Before the sun rose to pull Eric to his daytime rest, Sookie left. She worried about being stranded at Eric’s house for the day, but he assures her that her car is waiting for her in the driveway. She isn’t sure when he found the time to arrange that between all the sex, but she is grateful all the same.
Before she leaves, Eric gives her a kiss that makes her toes curl. He smacks her ass playfully, reminding her that he still owes her a punishment for being a naughty girl. She warns him not to make promises he can’t keep, and takes off for her car, knowing he is trapped inside because of the pink rays of light just breaking along the horizon.
Sookie has a huge smile on her face as she replays the night’s events in her mind. She knows enough about vampire behavior to know that what transpired between her and Eric is more than a feed and fuck. Oh, he definitely fed, and they DEFINITELY fucked (five times, but who’s counting?!), but there was more involved to her night with Eric. She isn’t sure what this is, but she is unbelievably happy.
Sookie drives up to the old farmhouse. She gets out of the car, whistling to herself and a bounce in her step. She quietly lets herself in the house, going straight to the refrigerator to get some food. She is starving after having worked up an appetite last night. When she closes the refrigerator, she finds her grandfather standing in the doorway.
Sookie moves to the counter to begin making breakfast; scrambled eggs, sausage, and toast. Silence stretches between the two of them. She knows Fintan knows where she was and what she had done. Sookie thinks about dipping into his mind to get a handle on how he is feeling about this.
Fintan gestures towards the food. “Do you need any help?”
She nods her head. “If you cut up the potatoes, I can make home fries.”
Fintan moves to the pantry for the potatoes and they work in companionable silence. As Fintan finishes cutting up the potatoes, Sookie puts them in a pot of water to parboil them so they fry faster. She cooks up the sausage, and puts the links on a plate to drain off the grease. She leaves the grease in the pan, waiting for the potatoes to finish boiling.
Fintan sits down at the table to watch Sookie. To Fintan, it seems like just yesterday that Sookie was still a little girl clutching her stuffed bunny. It is difficult for him to see her as an adult. It is even more difficult for him to realize she is an attractive woman who is sought after by men and women alike.
He says uncomfortably, “I don’t want any details. All I want to know is that you are happy and this is what you really want.”
Sookie turns to look at her grandfather and smiles softly. “Part of me has been fascinated with Eric since the first time Godric told me a bedtime story about “The Viking Prince”. Now that I’ve met him, I’m fascinated for completely different reasons. He’s attractive, intelligent, ruthless, aggressive, funny . . .” Sookie trails off with a thoughtful expression.
Fintan looks at his granddaughter tenderly. “Sounds like love.”
Her grandfather’s declaration startles Sookie. She opens her mouth to speak, but he quiets her. “Don’t even think about lying, because I’ll know if you do. You may not be ready to admit it, but you feel very strongly for the Viking. Does he return these feelings?”
Sookie’s shoulders slump. “I don’t know. He didn’t treat me like a feed and fuck. He protected me last night when a vampire tried to attack.” Fintan raises an eyebrow at how Sookie slips the vampire attack in the conversation offhandedly. She waves her hand in a sweeping motion. “Long story, I’ll tell you later. Anyway, I think I fascinate Eric because I’m not like other humans.”
Fintan gets up from the table and moves to Sookie, hugging her tightly. He pulls back from her and says softly, “You aren’t human, baby girl. You need to tell him everything. He may feel you have lied to him by not telling him the truth.” Sookie nods her head. She finishes cooking breakfast and they eat in silence.
Sookie spends the day laying out in the yard, recharging her energy. Later that night, she heads over to Merlotte’s to hang out with Tara and Lafayette, both of whom are working. She walks in to see Hoyt, Jason, and Rene sitting at a table. Arlene and Dawn are working, moving among the tables. Tara mans the bar. Sookie sits down at the bar and Tara walks over.
“Hey Sook, what can I get ya?” She reaches over to give Sookie a hug.
