**A/N: I was inspired to write this alternate TB ending by a clip of Bill’s wife Caroline (poor thing) and child in one of the many, many…many…flashbacks we True Blooders have had to endure here lately. So, I wrote it…and then I came “THIS” close to just deleting it because I suddenly decided that it was pure rubbish. But hey, Bill goes gooey in it, so, yeah, here. I hope it doesn’t suck too badly… Expect AU, non-canon, vagueness, and, yeah, BILL GOO. Enjoy!**
Sookie looked down at the floor. The pile of goo that used to be Bill was slowly seeping into her throw rug and the seams of the old hardwood beneath her feet. She heard someone screaming and wailing, then realized the god-awful noises were coming from her own mouth. She shut up only to promptly start screaming again, but this time in horror – the entire front of her body was covered in what used to be Bill! Why did he have to auto-disintegrate right there in her arms? Gross!
Then she stopped and the oddest look came over her face.
Eric had been about to leave.
While deeply satisfied that fucking Compton was finally dead of pseudo-martyrdom, he truly did not want to listen to the woman he used to adore screaming and mourning her guts out over the bastard – whose own filthy guts were now a satisfying ooze on her floor – she’d chosen over him time and time again.
He turned around at the sudden cessation of noise coming from her trap.
The expression on her face tugged fleetingly at his memory, but he wasn’t sure why.
Sookie looked around at the darkened interior of her home and the tall, blond vampire as if seeing both with new eyes
“Eric, could you turn on some lights, please? Why is it always so dark in here,” she asked, blinking as if she were trying to remember something she’d forgotten.
She looked back down at Bill, and felt…weird. Confused. She felt as though she should be freaking out over his death, but all she felt was…disgust over the amount of damn vampire goo she was going to have to clean up, and a little bit pissed off at the ruination of yet another outfit.
It was all even worse when the room suddenly brightened and she got a good look at the red goop on her floor.
“Ew, Eric! This is just…gross! Yuck! You still know everybody around here, right? Can you get someone to come over and clean this mess?” She spread her hands out to indicate the slowly spreading goo, then raised the clean back of her wrist to her mouth in an attempt to stop gagging as she backed farther away from the mess that used to be Bill now defiling her hardwoods.
Eric focused even more intently on Sookie. Something was definitely off about her. Her face showed confusion, disgust, and…even more confusion? But to him the most telling oddity was that she had actually asked him for help.
Sookie’s eyes finally met his own, and somehow her gaze seemed a bit brighter, a bit more focused.
He unnecessarily cleared his throat, then replied as if he hadn’t been sure he’d heard correctly. “You want me to have a cleaning team come over and dispose of…this?” He glanced down at the red oozing mess then quickly back up to Sookie’s face.
At her nod, and he almost smiled at the sight of her trying to nod with her wrist attached to her nose, he simply replied, “Ok.” He thought he’d done a pretty good job of keeping his amazement out of his voice.
Sookie wondered why Eric kept looking at her so peculiarly, but at that particular moment she didn’t really care. With a tremulous smile that he couldn’t really see with her wrist in the way, she baffled him further. She thanked him.
“Thank you. I hope they can get here soon. Um…have a seat, Eric. I’m…I’m going to go take a shower and throw away these nasty clothes. I’ll be right back,” she mumbled as she fled the room.
Concerned, Eric stepped around the oozing pile of Bill and sat down in one of the chairs near the lumpy old sofa that held far too many memories for his comfort.
His eyes widening to an almost comical extent, Eric stared straight ahead as it dawned on him what Sookie’s problem must have been all along, and no one knew it.
All this time, Sookie must have been under some variation of glamour by Bill fucking Compton.
They had all thought that the fairy part of her nature had protected her from a vampire’s glamour, and maybe, he conceded, to an extent it had. But somehow, and he guessed it was a combination of repeated exposure to Bill’s blood combined with repeated exposure to the fucker himself, Bill had managed to somewhat glamour the girl…and the fucker had to have known it, too.
And it wasn’t like the conniving asshole would have told them, either… He may have first glamoured her to be immune to anyone else’s efforts since his own glamour hadn’t worked on her in Fangtasia, and once that command had taken hold, she would have been fair game to Compton up to a point.
That sly ball-sucker was cunning enough to not ever command Sookie to do or feel anything too out of the ordinary for her, so his hold – however tenuous – would never have been noticed, much less questioned. And as was the way with glamour, the victim wouldn’t know of it until the hold was broken, and even then most wouldn’t notice.
Eric had no idea how strong Compton’s hold over her had actually been, but it had at least been powerful enough to completely fuck with her life. And every time he rammed a bleeding wrist under her nose, all he did was reinforce his control over her.
Seething with this new knowledge, Eric quickly dialed Pam and ordered her to send a team of cleaners to Sookie’s house and to then finish off “Mr.” Gus and the rest of those aggravating wanna-be cowboys.
Ain’t nobody got time for them.
Pam, of course, had felt her Maker’s confusion and concern, but the most bewildering things she felt from him were a very deep sense of satisfaction and…anticipation? Naturally she was also somewhat curious as to which vampire had been ended, and dearly hoped it had been that whiny martyr-bitch. That would definitely explain Eric’s huge burst of satisfaction.
After calling in her second favorite team of cleaners, she set about enthusiastically ending those irritating badly-dressed Yakuza fuckers. Once they were a matching collection of drained corpses, she called in her favorite team, then went to the middle of Fangtasia’s parking lot. With a feral grin and a nonchalant shrug, she raised her middle finger to the sky for a very long minute.
“Catch that you Yaku ass-fuckers?”
After winking and making a kissy face toward the satellite surveillance she knew had caught everything, she sped toward Bon Temps.
Something was happening and she needed in on it.
In a state of mild shock, Sookie closed the bathroom door and started the shower. As the water warmed, she took off her ruined clothes and tossed them in the trash.
Her mind was whirling in a thousand different directions, and none of them made any sense. It was as if something in her head was slipping back into place. It was taking over and making her think back over certain events, and it was making her remember things farther and farther back in time.
