Summary: This story takes place while Sookie is still with Bill, but has bits and pieces from the other books thrown in to help the story out, so let's all put our pretending hats on and pretend that none of the rest of this series has been published. This is just a fantasy I have had about the overbearing (yet GORGEOUS) Sherriff of Area 5, a beautiful supernatural barmaid, and her deceitful lover. I hope you like this.
Disclaimer: Charlaine Harris is still the Queen of the Southern Vampire Mysteries chess board, but I couldn't help messing with a few of her pawns.
I will admit that as I am driving to meet Eric at his vampire bar, Fangtasia, I am a bit worried. I awoke this evening to find a voice mail from Bobby Burman, Eric's day person, summoning me to a meeting with the Sherriff at 10:00 pm sharp. The message indicated in no uncertain terms that I was not to ignore the summons or be so much as one minute late for the meeting. I immediately tried to call Eric upon hearing the message to find out what it was that he wanted me for, but was directed to Pam instead. After a terse greeting, I asked her about the subject matter that prompted the meeting. Her only response was that the clock was ticking and I had better not anger her master any more than I already had. This is why I was worried; an angry Eric is never a good thing.
Still trying to figure things out before facing Eric, I pulled into the employee parking area behind the bar. As I silently shut the car door, Clancy was opening the back door for me. 'Why am I being escorted?' I wondered. 'This can't be good.' Eric wasn't normally this formal about a summons. Clancy walked me through the employee only area of the bar to Eric's closed office door, knocked once and waited for an answer, opened the door to allow me to enter alone, and then shut the door. I assumed he would stand outside the door, barring entrance to anyone else, and maybe blocking my exit. "No, this was definitely not good."
Within a fraction of a second upon entering I noted that both Eric and Pam were in the office, Pam was sitting on the couch smiling in a way that had me a little scared and smelling strongly of recent sex (probably one of the female fangbangers out in the bar area now), while Eric was pacing in the space behind his desk. 'SHIT! What the fuck was going on here?' For the first time tonight, I was beginning to feel more than just apprehensive.
"Eric." I made a slight nod of my head in his direction, indicating my respect for his position.
"Sit Bill, we have much to discuss." It wasn't a request.
Feeling unsure as to what was going on, I decided against sitting on the couch with Pam, choosing instead to sit in one of the empty chairs in front of his desk. Assuming that it would be wise for me to remain silent, I waited for Eric to start our meeting. I didn't have to wait long.
"I have recently been given some information regarding you that I find distressing Bill. It concerns you and Sookie." He started dryly.
"Oh Shit! There was so much about Sookie's and my relationship that wasn't what it seemed, but wasn't supposed to know that. What could he possibly have found out?"
"I'm sure that I have no idea what you are talking about Eric. My relationship with Sookie is private, and as you must surely remember, she is mine. Unlike some of our kind, I do not kiss and tell, nor will I start now." I hoped that he would not see through my bravado.
"I have not forgotten your claim on her, but she will leave you, and when she does, I will be waiting here to console her. With the information now in my possession, it will happen sooner than even you can you anticipate. Make no mistakes Bill, she will be mine, and you will help make that happen."
"What?" I asked incredulously, my voice so high that I had trouble recognizing it as my own. "How on earth could you possibly think that I would not only give Sookie up, but that I would give her to you? More importantly, how can you believe that she would willingly go to you?"
"Quiet, Bill. You will listen to what I have to say before you utter another word. When I have told you exactly what information I have, and what I expect to happen because of said information, you will not only give her to me, but you will help to make sure that she thinks coming to me was her idea."
I sat in my chair, apprehension turning into full fledged fear that sent a shiver down my spine, and I could only guess what Eric was hinting at. There was only one thing he could use to blackmail me with that would make Sookie leave me without a backwards glance, but there was absolutely no way he could ever find that out, was there? Whatever he had though, it was big enough to make him extremely confident, confident enough to threaten me into placing Sookie in his waiting hands. I didn't want to hear this.
"Do you remember Rasul, Bill? He is one of Sophie-Anne's personal guards."
I nodded yes, never taking my eyes off his face.
"Well it would seem that he has a special gift, one that allows him to hear much more clearly than any other vampire. There are very few walls that he cannot hear through. One day, while he was standing guard outside the Queen's office, he heard a conversation concerning a human in my territory. What do you think he heard, Bill?"
Though he had asked me a question, I could tell that Eric didn't want or expect me to answer him, so I continued to sit there without making a sound. As I expected, he barely waited a second before he continued, his face animated with excitement. I was already horrified, and didn't think it could get much worse. I had forgotten all about Murphy's Law, and it seemed that Mr. Murphy had a personal grudge against me. "Well, shit."
