A/N: Extended italics indicate diary entries.
Chapter 2: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
June 12, 2004, 11:55 p.m.
Tonight I met my first vampire.
My feelings about him are mixed. On the one hand, Bill Compton interests me; as of right now, that interest is not romantic, but it’s enough for me to want to get to know him a little better. Bill’s handsome—at least when he’s not skulking about—and I can’t hear a peep out of his head.
Fintan didn’t tell me that I wouldn’t be able to “hear” vampires. Maybe he didn’t know. Or maybe he had a different experience since he was half-fairy and I’m only one-eighth. But—then again—he once told me that he and I had similar “sparks” and, therefore, gifts.
Maybe if I practiced, I could “hear” vampires with my telepathy.
But would I want to? It was kind of nice not being able to hear the thoughts of Bon Temps’s newest resident.
Regardless—at least for now—Bill is silent to me. But because of that silence, I’d be foolish not to be suspicious of his intentions—especially regarding me.
I don’t mean to sound big-headed, Diary. You know from pages and pages of my past writing, that I know I’m not “all that” to the men of Bon Temps. However, Bill seemed to zero in on me from the moment he walked into Merlotte’s. I’m not gonna flatter myself by thinking that was because of my shining “personality.”
I mean—I know that some guys—and a few girls—find me attractive. That’s clear enough from their heads. Of course, most of those thoughts center on my “rack” or ass. But sometimes there’s a truly nice compliment to hear. For instance, Sid Matt Lancaster came in for a late lunch today, and he was thinking about how I’m almost as pretty as Gran was in her heyday. I’ve seen pictures of her from then, and she was a hottie, so I gotta say that’s one of the most flattering compliments I could ever get!
But there are other really pretty girls in town too, and several of them were in Merlotte’s earlier tonight. Dawn was there—her butt cheeks practically hanging out of her short-shorts as always. Tara was there; she might not be to everyone’s taste because of her fiery temper, but—at first sight—her beauty is undeniable. And then there was Georgie McAllister.
Diary, I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you about Georgie. She’s nice enough, but we haven’t ever been particular friends. Anyway, she was homecoming queen the year after I graduated from high school. And—it would be clear to any set of functioning eyes that she’s as much of a “10” as Bo Derek ever was! In fact, I’m woman enough to admit that Georgie is a “superior” version of “me” looks-wise! She’s got wavy blond hair, but hers is a lot silkier than my own—probably because (as her “thoughts” have told me) she brushes her hair for forty minutes every day! And she washes her hair with cold water! Eek! Diary, you and I both know that there are limits to what I’m willing to do for beauty.
Like me, Georgie’s got brown eyes, but hers are more striking. Like me, she’s got curves, but hers are on a taller frame. A lot of people stare at her boobs, which is also a curse of mine. But her “rack” is generally thought of as the best in town, and she wears clothes that accentuate her “assets.” Unlike a lot of young women in town, I’m not jealous of Georgie. In fact, I’m grateful every time she comes into Merlotte’s because she takes unwanted attention and thoughts away from me.
Diary, you know I hate being objectified by men who would prefer that I just keep my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself! Well—I’d rather those men never have such degrading thoughts about women in the first place!
Anyway—as I’ve told you many times in the past—I’ve experimented with raising my shields all the way in order to keep people’s lustful and more disgusting thoughts out of my head. But then I’m reminded of Rene and how I might have missed his murderous plans if I had shut people’s thoughts out all the time.
No—my comfort wouldn’t have been worth Maudette’s life! Plus—as you know, Diary—Fintan helped me to learn how to mostly “ignore” the thoughts of others—keeping only enough attention on them to “catch” the things I need to catch.
And doing that has kept my headaches at bay.
Anyway—sorry to ramble, Diary. Let me get back to Bill Compton. As soon as the mysterious Mr. Compton walked into Merlotte’s, his eyes landed on me and pretty much stayed on me. He didn’t even check out Georgie or Tara or Dawn or Arlene—or Lafayette or Sam or Jason for that matter!
