Pamela Swynford De Beaufort was everything a vampire should be. She was calm and collected, sexy and seductive, and she didn't give a shit about anything or anyone, save for her vanity, her very large shoe collection, Eric, and now, Tara.

Currently, the blonde was feeling less like a vampire and more like a human. The thought alone was terrifying. Humans were weak, humans had feelings. Pam was certainly not weak and she certainly did not have feelings. At least not often.

But presently, being rattled to her very core, she felt exposed. It was as if a gust of wind had pulsated through the air and ripped each item of clothing from her body. A range of foreign emotions, foreign feelings, were causing a very thick lump to form in her throat. And it was all caused by a baby vampire, a young redhead whom she had come to like during the past year, and think of as family during the past few months.

Jessica Hamby, a bright and bubbly, often dense and annoying teenage vampire, was currently beating against Eric's chest with her fists as heart wrenching sobs ripped from her throat. The tall vampire did nothing to shield each hit, in fact, he took it all with an unreadable expression. After all, he had just delivered the news of Bill Compton's true death, and after all, he had been the one to execute the vampire.

"No! No, no, no!"

Each thump against Eric's chest caused Pam to flinch. It was as if each hit reverberated against the room and against her and there wasn't anything she could do to stop it. She watched helplessly as Jessica cried for her maker and for what he had once been.

It had all started months ago with the factions within the Authority. Salome and Nora namely. Nora had come to her senses whereas Bill had been swayed easily. He always had been a tortured man, one who was willing to do anything - whatever it took, to matter. Pam thought it was down to his maker's sadistic ways, but really, all he wanted was to be accepted.

Unfortunately, he never could find peace with himself. Being 'chosen' by Lilith, dying, and then reborn, the newly reformed Bill had wreaked havoc for months. Tonight Eric had finally been able to take him out, having not been able to save him, something the Viking regretted immensely.

Eric had always intended to save Bill and refused to believe that all hope was lost. If he had saved Nora, then why not Bill too?

While others disagreed, Pam never argued against her maker's wishes, despite never having been fond of Bill Compton. In fact, she thought the same about Bill as she thought about cheap snap on bracelets. However the thought of him turning into a pile of goo and leaving Jessica without a maker had been deeply unsettling for the blonde. She never voiced her concerns, of course, but they had been there, and now, as she watched its reality, it was all too overwhelming.

"You said you wouldn't hurt him, you promised to save him."

Jessica sunk to her knees, her face and top both stained with red tears while more continued to spill from her eyes. She was truly alone. Without Bill she had no one. No one. She didn't have her parents, she didn't have her little sister. She didn't have Sookie, or Jason, or bible study group. She didn't have anyone.

Eric excused himself from the room with a stiff nod, leaving a broken Jessica and a frozen Pam. Nora and Tara were yet to return from their trip to Isabel's nest in Dallas. We'll be another hour, Tara had informed Pam on the phone. If her count was right, that was forty-five minutes ago.

The cream rug beneath Jessica's face donned a fresh red stain. Under any other circumstance Pam would have yelled at her for destroying an antique within her Victorian Manor, and under any other circumstance Jessica would have babbled apology after apology and skid from the room like she had seen a ghost. But Pam didn't yell and Jessica didn't babble or run. Instead they both looked at each other and Jessica rose to her feet, running across the room and into Pam's arms.

Pam didn't like public displays of affection. Hugging was gross, kissing was a silly sentiment (unless under the right circumstance with the right person), and normally she would have pushed Jessica away with a witty remark, but she just couldn't bring herself to. So she wrapped her arms around Jessica's heaving frame and held her like a mother does her child. She cradled the back of Jessica's head with her hand and looped the other around her back. She let Jessica cry into her chest. She let her mourn her maker and seek comfort from the only person she could.

