There was a look of abject horror on Salome’s face when she took in the sight before her. She had trouble believing what she was seeing. There was no way in hell that some of the oldest and most powerful vampires were standing with Sookie. That wasn’t supposed to happen! It should have just been Sookie and Eric, no one else was supposed to be there, especially not Roman and Dieter! They were supposed to be back at The Authority Headquarters going about their nightly duties. Roman wasn’t supposed to know she was a member of The Sanguinista Movement and plotting his death.
“Roman,” Salome began, hoping she could find an explanation to talk her way out of this. She believed she had gained his trust and affection over the last quarter century with her whorish ways, and she was moderately confident she could save her own ass. “I can explain…”
“You can explain,” Roman repeated, his tone even as he took his place at the side of his Maker. “You can explain how you released Russell Edgington, you can explain how you conspired to kill me, and you can explain how you plotted to kill my Maker…”
Growls echoed through the asylum as the vampires voiced their anger at the plot to kill the head of their line. Underhanded tactics were nothing new to them, at one time or another they had all engaged in them, it was the nature of the vampire. Nonetheless, they all took umbrage at an attack against their Mistress. Sookie was more than a figurehead to them, more than a myth or legend; she was their blood, their heart, their soul. Their loyalty to her was absolute.
“… You can explain all that?” Roman continued, never taking his eyes off the biblical whore. He always knew Salome had a thirst for power and could be ruthless, but he never thought she could be so stupid. It was obvious to him that Russell would have betrayed her at his earliest opportunity. Russell Edgington would have never been satisfied being second to her for long. “Then by all means, please, explain.”
Salome opened her mouth to try to explain, but she found herself at a loss for words. She wanted to shout and scream that things weren’t as they appeared. She wanted to blame Russell, she wanted to claim she was just playing along with Russell and The Sanguinista Movement, and had no intention of killing his Maker, but she couldn’t. She snapped her mouth shut and glared at Roman, realizing there was no explanation she could give that he would accept. He would always put Sookie before her. He idolized his Maker, and held nothing but scorn for Salome. She was nothing but a whore to him. They could have been great together, ruling over everything, but as always, he chose Sookie.
“Here I was thinking she only ever shut up when she had a cock in her mouth,” Ana snorted as she moved to stand beside her vampire brother. She sneered while she ran her eyes over Salome. “Whatever did you see in her, Roman? Fucking her must have been like playing Russian roulette with your dick.”
Sookie smirked when she saw Salome splutter in indignation. It wasn’t until that moment did she realize just how much she had missed her family. She always felt calmer when they were together. She wondered briefly if that was why she was so drawn to Eric when she was still mortal. Did she subconsciously know he was of her blood? She remembered how quickly she had taken to Godric in Dallas when they met. It had been a different feeling than how she felt about Eric, yet that sense of familiarity had been there.
Turning her head slightly, Sookie observed Eric out of the corner of her eye. She could see the amusement on his face as he listened to Ana tear Salome apart. She wished she could have told Eric what was going to happen before her blood arrived, but it hadn’t been safe. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust him, she did; Sookie trusted him with her secrets, life, and the lives of her blood, but she couldn’t risk anyone overhearing. There were spies all over as well as the bugs in Fangtasia. Sookie felt a pang of guilt for having kept him in the dark.
“Now is not the time to be discussing that, Anastasiya,” Roman replied, shooting his sister a look of exasperation. “We are here to pass judgement on those who would betray us all.”
“What judgement? They’re all guilty as fuck,” Ana retorted with a shrug. “Let’s just rip them all apart. Dibs on the woman who looks as if she’s got a broom stuck up her ass.”
Eric chuckled and flicked his gaze to Isabel, knowing that was to whom Ana was referring. He may have been in the dark when it came to everything, but he was definitely happy to see them. As Roman and Ana continued to bicker, Eric took a second to cast his gaze over the vampires who had come to his and Sookie’s aid. He was surprised to realize he recognized a few of them, Ana being the first one he knew. He had met Ana roughly fifty years after he had been turned. The outspoken blonde had been a friend of Godric’s and they had traveled together on and off for a couple of decades.
Eric wasn’t surprised to see Nero, an extremely good-looking dark haired man, dressed impeccably in a custom-fitted suit there. Wherever Ana went, Nero followed. Eric wasn’t sure of the actual relationship between them, but he knew they were extremely close. His eyes widened slightly when they landed on Rasul. The last he heard, he had left Louisiana after Sophie-Anne had been killed. While Rasul had no love for the former Queen, he had refused to pledge fealty to the coward who had relied on others to dethrone her. Rasul had outright refused to serve Bill, knowing him to be unworthy of the throne.
