Damn Viking and his beautiful sense of honor! And yet he’s so sneaky. Complicated being, ain’t he?
Disclaimer: Alan Ball, HBO, and Charlaine Harris own everything and anything about True Blood and SVM. I own nothing. I’m just a V addict. V as in Viking.
Thankfully, Godric moved on and explained whatever it was we missed by pointing at the screen and saying, “It appears Bill Compton was creating a database. Pam asked me to take a look at some of the names to see if I recognized what the database was about. Compton was collecting the names and descriptions of vampires, entering it into this system, and linking it by bloodlines. There is also a descriptor under each entry describing anything noteworthy any vampire has accomplished and what gifts they have, their last known locations, and anything else remarkable about them. Luckily, the extent of the bloodline he has for you, Eric, is just your progeny.”
I was pretty sure our brains just melted. Godric had completely nuked us with that information. Bill Compton was the most idiotic vampire I had ever met. Didn’t he realize how dangerous it was to be gathering data on very secretive and vicious predators? And keeping it in the house around Jessica? Was he trying to kill off his progeny?
“Well, that certainly is… useful,” Eric purred. He was feeling way too good about this. I stared at him in disbelief. He just shrugged at me and asked, “Don’t you realize all the ways we could use this, Sookie?”
“I realize all the ways we should destroy it,” I said flatly. Surprise and confusion swept through the room.
“You would have us destroy it, child?” Godric asked. He wasn’t being sarcastic. He generally didn’t understand why I would want to trash something so powerful and valuable. As I analyzed my ties, I realized nobody around me saw the dark potential this piece of technology had.
“Yes, Godric, destroy it,” I said in an incredibly dark voice, one I didn’t recognize myself. A chill swept down the spines of every present member of my bloodline. My voice sounded rough, wild. It was weird because it came across as so predatory, but I wasn’t in my typical predator mode. Instead of feeling nothing, I felt too much. Every emotion I had burned brighter, became so much more intense and, right now, I was feeling nothing good. I felt desperate, trapped, an incredible amount of concern that felt bottomless, the furious need to protect, and betrayed by my own race. All of my ties cried out in warning all at once and then my emotions snapped shut, shocking everyone in the room. I realized with a start that if Fairy Sookie felt betrayed by vampires, then she was going to embrace another race entirely, she’d embrace the Fae.
“Child, open the bond back up,” Godric demanded, not yet commanding me but expecting me to comply nonetheless.
I couldn’t do it though. My emotions were a hundred times more intense than they were a moment ago. I would literally burn them, with the intensity of sunlight, if I allowed them to feel what I was feeling. I seriously doubted I could shield every single one of these emotions, so the protective nature of my fairy side had slammed the door closed to protect her kin, to keep them safe. I had to follow her instinct at the moment or I would injure everyone in my bloodline. My blood hummed in agreement with me, so my vampire side agreed.
“No,” I snarled warningly and shook my head forcefully as I jumped to my feet, my voice once again chilling everyone in the room.
Godric gave me a look of disbelief and repeated “No?” I’d never denied an order before, and he had most certainly ordered me. I had smacked down a request earlier, but not an actual order.
“Do you remember the emotion you briefly experienced earlier tonight?” I asked, furiously avoiding Eric’s gaze as I did. The intensity with which he was staring at me was overwhelming and had become even more intense when I asked Godric that question. “Do you remember how powerful it was? How strong, how pure, how much it burned? I know you are hurtin’ right now since I have closed the connection between us, but every emotion I am experiencing this moment is over a hundred times more intense, burns a hundred times brighter, which I hadn’t thought possible. Apparently, it is and I cannot shield them all. It would hurt you to experience what I am feelin’ right now, and if I fail at every other thing in my life, this will be the one in which I am determined to succeed, I will always protect my kin. Leave it be.”
“You should let me decide that, child,” Godric said, quietly.
He really wanted to feel them that badly? FINE.
I opened up a miniscule sliver of the bond to allow one emotion through, just one, and slowly turned up the intensity. I chose to allow the need to protect, and only that need, to filter through. Since it was coming through my maker/child bond, everyone else in the bloodline would get an echo of it.
