Leaning against the SUV she had commandeered, Sookie watched as Dieter surveyed the area going over the weaknesses in security. She smiled while she listened to him bark orders at some of the guards. Roman really had chosen well when he turned Dieter. Well, he always chose well when it came to his children. They only added to the greatest of the bloodline. There was no waste when it came to the Blood of Lilith.
Well, almost no waste, Sookie amended when she saw Roman escorting a still handcuffed Tara out of the building. She looks even happier tonight than she did last night, Sookie snorted at that thought while she took in the scowling baby vampire. I wonder if I can lock her in the trunk until we get to Shreveport? Shaking away the thought, Sookie opened the back door and arched a brow, waiting for Tara to get in. Sookie let out a sigh of frustration as she saw Tara just glare at her in response. Why me? What the fuck did I do to deserve this? On second thought, don’t answer that.
“Just so you know, I have no problem tying you to that backseat and gagging you if I have to,” Sookie warned, deadly serious. “Now get in the fucking car!”
Tara let out a huff but finally did as she was ordered and climbed into the back of the SUV. She scowled at Sookie as she saw her one-time friend lean in and fasten her into some restraints. “What the fuck are ya doin’?” She snarled.
“Like I said, I have no problem tying you to the seat,” Sookie replied, pulling the restraint tighter. “You’ve tried to attack me twice since you rose. Do you honestly think I’m gonna give you the chance to do it a third time? Now, be a good girl and shut up while I go and say goodbye.” Sookie slammed the SUV door before Tara had a chance to reply.
“She tried to attack you?!” Roman growled, clenching his hands into fists. It didn’t matter that his Maker was the strongest vampire on earth, or that she could rip off the baby vampire’s head with ease, he was always overly protective of her. All her children were. She was their mother, sister, and daughter. Everything began and ended with her.
“She did,” Sookie replied. Fishing the SUV key out of her pocket, Sookie pressed the button locking up the SUV and Tara with it. “That’s gonna piss her off,” she chuckled as she slipped the key chain back in her pocket.
Looking up at Roman, Sookie let out a sigh seeing the angry look on his face. “I’m a big girl, Roman; I can deal with the angry and annoying baby vampire myself. Besides…” A wicked smile spread across her face as she added, “I’m taking her back to her Maker; that is a far worse punishment than anything you could think up.”
Roman shot the baby vampire a look of contempt through the SUV window before nodding at his Maker in understanding. As much as he would love to have shown the angry vampire why it was a bad idea to attack his Maker, he knew Sookie was right. She could take care of herself. She didn’t need him to protect her. She didn’t need anyone to protect her. Still, Roman was suddenly sorry his other sister wasn’t there. She would have broken the baby vampire in two for daring to attack their Maker.
“Walk with me,” Sookie ordered jerking her head to the side, telling him to follow her. The two of them walked for several minutes in silence getting far enough away from the building so they had a sense of privacy, but still being able to see it.
Glancing back at the building, Sookie smiled sadly as she saw everyone running around as Dieter put them through their paces. They were preparing for war and none of them knew it. “This wasn’t exactly the homecoming I expected,” she confessed as she turned her gaze back to her eldest child. “How did so much go wrong in such little time?”
The words were spoken in barely a whisper, but Roman heard them clearly. He wished he had an answer for her, but he didn’t. He had no idea how The Sanguinista Movement had gained so much power in just a quarter of a century. They had held them back for thousands of years, and yet now they were stronger than ever. Roman feared if they didn’t find Russell Edgington and end him soon, things would get even worse.
“You know there is a spy within The Authority,” Sookie said, switching to Sumerian. It was the first mortal language she ever learned to speak, and she liked to use it when she needed to converse with her children in private. Those who were too young to have learned it during the time it was widely used were taught by her much like Eric had taught Pam how to speak a modern version of the language he spoke when he was still human.
“I do,” Roman replied, adopting the same language. “I have suspected it for some time. However, I am unable to determine their identity just yet. They are keeping themselves well hidden.”
