so he’d made it clear to Lillith that they could not have and on-going sexual relationship―for the time being at least.
He hadn’t had sex with a vampiress since Lorena―unless he counted that unfortunate one-night stand with Nan a few months before, which he actively tried to forget. And he and Lillith had always had a special connection since Lorena turned her in 1917. They’d had to survive the whole craziness that was Lorena and that shared survival had strengthened into a friendship and had built trust between them.
As crafty as their maker, but not crazy like her, Lillith would be an excellent ally in helping Bill find a way to hold onto his position as king and bring Eric Northman to his knees at the same time. For the thousandth time, Bill cursed the soft spot that he had for Sookie. That had been the main reason why he hadn’t staked Eric when he had him docile and on those knees during his amnesia.
Still, Bill knew that things had worked out for the best. Eric would lose Sookie, and Bill would be able to enjoy watching the sheriff’s torment. Moreover, Eric would serve out his usefulness to Bill for the next decade or so, and then he’d get rid of both him and his annoying progeny. Yes―Bill knew how to be patient when ridding himself of annoyances. He’d had to wait a very long time, after all, to be free of Lorena.
A bonus would be getting to see Lillith work her seductive magic on Northman, coercing him to spill all his secrets to her. If things worked really well, he thought, he might be able to lead Eric to his final death in half the time he expected.
Bill looked in the mirror and straightened the collar of his shirt. He’d carefully chosen his clothing that evening to be closer to what he’d worn when Sookie and he had been a couple, opting for casual chinos and a polo shirt rather than a suit. He’d had his day person get him another bouquet of red roses and had also arranged for his bed to be strewn with rose petals as a romantic gesture. Lillith was ready to light candles at his signal, after which he’d asked her to hide in the basement of the house, not wanting Sookie to recognize her when she saw her at Fangtasia.
At 5 minutes until 10, he decided to begin the walk to Sookie’s home at human pace. He wanted to appear to her as the genteel Southern caller, a character-type he knew that she loved from Gone with the Wind. At this thought, his was reminded of Sookie’s cousin, Hadley, who had been the source of most of his initial information about Sookie―before he had even returned to Bon Temps. Bill had tried to find Hadley―to use her as a replacement blood source for Sookie―when he’d lost hope of Sookie’s return, but she’d disappeared without a trace. He licked his lips and wondered where Hadley might be now. Certainly, she was not quite as tasty as Sookie, but the girl had been very sexually satisfying and utterly devoted to Sophie-Anne. Bill smiled; now he would have no need for a lesser replacement like Hadley. However, he was hopeful that Sookie would eventually reach the level of docility and devotion that her cousin had achieved. Bill knew that it would most likely take a lot of time and effort on his part―since he would have to tread carefully with his fairy because of her stubborn nature―but he also knew that his blood would eventually work to transform Sookie into the perfect companion for him.
As he passed Bubba at the tree line heading up to Sookie’s home, he barely contained his grunt of distaste. The brain-damaged vampire had prevented him from keeping close tabs on Sookie for the last several nights. The only surveillance he’d been able to maintain was his watch on the road, so he’d been monitoring the people who came and went from the home. From the Were-panther he’d employed as spy, he knew that Sookie hadn’t left her residence that day and had entertained several guests including her brother, the witches, Alcide Herveaux―whom, he’d discovered, Northman had hired as Sookie’s day guard―and a shifter and his woman. From their descriptions, Bill figured that the shifter was Sam Merlotte; the woman was probably his currently love interest. Bill smiled again. Sookie had most likely been telling her family and close friends about her decision to be with him.
Still, Bill had been uneasy that he could not maintain a closer watch on Sookie due to Bubba’s constant presence at night and the Were’s presence during the day; he’d wanted to make sure that Eric wasn’t around her too much, but from what he could tell, the older vampire had not been bothering Sookie―other than the annoying episode of his confusing Sookie’s home for his own personal parking lot. Of course, there was little Bill could do about that since, technically, Eric did own the property and could, therefore, use it to house a fleet of cars―if he wished. The fact that Eric himself had not spent a lot of time with Sookie was of some comfort to Bill.
Regardless, he would be glad when Sookie was living with him full-time so that Bubba could move on and freeload off of someone else’s regime. Unfortunately, the damaged vampire was basically untouchable among vampires, a fact that made him a nuisance since he was clearly in Northman’s pocket.
As Bill walked toward Sookie’s porch, he ran a hand through his hair, once again cursing the unfortunate haircut he’d gotten. At least the stylist had been good for a feed and a blowjob afterwards. His hair would grow back eventually, he mused. Fingernails and hair grew on vampires; it just took a bit longer than with humans.
Once on Sookie’s porch, Bill inhaled deeply, trying to figure out who had been at Sookie’s home since his last visit. Unfortunately, his sense of smell was not getting much better with age, but he had other assets from Lorena, such as his ability to ingratiate himself to humans. That gift of charm had made him an excellent procurer for Sophie-Anne. Bill was also an expert at glamour, much better than most other vampires he knew of his age.
He smelled a shifter and posited that it was Merlotte since most shifters smelled pretty much the same to him. He also smelled Alcide Herveaux, whose scent was very distinctive, as well as another Were, perhaps Sam’s lady friend. He smelled Sookie’s worthless brother and her witch friends as well as Sookie herself. And he smelled two vampires, Bubba and Eric. He was perturbed to realize that Eric’s scent seemed fresh, and he was surprised when he picked up the unmistakable scent of burning vampire on the porch. Perhaps, Eric had met with an unfortunate accident, he thought hopefully to himself. That would solve a lot of his problems, but it was probably too good to be true.
Bill walked up to the door and rang the doorbell, hoping that Sookie would greet him in one of her delightful little sundresses and jump into his arms.
The sight and the smell of her when she opened the door, however, were not what he was anticipating at all. An instinctual growl began in the back of his throat, and his fangs clicked into place.