“Tell me when you’ve had enough,” I warned and opened the gate. Immediately everyone’s fangs dropped. Eric growled, Pam hissed, and Godric just stared at me, pushing overwhelming support my way. The support was nothing compared to the strength of my one emotion. I dialed up the intensity and Pam whimpered. I cranked it up some more and she shut down her bond to Eric so she couldn’t feel it. Eric then began to struggle, he was grabbing onto the couch with white knuckles, and beginning to tear through the fabric as he fought to stay connected.
“It’s okay, Eric. Shut it,” I whispered, not taking my eyes from my maker. Eric was hurting and I couldn’t have that, I wanted to protect him the most. Relief swept through me when his connection closed and he slumped down into his seat, just staring at me in shock. I turned up my emotion an entire level and a blood tear slipped down Godric’s cheek. My one emotion was literally beating down on him and it wasn’t even close to realizing its full potential, but it was seriously wounding me to hurt them and my lip trembled.
“Stop,” he gasped, realizing how much I was hurting when he saw my lip. “Oh Sookie, stop now.”
I slammed the door again immediately and everyone took a breath and retracted their fangs.
“That was just one emotion. I have to protect my kin, Godric. Trust me to do that, it is a core part of my very nature,” I said quietly. My voice had a ragged edge, cut like the Rocky Mountains.
I knew that was the hint they needed. Eric and Godric understood now, they realized why I sounded predatory but wildly different than Vampire Sookie. They realized they were in the presence of a full Fae.
Godric wrapped me up in his arms and nodded, his head gently grazing the side of mine as he did, and whispered, “I understand, I understand now. I’m sorry. I understand and I’m so sorry.”
“What is it you need to protect us from Sookie? That was the need to protect, but what from?” Pam breathed. She was overwhelmed and still trying to control everything she was feeling. Godric pulled back, sliding his hands to my shoulders, and nodded, letting me know without words he was ready to listen.
“Godric, why did vampires decide to reveal themselves?” I asked. I had a point, but to understand it, they would need to think like a fairy, like someone’s who very core drives them to protect their loved ones. They needed to recognize all the threats they were facing.
He furrowed his brows and said, “With human technology, we were bound to be discovered. We had to reveal our race before they found evidence of us first.”
“And what would’ve happened if they had? If they had discovered there was race of violent, blood drinking predators living among them before we developed synthetic blood?” I asked.
“They would’ve hunted us,” Pam answered, beginning to see where I was going with this. “They would’ve eradicated us.”
I nodded in agreement and whispered slowly, “And how would they have found us?”
“Technology,” Eric murmured and rubbed a hand over his mouth as the possibilities started to occur to him.
“Yes, with technology. And what Compton developed could be used as a tool, if everyone in the world had a pure heart, but they don’t. If the government or the wrong monarchy or Weres or Fairies or the Fellowship of the Sun or anybody else with a grudge against vampires got a hold of somethin’ that traced bloodlines, revealed locations of vampires, or detailed their strengths and weaknesses, they could easily turn this program into a killin’ machine. This is not a tool, it is a weapon,” I stressed.
The room fell into silence as every implication of what I said sank in. The potential harm of what Compton had created was staggering. Just to drive home my point, I added, “And with how violently against the Registration Act vampires appear to be, any person caught in possession of somethin’ like this would have a death sentence hangin’ over them.”
Pam stepped back from the laptop involuntarily, proving exactly how terrifying I found the prospect to be of keeping it anywhere near people I loved.
“You’re right,” Godric said with a nod, dropping his hands from my shoulders. “This should be destroyed. It has the potential to cause an escalation to war if it fell into the wrong hands, it could aid in the genocide of the vampire race. We will destroy it.”
