It was several hours later when Eric and Sookie finally stepped out of the employees’ bathroom. They were sated for the moment and ready to get back to work. They both knew they still needed to talk, there was much they both needed to say, but that would have to come later. There were only a few hours until sunrise and they had work to do. Sookie had already informed Eric of whose scent she had noticed on the vampire she killed and what her plan was; now she had to deal with the rest of the vampires in the bar.
Sookie knew from the numerous times Bill had banged on the door, and then been knocked out by Thalia that he was still awaiting them. She wondered if Roman had informed him yet that he had been overthrown. She hoped not as she was looking forward to seeing his face when he was given that bit of news! Regardless of whether Bill knew, Roman would have informed The Authority of his decision by then, and that meant the second part of her plan would soon play out.
Walking into the main bar area, Sookie eyed the vampires who had stuck around, and committed their faces to memory. Some she knew from her trips to Fangtasia when she was still human, but others were strangers to her, and she would remain most suspicious of those. She hadn’t made it as far she had by trusting blindly and she wasn’t about to start now. The vampires in the bar would have to prove their loyalty and earn her trust, including Pam and Tara. They may have been of her line, but that certainly did not mean they had carte blanche to do as they pleased. The only vampires in the bar Sookie trusted were Eric and Thalia. Eric had earned Sookie’s trust while she was mortal, and the re-emergence of her old self along with the memories that accompanied her hadn’t broken that trust. Thalia was a vampire whom Sookie had trusted for over a thousand years. Just as with Eric, Pam, and Tara, Thalia was of her line. She was the blood of her Blood’s blood. Or more specifically, Thalia was Dieter’s child as Dieter was Roman’s. Eric and Thalia’s Makers were brothers.
Although she couldn’t be one hundred percent certain, Sookie suspected Thalia’s presence in Shreveport was due to Dieter. Of all her grandchildren, Sookie had always been much closer to Dieter. They had fought in the war against the Fae together, killing and fucking until they forced the fairies to retreat. The hundred years they spent in battle had brought them closer. That wasn’t to say she didn’t care for the others, she did. She loved them all in her own way, but she had known Dieter much longer and a great deal more than the rest. That was why she suspected Thalia was in Shreveport instead of her beloved Greece. Even though she wouldn’t have recognized Sookie, Dieter would have wanted his oldest child near her.
“Do you mind?” Sookie asked, directing the question at Eric while she gestured to his throne. Other than the time she had guarded Russell Edgington during the day for Eric, Sookie had never before sat upon a throne. She had ruled over vampires for countless millennia, but she had never held a throne. Those of her line had; her second eldest, Anastasiya Alistratov was Queen of most of Eastern Europe, and last she knew her brother’s eldest child was the Queen of the rest. The two of them were a force to be reckoned with, and most vampires were wise enough to not attempt to challenge them.
“Be my guest,” Eric replied waving a hand toward his throne. He smirked while he watched Sookie mount the dais to perch on his throne. While he stared at her, Eric wondered if she would let him fuck her on the throne. It had been the one place he had never engaged in sex at the club. He had never wanted to fuck some random fangbanger on the throne. He wanted someone of worth. He wanted Sookie. She had been the only woman he ever wanted to fuck on his throne, the only one he had ever deemed worthy. Stepping onto the dais, Eric moved to stand to the right of Sookie allowing every vampire in the bar to know as if there had been any doubt that he was firmly in her corner. He grinned when he saw Thalia move to stand to Sookie’s left. Their message was clear. They were letting everyone know precisely where their loyalty was placed.
Bill bristled while he stared at the three of them. He had been thoroughly humiliated by their combined actions that night. Not only had he been forced to listen while his Sheriff fucked his woman, he had also been attacked by one of his subjects. They had disrespected him in front of his subjects, and he could not nor would he allow that to stand. Their behavior was treasonous and they would answer for it! He could not allow personal feelings to hinder his duty to Louisiana. It was time for Sookie to learn that he was in charge, not her. He was The King, and his was the only authority.
Straightening his shoulders, Bill pushed the vampires standing before him out of the way and made his way to the front of the dais. He allowed his displeasure to be seen on his face as he stopped before Sookie. Her treatment of him was beyond disrespectful. He was the true King of Louisiana and should have been the one sitting on Eric’s tacky throne. Bill’s ire grew to a fever pitch when Sookie dismissed his presence with barely a glance. ‘Who the Hell does she think she is?’ Bill raged. ‘I will have her chained in silver and flogged for her impertinence. It’s time she learned her place!’
