Bill moved back to the Compton house in Bon Temps following the death of the last living Compton, Jesse Compton. After the queen had been informed of Sookie's supernatural powers, Bill was asked to find out the truth and take Sookie to the queen. Going out to Merlotte's one night, Bill met Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress there. He was enthralled at first sight and even more intrigued when Sookie saved him from being drained by Mack and Denise Rattray. Sookie immediately removed the silver from his body to aide him. ("Strange Love")
Bill was able to return the favor the next night, when the Rattrays returned for revenge. Sookie was badly hurt, and to heal her Bill gave her his blood to drink. Sookie invited him to come over to her home the next night. After meeting Sookie's grandmother, who was very interested in him, Bill agreed to speak in front of the Descendants of the Glorious Dead later in the week about his experiences in the Civil War. ("The First Taste")
A day or two before this meeting, he took Sookie to Fangtasia in order to find out information about the killings in Bon Temps. On the way back, they were pulled over by an overzealous cop whom Bill glamoured to leave them alone. ("Escape from Dragon House")
Shocked by the world to which she was being exposed, Sookie made it clear that she didn't want to see Bill again.
Despite their rough night, Bill upheld his promise to Sookie's gran and spoke in front of her club at the church while Sookie attended with Sam Merlotte. Bill made quite an impression on those with ancestors in the Civil War and was presented with a photograph of his family from the 1860s by Mayor Norris. That evening, Sheriff Bud Dearborne and Detective Andy Bellefleur stopped by Bill's house to question him about the killings in town. ("Sparks Fly Out")
Later that evening, both Bill and Sam came upon Sookie who had just found her gran dead in her kitchen.
After Adele Stackhouse's funeral, Sookie, sick of the horrible things people were thinking about her, needed to be close to Bill. They had sex for the first time and Sookie let him bite her for the first time. ("Cold Ground")
As their relationship began to develop, former nest mates of Bill's, Malcolm, Liam and Diane showed up at Merlotte's. They tried to get Bill's attention by scaring the locals. After Bill arrived and left with them in order to draw them away from Merlotte's, Sookie called and left him phone messages to warn him about some of the locals. As she feared, the vampire nest was burned down the next day with four coffins full of blood and remains. ("Burning House of Love")
Fortunately, Bill had received her messages and spent the day buried in the Bon Temps graveyard. He came over to Sookie's the next night, where he helped Sookie babysit Arlene's kids. Bill, ordered by his Sheriff, Eric Northman, brought Sookie back to Fangtasia. Her telepathic talents were needed to sniff out whomever had stolen $60,000 from the business. When Sookie uncovered that the vampire Longshadow was the thief, Bill staked him before he could attack Sookie. ("The Fourth Man in the Fire")
At the tribunal hearing, Bill presented his case to the Magister, head of the tribunal. The Magister, feeling creative, decreed Bill's punishment to be to create a new vampire in place of the one he had murdered. Bill was presented with a young, teenage human girl named Jessica. After significant reluctance, he drained her blood, replacing it with his own, and turned her into a vampire. With Bill having been absent from Bon Temps for some time, Sookie and Sam had spent a lot of time together. Sookie did not expect Bill to return, as he did not come to her aid when she was fleeing the killer during Arlene and René's engagement party. ("I Don't Wanna Know")
When she awoke in the ground, Bill tried to teach Jessica the ropes of mainstreaming, only to find that her newfound freedom made her extremely difficult to control. He took her to Eric, requesting that her time learning be spent at Fangtasia. Bill's arrival was just in time for Sookie and Sam's first kiss. At the sight of this, he ran at Sam looking for a fight. Sookie finally broke it up by telling off both of them and rescinding Bill's invitation to her house. ("To Love Is to Bury")
Despite their fight, Bill felt Sookie's fear the next day as she was being chased down by the killer, Drew Marshall (a.k.a. René Lenier). He came out to save her, but in the sunlight, he slowly burned to a crisp. With Sam's help, Sookie killed René and quickly tried to bury Bill to get him out of the light. Sookie assumed the worst, but that night Bill arrived at her door, healed and having fed. With their relationship rekindled, things went smoothly for the next two weeks until Eric came to unload Jessica, now a nuisance to him, back on Bill. ("You'll Be the Death of Me")