Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters in True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. So neither copyright infringement nor offense is meant. I simply want to make the characters do what I wanted them to do for a while. I am especially “unownerly” when it comes to this story. You will recognize a lot of the dialogue throughout as being quoted from Season 5 of True Blood, though I’ve tried to use Eric’s thoughts to make this story “different” from its source. That said, I claim no ownership to the quoted material and have placed it in bold so that it is set apart from my own words.
Any smugness Bill and Russell felt disappeared as the “Vamp Squad” zipped into the room.
Kibwe ordered us to, “Freeze,” which had always seemed a ridiculous word to say in such situations.
Vampires couldn’t freeze. I almost made a comment to that effect, but then I saw Russell light up like a fucking Christmas tree as the evidence of laser siting became apparent on his chest.Not wanting the same attention as Russell had, I “froze” as ordered and held in my smartass remark. I was particularly happy about that as Kibwe announced that he’d be taking over.
I took in the Chancellor’s appearance. He was dressed in uniform—as if he were a member of the fucking military. Hell—his storm troopers even addressed him as “general.”
I sighed. Well—at least the one in charge wasn’t the vampiress in the bad suit.
As a storm trooper cuffed Russell in silver, I thought about ways to make sure that Sookie left the “haunted hospital” alive. I’d already reconciled myself to the fact that Doug and the other humans in the building were going to be killed. Thus, a fine balance between establishing Sookie’s usefulness and promoting her innocuousness would need to be struck.
However, for the moment, Russell was stealing any attention that Sookie might have gotten, and—for once—I was glad she smelled greatly of the Were. And Doug.
Less like her delectable self.
Russell glared at Kibwe. “You’d better hope you are not around when I am fully restored. And, oh, I will be!” He paused as if building up his spite. “Authority!” he spat in disgust. “What fucking authority do you have? Given to you by—what—Lilith? You idiots! You’re no better than humans with your absurd, magical thinking. There is no Lilith.”
I couldn’t help but to smirk. In what he was saying in that moment, I fucking agreed with Russell. The idea that there was some kind of vampire god had always rubbed me the wrong way. If she were a god, why was she not still alive on the earth? Had she been bested? And—if so—didn’t that prove she was a lackluster god?
Apparently Kibwe wasn’t as amused by Russell’s words as I’d been. He struck the ex-king of Mississippi—hard.
“That is blasphemy,” Kibwe said somewhat casually. It made me wonder if he believed his words—or if he was just holding the party line.
“You’re fucking worse than human,” Russell ranted. “You might as well be praying to leprechauns,” he continued as he was dragged away, “or unicorns or the motherfucking Kardashians. That makes just as much sense!”
Alcide strolled in during Russell’s tirade, buttoning his pants he came in. The Were looked down at the dead of his kind and said something about J.D. fighting hard until his compatriots had been killed. Apparently, this J.D. had run away like a “squirrel.” I wondered why Alcide hadn’t been able to defeat such a “flighty” Were.
However, my major concern was that Herveaux’s “noisy” reappearance had brought attention back to Sookie.
“Wolf and human are here,” Kibwe observed. “Why?”
“Doug led us here,” Sookie said.
I swore to God! Sometimes that woman had no self-preservation skills! NONE! I wish she could read my thoughts so that I could tell her NOT to share hers! Why couldn’t she just act like a dumb blonde sometimes?
Bill began to spin a lie that sounded unbelievable to my ears. “We found them parked in a van outside of Shreveport.”
Just found them? Randomly. Gods! Bill was an idiot sometimes, and he couldn’t lie for shit! His voice sounded like that of a child trying to explain that the dog ate his homework.
I stepped in to help with the lie. “Humping each other like livestock,” I intoned. Yes—maybe that remark was also fueled a bit by bitterness, but it worked to help distract Kibwe from the reeking smell of bullshit in the air.
Kibwe asked the very question I would have asked. “You could cover that much distance by yourselves much faster than by driving.”
“We had another human with us that we needed because he’d remembered coming here before,” Bill explained. “Doug.”
“They know too much,” Kibwe said, glancing first at Herveaux and then at Sookie.
“Do it,” Kibwe agreed after a moment. “Parker, make sure it happens.”
