Like my little cliffhanger? I enjoyed it too. Here’s another chapter for all of you beautiful readers.
I love hearing from you guys, so please read and review! We all need a little R & R in our lives. Actually, you all got me wondering, what’s your favorite part so far? Let me know what you really, really like and I’ll do my best to kick it up another notch in a future chapter.
Disclaimer: True Blood and SVM are owned by Charlaine Harris, Alan Ball, and HBO. Their characters just make my fangs throb.
While we watched her walk away, I dropped my shields and casually dug through Godric’s most recent memories. He’d sent me the need for privacy, but hadn’t asked me not to look through his thoughts or warned me against it with his blood. What I saw made me want to both chuckle and roll my eyes.
Godric had, in fact, quizzed Sam about the different supes in the area. He then asked him some questions about the maenad and when he was satisfied, he slammed Sam up against the wall by the throat and made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that Godric would be visiting him if Sam ever again dared to hurt me like he had tonight and the next visit wouldn’t be as friendly. The part of Godric that was my father had taken a backseat when I walked out the door and the part that was my over-protective brother had firmly taken the wheel. No good brother would ever be able to just walk away from someone who had accused his little sister of being ruined.
When I looked up at Godric, he gave me a mischievous wink. He knew me so well by now that he had already realized I wouldn’t have been able to keep myself from thumbing through his thoughts to find out why he wanted to speak with Sam alone. I pushed him my exasperation and he responded like the typical teenager with a shrug as he said, “What? Come on, Sook, he deserved it. I may be more evolved than most vampires, but I couldn’t let him treat you that way.”
I laughed and gave him a sideways hug while I sent him my amusement. He really came across like a human teenager when he said that. Godric rarely called me “Sook,” but when he did, he was always feeling particularly brotherly.
He was right though. Sam had earned himself a second chance with me because of our history and because he’d earned my trust more than once, but he hadn’t earned Godric’s yet. Sam had insulted and lashed out at the progeny of a 2,000 year old vampire. Most vampires would’ve killed him for saying what he had. Godric was a lot more tolerant than most, but there was still a limit to what he would take from others, and hurting his progeny right in front of him was past that limit.
“Race you to Fangtasia?” he asked with a smile. I scoffed and he chuckled, “I’ll go at half speed.”
“You’d still be as fast as Eric!” I argued.
His smile widened and he playfully whined, “But, Sook, you’ve got more magic in your blood than any vampire I’ve ever met. We’ve never tested the limits of your speed. You rose early! It’s likely you could keep up with Eric when you add all that together.”
His tone had me laughing all over again and I sent him doubt, but he just smiled at me again because he could also feel my growing excitement and anticipation. He winked once more and sent me the “Green light” before he shot off into the night.
I shook my head in disbelief but shot off after him, pushing myself the hardest I could. I whizzed through the night, relishing the feel of the wind on my face and using my enhanced eyesight and night vision to leap over potholes and avoid rocks. We darted in and out of the paths of cars, leaving drivers completely oblivious, and laughed as we shot through a group of startled deer when we cut through the trees.
It felt wonderful to be running through the woods in the moonlight, like time had suddenly rewound and mankind hadn’t settled into incredibly large cities and paved over the wilderness. Instead, it was like we were one with nature, two predators flying through the woods and every bit a natural part of the animal food chain. We cut an intricate path along beautiful, babbling streams and through the occasional breath-taking meadow while doing our best to avoid the marshes and bypassed the swamplands altogether. The cool night air brushed up against my face and danced across my skin as I raced Godric, the both of us gracefully moving over fallen logs, ducking under low branches, and pushing off against the soft soil. It was almost a shock to my system when we reemerged from the wilds of Louisiana and found ourselves face-to-face with the bustling metropolis of Shreveport.
