Song I listened to for this chapter: Your New Beloved by Lovelife
With that he hangs up, gladly washing his hands of Nan’s prodigy. If the Viking does rid the world of Bill Compton, he does not think anyone would really mourn. He then turns his attention to making sure that there are no issues in anything Eric has requested. He also sends a team to kill Russell for the Viking…maybe that will get them in his good graces.
Bill’s face reveals his terror as he realizes that nothing will be done if Eric decides he is too much of a pain in his ass and kills him, or even if he orders one of the others present to do it. The realization that Eric can do whatever he wants is a daunting one, and one that quite frankly scares him. Before he always had a way to stop Eric from attacking him and now, he has none.
Eric chuckles at the look on Bill’s face, and he tells his beloved, “Such a strange sensation when the reality matches what you’ve pictured in your mind so precisely.” He shakes his head at the look of terrified realization, and decides it is great to finally make Compton realize that he doesn’t hold the cards. The only thing better will be when he discovers that there never has been anything stopping Eric from doing as he wishes.
He grins when he hears the musical laughter of his lover, and he raises an eyebrow when Bill grows angry. Eric will not lie; he is enjoying taking back the mantel of his Kingdom. There is a lot of responsibility, but at the same time, that responsibility is going to allow many things to be done. Most importantly, it will keep his beloved safe.
Bill growls – surely this is just another Northman trick. This cannot be real! The repercussions of this being real make him shudder, so his mind immediately helps him continue his illusion that by simply denying it all, it is no longer real. He snickers silently – just wait until King Mäninorr hears of this! He has seen pictures of the ruling King! While he looks like Eric, it is not him. “I do not understand what the hell is going on, Northman, but-“
Being as mischievous as his line is known for, Haldor interjects, “Mäninorr. He has taken back his rule, and has acknowledged his name. It is not his fault that you people decided to call him by the meaning of his last name instead of the actual name.” He loves rubbing this in Compton’s face. He hates the man, and knows the only reason he is alive is to not hurt his new Queen.
Fed up with the disrespect that he is getting from the man behind him, Bill turns to him and demands, “Who the hell are you to tell me what to call him?” He is seething, unable to get ahead in this conversation and taking it out on an individual who he thinks he can bully.
With a smirk that is pure Eric, Haldor raises an eyebrow. “Haldor Mäninorr, His Majesties’ 3rd Son. As one of the King’s Sons, I think I can definitely state that Eric is my Maker, my Fader. You, you are nothing. The only reason we are even talking to you is because my little sister doesn’t want to be in Olaf with the rest of us.” And it is clear in Haldor’s voice he does not understand his little sister’s wishes.
Still growling, Bill clenches his hands, but the sound of every man pointing a gun at him when he takes a step forward halts that half-step towards the only person he could grab. This action is not to protect Haldor but rather from the guards’ own selves being pissed off by this nobody who thinks he can get away with yelling at their Fader.
Thinking quickly, Bill instead swings around and asks of Sookie, “See how they are willing to go through this lie Sookie? Even if this Haldor is telling the truth, Eric never made a move to keep him safe from me. How could you trust them? I will keep you safe.” He declares the end as if making the statement alone should be enough to make her change her mind.
Laughter spills from Sookie as she moves to stand at Eric’s side. “Haldor doesn’t need Eric. He is older than you. And from what I heard, it sounds like Eric has your boss kissing his ass. So why would I want you? You lie, you manipulate, and you cheat whenever you can.” She can feel that Eric is thrilled by what she says, but is also concerned about how close she is to the lying asshole. She leans into his side, and his arm comes around her shoulder as he pulls her closer for a casual kiss. His arm then lowers to her waist, ready to move her back if Bill tries anything.
Bill growls again, not only at her words, but at the casualness of Eric’s affectionate movements. “And you think Eric will do any better? He is a vampire!” He needs to get her away from him! He starts thinking through ideas with each failing because of all the forces arrayed against him if he tries to do it by coercion. The only thing left to him are his words, and he is not sure why they are not working as normal!
She quickly replied to his statement, “So are you, Bill!”
Eric puts his hand on her lower back, making sure his arm is able to sweep her behind him if need be, but does nothing else. His little Mate deserves this chance to lance some of the anger built up inside her, and the chance to leave all this behind will make things better for her.