I nearly collapsed under the overwhelming amount of relief I felt. There was hope to be found among vampires after all, they weren’t so power hungry that they would risk the lives of people they loved. Not every vampire would sell each other out for the opportunity to garner more money and influence, which worked towards restoring my faith. By proving they were above that, I felt the fairy in me conceding, realizing I didn’t have to be one or the other, I could be both Fae and Vampire. She loosened the reins and took a step back, rapidly decreasing the insane intensity of my emotions as she did so. When I felt them nearing a much more acceptable range, I readjusted the emotional filter I had on my most intense emotion (which completely burned away earlier) and began to open my bond again.
My emotions were still entirely too bright and powerful, but not enough to harm my blood kin. Slowly, I opened the bond wider and began to release the control on my ties. Suddenly, all eyes were on me as they felt my connections being reestablished. As their emotions filtered back in, I was swamped with more relief than I had felt myself a second ago. I nearly crumpled, but was caught by three pairs of hands as I neared the floor.
They dialed back the relief they sent me as they stood me on my feet, realizing their combined emotions had been entirely too much, and then flooded me with affection, tenderness, appreciation, familial love from Godric, support, strength, gratitude, wonder, warmth, and understanding. They literally caressed me as they sent the emotions, trailing all six hands across different parts of me as I purred. Pam stroked my hair with one hand and my forearm with another, Godric ran his fingers along the side of my face while rubbing my other arm, and Eric had an arm around my waist, gently stroking my abs, and a hand curled over my shoulder, gliding it teasingly back and forth along my collarbone and tucking his head into the crook of my neck on the other side, scenting me as he ran his nose and mouth along the skin not covered by my jacket.
Pam apparently said it all when she whispered, “Glad you’re back, Sookie.” I felt all their blood hum in agreement, including my own, and I laced all my ties with them with an amazing amount of thankfulness and love. I sent love to each and every one of them. Shock rippled across the blood ties and they began to purr in a domino effect. I met Pam’s eyes as I heard hers and caught a tear as it fell down her cheek. She pushed permission at me, so I raised it to my lips and swallowed, smiling when I felt our tie strengthen and become strong enough to last on its own. I then dropped my own fangs and punctured a finger before raising it to her lips, she watched with captivation and immediately wrapped her lips around my finger, swallowed the drop, and sealed the puncture with her tongue.
Family, she pushed to me and I nodded slowly, while retracting my fangs, thrilled she understood.
Their caresses slowed, becoming even tenderer, until Godric pressed a kiss to my forehead, Eric one to my neck and Pam dropped one on my cheek while they gradually backed away, reluctantly dropping their hands, lingering with their fingers until nothing but their pads grazed me as they let go.
We all dialed back our emotional exchanges as their touches tapered off until everything was silent across all the ties, except for one. Nora was feeling overwhelming jealousy with the intensity of the Fae. Everyone realized this at the same time and mirth sprinkled across our ties as Pam and Eric felt mischief mounting in our blood. They caught on to our train of thought and all four of us slammed her with affection simultaneously. When we slowed the emotion to a stop, we felt her tie stutter and hiccup in Vampire shock before amusement bloomed and glee shot up like a geyser in her blood. We added to it when we all burst out laughing.
“Things always were more entertaining with you around,” Pam mused, our tie fluttering with delight. I sent her affection for it infused with mirth, which was much easier now that a drop of my blood was in her.
When we quieted down, our attention fell back on the computer.
“We still have a problem after we destroy it,” Eric pointed out. He was right. “Compton.”
“Then we track him,” Godric said, smiling when he felt the need to hunt dancing across three of his connections. “We track him and give him a chance to back down. If he doesn’t?” he shrugged and said, “Well, the Magister is already looking for him.”
Pam’s blood hummed in agreement, so I assumed Eric had given her a rundown of everything we had come up with when he gave her the vampire blood to leave at Compton’s.
“Where do we even start though?” Pam asked. I looked at Eric and he nodded, so I vamped over to the computer.
As I skimmed the current page and began typing in the search bar, I said, “One time. We use this one time to help us confirm somethin’ and use it to hunt down its idiotic creator.” Everyone chuckled. Pam and Eric were thrilled with my new favorite descriptor of my ex. They got a serious kick out of the way I thought of him now. “Here, he used his own bloodline in the program and the last known location of his maker is,” I looked up at Eric and said, “Jackson, Mississippi.”
