Bill’s body screamed in pain as he was dumped unceremoniously on the front porch of his Bon Temps home. The sound of Pam’s mad cackling laughter grated on his nerves as he listened to her jump in her car and speed away. Dragging himself to his feet, Bill stumbled into the house, each step more painful than the one before. He groaned in agony as he shuffled into the living room. He eyed the sofa with trepidation, both longing to lay his tortured body down and fearful of how it would agitate his still raw wounds.
There wasn’t a part of his body that hadn’t been brutalized by the pair of sadistic bitches: Pam and Thalia. The slightest touch caused crippling pain to sweep through him, rendering him practically helpless. Pam and Thalia worked on him until moments before sunrise, tearing, whipping, shredding, and gouging his flesh. They only stopped long enough to fuck each other in front of him, before continuing with his punishment. By the time the sun had rose, the three of them had been covered in his blood, but unlike Pam and Thalia, he hadn’t been able to wash it off.
Dragging himself over to the sofa, Bill winced as he lowered himself slowly onto it. He hissed in discomfort as the rough fabric pressed against his raw wounds. Bill cursed Eric, Pam, and Thalia for their treatment of him; in his mind he hadn’t done anything wrong. They had no reason to treat him in such a deplorable way, just because he spied on Northman fucking his wife. The Queen hadn’t ever minded when he watched; in fact, she actively encouraged it. Sophie-Anne often held parties where voyeurism was the main attraction; she loved to be watched, and she certainly loved watching others fuck. One of Sophie-Anne’s favorite things to do was tie Hadley to a bed and watch while her chosen vampires fucked her. As far as Bill was concerned, he had been following Sophie-Anne’s rule when he sat in the tree outside Northman and Sookie’s house and watched them fuck; he shouldn’t have been punished for it.
Bill was tempted to inform Sophie-Anne of what Eric had done to him. He was sure she would punish Eric for it; Bill was after all, one of her most faithful servants. She might even let Bill take part in the torture himself. A cruel smile spread across Bill’s face as he thought of all the things he would do to Eric. He would make him beg and plead before Bill was through with him. Bill would chain Eric in silver and make him watch while he fucked Sookie. He would take her in every way imaginable. He would turn her into a whore. He would fill her with his seed and cover her with his scent. Bill would make Eric suffer. The only thing stopping him from telling the Queen was that he couldn’t be sure he would come out of it unscathed himself. If Sophie-Anne thought for one minute he had compromised his mission to procure the telepath with his voyeuristic tendencies, she wouldn’t hesitate to punish him herself. It didn’t help that Bill couldn’t remember if he had compromised the mission. He only had minimal recollection of what he had said. The pain that they had inflicted on him had been worse than anything he had experienced before, and he wasn’t sure what he had told them. He couldn’t risk Sophie-Anne finding out if he had told them anything. He thought he was safe as, relatively speaking, he was still in one-piece. He was sure if Eric knew he was there to procure his wife that he wouldn’t have made it out of that basement; he would have met the true death.
Letting out an unneeded breath, Bill groaned at the trouble he found himself in. He was quite literally stuck between a rock and a hard place; if he failed in his mission to procure the telepath, Sophie-Anne would undoubtedly have his head, and if he succeeded, Northman would. His only hope was that Sophie-Anne would protect him from any retribution Eric would try to rein down on him. He knew he would have no protection against Sophie-Anne. No, Bill realized, if he was going to walk away from this at all, he would have to deliver Sookie to the Queen. He just wasn’t sure how.
“I hope you’re not decent,” Pam called out as she strode through the front door. Pausing in the living room, she took a deep breath, scenting the air. “Seems I’m too late,” she pouted as she continued into the kitchen where she found Sookie still perched on Eric’s lap at the table. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
Lifting her head of Eric shoulder, Sookie stared at Pam. “You need to learn how to knock.”
“Now why would I want to do that?” Pam asked, grinning as she sat down opposite them.
“Because if you don’t, you’ll soon find your invitation rescinded,” Sookie retorted.
“A vampire lives here,” Pam replied, waving off Sookie’s threat. “I don’t need an invitation.”
“The house is in my name,” Sookie countered. “You do. I mean it Pam, start knocking before you enter my home.”