I’d nearly caught up to Godric in the wilderness. I was keeping track of him with my mind, so I could feel what direction he was going and used that knowledge to anticipate his trajectory and cut past him with shortcuts, sending a thrill through his veins. He absolutely loved that I could cut him off. Approaching people pushed us back on an even playing field and he quickly passed me. I pushed myself even harder, riding on the tailwinds he made and was hot on his tracks when we began nearing downtown. Fangtasia was only a couple blocks away and it was obvious Godric was going to beat me. Then I got an idea.
Godric’s excitement level hit a new plateau when he felt my anticipation rise and our bond fill with mischief. He looked back at me with a raised brow and a wicked smile that promptly dropped into an open mouth when I popped past him, never once breaking my stride at vampire speed, and kept running with every bit of strength I had towards Fangtasia. We were moving too fast for the human eye to see, too fast for any vampire younger than 1,000 years old to see, so I knew I could get away with it and popped a ways ahead of Godric so the last leg of our race would be on a completely even playing field. He was still faster than me, even at half speed, but now I was further ahead. I somehow forced myself to run even faster as Godric’s mirth and astonishment erupted in my veins.
Eric and Pam had still been emotionally eavesdropping when we left Merlotte’s and, after about five minutes of feeling our exhilaration and competitiveness, plus the speed at which we were moving, they had quickly added two and two together and realized Godric and I were racing back to the club. When Fangtasia came into view, Godric and I drowned them with our amusement. A crowd had gathered around the front of the bar, watching Eric and Pam as they just stood in the parking lot, facing the direction they felt us coming from in the blood. Hilariously, Pam had managed to find a white checkered flag and was holding it at the ready.
As we pushed even closer, Godric caught up with me. I threw every bit of strength and determination I had into running harder than I ever thought possible and kept even with him as we came within human sight of the finishing line. He flushed my veins with pride and shot me an excited grin when I kept pace with him. Eric threw his arms open wide at vamp speed and caught me as I slammed into him, laughing, and the crowd jumped back in shock and broke out in a combination of gasps, screams, and laughter when two vampires appeared out of nowhere. He actually stumbled from the impact since I was running at his typical speed and pure glee erupted in his veins. When Pam felt our arrival, she chucked the flag up in the air and shouted, “Tie!” and soaked her ties with me and Godric with her insane amount of amusement when the crowd all looked amongst themselves in shock, right before they erupted in cheers, applause, and laughter.
“I’ve never seen a vampire race before,” someone in the crowd said while they clapped.
“Still haven’t,” muttered someone else, “we couldn’t see a thing. Moved too damn fast.”
“Can you believe that? I didn’t think vampires could move so quickly.”
“Makes you wonder if they pass us on a nightly basis.”
Another person whistled while yet another whispered, “Who are those two? Never seen them here before.”
“That girl’s hot.”
Thank God I had my shields up.
Eric slowly lowered me back to the ground, sliding me purposefully and deliciously down his body, while sending me amusement, mirth, and pride. When he set me on my feet, he whispered, “You never fail to surprise me, Miss Stackhouse.”
I chuckled and responded softly, “Glad you caught me, Mr. Northman, or I likely would’ve shot right past you.”
“Any time you want to be in my arms, min älskare, they’re open to you,” he murmured with a boyish smile and shivered when I caressed our tie. He then tugged on my braid gently as he asked, “How fast was Godric running?”
“Half speed,” I said with a grin. I laughed when his mouth fell open and shock echoed through my ties with Eric and his progeny, who could hear us clearly. I shot her affection when her irritation sky-rocketed and her jealousy flared up, before I stroked her into purring in apology. She smiled at me and sent me back her own affection. Too bad we didn’t have this blood connection when we met, it might’ve saved us from a lot of animosity.
Eric brought my attention back to him when his lust exploded across his ties, resulting in a similar explosion of mirth and amusement from Pam and Godric, and asked in a low voice, “Half speed? So we could race?”