While she felt that she should be grieving painfully over Vampire Bill’s death, she just…wasn’t. Sure, she was sad that a person had died, and really grossed out that he’d deconstructed in her arms like that, but that was as far as it went. It didn’t make any sense. Why did she feel like she should be grieving over Vampire Bill of all people when she, well, didn’t even really like him?
As she waited for the water in the old pipes to warm up, she searched her memories trying to find something, anything, to make it all make more sense, but instead all she found were even more questions! And the more she remembered, the weirder questions became, like, why in the hell had she slept with Vampire Bill? That…that was not her style. Not at all. She didn’t sleep with creepers.
Willingly or not, for over 25 years she’d been a virgin. Now, the virginity thing hadn’t always been because it was something she wanted, but even if she’d found a guy she could tolerate hearing, even then she’d have waited a while to see where things were going.
But…then creepy Vampire Bill with the retro-burns…ugh! And if she was remembering things right, she’d even had sex with him again not too long ago!
Well, she consoled herself, since she wasn’t one to go bed with just anyone, she must have cared a lot more for him than she felt like she did right now.
It was all just too weird. She entered the finally-warm shower with a sigh.
Maybe her psyche was in shock and was working hard trying to protect the rest of her mind? Whatever…something was definitely going on.
But…but then there was that whole thing with Alcide! Maybe she just latched onto him out of fear over all the roaming Hep V vamps? He’d certainly been big and growly enough.
If that were the case, though, then why hadn’t she just moved to Montana or Idaho, some place that didn’t have that many vamps to begin with, and stayed there till all this was over?
Alcide was gone, and she missed him and was sad that he was dead, but…she wasn’t emotionally torn up enough to have cared so much about him that she’d have been with him, either. He was a great guy in his own way, but that was it.
She leaned her head against the shower wall as her mind went back to that weird Ben/Warlow guy. What the hell had been up with him? That made even less sense. She’d known him all of, what, 28 seconds? And during that time he’d changed faces so often that she had no idea who he really was until it came out that some fucked up family member had sold her to him, and he was just bat-shit crazy enough to try to cash in on that?
And she’d had sex with him anyway?
What the fuck?
As she showered away the daze of several years, she took stock of her life. No matter how she looked at it, things were not adding up, and it wasn’t just confusing; it was downright fucking scary.
She wasn’t a fool, yet she’d acted like one over Bill. She wasn’t a tramp, yet she’d been acting like one for a while now over guys she couldn’t honestly figure out why she’d have gone for them. She wasn’t stupid, yet she’d been making some of the stupidest mistakes she could possibly imagine.
She wasn’t…herself. Something was wrong, and she needed to get to the bottom of it.
Hell, as weird as she was being, at this rate if someone told her to avoid great danger, she’d run right toward it!
While she was drying off, she realized that the two constants throughout all of this mess were Bill and Eric.
One was goo…and one was having it cleaned up for her.
One added so much complication to her life; the other fixed things.
One gave her problems; the other solved them.
So…why in the name of little green apples wasn’t she with Eric??
“Yeah,” she muttered to herself, “what the everlovin’ hell has been going on around here?”
Sookie hurriedly dressed in the comfiest of her bras and panties, then grabbed a pair of jogging pants and an old t-shirt…which she promptly tossed back into their respective drawers and grabbed instead a decent pair of comfortable jeans and a red sweater. She did remember that Eric preferred red.
She figured that she might be a mess, but there was no reason to look like one, not with that Viking Vampire sex god in her living room – just because her life had apparently gone to shit didn’t mean she had to dress like it. Maybe he could tell her what had been going on…it felt for all the world like she’d been…
Fuck – was it possible after all?
“Eric,” she yelled as she ran from her bedroom to the living room, “Eric, I think…I think Bill might have actually been able to glamour me! Everything feels…”
When she had called his name, the tall blond Viking had vamped in her direction. When she started voicing her theory, he had simply reached for her, knowing what was to come, and his old heart ached for her.
The telepath felt his strong arms wrap around her and hold her close to his hard chest, and she couldn’t hold it in any longer. She burst into tears as the scary confusion in her mind turned to painful, terrifying certainty. She pressed her face into his chest, and wrapped her arms around his waist as if holding onto sanity.
Anger, heartache, grief, betrayal, confusion, fear, and low-grade terror rolled through her heart and her mind as scalding tears soaked her face and his shirt.
Eric held the sobbing woman in his firm embrace as he once again mentally ended fucking Compton in hundreds of different ways. Sookie hadn’t deserved to be treated and used in such a way.
As he stroked his hand over her hair and back, his mind quickly considered a myriad of questions and possibilities.
Why would Compton do this?
Wait…if Compton had indeed held her under his glamour, and Eric now had no doubt that he had, then how was Sookie able to be with himself, Warlow, and Alcide? Wouldn’t Compton’s pathetic jealousy and possessive tendencies have put a stop to her being with anyone other than his Civil War self?
Wouldn’t Compton’s glamour have prevented Sookie from even wanting to be with anyone else anyway? No, it should have prevented her from both wanting and being with anyone else.
Maybe instead of being able to block a glamour completely, her fairy heritage might have only been able to weaken a glamour’s strength or soften its intentions.
I can see her being with me, he thought with a deserved touch of arrogance, and possibly even Alcide after it became so dangerous around here…he was glad she couldn’t see the expression of disgust on his face as the considered the dead Were…but why Warlow, especially given his history and mission? She hadn’t known that psychotic asswipe nearly long enough to have developed the kinds of feelings she’d need to let herself have sex with him.
As he swept his hand up and down her back and tried to calm the sobs still wracking her body, he continued pondering what Compton’s plan could have been. And Compton definitely had a plan, even if it had been something ridiculous.
That much blighted schemer always did.
He thought back over all his encounters with Sookie and finally realized how over time her behavior had changed in small, barely noticeable ways from how she had acted during their first meeting. Her behavior had changed in a minutely different way at each subsequent meeting – the changes were subtle, far too subtle to draw attention, but the differences were discernible now that he saw them as a whole and knew to look in the first place. He was disgusted with himself for not having realized before what had been happening to Sookie.