Well—let me tell you—the fact that he honed right in on me set the hairs on the back of my neck on end! After all, I could sense that Bill was “other.” Hell! I could even see a little glow around him that no one else seemed able to see!
Mr. C had made clear that my amulet from Fintan would protect me only from other fairies. Could Bill sense that I was “other?” Could he smell that I was different? Both Mr. C and Fintan had warned me that I might smell uncommonly sweet to vampires. Thankfully, I didn’t have enough fairy blood in me to potentially drive vampires into a crazed bloodlust—as Fintan had.
Despite all my misgivings about Bill, however, I’ll admit that I was excited to meet him. Not hearing his thoughts was something extremely cool to me! I ended up bringing him a glass of wine so that he could have something in front of him. When I set the glass down, we looked at each other, and I felt a sudden headache.
Had he been trying to glamour me? I figure that he must have been. After all, that was the most logical explanation, based upon the pressure in my head and the look of concentration and then surprise in his eyes.
If I would have known specifically what Bill was trying to get me to do, I might have gone along with it! LOL. I had a fleeting thought to cluck like a chicken—just in case that was the impulse Bill had introduced. But I refrained.
Instead, I just tried to carry on with my work and keep from looking into Bill’s eyes again. Unfortunately—I’m pretty sure that he’s figured out that I can’t be glamoured. And Gran agrees with that theory. Even so, both Gran and I are relieved. Fintan wasn’t sure if I could be glamoured or not. Fintan couldn’t be glamoured, and—of course—full-blooded fairies can’t be, but I’m only one-eighth fairy.
Anyway, after the attempted glamouring, I was certainly less inclined to “like” Bill.
You know my temper, Diary, and—frankly—I’m pissed off that he tried to control my thoughts within minutes of meeting me! And—as you can guess—Bill kept right on staring at me after our little encounter. And—yep—I was made uncomfortable by that attention.
I felt even more uncomfortable when the Rattrays came in.
Well—to make a long story short, Diary—I found out that the Rats have drained vampires in the past and wanted to steal Bill’s blood! I tried to warn Bill, but it was almost as if he was in a hurry to leave with the Rats.
And then I had a moment of pure, undeniable idiocy; yep—I did something that even Gran thinks I deserve a Darwin Award for. Instead of asking Jason or Sam or anyone for help, I just ran outside to see if the Rats were still around. And—when I heard their thoughts about what they were doing to Bill—I still didn’t get help! I ran to Jason’s truck, got the chain out of it, and then went to face the Rats and to “save” Bill on my own.
Maybe Bill had managed to glamour me without my knowing it—because I certainly seemed to be acting without thinking!
My only defense for my stupidity is that I’ve never been in a position like that before, and I do have my “light” so I knew that I could handle myself with the Rats. It was only when I was in the middle of the confrontation with the Rats that I realized I didn’t want to use my “light” because I didn’t want Bill to know about it!
However, when I tried to beat myself up over my lack of forethought, Gran told me to let myself off the hook and to just be smarter in the future.
Luckily, my stupid move didn’t end up getting me hurt. In fact, I saved Bill and drove the Rats away!
As Gran says, dumb luck is better than no luck!
Well—at least I was smart about one thing. I took the thin chain that had been holding Bill down, and I made ready to use it against the vampire if he tried to attack me to replenish his blood. He didn’t, but he did say and do some creepy things.
I mean—really! He offered me his blood to sell or to use to get high! And he borderline threatened me by telling me that there were many places that a vampire could feed from—other than the ones I was protecting with the silver. I’m shivering even now—and not in a good way—as I recall the disturbing way Bill looked toward my femoral artery when he mentioned those other places. Needless to say, I hightailed it back into Merlotte’s.