“She had to use a couple of tricks to make it even,” Godric cut-in and explained with a shit-eating grin. Pam and Eric’s eyebrows flew up in curiosity, but Godric just winked and said, “It will make it interesting when you do race. Sookie is… resourceful. Though, she managed to use every ounce of strength she had and sheer willpower to move at my speed when we got within range of Fangtasia. She’ll probably need a donor bag to help her rebuild her reserve quicker.”
Eric nodded and wrapped his arm over my shoulder as he led us back inside, smiling devilishly at me when every pair of eyes in line followed the path Godric and I took, and joked, “You will definitely have a fan club now, lover.”
I used my blood to smack him on the back of the head and laughed when he ducked.
“Children,” Godric mock scolded while he flooded me with mirth. I winked at him and kept pace with Eric as he led us up to the delightful throne on stage and sat us down on the chairs on either side of it while giving a signal to the vampire bartender to bring us some donor blood.
Pam started to excuse herself as we sat down by saying, “Well, now that the dinner show is over, I have a few errands to run. I need to check out the quality of some new equipment,” and giving our tie a little tug to clue me in on what type of equipment. “Alcide’s in town, master. He said he’d drop by later to meet Godric and Sookie.”
Eric nodded and I flooded Pam with thankfulness. She gave me a soft smile, obviously liking actually being thanked when she completed a task, and turned and walked towards the exit, flashing her fangs at humans too slow to get out of her way.
“How was Bon Temps?” Eric asked as reached over and laced his hand with mine, stroking my wrist with his thumb. I didn’t think he was even aware he did it. In fact, Eric had been a lot more open to physical touches and smiled more all night than what the “vermin” was used to seeing from him, ever. I glanced around real quick and had stifle a laugh and shield my mirth when I realized there were people staring at him in astonishment, and they weren’t all humans.
“Good. Everyone’s good there. It got a little rocky with Sam, but everyone else, that matters, accepted me with open arms,” I said carefully. I tugged on him twice so he looked over at me and I opened my shields and pushed, I’ll show you Jason’s reaction later. Godric nearly fell over laughing at one point.
He smiled slowly, freezing another couple people in their tracks with expressions of shock, and thought, Really? He think you were a ghost?
I shook my head and thought back, A hallucination. Then he loaded a gun.
Eric burst into full-blown laughter and a customer spilled her drink down her dress in surprise. Luckily, she was wearing leather and could just wipe it off with a napkin.
Poor Ginger then came over and brought us each a glass of blood. She smiled at me when she handed me mine and said, “Well hiya, Sookie. It’s been a while. It’s good to see you!”
The scent of blood hit me just as she spoke and I dropped fang as I took the glass, startling her a little. I thanked her for the blood and she watched as I took a swallow and softly said, while smiling, “Well, isn’t that something? I’ve been working for Pam and Eric for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a vampire I knew before she was turned.”
I smiled at her, which thrilled her since I’d just flashed her my fangs, and she nodded at me as she backed away, staring at me until she hit the last step and was forced to turn around. She really could be very sweet. I’d have to corner her sometime later and adjust her glamour. Maybe see if I could use that green light? I didn’t want her to lose anymore of herself while she was working at Fangtasia. I’d suggest it to Eric, but I’d do it with or without his permission.
He caught my attention once more when he stroked my wrist again and chose his words carefully when he asked, “The shifter did not react well, lover?”
I sent him the exasperation I had felt when dealing with Sam, making the ends of his lips kick up, and confided, “Not at first, no. I told him he was a jackass and to grow the hell up and everything’s better now.”
I was paraphrasing. So sue me.
Both Eric and Godric sent me mirth and amusement for my comment. Eric’s only increased when he felt Godric’s blood humming in agreement.
At that point, I caught sight of Jessica on the dance floor. It looked like she had borrowed a couple things from Pam to wear tonight and was dressed in a fitted leather top, her normal blue jeans, and black stilettos. She looked up when she felt my gaze and waved at me, I nodded at her and drained the rest of the blood in my glass while she started extricating herself from her dance partner.
