Dead Until Dark: If Sam isn’t a Vampire, what is he?

So, Sam Merlotte is something of a mystery in Dead Until Dark. It’s clear that Sam isn’t a Vampire because he walks around during the daylight and doesn’t burn to a crisp. Also, he’s hot, and I don’t just mean good looking, he literally runs hotter than the average human. Then there’s his ability to let Sookie inside his head at will. At one point, early in Dead Until Dark, Sam purposes shuts Sookie out of his mind and conceals his thoughts from her.

So, it’s clear that there is something supernatural about Sam, but what? Sookie finds out in a really funny scene towards the end of the book. See below:

“I could feel the warmth of the dog through my nightgown; I must have gotten hot during the night and thrown off the sheet. I drowsily patted the animal’s head and began to stroke his fur, my fingers running idly through the thick hair. He wriggled even closer, sniffed my face, put his arm around me.
His arm?
I was off the bed and shrieking in one move.
In my bed, Sam propped himself on his elbows, sunny side up, and looked at me with some amusement.
“Oh, oh my God! Sam, how’d you get here? What are you doing? Where’s Dean?” I covered my face with my hands and turned my back, but I’d certainly seen all there was to see of Sam.
“Woof,” said Sam, from a human throat, and the truth stomped over me in combat boots.
I whirled back to face him, so angry I felt like I was going to blow a gasket.
“You watched me undress last night, you … you … damn dog!”

True Blood, Season 1, Episode 10 (http://imhereforsookie.tumblr.com/page/827)

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