Pam found Jessica annoying one hundred and twenty percent of the time. But there was the fact that she had been there when she was drained, the fact that she was the one to put her in the ground and bury her, and the fact that she had been the one to take care of her when Bill didn't want the responsibility and Eric couldn't care less. There were all these little things that made Pam feel like Jessica's maker and gave her unwanted feelings towards the young vampire.

Pam taught Jessica about make-up and how to feed without killing. She taught her to embrace her primal nature and urges, encouraged her to do so. She told her what clothes looked good and what didn't. She called her out on her shit and, discreetly, looked out for her.

Pam was one of the few vampires Jessica knew. Jessica thought Pam was cool and awesome, like the big sister she never had. She looked up to Pam and had tried so many times to befriend her, only to be shot down each and every time, but continued her mission anyway. She could trust Pam and she could talk to Pam if she needed to. She could call her for advice about anything and though Pam always had some witty response to offer, she did help her out. At least she did ninety two percent of the time.

Jessica barely registered the movement. It was only when she looked up that she realised they were no longer standing, but instead sitting. Pam guided Jessica's head onto her shoulder and wrapped an arm around her body. Jessica was only happy to curl into the older vampire with no more fresh tears, but plenty of old ones staining them both.

After a long silence, Jessica spoke.

"What am I gonna do now?" Her voice was tiny and barely audible, even to a vampire such as Pam.

"Well," Pam drawled, her voice as soft as silk, "you'll stay with us."

And that was that, the end of the conversation. Jessica didn't need to press further to understand. Pam was taking her in, permanently, and she had no objections to the matter. She closed her eyes and rested against the blonde, comforted in her embrace as she surrendered to the pull of her exhaustion.

Twenty minutes later, having returned from Dallas with Nora and informed on the situation by a withdrawn Eric, Tara entered through the large opening that was the entrance into the very spacious living room. A warm fire glowed from within the fireplace and the walls held beautiful pieces of art, but Tara's eyes were settled on Pam who was holding a dead looking Jessica. Though, for all intent and purposes, Jessica was dead.

"Hey," Tara spoke gently. She approached tentatively, aware of her maker's feelings, able to feel what Pam was going through because of the bond they shared, the invisible string that kept them connected. Earlier, while in the car with Nora, she had felt a range of emotions from Pam but hadn't been able to decipher them, until now.

"How is she doin'?" Tara's question was directed at Pam but meant for Jessica. She sat beside her fellow baby vampire and kept her voice low despite the fact that Jessica was dead and probably wouldn't wake up even if there was an earthquake.

"She lost her maker, ruined a favourite carpet of mine, and destroyed my top… How do you think?" Pam all but barked in reply, rolling her eyes. She immediately regretted her words and action and sighed with a far away look.

Tara, on the other hand, expected such a response for Pam. Whatever the blonde was battling with internally wasn't something she was used to and Tara, being as smart as she was, could sense that.

"Fuckin' baby vamps," Pam grumbled.

"Huh?" Tara tore her gaze away from the Jessica's sleeping form and settled her eyes upon her maker.

"I said," Pam began, irritated, "fuckin'. baby. vamps." She sat up in an attempt to straighten her posture yet left her arm where it was, winded around Jessica, supporting her as she slept.

"You," Pam added, "and cheeto here. You make me have feelings." She admitted with a bitter edge to her tone. But it was laced with something else, something she couldn't quite put her finger on, but something Tara could.

"You care about her." Tara gestured to Jessica with a hint of a smile.

It took a fool not to see the interest Pam had taken with Jessica and vice versa, especially during the last few months. They were like mother and daughter at times. Pam would reprimand Jessica or wipe off her make-up and reapply it properly. Jessica would copy Pam's postures and try to make her proud. It was something Tara had always found endearing and amusing.

Pam huffed but didn't deny the statement.

"And you care about me." Tara continued, though with a softer tone than before.

Being that Pam and Tara spent the last few months sharing a room, sharing meals, holding hands, kissing and fucking, laughing at each other's jokes, fighting to the point of throwing things and then making up with passionate sex in front of the fire, there was no way Pam could deny Tara's sentence. She didn't want to, either.