“We believe the Weres originated from Jackson, part of the ‘Fuck You Crew’ and a splinter of the local pack,” Eric supplied. Pam shot him a raised eyebrow so he added, “Something about their patches Jessica mentioned when you were changing.”
“Figures that crazy bitch would kidnap her own progeny,” Pam muttered.
Even though it was a total lie, she nodded, believing it. I was starting to think Pam could be trusted soon though. She and I had shared blood tonight and your predator has to believe it is completely safe with someone in order to allow the sharing of blood. She was coming to treat me like family and I wanted to show her the same trust.
“Lorena is not old enough to be the master of the branded werewolves though,” Godric pointed out.
I thought of everything I learned tonight, everything about the wolves, and everything about vampire blood and Mississippi. The only other name I knew about from Mississippi was Russell Edington, was he old enough to be their master?
“The monarch, Russell Edington, how old is he?” I asked. Everyone immediately stilled, looking at me with shock at the suggestion. “There’s a pack of werewolves on V runnin’ around his state, kidnapping vampires for one of his subjects, it would make sense. If Compton has been brought to his compound, it’s likely Lorena knows somethin’ about her progeny’s nefarious activities and has possibly told her sovereign. With what Compton knows, the king could use that information to…” I shrugged but didn’t need to finish.
Eric finished for me when he breathed out, “Takeover Louisiana from its childish Queen. He has made bids for her hand several times and been denied. He is nearly 3,000 years old.”
“See, Sookie? You’re a source of constant entertainment!” Pam squealed.
“She’s a trouble magnet,” Eric muttered. He immediately shot me apology and a rueful smile when Godric and I admonished him through the blood.
“Sookie seems to be the opposite tonight, Eric. She seems to have the answers to all your problems. You are the one working for a childish queen, about to be set up for a life-threatening offense, have a missing vampire from your retinue, and were targeted by a vampire twice your current age 1,000 years before she was born,” Godric scolded, earning me a tsunami of genuine apology and remorse from Eric. I shot him a dazzling smile, forgiveness, and caressed his tie. “She may also be the answer when it comes to Mississippi. Sookie and I have not yet pledged fealty, so we can approach Russell under the guise of looking for residency.”
I would then have the opportunity to pilfer his mind, search his grounds under my light shield, and find Compton, all of which Eric immediately realized since hope flourished in his blood and his smile became one of mischief. I simply nodded and his smile became blindingly beautiful.
“Pam?” I asked, making her snap to attention. “Do you think you could get us some spy equipment? A jammer since the room we’ll stay in will likely be bugged, a couple of those hidden cameras to gather evidence, and one of those thingies that clones data from phones and hard-drives?”
I happened to be a fan of James Bond. Sue me.
Eric’s mouth dropped open and he was suddenly feeling very frisky, Godric was sporting another shit-eating grin and flooding me with pride, and Pam had dropped fang.
“Absolutely,” she purred. “I’ll need about a day to gather it, but you’ll have it tomorrow night.”
“What do you propose to do with the evidence, child?” Godric asked with a twinkle in his eye and a smile full of trouble.
“I think we should find evidence of Russell usin’ the blood to form his very own blood pack and bring it to the Magister with a request to speak with the Authority for permission to end him,” I said sweetly with my best Southern smile. Lust spiked all around. “Can you imagine the reaction of the vampires of the world if they discovered a 3,000 year old monarch was desecrating the blood?” I purred. “I also think Eric should be the one to present it. He’s been huntin’ these wolves for 1,000 years and he should make the kill. Eric should explain everything Russell has been up to for a millennium and we’ll support it with photographic and digital evidence.”
Lust then jumped from one very specific source.
Trouble magnet my ass.
“Do you think we could somehow get permission to stay for day-rest? We only need one day, master,” I added. The “M” word was too much and Eric’s fangs dropped, again.