Not surprisingly, Bill went over to Sookie, leaving the dog for me to glamour. Of course, Bill’s motive was to be closer to her and to—very likely—try to ingratiate himself to her in some way. But that was not my concern.
Given the current choices, I knew that Kibwe’s minion would report that the situation was suspicious unless I was the one to take charge of the Were’s glamouring. I was the elder vampire, after all.
The stronger vampire.
And Weres were generally more difficult to glamour. Of course, it needed to be me who glamoured Alcide. As far as Kibwe knew, Sookie was “just” a human, so Bill, the younger vampire, would be the appropriate choice to glamour her.
“Sookie, look me in the eyes,” Bill started.
I felt Sookie’s confusion through our bond. I just prayed that she’d have the self-preservation skills to quietly go along with things.
Of course, she didn’t, however.
“Bill, are you . . . ,” she started.
To her credit, I saw realization in her eyes and felt it in the bond too. Knowing that she’d be fine now, I went over to the Were.
“Let’s just get this over with,” Herveaux said unpleasantly.
I decided right then and there that I was going to have a little fun with the mongrel; however, first I needed to get him trapped under my influence.
My fangs popped down.
“We owe you, wolf,” I said, almost seductively. Alcide watched in confusion as I pierced my finger and used some of my blood to heal his face. As I did, I caught his eye and knew he was now my puppet.
I considered planting the idea that he was a ukulele savant, who should leave Louisiana forever and travel the world sharing his music.
But I didn’t. Instead, I was momentarily distracted by emotional pain coming from my bond with Sookie. I listened as Bill “glamoured” her.
“You will remember nothing of this night,” he said. “Nothing of me or Eric. It will be as though we never met.”
I couldn’t help but to wonder if Sookie truly would have been better off without ever knowing Bill or me. It was possible—maybe even probable—that Bill and I wouldn’t survive our next trip to Authority Headquarters. In that moment, I wondered if maybe it would be better if Bill’s glamour was working.
However, I banished that thought after 1.6 seconds of contemplation. Clearly, Bill wished that Sookie could be free of us, even as he, paradoxically, did things to put himself into her orbit.
But I realized that Sookie wouldn’t have been better off without us. A stale life in which she’d never met “Fairy Sookie?” Unacceptable! Sookie might resist her supernatural side, but I trusted that—one day—she would come to embrace it. Oh—it’s not like I wanted her to dismiss her human side either. I loved that part of her with no less fervor. I loved both sides of her! And that was something Bill could never do. Moreover, I would carry on loving her when she finally reconciled those sides into “one”—a whole being, unafraid and accepting of who she was.
How magnificent she would be!
To take Bill and me out of her life would have taken away a catalyst. Bill, having never really accepted his own vampire nature, believed—at least, subconsciously—that Sookie should deny her supernatural side. He needed her to succeed in that denial; if she did, then he might, too, be able to stifle the vampire in himself—once and for all.
But the whole idea of Sookie being “smaller” than she could be made me sick. Yes—I wanted her safe. But I also wanted her at peace—especially with herself.
I sighed and got to work glamouring the Were. In truth, I was pissed off at Alcide Herveaux—pissed that he judged me and my kind so harshly. He thought I had no honor—that I had just used Sookie in the past and wanted her for my own dastardly purposes. But he failed to shine that same critical light on his own behavior. He’d failed to accept any of the responsibility for the Debbie Pelt situation. He was the kind of man who would inflict emotional distress on Sookie one day and then turn around and sleep with her when she was drunk and mindless the next.
And I didn’t buy the idea that Alcide was too drunk to know better either. He was a Were, and alcohol had to be consumed in great amounts for the two-natured to become inebriated. Still, with Bill and me gone, I wanted Sookie to have a guard of sorts. But she deserved better than a man like Alcide as the romantic lead in her life—though I didn’t begrudge her a partner in it.
No—if she were not to be with me, I wanted her to be happy. Call me highhanded! But I knew that eventually the Were would harm her with his wishy-washy ways. He was another who tried to deny the supernatural in himself in many ways. And he would come to resent Sookie’s “otherness,” and then she would be ripped apart by his thoughts.
No—Alcide wasn’t for her.
However, if that continued to be impossible, then I hoped that she would find someone who truly accepted all the sides of her—not just the convenient ones.
