For all Bill's pomp about her not being left alone, the circumstance seems to find excuses for keeping her that way.

Waking up in that cold dark hole, the cavernous house echoing her inquiries if anyone is there. It's a fleeting second, the feeling of solitude, before realization kicks in. Without him here, without his constant droning on about her behavior and dress, (fiddling with the piano he never lets her touch) she's free to do whatever she wants.

Absently, she plays with the ends of her hair.

Oh, the possibilities.

The thought alone is enough to put a genuine smile on her face.

/\/\/\

She remembers her mother being horrified, catching her dancing to this song when she was younger, how a girl her age shouldn't be thinking about sex and candy in the same sentence (or at all.)

Eyes on her the second she walks in, knowing instantly the curls were a good idea, the way the guy at the pool table nudges his friend to have a look.

It's thrilling, strutting along like she owns the place, the confidence flowing in her veins as vibrant as a fresh kill. (She misses real blood.)

More heads turn as she strolls by, none really her type, be she gives a cocky grin regardless of intent.

One boy in particular, all huddled up in a corner, looking so cute and lonely it's enough to make her take pause, lean the slightest bit on her hip and wait for him to notice.

He's got clear eyes, soft eyes, and she loves the way his shoulders just seem to perk up at the sight of her.

Play it cool, nonchalant, sliding into a booth as calmly as she can go, making sure she's in his eye line, pretending to glance at a menu she knows she won't bother reading.

Quick glance up, look away coy, she counts backward, waiting for him to make a move.

She's on four when he stands next to her table, looking as if he has to fight against every instinct to shuffle his feet.

So cute, she thinks, and when he says hi, her reply is smooth and easy.

Asking to join her, almost stuttering, the aw shucks nature sending butterflies into her stomach.

She's alone, and he sits looking as if he almost can't believe she agreed to his company. First thing she notices is how he smells, like laundry soap and aftershave, clean and simple. Second thing, the little pulse in his neck, the blood beckoning for her, just a little taste.

Fighting the urge to lick her lips, finding it incredibly difficult to take her eyes from that sweet looking vein as he introduces himself, breaking away for the tiniest second to give him hers, and in a flash she's looking right back at it.

His voice finally pulls her attention to him, calm suddenly, deep and honest.

She recognized the loneliness immediately, who else but a lonely boy would be sitting there wondering why he doesn't meet a nice girl?

Playing seductress is harder than Pam made it look, harder than the movies made it look, and he seems too damn earnest for it to work, but she tries anyway.

How do you know I'm a nice girl?

Her smile.

He can tell she's a nice girl just by her smile.

And oh, she just can't help the one that comes just because he said that.

Nothing but a big bucket of sugar aren't you Mr. Hoyt?

She wonders if she's blushing, if she can even blush at all, and he's so taken with her she doesn't know what to do.

I could stare at that all day long.

Oh, right. Human boy, vampire girl. Night and day in every sense of the word.

Day? Yeah right.

Oops.

No, no nothing wrong, or course nothing wrong, but…

He's worried about scaring her away, eyes falling back to his neck again, if he only knew.

Yes she is hungry.

Famished.

It feels like she hasn't eaten in days and all the Tru Blood Bill makes her drink doesn't seem to do a damn thing to ease it.

Of course he's talking about real food, and what? Babies? If he keeps this up she just might not be able to help herself.

If she keeps this up, well, what's the sense in hiding it?

He seems like a good enough guy. The kind not to jump out of his seat and look for something wooden and pointy, but those crazy little butterflies he's causing just made a fist in her stomach when she thinks about asking him for the only thing on the menu she can actually have.

I'll just have a bottle of Tru Blood.

It comes out more a question than a request, and she can almost hear his heart stop at what she's asking.

B-positive.

She can't move, waiting for his reaction, not even when he states the obvious.

You're a vampire?

Not even when: for real?

But then he smiles, seems genuinely amazed at what she is, and she can't help but mirror it. His earnestness is almost too much to take, his acceptance. Who thought it happen this fast? That it could be this easy?

A bottle of Tru Blood, coming right up.

Oh my.

Oh my, my, my.

