She's all around you; absence is the opposite of presence and she has not been edited out, deleted, so what the fuck was that in the kitchen. Circus blood and one singular absence: her heartbeat in your mind, like a voice in your head all the time saying That's my Sookie, beautiful granddaughter, beloved of God, most favorite daughter, keeping you safe all through the night: that's gone. It was a lifeline and it loomed large, all the time: those constant words of love and protection and hope and pride and home. It was an anchor; it was the sound and the feeling and the very book of love and that voice, now, is silent. The space it left fills up with everybody else. This house smells like her. The dishes are where she likes them.
Sam stares down at Sookie, staring at the empty world with blood on her knees. "I never should have left you alone." But that wasn't Sam. It's not Sam's fault she's alone. "I lost my temper and I shouldn't have..." Oh, right. That. The date that went wrong. "Do you think you could apologize to me some other time?" He takes her hand, begging to help, to be of service. To apologize with deeds, not words, the way he does best. To find the space Gran left, still warm, and climb inside; to put his arms around her and protect her all through the night. (... Hold you make it better I'm the one I'm so sorry sorrowful soft skin...) Sookie pulls her hand back and tells him to cut it out; he is embarrassed.
They listen to the radio chatter from the police car. There was something else, a kind of silence. What was it? Before Sam rubbing himself against the cracks of the foundation like a dog after its fatty beef, before Andy and Bud and Mike and Neil, before thirty stabs, before the prints on the sink. Before all the words, when it was just silence. Listening to the rushing sound of fear and the ringing in her ears, there was something, some relief, a feeling she remembers, what was it? What was it blocked out the sound of death? That helped. Would that help? What was it, that sound? Ah. "What happened to Bill?"
Sam's face falls further but he knows it's right. It is what a man would do. He heads off to look for Bill and Sookie doesn't look up; she thanks the space where he was standing.
Sam enters the bedroom and stares at Bill, gruffly telling him to go find Sookie. Bill asks if he's got anything to add and Sam tells him, hackles up, to stay away from her. They recognize each other. "You know, Sookie doesn't take kindly to people making decisions for her." Sam begins to circle him, threateningly: "You don't need to tell me who Sookie is. I know who she is. I've known a long time." Bill points out that this, tonight, is neither time nor place for Sam to mark his territory. "There's a woman lying dead downstairs. She wouldn't be there if it weren't for you." He leans in, baring his teeth: "If anything happens to Sookie, I promise I'll be sharpening a stake with your name on it." Bill doesn't look away, so Sam leaves. And when he's gone, Bill notes the screen of a window, and the vertical slit in it. He was already sure it wasn't a vampire, but that proves it.