I simply shot him another not-on-your-life look with a raised eyebrow, to which he responded with a look of pure yearning. Not gonna happen I pushed emotionally, making Pam laugh. Eric reluctantly retracted his fangs and pouted again.
“If we show up unannounced, I believe so. It’s customary for monarchs to offer a day of rest to powerful vampires considering residency. If we say I have been training you, teaching you to survive in the way of old, he will honor the tradition and put us up for a day. It would be best if we could have a dayman or someone trusted move us during the day when we’re done, that way Russell doesn’t have a chance to go through any of our things and discover what we gathered,” Godric speculated.
A lightbulb went off in the bond and we turned our attention to Eric.
“There’s a Were who splits his time between Shreveport and Jackson that owes me a favor,” Eric admitted. “His name’s Alcide Herveaux. I hold the marker on his father’s company. His father owed a group of vampires a great deal of gambling debt and I bought it out. He’s a degenerate gambler, so Alcide took up the marker for him. There’s no werewolf in the world I trust, but Alcide’s an honorable man. If I call in the debt, he will help us with whatever we need. He’d do anything to get their joint-business out from under the thumb of vampires.”
Godric and I smiled at each other before we turned back to Eric and I purred, “Perfect. He can drive our travel coffins to Jackson, the day after tomorrow?” I looked at Godric quizzically and he nodded. “The day after tomorrow. We should settle in the area for a night and scope out the terrain, maybe find the local Were bar the ‘Fuck You Crew’ visits and send Alcide in with a hidden camera to record as many faces as we can of their pack and what they typically act like so the Authority can see exactly what type of people Russell is bestowing the gift of the blood on. We can drop in on the king the next night?” I asked again and received a nod with a grin this time. I looked back to Eric and saw him grinning too.
“Sookie,” Pam purred, “I do love to watch you plot.”
Too much lust. There was too much lust circling the room right now.
“Well, that’s good. I’m all plotted out now, though,” I wheezed out. They all burst into laughter.
“In that case, I will say good morning. I’ve felt the pull for the last ten minutes,” she yawned. Then, shocking me, she leaned forward at vamp speed, kissed my cheek, and vamped off.
“Not even a full night,” Eric muttered to himself. “Not even a full night and she’s won Pam over.”
Godric smiled and flushed my veins with pride and I just giggled. I was surprised myself with how quickly Pam had taken to the new me.
Eric turned back to look at me and shot me a grin before saying, “She did find a file about you in Compton’s house, Sookie. You were right.” He leaned over and snagged a folder off the coffee table and handed it to me. I opened it up and scanned it at vampire speed with Godric looking over my shoulder.
“It’s articles about my family, photos of me, and a family tree. My grandfather’s name, Earl Stackhouse, is circled and there’s an article about him too. It looks like Compton found out he also had the gift of telepathy. Gran told me once that he just knew things about people. He kept my uncle from hangin’ himself, though my uncle did kill himself later with a shotgun…” I trailed off and shrugged. Amusement skipped through their veins. “Here’s a photo of him,” I added and handed it to Godric.
He stilled, in that unnatural way of ours, before passing to Eric and asking, “Does he look familiar to you, Eric?”
Eric took the photo and studied it for a second before he froze too and recognition flooded through his veins. He looked up at me and back down at the photo before he mumbled, “Yes, he does, master. He looks a lot like Niall.” He looked at my face once more and awe joined the recognition.
I turned to look at Godric, who was also studying me intently, and shot him a questioning look as I asked, “Niall Brigant? From the Sky Fae?”
He nodded seriously and explained, “It appears you may be a direct descendent, Sookie. It looks like you are of Royal blood.”
Well I didn’t feel Royal. I felt like a vampire who used to be a crazy waitress in a shifter’s bar.
“Why wouldn’t he have claimed her? Why let Sookie get within a mile of a vampire?” Eric asked.
