Into Merlotte's, to the tune of "Sex & Candy," which is a song I never liked and now will always love. She looks 50 times more beautiful than she ever did, with the hair and her peachy white skin; she smiles at the men one by one, drinking in their gazes. She spots Hoyt, and he spots her, and she smiles, nervously. She sits down, picking up a menu to hide her face, and they both privately geek out. He's transfixed. She thinks to herself, and he talks to himself, practicing, and finally stands up.
"You mind if I join you? I mean, if you're alone." His eyes sparkle: she's alone. He sits down, tentative and excited, and she stares at him as he introduces himself, the jugular throbbing, magnified, with his excitement. She pulls her eyes to his face and tells him her name. "So this might sound kind of funny, but I was just sitting there thinking, 'How come you don't ever meet a nice girl, Hoyt?' And then you just walked right in."
It's so nice, because last year when they did the Vampire Marriage Amendment and he said he wanted a nice vampire girl they cut right to Jessica, because duh, except we didn't know how nice she was, or how many ways she could be, or how young she was. Or how good, or how smart, or how long she'd been terrified of her own body, how long she'd been practicing control. But for Hoyt, I mean, she's tailor-made. Virgin/vampire, sheltered/exploring, with a heart made for love. Sex and candy, all at once. Just like him.
"How do you know I'm a nice girl?" Because of her smile, he says, and she obliges. She's never been so lovely. "I watch people all the time. You see... Oh, like that!" he exclaims, hushed and in awe. "That's beautiful." She's steps ahead of him, already afraid, but he's on a roll. "I could just... I could stare at that all day long!"
She nods to herself. "Day. Yeah, right." She laughs at herself like Juliet, watching Romeo leave with the Montague boys. Fuck me for even wishing.
He rushes to apologize, if he's said something wrong, and his heart speeds up, and her eyes are drawn again to that slight pitter-pat, the swelling just below his face, that interrupts her vision. It means life, so far back you can't even remember why you want it so badly, and the girl will clear her throat: "My eyes are up here?" And for a moment you'll feel like a predator, caught out, and you'll try to fit it back together: the eyes, and the body, and the mind behind the face, and see her as a person again, like a Magic Eye. I hated that song because it seemed all about this fall from grace, falling from candy down to just sex; about objectification, defiling something lovely. But now it means something different. It means loving the whole person, keeping focused on the gestalt of them, or else it's not love.