Sookie sighed as she looked at the clock once again. Apparently, Mr. William T. Compton was unable to tell the time as he was now fifteen minutes late. Sookie had already begun to regret agreeing to the meeting after her phone conversation with his secretary. His list of requirements was ridiculous and Sookie had considered informing Ms. Willa Burrell that their meeting was canceled before even meeting the pompous ass. Sookie had dealt with some arrogant and difficult vampires over the years… The King of Nevada sprang to mind. Felipe de Castro was prone to throwing hissy fits when someone questioned his overabundant use of crushed red velvet. Thus far, Compton was surpassing Nevada for the prize, and they had yet to meet.
Drumming her fingers on her desk, Sookie let out a huff of frustration. If Mr. William T. Compton thought he was clever by placing himself in a position of authority in order to make her wait, he was dead (ha-ha) wrong. Pulling up Only at Night’s internal messenger menu, Sookie typed a quick note and sent it to Maria-Star, her front desk receptionist for the evening, informing her that when Compton arrived, she was to tell him Sookie was busy and would be with him as soon as possible. It was a childish tactic, but effective.
Ten minutes later and twenty-five minutes after his scheduled appointment Bill finally arrived. He breezed into the building as if he owned it along with his secretary a step behind him. Sookie bit back a laugh as she heard Maria-Star informing them that Ms. Stackhouse was at the moment occupied with some very important business and would be with them as soon as possible.
Sookie could hear him clearly from her office blustering in regard about the delay and forced to wait, however; Maria-Star was adamant in her replies that Ms. Stackhouse would be with him as soon as possible. While she made him wait, Sookie dipped into the mind of his young secretary attempting to learn as much as she could before they met face-to-face.
How rude making us wait. Don’t they know we have important things to do? I can’t say I’m impressed with the fabulous Only at Night so far.
Sookie listened as Willa thought of all the important things she had to do and snorted. Sucking Bill’s cock isn’t important, sweetheart.
Having learned all she could from Willa’s mind, Sookie pulled back and reviewed all she had learned. It seemed Lafayette’s assessment was right and Bill was trying to impress the Queen of Illinois, while Willa was trying to impress her former Master to regain his favor. Willa was using Bill to achieve her desired goal.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive…
Deciding they had waited long enough, Sookie pulled up her messenger again and sent Maria-Star a quick message requesting that she escort in the latecomers.
“Ms. Stackhouse will see you now,” Maria-Star said as she stepped in front of her desk and smiled, “This way, please.”
Sookie brushed her hands over her red dress, smoothing out any wrinkles as she stood to greet her new clients. With a smile pasted on, she waited for Maria-Star to lead them to her office so she could offer a proper greeting. Her eyes widened in surprise when she saw Mr. William T. Compton enter her office and she had to fight back a snort of laughter as she took in his appearance.
Sookie exchanged a look with Maria-Star as she schooled her features; it was clear to see the young Were was just as amused as she.
“Ms. Stackhouse,” Maria-Star said, “This is Mr. William T. Compton and his assistant, Ms. Willa Burrell from Illinois.”
Willa, Sookie was happy to note, was dressed much more appropriately, or perhaps one might say modern, in her blue shift dress with little white flowers. Offering both a friendly smile, Sookie waved a hand, inviting the two to take a seat. “It’s a pleasure to meet you both,” she said as she returned to her own chair. “Please, take a seat.”
Bill wrinkled his nose as he looked around Sookie’s office, distaste rolling off him in waves. He had heard nothing but good things about Only at Night and its owners, but found himself unimpressed. He didn’t understand why many of the influential vampires in the U.S. sung their praises. Not only had he been kept waiting, they hadn’t seen to any of the things he had requested.
Bill nodded his head stiffly in greeting before turning to Willa and snapping his fingers. He grinned as he watched the young woman race forward to pull his chair back. After taking his seat, Bill snapped his fingers again instructing Willa to sit down. He briefly considered ordering her to kneel on the floor as he usually had her do. It would be a clear sign of his power and would give him the upper hand in the meeting, but he discarded the idea.
Best not make the little owner uncomfortable in her office, he jeered internally.
