“Eric what the hell is going on?” Bill asked once they were secured in one of the interrogation rooms. “What the hell is Sookie doing here?”
Eric ignored Bill as he ranted, his mind stuck on the little blonde telepath who had captured his heart. What the hell was she doing there? He hadn’t been able to hide his shock when Sookie walked into that room, but unlike Bill, he hadn’t spoken up. Neither of them was in any position to be asking questions and demanding answers, and Eric was well aware the only thing you got from questioning The Authority was a stake to the heart. Or so he thought. He hadn’t missed the way Sookie questioned them; in fact, she had done more than just question them, and she had openly mocked them – You sit on your little council passing your laws that no one really cares about or abides by, – the only one to object had been Rosalyn, and Sookie had effortlessly put her in her place.
While everyone had watched Sookie, Eric had watched everyone else and their reactions to her. He had seen fear, respect, jealousy, and caution on the faces of The Authority members, but what had really shocked him was the look on Roman’s face. In all his years walking the earth, Eric had never seen a look of utter devotion on someone’s face as he had that night. Looking at Roman while he was looking at Sookie had chilled Eric to his very core. In those few unguarded seconds, Eric had seen it all, and he knew that Roman would die for her, he would kill for her, but more importantly, Roman lived for her. Sookie was Roman’s very reason for being, and Eric didn’t know what to make of that.
“She’s a vampire,” Bill raged cutting into Eric’s musings. “They had no right to turn her. She didn’t want to be a part of our world. Whoever turned her broke the Authority’s own rules.”
Eric rolled his eyes, a habit he had picked up from Pam, as he listened to Bill rant. He wondered how someone who had climbed so far, so quickly, could be so stupid. Eric might not have many answers, hell he didn’t know half the questions, but one thing he did know was no one in that room had turned Sookie. The power radiating off Sookie was too strong for her to be a newborn. It was stronger than anything he had ever encountered. He had no idea how, but Sookie had been the strongest thing in that room tonight.
“Bill, are you so inept that you failed to realize that Sookie was the one in charge in that room?” Eric said as he turned to face the younger vampire. “No one in that room turned her; of that I am sure.”
“That is not possible,” Bill replied, refusing to accept anything but his own beliefs. He was convinced Sookie was there because of them, because of him. Nan had been aware of his relationship with Sookie, and Bill had no doubt that she had told someone in the Authority all about it. They had captured Sookie to use against him. “She is a day old at the most,” he continued as he paced back and forth. “There is no way she was in charge. They have obviously brought her here to use against me…us.”
“You really don’t see anything around you, do you?” Eric said as he stared at Bill with bemusement. “You really think everything is about you. I may not know what is happening here, but I do know Sookie’s presence here has nothing to do with us. She has not been brought in to be used against us. In fact, I will go as far to say if it was not for Sookie, we would have met the true death. They were going to stake us Bill, but it was Sookie who saved us. She gave them another option…”
“To find and capture Russell Edgington,” Bill scoffed as he interrupted Eric. “That is a death sentence in itself. They should have just staked us…”
“That can still be arranged if you like,” Sookie said from the doorway. A small laugh escaped her red lips as she took in their shocked faces. “What’s wrong? Weren’t you expecting me?”
“Sookie!” Bill exclaimed, shock etched clearly on his face having not heard her approach. “You shouldn’t be here.”
“Actually, Bill, this is the one place I should be,” Sookie said as she stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. She held up her finger, signalling them to be quiet, as she waited for all the surveillance equipment to be turned off. Once she was satisfied they had complete privacy, Sookie perched herself on the edge of the table and smiled at Eric and Bill. “I’m guessing I’m the last person you expected to see here.”
“You could say that,” Eric snorted as he regarded her carefully. He could see the differences in her clearly; he could feel her power, sense her strength, and was curious about where it had came from.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Bill asked with a demanding tone.
“Visiting old friends,” Sookie replied, repeating her words from earlier. Seeing Bill open his mouth to speak, Sookie held up her hand and silenced him. “Now I know you’ve probably got lots of questions, and some of them probably deserve answers to…”
“Probably,” Bill repeated scoffing at her. As far as he was concerned, there was no probably about it. She owed them.