I turned back to Eric, giggled when I realized he’d been watching me drink again, and asked, “Do you mind if Jess and I use your office for a few minutes, Eric?”
He was still watching my mouth, so I licked my lips to clean away any blood, and giggled again when I felt his disappointment. Apparently he had wanted to do that. When I retracted my fangs, he finally met my eyes, retracted his own, and said, “Go ahead. What do you need it for?”
“Jess and I are going to share blood,” I said nonchalantly with a shrug.
His fangs shot right back down.
As did five other sets of fangs around the club.
I smacked him on the back of the head again with my blood and cut off the question I knew was coming when I added, “And no, you can’t watch.”
His disappointment flared once more while Godric’s mirth seemed to reach new heights. Jessica stopped any further comments when she approached the dais, so I shot Eric a soft smile and dismounted his ridiculous stage. We walked at human speed through the crowd towards the office and we both giggled like teenagers when we heard Eric wistfully sigh and mumble, “I will have fantasies of that for weeks.”
We shut the door quickly behind us and settled on the couch facing each other, tucking a leg underneath us so we could sit sideways. Jessica’s excitement and need to be connected was literally burning through my veins and that need had me wishing I was old enough to be her sponsor. I would’ve loved to take over for Bill. Thinking about her maker though had me thinking about everything she didn’t know, so I quickly perused my own memories of what Godric taught me so far about the blood and gave her a soft smile.
“Jess, before we share at all, do you know anything about the blood? Did Bill explain anything about it? Besides the fact it animates us?” I asked.
She shook her head sadly and I squeezed her hand in support. When she gave me a genuine smile, I began explaining the basics, “Okay. Well, when you give someone blood, human or supe, you’ll be able to sense their locations and emotions. When someone has swallowed a good-sized quantity of your blood, you can send them emotions. Our blood is sacred, Jess, there’s magic in it that heals wounds, strengthens mortal bodies, gives new life, and connects us to people, so you must always be careful about who you give the gift of your blood to. You will have to live with feelin’ their emotions for a very long time, so it’s not a decision to make lightly.”
She nodded seriously so I flashed her a smile and continued, “Once someone swallows your blood, you can focus on it. When you concentrate on the blood you give another person, you’ll be able to feel the tie you have to them. Can you feel yours to me?”
She concentrated a second and smiled, “Yes, Sook. It’s always so warm. I can feel my bond with Bill too, but I’m pretty sure it’s shut off now. It’s still there but it feels lifeless and empty.”
I nodded slowly, filing that away, and added more to our mini-lesson, “Once you locate a tie, you can physically manipulate it. This is where it gets interestin’ and where I kinda excel. I use my blood like a hand and stroke the tie with the magic in my blood, using my blood to physically caress and influence the connection. I can also do things like make Eric think I slapped him on the back of the head.”
She burst into giggles and delight radiated across our connection. Hope was also forming that she could do that too. Jessica wouldn’t know until she tried though and she needed a stronger connection before she could attempt it.
“I do that, focusin’ on one part of the body, by literally controlling the blood I have inside of Eric instead of the tie. He hasn’t had much of my blood, so most of the things I do to him I do through my bond with Godric or a combination of the two, but he has had enough for me to slap him when he needs it,” I said with a smile and she laughed again.
“Locating someone with your blood is a little different. You call to your blood inside them, almost like you’re lightin’ your blood up like a glowstick in the dark so you can see where they are. Focus on the blood that’s movin’ around inside them and order it to light up, order it to call back to you. Once you’ve called to that blood, you can focus on its location and can estimate how far away from you that person is. When I’m lookin’ for Godric, I call to my blood and head towards it, I head towards that beacon. Once you know the general area that person is in, you’ll be able to give yourself their estimated location and place them on a mental map. Since Bill has shut down the bond, you won’t be able to do that with him. It’s almost like a radar system and he’s blocked the signal. If he had taught you these things before, you would’ve been able to answer his call and locate him through the blood. Now, he’s shut it down for some reason, so you won’t be able to find him. I’m sorry, Jess,” I said apologetically.