A small smile spread across Eric’s face as he watched his wife lay down the law to his child. It wasn’t the first time the two of them had butted heads; in fact at the start of his relationship with Sookie it was a regular occurrence. Pam pushed the boundaries many times with her willful and often spoilt behavior, challenging Sookie and her position, and as the fiery southern belle she was, Sookie always pushed back. She stood her ground and refused to back down. Each time Eric had seen her standing toe-to-toe with Pam, a vampire much older and stronger than her, he had fallen a little more in love with her, until the very thought of her had consumed him. He gave her his heart completely and had taken hers in return. Often in the beginning, Eric had stepped in when needed and put Pam in her place, but he soon realized by doing so he was doing Sookie a disservice. He needed to let Sookie assert her own authority. She wasn’t his pet, and she never had been. She had been his companion, then his bonded, before finally becoming his wife and pledged. Sookie was Pam’s and the vampires of his area’s Mistress. Pam soon realized Sookie wasn’t a passing fancy, as she had put it, and accepted her. The two of them had developed a strong friendship, and Eric knew his child loved Sookie and would do anything for her without having to be ordered, but that didn’t mean she still didn’t push her boundaries at times . . . like now.
Pam knew better than to just barge into their house like she did. While in the past Eric hadn’t cared whether Pam entered his house uninvited, things were different now; he was married for one, to a woman he loved more than anything. Pam’s behavior was, he didn’t want to say disrespectful, but it was bordering on the edge of it. Eric was well aware what Pam was doing; she still held onto the hope that Eric would one-day share Sookie with her, something that would never happen. Sookie was his and his alone, just like he was hers. Pam was hoping she would one-night walk in on them fucking and be asked to join them. In a way Eric couldn’t blame her; in the past, before he met Sookie, Pam had walked in on him fucking countless women, and he had invited her to join him. As long as the women were willing, Eric hadn’t cared whether Pam joined them or not. If he was honest, he had to admit he spent many enjoyable nights watching various women fuck his child before he fucked them. He and Pam hadn’t had sex in close to ninety-years, but that didn’t mean they hadn’t enjoyed others together. He used to love watching nameless women eat Pam out while he fucked them from behind, but it was different with Sookie. He would never consent to another touching her, not even his child. The thought of anyone, even Pam, touching her caused rage to build within him.
As he stared at his child, Eric had to wonder at her temerity. Just last night he punished someone for spying on him and Sookie as they made love, and Pam was aware of this. She had been the one to dish out the punishment, and yet one night later she was hoping to walk in on the same thing. If she thought she was beyond punishment she would soon learn she was wrong.
“Eric,” Pam huffed, “tell your wife, I’m allowed to enter your house whenever I want.”
“Pam, stop being a brat and do as your Mistress says,” Eric replied firmly, staring Pam down as he made his position clear. He was firmly in Sookie’s corner.
“But Eric…” Pam whined.
“Enough,” Eric growled in no mood for any of Pam’s childishness. The Queen was conspiring to take his love away; it wasn’t the time for Pam to start acting like a brat. “Sookie has told you more than once to knock before entering our home, and you continue to ignore her. So now I am telling you. Disobey me and I will command you. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” Pam replied sullenly, lowering her gaze as she realized she had pushed Eric too far. She knew Eric would never share Sookie with her; he made that clear in the beginning when she had asked, but she continued to push it. She enjoyed teasing them both, but as she thought about it, she realized it was the wrong time. They were both on edge due to Compton and the Queen, and the last thing they needed was her adding to it. Lifting her head, Pam met Eric’s gaze. “Compton is back at his house,” she reported making amends. “Lisa did as requested and the place is under surveillance. We will know everything he says and does. We will be prepared for anything he tries.”
“Good,” Eric replied, slipping into Sheriff mode. “I want someone monitoring the feed constantly,” he ordered. “I want to know when he feeds, when he rests, even when he blinks. I will have my spy in Sophie-Anne’s court keep a closer eye on her. At the moment I am sure she is confident that Compton will be able to accomplish his mission, but as has shown in the past, she is ruthless when it comes to getting what she wants. She…”
“She’s a spoilt brat who thinks the world revolves around her,” Pam interrupted.
“True,” Eric admitted. “She is petty and childish, but she is also ruthless and clever.”
“You’re twice the vampire she is,” Pam replied dismissively. “You could have had her head and throne years ago if you wanted.”