“Bill, shut up and let me finish,” Sookie said as she cast her eyes dismissively over him. “As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, you probably deserve some answers…”
“You owe us the truth,” Bill snarled as he interrupted her again.
She glared at him. “I owe you nothing,” Sookie growled, taking Bill by surprise. “My ‘former‘ attachment to you is the only reason I’m here, even offering you an explanation, but make no mistake about it, that is the only reason I’m here. You interrupt me one more time and I’m walking out that door and I will never walk back in. If that happens, you won’t get the answers you think you’re owed. The roles have changed Bill, and you don’t have any power; not here, and not over me. Now what’s it gonna be? Are you gonna shut up and listen like a good little boy? Or are you gonna keep interrupting and throwing your tantrum?”
Bill stared at Sookie in shock; he couldn’t believe she had spoken to him in such a way. He always knew Sookie had fire, but never to the degree she had just revealed. There was strength in her voice that he had never heard before, and Bill wasn’t sure what to make of it or if he even liked it.
“I’ll take your silence as your consent,” Sookie said with a smirk. “Now, where was I? Oh, right: answers. You do deserve some… well, maybe deserve is the wrong word, but it is the one we’ll use. How many answers you’ll get really depends on you and how much I can trust you…” Seeing Bill move to speak, Sookie hastened to add, “and if you tell me I can trust you and you’ll never lie or betray me, I’ll light your ass up like a Christmas tree.”
Bill snapped his mouth shut and glared at Sookie, more confused than ever. A few nights ago, she was forgiving and telling him she still had feelings for him. Now she was growling and threatening him. None of it made sense; it was clear she was a vampire, but she wasn’t acting like any newborn he had ever seen. She was acting like one of the old ones. She was full of confidence, arrogance, and strength, yet she couldn’t be more than a few nights old at most.
“Stop trying to figure it out,” Sookie said interrupting his thoughts. “You never will. You don’t have what it takes.”
“Can you read my mind?” Bill asked, growling low in his throat.
“Nope, vampire minds are still a blank to me; always were,” Sookie replied. “But I don’t have to read your mind to know what you’re thinking. Cause suddenly, you’re an open book to me. Now like I said, I’m sure you have questions, so ask them.”
“You’re a vampire,” Bill cut in first.
“Seriously, that’s the first thing you’re gonna say,” Sookie scoffed with a shake of her head, “and it’s not even a question. Yeah, Bill. No pulse, no heartbeat, no breath, and a thirst for blood, but still walking, talking and swinging. So yeah, I’m a vampire. Next question. Eric, do you have a more intelligent question?”
“How old are you?” Eric asked. Like Bill, Eric wasn’t quite sure what to make of the new Sookie. He could see the changes in her; he could see her strength, her power, but there was more to her as well, or rather less. The guilt she carried around was gone; it was no longer weighing her down. She looked freer, and she was absolutely stunning in the dress he had bought for her, just like he knew she would be. Eric felt a pang in his heart as he stared at her. New Sookie or not, he still loved her, but he hadn’t forgotten how she had rejected him. Wiping the emotion off his face, Eric steeled his heart against her, refusing to fall under her spell again.
“She’s twenty-seven,” Bill answered as he stared at Eric like he had lost his mind.
“Oh, I’m a lot older than that,” Sookie said smiling ruefully. “The body might be twenty-seven, but the mind, the heart, the soul, they’re ancient.”
“How old?” Eric asked stiffly.
“Honestly? I don’t know,” Sookie admitted with a shrug. “I’m probably older than everyone in this building combined.”
“How is that even possible?” Bill asked not believing his own ears. It couldn’t be true. Sookie -his Sookie- was only twenty-seven years old, not an ancient vampire.
“I was born before everyone else,” Sookie deadpanned.
“Don’t be stupid,” Bill sneered. “You were born on July 1st 1985.”
“Did you learn that when you were sent to procure me?” Sookie asked, grinning as she saw him flinch. “Yes, Sookie Stackhouse was born on the first night of July in 1985 to Corbett and Michelle Stackhouse, but I was just reborn that day.”
“None of this makes any sense,” Bill argued.
“When does the Supernatural ever make sense?” Sookie countered.
“You’re just twenty-seven,” Bill tried again.
“No, Bill, I’m not,” Sookie said, her tone softening slightly. “I’ve not been just twenty-seven for a very long time.”