She gave me a brave smile and confessed, “It’s okay, Sookie. After realizing everything he hasn’t taught me and how much he kept from me, I’m honestly starting to think him disappearing was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I think I’d rather be part of your bloodline.”
Everything she said made me proud and delighted me, which was something she could feel. Her smile became a genuine one and she gave me a quick hug as her tie with me radiated her thankfulness and affection for me. When she pulled back, she tested out her blood, smiled and told me she could sense my location now, and asked, “What about emotional exchange? Last night you said he taught me ‘jack shit’ about emotional exchange, so how do we do that?”
I laughed when she brought that up, but quickly delved into another explanation, “When it comes to emotions, the blood another person swallowed almost works like a walkie-talkie. You focus on the tie you have with that person, fill yourself with an emotion, and push it into the tie. Concentratin’ on the tie and your emotion at the same time is how you push it to them. The tie then radiates it out to your own blood inside that person.’
“It’s really, really hard to do if they don’t have enough of your blood inside them, which is why I want to share more with you, that way we’ll be able to emotionally reach out to each other, understand?” I asked, pleased when she nodded.
“So, in summary, givin’ your blood to someone lets you feel what they do, physically locate them, and allows you to push emotions to them. Drinkin’ someone’s blood allows them to know all that and do that to you. Jess, you can tell what I’m feeling and, with a stronger tie, can send me emotions, but I wouldn’t be able to push emotions to you unless you drank my blood. If you share blood with someone at the same time, drinkin’ from each other simultaneously, you’ll be starting a bond. That’s called exchanging and a whole other thing, though, that we’ll talk about some other time. I do not want you to even be considerin’ exchanging without talking to me,” I stressed. “It means something different to vampires and bonding is the most sacred thing we can do with our blood, so don’t exchange with anybody until we have more time to talk about it first and go over everything it means, okay?”
The door had opened while I was speaking and I was nearly bowled over with pride, I glanced behind me and realized Godric had slipped in. I gave him a brief smile and turned back to Jessica, I wanted this to get through to her and she could feel that through her tie with me.
“Okay, Sookie. I’m glad you told me that, I could’ve accidentally started a bond with someone,” she said worriedly. I squeezed her hand and stroked my tie with Godric when I felt his own concern for her and his disappointment in her maker.
“We’ll make sure you learn this stuff, Jess. You got a sponsor now and a potential new bloodline if you accept her,” I said. Godric was nodding, but feeling extremely reflective in the tie, and Jess smiled brilliantly and agreed. “Okay, I want you to drink my blood first. I have extremely good control over my emotions and blood, and the more you drink the more I can help you control your bloodlust while you’re drinking. That way things won’t get, uh, complicated when we share,” I said with a chuckle and Jess blushed in our tie.
“Sookie, is that what you did last night with Jess and Pam?” Godric asked with furrowed brows.
“Yeah, it was so difficult though, Godric. That’s part of the reason I want Jess to drink more, it’s just too difficult to push things to her and there just ain’t enough in her to tamp down on major bloodlust if something happens. With Pam, I used the bond with you and reached out across Eric’s maker-child bond to her when she drank. It was easier to suppress Pam’s lust that way and I didn’t have to physically manipulate the drop she swallowed,” I admitted.
He nearly bowled me over with pride all over again as he observed, “Sookie, I don’t know many who can control their blood while someone is in the process of swallowing it. That’s amazing.” He then tugged on the bond twice and I opened my shields to hear him think, It sounds like you’re manipulating the toxicity. If you can use one drop as they’re drinking it to tamp down on that bloodlust, you may as well be.
I nodded slowly and pushed back, Yeah, but if many people bit me at once or I was focused on something else, I don’t think I’d be able to control the effects then.