Sookie takes a breath and then lets Bill have all the things that have run through her mind, especially when her granddaddies were talking to her, and even more so when she woke up without his blood in her. “You are a vampire. You try to give me that excuse but it’s like you always forget that you are one. That you yourself warned me away from you the very first time I met you! You also fed me a lot of your blood without ever once telling me that you could affect my feelings. And you did do that, you forced your feelings on me. You forced me to have your hatred of Eric. You forced me to give my virginity to you. You force fed me your blood every time you had a chance. If the blood is so sacred, then why did you feed it to me every time I turned around? You fed me when the Maenad attacked, both when I was attacked, and then afterwards. And that didn’t make sense since if you wanted me to heal faster, Eric’s blood would have done it!”
Bill starts. “You heard us?” He had thought she was knocked out. Though, it wouldn’t have made a difference – he wouldn’t have allowed Eric to get his blood into her no matter what.
Glaring at the Civil War Veteran, not even noticing how Eric is getting pissed about what he is finding out, she continues, “Yes! I heard everything! He called the doctor. He was the one who took care of me. You just simply refused his offer of healing me fast and did it yourself! And those were not the only times! You even tricked me into taking your blood when we were going in to interrogate Eric’s employees. Then when Eric gets a few drops of blood in me, all of a sudden you use that to state that he could feel me, that he could affect my emotions. But by then you had given me enough blood to make sure that your blood wouldn’t allow me to think clearly for myself, hadn’t you it?” She is glaring at him, missing the reactions of everyone else present and how mad they are all becoming.
Bill shakes his head, not used to a Sookie who thinks for herself. “What are you talking about? I have never affected you or forced you to drink my blood. You crave it.” He urges her to remember, trying to control his blood he thinks is in her body, but it isn’t working like it should. He really needs to get her out of that house. Once he can smell her, he can find out what is going on.
Unable to help it, Sookie snorts, then raises an eyebrow. “What world do you live on? It’s sure not the same one as the rest of the people on this planet.” She puts her hand on her hip as she tells him, “Bill, when you change the way someone feels and make them so terrified of going into a club owned by someone – someone that you told them will eat them – that they will do anything to protect themselves, that is forcing them. You knew it, though, didn’t you? You knew that there was something between Eric and me, and that is the reason you fought so hard against the two of us being close to each other. You felt my desire for him, you felt how my body felt better when I was near him, and so you made me feel you. You made me feel how you hate and fear him. No matter what you acted like, I felt what you did when you were close to him.”
She is trembling with rage, but Bill thinks she is scared, “Sookeh-,“ he starts to say but she furiously interrupts him.
“Shut up!!! It’s fucking ‘Sookie’ – it rhymes with cookie! I know you don’t talk like that all the time, so give it up!”
Haldor growls, and the only thing stopping him from grabbing the imbecile who is making their Queen so mad is the slight shake of his Fader’s head. The men surrounding the idiot are gripping the barrels of their guns so tightly that their hands are turning white. They are all loyal just as their families have always been. When told they would finally get to openly guard their King, they had been happy. Hearing how this vampire has mistreated their new Queen is enough to make them all very, very angry…angry in a way you don’t want people with guns pointed at you angry.
Bill snarls at Sookie. “Enough! I do not have to listen to you. Eric, I do not know how you fooled the Chancellor, but there is no way I even remotely believe that you are the King of the North Cap. You have been here for way too long for a King of the Old World. And I had heard of how Sophie Anne would attack you. You would never allow something of that type if you were Mäninorr!” He was getting desperate, needing to be right. Eric as Mäninorr would be a death sentence for him. Therefore in his mind, he has decided that he is not.
Laughingly Eric reasons out, “You truly have no idea do you, Bill? And knowing this, are you picking a fight?” Then he vamps to Bill and releases his power for the first time since he left his Kingdom in the capable hands of his Sons. When Bill backs up, terrified under the effects of Eric’s age and power beating down on him, he adds, “I have not done this since I left my Kingdom in the hands of my Sons – my more than capable Children who have ruled while I took a sabbatical. Now I am ready to return, and as Haldor said, correcting my name as the first Americans have misspelled it.” He looks down at the pathetic little king. He is enjoying this a bit too much… but it is time for him to show Bill how much he cares about him.
Bill is shaking – who would have thought that Eric would have this sort of power? He backs up to the point he trips and lands on his ass, still looking up at Eric.
Standing over the fallen monarch, Eric tells him, “Now. I suggest you shut up and allow Sookie to say her part. You have fucked up so badly that it is only my need for this woman which has kept your head attached to your neck. As you have seen, all it took was my announcing that I am ready to head home.”
