Saturday, August 29, 2009



This is a very worthy cause that is very close to the heart of Deborah Ann Woll, who plays Jessica Hamby. Please donate if you can!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chapter Nineteen - The Brother

Billy Compton stood on short, sturdy legs as he comtemplated the red-faced, squirming intruder lying in the oak cradle.  He slowly removed his finger from his mouth, and standing on his tip-toes, he slowly reached out a chubby hand and with one finger, he gently poked the blanket covering up what everyone said was his new brother.  Suddenly, he felt a presence behind him.  His tiny nose picked up her scent before he even turned around.  "Billy, what are you doing in here?  Have you come to see your new brother, Robert?",  Billy heard her ask.  He turned his head around and gazing up with round-eyed longing, he reached his little arms up, imploring her to take him.  "No, mother cannot pick you up just yet.  Maybe in a few weeks".  Billy felt his little face begin to whimper up with frustration and yearning, but then he stopped himself.  Turning back around, he looked over at the sleeping form of what everyone had been calling his brother.  Brother.  He wondered just what that meant.

Mother sat down in the beautiful oak rocking chair and reached out her arms to him.  With a satisfied smile, he ran into her arms and with her help, he climbed into the one place he loved to be more than anywhere else.  He reached up to encircle her neck with his tiny little arms, anxious to breathe in her scent.  He knew she smelled differently from anyone else in his world.  He recognized that it came from the large, shiny glass bottle that sat atop her dressing table.  He had, at times, watched as she removed the stopper from the top and with delicate fingertips, dabbed it on herself.  As he sat there comforted in her soft lap, she began to talk to him and tell him what it meant to be a big brother and how it was his duty to protect and help take care of little Robert.  She also told Billy how his new brother came to have the name Robert Loudermilk Compton.  He sat there listening intently, secretly wishing with all his might that he, and only he, could be the one she held in her lap while gently being rocked to sleep.

The months began to pass and soon the year was nearing it's end.  Although little Billy Compton was not quite sure what Christmas Day was all about, he knew it was something more special than all the other days of the year. Billy remembered nothing from his first two Christmas's, but this year he felt the anticipation and excitement on the face of  everyone he knew  .For weeks all the women of the house had been baking and making preparations for all the visitors that Christmas Day would bring.  Sometimes the wonderful smells coming from the cookhouse would make him beg pitifully for one of the candied treats cooling on the shelf.  Occassionally, Delilah, the only house slave the Compton's owned, would hand him a small tidbit, with her finger to her mouth to warn him to silence.   Then, he awakened early one morning to the usual sound of his baby brother being suckled at his mother's breast as she gently rocked him and sang a song.  Hearing Billy move, she looked over at him with her blue eyes smiling and said "Merry Christmas, my little man.  You must dress quickly and we'll go down for breakfast.  And I think I heard Saint Nick late last night as he left you a surprise in your stocking".   Suddenly Billy remembered being lifted up by his father so that he might hang his little black stocking above the fireplace.  He didn't quite understand why he did this, but now he was quite anxious to see just what surprises were inside that stocking.

Oh my!  Little Billy Compton stood in wide-eyed wonderment as he saw what had taken place while he slept.  Green pine boughs had been put above the fireplace on the mantle and above the doorways.  Bunches of red berries from holly bushes had been tied together and placed in these pine boughs.   And there, hanging from the mantle was his stocking, with something round and hard in the toe.  Father picked him up as he reached out with his little hand and took it down.  He reached inside and pulled out something long and hard with red stripes all around it.  Father said it was a candy stick and it was for eating, but he must wait until he had eaten his breakfast.  And there , down in the bottom of the stocking, was the round thing, which father called an orange.  Billy had never seen such a thing and had no idea what it was, but if it tasted as good as it smelled, then he wanted to eat it right then and there.   And the most wonderful thing of all!  Sitting next to the fireplace was a large wooden box, tied up in white ribbons.  Quickly pulling the ribbons off and flinging off the lid, Billy saw something that made his blue eyes grow wide in wonderment.  A set of wooden blocks with all the letters of the alphabet were nestled inside.  And there, beside it, was a tiny little wagon, complete with wheels that really turned and a long rope for pulling.  Billy could not contain his joy and excitement!  Although he did not know it at the time, his father had spent many hours in the evenings after Billy went to sleep, lovingly and skillfully working on these things for his beloved child.  

As the time has a way of doing, it began to pass all too quickly.  Soon little Billy Compton was approaching his eighth birthday and there was another baby in the house.  His little sister Julia had been born a few years earlier.  Billy didn't really pay her too much attention.  Girls just weren't all that much fun when you thought about it.  They mostly just sat around and sewed or did other things that didn't look like much fun or anything he would even want to do.  But his brother!  They had so much fun together!  As his brother grew and Billy realized what it meant to have someone there to play with, to sleep in the bed with, to share all your fun with, they developed a wonderful bond of that sameness or oneness that only those who experience it can understand.  But sometimes he grew tired of his brother and would beg his parents to allow him to visit with his friend Tolliver Humphries.  Tolliver lived several miles north of the Compton place and he only got to see him once a month when church meeting took place.  After the church meeting was over, he and Tolliver would run and have such a grand time playing while the grown-ups visited and discussed much more important matters.  During those times, he grew tired of Robert always tagging along.  Robert was never as sturdy or strongly build as Billy, and he tired easily.  Billy just wanted him to go and stay with mother and leave them alone.  But it never worked out that way.  His father would give him that look that let him know that some things were not open for discussion and Billy had no hankering to feel the switch on his rear ever again.  Tolliver had a sister who was born at the same time Tolliver was.  Billy had heard someone call them twins.  And she was pretty.  He would find himself casting shy glances at her during church service when he was sure no one was watching.  Sometimes when his parents visited the Humphries' home, she would try to talk to him, but he always felt as if a huge lump was forming in his throat and he could not speak.  He hated himself when that happened.  

One summer afternoon, after his chores were done, father said that he and Robert might walk down the road and meet Tolliver at the small creek that ran behind the Humphries'  farm.  It was a wonderful place to spend a lazy afternoon fishing for small mudcats and bream.  And if the fishing wasn't too promising, there was always the anticipation of a swim in the cold, clear waters of the creek.  When Billy and Robert arrived, anxious to enjoy an afternoon of fun, he was both delighted and terrified to realize that Tolliver's sister Annabelle was there.  He tried to think of something clever to say, but he could not.  Everytime he looked at her and she looked back, he felt his hands grow cold and clammy, but at the same time it was as if there was a fire being lit in the pit of his stomach.  He did not understand what was happening to him.  And he could never, ever tell anyone about this feeling, especially Tolliver.  

Soon they grew weary of the fishing, and before long off came the hot woolen socks and leather boots.  As they sat upon the banks of the creek and talked of the coming school year, and how long before they could own their own gun and be allowed to participate in the fall hunting, along with other matters that were oh-so important to young boys, they paid no heed to Robert and Annabelle.  The cold water of the creek felt so wonderful on their hot feet and legs.  Suddenly, Billy remembered he was suppose to be watching out for Robert, and so he turned back to see where they were.  Then he heard a splash, then a terrible scream of fear.  "She's fallen in, she's gone!" he heard Robert scream.  He and Tolliver hopped up and quickly ran to where Robert was pointing and shouting.  They saw nothing, not even a faint outline of Annabelle.  Quickly, Billy and Tolliver dove into the cold waters of Brison's Creek, vainly searching for Annabelle.  Tolliver was in a panic.  He came up and dove back down, again and again.  Billy swam underneath the murcky water, desperately looking and reaching out for anything.  There was nothing there.  As he came up for air, he heard himself scream at Robert to run as fast as possible to the house and get Mr. Humphries.  Billy continued to dive down into the cloudy waters, vainly searching.  

Later that evening, as the sun began to set, a weary Billy Compton watched as the limp body of Annabelle Humphries was brought up to the creekbank.  As though he were a million miles away, he could hear the anguished screams of Tolliver's mother.  His own father stood there, his clothing dripping with creek water, as he solemly watched.  His eyes met Billy's.  Neither could say a thing.  He held out his hand and together they began the long walk back to the Compton farm.  Billy still could not believe all that had happened that afternoon.  It was as if it were a dream, a terrible terrible dream, that he wished desperately to awaken from.  As he approached the rear of the house, his mother met them there.  As he looked into her face, he knew it had been no dream.  He ran to her, needing more than ever to feel her loving arms embrace him and to tell him that it wasn't his fault.  But it was his fault.  He had failed.  

Later that night, Lydia Loudermilk Compton sat beside the restless body of her son.  It was his cries that had awakened her.  As she approached his bedside, she looked into his blue eyes, so much like hers, that were filled with grief and shame.  He could not stop sobbing as he held to her as she softly stoked his hair and murmured soft reassurances.  He just kept repeating, over and over, "Oh mother, I'm sorry, I tried so hard but I just could not save her, I just could not save her." 

      

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chapter Eighteen - The Beginning



April 9, 1835

"That's right honeychile, you doin' good now , jes you keep on pushin'. Dat baby gone soon be here to welcome in dis' new day! " With an exhausted and weary sigh, Lydia Loudermilk Compton lay back against the sweat soaked pillow, hoping for a brief respite from the hard, painful labor as Aunt Magnolia, the black midwife, wiped a cool cloth over her face. Her pains had begun in late afternoon the previous day. She was utterly exhausted. She didn't know how much more strength she had left. Suddenly, with a fierce urgency, she felt the overwhelming need to push with all that she had. She heard herself scream as she felt her lips curl back and something that came from a hidden place, that place that never makes it's presence known until everything else is gone, came rising up as she felt her child finally and mercifully slip from her exhausted body. She anxiously waited to hear a cry. There! Yes, she could hear the angry, but strong cries of her child. "Oh Miz Lydia, you done gone and got yoself a fine, strong boy chile. And jes' you look at all dis' black hair! I do declare, I ain't ever seed such a mess of hair in all my born days!' Aunt Magnolia quickly, yet skillfully, tied off and cut that most precious connection that would forever be a bond between mother and son. Lydia Compton reached out her arms, hungry for the sight and feel of her newborn son. She gazed down at his tiny face, anxious to meet this wonderful soul who had inhabited her dreams for months. For a moment he just lay there, then he sleeply opened his eyes, squinted against the brillance of the sunshine, and gazed back at her. She smiled. Oh yes, yes. His eyes were Loudermilk blue.