“I believe they will try and make a move soon,” Sookie told him. “No doubt my return has them rattled. Whoever it is wouldn’t have planned on that.” Looking back at the building, Sookie pursed her lips as she contemplated her next move. Finding Russell and ending him for good was paramount. That needed to be done and soon. Sookie was aware that Eric and Bill had already left. They would be on their way back to Shreveport by now. It wouldn’t be a problem for her to catch up with them before they got there. Molly had done as she asked her, Dieter was taking care of security, and Nora was… Sookie let out a sigh as she thought about her. Nora was locked up in an interrogation room at the mercy of The Authority.
“Right, I need you to do a couple of things for me,” Sookie continued, putting a plan together in her head. She dropped her tone to barely a whisper, making sure no one would be able to hear them even if she was speaking another language. “One, l need you to get Nora out of there. I don’t know or care how, just do it. And, two…” Her lips curled into a smile as she eyed her child. “This one you’ll probably enjoy. I need you to…”
Sookie hummed softly along with the radio and tapped her fingers against the steering wheel in time with the music. She had been on the road for about ten minutes and was keeping her eyes peeled for Eric…
And Bill, a little voice added unhelpfully. Sookie scowled at the thought that she would be stuck with his presence until the situation with Russell was dealt with. He’s like a STD, just when you think you’ve gotten rid of him for good he flares up again.
“Where are we goin’?” Tara asked. She had been trying to punish Sookie since they left The Authority headquarters by giving her the silent treatment. She still blamed Sookie for her newfound state and didn’t plan on forgiving her anytime soon.
“Shreveport. I’m taking you back to your Maker,” Sookie answered, casting her a quick glance over her shoulder. “Then I’ve got some work to do.”
“I told ya. I won’t have anything to do with that bitch,” Tara growled.
“And, I told you. You don’t have a choice,” Sookie countered, her tone even. She wouldn’t get into a shouting match with Tara. No good would come of it. “She’s your Maker, it’s her responsibility to look after and teach you how to survive.”
“I don’t need her help,” Tara spat. She hated Pam and wouldn’t have anything to do with her. “I don’t need anyone’s help.”
“Really?” Sookie questioned, eyeing her bitter ex-friend through the rear-view mirror. “So tell me, how do you feed on a human? How do you know when to stop so you don’t take too much? How do you temper your strength so you don’t destroy everything you touch?”
“I’ll learn…” Tara said sullenly, refusing to back down and admit she needed help.
“You’ll learn cause your Maker will teach you,” Sookie replied, cutting her off. She didn’t care what Tara said. She would take her back to her Maker, and Pam would take responsibility for her. The alternative was something Sookie doubted neither Pam nor Tara would like.
“No, I won’t,” Tara spat, deliberately being confrontational. She wanted a fight. She wanted to hurt Sookie for what she had done to her. She wanted her former best friend to suffer. “You can’t make me…”
“Yes, I can.”
“Why? Who died and put you in charge?” Tara asked sneeringly.
“My mother,” Sookie deadpanned. She knew Tara wouldn’t understand what she meant, but she was deadly serious. Lillith had died and left her in charge. As the oldest, the rule of the line fell to her. She became the head of the line. “I’m judge, jury, and executioner. Now, do us a favor and go back to giving me the silent treatment… Or I really will gag you.”
“Bitch, what’d ya say to me?” Tara snarled, incensed that Sookie was talking to her in such a way. “You can’t tell me what the fuck to do! I’ll do what the fuck I…”
“OK. Enough of this…” Sookie mumbled as she pulled the SUV over to the side of the road and jumped out. Moving to the back of the car, she opened the trunk and pulled out the small bag she had put in before she left. Grabbing a plain white vest, she ripped it into strips before slamming the trunk shut and moving around to the back door. Opening the door, she grinned at Tara as she forced one of the strips into Tara’s mouth and tied it. “Can’t say I didn’t warn you,” she said before slamming the door shut.
Sookie had barely made it a few hundred feet down the road when she saw the familiar looking sight of Eric and Bill. She grinned as she stepped on the gas and sped toward them. She knew from speaking with Roman that they were going to be left on the road to Shreveport, and she was glad she had caught up with them before they decided to just race there or rather, she was glad to catch up with Eric. She would have been more than happy to leave Bill on the side of the road.
