I know, I know! That cliffhanger wasn’t very nice of me, was it? I don’t have many cliffies so I use ’em when I see ’em. I wasn’t planning on posting anymore until tomorrow, but I found some extra free time to turn out a couple more chapters today. Lucky you!
I’m gonna give a shout out to kxrx for letting me know what the best parts of my story are. I’ll try to keep up the maker/child dynamic you love so much. I’d love to hear from the rest of you too! Thank you, kxrx, and SORRY! Stop sharpening your stake and polishing your silver, the next chapter’s right here… This one is one of my favorites. Hope you like it too.
Oh, before I forget, I know Eric glamoured Alcide in Season 5 of True Blood, but I decided to alter that. As far as I know, the two-natured in SVM weren’t glamourable (yes, I did just create my own word there, but it fits perfectly, doesn’t it?) and I decided to incorporate that tidbit in order to highlight how differently Sookie’s abilities work. I love the fact vampires can’t glamour them in my world because of their animal natures. It just emphasizes the fact that Sookie is something more than vampire. She’s a new species, and she’s the ultimate predator.
Disclaimer: I do not own True blood or SVM, the characters, or their plots. It all belongs to HBO, Alan Ball, and Charlaine Harris. I’m just a kitten who purrs when I get to play with them.
Alarm shot through me and Godric’s and Jessica’s faces whipped towards me while I focused on all the minds approaching. I found one that thought in English and while I was digging through his thoughts, the door flung open and Eric entered, quickly shutting it closed behind him.
I turned to Godric and pushed him my influence before I met Eric’s eyes and did the same. I simultaneously pulled with my telepathy and thought, The Magister’s here. His guards have surrounded the club.
All right, dear one. When we speak to the Magister, do not read him. He is very observant and I do not want to risk the chance he may notice something. I relayed everything he sent to Eric and nodded when I felt Eric agree with him.
Yes, master. I’ll shield his thoughts and stay outta his head… Master, I’m gonna send Jess away with the crowd, he’s the reason she was turned and I’m worried Jess might attack him, plus I don’t want attention drawn to the fact she’s Compton’s progeny. I’ll tell her to wait by the children’s store down the street.
They nodded as I turned back to Jess, shielded my all too honest blood, and lied like a dog, “I forgot the Magister was stopping by, Jess. I know-” her fangs dropped and she hissed while protectiveness burst across our connection, “Jess, I know he used you to punish Bill, but I need you to focus right now. You. Will. Retract. Your. Fangs.” My emotions had tightened again and my voice had become predatory as I spoke. The only emotions I could clearly feel were protectiveness, concern, possessiveness, and urgency.
She quickly realized her mistake and retracted them while bowing her head, so I continued, “You will leave the club with the crowd and wait in the parking lot over by the Toys ‘R’ Us, understand?”
Jessica hissed and flew to her feet as refusal burned down our tie. I vamped in front of her before she could move again and growled at her before I angrily hissed, “You will not defy me in this, Jessica Hamby! It is an order, not a request. Go with the crowd now.“
I could feel it when she accepted the order. She searched my face desperately for a second, came to the realization I meant it, and vamped from the room, smoothly sliding into the dispersing crowd. More of my emotions returned with every step away she took. I looked to Godric and he nodded at me while flooding me with pride before then turning and vamping out of the room. Eric gave me a wicked grin, shot me friskiness, and vamped after him.
I may have slapped the back of his head once again before I followed.
When I came to a stop, I had positioned myself to the left and behind Godric. He was the eldest of our bloodline, so during formal greetings this is where my position was, in the place indicating his youngest progeny. Eric was the second eldest in the line and Godric’s second, his right hand, so he stood off to the right and behind him, standing a few feet from me but even with me, and crossed his arms over his chest. He shot me a wink and sent me his mirth.
I’m glad he enjoyed that head slap. He was spoiling for another one.
Before he could smirk at me for feeling that in my blood, and I could feel he wanted to, the crowd had finally thinned out and the Magister approached, spinning his cane and slowing his pace when he saw Godric, pausing almost imperceptibly before coming closer and cautiously stating, “Godric. I didn’t know you would be here.”
