With Buddy Jesus behind him, and Old Glory, Jason tries his hand at playacting. "Listen, lady, if you're gonna give them all the rights that normal people have, then how am I supposed to protect my sweet little girl from any vampire who wants to just fly on in and marry her?" (Got there pretty quick, didn't you? Maybe Rene's not as far behind us as we thought.) Sarah's like, "You have a daughter?" and he plays outrageously to the crowd, who loves it: "Well, I was a pretty bad boy -- up until the Light Of Day Leadership Conference! -- so yeah, it's entirely possible that I could." She nods, waits a beat, and returns the serve: "Huh. Well, I don't give a hoot about your daughter. In fact, nothing you say about vampire rights is gonna change my mind. Because..." she turns around and puts in upside-down vampire teeth, mumbling around them hilariously: I am a vampire!
Anybody else would laugh and struggle to stay in character, at this gorgeous sight, but all of this is too close to reality for old Jason, considering how broken and post-traumatic he is. Something safe that turned out deadly. Sarah, Steven, the Conference, the stage: they all fade away. He screams, terrified to be so close to it -- to still want it, so badly, this beautiful, sexy, unattainable woman, now complete with the fangs -- and wigs impressively. He grabs the flag, screaming, smashes it over one knee, and rushes her. She drops onto her back on the stage, caught off-guard by this sudden new twist, and in the audience Luke leaps to his feet, grateful Jason's finally cracked.
Sarah's scared to death, hips moving like the ocean; Steve's eyes travel Jason's body in slow-motion, the stake in his hands, the muscles under his shirt: as though he is Jason and Jason's the vampire, for a moment, everything he wants and everything he wants to be. As though he could be Jason or fuck Jason or somehow both at once, blurring across state lines. Jason, standing over his wife with a wooden stake, screaming wordlessly. He is Amy and he is Eddie, for a moment, endlessly murdering and being murdered. Steve's the first to applaud.
The crowd goes wild: that's how you do it. That's where we're heading. Can't say it yet, can't see it yet, but that's where Steve's leading them. It's the reason Jason is the favorite, and precisely opposes the obvious reasons Luke knows they shouldn't love him. Inside the FOL is another Fellowship, an Army of the Light. And this is its first lieutenant, wrought on a spindle like Maryann's: desire and hatred and passion and love, fear and disgust, twisted together like the spectrum of visible light. Steve ejaculates while Jason falls back, through time: Amy drives the stake into Eddie's heart, and he is gone, and Jason's falling back like Sarah now, onto his back, face twisted in fear and sadness and betrayal. But on her face, none of these: it's a mirror of her husband's, in this moment. Where Jason's face is a mask of grief and loss, she sees only passion. "I'm so sorry," Jason says, tears rising in his throat, and she assures him she's okay. Honeycomb, he wasn't talking to you.