Little William Thomas Compton, named in honor of his father and both grandfathers, was a joy to behold in the eyes of his doting mother as he lay there in her arms, greedily suckling the warm, rich milk from her breast. She reached out to take a plump hand and pressed it to her lips. "Oh, he is growing so fast" , she thought. She called him her sweet little Billy boy, and he was indeed the light in her blue eyes and had such a hold of her heart that she lived in constant fear of his falling into sickness. He was a fat, happy little boy with a grin that could melt even the staunchest heart and who seldom cried. As the months passed and spring became summer, then fall, he grew into a chubby little toddler who would stand on unsteady legs as he gazed at his father from across the room. With a toothless grin and a small stream of glistening saliva dripping from his bottom lip, he would take one tiny step before collapsing on all fours. Then, with a gleeful squeal, he would quickly crawl into the arms of his beaming father. Many mornings, before the hard days work would begin and the weather was still warm and mild, his father would pick him up and together they would walk through the fields of the Compton farm. His father would talk to him and tell him of all the things that could grow in the earth, and how important it was to strive to be not only a good honest man, but to do your very best in whatever endeavor you pursued. The Compton family of Bon Temps were not wealthy people, but had a good name, and a reputation for being good, honest and hard working people who were generous in spirit and always there to lend a hand to those in need. Through hard work, thrift and wise business dealings, the Comptons had managed to build a nice, spacious home and amass a few hundred acres of rich, delta farm land that seemed made for growing cotton and all the food this young, growing family could need. The elder William Compton had no doubt his beautiful son would not only follow down this same path of integrity and honor, but also come to love this rich Louisiana soil as he did.

The first year passed so quickly and soon little Billy Compton reached his first birthday. This was not only a momentous milestone in the life of this sweet, much loved child, but a milestone in the fact that so many infants did not reach their first birthday. The summers in Louisiana were brutally hot. Tiny Bon Temps was located on the banks of a large lake, as were many other small towns. When the spring rains came to replenish the earth for spring planting, it also brought the dreaded threat of malaria. As these fragrant rains fell and fresh puddles of water quickly turned stagnant, millions of mosquitoes began to breed. Malaria was a constant threat during the warm months and there was no medicine that could save a poor soul once the fever set in. Infant deaths were especially high. Every morning as Lydia Compton cradled her hungry son against her breast, she gave up a prayer that God would keep him safe.

But life was about to change for little Billy Compton. Soon there would be a new baby in the family and although Billy did not know exactly what it was, he had already begun to notice the excitement and anticipation flowing throughout the house. Also, he noticed that his mother seemed different. No longer was he allowed to satisfy his need for sustanence at her breast.  Many mornings it was his father, not his mother, who came into his room to lift him from his cradle. He hated the warm corn mush and cow's milk offered to him each morning. When he finally saw his mother, he would hold out his arms to her and cry to be lifted onto her lap and be allowed to drink the sweet, rich milk he craved. "No, you're a big boy now. You're going to be a big brother very soon, and you must not act like such a baby.. You must learn to eat your breakfast so you can grow strong and take care of your new brother or sister." Billy would contemplate these words, not exactly understanding what they meant. But he somehow sensed that something was about to change. And he wasn't quite sure if he liked it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chapter Seventeen - The Atonement

He welcomed the pain.  For with the pain came the reassurance that his badly charred body had begun to heal.  As he felt the sharp, tiny teeth of the hungry rodent as it sank it's fangs into the flesh of his lower leg, he instinctively reached down and felt his fingers close around the small, furry body.  He was in desperate need of fresh blood.  He was still quite weak and not healed to the point of being strong enough to find a source of that magical healing elixr, fresh human blood.  Even this small amount of rodent blood would be strength.  Bill felt his fangs tear into the throat of the terrified, struggling creature ,even as he gagged against the vile taste of this fresh, warm blood as it trickled down his throat.  Life, or life as he knew it, was slowly being returned to his injured body.  He lifted his arm and with his hand, he began to feel across his chest.  Yes, he was slowly healing.  Bill had never sustained such devastating injuries.   He had never been burned by the sun as he was always certain to be locked securely in his resting place before the warm, golden rays of that glorious orb gazed down up the earth.  

He lay back, exhausted from his slight efforts.  As he began to drift off into that state of half dream, half illusion, Bill thought he could hear someone calling to him. It was as if he had wandered into a place so dark and lonely that no one could reach him.  He struggled to find his voice, to find a way to call out from this place of lost hope.  He was no longer sure of what was real and what was merely a manifestation of his yearning.  As he closed his blue eyes, he felt her hands on his face once again.  "Oh Mother!  Where have you been?  I've been trying to find you for so long!   I'm so alone, so frightened. Oh Mother, please stay with me, don't leave me here alone."  Bill  heard himself weeping as he implored his beloved Mother to stay with him.  He could feel her soft, warm lips gently caress his cheek as he breathed in the comforting fragrance of her lavender scent as she leaned over and whispered "yes, my sweet one, I'm right here.  I've always been right here.  You are my sweet little Billy and I'll never leave you".  Bill smiled, and then, like a vapor in the mist of morning, she was gone.  He felt the tears began to fall from the corner of his eyes.  He was alone.  He had always been alone.  Everyone and everything he loved was lost to him.  Even Sookie.  She was gone.  He had failed in his effort to protect her and now she was dead.  His mind drifted off once more into a turbulent and restless sleep as the image of a terrified and pleading young girl with red hair and blue eyes swam in his dreams. 

Gradually, he could feel his body becoming stronger and stronger.   His confused and jumbled thoughts became clearer. Then he remembered.  Sookie, she was not dead.  He remembered calling out to her, pouring every last ounce of his strength into reaching out to her, hoping against hope that she would respond to his call.  She just couldn't be dead. Yes, he remembered now.  The body of the shifter, Sam Merlotte, lay on the ground as she opened her eyes, got up and somehow found the strength to end the life of that man.  He thought about the shifter.  The shifter that he had asked to watch out for her, the one who had been in Sookie's home, his arms around her, his lips on hers.  He felt the anger and sadness fill his heart once again.  In his weakened, confused state, his emotions were raw and all but uncontrollable.  The hurt was so new, so harsh that he thought he could not bear it.  A sob filled his chest as he remembered the terrible feeling of betrayal and hurt as she angrily turned on him and put him out of her home while the shifter remained.   It seemed as if, in spite of it all,  he had lost Sookie forever.  How long had he lain here?  He couldn't remember anymore.  But it no longer mattered.   Sookie had made her choice.  He felt as though his aching heart would break.

Sundown was quickly approaching.  Bill lay in his cold, dark cocoon as he waited for the warming rays of the sun to safely retreat into it's hiding place, leaving only the briefest of a lingering scent of sunshine to gently waft on the night breeze.  Rain would be coming soon.  He could smell it's approach and he needed to be free of this place and healed by the time it made it's presence known.  He slowly made his way up into the night air.  He was still quite weak, but his first thoughts were of Sookie, of seeing Sookie and somehow making her understand how deeply sorry he was for his failure to save her.  But not yet.  His hunger was overwhelming and he desperately needed to feed.  But where?  He stood for a moment in the night air and tried to clear his thoughts as he began to think about a place he could safely feed without being seen.  He was just too weak and would not be able to resist an attack.  Then he remembered.  There was a store, one of those that remained open all the time.  It was near his home.   He had frequently stopped in to purchase TrueBlood and on occasion, a special treat of the creamy dark chocolate Sookie loved so much.   But tonight he needed much more sustanance than a bottle of synthetic blood.  For only fresh, human blood could provide the magical healing power he so desperately required.  As he slowly made his way to the highway, he forced himself not to think about what he was doing.  He had made Sookie a promise to shy away from such behavior that to her seemed so barbaric.  But Bill was no longer certain that Sookie would even care about what he did.  

Bill silently waited in the shadows, hidden in a clump of trees that sheltered the back side of the store.  He knew it wouldn't be long before someone made their way around the back in order to relieve themselves.  He, as well as other vampires, had learned years ago that this was a fail-proof method of acquiring fresh blood.  The combination of  beer and the constant need of humans to relieve themselves made it somewhat like shooting fish in a barrel.  All he need do was wait.

The warm water of the shower felt so wonderful to his freshly healed body.  As he watched the dirt and charred ash fall in a torrent of soap and shampoo, he thought about what he would say to her.  Would she even care about what he had to say?  He remembered the tears and heartbreak in her eyes as he bid her good-bye the night he left for the tribunal.  The tribunal, combined with the horror and shame of what he had done to that poor girl, then the exasperation at the unruly creature that had emerged from the ground was something he wasn't prepared to deal with just yet.  The idea of being so indebted to Eric was not something he relished dwelling on either.  There would be payback, of that he was certain.  As to what it might be, Bill could only be certain of one thing.  Whatever payback Eric demanded would require a painful sacrifice on his part.  There were times when Bill felt as though his life had been spent atoning for some transgression or another.  Would he ever be finished with paying his penance to whichever supreme being decided his fate?  Would he ever be left to find his way in whatever resemblance of peace he could find?  

As he walked up the graveled path to her home, he felt as though his mind and heart were engaged in an epic battle.  His mind was so certain that his life with Sookie was over, while his hopeful heart refused to even entertain the thought.  But what if it really was over?  What would he do?  He would not beg.  He would not beseech Sookie to reconsider her decision.  He was finished with begging, forever.  He would turn around, walk down those same steps, leave this town and his beloved state of Louisiana forever, never to return.   But he would first look in her window, and whatever he saw would ultimately decide his fate.   As he stopped and watched her for a few brief moments, he felt such a feeling of supreme relief to realize that she was alone.  A trembling hand reached for the doorbell and in the blink of an eye, there she was.  And she was still his.

However many years fate had decided to give him, Bill Compton knew that he would never experience the joy, relief and love he felt as he held Sookie in his arms.  He wanted to heal her, but she would have none of it.  He carefully held her and all he could think about was kissing and touching every inch of her body.  It wasn't so much the need to feel her woman's body joined with his and the need to reaffirm their love and passion as much as the need to reassure himself that she was alright.  He just couldn't stop touching her and breathing in the scent of her.  And she felt the same.  The look of incredulous disbelief on her face as she opened her door and saw him had made her almost weak with joy and relief.  As their tender carresses soon turned into a fierce need to express their love for each other, Bill was very gentle with her.  He touched her almost as if she were made of the finest porcelain.  Tomorrow there would be issues and new problems that would test their love and tolerance, but tonight it did not matter.  They had both endured heartbreak, strife and sorrow, but tonight would be their night of reaffirming their love, passion and need for each other.  Bill couldn't stop smiling.   Sookie was alright and yes,  she was still his. 