Godric shrugged and said, “I don’t know. Niall Brigant had many enemies the last I heard and it appears Earl was raised as a human. He could’ve been protecting his kin by keeping his relation to her secret. That need to protect is what primarily drives fairies.” We nodded, after tonight it was obvious just how big a part of Fae nature the urge to protect one’s kin was. “I guess it doesn’t matter anymore. Sookie’s the first with Fae blood I have met for several centuries. Whatever he’s up to, I don’t believe he has many Fae left to rule over. It’s entertaining, though, to realize I have turned two members of Royal lines,” he said, shooting Eric a mischievous grin.
Eric and I just looked at each other, blinking, as we thought about what he said. Then what I saw in Eric’s memories came rushing back and I remembered the crown the vampire had one of the wolves fetch, which meant Eric had been some type of Viking king after his father died. I couldn’t contain my reaction and I burst into a fit of laughter. Eric smiled impishly and gave me a fancy bow as he said, “Princess.”
Godric chuckled but grew serious quickly, picked up the laptop and discs and turned back to me. “Sookie, would you do the honors and, as humans say, light them up?” he asked.
I nodded, opened the folder once more to remove the pictures Bill obviously stole from my house and the article that I was pretty sure he took from a scrapbook of Gran’s, and stuck the mementoes in my inner jacket pocket before placing it on top of the computer. I gathered them up in my hands, while Godric and Eric took two very big steps back, and released a burst of sunlight, leaving nothing but ashes that quickly dissolved into the air.
Eric whistled and murmured, “Remind me never to piss you off.”
“But you do that once a day,” I retorted with a pout.
Eric chuckled and Godric shot mirth my way with his lips twitching before he agreed with me, “That does appear to be true…”
We both laughed when Eric’s exasperation flickered in our blood. When our laughter subsided, I filled Godric in on an idea I had, “I think I’m going to visit the farmhouse later in the day while you rest. I wanna make sure it’s livable before we take all our things over.”
“Isn’t it risky to be seen there in daylight, Sookie?” Eric asked, his concern lacing our tie.
I just shook my head, pushed him reassurance, and explained, “No, I’m gonna pop over and check things out under my light shield. Nobody’ll see me if anyone’s there.”
They both nodded and Godric sent me his permission, so I would be taking a trip home.
“Well, I’m going to get ready to go to rest. It has been a very long night, I will meet you in there, Sookie,” Godric said, placed a kiss on my cheek, and sped away at super speed, leaving me and Eric conveniently alone. Godric could move really fast when he wanted to.
Eric didn’t waste any time. He grabbed me by the hips, firmly tugged me closer, and planted his lips on mine for a thorough kiss while he slid a hand into my hair and stroked his fingers through my locks. My arms automatically reached up and wrapped themselves around his neck while I pushed myself up on my tiptoes to get even closer to his magical mouth. When he pulled back, he squeezed my hip lightly with one hand while keeping the other firmly rooted in my hair and hoarsely stated, “You sent me lust at the club, Sookie.” I nodded slowly, apparently having lost the ability to speak. He leaned in and kissed me again, this time tenderly, lingering on my lips. “Why?” he asked with a voice as rough as the gravel on my driveway.
I knew he’d corner me like this when I pushed him lust. I’d taken a juicy T-bone and dangled it in front of a tiger, so I wasn’t surprised he was going for the kill. The truth was, I did it because I’d wanted a moment alone with him for hours now and I knew he’d come looking for answers, but that wasn’t the answer I’d give him. No, I’d give him the inspiration for it instead. Not a lie, but not the whole truth, so I’d get away with it in the tie.
“Revenge,” I whispered with a smile full of mischief.
“For what?” he asked just as quietly as he wrapped his arm around my waist to tuck me even closer to him, dipped his head, and ghosted his lips over my ear.
“I upped your lust because you upped mine,” I breathed. He pulled back and gave me a quizzical look so I shot him a softer smile and clarified, “You just did it the old-fashioned way.”
He returned to my ear, reveling in the shivers he sent down my spine with his breath as he reasoned, “You said touching makes the thoughts clearer.”
I nodded and spoke clearly as I argued, “You could’ve easily just grabbed my hand underneath the table instead of tryin’ to make me the first vampire ever to get a hickey.”
