Sookie stared at Bill in disbelief as she listened to him refuse to take the cure. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. After everything they had done, the danger they had put themselves in, he was refusing. As she watched him attempt to explain to Jessica why, a sobering thought entered her head…
He wants me to mourn him. He wants me to watch him die and then spend the rest of my life feelin‘ guilty and mournin‘. Even in death, he’s still tryin‘ to manipulate me. He’s not a new Bill. He’s still the same asshole he always was.
“Jessica, it is my time,” Bill said, hoping to get her to understand as his eyes flicked to Sookie. “I am ready to leave this earth…” While he wanted Jessica to understand, it was truly Sookie’s compassion that he needed. He needed Sookie to hold onto her guilt about infecting him. If he took the cure, and he had been tempted, it would give her absolution. Taking the cure would absolve her of her sin of infecting him, and Bill couldn’t have that. Bill couldn’t have Sookie forgiving herself; she needed to blame herself for his infection and death as it was the only way he could retain his hold on her. Even if he wouldn’t be there, she would still be his. She would forever belong to him. Her guilt at him dying would see to that. If he took the cure, Bill knew he would lose his little fairy miracle. It was only guilt and pity that kept her at his side at the moment. Despite what she tried to tell herself, Bill knew she had gotten over him a long time ago. She had let him go. It was only guilt and blood that held her to him now.
Whatever hope he had that she still loved him was washed away when he saw her reaction to Eric being infected. The wolf’s death had hurt her, but the thought of Eric dying had almost destroyed her. She had been devastated when she saw those ugly black lines on his chest. It was right then that Bill knew he had lost her. She would never be his again. Eric would always own the largest part of her heart. Bill couldn’t live with that. If he couldn’t have her, he would make sure no one else would. He could have killed her, but that would have been too easy for Bill. He wanted her to suffer for not loving him enough to forgive him of his mistakes. He wanted her to live a long and lonely life, and he wanted her to hurt every single second of it. Sookie, thinking she was responsible for his death, would do just that. She would never forgive herself, and she would never give herself to Eric again. In death, he would ultimately win.
Contracting Hep-V had been a blessing in disguise. He had been devastated when he first noticed the signs of the virus, but his devastation had given way to joy once he realized what it stood for, and what it would mean. He had let Jessica discover him infected knowing full well she would call Jason, and the older Stackhouse sibling would tell Sookie. He had simply lay back, waited for them to put all the pieces together, and come up the obvious conclusion… Sookie had infected him. He had believed that as well at first, but a second visit by Doctor Ludwig had informed him otherwise. It wasn’t Sookie who infected him, but he who had infected Sookie. It appeared he had been infected for a while, but wasn’t showing any symptoms until he fed off Sookie. It had been her fairy blood that had advanced the virus. The blood that he craved since the moment Sophie-Anne had first revealed it was the blood that had cut his remaining time in half. It was kind of poetic in a way.
“Then leave,” Sookie said, interrupting his thoughts and taking them all by surprise. “If you’re ready to leave this earth… then leave it,” she repeated as she took a step toward Bill. “Sunrise will be in about…” Sookie made a show of checking her watch before continuing, “five hours, so why don’t ya meet it?” Seeing the look of confusion on Bill’s face, Sookie let out a humorless laugh. “If that don’t work for ya, I’m sure Eric’s got a stake ’round here somewhere. I’m sure he won’t mind lendin‘ it to ya, or stakin‘ ya himself, and if he does, well…” Sookie shrugged her shoulders, “I won’t. I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time I staked ya, right?”
“Sookie!” Jessica cried, appalled at the telepathic blonde’s words. Whirling around, she reached for Bill, grabbing his arms as she clung to him. “She doesn’t mean it, Bill…”
“Yes, Jessica, I do mean it,” Sookie said, interrupting her and refusing to allow anyone else to talk for her or tell her what she meant. For too long she had sat back and let others talk for her and tell her what she meant, but no more. She was done taking a supporting role in her own life. She was in the driver’s seat now, and she intended to stay there. “If Bill wants to die, then he can go right ahead and do it.”
Taking a deep breath, Sookie turned to face Bill again. There was not a single ounce of love on her face as she gazed upon the man she did once love. The love she had once felt for him had been washed away in a sea of lies and manipulation. Her guilt at believing she had infected him had brought her back to his side, and she finally realized with startling clarity that the guilt that had brought her back to his side and ashamedly his bed, wouldn’t have kept her there. Their first relationship had been built on lies and blood, and their second on guilt and blood. None of those things would sustain a relationship, and, what’s more, she didn’t want them to. Sookie was done feeling guilty. She would not feel guilt for infecting him, and she would not feel guilty for not loving him anymore.