Pulling up beside them, Sookie rolled down the passenger side window and leaned over the seat. “Did no one ever tell you it’s dangerous to walk along the road at night?” She said cheekily, flashing Eric a smile.
Eric chuckled as he moved toward the passenger side door and bent down, resting his arms through the window. “I did hear that,” he replied, ignoring Bill who was scowling behind him. “I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that you came along when you did then. Who knows what dangers could have been waiting for us otherwise?”
“He should consider himself lucky he was with you,” Sookie said, jerking her head in Bill’s direction. “Cause if he wasn’t, I’d have driven right by.” She grinned when she heard Bill let out a huff on annoyance. “Jump in; I’ll give you a lift to Shreveport.” She gestured to the back seat. “I’m heading that way anyway.”
Eric arched a brow when he noticed Tara restrained and gagged in the back seat. He couldn’t help but laugh as he pulled open the door and slid into the passenger side, leaving Bill to go around the SUV and climb in the back. It seemed the new-old Sookie was full of surprises. As he stared at her, Eric wondered what else was different about her. It was obvious she wasn’t as forgiving as she was just a few nights ago; or perhaps the better word would be doormat. She was no longer a doormat for anyone to walk on. She had a strength to her now that he found arousing.
Bill had barely climbed into the back of the SUV when Sookie stepped on the gas and sped off. “Sookeh!” He scolded before he realized Tara in the back beside him. His eyebrows rose comically as he noticed she had been restrained and gagged. He was just about to say something when the knowledge that she was a vampire hit him. “Did you turn your friend?” He asked, aghast at the idea.
“Oh God, no,” Sookie snorted. “I have much more sense than that. Only an idiot would turn her…” She winced as she realized what she said. “Sorry,” she whispered to Eric, angling her head so she could see him.
“No apology needed,” Eric replied, dismissing the apology. “Pam was an idiot.”
Bill flicked his eyes between Sookie and Eric trying to make sense of what they were talking about. He hated how close they seemed to be. He hadn’t missed how Sookie was more open with the Viking. It wasn’t something he approved of, and he was determined to put a stop to it as soon as he had the chance. Moving his gaze to Tara, Bill ran his eyes over her trying to determine how she fit into everything. He could smell the faint scent of Pam on her and his eyes widened when he realized what Eric and Sookie meant.
“Pam turned her!” He exclaimed. “How could she do that?”
“Well… First she drained her of her blood; then ripped open her wrist and fed her her own,” Sookie replied, her tone droll. “You’re a Maker, Bill. You should know this.” You’re a shit Maker, she added silently. I’m surprised Jessica hasn’t met the True Death by now due to having you as a Maker.
“I know how it is done,” Bill replied, anger leaking into his voice at Sookie’s continued mockery. “I merely meant, why did she do it? And why is Tara here? She should be with her Maker…” A devious smile spread across his face as he put it together. He could only think of one reason for why Tara would be there and not with her Maker. “Did Pam abandon her after she rose? That is against vampire law. Abandoning a newborn vampire child is a punishable offense. As The King of Louisiana and a representative of The One True Authority I will have to lay charges against Pam and issue a punishment…”
“Yeah, and I’m sure you’d just love that,” Sookie mumbled, shaking her head while she listened to Bill try and throw his weight around. She knew he was doing it just to try and get at Eric. Bill was nothing if not petty and predictable. A quick look at Eric told Sookie he thought the same thing.
Eric fisted his hands while he listened to Bill threaten his child. Pam definitely deserved a punishment for her actions, and she would get one, but he would be damned if Bill would be the one to dole it out. All Bill was doing was trying to prove he had power over him. He wanted to hurt Eric and was using Pam to do it.
“There’s just three problems with that though, Bill,” Sookie said, looking into the rear-view mirror and meeting his eyes.
“Really, and what would they be?” Bill asked. He couldn’t think of any problems.