“You will remember nothing of us showing up tonight or anything that happened afterward,” I said, pushing my influence into Alcide like a hot knife into butter. He was easier to glamour than I thought he’d be. “And you will always protect Sookie with your life,” I continued, making sure to say these words at a low enough volume so that none of Kibwe’s people could hear me. It would not do to have them know that I cared enough about a supposed-stranger to want her kept safe.
“But you’ll keep your hands off her, romantically speaking.” I smirked, “She kind of disgusts you.”
He looked a little uncertain about that. I couldn’t blame him. Sookie was many things, but disgusting wasn’t one of them.
“Okay,” Alcide agreed.
I grinned, but then the expression left my face as I felt more emotional turmoil from Sookie. Why did Bill have to use this opportunity to tell her “goodbye” in that martyr-like way only he thinks is helpful?
“And you will live your life as you were meant to live it,” he said to her, his own voice sounding crushed. “In the sun. With others like you. Human.”
I scoffed. Though it may not have been his intention, Bill had always and would always resent the “second side” of Sookie—the side that wasn’t human at all.
I felt Sookie’s agreement with his words warring with that part of herself that those words had indirectly scorned. I looked at her, and she glanced at me over Bill’s shoulder.
What can be shared in a single look while so many people are looking?
I thought about how I might change Bill’s “glamour” if I could speak freely. “Please, remember everything from this night,” I would say. “Remember how you were brave. Remember how you found new frontiers to your gift. I don’t give a fuck if you follow Bill’s advice and forget him. But please—remember me. Do not pretend as if we never met. You will live your life as you were meant to live it—wherever you wish. In the sun and in the dark. With whomever the fuck you want, for you should never limit yourself.”
I ask again. What can be expressed in a glance?
I love you.
More than that—I care for you.
I accept you as you are.
I accept you as you could be.
I looked back at Alcide and completed my glamour. “Take your friend home. Have another alcoholic beverage when you get there. Then pass out—in the spare bedroom,” I instructed.
“Goodbye,” I said, again looking over his shoulder at Sookie. I was not talking to the wolf.
Bill and I were being led to one of the many transport vehicles the Authority seemed to have brought. At least, we weren’t cuffed in silver this time. And we weren’t being guarded per se—just “escorted.”
I relaxed a little as I saw Alcide’s truck leave the area. I relaxed even more when I didn’t see any vehicles following it. Sookie was clear.
When I saw that the human captives and Doug were being escorted to a bus, I was very happy that we’d been allowed to “glamour” Sookie and even Herveaux. I didn’t think any of those going to the bus would last long.
Ruh roh, Shaggy—indeed.
“No one thought you two would actually be able to deliver Russell Edgington,” Kibwe said as he secured us in the vehicle we were to ride in. “Guardian will be extremely pleased.”
“Only Lilith knows that,” he responded. Interesting. Though I didn’t take Kibwe for a Sanguinista, maybe he was a vampire of faith. Or—maybe he just endeavored to say the “right” thing.
Oh—Bill was a good politician, so it didn’t surprise me that he’d try to produce a response that mirrored Kibwe’s remark. However, what surprised me was that Bill actually seemed to believe his own words.
As soon as the door closed and I knew no vampires were close enough to hear, I called Bill out on his new-found religion.
I studied my king closely. Yes—he was definitely in political-mode. But I’d learned his tells when he was lying, and I genuinely wasn’t certain that he was lying about his new-found belief in Lilith. Perhaps, he had ambitions to be the Guardian one day. And that meant that I would need to cover my ass—and watch my back—when he was around.
A/N: I have to say that I was really “miffed” at Bill during this scene. Geez! Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity! Sookie did really well not to make a reaction. In my opinion, he was putting her in danger-since they were still being watched by Kibwe’s people. Also, I thought that Eric was a little petty in telling Alcide that he wasn’t attracted to Sookie romantically; however, once I “got into this Eric’s head,” I began to think that he was just being his high-handed self. I think he was trying to protect Sookie from a relationship with Alcide, whom I never thought was “right” for her-neither in the books or show. And we actually get confirmation of this when Alcide basically storms out of Sookie’s house the next day-and immediately takes up with a Were in the pack. Right, Alcide, we really believe you’ve been waiting so long to be w/ Sookie. RIGHT. NOT!