He should be cautious. He was in the room with three extremely powerful and talented vampires.
He just hadn’t realized it yet.
He ran his eyes over Eric and I briefly, lingering on me for a second as he took in our positions and came to the realization Godric had turned someone new. We hadn’t wanted people to find out until we met up with Eric. With the Magister’s visit, word would now quickly spread among the more powerful and reach the ears of the ancients. I had no doubt they would seek us out slowly to evaluate me and I also had no doubt I would be facing a few challenges from their own progenies when they did.
Sickly, it was how they entertained themselves.
“Magister,” Godric said with a nod before sending me a little mischief and added in a cheery voice, “What a coincidence, I had no idea you would be here either.”
I sent him my amusement and a light slap on the knee, delighting him when he felt my “knee-slapper,” which was a much more amusing joke. The Magister chuckled and acknowledged the unplanned visit by admitting, “I hadn’t planned to be. We got a tip that I’m afraid we must check out,” he waved at the guards and signaled them to begin searching as he spoke, “even if I don’t believe it to be true, I must follow it up, you understand, yes?”
“I do, Magister. May I ask you what the allegation is?” Godric asked.
A formality. We knew damn well what it was.
“The selling of vampire blood,” the Magister skeptically confirmed for us. Godric showered me in pride and Eric sent me thankfulness in response. “I don’t really understand the tip myself. Last night we confirmed a missing vampire in Sheriff Northman’s area was the one selling vampire blood, so I’m not exactly sure why we’d be sent here as well.”
“Perhaps someone is trying to throw you off their scent, maybe they are working with this missing vampire?” Godric offered contemplatively and planted the seed of suspicion. The Magister’s eyes narrowed, obviously not having thought of that while Eric’s glee literally pulsed in my veins. He was enjoying this way too much.
“I should hope not,” the Magister said in a low, dark tone. The guards filed out one by one and shook their heads in the negative when he raised his eyebrows at them, so he added, “But I guess it’s now a possibility I should look into.”
Eric’s glee shot up like a geyser and Godric nearly had to suppress it. Thankfully, Eric immediately reeled it back in when we flooded him with concern and wariness, he then pushed us a rueful apology when he felt my maker bond with Godric morph into nothing but pure relief from us both.
“The vampire responsible for the V, Magister, is it who I think it is? The one I reported missing?” Eric asked with a smirk.
The Magister gave him a nod while tapping his cane against the floor and sighing, “Yes, it is, Sheriff. We originally thought him to be a victim, but we got a call at our office during the day that changed our minds, a tip from a former dealer who checks out. He was being threatened into selling V by a vampire living in his town, but apparently was terrorized out of ever touching the poison again. You’re work, I believe.” He grinned darkly when Eric shrugged and nodded. “We discovered V in the vampire’s home, from where he was selling it before trying to force the dealer’s hand.”
“That would explain why I didn’t notice an increase of V related crime in my club,” Eric theorized, flooding me with glee and gratitude simultaneously for the excuse, delighted he got to use it.
“Indeed, it would,” the Magister agreed seriously.
Eric paused for a second, having a small internal debate. I took a peek into his head, caught a glimpse of his thoughts and pushed him encouragement. Godric had asked me not to read the Magister, he hadn’t mentioned Eric or himself. Eric flushed me with gratitude and began addressing him again, sprinkling lies all over his truth as he stated, “Magister, the progeny of the missing vampire experienced the maker’s call sometime last night and notified me. When she tracked it to its source, she found the bodies of a couple werewolves based out of a pack in Jackson, Mississippi. She smelled vampire blood on them, a combination of blood that belonged to her maker… and someone else.”
He let out a curse and asked, “Another defiler of the blood or just colluders?”
“Both are possibilities, Magister,” Eric said carefully.
In reality, Eric knew Bill had been kidnapped, so it was a separate offender. I’d read his mind and discovered he knew Bill was missing because he had planned to kidnap Bill himself for threatening to turn Eric in for dealing V, even though he’d been ordered to do it. Eric was planning on having a talk with Bill to find out how Bill even knew that. Eric’s own hired kidnappers had shown up just as Bill was being driven off, which didn’t matter because I answered that question for Eric last night when I revealed to him Bill was donating his blood to the Queen’s coffers.