“How?” Bill demanded. “You say you’re not just twenty-seven, but won’t explain how.”
“No, Bill, you won’t shut up long enough for me to explain,” Sookie rebutted.
“Then tell us,” Bill said, his lips curling into a snarl.
“What do you know about Lilith?” Sookie asked, confusing Bill with her seemingly random change of subject.
“The mother of all vampires?” Bill questioned.
“Yes, that one,” Sookie replied drolly.
“That she was the first vampire, the mother of us all, made in God’s image, making many vampires believe God is a vampire. He created humans for her to feed on…” Bill trailed off having heard the story countless times, but he had no idea what it had to do with what was going on with Sookie.
“So, you know the commercial version, the vampire bible version,” Sookie said. “And that whole, he created humans for her to feed on, sounds an awful lot like Sanguinista thinking, so I’d be careful if I was you. Not that I’m surprised you know of their beliefs. You and Lorena were practically their poster child’s for decades.” Sookie giggled at Bill’s shocked look. “But I’m getting off topic.”
“Are you saying the vampire bible is wrong?” Bill asked.
“Yes,” Sookie answered simply.
“How could you possibly know that?” Bill questioned with a scoff. Bill didn’t believe everything in the vampire bible himself, but he never dismissed it as easily as Sookie seemed to have. What could she possibly know that would make her so sure it was a lie?
“Because I have a brain,” Sookie retorted, casting her eyes over Bill, she snorted. “I just haven’t used it recently, apparently.”
“How do you know?” Bill asked again.
“Because a long, long, long time ago,” Sookie said, her eyes taking on a faraway look, “I knew Lilith. I walked beside her. I know her story.”
I know our story, she added silently.
“You knew Lilith?” Bill repeated with disbelief. He was more convinced than ever that Sookie had lost her mind. “You’re delusional. Sookie this is ridiculous. Whatever they have done to you has made you believe these foolish lies. You’re Sookie Stackhouse, a twenty-seven-year-old waitress from Bon Temps. You were alive and well just a few nights ago. Whatever they have done to you has clouded your mind. You can’t trust them. They…”
“They did nothing to me,” Sookie cut him off tired of hearing him speak. She found it funny that Bill was lecturing her on her to trust, when he was the one who had lied to her the most. But then, Bill always had a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality. He could be as secretive and deceptive as he wanted, but the minute someone else was, he cried foul. “All that’s happened to me is the Veil has been lifted, and I now remember who I am.”
“And who is that?” Bill sneered, still believing he was right.
“Eve,” Eric answered for her having put it all together in his head. Not that any of it made sense to him, but he was sure he was right. “You are Eve.”
Nodding, Sookie smiled at Eric. “You know the story?”
“Godric told me,” Eric admitted recalling his Maker fondly and the lessons he taught him fondly. To embrace your future, you must first understand your past. Eric heard Godric whisper in his mind.
“What the hell is going on?” Bill growled demandingly. “You’re not making any sense. Who is Eve?”
“Surely you’ve heard of the story of Eve, Bill?” Sookie asked, turning her attention back to the scowling vampire. “It’s biblical after all.”
“Biblical?” Bill repeated, confused. A frown marred his brow as he thought about it, “Eve…” his eyes widened as the story of Eve came to him. “The first woman, Adam’s wife…The Garden of Eden…”
“Wrong bible,” Sookie snorted as she brushed a hand through her hair, “I assure you, I never walked through the Garden of Eden. I was referring to the vampire bible. I’m actually vilified in it as the woman who brought about the destruction of Lilith. Of course the vampire bible isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, but why let a little something like facts get in the way of a good story.”
“The story of Eve is a myth,” Bill said, taking a step back as he finally understood what Sookie was saying. He, like most vampires, knew the story of Eve. While the story of Lilith was widely believed, at least the vampire bible’s version was, the story of Eve was considered a myth, a fabrication. Lorena hadn’t believed it, claiming it was impossible, but as he flicked his eyes over Eric, Bill realized the Viking vampire believed it. And as far as Bill knew, Eric didn’t believe in anything.
“I told Roman that. That vampires believed the story –my story- to be nothing but a myth,” Sookie said with a shrug. “If I cared, I’d be insulted.”
