Alcide does not leave my side while we are at the pairing party, and for that I am grateful. Many vampires in attendance are ones that I have seen before at Fangtasia or at Bill’s house when Vamp Camp ended, but I know nothing more about them than that. Several of them have looked hungrily at me; a few have even tried to glamour me. Luckily Tara and Willa have stayed close enough to me that the other vampires back away.
As for Tara and Willa, I know they aren’t interested in pairing up with any of the humans in attendance. Tara was repulsed by the citizens of Bon Temps when she was human; I can only imagine how bad her revulsion is now. Willa, however, sometimes seems far too shy to be a vampire. I understand what motivated Eric to make her, but I don’t think he fully understood the ramifications of his actions. Granted, I don’t think he ever expected not to be around for her training.
I am shocked to my core when Lettie Mae approaches Tara. Honestly, why is it when someone turns their life around they become all holier than thou? I’m happy Lettie Mae is sober and she’s found religion, but that doesn’t mean she needs to be an über bitch. Does she think that just because she has found God means that we have forgotten about all her misdeeds? The things she has said to Tara just break my heart. My mother wasn’t a prize, but next to Lettie Mae she looks like a saint!
Alcide trails behind me as I make my way to Willa’s side. “Hey,” I say as she turns to me. “Did you find anyone?”
Willa glances shyly towards Alcide before turning to me. “No. Tara said she’s prefer a vegetarian to the people we’ve seen here tonight.” Her nose turns up in disgust as she glances towards a trio of obese men sitting at one of the picnic tables; they have platters of food piled high in front of them as well as several bottles of beer. One of the men belches loudly; the second rubs his hand across his face spreading BBQ sauce all over it before licking the sauce of his hand; and the third man gnaws on a chicken leg like a dog with a bone. “I’m beginning to think she’s right.”
My lips curl in disgust as I too stare at the men. “I see whatcha mean.”
Alcide comes up between us, slinging an arm around each of our shoulders. “Don’t worry Willa,” he tells her with a reassuring smile, “I’m sure we can find someone for you.” For just a second, there is a look of raw hunger on Willa’s face before her expression slides into a rueful smile. It’s a good thing she can no longer blush otherwise her cheeks would be on fire. What the hell? Willa likes Alcide . . . how have I missed this? I wonder if Tara knows.
“Uh, thanks,” Willa responds uncomfortably. She tries to nonchalantly shift out of Alcide’s embrace. Minutes pass by as the awkward silence stretches between us.
“What did Lettie Mae want with Tara?” Not the most subtle change in conversation, but it does the trick. Willa explains Lettie Mae introduced herself as Tara’s mother and was begging Tara to talk to her.
“I don’t like it,” I say as I glance in the direction where I know Tara and Lettie Mae have gone.
“She seemed genuinely desperate to talk to Tara,” Willa says sadly.
“Trust me Willa; Lettie Mae has always only cared about herself. I just wonder what she’s up to now,” I say as I once again gaze worriedly where I know Tara and her mother are.
Lafayette saunters over to our group. He looks flamboyantly fabulous as always. “All the vamps in the world and we get the sorriest mutha fuckers on the planet! I mean come on, the hottest damn vamp here is on that stage,” he says gesturing to James, “and he ain’t interested in all a dis!” Lafayette gestures dramatically to his body as if he is outraged by James’ lack of interest even though we all know he isn’t interested in James. “What the fuck is this world coming to when those bitches,” he gestures towards Jane Bodehouse and Maxine Fortenberry, “can gets a man and I can’t?”
We all laugh at Lafayette’s theatrics. Lafayette rolls his eyes at us in disgust while swishing his fan through the air. “Who’d you pair up with baby girl?” Even Lafayette has grown protective of Willa in the last six months.
Willa shakes her head, “Nobody.”
Lafayette snaps his fan closes and pulls Willa’s hand into the crook of his arm. “I tells you what. You and me will pair up together. Think of all the fun we’ll have patrolling for cock together. Honey child, you’ll be the best wing-vamp ever!” Lafayette pulls Willa away with a wink as he begins outlining the grand plans he has to get them laid. I can’t help the laugh that escapes me; better her than me.
Alcide chuckles ruefully as he watches them walk away. “Sometimes I forget she’s a vamp; she seems so innocent. You think she’ll be ok with Lafayette?” Alcide’s eyes are drawn to the spot on the dance floor where Willa and Lafayette are tearing it up. Well, well, well . . . maybe the interest isn’t so one-sided.
“She survived Vamp Camp Alcide. I’m sure she can handle Lafayette.” I look down at my watch and see our hour is up thankfully. “Time’s up,” I say with relief.
Alcide exhales and offers me his arm. We make our way to the parking lot. I’m looking forward to a long soak in the bath tub and reading my book. The little things in life are all I have left to enjoy.
“Leaving so soon?” Bill Compton steps out of the shadows, and I sigh internally. I was hoping to avoid seeing him here tonight, but I guess that was a foolish wish especially since he was one of the biggest advocates of the human-vampire pairing program.
Bill and Alcide greet each other cordially, but it doesn’t escape my notice that Alcide puts his body between me and Bill. I sigh internally again. Part of me still feels something for Bill and I hate that. He has hurt me, used me, and damn near killed me. It seems grossly unfair to me that Bill is still around and the one vampire I want to be here is gone. Life is a fucking bitch!
“Sookeeh, can I talk to you alone?” It takes every ounce of control not to roll my eyes at him. Seriously, how the hell does he not know how to pronounce my name by now?!?!?!?! Sookie, rhymes with cookie or nookie.
“No fucking way!” Alcide growls and his eyes begin to glow. Alcide tightens his grip on my hand before saying to me, “Anything Bill has to say to you he can say to me too.”
“What do you want Bill?” I already know the answer. It’s the one thing Bill Compton always seems to want from me: blood.
“You need a vampire in your life Sookeh, more so than anyone here. You need protection,” Bill says gently as if he is sorry to be pointing out the obvious.
“She’s got me,” Alcide declares emphatically.
“You’re not enough,” Bill sneers.
I intervene before this turns ugly. “Bill I appreciate the offer, but I’ll talk my chances with Alcide. I can’t trust you.”
I move to climb in Alcide’s truck, but his hand gripping my arm stops me. “You smell that?” Bill nods his head in agreement. I’m about to demand what’s going on but then my mind is overwhelmed by the number of rapidly approaching voids. Oh fuck me . . .