Knowing that this was going to be a very long night, Eric scooped the now barely weeping woman into his arms and settled them both on the old couch. He situated her on his lap and held her close once more.
“Shh shh shh,” he consoled as her tears finally stopped. There goes another shirt, he though with affection. “It’s ok, we’ll figure it out.” He reached over to the table and grabbed the box of tissues. “Here, let these be the last tears you shed over that worthless prick.”
Sookie gratefully grabbed a few tissues and mopped her face.
With a final sniff, she asked, “Why? Why did he do it? How could he do that to me? Did you know?” She raised her eyes to his, her gaze begging him to deny it.
“No, I had no idea,” he reassured her as he swept her hair off her face. “I truly thought you were immune to glamour, Sookie. Do you remember? I tried to compel you to come to me at Fangtasia that first night, and you were immune. I wondered why, but that was it. When it came to light that you’re part fairy, I assumed that was why, and thought no more about it.”
She nodded then thought for a moment, the look in her tear-swollen eyes pensive.
“Can a vampire glamour a person to be immune to other vampires’ attempts at glamouring them?”
Eric exhaled forcefully. “Yes.”
“So Bill had already started in on me that far back.”
“It appears so, Lover.”
“Then…,” she paused to clear her throat as she was about to ask an embarrassing question. “Then how was I able to be with you? Wouldn’t he have made me not want to?” She hid her face in his chest as she waited for his answer.
“I don’t really know. The fairy part of you might not have been able to completely block him, but maybe it weakened its strength or, I don’t know, diluted his intentions. Or it could be that either his glamour was weakening anyway at that point, or your own desires were stronger than his hold over you, or both. I do know that a vampire’s blood will increase the power of their glamour on someone.”
Sookie nodded slowly as her brain rushed through so many thoughts that she couldn’t keep them straight. She sank back into his chest, needing the support he was so freely giving her. As she snuggled her face into his shoulder, she couldn’t help but inhale his comforting, masculine scent. Becoming aroused was very much not on her mind at the moment, but she couldn’t help but recognize that his scent was definitely a form of liquid sex.
“How do you feel,” he asked a few minutes later, his voice a deep rumble against her cheek.
She sighed as she considered his question. “Weird. Like in a way there’ve been two of me, but one of them, the real me, has been asleep while the other one ran around doing things that I wouldn’t normally do. I’m not…I’m not like her, you know? She was so…stupid!” She was becoming agitated again, so Eric started rubbing his hand slowly up and down her back and cuddling her into his body even more.
“I mean, I was a virgin for over 25 years, then all of a sudden I’m in the bed of a vampire that I not only didn’t know all that well, but didn’t really like all that much, either! And what was up with me being with Warlow? I knew him for no time at all and then suddenly I’m all over him in some weird fairy place? And Alcide! He and I were never really more than friends and then I’m suddenly shacking up with him? I mean, I can see being with you – our connection was real even with the amnesia, but the others? They just do not make sense!”
She turned to look into his face. “And Eric, I never even thought about getting on birth control, either, and we both know I don’t want to risk having kids. Not with this telepathy curse. This is all so fucked up.”
As Eric looked down into her worried face, his brain rapidly processed dozens of different possibilities.
“Exactly how much could Bill have controlled me with his blood,” she suddenly asked, her voice and her expression both uneasy. “Lord knows he was ramming that damn bloody wrist of his under my nose every time I turned around.”
“I don’t think he could have controlled your actions, but his blood would have allowed him to control your…feelings,” he replied, his own face betraying his own suspicions.
She nodded as if he were confirming something in her mind. “And Bill never acted truly upset or angry about either Warlow or Alcide. You were the only one he was ever actually mad about, Eric. Shouldn’t he have been at least a little more pissed off about the other two?”
Eric nodded, taking in the new information. It was very odd, too odd, that whiny, overly possessive, thunder-browed Compton didn’t seem to have minded the other two breathers being with “his” Sookie. At least, he hadn’t seem to mind enough.
But…what was the connection?
Compton absolutely did not want her with another vampire, but didn’t mind all that much her being with breathers?
At that moment he heard a van coming down Sookie’s driveway and realized that the cleaners were there.
“I think the cleaners are here to mop up Compton,” he stated dryly, hoping to lighten the mood.
Sookie laughed as she stood from his lap. She cocked her head a little to let him know that she was listening, and nodded. “Three Weres, and they’re very curious about who they’re cleaning up,” she said with a laugh.
A few moments later there was a knock on the door. Eric vamped to answer it, and she just shook her head. Over-protective vampire…but at least he has a great ass, so the view is nice. She walked over slowly and peeped around Eric to see the women, one of whom was obviously pregnant, and read them as best she could to make sure they were safe.
After a few words were exchanged, he stepped back to allow the women, armed with a shop-vac, mop, bucket, and an assortment of cleansing agents, to enter the house. They quickly rolled up the large throw rug for later steam cleaning, they said, then started cleaning up Bill. Sookie went back to the kitchen to avoid the noise from the loud shop-vac and to see what she had on hand to offer the ladies. Cleaning dead vamps was hard work and she thought they might appreciate some refreshments.
Even though she already had sweet tea and juice in the fridge, she put on a pot of coffee anyway in case anyone wanted that instead…and for herself, too. It was shaping up to be a very long night.
Once that was sorted and they ladies were finished with the loud shop-vac, she went back into the living room to wait, and peeked over into the hallway to check their progress. They were almost finished with the worst of Bill, but the pregnant Were was holding a hand to the bottom of her stomach.
Eric gave the blonde a look when she walked over to the women, but didn’t interfere.
“What’s wrong,” she asked the lady as she glanced down to where she was still clutching her stomach.
“Oh, nothing, ma’am, he’s just kicking up a storm tonight.” The Were was surprised that the vamp’s woman would bother to check on her. They usually wouldn’t.
“Do you want to come sit down for a minute?”
