From Dead to Worse
From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
After months and months of postponement, Sookie is working the double Bellefleur wedding as a bartender with Sam, but at the last minute, Halleigh rushes up and asks her to fill in as a bridesmaid because one of hers has passed out. Sookie shoves herself into a too tight dress and too small shoes and does her duty. There are lots of new people attending the wedding and some Sookie recognizes. Tanya, Maria-Star and Bill are there, but there’s a new vampire, Jonathan, and he creeps Sookie out. Sookie’s upset because Quinn was supposed to go with her to this wedding, but he’s been MIA since the explosion at the Pyramid of Gizeh.
After the wedding, Bill approaches Sookie as she’s getting back into her bartending clothes and tells her he wants to "lie with" her again and, uh oh, his girlfriend Selah hears! And she confronts Sookie about it, but of course, she’s not interested in Bill so she doesn’t have any comforting words for his girlfriend. As she's leaving the festivities, Creepy Jonathan approaches and makes her uncomfortable again, but as he's talking, Sookie notices a man as beautiful as a withered apple standing behind him. Jonathan doesn't notice the man right behind him and Sookie doesn’t say anything about him. Who is that guy?
Sookie goes home and Amelia is freaked out because her dad, Copley Carmichael, a wealthy business owner from New Orleans, is coming to visit the next day, so she panic-cleans the house pretty much until the moment he arrives. Copley seems to have done extensive research on Sookie’s life, but obviously she knows this, so pretty much nothing he says fazes her… until he tells her that he knows her late cousin Hadley’s husband… and her child. After this bombshell, Copley tells Amelia that a woman named Octavia Fant called him looking for her. Octavia is her mentor. Uh oh. She's finally going to get in trouble for turning Bob into a cat! After Copley leaves, Sookie tries to find Hadley’s husband, Remy Savoy, by calling Information, but she can’t find him. Maybe later.
Later, Eric asks Sookie to go out with him to a restaurant, but he’s actually taking her to meet Withered Apple man. Sookie trusts Eric maybe because of the blood tie but also because she just trusts him and she knows that he’s not leading her into a terrible situation. At the restaurant, Sookie learns that Withered Apple man is called Niall and he is her 100% full fairy great grandfather. Whoa. His son, Fenton, slept with Adele Stackhouse (Sookie’s grandmother that was murdered in book one) because her husband, the man Sookie thought was her grandfather, couldn't have children. Sookie's dad is a product of that and Sookie reveals that her mother was oddly jealous of Sookie and Jason when they were kids and, well, it's because her husband was part fairy and she was obsessed with him, like most women are around Jason. That's the only thing Jason got from the fairy blood, by the way, while Sookie got her telepathy. Niall asks what he can do to help Sookie now that they know each other and she at first asks him to find Quinn, but then is like, no, don't do that. Give her a raincheck.
Sookie asks Eric what he knows about fairies on their way back to Bon Temps. He says they’re very powerful and there used to be thousands of them in the United States, but now there are only hundreds. He also says that Niall is the Prince of Fairies and that not all fairies like him. Oh great, more people to dislike Sookie. As Eric speeds down the interstate in his Ferrari, they get pulled over by a cop, but oh wait, that's not a cop, it's a werewolf and he tries to shoot Sookie! Eric eats him instead and they go home, but they wonder who could have revealed to the Were that they were on the road that night? Mysterious. Sookie is freaked out when she gets back and when Amelia tells her that Alcide called, she says he’ll just have to call him back later. She also says that Tanya called her, but why in the hell would she call?
The next day, Octavia, Amelia's mentor, comes. She tries to turn Bob back into a human but can't seem to do it. Then Sookie reads the newspaper and learns that Maria-Star was murdered, which has to be why Alcide called. Speaking of, he calls again and then gives the phone to fellow were Amanda because he's distraught and needs info. She tells Sookie to get Amelia to help investigate Maria-Star’s murder. Hey, that’s super convenient because Octavia is here! They go and do an Ectoplasmic Reconstruction and see that Maria-Star was killed by the crooked werewolf cop from when Sookie and Quinn were almost kidnapped a couple of books ago and another were. Alcide is pissed, and he gets even more pissed when Sookie tells them that she was almost killed the other night by a were that Eric ate. They figure out who that guy was and decide that Patrick Furnan, werewolf pack master, is killing or trying to kill everyone important to Alcide.
The next day, Sookie tries to have a normal day and does things like take care of laundry, vacuum, and go to the library. Of course, her day can’t be normal and when she goes to the library, she’s attacked again. Luckily for both Sookie and the librarian, Barbara, her husband is detective Alcee who just so happens to be bringing his wife lunch while they’re being attacked. Sookie softball chucks a Nora Roberts book at the attacker, causing him to trip and fall onto his own knife. Nice.