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chapter Sixteen - The Reckoning

Bill Compton had thought he understood the meaning of the word terror, but now realized that he had been mistaken. He could sense Eric and Pam behind him as he felt his coat being pulled from his arms. Nothing in his previous experiences, as either human or vampire, could have prepared him for this dreadful feeling that rocked his mind as he gazed into the black, souless eyes of the Magistre. Black eyes that were lacking in compassion for anything human or vampire and who obviously found great enjoyment in witnessing the pain and suffering of those he held power over. As he listened to the excited bloodhowls of the ragtag collection of vampires behind him as they gleefully and enthusiastically demonstrated their approval while the fangs of some unfortunate were being yanked out by the root, Bill realized that this was going to be a very long evening indeed. And he was afraid. There was no point in admitting anything less. He could not even begin to imagine what fate had in store for him on this night.

For a brief moment he turned his blue eyes up at the full moon. It was such a beautiful moon, a lover's moon. But not for him. Bill knew that in all liklihood he would not see Sookie again. If he did, it would not be for a very long time and by then she would be a very old woman. Who would protect her now? Would she join others he had loved and through his mistakes, be forever lost to him for all eternity? He could not even begin to imagine anything so painful as knowing a gravestone would be the only part of her he could touch. Another love stolen from him. As he reflected upon the events of the previous evening, Bill realized that he had only himself to blame. The sheer stupidity of agreeing to accompany Sookie to Fangtasia was only the beginning. He now knew the gravity of this mistake. From the moment they walked through the door of that place, it was as if this evening was as inevitable as the rising of the sun. He should have known better. If only. It seemed as if his entire existence had been full of "if onlys". If only he had kept her away from Eric. If only he had done more to help in her efforts to clear her brother's name. If only he had not wandered off the road and sought respite from his hunger and thirst at that cabin. It was the beautiful, luminous full moon, much like the moon of this night as it came from behind the cover of a thick, dark cloud that had led him to Lorena's door. If only.

In spite of the humiliation of it, Bill found himself clinging to a small spark of hope that Eric would come to his aid in some way and perhaps it would hold some sway with this Magistre. He hated more than words could convey that feeling of helplessness and the needing of Eric's influence. This dependence on Eric bothered him almost as much as the validation of this terrible fear he felt. Bill had never attended a tribunal. He found no pleasure in witnessing or participating in the misfortune of another. As the Magistre began to speak, Bill thought back to last night. He had never, in all his years as a vampire, witnessed the staking of another. He had only heard it spoken of. As he recalled the feeling of the wooden stake in his strong hands as it plunged into the back of Longshadow, he felt his fear renewed afresh. Whatever his punishment was to be, it would not be pleasant. Could no one here see what a wonderful, special human Sookie was? He had to protect her. Why could they not see this?

"Five years in a coffin chained with silver". Bill's mind tried to absorb those words, but all he could hear was a dull, humming sound. If he had possessed a heart that still beat, Bill had no doubt that it would have stopped at those words. He could not even begin to think about anything that could be more horrible, more cruel. Or so he thought. It was at that moment that he heard Eric speak. Perhaps Eric speaking had made some difference. The Magistre seemed to hesitate for a moment. What could possibly be more horrid than five years chained in silver?

No, no. no. Bill's mind was reeling in utter shock, disbelief and abhorance at the words he heard. He could not, would not do this terrible thing. Everything in him rose up in abject horror against the words he heard this cruel monster say. It was as if he was watching from a great distance as a terrified and desperate young girl was thrown from the trunk of a car. His mind began to recoil against what he knew was coming. No, no, no. Anything but this. Oh please God, no, no. no!

Bill felt the softness of her hand as he knelt before her. Her eyes, they were so blue! She was a lovely young girl. It was not fair. But there was nothing at all about life that ever was. Bill had never hated to do something this badly in his entire existence. He had caused the death of humans, that was true. And it bothered him greatly each time it happened. But it was never a deliberate act of violence or cruelty such as this. After all these years of witnessing the cruel deeds done by man, Bill truly wondered if God existed. If He did, then Bill could only hope that somehow he could be forgiven for this unholy deed. As he gazed into her bright blue eyes in an effort to calm her, he heard that cruel voice once again. Bill had no doubt the Magistre meant every word he said and would have enjoyed nothing so much as the torture of this unlucky young girl. Bill could not let that happen.

As she desperately struggled against the inevitable and in spite of his resistance and revulsion, Bill could feel it overpowering him. As badly as he would like it to be different, he could no longer deny who and what he was. As his fangs sank into her tender flesh, a raging bloodlust began to consume him. The smell of virgin blood began to drift in the night air and Bill could hear the howls of lust and anticipation. This is who he was. He wasn't a man. Not any longer. The beauty and savagery of who and what he was took over and it was a relief to finally stop fighting against that part of him that only wanted to be Bill Compton. As he accepted and welcomed the rage that came with the knowledge of defeat, he felt himself consumed with the need to feel this young, virgin blood flowing throughout every part of him. He was no longer a man. He was vampire.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chapter Fifteen - The Bidding

Bill gently leaned over and kissed her soft cheek as she lay sleeping.  He loved to watch her sleep. She had fallen asleep in his arms and for the remainder of the night his eyes had not left her sleeping face.  But dawn would soon be here.  His body could sense it and his blue eyes could already detect the faintest lightening of the sky on the eastern horizon.  He had to go.  He allowed his face to rest briefly in the scent of her hair.  Then, with one last look back at her sleeping face, he was gone.

A few evenings later Bill sat behind the wheel of his dark blue BMW as he made his way home from Monroe.  He had decided to attend to a few errands this evening while Sookie worked her evening shift at Merlottes.  Not much in Bon Temp, with the exception of Merlottes and a few convenience stores, remained open after dark.  So the necessities of picking up dry cleaning and banking, along with any personal shopping, had to be attended to in Monroe.  He smiled as he looked down at the bouquet of red and white roses he had carefully selected for her at the all-night market. Each one had to be perfect, because they represented the two perfect gifts he had received from Sookie.  Her sexual purity and her virgin blood.  Now, with his errands finally completed, he was anxious to return home.  Sookie would be there in a few hours and he wanted to be home when she walked through the door.  To hear the sound of his door opening and knowing it was her returning to him had become the best part of his life.  It was as if one of his favorite poets,  Lord Byron, had written this , just for her.

" She walks in beauty, like the night  
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,  
And all that's best of dark and bright  
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;  
Thus mellow'd to that tender light         
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.  
  
One shade the more, one ray the less,  
Had half impair'd the nameless grace  
Which waves in every raven tress  
Or softly lightens o'er her face,  
Where thoughts serenely sweet express  
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.  
  
And on that cheek and o'er that brow  
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,  
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,  
But tell of days in goodness spent,—  
A mind at peace with all below,  
A heart whose love is innocent"

 As his powerful, yet gentle hands expertly guided the car through the dark, narrow roads as he grew nearer to Bon Temp, he allowed his thoughts to wander once more to the previous evening.  He felt his face form a smile as he remembered their passionate lovemaking.  Sookie had no knowledge of all the things that a more experienced lover knew.  All those things that a woman, through experience, learned how to do that brought added pleasure to a man.  Bill knew he was the only man who had ever touched her in an intimate way.  He also knew that he had been given that most sacred of gifts that any woman can give a man. Her innocence and purity. Bill had tried to explain to her that it wasn't the technique, or the knowledge of ways to pleasure a man that made her lovemaking so special.  It was something even he couldn't explain fully.   In all those years as Bill had forlornly roamed the earth, being forced by either his maker Lorena or compeled by his vile vampire nature to participate in acts that even now made him inwardly cringe, he had all but abandoned the hope that one day he could find love again.  The wonderful feeling of making love to someone whom you not only loved, but that loved you in return was what made Sookie so special.  And what fun it had been with those children!  As a human,  Bill had always loved to be around them and he had forgotten how much fun children could be.  They were so open, honest and for the most part, trusting.  He had not enjoyed the company of a child, at least not under such completely normal circumstances, since he had lost his human life.  As a general rule, children were not part of a vampire's existence.  Living and existing in the dark of night made contact with children a very rare thing.  And Bill could never have forced himself, under any conditions, to harm a child, regardless of how desperate his need to feed.

Eric.  He should have known.  He should have known from the moment he saw the look of naked lust on Eric's face that the safe, isolated world he and Sookie had created would not endure.  And now, here Eric was, stretched out in Bill's bathtub.  Bill knew that it was no mere circumstance that he found Eric in that bathtub. Eric could smell Sookie all over it and knew that it was a place of profound intimacy for them.  This affront to Bill's dignity was a direct message to let Bill know in no uncertain terms just who was in control.  And there was nothing Bill could do about it.  



  

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chapter Fourteen - The Resurection

He could smell the dreary, gray rain long before it's dampness slowly snaked down into the black soil of this dark, earthy hiding place.  Bill had remained here, safely hidden, for two days and a night.  Now darkness was approaching once again and his hunger and need to free himself from this silent, dark grave came upon him with a fierceness.  During the painfully long previous night, Bill had comforted himself with the thought that he lay buried below this rich Louisana soil of Bon Temps near his beloved family that he had never stopped missing.  Their bodies had long ago returned to the dust from whence they came, but it was almost as if he was finally where he belonged.  Then his thoughts returned to the one who had brought life back into his heart.  Thinking of Sookie, remembering that wonderful night when she came to him, yearning for the experience of fully consumated love and willingly giving of her life's blood to him brought to his soul a deep contentment and overwhelming need to see her.  