“I’m fine, and it’s better for me to keep moving to help him resettle, but thank you,” she replied to the kindness she hadn’t expected.
“Well, if you change your mind, just let me know. When you’re done,” she turned to include the other two workers, “I’ve got tea, juice, and coffee. Milk, too,” she turned back to the pregnant Were, “if you’d prefer.”
She turned around to find Eric staring at her with a very serious look on his face.
“What,” she asked as she plopped down on the couch near where he stood. The faint sounds of the coffee brewing provided a reassuring background noise, and she couldn’t wait for a cup.
“Later,” he replied quietly with a nod toward the ladies.
Sookie just returned the nod, and leaned her head against the back of the couch and tried to process the night’s events and revelations.
What the hell had Bill been up to? Why did he feel the need to glamour…oh, yeah. I really wasn’t interested in him, just the fact that I couldn’t read hear his thoughts. If he hadn’t done…that, then I doubt we’d have even been friends for all that long. He was a possessive, rude, arrogant jerk whose ‘humbleness’ was nothing more than an act. But, still. He never turned me over to his queen, which was a good thing, but I don’t think he ever truly loved me, either, so why was he so determined to keep me from finding someone else, yet didn’t seem to care all that much about me being with Warlow or Alcide? The thing with Alcide… I can sort of understand why I’d be with him, I guess. But Warlow? Ugh, and now that I think about it, Bill didn’t care if I whored myself out to the faepire – he just wanted his blood and didn’t mind using me to get it. None of this makes sense.
Eric kept a careful eye on his Sookie as she thought, and was truly proud of her for keeping a level head. Hell, maybe this was how she truly was, well, when her head wasn’t being fucked over by an asshole’s glamour. As he sat down beside her, he had to wonder about all the other ways fucking Compton had been fucking with her personality.
When her warm hand seemed to automatically slide over to clasp his, he knew.
Compton had been having a field day in her head.
Although he fought hard to keep the intensity of his anger hidden, it still flooded the bond between himself and Pam, who was concerned enough to drive even faster toward the fucking fairy’s farmhouse in the sticks.
She came to a rocking stop beside the cleaner’s van, and vamped to the front door.
Sensing the void coming down her driveway but not immediately recognizing it, Sookie cast a curious look toward Eric, who rolled his eyes.
“Oh. Ok. I’ll have to invite her in again, I guess.”
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” Eric assured her.
Surprised, she asked, “What? Why? She’s your Child.”
“She may be my Child, but she’s still a…Pam,” he replied drolly. He knew his Pam…and therefore knew that Pam truly did not like Sookie. While some of it was pure, reactive jealousy, which he despised, he knew that most of it stemmed from Pam fully realizing just what a threat the telepath was to his peace of mind…and his safety.
Either way, her disrespectful attitude toward Sookie was not to be tolerated, so he generally tried to limit their exposure to each other. And what Pam did not know that, even though he had released her, he had not released his ability to command her. If he had done so, they wouldn’t still have a Maker/child bond. It was slightly weaker, but it was definitely still intact. All he had done was insure that she wouldn’t be harmed through their link if he should meet the true death.
At Pam’s knock, Eric sped to the door fully intending to converse with his Daughter out on the porch, but was gratified, although not terribly surprised, when Sookie invited Pam into the house.
Pam strode in without acknowledging the telepath and glanced down at the pink watery remains of Bill. She sniffed, then grinned her signature delightfully evil grin.
“Well, it’s been a good night all around, then.” The available Yakuza had been drained and were being removed even as she spoke; she was very well fed, and the arrogantly maudlin thorn that had been Bill Compton was finally gone from her side.
Of course she was happy.
“Yes, and no,” Eric replied as he watched the cleaners finish their work while sending a small burst of caution to his Child. Something kept niggling at the back of his mind.
Pam subtly nodded her head to show she’d gotten the message and continued to pointedly ignore Sookie, who continued to not really care.
Eric sighed internally. Although it pained him to see the two great loves of his life at silent war with each other, he couldn’t blame Sookie, and, in the end, he couldn’t blame Pamela, either. He just hoped the breaking of Compton’s weird glamour over Sookie would allow the fairy-hybrid’s true personality to emerge and, theoretically at least, that would allow Sookie to break through Pam’s façade. If it didn’t, he’d break Pam’s facade himself. This was more than enough.
Finally the Weres finished, and left quickly after politely declining Sookie’s polite offer of refreshments. Pam rolled her eyes at all the unnecessary politeness, but thankfully kept her mouth shut.
The second they shut the door behind themselves, Sookie turned to Eric.
“Thank you for cleaning up Bill. I really didn’t want to have to tackle that nasty mess. And hell,” she chuckled wryly, “you always seem to be cleaning up after him, might as well get to clean him up, too.”
Neither remarked on Pam’s eyebrows as both rose higher than ever at the change in Sookie’s attitude.
With a quiet laugh, Eric agreed and led Sookie to the kitchen. He knew she’d be wanting coffee, or maybe something stronger considering the revelations of the evening. Pam tagged along determined to learn more about this odd change in Sookie’s behavior. She was thanking Eric, and talking with him instead of screeching at him? What the fuck?
She checked her watch and wondered if there was some sort of phenomena in the cosmos she’d missed.
After Sookie made her coffee, everyone sat at the kitchen table. Instead of talking, however, she kept fiddling with her coffee cup, and Eric watched as her expression became much more serious and somewhat…anxious?
“Sookie?” Eric’s deep voice finally brought her out of her revere.
“Hum? What?” She raised tired, worried eyes to him.
“What’s wrong? Your mood seems to have fallen.”
“I’m…shit, Eric, now I have to go find a doctor. What if I caught some sort of disease? I know I’m safe from you, Warlow and the fucker, but what about Alcide? You and I both know that monogamy wasn’t his strong suit. And…what if I’m pregnant? It’s not been all that long since…,” her voice trailed off as she thought about the last time she’d had sex with the now-dead Were.
Pam started to say something inappropriately smart-assed, but a strong shut-down through their bond kept her mouth closed, thankfully.