Pam arched a brow while she observed Sookie ignoring Bill completely. She wasn’t quite sure what was happening, but she knew enough to realize it was something momentous. Just as everyone else had she heard Sookie announce that she was the Child of Lilith. Pam wasn’t sure what to make of that. A part of her didn’t believe it simply because she didn’t think that the little female redneck piece of trash could possibly be the daughter of the Mother of their race. However, another part remembered how easily Sookie had overpowered her; the way she had ripped off a vampire’s head with no effort. She noticed the ways in which Thalia and Eric were reacting to her. Thalia, the vampire who hated everyone, looked at Sookie as if she had hung the moon. The ancient vampire worshipped Sookie. Pam wasn’t at all pleased that Sookie had saddled her with Tara; she didn’t want to be a Maker, and had no intention of looking after the baby vampire. Whether Sookie liked it or not, Tara was not her responsibility. She may have agreed to turn her, but she hadn’t agreed to look after her. Sookie owed her… She owes me. A smile lit up Pam’s face at the thought. The Child of Lilith owes me. I can make her look after Tara… Or make her stay away from Eric… Pam could barely contain her joy at that thought. She could finally get Sookie away from her Maker. She had heard them fucking just as everyone else had and she was disgusted by it. She didn’t care who Sookie was, she didn’t want her anywhere near her Maker. In Pam’s eyes, Sookie wasn’t good enough for Eric. No one was. He could fuck every fangbanger in the world, but none of them were worthy of his affection. I can finally get her out of our lives for good…
“As King of Louisiana, I am…” Bill began, once again using his pomposity in an attempt to make him sound important. He glared at Sookie while she continued to ignore him. How dare she! “Look at me when I am speaking to you!”
Silence fell over the bar when the vampires heard their King foolishly raise his voice to the child of Lilith. They could all see that it wasn’t going to end well, and some even hoped Bill would lose his head just as the vampire spy had before him. Despite his beliefs to the contrary, Bill wasn’t a popular King. Most of the vampires in Louisiana hated him. His micromanaging of everything grated on many of the older vampires in the state. Sophie-Anne might have been a pathetic excuse for a Queen, but for the most part she knew to leave the vampires in her State alone to run their own businesses. She hadn’t been one to interfere in the night-to-night lives of her subjects in the way that Bill had. She hadn’t punished vampires for being vampires.
A chill spread throughout the bar when Sookie raised her head and stared at Bill. The promise of the True Death was clear to see in her eyes, and for once in his pitiful life Bill chose to do the wise thing and kept his mouth shut. He still wasn’t ready to accept that she held a higher standing in the Supernatural world than him, and he would never accept that. She was his subordinate. He didn’t care what she said, or who her friends were. He was the one in charge. She may have fooled Eric and Thalia into believing she was Eve, but she would never fool him. He was much too smart for that. Nevertheless, he would be gracious and forgive her transgressions against him if she apologized and made it up to him.
He smirked at the thought. I’ll make her get down on her knees and apologize before everyone. I’ll have her sit by my feet just the same as a pet. I might even make Eric watch while I fuck her. It would serve him right for the disrespect he has shown me tonight by touching something that belongs to me…
“Never raise your voice to me,” Sookie replied, her tone implacably calm making her sound all the more fearsome. “Now, I know you’re too stupid to comprehend what is happening here tonight, and refuse to accept what is right before your eyes, so I am going to let someone else explain it to you…” Sookie held up her hand and silenced anything Bill might have wanted to say while she reached into her jacket pocket with her other and pulled out her cell phone. Hitting one on her speed dial, Sookie waited for the call to be answered, her eyes never leaving Bill.
“My Lady,” Roman greeted, having been expecting the call. From their brief chat earlier, he knew what Sookie wanted and was more than happy to assist. He had already called an emergency meeting with the other Authority members and informed them of the matter at hand. There had been a few questions, and Rosalyn had argued against it, but in the end they all knew her argument was pointless. She was just wasting time. A death warrant had been issued against Bill only nights before, so by extension his rule as King of Louisiana was over.
“Please inform King Compton of the decision of The Authority,” Sookie replied, a small smile curling her lips when she saw Bill’s eyes widen in surprise. “It seems he refuses to accept my word on the matter…” Sookie switched the call to the speakerphone to make sure everyone in the bar could hear. She knew they already could; vampire hearing made it possible, but she just couldn’t resist having a little fun.
“As The Guardian of The Authority, I hereby order the removal of William T. Compton from the throne of Louisiana. The vampire Compton no longer holds any power in the State of Louisiana or the vampire world itself. The Authority will appoint a new monarch at a later date. However, in the meantime, The Authority is appointing the oldest ruling Sheriff in the State, Eric Northman, as its temporary Steward…”
Bill blanched under Roman’s words. They couldn’t do that! He was The King! Nan had appointed him King after they had killed Sophie-Anne. Roman couldn’t just take it from him. It wasn’t fair! It most definitely wasn’t fair that he was appointing Eric as the temporary ruler. This can’t be happening…
“… I would also like to make it clear that an order from Our Lady is final,” Roman continued, making absolutely sure that the vampires of Louisiana knew of Her place. He refused to allow little piss ants such as Compton to disrespect his Maker and question Her word. “She is The Fucking Gospel! Now, I am assuming Sheriff Northman is present.”
“I am, Guardian,” Eric said, speaking up. He smirked at the look of absolute horror on Bill’s face and he was thrilled he hadn’t missed seeing him stripped of his title. In Eric’s opinion Bill had been a poor King anyway. He was too busy opening community centers and kissing babies to see to the welfare of the vampires in the State. Bill was too blind to even realize he was hated by ninety percent of the vampires in Louisiana.