Bill began to stir, began to bring his senses into full alertness.  He stopped for a moment.  There, he could hear footsteps.  Someone was walking, walking very close.  And sobs, Bill could hear the sobs of someone who's heart was so full of sadness and grief.  Then, as his sense of smell became fully awakened and his nostrils picked up her very distinctive fragrance,  he realized who's grieving sobs he heard.  It was his Sookie.  He could feel such a deep sadness pouring from her soul as if her heart was broken.  She was sad.  So, so sad.   He began to claw his way up from this darkness, reaching up into the damp night air with one arm.  He could sense that she was very close, he could feel and smell the heat of her body radiating to him.  He felt his hand close around her ankle and he heard her scream in fright.  He climbed faster, struggling to bring himself out of this damp tomb.  "Sookie, Sookie, it's me", he heard himself say.  

Bill's desperate hunger and overpowering need to feel Sookie's body joined with his once again made their coupling an animalistic mating.  She was so happy to see him, to know that he was alright, that she awakened not only in Bill, but in herself the desperate sexual need to feel him inside her body. For feeling the pain that such a violent couplings brought also brought the reassurrance that yes, it was Bill and he was alright.  As Bill thrust himself into her body, he frantically lowered his fangs, desperate for the strength and taste of her blood, fiercely needing to slake his intense hunger.  No, not her neck.  Like a newborn babe instinctively seeks out the source of it's comfort and nourishment, Bill quickly found a rich, satisfying source of this life's blood that he not only loved the taste of, but needed to satisfy that part of him which he hated more than anything, this thing that shamed him.  His raging hunger sated, he felt Sookie wrap her legs around him as she urged him on with wild abandon and the need to release that feeling of pleasure that made the outside world cease to exist.

Their lovemaking over, they both lay there in this damp night air, staring at the scattering of dark clouds that were quickly moving, allowing the crescent moon to show it's tiny form.  Sookie could not contain her joy and relief at the sight and feel of him.  She kept touching him, as if she thought she surely must be dreaming as she told him of the fate that had befallen Malcom, Diane, Liam and someone as yet unidentified and how sure she was that he was the fourth victim.  Bill held her to his chest and stroked her beautiful, golden hair as he felt his heart swell to almost bursting with love for this wonderful girl.  He was quite contrite after he had pulled himself from inside her.  Had he hurt her?  He also was worried that his frenzied feeding would leave her arm sore and bruised.  Over and over she reassured him.  But they couldn't stay out here all night.  Sookie was covered in dirt and getting cold.  Not to mention the fact that he was naked and completely covered in damp dirt as well.  Bill gently picked her up in his strong arms and began to walk home.  As the warm water of the shower nozzle began to wash some of the chill and dirt from their bodies, Bill took the shampoo bottle and began to gently wash the soil from Sookie's hair.  He loved doing this.  The feel of her silky hair in his hands as he felt the heat from her scalp radiating down through his cool fingers began to stir in him feelings better left for another time.  Although Sookie kept up reassurances that she wasn't hurt, Bill knew better.   Later, after drying and brushing her hair, they both crawled into Bill's comfortable bed.  Even though he was vampire and had no real need of a bed, he often enjoyed stretching out in comfort as he indulged in the pleasure of a good book or good music while waiting for dawn to come.  Sookie kept reaching up, touching his face, as if she again needed reassurance that he was really here with her.  Yes, he was really here.  And here he would stay by her side until dawn, never taking his eyes from her sleeping face as he watched her gentle breaths as she slept.  



  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chapter Thirteen - The Sacrifice

Bill quietly listened to the sound of Sookie's gentle, even breaths as she slept in his arms. He leaned over and ever so softly kissed the drying traces of tears on her cheeks. It was hard for him to imagine the gauntlet of emotions this fascinating, strong, but fragile creature that had slowly but surely moved into his heart had endured these past 36 hours. She was exhausted, both physically and emotionally. But like the strong, stubborn creature that she was, she had maintained control of her emotions until their lovemaking was over. Although she came to him a virgin, she had matched him passion for passion, eager to experience pleasure and to give of her body to him completely and without fear. Then when she realized she was as safe and beloved as she could ever be and as Bill gently cradled her body to his, the tears and grief began to pour from her like the release of a river after spring rains fill it until it's banks overflow in a great torrent. All he could do was hold her and softly murmur gentle sounds of comfort as she wept.

After she had awakened, Bill leaned over and gently picked her up in his arms, and with a twinkle of merriment in his beautiful blue eyes, he quickly raced up the stairs as she threw back her head in laughter. She was amazed at the sight of his newly renovated bathroom, and especially his large bathtub. As Bill began to fill the spacious tub with warm fragrant water, Sookie walked about the room lighting candles. Now the room was bathed in the lovely glow of candlelight and the gentle fragrance of freesia wafted about the room on a cloud of spring. As the warm water began to relax them, they began to talk. Sookie told of a terrible, sickening thing that had happened to her as a child. Bill did not want Sookie to see how terribly angry he was. But one thing was certain. This Uncle Barlett person had better be sure that his insurance was paid and his assurance was made to whomever he would meet in the land of eternity, because that is where he was headed as surely as night follows day.

Later, as the first hint of dawn began to make it's way into the shadows of the eastern sky, Bill knew he would have to leave Sookie until those golden rays of light that he once had enjoyed so much, but now could only dream of , could only sadly remember the feel of, could only drink in the scent of on Sookie's tanned flesh, had once again disappeared into twilight.. He was worried about her. He was not only worried, but frightened as well. He would have loved nothing more than to have her lie beside him and hear the sound of her slow, steady breath as she slept. But he knew that could not be. He would have to sleep his sleep of the dead alone and pray that God would keep her safe until dark.

What on earth could those three troublemakers want at Merlottes? Bill already was quite sure he knew the answer to that question. They wanted him. And the one sure way they knew of getting his attention would be to endanger Sookie. Bill knew that she would not back down or show any fear of them. And he was worried. As he made his way into Merlotte's as quickly as possible, he could see that his predictions were correct. Malcom, Diane and Liam were in rare form tonight. Liam had the shifter down across the bar and the patrons were terrified. Personally, Bill didn't care what happened to the shifter. But he also understood the affection and regard that Sookie had for Sam Merlotte. And he would not do anything to bring more grief and despair to her. He would do whatever those three evil vampires wanted of him if they would agree to leave. He hated to see the look of hurt and disappointment on her face and in her eyes, and he could only hope she understood what he was trying to convey to her as he walked out.

As they made their way into the parking lot of Merlotte's, Bill angrily turned to Malcom. Bill had truly believed that at some point he might actually have a chance to have a life of some sort here in Bon Temps. And the acceptance of his relationship with Sookie among her friends and family was more important than anything. Now, these three were ruining everything. Bill had no intention of hanging out with them and he intended to leave their company as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Which, as it turned out, was soon. As they approached Malcom's shabby, 80's retro hoop-dee, there was a fang-banger standing by the car, as if he were waiting for them. Bill remembered seeing the fang-banger from previous trips to Fangtasia. "Good" thought Bill, "someone or something to keep Malcom, Diane and Liam occupied so I can leave". Bill knew that Sookie would try to phone him, so he immediately put his phone on voicemail pick-up. Sure enough, as soon as they arrived at the newly acquired home of The Vampires Three, it became apparent that the night would be like many other nights full of frenzied human feedings and sex. As Bill stood watching the disgusting spectacle, he could barely force himself to wait until he could get away. Luckily Malcom and Diane were so occupied with their guest they hardly even noticed Bill.

As dawn began to approach, Bill quietly slipped away into the fading shadows. As he climbed into his car, he stopped long enough to check his messages. Yes, there were 3 voicemail messages from a frantic sounding Sookie. Bill knew she was worried. He also knew that trouble would be raining down on the vampires, all vampires in Bon Temps before night fell again. He stopped and thought about where he should go. Well, in light of the situation there was only once place he could go that was absolutely safe for both he and Sookie. His home was a prime target for the vampire haters, and going to Sookie's home would put her in mortal danger as well. There was only one thing he could do. As he opened up his car trunk, he reached inside for the shovel he always carried with him. A freshly mounded grave would arouse no suspicion from anyone, and it had been a very safe resting and hiding place for vampires for many centuries. Bill hated to get dirt on his clothing. Since he had been seeing Sookie, he had decided to update his look. Fortunately for Bill and other vampires as well, online ordering had been a huge advantage and solved the shopping problem. There wasn't much you could not purchase and have delivered directly to your front door. As Bill took off his clothes and began to pull the fragrant, damp earth down upon him, he couldn't help but worry about Sookie. She would be frantic, but it just wasn't safe to leave her a message until everything had settled down. Until then, he would remain here, safe and hidden from the world in this dark, damp womb.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chapter Twelve - The Passion

Bill Compton leaned his forearms against the mantle above the crackling fire. As he stood there staring into the flames, he felt his mind being drawn back to a night that had ripped apart everything he had held dear. Even after all these many years Bill still felt such a rage against the vampire who had not only stolen his life, but had visited upon him such a misery of existence that even now he was loath to even say her name. Seeing that photograph that Mayor Norris had presented him with had shaken Bill to the very core of his being. There had not been a single night that Bill did not think of them. Coming back into this home of his childhood that he had shared with his beloved Caroline had only served to make it more difficult to move on and forget the past. He turned and walked over to the small table and picked up the photograph. His long, tapered fingers gently traced the outline of his little daughter's face. What had she been like as she grew and became a young lady? Did she ever ask about him? And his son? Who had taught him all the things that he had learned from his own father? What kind of man had he become? He walked over to the staircase and sat down on the third step. He closed his eyes as a million memories began to invade his consciousness. Of him, awakening early in the morning, while the dew was still thick on the Louisana earth and the sounds of robins, sparrows and bluejays could be heard happily chirping as they welcomed in the morning. Before going downstairs to begin a hard day of work he would softly make his way into the room of his sleeping children. He would lean over and softly kiss the neck of his tiny son and for a brief moment he would linger and lightly breathe in that wonderful fragrance of sleeping baby and mother's milk. Bill thought surely nothing could smell so sweet as the neck of a sleeping child. Then he would walk over and gaze down at the tiny face of the one that held his heart. He would gently kiss her cheek and brush back the dark brown hair that was so much like his from her face. Sometimes those brillant blue eyes would fly open and she would look up at him and smile. He would gently admonish her to go back to sleep, then he would tuck the quilt back around her tiny body. But sometimes on a pretty summer morning he would pick her up and they would make their way down the stairs to the front porch just as the sun would come slowly rising to bathe the two of them in it's golden beauty. He would gently pull back the branches of the large camelia bush that grew by the front porch steps. There, hidden deep inside would be a birds nest filled with tiny, featherless robins who were all crying loudly with mouths wide open, anxiously awaiting their mama to return. Bill would smile as Sara excitedly clapped her hands in delight and cried out "oh Papa look! It's baby birds!"