“Enough!” Russell shouted, interrupting Eric’s observations and drawing everyone’s attention to him. Taking a step forward, he straightened his shoulders and attempted to stare everyone down. He was Russell Fucking Edgington, the true King of Mississippi and leader of the vampire world. He was the thing of nightmares, and he refused to cower before anyone. “Who the fuck are you to stand in judgement of me?!”
“I am the Guardian of the One True Authority,” Roman replied, not showing an ounce of fear. He had two thousand years on Russell and loyal vampires at his side.
“Fuck you, fuck your Authority, fuck the Viking, and fuck fucking Lilith,” Russell decried. “I’m Russell Edgington, the true…” He stopped abruptly when he felt a burning pain in his chest. Russell’s eyes widened in surprise when he looked down and saw a hand reaching into his chest. Blood spilled from his lips and trickled down his chin as he wheezed out an unneeded breath. Lifting his head, Russell stared into the ageless eyes of Sookie. The blonde had moved so fast Russell hadn’t seen her and wasn’t prepared to defend himself.
“Never insult my mother,” Sookie said her voice a deadly whisper as she squeezed her hand around Russell’s heart. If he would have been mortal, he would have been dead by then, but as a vampire he could survive someone giving his heart a handjob, even if it did hurt like hell. “If you won’t accept Roman’s authority, accept mine as The Fucking Gospel.”
The vampires of The Sanguinista stood frozen while they watched Sookie rip Russell’s heart clear out of his chest and toss it to the floor. The scent of fear saturated the room, and many of them cursed themselves for getting ensnared in Salome’s web. They had all celebrated the plan to kill the Child of Lilith, but foolishly none of them had thought about what would happen if they failed.
Eric felt a weight lift off his chest as he watched Russell explode into a bloody mess. He felt a pang that he wasn’t the one to kill the three-thousand-year old vampire, but that pang didn’t overwhelm the happiness he felt at watching him die. His human family was finally avenged.
A dark look shone in Sookie’s eyes as she brought her blood-covered hand to her mouth, darted her tongue out, and licked her fingers. She grinned wickedly at the fear reflected on the faces of the once arrogant vampires who only minutes ago were crowing about her death. Sookie knew they were still outnumbered two to one, but her line had the age and experience that The Sanguinista Movement was lacking. None of the vampires who had come to her aid were under seven hundred, and at least half of them were older than Salome.
Turning her head a fraction, Sookie’s gaze landed on Freyda who was practically shaking with fear. “Oklahoma is mine!” She announced, letting her blood know not to touch the Queen. Sookie’s words were all the permission her vampires needed to attack.
Eric surged forward and attacked Felipe de Castro, driving his fist hard into the caped King’s face. He smirked when he heard de Castro’s nose break and scented his blood. Eric hadn’t forgotten how de Castro was making a move toward Louisiana, and he intended to show the poor excuse for a King that Louisiana was His. Eric was sorry he didn’t have his sword as he would have loved to taken de Castro apart piece by piece.
Almost as one the vampires of Sookie’s line attacked. Vicious growls tore through the building as bodies were torn apart. The scent of blood infused the air, ramping up the bloodlust, and making the vampires even more brutal.
Roman, Dieter, and Ana attacked the traitors of The Authority, killing Alexander with ease and turning their full fury on Salome, Kibwe, and Rosalyn.
Sookie grinned as her family threw themselves in to battle. They were a sight to behold, and she felt her heart swell while she watched them work as a unit. Their place among her line was most definitely warranted. Casting her eyes over the room again, Sookie sought out Freyda, and amusement bubbled up inside her when she saw the regal Queen trying to sneak out during the chaos around her. Vamping across the room, Sookie stopped directly in the path of Freyda, blocking her exit. “You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?”
“My Lady!” Freyda cried aghast and backed up. Fear like she had never felt before swelled up inside her. She couldn’t believe things had turned out the way they had. Salome had assured her things would be simple. They would kill Sookie and take control of the Supernatural world. Freyda wasn’t supposed to be facing her own death at the hands of The Child of Lilith. “Please, I beg you. I was misled. I…”
“Tried to claim something that is mine,” Sookie said her voice taking on a dangerous tone as she stepped forward, stalking her prey like the predator she was. “I could forgive plenty, but not that… Never that!” Sookie didn’t give Freyda a chance to say anything else; she lunged forward and sank her fangs into the terrified Queen’s throat.