He flooded me with understanding and agreement, so I turned back to Jess and gave her another smile and said, “When you drink from me, you have to pull on the wound. I don’t have a beatin’ heart like humans do, so you’ll have to suck. Godric’s gonna help me suppress my own reaction when you do. Ready?”
She nodded so I slid my jacket off and lifted my wrist. Jessica took it gently and dropped fang as she lifted it to her mouth and bit down. I immediately became more predatory when she dropped her fangs and dropped my own while my emotions tightened. It felt incredible to have someone feed from me, so I gladly handed the reins over to my predator and let her decrease my lust as much as she could. Every vein in my body seemed to hum when she drank and I would have definitely been aroused if Godric hadn’t taken it from there and tamped down on the rest. I purred as the blood took hold and was already using my blood to stifle Jess’s own lust the second she pierced my skin. I allowed the feeling of unity, connectedness, to filter through and pushed it towards her. She rolled her eyes and wanted to purr herself.
After four swallows, Godric tugged on the bond and I pulled back, disengaging her mouth and waking her up a little. My blood was potent and it was fairy blood, so I had to work like the dickens to keep her from feeling drunk. She smiled at me and finally let out that purr.
When she finished drinking, I could feel Jess just as clearly as I could feel Eric when Godric reopened their bond. We both retracted our fangs and my emotions came flaring back to normal levels before I gave her an illustration of the control I had and caressed our tie, she shivered and her purr grew twice as loud until she burst into laughter. Godric and I quickly joined her in it.
When she got control of herself, she licked her lips and said, “Sookie, you do taste really, really, really good. You taste better than human blood.”
I shielded my blood’s response when I asked, pretending to be confused, “Really?”
“Really, really,” she said with an exaggerated nod.
Okay, maybe she was a little drunk, after all.
I redoubled my efforts suppressing the effects of my blood while amping up her concentration and level of focus and her expression immediately sobered.
“Amazing, Sookie,” Godric murmured as he watched me adjust my blood’s effects, our bond warmed with awe and pride while he spoke. I smiled and flooded him with gratitude.
“Ready, Sook?” Jess asked.
She looked the picture of sobriety so I nodded, raised her wrist to my mouth, and bit down. I smothered her lust completely, drowning it in whatever blood I had left that wasn’t already working to sober her up. As I pulled on the wound, she just sat there casually, like she didn’t have a care in the world. I pulled four times to equal the playing field between us before sealing the wound and releasing her arm. Realistically, none of us needed to seal each other’s wounds, but everyone in my bloodline did it as a sign of respect and to show our affection.
Jessica fiddled around with our connection when she felt it take root. She tried her own caress, which felt more like being patted by a toddler, a fact that made my lips twitch. She giggled herself when she analyzed what she was doing to the tie.
“I guess I have to work on that, huh?” she asked.
I nodded and admitted, “It doesn’t appear to be your natural gift, but you’ll get better with practice. I promise… I should also tell you that emotional exchange can increase the strength of a connection, the more you send and receive emotions, the stronger it’ll become.”
She nodded and pushed me gratitude, pulsing with excitement when she realized it went through. I pushed pride towards her and she purred. It looked like Jessica didn’t need much encouragement to make that happy, vampire noise. Godric chuckled and asked her if she could feel anyone else in her blood. After concentrating, she realized she could, but she could only feel their locations and their hum of life. She gave us huge smiles when we explained it was our bloodline.
“Jess, there’s a lot more we can do with our blood. I only explained the basics tonight. We’ll either talk about it more in-depth later or you can ask Pam, okay?” I asked.
We both smiled again when she pushed me understanding. We spent about ten minutes exchanging emotions with each other and testing out what she could physically do with her blood. Godric gave her helpful tips on her control and making her pushes smoother and we were listening to him talk about the most unique things he’s ever done with the blood when I felt them.
Vampire minds had surrounded the club on all sides and were closing in. Fast.