4 AM. A deserted Fangtasia. Empty glasses and bottles lay scattered across tables and counters. The smell of sweat, body odor, and blood wafted through the air. Tara worked her way down the bar, scooping TruBlood bottles towards her and letting them clank into a large plastic bin.

"Could you keep it the fuck down?" Pam hollered from her office, the sound of rapidly clicking keys then resuming.

Usually Tara would hold her tongue, having learned rather quickly to pick her battles when it came to Pam. But after being choked and humiliated by her in front of the entire bar that evening, she was just not having it.

"Why don't you come out here and fucking help me then? I'm not your goddamn maid," Tara muttered bitterly.

Pam used vamp speed and raced out of her office. She pulled Tara by the back of her head and brought her ear close to her mouth.

"I'm sorry," she retorted dryly, "did you say something? If you could repeat that, I'd be ever so grateful."

"Fuck you," Tara said unflinchingly.

Pam started to move her hand towards Tara's throat, but Tara was expecting this and freed her grasp and sped to the other side of the room.

"Could you stop with the fucking choking, please? Jesus!" Tara exclaimed.

"If you stop with the fucking attitude," Pam replied.

"Why the hell am I staying here if all you do is treat me like fucking shit?" Tara asked furiously.

"I wouldn't need to if you stopped acting like a complete and utter idiot."

"Is this about the feeding in public tonight?" Tara demanded.

"You've been doing a lot of stupid shit lately, Tara. Shall I count the ways?" Pam said.

"How the hell am I supposed to know these things if you don't fucking teach me?" Tara argued.

"I didn't think you were capable of doing such asinine things." Pam replied.

"Like you were the perfect fucking vampire when you were first made," Tara countered sarcastically. "As if Eric treated you even close to the way you treat me."

Pam felt a stab in her stomach at the mention of Eric.

"I don't even want to be this way, and you know that," Tara continued forcefully. As soon as she said it, she felt herself starting to get choked up, but she swallowed it down.

"I don't care," Pam stated, louder now. "And I'd rather you stayed dead too. You're a fucking pain in my ass."

This time, Pam's words hit Tara hard. She tried not to reveal how Pam's words stung, but it read loud and clear. Tara pursed her lips together tightly and felt her mouth began to quiver. She turned and started to walk out.

Pam surprised herself, feeling a small pang of guilt as she watched Tara walk away. Her stubbornness held her back from saying anything for a moment, but then she called out.

"Tara. I… I didn't mean that." Pam managed to get out.

"Uh huh," Tara bitterly said almost inaudibly under her breath.

"Come back inside. It's almost dawn for God's sake," Pam urged. She felt like she was begging, which disgusted her, but she truly didn't want Tara to go.

Tara pushed open the door and looked out. Hues of pink and orange were starting to bleed into the dark blue sky. As she pondered waiting outside until the sun rose, she remembered the excruciating pain that swept over her when she burned herself in the tanning bed. Yet here she was almost at the verge of doing it again.

I have no one, Tara realized. Lafayette. Sookie. Lettie Mae. Naomi. And now Pam. Not one person in my life anymore. Tara would cry if she wasn't so jaded. Her entire human life she felt this way, and it wasn't any damn different now as a vampire.

Tara then felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around slowly and saw Pam was standing there, her expression significantly softer than usual. Pam's hand ran down Tara's arm and then gently clasped her hand. Tara looked down at their entwined hands.

"I'm sorry," Pam said. It was entirely genuine. Pam had quit fighting with the idea of being vulnerable and gave Tara her utmost sincerity. She opened her mouth, about to mention how she was being an unreasonable cunt, but then just gave Tara's hand a squeeze.

Tara felt all the anger flood out of her in one fell swoop. She looked up and met Pam's eyes.

"Come on," Pam murmured softly, tilting her head towards the tables and beckoning inside, "I'll help with the rest."