“Do not underestimate her, Pam,” Eric warned. “She has held the crown of Louisiana for nearly two-hundred years now, and despite what you are about to claim,” he hastened to add when he saw Pam open her mouth to speak, “it is not entirely down to me. Sophie-Anne ruled Louisiana for over a hundred years before I took on the role of Sheriff. I merely strengthen her Queendom. Louisiana was already strong.”
“I still say you could take her head,” Pam replied.
“I am not saying I couldn’t,” Eric conceded, “but I won’t do anything without checking all my options first. If I have to, I will kill her. I will burn her Queendom to the ground, but I will not attack a Queen without provocation or proof of her crimes. If I did, I would be brought before the council before I could blink and be charged with treason. When the time is right, I will deal with Sophie-Anne. She will not come between me and Sookie, that I swear.”
“So you’re going to do nothing,” Pam said in disbelief. “You’re going to sit back and let her plot to take your bonded from you.”
Eric glared at Pam, not appreciating her questioning, “I am going to plan for every contingency; if and when Sophie-Anne attacks, I will be ready for her. But I will not do as you seem to be suggesting and act rashly and without plan.”
“I’m not suggesting you act rashly,” Pam defended. “I’m merely suggesting you should…”
“Take out Sophie-Anne without any concrete proof that she has done wrong,” Eric cut her off forcibly. He knew Pam was only trying to help; her undying faith that he could do anything he wanted was, while appreciated, short sighted. Despite the many times he had told he wasn’t, Pam still believed Eric was above and better than the law. As much as Eric would have loved to just kill Sophie-Anne, he knew it wasn’t feasible. Without provocation, a direct attack, or council backing, Eric couldn’t just kill Sophie-Anne. He had sworn fealty to her; his sword was hers, and he was duty-bound to protect her. It would have been different if he belonged to another state; he could have staged a takeover and no one could have said a thing, but as one of her Sheriff’s that road wasn’t open to him yet. The rules were very different for him as a Sheriff, something he currently loathed.
“Sophie-Anne will not get near Sookie, that I promise,” Eric swore. “Sookie will be guarded around the clock. Either myself, you, or Thalia will guard her at night, and I am arranging for Weres to guard her during the day. I will also be having Jason guarded. As Sookie theorized, Sophie-Anne might target him to force her to whatever the Queen wants. I am not sitting back and doing nothing, Pam. I am protecting my family. Now shall we go to Fangtasia like planned, or would you like to question me some more?”
Sensing she had pushed him too far for one night, Pam wisely remained quiet as she watched Sookie climb off Eric’s lap. She smiled slightly as she saw how a single touch from Sookie could soothe Eric’s agitated state. Pam hadn’t always approved of their relationship, believing in the beginning it was wrong for a vampire to become so attached to a human. For the first few months of their courtship, Pam had resented Sookie and the hold she had over Eric, believing Sookie to be beneath her maker, but was woman enough to admit that her initial resentment was due to jealousy and nothing more. She had been used to having all of Eric’s affection and attention, and she didn’t want to share him. It had only taken her a couple of months to realize and admit she was wrong. Once she had gotten over her jealousy, she had come to love Sookie herself. She had began to see what her Maker saw in the small blonde, and gave Sookie her friendship and loyalty without being asked to by Eric. As she watched the two of them flitter around the kitchen, Pam was glad Eric had found the telepath. Sookie had given Eric a new lease of life; it was clear to anyone who saw them they were in love. Pam had been fearful some of the vampires in the area would try to use Sookie against Eric, but instead she had been surprised when they had practically adopted her as one of their own. Sookie had treated the vampires with respect and courtesy, and in return they had done the same.
A true testimony to how loyal the vampires of area five were to Eric and Sookie was the fact that none of them had spoken about their marriage or Sookie’s gift. They had all kept it a secret for two years. The vampires in the area knew of their marriage, many of them were present at the ceremony, but none of them had reported it to the Queen. Although, Pam believed part of that was due to fear, fear of what would happen to them if they did, and it wasn’t just fear of Eric. No, most of them feared what Thalia would do to them. The angry, ancient vampire had been one of the first vampires Sookie had befriended. The vampire who hated everyone, loved Sookie.
No, Pam thought as she watched Eric wrap his arms around Sookie from behind. That bitch won’t be getting anywhere near Sookie; like my Maker I will protect my family.