“You really think you’re Eve?” Bill asked carefully. Whether he was willing to believe it or not, he was suddenly aware she and others did, and their fate was resting in her hands. And she didn’t seem to be too happy with him.
“I know I am,” Sookie replied. “When the Veil was lifted, my memories returned, all of them. I remember everything.”
“The vampire bible says Eve is the child of Lilith,” Bill started, unsure where even he was going with it.
“By birth and by blood,” Sookie finished. “That’s the only thing that bloody book has right. The rest, well it’s like I said, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.”
“Are you saying that Lilith wasn’t created in the image of God?” Bill asked. He had always secretly liked that theory, believing it elevated him above the humans.
“Oh God, no,” Sookie snorted, giggling as she realized what she said. “I never understood that concept. Well, I do. It’s basic human nature, trying to elevate yourself above the rest and using religion to do it. But I mean, if you think about it, it doesn’t make sense. God created Lilith in his image and then created humans to feed on. That God was a vampire. I guess he just wasn’t hungry before he created Lilith. Lilith isn’t a God, and she wasn’t created in his image.”
“Then what is she?” Bill asked, not liking having his beliefs called into questions.
“A vampire,” Sookie answered simply. “She was the first vampire, but still just a vampire.”
“Why don’t you tell Bill the true story of Lilith,” Eric suggested thoroughly enjoying watching Bill get so worked up. It was clear to Eric that despite his claims to the contrary, Bill believed in the fabled version of Lilith.
“You know the story?” Sookie said her lips curling into a smile as she looked at Eric.
“I do. Godric…” Eric started.
“Told you,” Sookie finished her smile turning into a full-blown grin as she recalled how Godric had learned her story.
“So what is the real story of Lilith?” Bill asked sullenly.
Sookie groaned as she rolled her eyes, she was fed up of Bill’s attitude already. She wondered for the thousandth time how her human self had put up with him for so long. She had only been in the room with him for thirty minutes, and that was already twenty-nine minutes too long. She knew, regardless of what she said or he said, that Bill would be trouble; she could see it in his eyes. He might not believe her, but he still wanted her. Although she was convinced it wasn’t her he actually wanted, but more how she made him feel. Her memories told her Bill would do anything to claim her again; he saw her as his, regardless of her feelings or thoughts on the matter. It was almost shameful that for all his claims of love, he hadn’t realized just how different she was now. He still hadn’t realized he held no power over her.
“Are you actually going to listen if I tell you? Or are you gonna throw a tantrum if I say something you don’t like?” Sookie asked in no mood to pander to him.
“I will listen,” Bill replied with a glare aimed in her direction.
“Fine, the real story of Lilith goes like this… in the beginning God made the land, then he made the water and creatures, and then he made man…”
“Sookie,” Eric interrupted, unable to hold back a laugh, recognizing what she was saying. “Be serious.”
“Fine,” Sookie pouted playfully. “The story of Lilith is quite simple in a complex way that doesn’t really make sense. Lilith wasn’t created in the image of God, but by God as a balance…”
“To what?” Bill asked, cutting in.
“The angels,” Sookie answered, “and stop interrupting me. Well, that’s not actually true humans are the balance. When you get as old as me, you learn it’s all about the balance. You’ve heard of yin and yang? Everything has its opposite. Light to dark, good with bad, male and female. It goes on that principle. Lilith was created as the counter to the angels, angels being creatures of light,” Sookie gritted out, her dislike for angels evident. “Angels thrived in the light; it is their element, so Lilith was created to counter that, and the first vampire was born. She shone at night.. Her grace, her beauty was never more evident than when she was beneath the stars. Humans were created as the balance; they have it all, night and day.”
“You expect me to believe that?” Bill scoffed thinking her tale made no sense.
“I don’t care whether you believe it or not,” Sookie replied truthfully. “In case you haven’t realized it, let me spell it out for you. I don’t care what you think, feel, or believe. I have much more important things to deal with than the tantrums of a young childish vampire. Vampires are on the brink of war with each other and with humans. If you want to survive you will shut up and do as I say. If not,” Sookie rolled her shoulders in a shrug, “well, I’m sure Roman would be more than happy to remove your head from the rest of your body.”
