Monday, February 21, 2011



William Thomas Compton, known to his family and friends as Billy, opened his sleepy blues eyes long before the first rays of the morning's sun began to slip through the curtained windows of his room.  He lay there for a moment, reveling in the enjoyment of a nice warm bed.  It was a cold and chilly morning, but already he could hear the sounds of his mother, sister and Delilah the house slave downstairs making preparations for the morning meal.  The strong smell of morning coffee came drifting up the stairs.  He stretched out his wirey, muscular frame and gave a great sigh of contentment before resigningly tossing back the thick, downy quilt on his bed.  The heavy woolen undersuit made by his mother felt good against his still warm skin as he made his way over to the porcelain urinal that was kept under the oak washstand.  As he began to think about what would be taking place later in the evening he began to smile.

 It had been a late harvest of the cotton this year.  Late summer rains had delayed the picking, but finally it was done and had been taken to the cotton warehouse, where it would be weighed and packed into massive bales and stored until it could be take to Monroe. Usually these matters were of great interest to Billy, he had always found it to be fascinating.  He loved to accompany his father to Monroe, where he would stand and watch as these massive mounds of fluffy whiteness were loaded onto mule drawn wagons and driven down to the docks along the Ouachita River and loaded onto barges by strong, muscular dark skinned men, all the while singing in a rhythmic chant that seemed to come from a sacred place.   Soon these barges would meet up with the Black River and eventually the mighty Mississippi, destined for cotton mills all over the south.  But this morning William Thomas Compton had other matters on his mind.   The annual Cotton Harvest Cottilion would be taking place at the Bellefluer mansion tonight.  And it was all he could think about.  For tonight was the night he intended on making his intentions known to Miss Caroline Holiday. 

Billy had known Caroline Holiday for most of her life.  She had grown up on a neighboring plantation and their fathers were great friends.  He and Tolliver Humphries had both vied for her attention since she was very small and they were mischievous, gangly lads.   He laughed and shook his head as he remembered the times he and Tolliver had gotten into scraps while coming home from school in an attempt to impress Caroline.  But there was no doubt which one Caroline Holiday had her eye on.  For from the very start, when she was but a small girl and Billy and his family had visited her home for a summer barbeque and she had looked into those brillant blue eyes as he had handed her a beautiful little calico kitten, she had lost her heart. 

Later, after Billy had dressed in his usual work clothes and was seated at the family table enjoying a wonderful breakfast of hot cakes with freshly churned butter and sugar cane syrup, thick slices of pan seared sugar cured ham, fried eggs and all the hot, strong chicory coffee he could handle, he suddenly found it difficult to swallow.  He needed to speak with father about his intentions, but for some reason the idea of just uttering the words out loud made him feel like his throat had begun to close.  Finally, after a second cup of coffee he heard himself blurt out the words "Father, I would very much like to discuss something with you."   It was said in such a manner as to cause his mother to look over at him and asked "Billy, my sweet, are you feeling alright?  You certainly have not had much to say this morning. You're not taking ill, are you?"  "No mother, I am fine.  I.....I just have something on my mind"  replied Billy nervously.  His father looked over at his son and smiled to himself. 

Later that morning, standing in the study with his father, Billy struggled to find the right words.  He had always been a very quiet and reflective young man.  He always thought long and carefully before he spoke and was always careful to keep him emotions in check.  And now, he searched and struggled to find the right words.  With an almost embarrassed voice, he heart himself say "Father, I am in love.  I intend to speak with Francis Holiday tonight.  I want to ask for the hand of Caroline.  I want her to become my wife."  The elder Mr. Compton smiled his gentle smile and said, "well son, I think that's a splendid idea.  You know your mother and I have always held the Holidays in great regard.  I consider Francis to be one of my closest friends.  I think I can speak for you mother when I say that we would be delighted to welcome Caroline into our family." 

Billy stood and looked at his relfection in the long, oval shaped mirror.  Earlier, after a long soaking bath in the enamel hip bath, he had dressed in a clean union suit.  They weren't quite as warm as the woolens his mother made for him, but they didn't make one feel the constant need to scratch.  About a year ago he and his father had purchased him a new suit while in Monroe.  It was a splendid suit with britches the color of mahogany, a white shirt with ruffles decorating the front and cuffs.  To top it off was a splendid coat of deep forest green, made in the split-tail style of the day, Black velvet adorned the lapels and collar.  The finishing touch was black silk tie and long black leather boots, shined to perfection.   Outside he could hear Minus, the outside slave, as he softly spoke to the matching team of black bays who were impatiently waiting to begin the journey.

Billy was a nervous mass of nerves as the berlin carriage pulled up to the front of the Bellefluer home.  He immediately jumped down, offering his hand to his mother and sister to assist them.  "Thank you Billy" said his mother.  She gave him a gentle smile as she and Julia walked up to the front door.  The Bellefluer house looked magnificent.  It was decorated beautifully for the party.  Billy could heart the strains of The Last Rose of Summer as couples twirled all about the ballroom, swirling in a dizzy haze of giddiness.  For a minute, Billy didn't see her.  His face grew anxious as his blue eyes quickly searched the room.  What if she were ill?  What if she had been called away for some reason or another?  Then, from the corner of his left eye he saw her.  There she was, standing by a window talking with his friend Tolliver Humphries.  William Thomas Compton quickly, and with great purpose, made his way through the laughing, spinning crowd of dancers as his eyes never left her face.  She was his and tonight the entire world would know. 

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.