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.