His lips twitched as he pulled back once more to meet my eyes, amusement and mirth saturated the tie while he sheepishly admitted, “Grabbing your hand honestly never occurred to me.”
I tsked him and teased, “And to think Godric told me you were the best strategist he’s ever met. I’ll have to warn him you’re losin’ your touch.”
“Losing my touch?” he repeated as disbelief weaved itself into the tie. I bit my lip and nodded, sorely tempted to laugh at his incredulous expression. His gaze lowered to my lip and I could almost hear him scolding me all over again for biting it since he claimed it as his earlier tonight.
He pulled me flush against his body, making me gasp reflexively in surprise and giving him the opportunity he needed to kiss me like he was making love to my mouth with his own. While the taste of his lips and the motion of his tongue drugged me into a lust-induced stupor, his hands wandered from my waist and hair, stroking and caressing their way across my body and coming to a stop at the bottom of my shirt before he simply slid them underneath it. He then explored the terrain of my stomach, abs, waist, and back in gentle, butterfly touches, teasingly mapping out the curves of my body before he swept firmer, broader strokes over my skin.
After making sure he in some way touched every piece of skin available to him, he smoothly trailed them both down either side of my spine, pressing the pads of his fingers harder against the muscles of my back in a way that made me moan and arch myself into him as he massaged his way down to the waist of my pants. He then dropped his palms flush against me once more and brought his hands to a stop on my jean-covered butt. Eric gave it a gentle squeeze while he slowed his kiss, altering the pace and moving his mouth against mine lazily, but no less erotically. Finally, and yet all too soon, he brought our silent conversation to a stop, dragged his teeth slowly and pointedly across my lip and gently bit before soothing away the hurt with his tongue, tasted my lips once more, and pulled back one last time.
“How do you feel about my touch now, Sookie?” he whispered and gave my butt another squeeze.
I cleared my throat, making his lips twitch since doing so was pointless for a vampire, and very seriously said, “Much better. If you wanna work on that more, I’m always free to help you practice.”
He laughed and pushed me delight and affection while he released my butt, swept his hands back up my body to rest in my hair, and leaned forward to place a chaste kiss on my forehead. His lips grazed my skin as he whispered, “Good night, Faery Princess,” before vamping away and leaving me breathless. Not that I needed to breathe, I think I just forgot that sometimes when he kissed me like that. He had a thousand years of experience and damn did he put it to good use.
I walked back to the guest room a little dazed. Godric had already changed into sleep pants and was tucking his things back in his bag. He took one look at my face and laughed his ass off. He laughed even harder when I blushed and sent him a push telling him to go dip himself in silver. Since he was laughing at my expense, I quickly grabbed my things and took them into the bathroom with me, haughtily cutting his laughter off with a slam of the door. When I came back out in a t-shirt and pajama pants, things were much calmer.
Godric looked nice and comfy, sitting cross-legged on the bed. He waved me over and indicated the spot in front of him, so I climbed up on the massive mattress and settled myself in a position that mirrored his.
“What happened earlier between you and Eric? Why did you both bleed blood tears?” he asked seriously, though there may or may not have been a twinkle of mischief in his eyes.
See? I knew we’d be talking about this later.
“He asked me, telepathically, to show him the patches and jackets the werewolves wore. After I did, I asked him why he was so curious all of a sudden and he completely shut himself off from me,” Godric nodded like this was typical, then his eyebrows shot to the roof when I added, “but I convinced him to let me in and he showed me his grief. There was so much, Godric. Too much for one man, so I tugged on our connection and opened the floodgate so I could help him carry it…” He sent me an astonishing amount of pride, tenderness, and affection, and I basked in it all. “He used one of the caresses I usually use and I shivered because I couldn’t purr,” I confessed sheepishly and he laughed.
“And the tears?” he asked.
“I asked him why, why he had so much grief and he told me to search his memories for everythin’ to do with branded wolves. I watched you both hunt the master of the wolves throughout the last thousand years as if I were Eric. I cried when I got to the root of it all, when I experienced the memory of his father dyin’ and watched the vampire take his father’s crown. A tear slipped out when his father asked him for vengeance and Eric swore he’d get it,” I admitted quietly as my gaze fell to my hands. He traced my cheek with his fingers contemplatively and pushed a lock of hair behind my ear.
