We certainly don’t make for pretty corpses. Nasty piles of goo. I had acted on instinct, she was scented by Bill and I was weakened. Stake to the heart. Only when she was that close and the damage was already inflicted did I notice the assumed he was a she. The child not the maker.
She had been a pretty corpse, as much as we were in walking death. She had the pallor that suited a vampire offset by flaming red locks. Her appearance always spoke of promise and implied innocence. She was but a child, then and now. Experience had not dulled her outlook on the world yet.
Only Bill Compton would send a child to do his dirty work. An infant. In every sense of the word. She was emotionally stunted as a human and Bill was anything but an impressive parent. As soon as he made her he had dropped her in my lap. A place where she always wanted to take a seat but I always had to send the little Lolita away with a menacing growl.
While I take full credit for the magnificence that is Pam I would never attach my name to Jessica’s. She was the victim of a creative magister. That wasn’t unusual, most vampires were the victim of someone or the other. Not everyone was granted a choice like I was. Not everyone forced another’s hand like Pam had.
Jessica was chaste in life as she was in death. Bill had done nothing to help her adjust, the porcelain princess was forced to carve her own way. She had been broken in life. Pam had recognised the scars of abuse for she had carried similar ones.
Her first act of disobedience, attending a party after dark, cost her the price of her mortal life. She had found freedom in that, especially when her maker relinquished her with such ease. Pam had always accused me of being a strict parent but to Jessica our rules were lax. Her dress sense was comical, like one of those tea cup humans allowed to dress for themselves.
She looked like the Queen of the Fangbangers as she strut around in Fangtasia. A title she let go to her head with its inaccuracy. Something she did more than once when her daddy was the King of Louisiana. She seemed to have inherited his partiality for the grandiose. Her inflated self-worth only carried her so far.
There were favours and then there were favours. Jessica was of the latter variety. More trouble than she was worth. I had indulged Bill as he was the keeper to Sookie’s gate. I needed an in because I needed Sookie. It was a humbling experience that in my thousand years on this earth I sought out the help of a mere mortal. She was much more than that, of that I was sure, but I lacked the evidence to support the theories. Regardless my maker’s need meant more to me than my humility.
Bill never returned favours in kind. This was abundantly clear when I found him browsing through the racks of Forever 21. It was a ridiculous place for a vampire to be. The name alone.
I had hoped Bill had come shopping for himself but alas the denim skirt in his hands would hardly fit on one of his saggy ass cheeks. He was buying young Jessica’s affection. There was little of that between them at the time. Bill acted much like a human father instead of a maker. Playing house with Sookie as the new found mommy. Even in the days of the post Great Reveal it is a ridiculous notion. Forever is something mortals can only find in death.
Jessica was a forever something else. Virgin. Her maidenhood had transitioned with her intact. That fact alone had consolidated to me that Bill was a poor excuse of a maker. We scented such things in humans, he could have removed it with a flick of the wrist. A little glamour to keep her dignity. Instead he took a virgin to the grave damning her with unnecessary pain for eternity.
She should never have been turned. The best vampires were born for this existence, the rest were mistakes. Jessica was a mistake. An unfortunate consequence of circumstances. I stood at the initiation of those circumstances. For I was pursuing a telepath. It was only right that I got to kill her the second time.
It was probably for the best. She would have followed the path of Bill, guilt festering away at an eternal open wound. Or worse the path of Lorena. Her prospects had been bleak in the longer course of time. She was an unintended birth without a proper education. Bill had kept her human.
Remorse plagued her. Pam had been forced to clean up more than one of her messes. The sight of my child with mop in hand was a memory that Jessica had gifted me with. I will remain eternally thankful for that.
Bill released her rather than take control. Giving Jessica freedom brought her closer to him than physical bounds would. That was something that worked with humans not vampires. It was an attitude Bill should have exercised with Sookie. ‘Love’ had tainted his vision on that front.