On top of that, we knew this particular offender was possibly the biggest defiler in vampire history and was providing blood to Weres, but we had a very different plan for approaching the V provider in Mississippi. The Magister could either bar us from taking a closer look or take over it himself. Both options were unacceptable to us, so Eric led him down another path.
“The progeny, can she track him?”
I sent Eric a push in the negative, which he responded to with understanding. Eric knew I had to have taught Jessica the basics about the blood in order to properly share with her, so he also knew if I were pushing him this, then Jessica couldn’t find him in her blood even after I taught her how to search for him. There would be only one explanation for that.
“Unfortunately she cannot, Magister. He shut down their bond sometime after he called to her. He hadn’t taught his progeny how to search her blood, so she had difficulty tracking the call and he was gone by the time she arrived,” Eric answered.
The Magister paused for a moment, tapping his cane in a rapid staccato as he considered everything, before hypothesizing, “Hmm. It sounds like it’s very possible he’s in the wind, that he didn’t teach her for a reason. On a whim, he decided to keep her and called to her. When she took too long, he abandoned her. Either that or he called for help. If that’s the case though, I don’t understand why he wouldn’t have taught her that fundamental tool.”
I do, because he was jackass and a shitty maker.
“Have I met this vampire, Magister?” Godric asked, lacing his voice with curiosity. “This defiler of the sacred blood?”
“William Compton?” he asked in return. Godric slowly shook his head no and the Magister continued, “He’s a messy feeder. We smelled death in his house. We also found proof tonight that he was using his own blood in one of the batches left at his house when we ran it through the lab.”
My predator flexed its claws when the Magister said his name, instantly drawing his focus. I felt edgier, wilder, but also eerily calmer. My emotions had tightened, grown smaller, but hadn’t disappeared. I felt predatory, but not threatened, so I hadn’t completely bottomed out. The predator inside brushed it’s fur along my skin, letting the Magister get a glimpse of the strength I carried. I loosened my muscles while he watched and purred, “Now, why doesn’t that surprise me?”
The Magister’s eyebrows shot up and he moved closer while I tried not to laugh with all the amusement Godric and Eric were sending me. My comment had a double-meaning, and it entertained them to no end. He stopped approaching me about a foot and a half in front of Godric and kept his eyes on me as he asked him, “You have a new progeny, Godric?”
“I do, Magister,” he answered while flushing my veins with pride, “I turned her a month ago in Dallas. Her name is Sookie-“
“A month ago? Around the time the Fellowship held you?” the Magister interrupted while flicking his gaze back to my maker.
I couldn’t help it when I hissed. I was in predator mode and the Fellowship had killed me. I hadn’t attacked anyone from the Fellowship, even when we used them as prey to practice tracking, but everything about the church including the name itself simply pissed me off.
His eyes immediately flew back to mine while Godric explained, “Exactly then, Magister. Sookie was sent there to search for me. I guess you could say we ended up saving each other.”
A look of pure astonishment crossed his face before his stony mask slammed back into position. He took a half a step closer to me, knowing Godric would step into his path if he got too close, and seemed to be fixing every feature of my face into his memory as he asked, “Who are you?”
I guess that was a step up from What are you?
I gave him props for originality.
Thankfully, I was saved from answering that very loaded question when Eric took pity on him and prompted, “This is Sookie Stackhouse, Magister. Maybe you remember her name from the Compton trial?”
He nodded quickly as he backed up once again, a little like he’d been doing the vampire hokey pokey all night, and considered everything he knew about Bill Compton.
“Ah, yes. Mr. Compton killed one of his own kind to protect a human,” he said with disdain. He concentrated, apparently thumbing through his mental files for a second, and when he recognized my name his eyes lit up. “Well, now, if he had killed Longshadow after you were turned, Miss Stackhouse, I may have been able to forgive him. Okay, maybe just given him a lesser punishment, I still would’ve had to punish him for being such an arrogant shit. You say selling his own blood doesn’t surprise you?” he questioned, asking me for clarification.
I quirked an eyebrow but didn’t say a word because Eric nodded and jumped in for me heatedly, “Yes, it seems Compton’s nefarious blood dealings aren’t limited to just the selling of his blood, Magister.”