“AHHH!” Freyda screamed at the searing pain. She had forgotten how painful a vampire bite could be, and Sookie was making sure it was as painful as possible. The ancient blonde was tearing at Oklahoma’s throat, ripping her skin apart, and draining her of blood.
Eric feigned to the right as de Castro swung at him, he grunted as the blow caught him slightly on the side, but before Felipe could capitalize on it, Eric swept the Nevada King’s legs out from under him, and drove him down hard on the floor. Eric felt his blood singing in his veins as he revelled in the battle. It had been far too long since he last enjoyed a good, hard-hitting fight. Reaching for de Castro’s head, Eric closed his hands around it and was about to twist it off when he felt a heavy weight slam into his side and knock him off the King. A growl tore from his lips when he realized it was Isabel who had attacked him.
Isabel crouched down and curled her hands into claws as she eyed the Viking with hatred. She blamed him for the events that led to Hugo being exposed as a spy for the Fellowship of the Sun. She was no fool, and like any good Mistress, she was well aware of Hugo’s treachery. Isabel had used Hugo to further the agenda of her Master and The Sanguinista Movement. She had supplied him with information for the Fellowship, knowing the more they targeted vampires, the more support The Sanguinista Movement would gain. The Fellowship had played their part in making vampires see that they couldn’t live in peace with humans. Isabel sneered at the concept. Living in peace should have never even been considered. Vampires were the superior race and should rule over all of the bloodbags! Of course Eric and his fucking telepath had ruined all her work! Oh, how Isabel wished she would have known that Sookie Stackhouse was actually The Child of Lilith. If she had, Isabel would have ripped out her throat the second they met!
Isabel leaped at Eric, hoping to give Felipe a chance to recover. She knew she was no match for the Viking, he had five hundred years on her, but she could keep him distracted and give her Maker a chance to recover. Isabel cursed at Eric in her native Spanish and swiped at his face, slicing it open with her nails.
The scent of his own blood spurred Eric on, and he caught Isabel’s hand as she attempted to strike him again. He tightened his grip on her wrist, crushing her bones before snapping her hand backward, destroying it completely. He grinned when he heard her cry out in pain.
So focused on Isabel, Eric never noticed Felipe climbing to his feet and reaching for a broken piece of wood. Raising the makeshift stake, Felipe prepared to stake The Viking in the back like the coward he was when a hand closed around his wrist stopping him. Before he had a chance to do anything, he was tossed unceremoniously into Isabel.
Jumping to his feet, Felipe spun around, his cape tangling around his body. His eyes widened in anger when he realized who had dared to attack him.
“Traitor!” He hissed as he stared at his Chief Operations Officer Sandy Seacrest. She looked quite different from what he was used to seeing, gone was the frumpy appearance and rigidity, and in its place were form-fitting clothes and stylish hair. She was quite the looker; he was sorry he hadn’t enjoyed her talents like he had done with the other vampires in his State.
Eric nodded at Sandy, silently giving her his thanks. He knew she had saved his ass. He had realized too late that de Castro was behind him, he had been preparing to move when Sandy had come to his aid. He hated to think what would have happened if she hadn’t. Eric was sure he could have moved enough for the stake to miss his heart, but he still would have been staked and vulnerable for a further attack.
“I am loyal to Our Lady,” Sandy replied, eyeing the Nevada King with contempt. She hated having to serve him for the last fifty years. He was only a few decades older than her, just shy of eight hundred, and yet he acted like he was an old one, spinning tales of how he witnessed the Gladiator fights at the Roman Coliseum. Unfortunately for de Castro, Sandy actually knew someone who was alive during that time, someone who had been forced to compete in the Gladiator Tournaments… Her Maker, Nero.
“Puta!” Felipe spat, insulting both Sookie and Sandy. He was Sandy’s King; her loyalty should have been to him and no one else.
Eric snarled at the insult to Sookie and launched himself at de Castro again. He was done playing; it was time the Spaniard lost his head. Eric attacked de Castro with a renewed vigor, tearing him apart with his bare hands, and reducing him to a pile of blood and guts.
As Eric attacked Felipe, Sandy focused her attention on Isabel. She tackled the stuck-up looking vampire, driving her fist hard into her face shattering her jaw. Sandy was aware of the relationship between de Castro and Isabel, having witnessed them together without their knowledge. She took great pride in beating Isabel down, making her pay for her crimes.