“If you want to die, then go ahead and do it,” Sookie continued, her eyes never leaving Bill’s. “Just don’t expect me to hold your hand and cry over you, and don’t expect me to mourn you because I won’t. I’ve shed enough tears over you, Bill Compton, and I refuse to shed anymore. Because when it comes down to it, you’re not worth them. I’m done. Done with you, with this whole guilt trip I’ve been on. I won’t let you make me feel guilty….”
“You infected him!” Jessica growled, cutting Sookie off dead as she vamped in front of her and bared her fangs. “If it wouldn’t have been for you he wouldn’t be dying.” She couldn’t believe Sookie was talking to Bill in such a way. Everyone knew how much he loved the telepath and for Sookie to be so callous to him was unsettling to Jessica.
“Did I? I’m sorry,” Sookie replied dismissively with a shrug.
“You don’t care?” Jessica asked, disbelief clear in her tone.
“No, I don’t,” Sookie said, refusing to slip back into that guilty mindset just to please Bill or Jessica. “I infected him… Whoops, naughty me. Perhaps Bill should’ve known better than to feed off of me after seein‘ me covered in the bloody remains of infected vampires. Maybe he should’ve had the decency to not feed off me one hour after I saw my boyfriend die.”
“You volunteered to feed me,” Bill whined petulantly, put out by Sookie’s sudden refusal to pander to his desires and feel guilty for something that wasn’t really her fault.
“I was just bein‘ polite. I’m Southern, manners are everythin‘ to me,” Sookie snorted. “It didn’t mean ya had to accept and stick ya nasty fangs in me. Ya supposed to be a Southern gentleman, Bill, and that wasn’t very gentlemanly.”
“You’re blaming Bill for you infecting him?” Jessica asked incredulously.
“Why not? He always blamed me when he put me in danger. It’s one of those vampire things I don’t understand cause I’m not a vampire,” Sookie replied, smiling for the first time in what felt like weeks. She laughed softly as she recalled all the times she had heard that. It seemed like every time Bill did something she didn’t like, he blamed it on being a vampire. Maybe I can stand back and watch someone get beaten half to death and then blame it on bein‘ a fairy.
“You think this is funny?” Jessica snarled, getting in Sookie’s face again. She had no idea what had gotten into her, but Jessica wasn’t going to tolerate it. As far as she was concerned, Sookie owed Bill. Everyone knew how much her Maker loved the telepathic blonde. It had been bad enough that Sookie had practically ignored him after he had rescued her from that creepy Warlow and hooked up with Alcide. That had hurt Bill badly. Having to watch the woman he loved cavorting around with another man had nearly crippled him, but this was worse. Jessica was sure that Sookie’s relationship with Alcide had only added to the depression her Maker felt. In Jessica’s mind, Sookie was to blame for her Maker’s current condition and his desire to die and she wouldn’t have it. She would not let Sookie kill her Maker, as she had killed all the other people in her life who had loved her.
“I think it’s hilarious,” Sookie replied, unfazed by Jessica’s aggressive behavior. She rolled her eyes as she saw Jessica flash her fangs at her again. “Put ya baby fangs away, Jess, they’re not scaring anyone.” Why Jessica thought she would be scared of her when she hadn’t shown any fear in Eric, Bill, or Pam’s presence, Sookie didn’t know. As scary vampires went, in Sookie’s mind Jessica rated somewhere between Count Chocula and Count Von Count from Sesame Street.
“What the hell’s gotten into you?” Jessica snarled, backing up slightly as she realized she wasn’t intimidating Sookie at all.
“A shitload of blood, I reckon,” Sookie snorted. She tried to think of the last time she was free from vampire blood. Before I met Bill, she realized with a start. That’s what? Almost two years now… Jesus, no wonder I’m so fucked up. In the last two years I’ve had Bill’s, Bill’s again, and again, Eric’s, Bill’s again, and again, then Eric’s, and of course Bill’s again, Warlow’s, Violet’s, and what d’ya know? Bill’s again. How the hell am I even able to think straight?
“That’s cause Bill’s always having to save your ass from the danger you get yourself into,” Jessica retorted harshly, hoping to shame Sookie.