After getting home from work tonight, the first thing I did was talk things over with Gran. She also called Sheriff Dearborn—to give him an “anonymous tip” about the Rattrays.
I just hope that the sheriff catches them before they can find another vampire to try to drain.
As always, Gran listened patiently as I talked over my thoughts with her; tonight, I also talked about Bill’s lack of “hearable” thoughts. After she’d heard everything, Gran was just as wary of Bill as I had been.
Of course, in her mind, she was also wondering if Bill had been around during the Civil War period; however, her thoughts made clear that the need for me to be cautious was much more important than her curiosity about the vampire’s background.
Have I mentioned how awesome Gran is?
Have I mentioned how unsure I am about Bill?
Over the years, Gran has taught me that first impressions are often unfair, and—in Bill’s defense—he had been surrounded in Merlotte’s by a lot of ignorant and prejudiced people. Maybe he stared at me so much because my face was the only friendly one he saw in Merlotte’s. Maybe his behavior only seemed creepy; maybe he’s not used to “socializing” with humans.
Of course, Gran has also taught me to listen to my gut when it sends me a strong impulse.
And my gut tells me to be cautious of Bill Compton—to withhold my trust until it is earned. And that’s exactly what I intend to do!
June 14, 2004, 3:00 a.m.
I don’t feel like myself tonight—or, more accurately, this morning. But maybe that’s to be expected. I almost died tonight. And I think I might be in love!
And those two facts were more than enough reason for me to wake up Gran when I got home from work (and from almost dying) tonight!
And now that I’ve talked to her, I’m writing down my thoughts for you, Diary. But I’m finding that writing them is just as difficult as trying to talk about them was.
My thoughts are spinning like innumerable spiders, each working on his or her own web. But those webs don’t connect with one another, nor do they form discernable patterns. Worst of all, I feel as if my own thoughts are trying to ensnare me.
So I’ll try to write down just the facts about what happened earlier tonight, instead of what I “feel” about those facts. That’s what Gran asked me to do when I kept on rambling.
Just the facts.
Fact 1: Tonight had been a pretty normal shift at work—until Bill came into Merlotte’s. For the second time, I felt pressure when he caught my eye. Glamour. The thought that he was trying to do that again pissed me off even more than before, and I had been tempted to give him a piece of my mind! But I’d refrained.
Fact 2: When it was time for my break, Bill asked me to sit with him, and I did—out of both courtesy and curiosity. Wasting no time, he asked me what I was. I told him that I was a waitress. Of course, I realized that Bill was fishing for information. He also asked me how I’d known that the Rattrays were attacking him the night before. I lied like a dog and told Bill that it was only by chance that I’d happened to be outside getting a breath of fresh air during the time when he was attacked. I told him that I’d heard a scuffle and had come to investigate.
Fact 3: When I was sitting with Bill and talking to him, I became more and more convinced that he could tell I was something “other”—just like Sam, the shifter who owns Merlotte’s, suspects that I am something “other” than human.
As I’ve written to you many times before, Diary, I’ve always kept a healthy distance from Sam. Oh—he’s nice enough to me, but I have heard some not-so-nice thoughts about his past from his head. I believe in people getting second chances, and I think Sam deserves his, but I also know that he was a grifter in the past. Maybe I’m a bad person, but a “grifter shifter” is not the kind of person I want to have a close friendship with. And he’s certainly not the kind of man I want to make “more” than a friend, though Sam—especially tonight—demonstrated that he still carries something of a torch for me. He acted jealous of Bill—territorial even—and Bill seemed to like the fact that he had “won” my focus from Sam!
As if I even recognized the game that they were “playing”—which I didn’t!
As if I were a prize—which I’m not!
Anyway—it’s safe to say that I wasn’t feeling too impressed with either Sam or Bill earlier tonight.