He might not want to make her uncomfortable, but he wouldn’t hide his disappointment at her lack of professionalism and hospitality. Removing his hat, Bill placed it on his lap as he fixed his gaze on Sookie. He had to admit she was pretty… though not as pretty as his regal and effulgent Queen. “I have to say, Ms Stackhouse, that given the reputation of Only at Night, I’m surprised at the lack of promptness of your office,” he said, his tone dripping with disapproval. “It could be considered impolite to keep your clients waiting.”
“It’s considered downright rude to show up twenty-five minutes late to an appointment,” Sookie replied coolly, not showing any hesitance. She had played these games with vampires far better than Bill Compton. “Now, seeing as we have only have twenty-four minutes left of this appointment, I suggest we don’t waste anymore time and get straight down to business.”
Bill’s eyes narrowed at her back talk just as he was about to again retort when the rest of her sentence registered with him. “Twenty-four minutes?” He blustered as he leaned forward in his chair. “Now see here, my meeting…uh, appointment with you was for an hour.”
“Your appointment with Only at Night was for 8 p.m. until 9 p.m., Mr. Compton,” Sookie replied smoothly. “You arrived twenty-five minutes late and I was indisposed for another ten. It’s now…” She made a show of looking at her watch as she added, “8:38 p.m., so we have another twenty-two minutes left. Now, should we get down to business or would you care to waste some more time?”
Bill stared at Sookie in disbelief; unable to believe she had dared to speak to him in such a manner. Did she not know who HE was? He was Queen Freyda’s most loyal subject, her most ardent supporter. He was her favorite… Okay, well, maybe he wasn’t her favorite.
He, Bill sneered silently, was her favorite. The Regent, but that would all soon change. Soon he’ll be gone and I’ll be there to offer my magnanimous Queen my expert advice and counsel. She will see just how perfect we are for each other and we will finally be together.
“The clock is tickin’, Mr. Compton,” Sookie said, cutting into his delusional musings.
Bill felt affronted by her attitude and considered just getting up and leaving. No one spoke to him that way… Okay, everyone spoke to him that way, but those people were vampires, his peers. He had half a mind to put the insolent little bloodbag in her place. It would serve her right if he dragged her out of her chair, put her over his knee, and spanked her. He felt his cock stirring at just the thought and smirked. It would be a delightful way to put her back in her place and he’d love to hear her scream and cry as he turned her ass a ruby shade of red. The only reason he would not do it, he told himself was because his Queen… The effulgent and charismatic, he supplied, Freyda would never approve. His beloved Majesty had her heart set on the undeserving bloodbag and her company to organize her party, and he wouldn’t do anything, other than what he already had done, to prevent it. He would always put the wishes and desires of his lovely Queen Freyda before his own, just as he had always done.
My captivating Queen’s desires are more important than my own. It’s why the Regent is alive, he told himself. I would have killed him years ago, but his death would have hurt my beloved Queen. I am her humble and loyal servant.
Although why his noble and transcendent Queen needed to hire someone to organize her party was beyond his comprehension. He could have done it for her. He would have been happy to organize it. It would have been my honor…
While Bill lost himself in his delusional musings, Willa stared at Sookie with barely concealed contempt. Like Bill, she couldn’t believe Sookie would dare talk to him in such a way. How dare she talk to him like that?! Doesn’t she understand her place? If my Master was here, he would soon put her in her place. He would never permit someone so undeserving to talk to him like that. My Master would soon show her. He is a real vampire. He never allows backtalk. Willa grimaced as she recalled some of the punishments she had received from her Master for speaking out of turn.
“You’re not the only appointment I have tonight,” Sookie said once the silence had gone on too long. “I’m a busy woman and I do have other things to do.”
“Of course,” Bill replied stiffly, barely holding himself back from reaching across the table and strangling her. “Let’s get down to business as you put it, so clichéd. My Queen, the enchanting and virtuous Freyda Nulah of Illinois…”
Sookie forced herself to keep her eyes on Bill as Willa screamed the word into her head. It was obvious from her hateful thoughts directed at the Queen of Illinois that the young Ms. Burrell didn’t like the Queen. The young brunette was screaming insult after insult in her head at the Queen and Sookie had to wonder why. What did Willa have against Freyda of Illinois? Sookie wished she had time to dip into her head and find out, but she really had to focus her attention on the preening Bill.