"He listened as Sophie-Anne and a male subject of hers talked about a young female resident of Bon Temps. As the conversation progressed, it was stated that this particular female was most likely telepathic, but surely human, according to information relayed to her from the Queens lover. This information was thought to be true, since the female in question was the lover's own cousin, but the Queen wanted it confirm beyond a doubt by one of her subjects. It was also said that retaining this females services could be of incalculable value to Sophie-Anne, and that whoever was in the office with her would be given all rights to the female, as long as he was able to convince to use her ability to help the kingdom of Louisiana and the Queen in her dealings with humans. It would be most convenient if the Queen was able to learn what a humans intentions were in regards to any business conducted with her or for her territory. And what better way than to pull those intentions directly out of their own thoughts! The benefits that having a telepath like that in her retinue were unknowable, but she was willing to bet that it would also greatly improve her standing in the vampire community. She then charged the male in her office with the tasks of moving to Bon Temps and seeking out this female, one Sookie Stackhouse, and doing whatever was necessary to gain her trust and bring her into the service of the queen. If this could be done, she would see to it that the vampire in her office would take a position among her advisers and personal staff. Given the enormity of her offer, and the fact that it should be an easy task to accomplish, the male readily agree to travel to Bon Temps to check out the circumstances surrounding this girl. The Queen had yet another trick up her sleeve though, one that would give the male a reason to move to the small town without causing too many questions to be raised. The Vampire Rights Bill was before Congress as they spoke, and she had it on good authority that it was going to pass. One of the proposed rights contained in that document was that a vampire was entitled to re-inherit any family property that was left without a human to inherit it. The Queen had already ascertained to there was a relative of the male who had recently died without an heir for his property near the residence of the female, which would then revert back to the vampire's possession. This should give him the opportunity to live in Bon Temps without the residents suspicions being raised as to why he had chosen that particular backwoods town. The male was then told that the sheriff of the area involved was not to be informed of the Queens interest, but neither was the male to hide from him. The male was to present himself to the sheriff as he would normally, only stating that he was attempting to mainstream, and was therefore taking possession of the old family homestead in an attempt to do this. He was also encouraged to try to keep a low profile and try to keep this girl under the radar, so to speak, of the sheriff, who might decide to try to keep her for his own uses. Only if it was impossible to do this was he to let the sheriff use the female's abilities, though it would help to ascertain just how valuable she could become to the kingdom. After a few more instructions to the male, Sophie-Anne dismissed him from her office to begin his preparations so he could carry out his instructions. Would you be surprised to know that Rasul recognized the male as he exited the office? Would you care to guess at the identity of the vampire, Bill?"
I didn't need to guess, I already knew who it was. I was the male who had sat across the desk from Sophie-Anne that day. I only wondered if the Queen knew that Rasul had overheard the conversation, or that he had betrayed said private conversation to the sheriff of the area involved. As if Eric himself had suddenly become telepathic, he answered my unspoken question.
"What the male vampire didn't know was that Rasul had been placed by the door purposely, even Rasul himself was not aware of this. After the male left, the Queen called Rasul into her office and asked him if he had heard everything clearly enough to relay it correctly to me when she decided that the time was right for me to know. He told her that he had indeed heard the entire conversation between the two of them, and that he would wait until she commanded him to say anything to me, despite our previous friendship. Several weeks ago Rasul called me, shortly after you took off with Lorena and left Sookie without fulfilling your obligation the Queen. He said that she told him to tell me everything, and to charge me with several tasks on her behalf. One of those tasks concerned only your loyalty to her. She wanted to know if you had followed her instructions to not tell me about your mission, which you have done for the most part, since you didn't tell me the real reason you took up residence in my area. Another task was to test the extent of the Sookie's ability so we could fully calculate her potential. I have already informed Sophie-Anne that anything that the she could be anticipating would fall far short of the reality of what Sookie actually can do. That she is a true telepath who was very adept, even without any formal training on how to use her gift. She would be an excellent addition to her retinue. I then told her that I was interested in the Sookie, and asked her permission to remove any obstacles in my way of making her mine. She asked me if you had claimed her, and I replied that you had, but then I reminded her that I had been in her service for well over a century, and that I had proven my loyalty repeatedly, while you had only been in her service for less than a decade and had yet to perform any service that would prove yourself to her beyond any doubt. That you were still young, and had already bounced around from place to place, swearing your fealty each time you landed under a new ruler, not to mention running off once during this mission already. The Queen, ever the realist, understood what it was that I was saying. She knew that I would be in a better position to ensure that the Sookie would be willing to work for her than you would. She was already questioning the amount of time it was taking between your reports, and the fact that when you did report in, there was very little to say. She gave me permission to take Sookie away from you Bill, and to claim her as my own. She gave me carte blanche to do so however I felt best, asking only that I keep Sookie mentally able to help her kingdom. So I have spent several days racking my brain in an attempt to come up a plan that will allow me to step into her life in such a way that she will willingly chose me over you, and I have come to the conclusion that I cannot do that without your cooperation."
I could be silent no longer. I didn't want to lose Sookie. For the first time in decades, I was beginning to feel like I was no longer merely floating through an empty and endless life, but that I had finally found a reason to pull myself out of my closet hidey-hole every night at dusk. And here he was, telling me that I not only had to give that up, but I had to help him take her away from me. 'OH HELL NO!'