“Why did Eric cry a blood tear, why did he bleed, Sookie?” he whispered.
I looked up again and met his eyes and softly explained, “Eric was nervous about how I’d react to that, to seein’ his wounds and the only thing I could think of that would settle him and make him understand seein’ that pain didn’t lessen him any in my eyes was to show him my own.” My voice became smaller, barely audible when I enlightened him further, “Eric blamed himself for their deaths. He felt he could’ve somehow prevented it all if he’d been there from the beginning- which he couldn’t have if it was Russell. He still would’ve been over 2,000 years older than Eric. So I showed him how I could easily blame myself for the death of my parents and for Gran’s death. Gran was killed by a serial killer targetin’ me, Godric, and I showed Eric that. His tear fell when he watched me clean up Gran’s blood.”
Godric knew all about the serial killings. He’d been extremely curious about how I came to meet Eric so I had to explain it all the night I rose, after we got to his safe house. I hadn’t told him about cleaning up after Gran’s death though. It had been too private a wound to share so close to my own death.
Godric’s brows furrowed and his hand dropped to stroke me from my shoulder to my palm, where he then laced his fingers with mine and said, “Show me, Sookie. First, show me what Eric saw the night his family died and then show me what you showed Eric about yourself. I’ve wanted to know about the night that has driven Eric through the years since he told me about his vow. I need to experience that in order to understand his need for vengeance better and I need to see your memories to understand the pain you feel when you speak about your Gran and Bill Compton. There’s a deep anger there when you say his name that has to do with more than what he’s done to you personally, and I want to understand it, child.”
I nodded reluctantly and sighed. I really didn’t want to go through all that twice in one night, but he was firm in this decision. I looked up as I laced my other hand with his free one and asked him to close his eyes, then I replayed the last memory Eric had of his family alive. I swept a tear from his cheek at some point and swallowed it while I pushed him support. I slowly transitioned the memories to my own, swept up another tear when he heard my mother’s thoughts, and finally moved into my more recent memories. He bled two tears when he watched me clean up Gran’s blood alone. It was incredibly touching to see my maker cry for me when he witnessed that pain.
When he opened his eyes again, he quickly snatched me into a hug and whispered, “Oh child, you were right, Bill Compton is an idiot.” I giggled and sent agreement to him. “He’s vampire. He is used to blood, Sookie, and he could’ve cleaned that up for you in three seconds flat. Instead you have a wound inside where comfort should be and an awful memory that haunts you. If we get the chance, I will make him regret that fact,” he swore. He released me then and cupped my cheek as he added, “And I understand that anger now. You don’t blame him when it comes to the actions that affected you alone. Part of you even pities him since he was ordered to do it by his queen, but your fairy nature refuses to forgive him for how his actions affected your kin, for what he had to do with your Gran’s death. You feel he is partly responsible for her murder because he attracted Rene’s attention to you, which endangered your kin, and protecting your kin is what drives you. I’m glad I can see that now.” He finished with a whisper and wiped a tear from my cheek, bringing it to his lips to swallow.
We laid down then and slid beneath the covers. The sun was rising and Godric would only be awake a little bit after the sun rose before he’d purposefully shift into downtime to fall into death.
“Godric?” I asked. He raised an eyebrow at me in response. “Can you show me a good memory? Maybe a funny one of you and Eric? I really don’t want to go to rest with these memories sittin’ heavy on me.”
He nodded and smiled a dazzling smile, liking my idea very much, before he closed his eyes. I opened up my mind and pushed in before I closed my own eyes. I realized now that I didn’t need to actually meet his eyes to see what he remembered vividly or to transmit my own thoughts. My mind just needed to connect with his. I relaxed as Godric showed me a memory of him and Eric running through the highlands of Scotland and laughed at the sight of Eric in a kilt. I was so relaxed I slid off to sleep before Godric fell victim to the sun.