“… has an important event coming up, and in her most magnificent of judgment she has decided to bestow upon you and your little company the honor of hosting it…”
Flicking her gaze over to Maria-Star, Sookie widened her eyes slightly as she mouthed, “Bestow?” at the young Were. Sookie had to admit the more time she spent in Bill’s presence; the more she stood by her earlier assumption… He did take the prize. She could feel a headache forming just listening to him prattle on while his secretary mentally insulted his most beloved Queen.
“… It’s an honor not to take lightly as you and your staff,” Bill sneered the word as he shot a look of contempt at Maria-Star, “will have to be on your best of behaviors so as to not embarrass my resplendent and philanthropic Queen…”
Enchanting and virtuous. Resplendent and philanthropic… Did he swallow the fuckin’ dictionary before he came here? Sookie asked herself.
“… I will be your liaison in Illinois… along with a colleague,” Bill spat the last word out in distaste as he thought about just who the colleague was. “During the daylight hours my secretary, Ms. Burrell, will be your point of contact. Everything must be approved by me before it’s… whatever it is you do,” he waved his hand dismissively, “and it must be of the highest quality. My elegant and opulent Queen deserves nothing but the best…”
“Mr. Compton,” Sookie said, interrupting him before he could continue about his majestic and effervescent Queen. “While there is no doubt that Only at Night is the best, I feel the need to point out to you that we haven’t agreed to organize the event yet and no contract is in place. Only at Night is the number one company in the Supernatural event-planning arena and we are extremely busy. There is a strong possibility that we will be booked for the date or dates that Queen Freyda Nulah of Illinois wishes to hold her party; if that is the case priority will be given to the clients that already have those dates and we will honor those contracts…”
“What?!” Bill spluttered, his eyes widening in outrage. “You would dare give priority to someone else? The ebullient and… and…”
“Prosperous,” Sookie supplied helpfully.
“Yes, yes, prosperous. Ebullient and prosperous,” Bill nodded emphatically. “Freyda is royalty. She is a Queen!”
“Yes, but she is not my Queen,” Sookie said, her tone firm as she eyed the visibly upset vampire. She had to wonder just what the relationship was between Bill and Queen Freyda. She knew what her contact had dug up and what the report said, but Bill seemed, well, obsessed with the Illinois Queen. “In fact, in spite of livin‘ in Louisiana, I owe fealty to no monarch. I swore fealty to the Council itself and they accept as well as support the company appropriately, and offer us their protection…”
Bill glowered at Sookie as she spoke. He had heard the rumor about the owners of Only at Night pledging their fealty to the Council and owing it to no single monarch, but he had thought it was just that, a rumor. He was curious though about how that came to pass. The Council rarely, if ever, got involved in fealty issues and most Supes these days owed fealty to the reigning monarch of the State in which they resided… Well, except the Fae. They were the exception to the new rule. So how did Only at Night get away without having to swear their fealty to Sophie-Anne Leclerq? After all, John Quinn, the owner of EEE, had to swear his fealty to Nevada’s King, Felipe de Castro…even when de Castro always used Only at Night for his events, but that was beside the point. In Bill’s eyes, everyone should pledge fealty to his Queen.
“… Now before you start orderin‘ us around like animals…and I can assure you, Mr. Compton, if Only at Night takes the job and agrees to organize Her Majesty’s party, my staff will we be treated with nothin‘ but the utmost respect by all parties involved,” Sookie continued unwaveringly. No one demeaned and bullied her staff, be it Were, vampire, faery, or human. They were all treated with respect. “Perhaps you would care to inform us when Her Majesty Queen Freyda would like to host her party.”
“My effusive and esteemed Queen in her wisdom has decided that the 21st of August will be the perfect date for her party,” Bill replied stiffly. “She will be hosting a private gathering on the 20th of August, but neither your presence nor services will be required for that soiree,” he added through clenched teeth, his displeasure about that gathering plain to see.
SLUT! She’s a fucking whore!
Sookie eyes widened a fraction as Willa’s thoughts were drilled into her head. It had been a long time since someone had felt so strongly about another that his or her thoughts broke through her shields. Given Willa’s obvious dislike of the Queen of Illinois, Sookie had to wonder if the young and obviously angry woman was a threat to the Queen.