The ability to love is a rare thing to reside in a vampire. We love ourselves, our maker above others. It takes a rare individual to override that line of command in our programming. I knew this because of Sookie. She had short-circuited me with her presence and care. Jessica knew this because of Hoyt.
“He loves me so much it hurts to even think about it, but I don’t love him the same. If I was human I would.”
She had resided on the other side. Accepted she was incapable of giving what he desired from her. She had tried to be human with him when she no longer was. It wasn’t an even playing field between us and humans. We had a physical advantage where they find strength in emotions where we only find weakness. Perhaps it was only through the curse that stole my memories that I could love Sookie. We were no longer fang and fairy. We were Eric and Sookie and as small as our bubble was, as much as it was broken, it held something pure.
Jessica would never get to know that love. She came often to Fangtasia, seeking something, I was unsure what. Relive the days of her vampire youth perhaps. Her immaturity had somewhat progressed to confused. She didn’t understand herself and her maker took little interest in helping her out with that. Objectively it seemed she took care of him far more often than the other way round. My relationship to Pam only allowed that after decades of trust. I had refused to let my child carry the burdens that belonged with me.
Jessica continued to lack control. As the Sheriff of the Area I came across that often enough. I should have reported Bill to the new magister for that. I feared a repeat of the same sentence would mean the arrival of Jessica 2.0, I didn’t want that on my conscious too.
Surprisingly she had demonstrated backbone. Jessica learned where her master didn’t teach. She pursued Jason Stackhouse not for love. Love was something she couldn’t give, her human father had seen to that. He had instilled in her she wasn’t worthy of it.
Her heart was however always in the right place for that I was certain. She protected Sookie without question. With her the suspicion of a telepath’s self-defence from the jealous she-wolf was glamoured out of the investigator’s mind. Perhaps her loyalty to Bill had motivated the action, I like to think it was for Sookie. That she inspired such devotion because Sookie found mine with such ease.
I have always valued loyalty, coming only second to survival. Jessica was loyal but lacked the skills to survive. Pam and I had taught her what she needed to know but not everything could be transcribed in such a lesson. That is why we were born to a maker’s control.
Jessica’s mistakes crippled her conscience but they had been allowed to occur as her maker let nature run its course rather than nurture the being he birthed. Pam had reached out a helping hand then. I often told my child I preferred her cold and heartless, it was because the moments her heart showed itself she was too generous with it. She would nurture too many if I allowed her to and for the preservation of that heart I taught her to shield. Herself and the world.
Jessica could have used a shield not so long ago. Bill could have at least afforded her a Kevlar vest from his retinue of human guards. She could recognise danger better than her maker could. His god-complex in particular. The lessons from her human life made her more perceptive than most especially considering her age. She did not succumb to the nest behaviour in the clutches of the Authority. Something not even my formidable sister was able to do. Bill turned into a disciple of Lilith and despite her maker being wholly undeserving of it she never gave up on him.
“Please bring him back to me. I need him. We all need him.”
Sookie and I had ran where she had stayed behind. Had it been Godric and I in their place I cannot say for certain I would have had the same perseverance. I would have died by his side if he would have let me but not if I no longer recognised the man who raised me. Godric had been different in the end but I still saw him as he always was. Bill was a shadow of his former self or perhaps it was who he was at his core. Deception was a gift he carried alongside his strong glamour and manipulation of voices. I would not have gambled with my existence for a memory of someone as Jessica had.
She gave her protection even if it wasn’t wanted. Her decency reminded me of the honour valued in my human days. She blamed her inability to contain her urges on herself rather than her nature. Another lesson her maker had failed to teach her. It made her a better vampire than he.
Jessica wasn’t meant to survive the night in the junk yard. Intended to be a punishment she was most likely the best thing that happened to Bill Compton. Had he simply confessed in that moment he was protecting an asset of the queen no harm would have come upon him. It was why I had dragged him to that desolate spot in the first place. A vampire from the queen’s court wasn’t coming to retire in a hovel, he had a career to make not one to finish.