Bill stared at Sookie aghast, her words cutting him to the core. He was more sure than ever that the Authority had done something to her. The Sookie he knew and loved would have never callously threatened his life the way she just had. As he stared at her, Bill swore to himself that he would save her from whatever they had done and get her back. She would stand at his side again.
Deciding to take the offensive, Bill snarled at Sookie, “You think you can trust Roman?” he asked, hoping to plant some seeds of doubt in her mind.
“Yes, I do,” Sookie replied.
“Then you’re a fool,” Bill sneered. “He’s the head of The Authority. He’s as bloodthirsty and evil as they come. Don’t let him fool you.”
“Roman couldn’t fool me even if he wanted to,” Sookie shot back, her lips curling into a wicked smile as she saw Bill’s words for what they were. “Roman’s loyalty to me is absolute. There is no one I trust more or who is more loyal to me.” Flicking her eyes to Eric, she added, “What is it you say, Eric? The only vampire a vampire can trust is one she makes.”
Bill frowned as her words played over in his mind and he tried to decipher their meaning. His eyes widened slightly as he put it all together. “Roman is your Maker,” he blurted out making Sookie roll her eyes. “He had no right to touch you, to turn you like that.”
“Oh take it up with The Authority,” Sookie snarked, “Oh right, you can’t. He is The Authority.” Rubbing a hand over her face, Sookie let out an unneeded breath. “Have you always been this stupid, or is it just a new thing?”
Eric chuckled at the affronted look on Bill’s face; he could see the younger vampire was floundering and in an uncharacteristic moment of kindness decided to take pity on him. “Roman is not her Maker,” he said, his voice even as he hid his emotions. Hearing Sookie say she trusted Roman more than anyone had felt like silver to his skin.
“He isn’t,” Bill said, seemingly clueless. “How do you know?”
“Because unlike you he has a brain,” Sookie said, answering before Eric had a chance. “Roman is not my Maker…”
“She is his,” Eric finished having worked it out for himself with her first explanation. “Sookie…or Eve, as she is better known, is the child of Lilith, both human and vampire….”
“I was never really human,” Sookie supplied helpfully as she cut in. Seeing the look of exasperation on Eric’s face, Sookie rolled her eyes. “Carry on,” she added as she waved her hand around.
“Lilith is Sookie’s Maker and Sookie is Roman’s,” Eric continued casting a withering look at the blonde telepath. “She is the blood daughter of the mother of our race. Sookie Stackhouse,” Eric added bitterly, the sting of rejection still fresh in his heart, “doesn’t exist.”
“Oh, she exists,” Sookie interrupted as she stared at Eric. “I’m still her; she is me. I’m just more,” she added nearly repeating the words he spoke to her the night he regained his memories. “Everything Sookie Stackhouse said or did…or felt,” the last word tumbling from her lips in barely a whisper, “was me. I remember everything she did; now I just remember more. I have millennia worth of memories to go with the memories of Sookie.” A seriousness entered her eyes as she lifted her head. “And my name is Sookie. It’s the name my mother gave me when I was a baby. Eve was the name they saddled me with…”
“They?” Bill asked.
“My father,” Sookie replied distaste evident in her voice. “His people. It was their name for me.”
“His people?” Bill questioned.
“Have you always been this ignorant or are you just making a special effort for me?” Sookie spat having reached the end of her tether with Bill’s asinine questions. “If you know the story of Eve, even if you don’t believe it, you still know who my father was, who his people were. My daddy was…”
“An angel,” Bill supplied dropping his sullen, confrontational attitude in an attempted to get the answers he needed. He was convinced that Roman had brainwashed Sookie somehow and was determined to learn everything he could so he could come out on top.
“So you’re not as stupid as you look after all,” Sookie bit out. “Mother was the first vampire, father was an angel, and I’m the fucked up bundle of joy they made,” she let out a bitter laugh as she thought about it. “It sounds like the opening line of a country song.”
“How did you end up human?” Eric asked suddenly, temporarily putting aside his anger and hurt.
“Magic,” Sookie offered evasively.
“I think it was a little more than just that,” Eric argued. He was well aware of the power witches possessed, having recently experienced it himself, but turning a vampire as old and as powerful as Sookie, or Eve, as she was then known, human was far beyond the skill of any witch of necromancer. “I would even go as far to say, you were somehow responsible for it.”