At work later that evening, Sookie takes a break and calls up Patrick and asks him why he tried to kill her and why he's killing everyone else and he's like, I didn't do that and my wife is missing! She convinces Patrick and Alcide to meet up to talk but she has to go to make sure they're telling the truth, so she takes Sam, just in case. As Patrick and Alcide, with Sookie’s help, realize that they hate each other but they’re not actively trying to kill each other, there’s an ambush! Another were from another town destroyed by Katrina tries to take over. Her name is Priscilla and she’s convinced some of Patrick’s wolves to try to take them down from the inside, and now, she’s here to finish the job. As the battle begins, Sam turns into a lion and, well, the fight doesn't last long at all on account of Sam being a lion and also the fact that Claudine literally popped in to help, but Patrick dies, so Alcide declares himself the new pack master.
Sookie goes home and it's a little awkward because she's been out with Sam and looks a little ragged, so Amelia thinks they've been up to something sexy, but no. Also, Pam is there with Amelia, so we all have to say Ooohhhhh!!! Sookie tells them about the werebattle and goes to bed. The next day at Merlotte's, Tanya comes in to see Sam. Ugh. Holly and Sookie talk about how Tanya is hanging around in Hotshot and they also talk about Holly dating Hoyt. She doesn't know where that's going to go because of how much Hoyt looks up to Jason, and well, Jason's kind of a dirt bag sometimes.
After work, Pam is at the house again Ooohhhhh!!!. Sookie asks about her getting two nights off and Pam tells her she should talk to Eric about it, so Sookie calls him up at Fangtasia. She also asks about the creepy vampire she met, Jonathan, and he freaks out. Sophie-Anne isn't doing so well as queen what with having her legs blown off, so the sheriffs are looking over the state. Sookie realizes that Jonathan is a scout from another area and that means that maybe someone else is going to try to take over. Boy is she right.
Sookie goes to bed and Bill shows up a little later, taking over for Pam who was definitely not just there to Ooohhhhh!!! with Amelia. Bill is really worried and then Frannie shows up yelling at the front door. They let her in and she says that Quinn sent her to warn them of the vampires from Las Vegas who are coming to take over! How did Quinn find out about this though? His mother, who was in a werehome in Nevada for mentally unstable weres, broke out and ate people, so he went to help. But he was too late. The vampires helped first and are now making him pay them back by pit fighting again. He learned what was going on and sent Frannie to warn Sookie. Unfortunately she only made it a few minutes before the vampires did.
The first to show up was Eric, so that's okay, but then the contingent from Vegas arrives with Quinn in tow, who tigersmashes down the door looking for his sister. Victor, the King of Nevada's representative, tells Eric that he's killed all the other sheriffs but Eric's area has too many valuable assets, meaning Bill with his vampire phone book and Sookie with her telepathy. He threatens to burn down Fangtasia unless they swear fealty, and Sookie almost calls great grandpa Niall for help, but Eric smashes her phone, thinking the fairies will just make things worse for everyone. Eric and Bill swear their loyalty and the Vegas vampires leave and the group disperses. For now. Eric stays behind and tells Sookie that he remembers everything that happened while his memory was wiped, so holy hell, but also holy hell, he's surprised at how happy he was. Sookie was not expecting that.
The next day, Quinn is in Sookie's room when she wakes up. He tries to explain to her why he disappeared and about his mom and why he didn't contact her and blah blah blah, whatever. She's pretty upset that she'll never come first in his life, which is reasonable, so they break up. Sookie then gets some deliveries. A new phone and a new front door! Thanks, Eric! Sookie goes to work after this and Jason and Crystal come in. Apparently Crystal has been spending all Jason's hard-earned money going shopping and now he's not giving her any at all, which means he's not even buying her dinner. That's kinda shitty, but also not at the same time.
Later, Frannie and her mom come by to yell at Sookie about breaking up with Quinn. She tells them that she really, really wanted to love Quinn but she wants more from him than he's able to give, so she had to let him go so he would have a chance to be happy. They accept this and leave. Amelia came out onto the porch, ready to magic Frannie and her mom away if necessary, but it wasn't, thank goodness.
Copley comes by early the next day, which is weird because he just came to visit, but now he is interested in Sookie's relationship with the vampires and how he can use her to get connected with the new Vegas regime. She agrees to contact Eric to set something up then leaves the house for a bit. She sees Tanya and Arlene out together and eavesdrops on their conversation. It seeeeeeeems like Tanya is there just to bother Sookie, and it seeeeeeeeems like she's still being paid by Sandra Pelt to do so, but Arlene might have worse things planned on account of her devotion to the Fellowship of the Sun. Wait a sec, though. Didn't Sandra Pelt's dad threaten to fight her at the next full moon if she kept messing with Sookie? Oh yeah, he did, but also he's dead now. Convenient?
Claudine and Claude come to Merlotte's the next time Sookie's working. They tell Sookie she needs to call Niall and tell him what's been going on, but she doesn't want to bother him. Too bad! He's outside after she gets off work. She tells him she doesn't want anything supernatural from him, she just wants him to be her grandaddy papaw and act like family. Sam happens to witness this encounter, so now he knows about the fairy Prince, but that's okay. Sookie talks to Niall about Tanya and he suggests that if she talks to Calvin, he'll help.