“Sweet tea, no lemon,” Sookie says as she takes her jacket off. Lafayette comes out of the kitchen, seeking a refill for his drink.
“Mmmmm, mmmm, Sookie, chicka chicka bow wow” Lafayette drawls as he reaches for the tequila bottle. He pours a fair amount in his cup before coming around the bar to stand in front of Sookie. He takes a sip of his drink before putting his cup down. He points a finger at her. “There’s sumthin’ different bout ya. You look like a porn star with that tan and pink lipstick.”
Sookie brushes Lafayette off with a laugh. He stares at her intently, taking in the flush on her checks, the brightness of her eyes, and the grin on her face. “I gots it! You had sex baby girl! Come on bitch, Lala wants all the dirty details. I wanna know if your man made that pussy feel good!” He settles on the stool next to her and looks at her expectantly.
Dawn comes over to get drink orders from Tara. “Ooohhh, what are we talkin’ about?” Dawn asks as she puts her tray down. She’s dressed in the Merlotte’s uniform of a tight, white t-shirt with the bar logo over the left breast and Daisy Duke black shorts. She leans against the bar, sticking her butt out and swaying from side to side. She leans over her shoulder and grins seeing that Jason has his eyes locked on her.
Lafayette winks at her. “Pussy.”
“Do you even know what is between a woman’s legs Lafayette?” Arlene heckles Lafayette as she drops off a tray of dirty glassware and places orders for beer and soda.
“I know every man whether gay, straight, or George mutha fuckin’ Bush is TERRIFIED of the pussy,” Lafayette proclaims loudly.
“Amen!” Tara exclaims as she passes drinks to Dawn and Arlene. Both women walk away. Dawn delivers drinks to Jason, Hoyt, and Rene. Jason smacks her on the ass as she walks by and she blows him a kiss.
Lafayette moves in closer to Sook. “Come on baby girl, it’s just us girls now,” he says gesturing to himself and Tara. “Tell us all about it. Who was it? Please tell me it wasn’t one of the rednecks ’round here!”
Sookie shakes her head no emphatically. “Gods, no! It was Eric, and it was wonderful!” She has a blissful look on her face. Lafayette and Tara look stunned. Sam walked up to the bar just as Sookie finished speaking. He sniffs the air and tenses, anger rolling off of him.
“You’re a damn fool! You’re gonna get yourself killed!” Sam screams at Sookie as he grabs her roughly.
Sookie jumps off her bar stool and pushes Sam away from her. “You have no right to judge me, Sam Merlotte! Not all of us are so narrow-minded that we judge someone based on what they are!” Sookie looks at him contemptuously. “Yes, I had sex with a vampire. Yes, I enjoyed it, and yes, I will do it again! Thank you for asking! Why don’t you run along like a good boy, and let us get back to our private conversation that you had no business barging in on,” Sookie replies scathingly. Sam pales during Sookie’s tirade. He doesn’t know how, but she knows that he is a shifter. Sam walks back to his office and slams the door.
Sookie looks around the bar. Everyone there is staring at her. Thoughts bombard her. People are thinking of her as a dirty fangbanger. Others are jealous that she was with a vampire. Even the people who are supposedly her friends are judging her. Sookie grabs her things and leaves the bar.
When she is outside, she breathes the night air deeply trying to calm down and focus her shields. But one thought is louder than all the others. It is playing like a video in slow motion. It is a woman being attacked. She is struggling against her attacker as his hands circle her neck and press against her windpipe. The life fades from the woman’s eyes, and her hands drop. Once the woman is dead, her attacker caresses her face and neck where she has two bite marks. Sookie’s eyes widen in horror as she realizes the murderer of the women that associated with vampires is inside Merlotte’s.
Just as Sookie is about to run inside, Bill appears in front of her. Sookie screams and stumbles back.
“Forgive me, Miss Stackhouse, I did not mean to startle you,” Bill says contritely as he reaches forward to steady Sookie.