"I always wanted kids," Tara mused aloud minutes later.

Pam quirked an eyebrow and raised her head from its position on the back of the couch. She didn't need to speak, her face said it all. She was completely and utterly confused.

Tara waited a while, quite enjoying her maker's adorably confused look. It was when her adorably confused look turned to a scowl that she began to explain.

"Well, Jessica will be stayin' with us." Tara told her simply.

Pam gave a humourless laugh as she caught on to what Tara was saying. "Funny," she murmured. The idea of playing mommy to Jessica with Tara was absurd to the blonde.

"No, really. You, me, Jess. Eric and Nora. It's kinda fucked up, I guess, but we're family." Tara shrugged, turning on the couch to gaze at her maker across Jessica's body.

Pam stared ahead intently.

Family.

In the next hour, after Pam and Tara had brought Jessica to bed, and after Nora and Eric left to retire for the oncoming morning, Pam brushed out her hair before she shed her clothes for a silk night dress.

Tara was already in bed, clad in her underwear and a white t-shirt, a book of selected poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in her hands. She was concentrated deeply on the page in front of her that she barely noticed the shift made when Pam slipped in beside her. It was when she felt Pam's fingers on her inner thigh that she popped the bookmark into the book's current page, placed it onto the nightstand, and turned in to face her maker and succumb to her touch.

Pam pressed a kiss to Tara's lips, drawing her arm around her progeny's waist. Tara welcomed Pam's full lips on her own, kissing her tenderly, softly. It didn't grow heated like it did every night, and it wasn't like the slow kisses that came with their lovemaking, no, it was different.

Tara slowly ended the kiss and cast her eyes to settle on Pam's beautiful ones. "What is goin' through your beautiful mind right now?" She asked as she whisked away a blonde curl from Pam's face.

"You," Pam answered honestly. "Jessica. Eric, Nora," she completed slowly.

Tara realised that her earlier words had had a deep impact on her maker. She smiled knowingly, brushing an ebony coloured thumb against a pale coloured cheek.

"Family," Tara spoke for her. She was happy when Pam nodded in response. But there was something else, she could see it behind Pam's eyes.

Tara leaned down to sweep her lips across Pam's gently, encouraging the blonde. "What else?" she asked her in a whisper.

"I love you."

The words had been difficult for Pam to say. She couldn't ever recall saying them so truthfully and so openly in all her one hundred and forty or so years. Like earlier, she felt exposed, and avoided Tara's eyes as they came to look at her.

Tara felt her eyes prickle with tears. She knew of the feelings she harboured for Pam and the feelings the beautiful blonde harboured in return. Despite this, they had never actually voiced it and admittedly, Tara never would have thought it would have been Pam to initiate it.

Tara cupped Pam's cheeks and forced the reluctant blonde to look at her. "I love you too." The words came out firmer than intended but it came as a relief to Pam. Because of their bond they weren't able to hide much from each other, so feelings were always there like an open book. To hear the words spoken, however, was a completely different experience.

Pam hooked a leg around Tara's waist and pushed her progeny onto her back so she could straddle her.

"You and me," Pam breathed out, her eyes never leaving Tara's.

"You and me," Tara repeated. "And Jessica, Eric, and Nora…" she felt complied to add.

Tara's sheepish smile was met with Pam's soft one.

"And Jessica, Eric, and Nora." Pam repeated, agreeing with her. She leaned down to capture Tara's lips in a swift kiss.

"But right now…" Pam whispered, her lips barely touching Tara's.

"…you and me," Tara finished for her, flipping her and reversing their positions.

They spent the next hour until dawn proving their love for one another, over and over, until they couldn't any longer.

From then on out it was just the both of them.

And Jessica, Eric, and Nora.

Family. Dysfunctional, crazy, and confusing, yes, but family nonetheless.