Bill sadly hung his head for a moment. Then he abruptly stood up and resolutely placed the photograph back on the table. To continue on in this vein of self pity and remorse for a past that was as dead as he was just senseless. He knew what he had to do.

As Bill swiftly made his way to the Stackhouse home a faint scent of the familiar smell so well know to vampires began to once again assault his senses. Fear and panic overcame him until he realized that it was not Sookie's blood he could smell, but the blood of someone else. Someone who was old in human years. The varying fragrances in blood of humans as they age is as distinctive and unique to a vampire as the ages of fine wines are to a connoisseur.. As he walked into the doorway of the kitchen he could see his Sookie. She was kneeling in blood, so much blood. She was staring at the body of her grandmother. The body of the one who had taken care of her, had loved and nurtured a child who through no fault of her own had been dealt a card that would forever mark her as an outsider, someone to be feared, much as he was. To see his Sookie so traumatized and so devestated filled Bill with something he had not felt in many years. A terrible need to enact revenge on the person responsible for this horrible, senseless act all but overwhelmed him. "People call us the monsters, the abominations to God. But we never kill for the sheer pleasure of it" Bill seethingly thought to himself.

Bill had never seen such courage in the face of tragedy. She was the strongest thing he had ever seen. His admiration for her grew more as he watched the way she handled herself around the terrible things and questions she had to face. The fact that he could not stay there and watch over her throughout the remainder of the night and during the daylight hours haunted him as he made his way home. He could only hope that the shifter was as capable of watching over her as he claimed. He could not even allow his mind to think about what might have happened if Sookie had arrived home earlier.

Bill's bright blue eyes flew open in panic. Sookie! Sookie! Someone's hands around her neck, cruelly squeezing the life from her as she slept. He must go to her! But he couldn't move. It wasn't time. It wasn't yet dark. His body would not obey his mind. In frustrating rage he sank back into his sleep of death.

Faster than he had ever moved, Bill flew up the stairs into the room where Sookie lay. With a terrified lurch in his heart, he knelt by her side and called her name. A feeling of immense, happy relief washed over him as she groggily opened her dark eyes and looked at him. It was but a dream. A horrible, terrifying dream. But he would not leave her this night. He would stay here and protect her from anything or anyone. Only God could help someone who dared try to harm a hair on her head.

She was coming to him. He could feel it as surely as his body could feel the call of dawn. He could hear her heart beating, he could hear her footsteps as she came into the cemetery. Bill walked across the room and threw open the doors. Where was she? His emotions were racing so fast that for a moment he couldn't distinguish where she was. He stopped, closed his eyes. Oh yes, there she was. It was what he had prayed for, yearned for. She was coming to him. She was his.

Bill looked questioningly into her dark eyes. Her passion and longing rose to meet his. As he gently drew the gown down from her shoulders, he looked into her eyes to see a passion as intense as he felt. As he kissed her gently, he wondered briefly if he would be able to control his passion and even though the tasting of her blood was what he wanted more than he could believe possible, it must be her wish as well. He would be whatever she wanted him to be, he would do only what she wished him to do. As he feasted his eyes upon her beautiful body, he could not control his vampire nature. He felt the fangs come down and in shame he once again turned away from her. But she still wanted him. Her soft hands reached up and pulled him once more down to her lips. She was giving everything to him this night. Something she had never given to any man. Bill felt overwhelmed with desire and passion, but more than anything he was overcome with caring for this beautiful, strong but gentle creature that had come into his life and given him a reason to care. The giving of her body, her purity and more importantly her virgin blood to him so willingly meant more than he could even put into words. This most wonderful feeling of giving love and receiving love. It was something he had not felt since his human life had ended, and it had been something he never thought could be possible. It was a most precious gift. It was a gift that Bill Compton did not intend to ever lose again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chapter Eleven - The Agony

Bill Compton sat in the dark, quiet stillness of his car and looked down at the regulation issue Glock .40 semi-automatic in his hand. He shook his head at the sheer stupidity of his actions this evening. What on earth had possessed him to act in such a manner? Bill usually exerted a great effort to maintain control of his emotions and actions at all times. He had learned through trial and tribulation that the loss of control in general made a bad situation an even worse situation. And never more so than for a vampire attempting to mainstream. Yes, it was true the officer had angered and humiliated him in front of Sookie, but that was no excuse for losing control like he had done. How on earth had an evening that had started with such promise turned into such a disaster? And Tuvan throat singing? What on earth was he thinking? Bill leaned his head back onto the headrest and closed his eyes. The lingering scent of the cologne Sookie had worn gently caressed his senses. She had worn it the night he had come to call on her at her home. "Beautiful" she had replied when he asked her what it was called. He had really hoped that their time together tonight would be a chance for them to have some time alone, some time to talk and perhaps allow him to adequately express his growing affection for her. But it seemed as though fate had other ideas. Even though he had been loath to take Sookie to Fangtasia because he knew that every vampire in that place would immediately sense her uniqueness and could see how beautiful she was, he couldn't help but feel a sense of gloating satisfaction over the reaction of Eric. But he also knew that Eric wasn't likely to forget about Sookie. And that worried Bill.

As Bill crossed the threshold of his home, he looked around and listened to the silence. His home was dead, just like he was. There was no life here, nothing remained of the happiness and joy that had once been in each and every room. Before his return, he hadn't really thought about how painful some of those memories would be. He walked into the parlor and sat down. He had really been trying for the past few weeks to not think about those memories. Having Sookie in his life had made that difficult task much easier. But it was very hard now as every room in this house was teeming with ghosts and special memories from his human life and tonight Bill was feeling sorry for himself. He wished he were human again so he could get really drunk and maybe get rid of some of his memories and emotions, if only for a night. He had to make a conscious effort not to picture his beautiful wife coming down the staircase in the evenings after she had put the children to bed. Together they would sit in front of the fire if the weather was cold and hold onto each other's hand while they talked. Then they would quietly make their way up the staircase to their bedroom where they would passionately and eagerly enjoy the sight and feel of each other's bodies as they prepared for bed. He closed his eyes and remembered the smell and feel of her soft, pale body lying under his, the way she tasted. Stop! He musn't think about these things any longer. He was only making his sad existence even sadder. Perhaps his coming back to Bon Temps wasn't the smartest choice he could have made. But he had yearned so and missed his home so much for all these years! And that wonderful feeling that came over him when he walked through that front door the night he returned! It was as if a huge pile of sadness and misery had rolled off him when he stepped out of that car and saw that familiar front door that he had dreamed of walking through for more years than he cared to remember. But he also wondered if he could continue to live all alone with only memories of those he had loved and of happier times. Just the idea of having nothing to hope for, nothing to awaken for filled Bill with such sadness and hopelessness. He just didn't think he could bear to awaken each time the sun went down and realize he had no one to share his time with except memories and gravestones of those he had loved so many, many years ago. He had promised Sookie's grandmother that he would speak at her Descendents of the Glorious Dead meeting. That would be tomorrow evening. He really didn't want to do it, but he had given his word. The idea of dregging up all those painful memories of all those who had sacrificed their lives in one way or another and reliving the horrors and torments of a war that had taken him away from who and what he loved most was not something he looked forward to. But he knew that Sookie would be there. She cared too much for her grandmother not to be there. Bill made up his mind that he would find some way to speak with her. She just had to forgive him. She just had to.

As Bill sat in the small kitchen just to the left of the sanctuary, he could hear everthing being said. Of course, he had heard it all before. Still, as he sat there sipping on his TruBlood, he couldn't help but smile wryly at some of the comments being made. And he was most grateful to Mrs. Stackhouse for her gracious, but firm rebuttal to each and everyone of them. She was such a nice lady. She made him think of his own grandmother. Sookie was very fortunate indeed to have been brought up by such a lovely woman. Bill couldn't believe that Sookie and her brother were of the same blood. Obviously Mrs. Stackhouse had only been able to accomplish so much as far as the brother was concerned. As he sat there he heard a small commotion in the sanctuary. Some large woman with an even louder voice named Fortenberry and her son were trying their best to remove the large silver cross displayed on the altar. And they were having no luck. Bill thought he would absolutely spew O Positive from his nostrils when he heard that woman's remark about him "sizzling up like fatback bacon". Oh yes, that was a good one alright. He would have to remember that one and share it with a vampire friend when the opportunity presented itself. As he sat there alone in that small room he realized that he was listening so intently for only one reason. He was waiting for Sookie. Then, he heard her voice as she greeted her grandmother. He felt his heart leap in his chest. Then he felt his hands clutch the bottle he was drinking from so tightly that it's a miracle the bottle didn't shatter as he felt his eyes narrow in disbelief as he heard Sookie announce to Mrs. Stackhouse who her escort for the evening was. It was Sam Merlotte. The shifter. The shifter who was doing everything he could to take Sookie away from him.

It was a larger crowd than Bill had expected. "I guess it's true" Bill thought. They all want to see the town vampire, like he was some sort of circus sideshow. Didn't they realize that he had probably sat beside their great-great-great-great grandfathers and mothers as children in this very same building when it also doubled as the school? They all looked upon him as a stranger, an intruder into their safe, secure world. But it was not he who was the stranger. He belonged here more so than anyone sitting in this room tonight. For William T. Compton had fought for, had suffered for and had his life and family ripped from him to endure many heartbreaking years of lonliness and sadness only because he had done what duty and honor demanded of him.