Then Eric turns, smiles at his Mate, and gives her a little bow. It’s her show, and maybe she can get through it without being interrupted by the idiot of the South.
Bill looks at him, and he suddenly realizes… “NO! Sookie! How can you let him take you away from your life? What about your brother, Tara, and Lafayette?” This is a disaster, but he may still be able to get what he wants. But she needs to be here! Not in Europe!
Or not. Eric just shakes his head wryly as he gives Haldor a look. The grin he receives in reply is more than enough to assure him of his Mate’s protection. Then he gets a feeling through the bonds he has wide open, and he looks around, but it was gone as fast as it came.
Sookie shakes her head. “Bill. Please. They didn’t miss me when I was gone for a year and they all gave up on me. My own brother sold his family homestead! Eric has promised to keep the house, but there is nothing here for me anymore. Why would I stay?” She explains to him truthfully, seeing that she is not needed here, and frankly she is tired of all the supernatural bullshit that has plagued her since this vampire on the ground came into Merlotte’s.
Eyes wide, Bill scrambles up. “Sookie, Eric tore down your house! I tried to save the house, but since he outbid me, I couldn’t save it.” He cannot believe it! The fact that he had glamoured everyone to not miss her is the reason she is leaving! He throws out what he thought would be the golden ticket to having her pitch a fit and stay with him, or at least not leave.
Shaking her head at him, she looks up at Eric. “How could you want me after him?” Her face looks lost, unable to comprehend how stupid she had been. It didn’t feel right anymore.
When Bill curses, Eric moves to her side, enjoying the way she watches him move toward her. Standing before her, he cups her face with his left hand. “Always and forever, min Karlek. I would have fought to remain here to wait for you until the end of time.” He stares into her eyes until he sees and feels her accept his words.
She smiles up into his face, allowing her own love that she was starting to feel for him to blossom. How could she have ever not realized that he was the man who had protected her, who had done everything he could to save her? He had even jumped in front of her at the nest in Dallas. Yes, then he had her suck his bullets out, but his first instinct had been to save her. He had sacrificed himself for her many times, and somehow Bill had made her forget it all. And, to be honest, she had not helped.
Bill, well, Bill had almost killed her. He had done that not once, but twice. And he has only used her. All the times that he had either hurt her, or managed to get her hurt, run through her mind.
When they hear the growl from the Civil War Veteran, Sookie steps around Eric and glares at Bill. How dare he growl at her? Eric has more right to growl at Bill and he never did.
Shaking his head, Bill divulges his thinking to her. “He will use you, and then throw you away, Sookie. How many times has he hurt you now?” He needs her not to give in to the Viking, and what he has just witnessed is more than he has ever shared with her. That love she showed Eric in her eyes and face is more than he has ever gotten from her.
Sookie cannot help the sarcastic tone of her voice when she retorts to his barb, “He is not using me, and even if he is, who do you think I would prefer to be with? You? The one who – on the second time meeting me – arranged for me to be beaten to the point I had to have your blood to survive? And then not once did you ask me, nor gave me the option, to have it burned out of me. But then, that was the whole point, wasn’t it?” She is glaring, and instead of calming her, she can feel Eric’s rage seeping through her own.
She glares at Bill as she continues over his “Sookie” protest. “Then let’s see, there was the whole thing of Rene hunting me. Why was he so intent on me? Why did he NOT strangle my Gran? Why did you protest me helping Eric here, who was your superior? And all that was during the first week I’d known you. Then there is the other time you tried to kill me. Surely you remember that? When you got to daywalk? When I rescued you from Russell’s home, where I staked your Maker for you? You didn’t just drink from me, no, you covered my mouth so that I couldn’t alert anyone to you almost draining me. If Tara hadn’t checked on me, I would have died.” The last is said with her hands lighting up in her rage.
With this revelation, Eric’s fangs drop – as well as those of his Son and the vampires in his guard. Haldor is learning quickly what Brandon has already known. This Southern Belle is more than worthy of standing at their Fader’s side. Time and time again she has withstood being almost killed.
Bill tries to defend himself as he eyes her glowing hands. “Eric had you go to the Fellowship of the Sun Church where you were almost killed, raped!” He is trying not to be obvious about moving away from her glowing hands, therefore being as obvious as a bull in a china shop.
She snorts, too pissed to be a lady. “And where were you? He came for me.” She glares at him, her hands growing brighter.
Upon seeing Bill’s fright, Haldor glances at her hands, but relaxes when he then sees the grin on his Fader’s face. Eric is positively gleeful.
