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"I've been a terrorist. I'vetakenthe secretaryof defense hostage," says Kevin Alejandro, running down his TV résumé. "I've killed my wife, killed my baby. I've gone to prison for accidentally killing a guy instead of his father."

Until recently, the majority of Alejandro's work has involved playing the bad guy. So comprehensive is the actor's experience with bloodlust- via memorable stints on 24 and the Showtime series Weeds and Sleeper Cell- that a vampire drama was perhaps the (supernatural next step. This month, Alejandro, 34, joins True Blood as a love interest for Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), the flamboyant, foulmouthed fry cook at Merlotte's Bar and Grill, staffed by series heroine Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and owner Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammel!). Alejandro plays Jesus, a quiet, gentle nursinghome caretaker who tends to Lafayette's senile mother (Alfre Woodard). Although Alejandro can't reveal whether he's a vampire, shapeshifter, or other force of supernature - "I'm something," he hints - he's more upfront about his character's sexuality. "We meet, and there are sparks," says Alejandro. "I didn't want people to second-guess that this could be a real relationship. Nelsan and I have incredible chemistry. Everything we do is very real." This time around, Alejandro's character plays good - at least at first. "Jesus is a nice balance to Lafayette- the yin thing," he explains. "They're opposites, but it works. They keep each other in check."

Aside from the sparks between Jesus and Lafayette, season three promises to be True Blood's most homoerotic yet. Sam, for example, dreams recurrently of sweaty, shirtless encounters with Sookie's fanged beau, Bill (Stephen Moyer) . It's uncertain if they're fantasies or premonitions, but Alejandro assures, "It's a really, really fuckin' sexy season. …


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