As Bill uneasily began to speak he kept watching Sookie's face for some kind of emotion, some kind of sign that she had forgiven him. That she was no longer angry with him for his ungalant actions of the previous evening. The questions from those attending were polite and inquisitive. The crowd wasn't blown away by any means, but they were respectful. All except those three ignorant rednecks with their inevitable garlic press. Bill wasn't bothered by them. They were nothing but the dumbest of cliches. Bill managed to hold his emotions in check even when a descendent of Tolliver Humphries got up and asked Bill about him. Yes, it was difficult recounting and reliving those last few moments of Tolliver's life, but Bill was grateful for the opportunity to tell someone from Tolliver's family just how and why Tolliver had died. It seemed to make the old man feel better and proud to have descended from someone so brave. Then Mayor Norris approached him with a photograph. As Bill reached out his hand for the photograph, he knew instinctively what it was. He had carried one just like it with him, tucked inside his coat pocket next to his heart on that hot August morning in 1862 when he had riden away and become but a memory to them. The photograph had been lost many, many years ago. The vampire Lorena had destroyed it, along with all other vestiges of his former human life including letters from family and friends. With hands trembling and emotions making speech all but impossible, Bill took the tintype and opened it. Oh! Those images tore through his heart like a sickle would slice through wheat. His beautiful Caroline and little Sara! She looked exactly the same as that last morning he sadly kissed her good-bye. And his little son! He could clearly see as if it were yesterday the image of his young son suckling at the breast of his beautiful Caroline as he turned away and left their home, to be forever lost to them. Bill did not trust himself to speak. He felt tears forming in his eyes and for a few sick moments he wondered how those people would react upon seeing tears of red blood streaming down his face. What would Sookie think? Then he saw the compassion and caring on her face. That was all he needed. Bill felt hope in his heart.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chapter Ten - The Amour

The frenzied, far off sounds of barking dogs was the first thing Bill heard as his brilliant blue eyes flew open. Every sense, every fiber of his being were instantly on full alert. After listening carefully, but hearing nothing but silence in his house, he reached up to unlatch the security lock inside his resting place. He climbed out into the special hidden space behind a wall, a place specially made by Bill's father during the war while Bill was away as a safety precauction. As he reached for the spring latch he could feel a smile start to work it's way up from somewhere inside. "Sookie". Bill smiled again as he said her name out loud. He tried to contain his growing excitement as he remember her promise to stop by his home later tonight. She had mentioned to him last night during their walk that she might be able to be of some help with his contractor issues and said she could drop off the information after she finished her shift at Merlolottes. Just thinking about her, thinking about actually being with her again, made him almost giddy with happiness. He closed his eyes as his memory pulled in the wonderful, intoxicating scent of her soft, tanned skin. He could feel himself becoming aroused as he recalled how her hair felt in his hands, how it gently caressed his senses. Bill suddenly realized that he didn't care that darkness had called him from his sleep of the dead. Until he met Sookie, he had dreaded those waking hours of darkness, those wretched lonely hours of solitude. But now! The night just couldn't come quickly enough and just didn't seem to last long enough.

He knew he would need to feed before she came to visit him. He quickly made his way upstairs to his newly renovated bathroom and stood still for a moment. He was undecided as to what he should do. Should he just drive to the store and pick up a few bottles of TruBlood, or should he change into something nicer and go to Merlotte's? "No", he said to himself "I don't want to appear too needy, too aggressive" . Even though he would have loved to see her as soon as possible, Bill remembered enough from his human days of courting to realize moderation and playing a little hard to get were the rules of a little game called love. As he stood there smiling at the memory, he heard a car pull into his front yard.

Jesus Christ! Of all the vampires in the world, those three who were walking up his front steps were the last ones he wanted to see. Malcom, Diane and Liam. And they appeared to have brought along two of their human pets. A lovely, shapely young man for Malcom, natch. And for whomever wanted her, there was a pathetic hollow eyed drug addict. Yeah, she was really making his mouth water, he thought to himself wryly. Where DID Malcom find these humans? Throughout the years, Bill had grown to despise those three and their horrible, cruel ways. Bill had nested with them a few times over the last century, and each time he grew more and more revolted by their actions. Actually, he had grown more and more revolted by his own actions when he was with them. Bill hated to recall some of the things they had done. In his human life Bill was not a cruel man. He was sweet, kind and gentle. To become something so evil and cruel went against every thing that had once been William T. Compton. Bill knew he had to get away from them, to live alone. He could not and would not let the final vestiges of humanity be destroyed by their evil ways. Malcom was a great deal older than Bill and Bill had actually liked Malcom for a little while. That Malcom had fallen hard for the handsome, dashing Bill Compton with eyes the color of the Caribbean Ocean was no secret. But Bill's constant rejection of Malcom's sexual advances had definately put a crack in the bridge of their friendship. And Bill doubted that there was anything kind or merciful about Diane even before she became vampire. Bill knew very little about Liam. Liam had only been vampire for some 30 odd years and Bill had never really known much about him. But frankly, Bill didn't really care to know anything about Liam. He appeared to have been cut from the same bolt of fabric as those other two.

Bill had no choice but to allow them to come into his home. Malcom was senior to him and in the vampire world the rules were The Rules. All he could hope for would be to get rid of them as quickly as possible. But alas, that was not to be. With a sick, sinking feeling Bill heard the sound of Sookie's little yellow Honda come up into his driveway. There was really nothing he could do but hope desperately that he could somehow manage to steer her away from his house and those three horrors that had invaded his home. But it did seem that Lady Luck was giving him the finger at each and every turn. He heard Sookie walk up on the porch and all he could do was sit in the shadows and watch. Watch and do everything in his power to protect her. He knew he couldn't reveal too much about his feelings or she would become fair game in the vampire sport of baiting and goading. Only by strongly announcing that she was his, she belonged to him and only him, could he protect her. He felt sick in the pit of his stomach as he watched her embarrassed uncomfortableness at the sexual antics of Liam and the one he called Janelle. To sit helpless and watch as Liam and Diane put their hands all over her was almost more than he could endure. But he knew he had no choice. But when it became clear that those two intended to feed on his Sookie, he knew he could hold back no longer. With a rage boiling over, he heard himself loudly announce that Sookie was his. His!

Ah, but that Malcom was crafty. Yes, indeed. He knew that Bill would have a very hard time resisting the fresh blood supply being offered to him and just how disturbing it would be for his little human girlfriend to watch. Bill fought against those natural primal urges of his vampire nature. He did not want to feed in front of Sookie. He couldn't imagine what the sight of him giving in to his pathetic need to drink the blood of this willing human would do to her. He felt so ashamed, but at the same time it was as if something alien, something foreign was controlling his mind and actions. As the scent of the fresh blood of the human Jerry assailed his nostrils, Bill felt his fang click into place and a bloodlust that was as natural to him as a baby's reaction to it's mother's milk took control of his free will. As Bill lowered his mouth onto Jerry's neck, he could feel her dark, disbelieving eyes staring at him. Sadly, there was nothing he could do to stop himself. That is until Sookie read Jerry's thoughts and announced that Jerry was carrying HepD.

Bill gently helped Sookie onto a seat after his visitors had finally gone. Bill couldn't believe that he had reacted so slowly and had allowed Jerry to almost strangle her. If there was any question as to how she felt about the evening's activities, that question was answered when he asked her for a kiss. Her answer sliced through him like a sharp knife lays open an unsuspecting hand.
Even though she felt repelled by all the vampire activities she had witnessed tonight, even though she had repelled his request for a kiss, Bill knew he had to be sure she arrived safely at her home. There was no telling what those three who had visited him tonight would do. They had done worse. Much worse in fact. Moving as quickly as he could, he arrived on her doorsteps just as her car pulled into the yard. It all but broke his heart to see her wipe away the tears from her eyes before she got out of the car. He wanted desperately to go to her and wipe them away with his lips, to take her into his arms and apologize for what she had been witness to that night. To reassure her that he wasn't like them. But somehow he knew that would only make things worse.
God, but she was angry! Bill heard himself trying to explain things to her , to try and convince her that their differences just didn't matter. But it appeared that Sookie was having none of it. Then she said the words that cut through poor Bill's heart like a hatchet. She didn't want to see him anymore. It seemed that the more he talked the worse things became. All he could do was turn and walk away. But he wasn't finished with things tonight. No, not just yet. He had a score to settle with the three vampires from hell. And he intended to do just that.

Isn't it funny how circumstances can fly right over your head and little blessing born from tragedy are just swirling there, ready for you to reach up and pull them down? As Bill made his way into Merlotte's the next night, he really wasn't expecting much. He just wanted another chance to talk with Sookie, maybe to explain things a little better. The thought of not having her in his life any longer was just too sad to think about. He didn't care if he seemed desperate or not. Forget about playing hard to get! He just needed to see her, to hear her voice. Even if she was telling him things that he didn't want to hear. Besides, Bill knew that he could look as sad, pitiful and lonely as the next guy. He wasn't above playing the pity card. Whatever it took. Bill senses immediately picked up on tension and fear in the bar as soon as he walked in. Bill was unfortunately very use to not being welcomed in many public places, but the atmosphere tonight just felt different.

Damn! He couldn't believe she wanted to go to Fangtasia. That was the last place he wanted to go. Ever. But he would do whatever she wanted. He found himself thinking about what kind of music she would enjoy on the drive to Shreveport. He owned a wide variety of music but he really had no idea what kind she might like. He wanted everything to be just right on the drive over. Perhaps something romantic. When he arrived at her home to pick her up, he thought that it would be close to impossible not to become aroused before he could safely hide himself in the darkness of his car. He had never seen anything so lovely! Dear God, the way her body looked in that dress. She was exquisite. And he knew that someone who would be there tonight would also think the same thing. Bill really didn't want to take Sookie to Fangtasia. He knew it would be the beginning of many problems for the two of them and their relationship. But what choice did he have? He knew she would go regardless, and there was no way she would go there without him to protect her.

He wasn't wrong. Eric couldn't take his eyes off her. This was not going to turn out well.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chapter Nine - The Awakening

Bill Compton was falling in love. Already his heart could feel those first stirrings of longing and need that he remembered so well from his human days. He was also running late. He had told Miss Stackhouse that he would be happy to meet with her after she finished her late night shift at Merlottes. He had told her he would be there at 1:30. And he was not. He had decided to take a long walk after he left Merlotte's earlier in the evening. He was so keyed up, so excited that he just couldn't go back home and read a book. He had become so lost in his thoughts that he failed to keep track of the time. Smiling and putting his hands in his pockets as he walked Bill began to whistle one of his favorite tunes "On The Street Where You Live". Bill had a secret. A secret that not many, with the exception of a vampire acquaintance named Malcom, knew of. Bill really liked show tunes. He felt his face break into a grin as he contemplated the wisdom of divulging this information too quickly to Miss Stackhouse. Bill's poor, sad heart had not felt so alive, so awakened in so many years. Like dry, parched earth when the soft gentle rains of a warm summer shower fall, Bill could feel his heart begin to open up like fertile soil ready to spring forth life. He realized that he was feeling something he didn't think possible a few days ago. He felt happy.