/\/\/\

Careful now, they warm it up pretty good.

Funny how he says it like he knows.

It's almost impossible not to just guzzle the whole bottle down in front of him, to have it spill out sides of her mouth and down her neck, so hungry the most she can do is try not to slurp.

It's still awful, still oddly metallic in a way fresh never tastes, but does what it's supposed to do and she smiles gratefully at him.

She almost chokes when he asks how old she is.

It takes a minute to realize he must assume that she's over a hundred or something, for some reason humans never think a vampire can be as fresh as a newborn pup or whatever.

She almost blurts seventeen, but laughs it off instead, and teases him about how you never ask a lady such things.

He blushes, apologizes, and she forgives him with a smile he seems to get lost in.

As soon as the bottle is empty, she's going to take him away.

Maybe just for now, just for tonight, he belongs to her.

/\/\/\

They leave in his truck, because she figures Sookie's piece of junk car is as good left here as anywhere.

Of course he opens the door for her, of course he offers a hand to help her inside, and then practically runs around the front to get to the driver's seat.

Laughing at his enthusiasm he doesn't even ask where they're going before stepping on the gas.

He fiddles with the radio, asking what kind of music she likes, and explains that he loves anything with a solid beat because something about the drums just gets his heart pumping.

Eyes on his neck again, yes, she can see that.

She's not sure how to explain why they're going to Bill Compton's place. Not sure how to tell him what Bill is to her, or what she is to him. His daughter in a sense, but the term is too damn creepy to even think about let alone use. He's her maker sounds almost as bad, and he's the reason I'm like this sounds just plain criminal.

Something about the way he glances over at her every few seconds, as if to assure himself that yes she's still there, makes her believe any explanation she can give will be acceptable in his eyes.

/\/\/\

The fact that he thinks she "gets" to live here seems pretty cool, makes him appear far too naïve for someone older than her. All of Bill's creepy old stuff, all his rules, sleeping in a hole, not really cool at all.

Yeah, my mama keeps her doll collection in my closet.

Laughing before she can help it, hand on her mouth, the hole suddenly doesn't seem so bad.

Typical boy though, sees a fun toy and his attention is immediately elsewhere, but he looks eager on the couch, patting the spot next to him.

The explanation on what you can do with the game not as interesting as watching him talk, asking to take her hand, not even flinching at how cold her skin is.

She kisses him because it's all she's been thinking about since she saw him in that corner.

He tastes as sweet as he acts, all sunshine and strawberry wine, so warm and alive against her she can't help it when-oh god.

Oh god, oh god, oh god.

Why did this-how could it have-she can't even control her own damn body?

How can he say it's natural? What about her can be defined as natural anymore?

She has fangs, and here they are popping out when she doesn't want them to, it's so embarrassing she could die if she wasn't already dead.

He can't be real.

What's he's saying, how he seems to mean it, he thinks she's great.

And, he likes her. A lot.

Wait?

Why would she want to do a silly thing like that?

She's waited too long already.

/\/\/\

For whatever reason Bill equates maker with father.

Treating her like a petulant child rather than teaching her how to be a vampire, grabbing the back of her neck so hard she almost gasps, and tossing her across the room like a rag doll.

It's not fair, just when she was starting to enjoy herself.

It's not fucking fair him doing this to her.

Sure, her fangs are out but:

I wasn't doing anything, I wasn't gonna bite him I swear.

Either he doesn't believe her or doesn't care, Mr. old fashioned values probably thinks her a harlot.

Hoyt is more concerned about her than Bill is, willing to defend her, saying it's okay, despite the fact that Bill is more than willing to rip his throat out.

The one good thing she's managed to find in this whole situation…

He snarls, and Sookie feels the need to yell don't.

As if she needed any more reason to hate him.

Who's the one constantly bemoaning how young and dangerous she is, yet constantly abandoning her at every turn? A loaded gun he said, but he's the genius that left said loaded gun alone to her own devices.

What did he expect?

Truthfully, he has no place in telling her anything about how to be because he can never back it up with his own actions.

Folding her arms across her chest, trying so hard not to mock his voice, she declares Hoyt is hers.

End of discussion.