Bill had seemed to want to know more about me—as if he could sense I had a secret. Again, I’d wondered if he could smell that I had fairy blood. However, just as disturbing—from what Bill had said and implied—I’d also begun to fear that he knew I was a telepath. But how could that be? Had Bill glamoured Jason or Tara in order to find out more about me? Could Bill’s glamour have counteracted Fintan’s “glamour,” which had prevented Jason and Tara from talking about my telepathy with anyone other than Gran and me for so many years?
Unfortunately, it no longer really matters if Bill suspected that I was a telepath earlier tonight. Nope that’s not important now because of fact number 4. By the end of the night, I had told Bill that I was a telepath! I gave up that secret as if it were nothing, but I’ll tell you more about that in a little while, Diary.
Until then, let’s get back to earlier—when I was talking with Bill during my break.
Fact 5: Thinking about how Gran was interested in the Civil War period and wanting to distract Bill from his interest in me, I asked Bill if he’d been around during that time. It was then that I learned that not only had he been around, but also he’d fought in the war. In fact, there was a gravestone in the Bon Temps cemetery indicating that Bill had died in 1865. It had been assumed that he’d been killed during the Siege of Petersburg, one of the last major campaigns of the Civil War.
Being much more congenial than before, Bill had asked me when I was due to get off of work, and I’d told him eleven o’clock. He asked if we could continue our conversation after my shift ended. He even offered to return to my house with me so that Gran could be a part of the conversation if she was still awake. I will admit to being excited that I could bring her the gift of “living history!”
In truth—by the end of our conversation, Bill had seemed more “human” than he’d been the night before. He seemed anxious to be accepted into the community, so I agreed to meet him after my shift.
Actually, Diary, I was excited to meet him! I’d decided that—at the very least—I should try to be Bill’s friend. And—like I told you yesterday—he is attractive when he’s not being creepy. I had even been considering saying “yes” to a date—if he asked for one.
Fact 6: Because of my excitement, I made sure that I was out of Merlotte’s right on time. But Bill wasn’t waiting for me where he said he would be, which was near the back door where the employees parked. I waited a few minutes and was just about to go back inside to get a soda when I felt pain.
And then more pain. And then more.
I went down, and I learned the true meaning of the phrase “being kicked when you’re down.” Because I was kicked. And kicked again.
I was in so much pain that I had to stop feeling it.
Sam—in canine form—appeared on the scene and tried to help me. Truth be told, I wish that he would have just come out with a baseball bat and the people still left in the bar; it would have been much more helpful!
And then—suddenly—Bill was there! The hero in the fairy tale. The knight in shining armor.
In a buzz of movement, both of the Rattrays were pulled off of me. And, the next thing I knew, Bill was carrying me deeper into the woods.
Why Bill didn’t just take care of me in the back parking lot of Merlotte’s is a question that I can ask now, but—at the time—I didn’t think about it. The next real thought I had was that Bill was trying to give me his blood.
It was right about then that I wished that Fintan had told me all about the effects of vampire blood. But I imagine that my fairy grandfather hadn’t foreseen me ever needing vampire blood. However, Fintan had told me the basics of how someone was turned. I know that a human has to be mostly drained of blood and then fed the blood of a vampire in order to be “made” vampire. Fintan had also told me that vampire blood could heal humans.
Plus, like everyone else who’s watched the news since vampires came out of the coffin, I know a little about the effects of taking “V.” I figured that I was—at the very least—gonna get “high” if I took Bill’s blood. But I also knew that I’d already lost a lot of blood. I couldn’t feel my legs, and the rest of my body seemed weak and tingly. As Bill had offered me his bloody wrist, I remember thinking that I didn’t want to be turned into a vampire by a vampire I didn’t really trust.
I remember—vaguely—asking Bill if taking his blood would turn me.
He’d told me that it wouldn’t, so I had drunk from him before passing out.
I don’t know how long I was unconscious, but I woke up to the sensation of Bill licking one of the nastier cuts on my forehead.
Strangely enough—considering how I felt just yesterday—I didn’t find his actions creepy in the least.