Sookie talks to Amelia and Octavia, who is now living in another of Sookie's extra bedrooms, and Calvin about Tanya following Niall's tip. The witches have an idea for a spell that will make Tanya forget that she has been sent to disrupt Sookie's life. Calvin trusses Tanya up and brings her over to Sookie's and the witches get to work. The spell works just fine and now maybe Tanya won't be awful anymore and will stop taking Crystal out shopping, which she was totally doing just on the off chance it would get around to Sookie, and hopefully she'll stop dropping into Merlotte's all the time, too.
Jason and some of his work buddies come in the next day and before he leaves, he asks Sookie to go by and check on Crystal because he's going to be late getting home. She agrees, and after a busy day, heads to Jason's house. When she gets there, she finds Crystal in bed with one of Jason's work friends. Oh boy. Calvin pulls up just as Sookie is leaving. He tells her that he'll be in touch about the backwards Hotshot wedding pact. A little bit later, Sookie goes out to Hotshot and has to break Calvin's hand with a brick even though Jason could have and should have done it. Since Crystal is pregnant, Calvin stood in for her on the punishment and so Jason decided that Sookie should stand in for him, too. It's only fair. Yeah. Right. Sookie tells her brother that she never wants to talk to him again and leaves.
Sookie stays in a funk for a few days after this and it gets so bad that Sam calls Eric to come to Merlotte's one night. Sookie immediately feels better when he is in her vicinity because of their blood bond and together the two men ask Sookie what's wrong. She's still pretty petty and upset when she tells them about Jason, Crystal, Calvin and the brick, and then she gets back to work. Her funk eases and by the time she leaves for the night, she's back to her usual self. Eric is waiting for her outside and they talk about Felipe de Castro, the new King of Louisiana, and how Eric thinks they're pretty similar. He doesn't seem too upset with the new regime, which is good, because Felipe strolls up during the middle of their conversation.
Sookie awkwardly meets the new King then quickly makes herself scarce, but as she's driving home, she gets an awful feeling of panic and worry and knows something is wrong with Eric. She rushes back to Merlotte's, hops out of her car and sneaks around to the back of the building where she finds Eric, Felipe and Sam tied up with Sigebert torturing them! Everyone was under the impression that Sigebert died when Sophie-Anne did, but it seems everyone was wrong. It's pretty lucky that Sigebert isn't very smart and is distracted by his torture because it allows Sookie to sneak back to her car, drive around the bar and run Sigebert over!
While Sigebert is pinned under Sookie's car, she frees the vampires and Sam, then Eric promptly decapitates the run-over Sigebert. King Felipe is pleased with Sookie and offers to buy her a new car or pay for repairs or whatever she needs. Sam says Dawson will probably help, so they decide to give him a call the next day and Sam drives Sookie home. Along the way, Sam laments about getting Sookie free from the vampires, but she realizes she doesn't mind so much, especially since the vampires don't treat her like she's stupid or crazy for being telepathic. That's a good feeling.
The next day, Dawson brings Sookie her car back in perfect running order and paid for by the King. The only payment he'll accept from Sookie is a good word for him to Amelia. Sookie goes to town and runs into Pack Master Alcide who thanks her for her help with the werewar. He tells her she's always going to be a friend of the pack, and Sam, too, since he became a badass lion. Then he talks about how the werewolves are going to have to come out to the world soon, and maybe they'll combine forces with other weres and shifters.
Back at home later with Amelia and Octavia, Sookie asks if Dawson called to ask Amelia out. She says that she and Pam are probably better friends than lovers, so she'll give Dawson a go, especially since her promise to Bob that she'll only date girls is off the table now that there's a momma cat out in the woods with Bob-looking kittens. Octavia suddenly says a spell over Bob and turns him back into a human, which she could have done all along, but she wanted to spend more time living in Sookie's house instead of with family like she's been doing since Katrina. Bob, back in human form, tries to strangle Amelia a little, then Sookie takes him inside to get some clothes and food. After a bit, he decides he wants to try to find his family and get the H away from Amelia, so they send him on his way.
The next day, Alcide comes by Merlotte's to talk to Sam about being a friend of the pack and then Eric and Pam come by to tell Sookie that King Felipe has allowed them to offer Sookie their formal protection, which is a Big Deal™. Things seem to be looking up for Sookie now, minus some Fellowship of the Sun assholes who knock into her, but then she smashes them over the head with a bar tray, which garners some applause and Eric and Pam threaten them, which is also fun. When she goes home, great grandpa Niall is there, trying again to offer his services to Sookie in some way. She finally decides that he can help her find her cousin Hadley's ex husband, Remy, and her child. And he does.
Sookie takes the info she has gained from Niall and drives to meet Hadley's ex family. The kid, Hunter, is cute and the ex isn't terrible at all. They have a nice chat about their dead wife/cousin and about the fact that Hadley told Remy that Sookie was disabled, which he took to mean physically disabled. She just says that she had a hard time in school, but then Remy's girlfriend gets home and comes to get Hunter. Sookie reads from her mind that she likes the kiddo and, uh oh, Hunter reads that in her mind, too. Sookie realizes that, oh crap, this kid is a telepath, too, so she tells Remy to stay in touch because he's going to need her help.