"I won't pretend that I don't know about the conversation that took place between Sophie-Anne and I that evening in her office, but I cannot believe that the Queen would charge me with such a task, and then turn around and give you a task like this, as you wish me to believe. I don't know what kind of game you are playing here Eric Northman, but I do not for one second believe that the Queen has given you any type of permission for this, let alone her blessing. Until I talk to the Queen, I will refuse to even consider doing as you are commanding me, punishment be damned. Anything that you do to me without the Queens knowledge will be revisited on you double when you figure in her rage of knowing that you intentionally interfered with her plans. I will do nothing that will put Sookie under your control. You Can Go To Hell Eric, before I will help you here!" I could practically feel the steam coming out of my ears as I railed against him. While I was yelling at him, I had pulled my cell phone from my pocket and flipped it open. I hit the speed dial for the Queens personal line, and was about to hit the send button when Eric grabbed the phone from my hand and snapped it shut.
"I knew it…"I started to say that I knew that he was attempting to go behind the Queen's back with this personal coup against me, but was cut off by Eric once again.
"Of course you may speak to her about this, Bill, but you don't need to call her. She has been listening in on the speaker phone throughout our entire conversation." My heart sank, he was being honest, and I could see the satisfaction gleaming in his eyes. "Are you still there, Your Majesty?" He called smugly into the air towards the large office phone sitting on his desk.
"Yes, Sheriff, I am. I must say Bill, I am not happy with your progress concerning Miss Stackhouse, and when Eric called me with his idea, I found it to be an interesting solution to my problem. What is that charming phrase the humans use for this? Killing two birds with one stone? Only this particular stone has the potential to remove more than simply two birds. I can use Eric's loyalty to me to help influence Miss Stackhouse into using her gift for the benefit of my kingdom, which directly benefits both the humans and vampires here alike. I can also reward a loyal sheriff for all of his hard work making his Area as profitable as it is by giving him the girl he desire's. Not to mention that I can punish you in a manner that will hurt you more than several years in a silver chained coffin would for your failure to bring Miss Stackhouse into my service. Not only have I agreed to Sheriff Northman's plan, but I agreed that you would help him execute it. And you will, or I will punish you so severely that you may never recover. Is that understood Bill? This is a command from your Queen. You will do this, no exceptions. Do I make myself clear?" She asked coldly. Sophie-Anne may look like a sweet young fifteen year old girl, but she is by far the scariest entity I have ever encountered in my roughly 135 years on this earth. There was no way that I ever wanted to incur her wrath, but my heart was screaming at the injustice of it all.
"Yes Your Majesty, I understand, but may I please defend my actions and inactions to you?" I asked her.
"You may, but make it quick; I have a meeting in two minutes." She replied.
"Thank you, Your Majesty. I know that I was to work my way into Sookie's life and get her to agree to work for you, but there are circumstances in her life that have made her view her gift as a disability. I feared that if I tried to speed things up, she would feel like I was forcing her to do something against her will. Since I am not able to glamour her, I have had to take a more traditional route to get her to trust me. I believe that I am very close to getting her to believe that I love her, and without that belief, she will not help us." I informed the Queen, proud of myself for not sounding like a whiney child.
"Be that as it may, you will relinquish your prior claim on Miss Stackhouse, and help Sheriff Northman to seduce her and bring her to our service, since you were unable to do so yourself. Though I was led to believe that you were already in an intimate relationship with her, I fail to see how, if that is the case, that you were unable to get her to do as you wished her to do. Human women are easy to manipulate if you are willing to do so. A little sex, a blood bond, and voila, you have a willing servant. I do not understand how you have been unable to get a bond with this girl when Sheriff Northman has already managed to exchange blood with "your" woman twice while you were off doing whatever. What were you doing? Oh that's right, instead of following the orders of your sworn Queen, you chose to follow your dick around, and almost screwed up your chances with Miss Stackhouse, though thankfully Eric stepped in and helped you out there as well, telling her that Lorena was your Maker and that you could not ignore her call. BTW Eric, that was good thinking on your part, making it seem that Bill had no choice. Now, I really must go. Bill, you will listen to Eric. Know that I have given him permission to do this, and that he has all rights to punish you, including final death, should you choose to disregard these orders. Good night gentleman, Pam." And with that, she hung up.
I had no choice, I would have to try to convince Sookie that I no longer loved her, and I had no idea how to do it without killing a large part of myself in the process. I would have to follow Eric's orders, and though I really hated him right now, I knew that he would have a thoroughly thought out and well constructed plan to woo and win my Sookie. I was starting to crave final death over what I was going to have to be part of. The thought of Sookie in Eric's arms was enough to make me nauseous, and that is no mean feat for a vampire. I swallowed my pride, and no small amount of bile, and turned to look at Eric, who had stopped pacing and was now seated behind his desk. The bastard was so cocky; he had his feet resting on a top corner of his desk, crossed arrogantly at the ankle, with a smug-assed grin slathered across his face.
'GOD, I really hate this fucker.'
a/n: Also, a great big thank you is needed for my Betas; Misticbutterfly and teamedward86.
While this is a completed story, please remember that reviews are always appreciated.