“And you would be right,” Sookie admitted. “I was…I had to…” she stumbled over her words as she struggled to find a way to explain how and why she did as she did without revealing too much. “How I became human is really no one’s business but my own. It wasn’t something I wanted, but at the time it was the only option I had.”
“You don’t think we have a right to know?” Bill asked, his mind whirling with the possibilities. The knowledge and ability to turn a vampire human could be a great asset to him and would be a useful threat against any enemies he might have.
“No, I don’t,” Sookie replied truthfully. “The magic used to turn me human was old and powerful and beyond the skill of any witch walking this earth. It can’t be replicated and it won’t work on anyone but me.”
“It will only work on you?” Bill questioned disbelieving. “Of course, it’s always all about Sookie.”
“This time it actually is,” Sookie retorted with a smirk. “No one can turn a vampire human. It’s just not possible. You can’t revert to what you were, human, vampire, and then back to human, your body wouldn’t be able to handle the strain.”
“Then how did you become human?” Eric asked genuinely curious.
“I fell,” Sookie replied cryptically.
“You fell,” Bill repeated with a snort. “First you say magic, and now you say you fell.”
“Yeah, I magically fell,” Sookie said, rolling the words over her tongue as she continued to bait Bill with cryptic non-answers.
“Damn it, Sookie,” Bill shouted his temper getting the best of him, “tell us the truth.”
Moving quicker than either of them could see, Sookie forced Bill to his knees, her hand wrapped around his throat as her fingers dug painfully into his flesh. Bill struggled in her grasp, shock coursing through him at the speed she had moved. Fear built in him as he felt his blood trickling down her fingers. He gritted his teeth as he tried desperately to throw her off and climb to his feet. His eyes widened in fright as he realized he was powerless to move; his entire body was at her mercy.
”Never raise your voice to me,” Sookie said, her tone frighteningly calm, a stark contrast to the rage burning behind her eyes. “I may have said this before, but I’m going to repeat myself because you don’t seem to be listening. You have no power here. No voice. You don’t make demands. You no longer have any hold over me. I’m free from you, from your poison.”
“Sookie,” Bill pleaded as he scratched weakly at her hand.
“Seeing how you seem to have trouble understanding, I’m going to put it terms even your intellectually challenged mind can understand,” Sookie continued ignoring his pitiful whimpers. “When the Veil lifted it expelled the copious amounts of blood you had dosed me with, and we will be talking about that one of these nights as I have many questions about the nefarious ways you ended up giving me said blood…”
“Was necessary to save you,” Bill croaked.
“It was necessary to bind me to you,” Sookie countered refusing to fall for anymore of his lies. “But I’m free now, Bill. Your blood is gone, my mind is clear, and I see everything clearly again. You will never again have a hold on me. Do you understand me?”
“I…I…” Bill spluttered, humiliation taking over him at the ease she overpowered him.
“Do you understand?” Sookie repeated, her voice deadly calm.
“Yes,” Bill gritted out.
“Good,” Sookie cooed as she let him go and stepped back. “Now do you have any other questions?”
“What are you?” Bill asked, as he pulled himself to his feet. Lifting his hand, he pressed his fingers to his neck, wincing as he felt the fingernail size holes in his flesh.
“Intelligent questions,” Sookie amended with a small smirk. “Do you have any intelligent questions? You know what I am, Bill. Who I am. You just don’t want to believe it, or rather you don’t want to accept it because once you do, you have to accept that I am better than you, stronger, and a hell of a lot more powerful.”
Bill glared at Sookie balefully, the urge to lash out and hurt her growing stronger within him, but as he stared at her, he realized he couldn’t. Not because he was afraid of hurting her, but because he didn’t think anything he could say or do would hurt her. He was slowly beginning to understand he didn’t have any hold on her any longer. A few days ago his disappointment would have hurt her. A few days ago, she wouldn’t have dared speak to him in such a manner. As he continued to stare at her, Bill realized whatever Roman had done to her had completely eradicated the hold he had over her. For the first time since they met, Bill couldn’t influence her.
“You finally getting it?” Sookie asked, as she guessed where his mind was. “Mind, body, and soul, Bill. I’m free.”