Bill interjects, “Because Godric was there. There was no reason or sense in him coming for you.” He could think of no other explanation. Why would Eric go rescue someone for no reason?
Not believing how deeply he is digging his own hole, Eric laughs, but Sookie answers his poor excuse. “He came for me. He came because he had heard that I was in danger. He had no idea that Godric was in there. Why did he come and not you? He offered himself to Steve to save me. He would have saved me whether or not Godric was there. But where were you?” Her hands are white from the glowing light, and when she puts her hands on her hips, they do not fade.
She straightens up with her eyebrow raised, and Eric wants nothing more to take her in his arms. He loves this side of his Fae Mate. Eric barely listens to her, cataloging in his head what he is going to do with her when he can get her alone, as she tells Bill, “Also, in the nest when the bomb went off, where was he? He was in front of me when he had not even been close. He had gotten closer to the bomb to save me. He may have tricked me into taking his blood, but that should not have made me forget the fact that he saved my life. I saw his body, the damage that I would have suffered if he had not protected me. There is no way I would have lived without taking in vast quantities of blood, which he could have done if he only wanted to have me drink from him. And if I had, he still would have been the one to save me since you had gone after the ones who attacked us! You didn’t even look after the woman you professed to love! Instead HE protected ME!” Her whole body is now lighting up, Bill is visibly scared, and Eric does nothing but make sure he is still touching her. He does not fear the woman he loves.
Her rage is a living beast as she thinks of other times that Eric would have been there for her if he could. “I bet you are the reason Eric never came after Sam mentioned he had seen him and had asked him for help. Eric had gone to find out what he needed to know. I wondered why he wasn’t back right away, and then came your proposal. I didn’t want to marry you. The first face that flashed in front of me was Eric’s – not yours.” She is pouring out all her hatred, all the things she has been wanting to say to him since she had to sit and watch over and over and over what she had done wrong. She acknowledges her own mistakes, but this man also caused so many of them.
Eric stands behind her, and he has his hands on her hips to show her his support. He can both feel and see the rage in his Mate, and his fangs stay down. He sees Brandon take up a closer guard, making sure that nothing will pass the doorway without him being able to intercept it. Since Eric has seen him jump in and out of the way of bullets, he knows his Sookie is safe. He is amazed and angry at all the times her life has been in danger without his knowledge.
Bill’s fangs are down and he is pissed at this human yelling at him. Without thinking, yells at her with a snarl, “You are mine! I gave up a life in court for your scrawny ass. There is no reason Eric would want you once he beds you! You suck at it. You do nothing but lie there as I fuck you. All you are good for is for your blood and that fucking talent of yours. Otherwise, I would have let the Rattrays have you!” He is breathing hard, wanting her to hurt as much he is. Worse, really – she actually professed to loving him.
When she hears this, Sookie nods. “That is what I wanted to know. Thank you for finally being truthful.” She turns to Eric, “I am going to grab a couple things that I want to take with me. Do with him as you wish.” She leans up and he meets her for a kiss. He cradles her face in his hands as he tastes the bounty of her sweet mouth, being careful with his fangs since he doesn’t want to cause any damage to his little Mate. Her hands never do any damage, as he knew they wouldn’t, and he can feel the warmth from them fade as he takes her anger into himself.
Eventually he leans back, feeling that no matter how much air she tries to breathe in, he will still wipe out any thought in her head. Smiling down at her, he tells her, “I will be up there shortly. If you can invite Haldor in, I would greatly appreciate it.” He touches her face softly, his whole being loving this woman.
When she nods, and says, “Haldor, I welcome you inside my home,” he smiles at her. When Haldor passes the doorway, Eric tells her softly, “Please pack a couple of those dresses for me.” Then he grins at her.
She looks up through her eyelashes trying to hide her laughter at his request. “I don’t know why I would bother; it isn’t like you can’t get more.”
His grin gets bigger. “Well, that was saucy.”
She laughs at him as he growls playfully, and after turning her around towards the stairs, he leans down to her ear telling her, “But maybe you will show off your delectable shoulders to me in it again before I could have more shipped.” And he cannot help the rub he gives her as he shows much he desires her physically in addition to what she feels in the bond.
He cannot stop his grin when she laughs. When she leaves his arms, his eyes follow her up the stairs, Brandon right behind her. “I hate to see you leave, but I love to watch you go.” He only grins as he hears his Son laugh beside him.
It is a great feeling to be Eric Mäninorr. Finally.
Final count: 4, 226 words.