Suddenly, he stopped whistling. He thought he heard something. He listened intently. There, he heard it again. Although he was at least 2 miles away, his finely tuned sense of hearing allowed him to hear what mere mortals could not. It was a sound that Bill had heard far more times than he cared to remember. The sound of someone's fear and pain and suffering. Other more omnious sounds came slicing through the night air. The sound of leather boots destroying flesh and bone, assaulting tender organs. Then something else even more chilling to Bill, something every vampire recognizes instantly. The powerful and unmistakable aroma of fresh human blood. With a sick pounding in his heart, instinctively Bill knew who's weak cries of pain he heard, who's warm blood he could smell in the damp night air.
Bill had never been this angry. Moving so fast that he was but a faint blur to the eye of these two loathesome creatures, Bill felt his rage boiling up from somewhere deep inside. All he could think of was killing them. As he felt their bodies leave his strong hands, as he watched their broken bodies fall to the earth, Bill found himself for the first time in 143 years actually glad he was vampire, glad that he possessed the strength to end these two sorry, worthless lives.

Bill could feel himself growing weaker as she finally began to drink of his life-saving blood. But he didn't care. He would offer her every drop of his blood if necessary. What had happened to her was all his fault. Once again he had failed someone he cared about. As he watched her sleeping he thought about how much he had come to care for her and how badly it would hurt if she made the decision to discontinue their friendship. Even before he had finally summoned the courage to meet her face to face, even while he had loved her from afar, she had filled a desperate need in his life. As she began to awaken, he could feel her dark eyes silently watching him as he slowly slid his tongue across the large wound in her head. Although his saliva would hasten the coagulation of her blood and it's healing, that wasn't the only reason he gave the head wound such undivided attention. So intoxicating was the taste and smell of her blood that Bill felt the same light headed sensation he remembered from his human life after a glass of fine brandy. This blood was completely different from any blood he had ever smelled or tasted. Yes, Sookie Stackhouse was different alright. And he had to know why. Her question as she awakened caught him by surprise. It was as if she already knew that she was unique and strange. But it was her answer to his question that caught him completely off guard. The idea that she could perhaps read his mind actually terrified him. He found himself desperately hoping the answer was no. He wasn't prepared to open himself up in such an honest way. No, not quite yet. Even in his human life Bill had never been the spontanous type. He had always moved at a deliberate, slow pace about everything.

As he walked her to her car, they began to talk. He was so delighted that she was not shy or reluctant to ask him all kinds of questions about himself. No human he had ever encountered had been so interested, so inquisitive of Bill's vampire life. In truth, a great deal of Bill's vampire life had become but distant memories. He hated to think about most of it. It just caused too much sadness for him. When she asked about his war years, Bill silently screamed at himself for being so outspoken and cranky. She didn't mean any harm. But those war years when not only he, but others had suffered so terribly were a part of his past that he just couldn't bear to think about. But she wanted him to do her a favor. Oh Sookie, if you only knew that I would do anything in the world for you!

That next evening Bill stared into his own deep blue eyes as he combed his hair. What on earth was he thinking? Had he finally, completely gone insane? Here he was, a vampire, as excited and hopeful has he had ever been, getting dressed to come calling on a beautiful young lady who was not only mortal, but more than 100 years younger than he. Yes, when you put it that way, he decided, he was indeed insane. But in that same frame of thinking, he decided that he just didn't care. He was so tired of the lonliness, the sadness, the yearning ache to have someone in his life. Someone to care for and who would care for him in return. Whatever the cost, whatever the consequences, he had made up his mind to pursue Sookie with all he had.
Bill was enchanted by the sweet spirit of Sookie's grandmother. It was obvious where Sookie inherited her open, accepting nature. He was invited into their home and made to feel completely welcome and at ease. The only problem seemed to be Sookie's rather dimwitted brother and her bitter, angry friend. Unfortunately, he had a lifetime experience of dealing with people like them. He had the feeling that they would be trouble down the road. Well, just let them. He would do what he had to do to have Sookie.

My, but Sookie knew how to ask some strange questions! He didn't believe he had ever been asked such frank, inquisitive things by anyone about his vampire life. He knew it wasn't nosiness, but a refreshingly candid curiosity. He found he didn't mind answering her questions, actually he found it quite enjoyable. It was so invigorating, so refreshing to find someone to talk with, to take a walk with, who liked and accepted him. Not even the shifter lurking in the bushes could aggravate him tonight. For tonight he intended to revel in the company of this lovely young lady he had yearned for from afar. He hadn't had anyone to talk with who actually treated him with respect in far too long. He had really missed that. They had such easy banter, sometimes teasing, sometimes serious as they began to learn each other. As they began to talk and open up to each other, Bill began to realize that Sookie was in many ways as damaged as he was. She had her demons and hurts too. As he stood there in front of his home looking at her, he realized he had never wanted anything more in his life than to feel her hair in his hands, to bury his face in it's fragrance. With a sudden shy reluctance, he heard himself ask her to take it down. When she complied and shook it loose, Bill could no more stop himself from reaching out and touching it than the ocean can stop the tide. As he buried his face in it and inhaled it's wonderful softness and essence , Bill senses were suddenly drenched with something he had not smelled in so long. It was something he had never, in all his 143 years as a vampire, stopped missing. He felt his heart and soul breaking once again as he remembered the feeling of sunshine on his face, the way sunshine smelled when he walked outside in the morning before he began his day's work. He could smell all of this on Sookie's soft, tanned skin. He suddenly felt his emotions getting the better of him and wanted desperately to turn away. And then, there she was. She was pulling him to her, her soft lips finding his. His passion came flowing up like a tremendous wave as he tasted her mouth on his. She felt so wonderful in his arms.

He abruptly pulled himself away and in shame turned his head. What would she think? How on earth could she still want to be with him now? Oh, but he hated what he was! In a sudden desperation born of shame, he began to walk her home. He didn't say anything . His shame was such that he didn't trust his emotions or voice. Although she seemed a bit puzzled by his sudden change in demeaner, she said nothing. As he escorted her up the steps onto the porch, his thoughts were of only one thing. That this would surely be the last time Sookie Stackhouse would want to be with him. Then, she turned her pretty dark brown eyes up to him, and with a smile as big as a new moon, she kissed him sweetly and gently on his cheek and told him that she had a wonderful evening with him and would love to see him again.

That was all he needed. He was as happy as he had ever been. Yes, he was falling in love. His sleeping heart had finally awakened from it's long, sad sleep.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chapter Eight - The Hope

Bill Compton leaned his strong, muscular body back under the large shower head and smiled as he felt the warm water cascading down his back. The warm water felt so wonderful. Until Bill was able to obtain the services of an electrical contractor, he was stuck with using a gasoline powered generator as his only source for powering his new hot water heater. It was an annoyance, that was true. But so worth it. As he stood there lathering shampoo into his thick, dark hair, he finally made up his mind. Yes, tonight. Although dinner would be only a warm bottle of synthetic blood, Bill decided that he had put it off long enough. Tonight he would go out for dinner. Bill had grown somewhat weary of the never-ending home renovations he was involved with and his lonliness had finally gotten the better of him. He needed to hear the sound of another's voice, the sight of another's face. Anyway, there wasn't a whole lot he could do tonight as he was running low on materials needed to complete the latest project. But now he felt the need for more company than the lumber section of Home Depot could supply.
Bill already knew where he would go. After weeks of hiding in the shadows of darkness and watching the pretty young woman who lived just across the cemetery return from work night after night, Bill could stand his lonliness and curiousity no longer. Thanks to his greatly enhanced eyesight, he knew she worked at Merlotte's Bar and Grill, the eating place he remembered driving past when he first returned to Bon Temps. The place built on the site of his wife's former home, the Holliday farm. As he finished dressing, Bill could feel the excitement begin to build somewhere deep inside. Perhaps it was only his great lonliness, but there was something about this young woman that had intrigued Bill to such an extent that he found he thought of little else except how it would feel to finally look at her face, gaze into her eyes and hear the sound of her voice.
He stared at his reflection in the large lighted mirror as he dried his hair. He couldn't help but give a little laugh. He thought about how surprised humans would be to realize that vampires actually did have a reflection. This was but one of the myths started by vampires in the guise of self-preservation. Bill felt nervous and tense as he poured a splash of Polo Black into his hands and wiped them across his face. What if this young woman looked at him the way most humans did when they realized what he was? Bill thought he would not be able to bear it. Once Bill had gotten past the heartache of knowing he would never be with his family, the hardest thing for him to accept was the revulsion and fear he saw in the eyes of humans. It caused his grief then and it still did. As Bill walked to the front door he thought briefly about grabbing the keys to his BMW, then decided he would rather walk. Bill Compton had worked hard all of his human life. He had walked beside his father in the fields, up and down dusty roads with his childhood friend Tolliver Humphries, and had walked many, many tired miles as a soldier in the Confederate Army. Feeling the warm rays of the sun shining down on his face as he walked was something he had greatly enjoyed and he had never stopped missing it.
As Bill walked along the dark road, he could hear the music long before he arrived. Judging from the number of cars, it looked to be a popular place. He stood in the shadows and watched for a few minutes, still unsure of his decision.. As he stood there, he heard a small, noisy red car with even noisier occupants come careening around him into the parking lot. As the occupants got out, he turned to give them a look. The woman was dressed much like many of the street walkers he had seen in the larger towns. The man resembled a bald weasel. As they walked across the parking lot, he heard the woman curse in a loud, crass voice. Bill found himself hoping that those two weren't indicative of the other clientele.
Bill hesitated in front of a large window and looked inside. Yes, there she was. He watched her as she walked over to the couple from the parking lot. Bill could sense that for some reason those two made her anxious, almost vexed. He also noticed there was an empty booth right next to them. Before he could change his mind, he opened the door and walked inside. With instinct born from many years of self-preservation, he immediately began to scan the room. He could see her standing at the bar, with her back to him, talking with...........a shape-shifter. The shape-shifter appeared to be the owner of this establishment. This surprised Bill. There was no love lost between vampires and shape-shifters, but more than anything Bill was surprised at finding a shape-shifter in the little town he had grown up in. As he slowly walked to the booth, he could feel her turn and with a puzzled look, almost as if she felt something in the atmosphere , she watched him sit down. To Bill, it almost felt like a dream.
Bill slid into the empty booth and turned to watch as she picked up her order pad and walked over to him. As he looked up into her brown eyes and watched a smile spread across her face, Bill felt something inside his chest slowly grind to a halt. She asked him a question and for a brief moment the only thing he could think about was how much he would love to kiss those adorable pink lips and feel his tongue slide over and between that absolutely enchanting gap between her front teeth. Then his eyes were drawn to her hair. It was pulled back into a ponytail, and it began to bounce and swing as she smiled and began to talk. It all but drove Bill insane. He finally found his voice and heard himself ask for a bottle of synthetic blood. With a pounding in his heart, he carefully watched her reaction to this request. To his utter amazement, she appeared to be absolutely delighted to realize that he was a vampire. This was not a reaction Bill was accustomed to getting, and for a few moments he was at a loss for words. Bill was disappointed to discover the bar did not have the synthetic blood, and ignoring the hostile stares of the shape-shifter and the other young woman at the bar, Bill ordered a glass of wine.
Oh, what a stupid, stupid fool he had been! How did he not see what they were? Bill had ignored the most basic, fundamental rule of a vampire. He had dropped his guard, made himself vulnerable. What was she trying to tell him? The young woman had been trying to warn Bill. How had she known? But now, it didn't matter. Bill was going to die. Here he was, on the ground with silver chains holding him down, making him as helpless as a sacrifical lamb. Oh, the great irony of it all! After more than a century of walking this earth as a sad and tortured being, and at times longing for it all to end, he had finally found a small spark of hope. Only now it seems God decided to show up and demand his soul.
As Bill lay there feeling the terrible pain beginning to course through his body from the draining, he looked up at the brillant scattering of stars against the dark sky, for perhaps the final time. He began to wonder if it was really true that his soul would join those he had loved in his human life. He hoped so. He had missed them for so long. Then, from the corner of his eye, he saw her. Like a pint sized Isis she walked up, carrying a chain that had to weigh at least half as much as she did. Bill watched her fearlessly swing that chain and then watched in disbelief as that chain wrapped itself around the throat of Mack Rattray. He couldn't take his eyes off of her as she quickly reached down and retrieved the knife that had fallen from the man's hand. And with more courage than most men possess, Bill watched again as she wasted no time dispatching Denise Rattray and her low-life husband. Bill had never seen anything quite like her.
She quickly, but with tenderness and care, began to pull the silver chains from his wrists and neck. Bill carefully watched her face, looking for a sign that she was repulsed at what she saw. But all he saw was a deep caring. A deep caring about another being's suffering and misfortune. And when she knelt down and placed her soft, warm hands on his face and looked deep into his eyes, Bill didn't know what to think. It had been a very long time since any human had touched him with such tenderness. Her warm, infectious laugh when the shifter ran to her and licked her face made Bill very happy he was still walking the earth. He had never met a human who had no fear or misgivings about him. Her spitfire spunk at him when he ungallantly spoke of the groin artery made him all the more infatuated with her. My, my. She was really something. Even her name caused him to smile. Sookie. Such an unusual name for such an unusual girl.
Bill stood and watched as she walked away. He watched her until she disappeared from sight. As he poured his drained blood into the river and found his jacket, Bill found himself doing something he had not done in a very, very long time. He began to whistle. On this walk home under those same brillant stars, under that same dark sky that he thought he had seen for the final time, Bill felt himself begin to smile. Oh, he just couldn't wait to see her again.