Not your business, she told herself as she turned her attention back to the ruffled Mr. Compton. “The 21st?” She repeated as she did some calendar math in her head. “That’s a Thursday,” she added almost to herself as she brought her calendar up on her iMac.
“I think you have an event that week with the Queen of New York,” Maria-Star said, joining the meeting for the first time as she flicked through the planner on her tablet.
“No, Salome rescheduled,” Sookie replied, casting a quick glance to her assistant. “The timing of her event overlapped with an Elfin wedding and she pushed it back a month so I could organize it for her…”
Bill’s eyes widened in surprise and his eyebrows practically disappeared into his hair as he listened to them talk. Hearing that the Queen of New York, Salome Agrippa, had postponed one of her parties by a month, so Sookie could personally organize it for her had been shocking. Salome was well known for her, ‘Everything must be done on my timeframe’ attitude and to hear that she acquiesced to Sookie’s schedule was surprising to say the least.
She probably fucked her, he sneered. It was a well-known fact that the Queen of New York was a firm believer in the sins of the flesh, and it was rumored that she had fucked every monarch in the U.S. as well as half of Europe. Bill never believed that rumor as he was sure his sumptuous and graceful Queen would never debase herself by sharing her unparalleled flesh with such a wanton vampire, although he did believe the Regent had engaged the wanton Queen in her disgusting desires. It was just more proof to Bill that Freyda and him were meant to be. He had never shared his flesh with Salome… not that he ever had the chance. The Queen of New York had no interest in what lay in Mr. William T. Compton’s pants.
“Just what will you be organizing for the Queen of New York?” Bill asked, trying to keep the disgust out of his tone at the mention of Salome.
“I fail to see how that is any business of yours,” Sookie replied without missing a beat. “If Queen Agrippa wants you to know you will eventually receive an invitation…” Even as she spoke the words, Sookie knew the odds of Bill receiving an invitation to Salome’s party was slim to none, and by looking at the seemingly uptight vampire, Sookie doubted that Bill would even accept.
A smile tugged at her lips as she briefly considered informing Bill just what kind of event she was organizing for the Queen of New York.
I bet he would be the first vampire to ever faint if I told him I was organizing an orgy for Salome…
Seeing Bill open his mouth to no doubt claim otherwise, Sookie held up her hand, silencing him as she added, “I’m sure you wouldn’t like me informing my 10 a.m. appointment tomorrow what I discussed here with you tonight, or anything pertaining to the work I may do for your Queen. I do not share the details of my clients without their express permission…”
Bill pursed his lips as he glared at her. He couldn’t fault her argument. He wouldn’t like her talking about his Queen and her business with her other clients, but her other clients weren’t his incomparable and delightful Queen. They didn’t deserve the same treatment as he and Illinois. She should inform him of all her work so he could protect his Queen from any perceived threat.
“… Now, after checkin’ my calendar I can see the week of the 16th through to the 23th is free and I’ll be able to fit Queen Freyda of Illinois in…”
“What of the Elfin wedding?” Maria-Star asked, an apologetic smile on her face as she interrupted. “It’s set for the 22nd of August.”
“Claudette can handle that,” Sookie replied after a moments thought. She quickly added a note to her planner before angling her head so she could see Maria-Star better. “Claudette will do better at the Elfin weddin’ as they have a natural bond as their species are so similar and it’ll free me up to organize the Illinois event.”
Maria-Star nodded at Sookie before making an adjustment in her own planner before making a few additional notes.
“My apologies for that interruption, Mr. Compton,” Sookie continued as she turned back to face him. “As I was sayin’, I have the week of the Queen’s party open and I’ll be able to handle it personally… if that is agreeable with you,” she added almost as an afterthought. Jesus was always telling her she was too cocky at times, cashing a check before the contract was signed.
“Well, yes, of course,” Bill stuttered, not quite believing she had agreed to organize after her earlier behavior. He was half expecting to have to return to Illinois to his Queen and informing her that he failed in his task of hiring Only at Night for her party.
“Good,” Sookie replied, beaming at the confused vampire and his angry little secretary. “I’ll have a contract drawn up and I’ll personally deliver it to Illinois…well, me and my lawyer, assistant, and security personnel. Once the contract is in place and everything is agreed upon, I’ll visit the place where the party is being held so I can get the feel of the place and then my work will truly begin. Now, are there any questions?” Sookie flicked her eyes from Bill to Willa, waiting to see if any of them had something to ask or add.