Sookie had not been the only victim to Sophie Anne’s procurement. Jessica was a casualty of manoeuvres, as much innocence in this world is. I had never seen her angry about it like Sookie was. Perhaps her bond to her maker told her more about him than he ever cared to show Sookie.
Now he had sent Jessica to finish me off. It showed the lack of foresight her maker possesed. I had scented the fresh wood of her stake before she even entered my reclusive cave. Now that I tasted the blood splattered into my mouth I knew her maker had fed her his blood. A weak attempt to grant her extra strength. There was no doubt in my mind Bill wanted me dead. His last effort had been equally inept if one disregarded Pam’s tirade at the discovery of it. Cement got everywhere, it wasn’t a memory I enjoyed to relive.
I had kept track mentally of the sun rising and setting while I slowly healed. I would have to move on despite my injured state. Bill would be here soon to retrieve the remnants of the only thing good that ever came from him. I had hoped to wait for a better state of my body to leave but Jessica had found me with apparent ease. Perhaps it was through the communal consumption of Warlow’s blood that we were all connected somehow.
Pam had yet to find me but I had experience in blocking her from me. We needed distance. Perhaps it was just me. I had lost too many people in too short of a succession. Godric. Sookie. Nora.
Pam was loyal enough to wait me out. I could always continue to count on that.
Sookie had returned after a year but I couldn’t bear to stand witness to losing her again. Not after everything that transcended between us. I don’t think I could be there with her inevitable death, she was too careless with her life.
If you love someone set them free.
I was sure a vampire was the source of that particular wisdom. Our lack of impending death made us relinquish much. I had done so for Sookie. For her not for me. Had she not overridden my inability to love I don’t think I could ever be this considerate.
If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.
That was the adage I was sure humanity supplemented to the original. Vampires never held such high hopes for themselves. Possession was taken not gifted.
Bill Compton had set Jessica Hamby free but it wasn’t out of love. She had returned to him regardless. In this Jessica had learned to love something outside of herself. Bill hadn’t cared for her tender heart in the spirit in which she shared it with him.
As I reached the mouth of the cave that had been my refuge from my sudden lack of SPF I opened my bond to Pam once more. Jessica had taught me a lesson tonight. I could run from Sookie but not the responsibility of my other child, she wasn’t unlike Jessica. An innocent robbed out of the world of the living, born out of punishment to another. Willa wasn’t meant to be a vampire either but Jessica had proven to me she was a better one for it. I needed to be a better maker to Willa in memory of that. I vowed never to be like Bill.
I stumbled down the mountain finding a clear creek where I washed the blood of my hands and body. When I turned around I wasn’t surprised in the least to find Pam. Outstretched towel in her arms and a change of clothes by her feet. A read tear slipped from her eye at the sight of me. I couldn’t help but remember my swim in the sun where another blonde had stood with affection ready to take me into safety.
“Asshole,” she muttered as she took me into her cool embrace.
“Sorry,” was my meagre response and apparently it was enough for her. I informed her of Jessica’s untimely demise and had Pam not spent her allowance of one tear on me I was sure it would have fallen for her memory.
“Home?” she asked lifting my considerable weight in her tiny frame.
“Home,” I responded. Wherever that may be now.
My nostrils were assaulted by the fresh air. The stars sped by me in a blur. I trusted Pam as she had always trust in me. She had come back to me because she loved me and I loved her for it. She was mine as I was hers. Father to daughter.
We had arrived to what Pam affectionately referred to as my windy shithole. She had redecorated it with vengeance in mind. It was all pink.
It reminded me of the eternal teenager that had died. Such an elaborate act of defiance fit her age bracket better than Pam’s. It was a nice unintended tribute and I would continue to honour her memory in the raising of my other child. That would be Jessica’s lesson to me.
I owed her that much. After all her final death at my hands had been her last lesson. Never love what you truly can’t keep. And Bill, he never played for keeps.