Bill follows Jessica through the forest as she scratches at roots and digs up mushrooms and flowers, sniffs at the bark of trees: hungry, senses alive, a whole world you can read like the longest novel in the world. Alive for the first time. He is so much less compelling than that, but he doggedly tries: "You drank from me. Your blood was replaced with mine and then I shared my essence with you when we slept together in the ground." ("Ew!" she shouts) "No, no, not intercourse." Filthy Jessica rolls her eyes like Selma Blair in every movie ever, grossed out: "You just said intercourse!" She hurls herself away from him again. "It's tradition, it's part of the process, it's magical. Even we don't fully understand how it works." Jessica says her Daddy is going to kick his ass unless he takes her home, and Bill sits her down firmly on a log. She gives him the toddler interrogation:
"Stop!" Why? "Because we need to talk." Why? "There are things you must learn." Why? "Because you are no longer human." Why? "Because, as I've been trying to explain to you, you have been made vampire." After a long thought: Why? "Because you were unlucky. Because life and death are unfair." He's so sad, so guilty, so clueless: "And because of me." He towers over her, looking down, fairly clicking his tongue with sorrow for her and for him and for all of us, so somber and silly: "You cannot go home. That part of your life is over." That's not her story, it's his, and it's only his because he's addicted to it, living in the pain of his life like Tara Mae Thornton, blaming Lorena like Lettie Mae instead of taking responsibility for the next chapter, and only Jessica could ever help him understand this. We learn how truly to be sons and daughters only once we've had children of our own.
"No more Mama and Daddy. No more little sister?" He shakes his head, full of sadness for her. Full of the guilt that nourishes him every day. "No more belts. No more clarinets. No more homeschool..." She stands up, scaring him to death in a whole new way. "No more rules. Yeehaw! I'm a vampire! Woo!" She runs ot the road and he fusses behind her, grabbing the TruBloods and following her out. "No, no, no, no. There are rules. That's what I tried to teach you..." She tells him, sensibly, that he has really missed the point. "Crap on your rules. Crap, crap, crap. I can say anything I want now. Shit, shit, shit. Damn, hell, fuck! Fuck, that's a bad one. Fuck, fuck, fuck. What's another cussword so I can say it? I'm a damn vampire!" she laughs, twirling in the moonlight, and she becomes beautiful.