Chapter Seven - The Yearning

Bill Compton silently cursed under his breath as he realized the batteries in his portable CD player were quickly dying. Bill had been listening to one of his favorite singers, Billie Holiday, as she sang "Easy Living". Bill sometimes wondered if it was something about her name. Holiday. Bill had been in Pod's and Jerry's Nightclub in Harlem during the 1930's when he first heard Billie Holiday sing. Bill enjoyed an eclectic variety of music, but there was something about the blues that broke through into Bill's soul. As he installed fresh batteries, Bill thought once again on how nice it would be to have electricity, but so far he'd had no luck in hiring anyone who was willing to come out and do an estimate. After old Jesse Compton had died and the house had remained vacant for a few years, the Louisana Power Company had disconnected the power and now would not restore it until an inspection was done by a certified electrician who would atest that everything was in compliance. Listening to music, along with reading, was one of the few pleasures that he enjoyed. Since he had returned to Bon Temps and undertook the immense task of restoring his home, Bill had found that listening to music as he worked kept him company and helped to allay some of the terrible lonliness he felt. Other than those midnight trips to Home Depot in Monroe for building supplies, or to one of those stores that stayed open 24 hours for a supply of TruBlood, Bill had not ventured out and had stayed to himself since his return. Bill had been a somewhat solitary man since being made vampire and except for the few times he had joined a nest, he had pretty much remained to himself. But now he was beginning to be hungry for the sound of another's voice, a yearning to be around someone, anyone. It didn't make any difference if they were human or vampire. He briefly thought about driving into Shreveport to visit the popular vampire bar, Fangtasia, owned and operated by an old acquaintance of Bill's, Eric Northman. But Bill just wasn't up to dealing with Eric tonight. At times Eric really set his teeth on edge and he'd have to get a lot more lonely before debasing himself enough to visit Eric and his co-hort Pam. Since the vampires had come into the open, the world seemed to be overrun with fangbangers, and they annoyed Bill to no end and Fangtasia seemed to be the Holy Grail for area fangbangers.
But the immediate task occupying Bill's time and attentions was the renovation for the large, elaborate bathroom. This would require a great deal of planning as a wall into an adjoining bedroom including the entire doorframe would have to come down. Bill realized that the greatest task at hand would be getting the huge bathtub up the staircase. Bill would have no problem actually carrying the tub, he was endowed with the superhuman strength all vampires have, especially those with any length of years. But the logistics were another matter. But it would be worth it, Bill thought. There is nothing a vampire enjoys so much as a long, relaxing soak in a warm tub. He also planned to install a large walk-in shower on the other side of the room. Bill had no need of a kitchen, no need of more than one bedroom, so this bathroom would be best part of his home. Bill had decided to use the smaller bedroom just to the left of the staircase. It was the bedroom of his childhood and later used as his personal dressing room after he married. As he began to tear out some of the boards around the doorframe, he looked up at the ceiling and realized that he was looking at the same ceiling that he and his younger brother Robert had looked up at after being put to bed so many years ago. In the darkness they would giggle, talk and tell each other their greatest secrets and dreams, trying to whisper so as not to be heard by mother lest she come in and scold them. Dawn would usually find them curled up into each other, like young pups, drawing warmth from each other against the coolness of the morning. He smiled as he remembered them sliding down the bannister, hoping no one was around to see them. And how his mother would try to look stern, but he could always see the tiny smile behind her pretty blue eyes when she caught them. He missed his brother. After Robert died there were nights Bill would wake up, crying out, and father would come into his room to comfort him. Mother was still too sad. It would be a very long time until the light returned to her pretty blue eyes. Until he would hear her laugh again
In addition to music, Bill had always been fond of reading. Even when he attended school as a child, Bill never hated the reading assignments or the nightly ritual of Bible reading required of him. Bill's mother had also insisted he learn to play the piano, along with his younger sister Julia. Bill soon discovered that he possessed a natural talent for music, a natural ear as it were and it became a great passion of his. So when he discovered a piano in one of the downstairs rooms, a library it seemed, he was quite pleased and excited. And the small, dusty collection of books - mostly classics, but there were a few novels he found interesting - were a thankful diversion from the nightly tasks of renovations that seemed to require more and more time. The house was really in an immense state of disrepair. But for Bill, it was like a labor of love. For when he measured, cut and sawed the boards, he could feel his father beside him. He could hear his father's gentle voice talking to him, giving him instructions on how he should measure, how he should angle the saw, what kind of wood he should select. Although an electrical saw would save him a great deal of time, Bill was glad to feel those old familiar tools in his hands once again.
There were nights when Bill grew tired of working on the old house and would take his bottle of TruBlood and walk out to the cemetery. He would visit family, friends and more often than not usually end up at the gravesite of his Caroline. He would sit down beside her and pour out his heart and sadness to her. He would tell her how very sorry he was for not returning home, how he and only he, was to blame. If only he hadn't become lost, if he had just stopped to rest and not become so tired, he might have managed to find his way home to her where they would have lived out their lives together, had more children and watched them grow into adulthood. He told her of his bitterness at the vampire Lorena, for what she had stolen from him. Stolen from her, stolen from his children. He spoke of his great lonliness, and his fear of finding no one in Bon Temps that would accept him for what he was. That he would be doomed to remain alone in the home of his childhood. Of his fear that he would become nothing more than the town monster that people recoiled from in horror when he came near.
Then there were the nights when Bill would walk through the cemetery and he would hear the sound of a car pulling into a graveled driveway. He would walk to the edge of the road and hide in the shadows and watch as a small yellow car pulled up in front of the Stackhouse home. Bill could see from the mailbox that someone descended from Jonas Stackhouse still lived there. Bill remembered that Jonas Stackhouse was somewhat of an odd sort. He could never exactly pinpoint what it was, but there was something always a little different about Jonas. A lot of people considered him crazy. Bill would watch as a pretty young woman, hardly past her teens, would get out of her car. She would usually be dressed in some sort of uniform and most times when he saw her it appeared she was returning from her job. She was very lovely. Bill could sense that there was something special about her. A powerful lifeforce seem to radiate from her, something other humans that Bill had come into contact with did not possess.. He wasn't quite sure what it was, but he knew she wasn't like any other human he had ever been around. But there was one thing that Bill noticed more than anything. Her hair. It was beautiful, the color of sunshine and rain. It set Bill's loins on fire, made him ache even more with lonliness, yearning and need. More than anything, Bill loved to run his hands through and to bury his face in the fragrance of a woman's hair. It was his thing. Not breasts, not legs, not even a fine ass sent him over the edge like long, beautiful hair. It was the hair that made him catch his breath every time. He never understood the need of some women to keep their hair cut off, short, like they were men. He thought it looked awful. He thought about where this young woman might work, what she was like. Bill was lonely, so lonely. He knew he needed to go out, to continue his quest to mainstream and find out for sure if anyone in town would accept him, but still he was reluctant.
But soon, very soon.