“When will the contract be ready?” Willa asked, earning a nod of approval from Bill.
“Let’s see, it’s Tuesday today… I can call Cataliades later,” she said, talking to herself, “he can have it drawn up tomorrow… Friday by the latest… Monday,” she answered with a clap of her hands. “I can have the contract ready and waitin’ to be signed by Monday. Is that okay with you?”
“Yes,” Bill replied with a nod, blanching slightly at the mentioning of Cataliades. Everyone who was anyone in the Supernatural world knew who Cataliades was, and it seemed the stories of just how well connected Sookie Stackhouse and Only at Night were true.
“Good. I’m glad we could come to an agreement,” Sookie said with a smile. “Of course, the contract hasn’t been signed yet and everything could still fall through, but let’s not dwell on that.” her tone was said jokingly, but there was an undercurrent of seriousness in her demeanor. “Now, I’m sure I’ll see you both again on Monday,” she added as she rose to her feet, preparing to put an end to the appointment. “As the liaison to the Queen, Mr. Compton, I’m sure you’ll be at the contract signin’, and we’ll be workin’ together to make sure the party for Queen Freyda Nulah will be nothin’ but the best…”
“Well, yes,” Bill replied, puffing out his chest as he stood. “I’ll accept nothing but the absolute best for my Queen. She deserves nothing less. I’ll not allow you to cut corners or do a half-assed job…”
“All our clients at Only at Night receive the best, Mr. Compton,” Sookie said, a hint of steel in her voice. “Our reputation depends on it. It doesn’t matter if they’re vampires, Weres, fairies, or elves. They’ll receive nothin‘ but the absolute best service from us. It’s why we are the best in the business.”
“Of course,” Bill nodded. “Well, my pulchritudinous and exquisite Queen will be most pleased to hear that you have agreed to organize her most regal of parties…”
WHORE! She’s an ugly fucking whore!
Sookie couldn’t help but roll her eyes as Willa’s thoughts were broadcast to her again. The woman had some serious anger issues.
“I look forward to meeting the lady who has earned your loyalty and flattering words,” Sookie said, barely able to keep a straight face.
Lucky for her Bill didn’t see the amusement or the mocking glint in her eyes. “She is unrivaled in her beauty and grace,” he preened. “It will be a high honor for you.”
Sookie shot an amused look at Maria-Star before stepping around her desk to lead Bill and Willa to the door. “I will contact the palace once the contract is ready and arrange an appointment,” she said, as she opened the door. “It has been a pleasure meetin‘ you both. Maria-Star will show you both out.”
Bill nodded at Sookie before slipping on his homburg and snapping his fingers at Willa. Sookie shook her head as Maria-Star escorted them out.
Compton talks about Illinois as if she’s a goddess and can walk on water. Willa won’t stop thinkin‘ about what a whore she is… She thought as she returned to her seat.
“Well, that was… interesting,” Maria-Star remarked, as she re-entered Sookie’s office. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a man gush as much as Mr William T. Compton, or a woman for that matter.”
“It’s as if he swallowed a thesaurus,” Sookie snorted. “I’m kinda curious now as to what the luminous and irresistible Queen Freyda is really like.”
“You’ll find out on Monday,” Maria-Star replied with a smile. “Do you want me to arrange the flights?”
“Yes, please,” Sookie said with a nod. “We’ll need four first class tickets…” she let out a sigh as she trailed off. “ With the amount of travelling we all do lately, I’m startin’ to think Warlow is right and we do need a private plane…” she pursed her lips as she thought it over before letting out a breath and reaching for her cellphone. “I need to call him anyway,” she told herself, remembering the promise she made to Earl.
Maria-Star laughed softly as she heard Sookie arguing with herself. She gave her boss and friend a reassuring smile before slipping out to make the necessary arrangements for their flights on Monday.
Checking the time, Sookie did the time difference math as she searched her contacts for his number. He’s a daywalker, you idiot, she scolded herself. He’s always up.
The phone rang three times before a familiar voice spoke, “Tere!”
“Hello to you as well, old friend,” Sookie replied as a smile spread across her face.