“Do you accept the temporary Stewardship of Louisiana?” Roman asked.
“I do, Guardian,” Eric replied. He knew it wasn’t something he could actually refuse, at least not yet. Sookie had all but ordered that The Authority name him, and he knew why from their brief whispered conversations between their bouts of fucking in the employees’ bathroom, so he was happy to play along. Eric was aware it wouldn’t be a permanent role, and, truthfully, he didn’t want it that. He never wanted to be a King, and he definitely didn’t want to be a King now, but he would play along for a while.
“Good. Then as the Guardian of The One True Authority, I hereby appoint Eric, the Norseman as the acting Steward of Louisiana. The State is yours, Norseman,” Roman announced before hanging up.
“Do you believe me now, Bill?” Sookie asked, loving the look of utter dismay on the former Confederate soldier’s face. As she stared at him, Sookie wondered what the hell she had ever seen in him. It was obvious to her now he was a weak and pathetic vampire. He hitched his wagon to those stronger than him and fooled himself into thinking he was significant. He had been nothing more than a puppet king, doing as Nan ordered.
Bill glared at Sookie but said nothing. He couldn’t believe Roman had removed him from his throne on the say-so of Sookie. Oh, he knew it was she who was behind it. The Authority wouldn’t have removed him otherwise. In Bill’s opinion, he was their golden boy. He was loyal and always followed The Authority’s mandate. He was practically the poster boy for Mainstreaming. As he stared at Sookie, Bill swore he would never forgive her for taking away his throne. He swore on the memory of his deranged Maker he would make her sorry. He would wait until her little game blew up in her face and she was revealed as an imposter, and then he would strike.
“You can practically see the hamsters running in their little wheels behind his eyes,” Sookie added, making half the vampires present laugh. She shook her head while she eyed Bill. She knew he was blaming her for everything, and rightfully so. She was the puppet master this time. She was pulling the strings, and she still had a few more to pull before all was said and done.
Turning her gaze to Eric, Sookie smiled up at him while she rose to her feet. “It’s all yours, Eric,” she said cheekily as she waved a hand at his throne. “It should have been yours all along. Louisiana wouldn’t be in the trouble it is if it had been.” She shot a glare at Bill as she spoke, letting him know she was holding him responsible for the pitiful condition Louisiana was in. As far as she could tell all Bill had done in his year as king was have his house renovated. He was a useless fucking king.
Eric smirked as he sat down on his throne. His rule might only be temporary, but he would do anything in his power to restore Louisiana as best he could in the time he held the throne. He would have liked nothing more than to have kicked Bill out of the State just as the pathetic vampire had threatened to do to him when he had been appointed King. Unfortunately for Eric, Bill’s presence, while annoying, was needed until they had dealt with Russell.
As he cast his gaze over the bar, Eric observed the vampires still present, checking their reactions to him being appointed Steward of Louisiana. He wasn’t surprised to see a mostly positive reaction. Bill had been very unpopular; while he was known for his fairness. While he took them all in, he didn’t miss the smug look on Pam’s face, and he had a good idea what she was thinking… Second to the Steward of Louisiana… Well, like Bill, Pam would also be sorely disappointed. Eric had no intention of appointing her as his second. Her actions there tonight had shown him she wasn’t ready for the responsibility of what that position entailed. Besides, she had responsibilities of her own now, the responsibility to the vampire scowling beside her.
Turning to face Eric, Sookie let out a sigh while she thought about what she still had to do before the night was over. As much as she would have liked to disappear back into the employees’ bathroom with Eric again until sunrise, Sookie knew she couldn’t. It was business before pleasure time. “I have some business to take care of in Bon Temps before we move onto our plan,” she told him. “I will rest there tonight, and then meet up with you and the dethroned Bill tomorrow night to deal with our little problem…”
Eric was just about to ask her if she would be okay on her own when he remembered to whom he was speaking. He couldn’t help but laugh while he stared at her. She will be more than okay.
“Besides, you’ve got to see to your own business,” Sookie added, jerking her head toward a smug-looking Pam. She winked at Eric before moving her gaze to Thalia. “You’re gonna follow me regardless of what I say, aren’t ya?”
“Yes, My Lady,” Thalia replied unapologetic. It didn’t matter that Sookie was older and stronger than her; Thalia would always watch her back and protect her to the best of her ability. She wasn’t happy that she hadn’t realized Sookie was Our Lady until that night, and she was curious about how she had concealed herself so well. It certainly explained why her Maker, Dieter, had instructed her to move to Shreveport twenty-five years ago. He would have known Sookie was there.
“Fine,” Sookie sighed in mock annoyance. Looking at Eric again, Sookie shot him a warm smile before climbing off the dais and making her way to the door. She had much to do and little time to do it. She needed to get back to Bon Temps and contact Lafayette. Sookie was sure he would be going out of his mind with worry by now. Shame I’ve gotta add to that worry.
Eric watched Sookie walk out the door, Thalia a step behind her before turning his attention to the vampires left in the bar. He dismissed them all with a wave of his hand. Once they were all gone, Eric zeroed in on Pam. “You have some explaining to do, Pamela!”