Fisting her hand in Freyda’s hair, Sookie pulled the Queen’s head back as she ripped at her throat, tearing it clean out. She grinned as Oklahoma exploded and showered her with her remains. Blood dripped from Sookie’s fangs and her eyes danced with delight as the emotions she had suppressed for twenty-eight years rose up and took control. Death and destruction, fighting and fucking; that was what she had missed!
Combing a hand through her hair, Sookie streaked her blonde locks with blood tinting the color, a proud smile spread across her face while she observed her blood in all its glory. There were a few vampires she didn’t know, having never met them, but that would be easily remedied once the battle was over. However, the ones she did know were doing her proud. They were fighting as a family, watching each other’s backs, and fighting fiercely.
Sookie wasn’t surprised to see the siblings Elijah and Eliza working together and tearing apart Russell’s V Weres. They had a bond stronger than almost everyone, having been siblings before they were turned. Turning blood siblings wasn’t something that was done often, but both Elijah and Eliza were worthy of the gift bestowed upon them by their Maker. Other than Tara, all the vampires of her line were worthy.
Sookie chuckled at the boisterous cry and she shook her head as Nero appeared before her and bowed theatrically. He was splattered with blood, the evidence of his kills plain to see. Ana had picked well when she turned the handsome young man. For someone who had spent his human life as a slave, he had a joy of life and a charismatic personality.
“Mmm,” Sookie murmured in agreement. The resistance The Sanguinista Movement had put up was rather pathetic, and Sookie was slightly disappointed herself. “At least Ana is enjoying herself,” she added as she watched her second eldest rub Salome’s face in Rosalyn’s remains.
“My Queen always does,” Nero chuckled as his eyes sought out his beloved Maker. Ana had saved him from a nightmare of an existence and given him an actual life. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for her. Nero arched a brow as he tuned into the conversation Ana was having with Roman. “Are they arguing over who gets to kill Salome?”
“They are,” Sookie replied, nodding as she listened into their argument. She couldn’t say she was surprised to see them fighting. The two of them had been fighting since the night they met. Their fights usually ended one of two ways, with violence or sex. Seeing how they had already engaged in violence, Sookie suspected it would end in sex this time…
“Why do you get to kill her?” Ana growled, yanking on Salome’s right arm as Roman pulled on her left. They had already beaten the biblical whore to a bloody pulp, and all that was left was to kill her.
“She plotted to kill me!” Roman replied, engaging in a tug of war with his sister, using his former bedmate as the rope.
“That is not a good reason,” Ana argued stubbornly. She and Roman took sibling rivalry to new lengths, fighting over everything. “Fine!” she huffed, glaring at her brother. “Rock, paper, scissors for who kills the whore!”
Salome wasn’t sure what was worse, having all her plans blow up in her face and being exposed as a Sanguinista, or being helpless while her fate was decided by a fucking game. She felt humiliated by the derision Roman and Ana were showing her. They were treating her as if she was nothing.
“It’s like they’re children fighting over a toy,” Sookie commented as she watched them yank on Salome’s arms and tear her in two. She shot them a fond look before throwing herself back into the fight. She was all tuned up and wanted to express herself in full vampire style. She struck down anyone foolish enough to attack her, killing them without remorse.
Screams of pain reverberated throughout the asylum as the Blood of Lilith proved themselves to be the superior vampires. They ripped apart the vampires of The Sanguinista Movement and their pet Weres. By the time they were finished blood soaked the ground and the aroma of death hung heavily in the air.
As the last of the enemy fell, Sookie threw her head back and let out a victorious cry, celebrating the triumph. She knew it wasn’t over, there were other vampires out there who followed the Sanguinista way of life, but they had dealt them a serious blow. Her line had wiped out a large part of The Sanguinista Movement’s power structure and for now, the battle was over.
Sookie smiled as her eyes landed on a jubilant-looking Eric. He had more reason to celebrate than anyone else. Russell Edgington was finally dead. As she stared at her Viking, Sookie wondered how he would take the news that he was a part of her line. She hoped he would take it well; she needed him by her side, and not just because he was of her blood, but because he was her heart. She would soon find out, the time for secrets were over. It was time her line took their rightful place back in the vampire world.
As she looked over the destruction of the battle, Sookie couldn’t shake the feeling that while the battle may have been over, the war was only just beginning.