Just a little teaser to let you all know I have not forgotten about my promise for a sequel. Just trying to figure out the plot. I had the sequence of the books messed up in my mind, so I have to do a little rework.

As always, characters, settings, and plots that are recognizable belong to Charlaine Harris!


It was a quiet night at Merlotte's. Well, as quiet as a bar ever gets. Godric was not there as Eric had asked for his help with something. It was a weeknight, which meant no heavy drinking, but Arlene had gotten a call from her kids and gone home early. So it was just Sookie, covering those who were left.

Over the past month, things had gotten much better between her and Sam. He still wasn't happy about her current situation, but he was feeling pretty bad about everything that happened with Callisto. It helped keep him humble, and it got Sookie more hours.

Which was good considering Eric had informed her that she had already interviewed almost every one of his employees. Of course, that was right after they had agreed upon a weekly salary that did not depend on how many hours she worked, which she had considered very fair. She wasn't hurting for money, but she preferred to have something to do on the nights that Eric was working. Sookie wondered if he was just trying to keep her out of vampire business as much as possible.

That is why she was surprised when a void walked into Merlotte's. It was one of Eric's work nights, so he wasn't going to be dropping it. Godric was not one to say one thing and do another, even if it would not have been an unwelcome surprise.

She turned, prepared to see one of the other vampires in Eric's circle. Sometimes if she was not answering her phone or if it was something important, he would send a reluctant messenger.

But she did not recognize the man standing in front of her. He was definitely a vampire with his quiet mind and pale complexion; he was also very handsome in an old-fashioned kind of way. His overly long sideburns were definitely not from this century, but he managed to pull it off in an almost regal way.

"A friend of yours?" Of course Sam would notice a new vampire in his bar, then again, everyone was staring at him.

"Never seen him before." She said with a smile, not wanting to alarm him. The vampire did not seem exactly threatening as he stood in doorway trying not to stare back at the patrons who found him so interesting. Obviously, they had all seen a vampire before, but never one that Sookie hadn't greeted.

"You can sit wherever you like. I'll be over in a minute." A year ago, she would have been practically giddy about the thought of a strange vampire walking into her bar, now she couldn't help but think of the last vampire in Area 5 she met that she did not already know. With that in mind, she sent a quick text to Eric while she picked up the food in the window. Vampires had incredible hearing, and she did not want to risk him hearing her. Better safe than sorry was her new philosophy. She definitely wouldn't be going out to the parking lot with him.

She dropped Hoyt and Jason's burgers off on her way over to his table. Her brother was watching the new vampire with a bit of hostility; Hoyt was probably incapable of hostility, but he was still watching intently. Godric was the only one who ever sat down.

"What can I get for ya, Mr.?" Sookie's chipper voice did little to soothe her brother.

"Compton." He offered the completion of his title even though she had not really been asking.

Sookie knew the name. The Compton's house was right across the cemetery from her own. It had been empty for a while since Old Man Compton had died. The unknown vampire must have been a relative. She vaguely remembered Eric mentioning a law that had recently changed about property ownership.

"What can I get for you, Mr. Compton?"

"Do you all have any synthetic blood?"

"Any type preferences? We have Trueblood in AB- and O+." She informed him as casually as she might read off the beers on tap. It spoke volumes that Sam had started to stock Godric's favorites.

"O+ please."

Sookie checked a few patrons before she grabbed a fresh bottle, microwaving it and shaking it to ensure it was gently warmed all the way through. Eric stayed away from the stuff whenever possible, but it was the only thing she had ever seen Godric drink.

"You all get a lot of vampires in here?" He asked as she set the bottle in front of him.

"Hard to believe in such a small town, but yeah, we do."

"I must admit. It is very nice. My kind tends to frighten waitresses like you… Miss?" He was definitely fishing for a name, but he had been nothing but cordial thus far, not even an attempted glamour.

"Stackhouse, but please call me Sookie."

"Bill." He returned the sentiment. "Sookie Stackhouse, I believe we are neighbors. I have set up residence at the Compton Estate."

"Oh good, it is such a pretty old house. I am glad someone will be there to take care of it."

"Speaking of which, I noticed you are doing some improvements of your own."

"What?" She asked in confusion.

"The pavers… I saw you were having your road done when I drove over tonight."

She just stared at him. "Are you sure it was my house?"

He smiled, it was a pleasant one. "Not too many houses out by us. I am fairly certain it was your house."

There was an awkward moment where she could feel the crazy Sookie smile spreading across her face, and he was just staring at her eyebrow coming together in what might have been worry.

"Excuse me for a second…" She ignored the customers who were trying to get her attention as she made a bee-line for the back. This time, she was going to talk to her vampire boyfriend whether Bill Compton could hear her or not.


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