Sookie yells, “DO NOT DO THAT!” She brushes the dirt from her as she rights herself. “You really need to warn a person or make some noise before approaching them. This is a scene out of a bad horror movie waiting to happen. Dark night, isolated woods, blonde defenseless girl all by herself,” Sookie mutters as she picks her purse up off the ground.
Bill chuckles. “I’ve seen you in action; I don’t exactly think you are defenseless.”
Sookie pouts, “I’m not exactly at my best tonight. I was on my way home.”
“May I escort you?” Before Sookie can protest, he hurries on. “I wanted to speak with you about Jessica.”
Sookie nods reluctantly and leads him to her car. They climb in, and she drives off to the farmhouse. They drive in awkward silence for several minutes.
“You seemed like you were having a rough night back there,” Bill says to fill the silence.
Sookie sighs in frustration. “Sometimes I forget just how rough living in a small town is. Everyone knows everybody’s business; everyone is judging you.”
“But didn’t you grow up here?” Bill looks confused by her words.
Sookie shakes her head. “I was born here, but I went to boarding school after my parents died. I spent summers here until I went away to college at the University of Mississippi. Once I graduated, I traveled for a while.” Silence spreads through the car again.
Sookie is incredibly uncomfortable in Bill’s presence, and the silence does nothing to ease her. Sookie prompts, “You wanted to talk to me about Jessica?”
“I wanted to thank you again for what you did for her the other night. She has had a rough time adjusting to her new life,” Bill says haltingly.
“You might wanna try goin’ easy on her. She’s a teenage girl and that’s hard enough . . .” Sookie starts to say.
“She is a vampire Sookie!”
“So are you, but parts of your former self are still inside you,” Sookie counters.
“When a vampire is as new as Jessica is, she has no humanity. She’s in the grips of overwhelming transformations. There will be times when she cannot control a single impulse, believe me she has many,” Bill explains with a faraway expression on his face. It’s like he is looking back through time to the days when he was a newborn vampire.
Sookie laughs. “How is that any different from being a teenage girl? No humanity, check…in the grips of overwhelming transformations, check…cannot control impulses, check. Sorry, how is that different?”
Bill rolls his eyes. “Alright then, what do you suggest I do? Spoil the girl? Give in to her every whim and desire? Is that what every teenager wants?
“Do not get smart with me, Bill Compton! I don’t know what to do to help Jessica, but I do know that what you’ve done isn’t working. You’ll find your way,” Sookie says confidently.
She pulls up to the farmhouse and cuts the engine. Bill vamps out of the car and opens her door for her. She thanks him, and begins walking up towards the house.
Bill asks suddenly, “May I call on you sometime?”
Sookie pauses before answering. Any vampire should be able to smell another vampire on her, and given that Bill seems well acquainted with Eric, he should know exactly who Sookie has been with. The fact that he does not seem to care gives Sookie pause. Before Sookie can answer, the screen door creaks open. “Sookie, dear, is that you? Jason called me worried about you. Is everything alright?” Gran comes out to the porch.
Sookie smiles reassuringly. “I’m fine, Gran. This is Bill Compton. He resides across the cemetery at the old Compton house.”
Gran looks surprised. “I didn’t know anyone was living there since Old Jesse Compton passed on. It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Compton. Are you named after your ancestor? There’s a headstone for a William Compton in the cemetery.”
Bill looks uncomfortable. “That is my headstone, Mrs. Stackhouse. I was made vampire shortly after the War ended. I never returned home to my family.”
“Oh my stars! I had no idea. I’m so sorry Mr. Compton,” Gran says contritely.
“It’s alright Mrs. Stackhouse. It was a long time ago,” Bill says with a faint smile though his eyes have taken on a faraway look. Sookie’s seen that look before. Though it may have been over a century, it still feels like yesterday to a vampire.
“Well, it’s getting late, and this old body needs to get to bed. It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Compton. Don’t be a stranger,” Adele says with a smile. She gestures for Sookie to go inside as well.
“Good night, Mrs. Stackhouse. Good night Sookie.” And with that Bill vamps from the yard towards his home.