“No, you don’t, at least not yet. Since I’m so old, my blood would cure you of anything you might have caught from the…Alcide,” he said the Were’s name with as little disgust as he possibly could, “should you decide to take it. And honestly,” he leaned forward to strongly inhale at her neck, then leaned back, “you don’t smell as if you are with…child.”
It clicked in Eric’s mind.
“That filthy motherfucker,” he growled as his fangs descended. He stood up to pace rapidly in the small room, worrying Sookie and even concerning Pam.
He then stopped so suddenly that he startled the telepath, and held his hand up for complete silence. A long moment and a quiet growl later, he spoke.
“Pam, is your van fully equipped?”
At her nod, he tilted his head to tell her to comply with his nonverbal request. Pam was back carrying a small toolbox before Sookie even had time to frame a question.
Eric held his finger to his lips to indicate the continued need for silence, and accepted one of the two odd-looking devices that Pam held out to him. He nodded to her then pointed upstairs, and without a word she took the other device and vamped to the second floor of the old farmhouse. Eric pressed a button and started slowly moving through all the rooms on the first floor.
A few minutes later they both met back in the kitchen where Sookie waited…and both cleared their pockets of a total of fourteen small black and white objects. Eric then aimed that device around the kitchen, and in seconds had removed two more small objects – one from atop the cabinet, and one from the smoke alarm.
Altogether, they had found two a/v transmitters in each bedroom, two in each bathroom, two in the kitchen, and one in the living room and, oddly, one over the stairs. Apparently nothing newsworthy was expected to happen in the attic or in any hallways.
Just on a hunch, Eric decided to check out his cubby…and found one in there, too…and another one in the housing for the front porch light.
“There were 14 bugs in this house?” Surprisingly even Pam was irate. “Who the fuck planted 14 bugs in your house?”
“Bill fucking Compton,” came her answer as Eric reentered the kitchen and slammed two more bugs on the table. “What the hell would he need 16 bugs for?”
“How did you know it was Bill,” Pam asked, genuinely curious. She certainly didn’t doubt Eric’s statement; she just wanted to learn how he had made that determination.
“His scent is all over them. Smell,” he indicated the assortment of bugs on the table.
Pam did, and while it took her a few moments to separate the dead guy’s scent from hers and Eric’s scent, not to mention wood, old paint, dust, body wash, and kitchen odors, she finally did smell what Eric’s far advanced senses had detected almost right away.
“Fuck.” Pam would freely admit that she did not like Sookie, but she liked Compton even less and the very idea that the pervert had been watching and listening to the other woman without her consent dropped her fangs. Literally.
Overwhelmed, Sookie plopped her elbows on the table and covered her face with her hands. She refused to shed another tear over anything related to Bill, but it was hard to keep them back. She had unwillingly trusted that bastard, but still, broken trust was painful.
“Pam, destroy these, and then sit with Sookie while I go to Compton’s place. It’ll be far easier for me to grab all the laptops and computers I can find than it would be for you to do it.”
Pam nodded then scooped up all the tiny pieces of privacy invasion and exited the back door. They heard a few crunching sounds, then within a minute she was back.
Eric leaned over Sookie and hugged her, and kissed the top of her head. “We’ll get to the bottom of this, Sookie. I have an idea about what might have been going on in his fucked-up brain, but I want proof. I’ll be back in a bit.”
Although her eyes were suspiciously wet, no tears fell, and Eric’s pride in Sookie rose another notch. With a final stroke to her cheek, he vamped out the door.
Pam glanced warily at the fairy-hybrid in fear of a crying jag, and although she could tell that the other woman was having a very hard time keeping it together, her own respect rose with her valiant effort to control her emotions.
“So…what’s going on,” the blonde vampire finally couldn’t help but ask.
With a small laugh, Sookie rose to make another cup of coffee. “I wondered how long it’d take you to ask.”
She sat back down and stated, “You know how I can’t be glamoured?”
Pam nodded, her curiosity rising despite herself.
“Well, I don’t guess that’s entirely true. Somehow, and Eric thinks it was a combination of factors, Bill was apparently able to glamour me at least some, and when he died, what was left of his glamour died with him.”
When Pam started to ask another question, Sookie shook her head. “That’s all I really know at this point.” She didn’t feel like getting into it anymore just then, preferring to wait to see what Eric found and what thoughts had occurred to him earlier.
After taking another gulp of her coffee, she stated that she was going to go rest on the couch for a bit, and that Pam could join her and watch whatever she wanted on tv.
A little less than two hours later, Eric returned with four vampires from Compton’s now-defunct estate. All of them were loaded down with various and assorted laptops, desktops, iPads, and quite a few other hand-held computer devices…and what looked like a set of journals or diaries.
Two of the laden vampires were younger vamps still finding their place in the world, but the other two were loyal to Eric and had been known to spy for him on many an occasion. They had certainly been helpful that night.
The expression on Eric’s face worried Sookie. She’d managed to doze off on the couch while waiting for him, but the noise of his return had woke her up as he and Pam vamped back and forth from the door bringing in load after load of different types of electronic equipment. Judging by his face, whatever he had found did not bode well for her.
Journals in hand, he dismissed the two younger vamps, then spoke at vamp speed with the older ones before discharging them to their duties.
He did not want to be the Louisiana vampire king, but until he could install someone else – someone he trusted, he was it.
Finally unable to delay revealing to Sookie the horrific information he had discovered, he slowly walked over to sit beside her on the old, lumpy couch. He sighed as he tried to figure out a way to break her heart even further as gently as possible.
Fucking psychotic creep.
In a rare moment of intuition, Pam realized that whatever was coming needed to remain between the two of them, at least at first. She knew she could get Eric to tell her later what had made such fury and horror explode through their bond.
“Sookie, I have not seen you eat tonight. I will go to one of those horrid 24-hour fast food places and find you something with meat in it. I will return.”
After she left, Sookie turned to Eric, her face still showing her shock at Pam’s unusual consideration. That, and the look on Eric’s face, reinforced her conviction that she was not going to like what she heard.