“Yeah, like the time I was almost beaten to death by the Rattrays, or I was almost drained in Mississippi, or shot in the cemetery,” Sookie replied, listing off some of the times Bill had saved her. “Course he wouldn’t have had to give me his blood after I was beaten by the Ratts if he hadn’t stood back and watched while they beat me half to death. Same with Mississippi; I wouldn’t have needed his blood if he hadn’t almost drained me…”
“I never shot you,” Bill cut in before she could continue.
“No?” Sookie replied, the word coming out like a question. “If I remember right, the only people who had guns that night were Tara and your guards.” Jerking her head to the side, she added, “Pam took Tara’s gun off her, then you took it off Pam, so the only people with guns were you and your guards. It’s funny how out of everyone there I was the only one who got shot, and you were the one to give me blood.”
“Sookie, you can’t think…” Bill began; unable to believe she had finally realized he was behind her being shot. She wasn’t ever supposed to know that. He had felt her drifting away from him. Her relationship with the brain addled Eric he could’ve handled and forgiven her for, but the troublesome fairy had to go and fall in love with him. That was something he couldn’t tolerate. Up until the point where he had felt her love for Eric, Bill had been convinced she was simply acting up and trying to get him back for walking in seconds after he had fucked Katie. He was willing to let her play her silly game, but then she had to go and fall in love with Eric. I should have staked him when I had the chance, Bill thought. Only he hadn’t; instead he had let him go. He had felt the two of them fucking. He swore he had been able to smell their combined scents on the wind. Feeling Sookie’s pleasure and his believed ability to be able to scent them had made him hard, and he had called one of his donors to him. He’d had the donor blow him on the porch of his house while he tracked Sookie through their bond. He had been put out when he realized Sookie had enjoyed herself more with Eric than she ever did with him. It was after that he had started making plans to get his blood back into the little bottle of sunshine. Putting her life in danger had worked before, so he plotted to do the same again. When the opportunity had presented itself in the cemetery, he took it, shooting his unfaithful fairy and once again getting his blood into her. “I would ne…”
“Save it, Bill, I don’t wanna hear it,” Sookie said, stopping him dead. “I don’t care. I’m done. I’m done listenin’ to your excuses and lies. I’m done with ya manipulations. I’m done with you. I just… I just don’t care anymore. I’ve finally reached my breakin’ point. Congratulations. Ya’ve finally taken me to my limit.” Waving a hand at the restrained Sarah, Sookie shrugged. “Take the cure or don’t. That’s your choice, but I’m out. I don’t care what ya do. I’m walkin’ away. Goodbye, Bill.”
She didn’t spare Bill a second glance as she turned on her heel and made her way toward the stairs. She stopped a few feet away from the first step as she noticed Eric and Pam in her way. “I’m sorry I brought him here,” she said.
“She puts us all in danger and she’s sorry,” Pam snorted, eyeing Sookie reproachfully. It was no secret that Pam disliked the fairy, but even Sookie was taken aback by the look of disgust in her eyes. “You should think yourself lucky that you’re cured, Eric, or she would be walking away and telling you to meet the sun.”
“And they say loyalty is dead,” Eric sneered, letting his disappointment in Sookie be seen. After all her claims of loving Bill, even Eric couldn’t believe she was going to walk away from him now. He hated that Sookie loved Bill, but like everyone else, he believed she did. For her to walk away from Bill now was cowardly in his opinion. If she could do that, Eric wondered if she was the woman worthy of his affection.
Lifting her head, Sookie blanked her face of all emotion, hiding the heartbreak she was feeling as she stared at Eric and Pam. She couldn’t believe Eric of all people was judging her for walking away from Bill. Screw them, Sookie thought, refusing to let them see her pain. If they wanna judge me they can go fuck themselves as well. “That’s funny. Tara and Willa said exactly the same thing.”
Eric stiffened at her words, unable to form a reply, and even Pam dropped her head a little. Sookie’s words had hit right on the mark, and neither of them could refute them. They had both abandoned their progenies, and had not taken care of them as they should have. They had no right to question her loyalty when their own was so sketchy.
None of them noticed the glint of happiness that flashed through Bill’s eyes as he watched Sookie and Eric drift further apart. It appeared as though he might not have to die to keep them apart after all. They were doing a cracking job of it themselves.
Sookie didn’t give any of them a chance to reply. She simply brushed passed them and climbed up the stairs. She paused halfway and looked over the stair rail. “Goodbye,” she said, her tone hinting at a strength that hadn’t been seen in years, before continuing up the stairs and out of the club.