“One…” Sookie held up a finger.”You’re not the King of Louisiana anymore. You got overthrown,” she told him. “Two…” She continued, talking over his protest. “You don’t represent The One True Authority,” she mocked his over-pronounced accent. “You were their gopher at best. And three, and this one is my favorite; you’re in no position to criticize Pam for doing something YOU did yourself. So…unless, you want me to turn this SUV around and take you back to The Authority to face charges of abandoning your child when she first rose… Be a good boy and shut up.”
Bill spluttered indignantly as Sookie once again belittled him. He was still the King of Louisiana! Nan had appointed him King on behalf The Authority. “I was appointed King by The One True Authority,” he said haughtily. “I am still King.”
“Weren’t you just listening?” Sookie replied mockingly, looking over her shoulder at him. “The One True Authority got overruled. You’ve been overthrown.”
“There is no higher power than The Authority,” Bill argued, losing his composure as Sookie continued to needle him.
“You keep telling yourself that, Bill,” Sookie said with a laugh. “But you’ll soon find out there’s The Authority, and then there is The Fucking Gospel!”
Eric smirked while he listened to Sookie continue to rile up Bill. It was obvious to everyone but Bill that he was way out of his depths. He was refusing to believe who Sookie was. He was still holding on to his foolish idea that she had been brainwashed. Eric had to wonder just how stupid Bill was. Why he thought Roman would brainwash Sookie into believing she was the most powerful vampire on the planet and make himself subservient to her, Eric didn’t know. Anyone with half a brain could tell Sookie was the one giving the orders. She was The Fucking Gospel!
Eric wondered how long it would be before Bill pushed her too far. The former Confederate vampire’s continued attempts to force Sookie into a mould he believed she should fit into were becoming tiresome to him. He couldn’t imagine how Sookie felt.
“There is no such power as the fucking Gospel,” Bill replied dismissively. He had never heard of one, therefore; it couldn’t exist. “So until The Authority tells me I am no longer King, I will continue to rule my State as I see fit.” He smiled smugly as he leaned back in the seat, believing he had gotten the upper hand.
“Whatever you say, Bill,” Sookie said, paying him little attention. He would soon find out he had no power in Louisiana. He could call himself King if it would make him happy, but once she showed her face in Shreveport, no one else would.
Tara had watched the interaction with rapt attention. She had no idea what was going on, or what half of it meant, but even she could tell a change was on the horizon. Sookie was behaving differently and Tara didn’t know what to make of it. One thing she did know, she wasn’t staying with Pam no matter what Sookie said. Sookie wasn’t in charge of her, no one was.
An unnerving silence descended upon the SUV, one in which Sookie seemed to revel. She loved that she was making both Bill and Tara uncomfortable. It was probably cruel of her, but she couldn’t find it in her to care. Lord knows they had both made her uncomfortable enough over the years. She chanced a quick glance at Eric and smiled when she saw the smirk on his face as well. It seemed he was enjoying the awkwardness as much as she was.
The sound of a phone ringing broke the silence and Sookie frowned when she realized it was her phone. “Who the hell would be calling me?” She questioned as she reached into her pocket and pulled the phone out. “I only got this phone an hour ago. Hello,” she said as she hit the connect button.
“Здравствуйте,” a feminine voice spoke softly.
A wide smile spread across Sookie’s face when she recognized the voice and she didn’t even try to wipe it off. Few things could make her smile like that, and the lady on the other end of the line was one of them. “Is the line secure?” She asked, switching to Russian.
“It is,” the mystery lady replied.
“Good,” Sookie said, switching to Sumerian when she remembered she wasn’t alone. She trusted Eric with who was on the other end of the phone. In fact, the two of them had met. Eric might have been in the dark about her lineage, but he did know her. No, it was Bill and Tara she didn’t trust. She knew Tara couldn’t speak or understand Russian, but she wasn’t sure about Bill. She wasn’t going to risk it though. Bill might not believe her now, but he would eventually and when he did, he would probably try and use any information he picked up against her.
“Big brother said you had returned and you didn’t come and visit me. Mother, I’m hurt,” she said teasingly.