“Ok, what’s up? You look pissed.” And he did. His fangs were out, his eyes were stormy, and his hair looked like he’d combed his fingers through it a little too often. His knuckles were white where he gripped the books in his hand.
He scrubbed his face with his other hand, then expelled a large breath.
“Ok, you know how maudlin Compton could get, that he liked to brood over his human days,” he asked as he stared straight ahead. He knew he’d have to man up and look into her face at some point, only, he just wasn’t that brave yet. Not yet.
Sookie nodded, then seeing that he wasn’t looking at her, hummed an affirmative.
“He never truly accepted the fact that he was a vampire, and that times change – every vampire who met him could tell that with the first words he said. He never even tried to update his awful accent. He might have been Nan’s ass-toy, but at heart Compton still worshipped everything from his past, everything antebellum. He just couldn’t let the past go and accept who he really was.”
A heavy weight settled in her stomach as she listened to Eric’s words. An idea was niggling at the back of her head, but she didn’t want to go there. Eric pushed on.
He held up the journals in his hand and said, “It seems that he never outgrew his desire for a…family, either.”
Eric finally turned to face Sookie. “You’re going to want to glance through these since you deserve to know what was going on in his fucked-up mind, but I’m going to warn you – it isn’t good.”
With a shaking hand, she accepted the two plain black journals. She steadied her nerves for a moment, then opened the first one, and read the name of it written on the first page: Dates of Menstruation and Ovulation. With a small cry, she threw it down on the couch next to her. She then opened the other journal and read its name: Dates of Sexual Congress .
“Eric? What the fuck? What…what the hell?” She turned her shocked face up to him.
He just nodded toward the journals. “The word “ovulation” does mean something about the time that it’s easier for a woman to become pregnant, right?”
At her somewhat wild-eyed nod, he continued. “Then you might as well take a closer look,” he said, his voice somehow both angry and resigned.
“No,” Sookie replied, her voice shaking. “No, just…just tell me.”
Eric ran his hand through his hair and leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees.
“I found those in a secret compartment of the desk in the office he had hidden in his basement. Even the office was so well hidden that I would never have found it if Jordan, one of my spies, hadn’t accidentally glimpsed Compton “disappearing into the wall” once.”
He abruptly stood to pace as he continued. “After I found those journals, I immediately started flipping through them, and noticed that he had every single date listed for the past couple of years, and that many of those dates had symbols beside them. At first I couldn’t understand why he would have all those dates plotted out like that…until I happened to read the very first page of both journals. Sookie,” he paused to stand before her and raised her chin so that he could meet her eyes, “he was keeping track of your entire fertility cycle, and the dates of every single sexual encounter you had…except with me. Now, why would he decide not to mark the dates when we were together if he took the time and effort to record every other encounter you had?”
Mind overloaded with shock and horror, Sookie just shrugged her shoulders.
“And why did he seem to be so much angrier about you being with me than he apparently was about you being with Alcide or Warlow? Think, Sookie.”
He was desperate to prevent her from falling further into a state of shock – her face had already paled considerably. She needed to be angry. Livid. Pissed the fuck off. Anything but…this.
“I…I don’t know, Eric. I mean, I know that he hated you, that he was afraid of you and jealous of you, but…”
“Why would a vampire want to keep a record of his mostly-human female’s fertility cycle?”
“To breed me,” came her cold reply. “That mother fucker wanted to breed me.”
In a flash Sookie ran to the bathroom to throw up the bilious contents of her mostly-empty stomach. A step behind her, Eric held her hair back and reached his long arm over to the sink to fill a glass with water.
Eventually she finished her violent retching, and gratefully took the water. After splashing her face at the sink, she discovered that she didn’t want to go back into the living room with all those computers and other electronics staring at her. She wanted to cuddle up with Eric in a nice, soft bed…then maybe she could face the rest of the story.
Maybe. She felt so empty inside, and it had nothing to do with throwing up, either.
Looking up into Eric’s eyes reflected back to her in the bathroom mirror, she said, “I need to hear it all, I know that, but for right this minute, can we just go…lie down for a while?” She leaned back into his broad chest, and relaxed minutely when he wrapped his arms around her.
He placed a kiss on the top of her head then rested his forehead against her hair for a moment. Then he nodded and scooped her up into his arms and whisked them both down into the cubby.
At her exclamation of surprise, he laughed softly. “No matter how long we stay down here right now, whenever we do retire, you’re sleeping with me, Lover. The last few days have been terrible for you, and you need some rest. So, you will rest with me and know that you’re safe. If we’re still down here when Pam returns, I’ll go up and get your food so you can eat, but whenever you do go to sleep, you’ll be down here with me. You might as well start getting used to it.”
To his eternal surprise, Sookie snorted. “Fine, fine, but I’m not peeing in the corner, Eric, so barring bathroom trips, yeah, sure, I’ll stay down here with you when I’m sleeping.”
After giving the first full-bodied laugh that he could remember in recent times, Eric placed her on her feet, pulled back the bed coverings, and indicated that she should proceed. She shook her head at his antics, removed and folded her jeans, then crawled into the small bed. By the time she was comfortable, Eric was already barefoot and behind her. He had left the cubby door open so that he could more easily hear Pam’s approach – Sookie did need to eat after all – but if they were still in the cubby when she left, that door was going to be closed and locked. Nothing was going to disturb their safety.
Finally relaxing in his firm embrace, she started, “Ok, so, the fucker was going to breed me. What for, my fairy blood? Is this more of that “fairy blood lets vamps walk in the sun” crap?” Her voice had that false bravado ‘give me the facts’ tone, but Eric caught the underlying dread.
Eric brushed his nose over the back of her head as he inhaled her scent, then replied, “No. It’s actually worse than that, I think.”
“Ok, then, what do you think it was?”
“After I found the journals and looked through them, I had those four vampires start gathering up every piece of computer-type equipment I could find. I figured that the information the bugs transmitted had to be stored somewhere, and that you would not want that type of information going any further than it already had. But something kept tickling the back of my mind. All this pointed to Compton wanting to breed you, but to what end? He knows that fairy blood won’t make a vampire immune to the sun, at least, not for long, so why bother? To his undereducated senses you tasted good, but not so unbelievably good as to be worth that kind of effort. No, I knew it had to be something else.”
