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.