I did feel a little high—probably from both the vampire blood and the fact that I was still alive after being so gravely hurt.
And, Diary, when I looked up into Bill’s eyes, my heart had leapt! And my first thought was that I’d fallen in love with him! My second thought was that he truly was my knight in shining armor—my savior!
We talked for a little while. He told me that—because I had taken his blood—he would be able to sense if I was in danger again. He told me that he would be able to make sure I stayed safe from then on.
His words had made my heart soar.
And—before I’d even realized I was doing it—I was letting slip the fact that I’m a telepath. When I think about it now, I realize that he hadn’t seemed surprised by that news.
But I wasn’t really thinking at the time. I was just reacting to his presence and to all of the feelings webbing their way into my mind, heart, and body.
The moonlight had seemed so romantic as Bill had carried me to my car and made sure that I was okay to drive home. He said that he would have driven me, but he needed to see to the Rattrays. I remember nodding dumbly, as I enjoyed all of the wonderful feelings his mere proximity was eliciting in me.
He asked me if I worked tomorrow (later today), and when I told him that I didn’t, he asked if he could “call on me” and hour after sundown. I remember nodding gleefully.
I had wanted to kiss him so badly that it almost hurt!
But the magical haze I was under seemed to erode a little when I got home. Gran was dozing in her recliner. And she certainly hadn’t been expecting the sight that came into the living room: me—with blood-soaked clothing sticking to my body and a dreamy smile on my face.
After I’d cleaned up, she sat me onto the couch and listened to everything that had happened.
Then she hit me with facts 7, 8, 9 and 10—facts that made me recognize the potential danger of the web forming around my thoughts and feelings.
Fact 7: I had—with good reason—been wary of Bill before I was attacked. And I certainly hadn’t been in love with him! I hadn’t even been on my way to “love”; I’d been attracted to him, and I’d been considering the possibility of dating him—maybe. Those things didn’t equate to love!
Fact 8: Bill had been late for our meeting outside of Merlotte’s, and—if there was one thing Gran and I had learned about the other Supes in our lives, it was this: If they were late, they were probably dead.
Fact 9: It was only after taking Bill’s blood that I felt myself to be in love with him.
Fact 10: Bill had tried to get me to take his blood the first night we’d met too!
Now—Gran didn’t steal all my “hope” of love away. She did allow for that fact that a near-death experience could cause realizations and clarity to occur in an individual.
However, she helped me to understand that I’d gone from suspicious of the somewhat creepy vampire I’d met last night to enamored with the hero of tonight. And Gran had certainly been around long enough to know that the things that seemed too good to be true often were just that.
So—even as I’m writing this, Diary—I’m confused and scared. My emotions feel sticky: enticing and sweet, but also suffocating—like a perfume that is too strong. Are my feelings being affected by Bill’s blood—or even controlled by it? Are they being caused by the “high” of taking V? Do I merely appreciate the fact that Bill saved my life? Or do I truly ‘love’ him? Finally—will I feel more like myself after the immediate effects of the vampire blood are gone?
Gran decided to phone Mr. C after she and I talked. He said that he’ll be here at about 11:00 a.m. later this morning. Maybe he can help me to answer my questions and to understand the effects of Bill’s blood on my feelings.
I will also need Mr. C’s counsel as I decide what to do about the fact that Bill now knows about my telepathy.
Bill had seemed so trustworthy—so heroic and good—after he’d saved my life. And—as I said, Diary—I told him about my telepathy without thought or hesitation. I’d simply wanted to share everything with him.
I can’t help but to fear that I’ve screwed up—royally!
A/N: WOW! Thanks so much for the support for this story already! I have spent the afternoon grinning at every comment, every “follow,” and every “favorite” you have bestowed upon me.
Thanks again for all the support!
This chapter gets its name from the song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” performed by the Platters. If you are wanting to hear it, click the video.
Thanks again for reading!