His arms instinctively tightening around her small frame, he took a deep breath then pressed onward. “Jordan was one of Compton’s accountants. As such, one of his duties was to keep track of inventories and orders for various reasons. Bill fucking Compton slipped up, Sookie. One particular order made no sense to my spy, but it had been signed by Compton himself. While I was searching Compton’s hidden office, he told me about that strange order. It was for the kinds of furniture that would go in a…nursery.”
Sookie went rigid, and he held her even closer. She needed to know these things, but he wasn’t sure how much more she could take in one night.
“A…a nursery?” He hated how small and lost her voice sounded.
“Yes. It appears that there may be a nursery somewhere in what is now the Compton mansion.”
Sookie shivered and snuggled farther back into Eric’s embrace, and thought for a long moment. Then she flipped over and sat up so quickly that Eric couldn’t have stopped her even if he’d tried. “Tell your guys to look on the second floor, in the last or next-to-last room on the right side of the hallway. That’s where he told me that the old nursery was in his original house. I remember that back then he kept that particular door locked and never offered to show me that room. Let’s go back up for now. Pam will be back soon, and you probably want to talk to your guys.” She could only imagine what had been in that room ‘from the old days’.
She got up and, to Eric’s dismay, put her jeans back on, then turned to watch in appreciation as he bent over to put his shoes back on. He stood up and glanced over his shoulder to send her a smirk and a wink. He was so damn glad that she wasn’t cowering under the bed like a lot of people would be.
Once atop, Eric grabbed his phone and called Jordan while Sookie went to have a human moment, one of the main reasons she’d wanted to come back out of the cubby.
After they were seated on the couch, with her on Eric’s lap this time around, she grabbed the Dates of Sexual Congress journal out of a sense of morbid curiosity. Sure enough, the date and time of her last session with Alcide was marked in all its short glory.
“Eric…ugh! He even wrote how long the sex lasted! What a fucking pervert! Do you think he watched…hell, of course he did. If he went through all this trouble, of course he watched it! And I bet he saved a recording of all of it, too, didn’t he?” She looked up at Eric, her expression both resigned and disgusted.
“That’s exactly why I had all his electronic gadgets brought over here. I also had Jordan glamour the human over house security to download everything from the house’s security system for us, then had him delete all previous security files.”
She searched his eyes for a moment, then nodded. Save burning down the house, which was a valid idea in her mind, that’s the best she guessed they could do.
As she tried not to think about the fact that she knew where a couple cans of gasoline were, she traded journals, and started flipping through the one detailing her fertility cycles. As she neared the middle of the book, she noticed something odd.
“Eric, his entries stop a couple of nights after Alcide died. There’s nothing else after then.”
The Viking Vampire thought for a moment, then said quietly, “When he found out he was infected.”
Sookie nodded, and while she appreciated Eric’s consideration of any feelings she might have left, it wasn’t necessary. The only feelings she had, well, the warmth she felt in her heart was for Eric.
Going down into his cubby with him had felt so natural, so right, that she hadn’t even given it a second thought. Even sitting on his lap as she currently was felt natural. That rightness also brought into even stronger focus just how wrong things had felt with not only Bill, but Warlow and Alcide, too.
“Eric, why did I sleep with Warlow? I sort of get why I was with Alcide, I guess, kind of, but Warlow?”
“Did you,” he paused, cleared his throat, then forced himself to continue, “did you feel anything for him? Anything sexual?”
Knowing that she might be as uncomfortable talking about it as he was hearing about it, he pulled her closer to his chest and tucked her head under his chin.
“At first, a little. When he was just some guy named Ben, I did find him attractive. Not overwhelmingly so, but when I found out he was part fairy, I figured that was why, but even then it wasn’t anything big. But then when I found out that he was Warlow, anything I might have felt toward him was gone. His attitude and his creepy expectations ruined it all for me. So, why did I have sex with him in that weird fairy place?”
Eric hummed as he thought for a second, then reached for both journals. He scanned the Dates of Sexual Congress until he found the dutifully-noted date of her ‘congress’ with Warlow – complete with the notation “highly suspected by not visually confirmed”. He handed that journal over to Sookie for her to hold the place, then located the same date in the Dates of Menstruation and Ovulation. He held them side-by-side so that Sookie could see what he saw.
The date she had copulated with Warlow was the same date that Compton had listed as the date she would most likely ovulate that month.
“This is just too damn coincidental, Eric.” She felt like throwing up again.
“I know. What makes it even more so is that you had no real attraction to him after you discovered his true identity.” His voice was rife with suspicion and disgust.
“Do you remember how a vampire can use their tie to a human to influence their emotions,” he asked after they had both been lost in their thoughts for a few minutes.
“Those emotions can certainly include sexual desire.”
He held her quietly for a few more minutes, then he heard her say, “So I didn’t even have to actually want to be with Warlow or Alcide either one. He could make me…” She couldn’t finish verbalizing her thought.
“Yes.” Eric’s disgust was palpable. “He probably couldn’t make you desire a particular person since I don’t think his tie with you was nearly strong enough for that, but he could definitely cause you to feel an increasing amount of sexual desire in general.”
Sookie stifled an involuntary gag at the thought. For all she knew, he’d done that exact thing since the very beginning after he’d fed her so much of his blood. “I bet his glamouring started the night the Ratts beat the hell out of me. He fed me a huge amount of his blood to heal me afterwards, and I’m sure I looked into his eyes at some point. Yeah, I looked into his eyes when he was talking me into letting him heal me. I bet that was when it started! I was already weak from being beat up and losing blood anyway, so it would have been easy for him to do it then.”
Eric had his own suspicions regarding the events of that night, but chose to save her from any further emotional pain. This night was bad enough as it was.