“There’s no need for me to come and visit you as you are coming to visit me,” Sookie replied, a touch of amusement in her voice. “I need you here, Ana,” she added deadly serious. “There’s a storm brewing and I fear we’re all gonna get caught in it. It’s time for our line to take center stage again.”
“When do you need me there?” Ana asked.
“Yesterday,” Sookie snorted. “I’m gonna need you all. You know what that means?”
“Family reunion,” Ana answered with a hint of wonder in her voice. As Sookie’s second eldest child, she was a little more in the know than others, but even she wasn’t aware of all the vampires of their line. She knew of her brother and sister. She had spent a few centuries with Roman over the years. The two of them had an interesting relationship to say the least. They fought like wild animals most of the time, but they were loyal to each other and their Maker.
“Yes,” Sookie replied. “I need you to contact those you know over there. I need you all here as soon as possible. You remember the old meeting place? I want everyone there within four days,” Sookie ordered. “Call your brother… again,” she added, realizing how Ana got her number. “Try not to insult him and he’ll explain everything.”
“Can’t I insult him a little?” Ana said mischievously.
“Just don’t draw blood,” Sookie snorted, remembering her old saying when it came to the two of them.
“No promises,” Ana replied wickedly. “I will see you in a few nights.”
“Good,” Sookie said, rolling her eyes at the grumblings coming from the back seat. She was getting fed up with Bill’s attitude. “I will see you then. Oh, and Ana… I missed you.”
“I missed you, too, mommy,” Ana replied with a laugh.
“Don’t call me mommy,” Sookie growled, but there was no heat in her tone.. The truth was she missed Ana’s playful attitude and wicked sense of humor. Her child had a love of life and never hid it. She was always laughing and joking. It made some people underestimate her, but Ana always showed them why that was a bad idea. She may have loved life, but she had a vicious and bloodthirsty streak like the rest of them. Ana was usually the first one to snap and resort to violence if provoked.
“Okay, mommy,” Ana cackled before hanging up.
Sookie chuckled as she slipped the phone back in her pocket. Seeing Eric’s quizzical look, she mouthed ‘later’ at him as she subtly gestured to the vampires sitting in the back.
Eric nodded in understanding and said nothing. He couldn’t say he wasn’t curious about who she had been talking with because he was. He would have been an idiot to not have been. She was speaking in a language he didn’t understand, after greeting the woman in Russian. He wanted to know who she was talking with and in what language, but he knew it wasn’t the time, not while Bill and Tara were sitting in the back listening in. Eric trusted Sookie to tell him later as she promised. He frowned at the thought. He trusted her… He had been wondering if he still did and he was happy to realize it was the truth. He didn’t just trust her with his safety as he proved at The Authority headquarters, he trusted her to be honest with him and, in return, to trust him.
Looking in the rear-view mirror again, Sookie laughed when she saw the sour look on Bill’s face. She could tell by looking at him he wasn’t happy, but truthfully she didn’t care. She knew he had questions, the first one probably being what language she was speaking and how she learned it. However, she didn’t trust him with the answers. It was one thing, his knowing she was The Child of Lillith, but another thing completely knowing about her children. Her link to Roman was well known so there had been no point hiding it, but she’d be damned if she would tell him about Anastasiya or Molly. She doubted he would be any threat to them. He definitely wouldn’t be on to Ana. She was three thousand years older than him, but Molly never was a fighter. She knew how to defend herself if necessary, but that was it. She wouldn’t trust Bill not to go after Molly in a foolish attempt to get to her.
Sookie was suddenly grateful she gagged Tara earlier. She would have undoubtedly had something to say otherwise. Sookie smiled as she pulled onto Industrial Way and saw the neon sign that spelled Fangtasia. Pulling into the parking lot across the street, Sookie killed the engine and looked up at the bar. There was a line of fangbangers around the block waiting to get in, and Sookie wrinkled her nose in distaste as she eyed them. Not exactly the vampire equivalent of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, is it? Oh, Lillith help me, I’ve become a snob…
“OK!” Sookie said as she opened the SUV door and climbed out. Speeding around to the other side, she pulled open the back door and grinned at Tara. “Time to take you back to your Maker…”