“I believe you are right,” he said instead. “That makes sense. Your mental blocks would have been at an all-time low.” Mentally cursing the dead, Eric tossed the damned journals onto the table and resettled his Sookie in his arms. While he would never have wanted her to come to him via such circumstances, he had her in his arms now and he was never going to let her go again.
Fuck you, Compton, he sent toward the section of hell reserved for perverted psycho vamps. She’s mine now and there’s not one damn thing you can do about it.
Absently stroking the large hand nearest her elbow, Sookie thought about all the new revelations of the past 24 hours. As much as she now despised Bill, and as much as his weird and creepy behavior outraged and disgusted her, she refused to play the victim. While she could hang her head in humiliation and self-disgust, she knew that her actions were not entirely, if at all, her fault. Bill Compton was solely responsible for most of it, at the very least. She snorted when she thought of the one time that was absolutely and entirely her own doing…and smirked.
“Well, I’m positive that he didn’t cause me to want to be with you, Eric, so I can definitely say that what happened between us was all me,” she declared smugly.
Eric looked down at her and couldn’t help the smirk teasing at his own lips. He was inordinately gratified that she would take responsibility for choosing him, and that one sentence effectively wiped away years of being kept in second place. The fact that Compton had been using his glamour to control her feelings more than excused the problems between them, but having her verbally admit to choosing to be with him of her own free will was quite soothing to his old soul.
He lowered his head and captured her lips softly, determined to savor every sweet moment of their reunion. In a very few minutes the situation began to rise out of control, as it were, so they both reluctantly broke away to simply enjoy the luxury of holding onto each other.
“Eric, I have to wonder,” Sookie’s curiosity-filled voice interrupted the silence, “why did Bill choose to die rather than take the cure? Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad he’s dead and gone or I’d stake him myself, again, but he had this huge, elaborate plan…”
“I don’t know. Something must have happened to change his mind. Hell, maybe he dug up a conscience somewhere. I really don’t know.”
“Well, I’m glad he’s gone.”
“You will never know how glad I am, too, Lover.”
Eric felt Pam nearing the house and hoped she’d chosen something decent for Sookie to eat. At least she knew a little more about human restaurants than he did. “Pam’s on her way back.”
“Good. I’m actually getting a little bit hungry, believe it or not,” she indicated the journals.
The ringing of Eric’s phone startled Sookie, and Eric held her a little closer. Obviously she wasn’t doing quite as well as she was acting, but he did give her credit for trying.
“Speak,” he commanded into the phone, making Sookie chuckle. Vamps and their non-existent phone etiquette…
“Fuck,” burst from his mouth a few moments later. He gently moved Sookie off his lap so he could pace the living room.
“How bad is it?” A few seconds later he looked down at a picture on his phone, and let loose with a full curse-load in a language Sookie didn’t speak.
“Destroy it all,” he ordered into the phone. “The whole fucking thing.” He ended the call at the same time Pam entered through the front door.
“What did I miss,” she asked as she handed Sookie a large, heavy paper bag and a huge drink.
“You were right,” he said to the telepath as he watched her investigate the rather smelly contents of the bag. “It was right where you said it would be. Do you want to see the picture?”
“Mother. Fucker. And thank you, but hell no. The scene I have in my mind is bad enough.” Sookie was pissed. Everything else he’d done to her was bad enough, but even until that very moment she had been hoping against hope that maybe Bill hadn’t taken his crazy that far…but he had. Of course. Naturally being a fucking psycho-creep would be the only thing Bill fucking Compton would ever succeed at.
“What!” Pam’s curiosity was killing her even as she was starting to like Sookie, well, Sookie’s language a bit more.
“A nursery. Fucking Compton had a brand new nursery suite built in his ‘royal residence’.”
At Pam’s astounded expression, Eric nodded. “He even kept journals of Sookie’s fertility cycles and who she slept with when.”
“Mother. Fucker,” Pam hissed, heartily repeating Sookie’s sentiments.
“Exactly,” the telepath replied as she withdrew several wrapped sandwiches from the bag on her lap. “Pam, are we expecting company?” There were seven different sandwiches and six different sides – including fries and an apple pie – displayed on the coffee table after she had finished emptying the paper bag.
“Because there’s enough food here to feed an army.”
The blonde vampire shrugged. “I wasn’t sure what you liked.”
“Thank you, Pam.”
“You’re welcome, human.”
As Sookie ate her fries before they got colder, Eric filled Pam in on what all they’d discovered, and showed her the picture that Sookie assumed was of the nursery.
“That’s fucking creepy even for Compton,” she spat with a shiver.
“Fuck yeah it is,” Sookie agreed, and before popping another fry into her mouth, she added, “I just don’t get it. I don’t get why he refused the cure, either, but I’m damn glad he basically killed himself.”
“You don’t? You know how overly sentimental Compton could be, and how he wanted to drone on and on about “the good old days” and the “importance of family” all the damn time. It sounds to me like he was wanting to make some sort of psychotic little ‘family’ with you, but since he couldn’t knock you up, he had to have someone else do it for him. And I bet you Chanel’s fall line that if you had gotten pregnant like he so obviously intended, the baby-daddy would have had an “unfortunate accident” and Compton would have swooped in to save the baby-mama – you. And as to why he didn’t take the cure? I think he probably offed himself because he was in a snit. I saw how you were with him, Sookie. Because of that weird glamour, you had such damn goo-goo eyes for him that there was no way he could have gotten you to fuck a breather to get knocked up so he could have that creepy ‘perfect little family’ with you.”
Sookie shivered. That sounded far too spot-on to be wrong.
Eric was proud of Pam’s thawing attitude toward Sookie and vowed to buy her the next season’s line of her coveted Chanel…and to keep a better eye on what she watched on tv.
Baby-daddy? Baby-mama? Could humans get any sillier?
~ FIN ~
**A/N: Sounds like something Bill would do… I’d like to thank Gyllene and Secret Nerd Princess for letting me pick their brainboxes about some TB trivia I wasn’t exactly positive about – I promise I put everything back where I found it. Mostly. And I totally blame Gyllene for the nursery idea…yeah, blame that creepiness on her! So…what did you think?**