“What do you mean?” the Magister pushed with a wicked gleam in his eyes, keeping those same eyes trained on me, studying my every languid movement.
“Compton was drugging my progeny with blood, Magister. She saved him from drainers the night they met. Compton attempted to give her his blood in thanks,” the Magister raised his brows at me in question and I nodded, ” She refused, so he later glamoured the drainers to beat her and then appeared as she was on the verge of death to ‘save her’ using copious amounts of blood. When it looked like she might be resisting his control, he fed her even more of his blood, abusing the fact she was wounded when she was attacked by a supernatural creature on the way to Fangtasia. Eric had to keep him from overcooking her. When she rose vampire, every emotion she felt for him was gone. In fact, she could barely tolerate him,” Godric explained for me. “We suspect he was working for another,” he added, omitting who that suspect was and leaving the Magister looking even more intrigued.
“Why? Why do you believe he was working for someone?” the Magister asked.
“I told you at the trial Compton killed Longshadow to protect a girl who was useful, who was valuable, yes? Well, Sookie used to be telepathic before she was turned,” Eric said, responding for me yet again.
The Magister nearly vibrated with curiosity with Eric’s answer, which I wasn’t so sure was a good thing. I didn’t think it was very smart to keep piquing his interest, but I trusted my maker and my vampire brother, so I guess I would let them continue to handle it. For now.
“So you believe he wanted to procure you,” he observed and we all nodded. “Are you still telepathic?”
Godric and Eric turned to look at me, so I guess I was allowed to field this one myself. I kept my eyes on the Magister the entire time they spoke, not even turning to acknowledge them while the Magister still held my gaze. As long as he was looking at me that intently, my eyes would not waiver. Vampire Sookie told me to do this, like she was whispering into my blood not to look away. Her instincts had been amazing so far and were keeping my bloodline alive, so I trusted her and did what she asked.
“No, Magister. It seems that ability died with my heartbeat. Sometimes I can feel emotions, but no thoughts, thankfully,” I said, infusing my voice with the genuine relief I had felt when I had discovered my new mental shields to make it convincing.
“Thankfully?” he repeated, puzzled.
“I would assume the mind of a vampire would be a very frightening place to be,” I said sweetly, with a smile. Eric and Godric barely kept straight faces with this comment. After all, I had been in their minds since the moment they saw me with fangs. Not to mention I had just insinuated my own mind was just as frightening. Mirth bloomed in my veins from them both.
The Magister laughed and said, “I agree. Tell me, Miss Stackhouse, can you feel any emotions from me?”
“Only the obvious, Magister,” I replied. He shot me a raised eyebrow while he twirled his cane. “Intrigue,” I said and shrugged. It was true. He was very, very intrigued. He was also full of lust, which was so not gonna happen. He laughed genuinely at my response, delighted with my wit.
“You’re right, I am very intrigued. It’s not often you hear of a human who faced drainers in defense of a vampire or one strong enough to offer resistance against the influence of the blood. I could see why you would appeal to Godric as a progeny. It’s despicable that Compton thanked you by drowning you in blood. He has no respect,” he said with a sigh.
With those words, I felt this could be just the opportunity we needed, so I sent Godric a very specific push that said, “May I?” He deliberated a moment and nodded his head fractionally.
“Magister, would it be possible to have a moment alone with Compton after he’s caught?” I asked. “My master will supervise, of course.”
His eyebrows flew up to his hairline, then his eyes narrowed and he asked, voice laced with disbelief, “You cannot still have feelings for the one who drugged you?”
Eric stiffened, I sent him an emotional eye-roll and a small admonishment for even considering it, which was enough to relax him instantly and earn me a sheepish apology through the tie in response.
“Yes, Magister, I do. Just not the ones I died with,” I purred and dropped my fangs.
To everyone’s surprise, so did he. I think he even surprised himself. He took a step closer to me, cocked his head to the side like a Labrador and examined my face closely, searching my eyes for something. Very slowly, he smiled and said, “Yes, child, I do think that would be possible.”
I could feel myself become more predatory with his answer. My emotions tightened again and my limbs became limper, looser. He watched me, riveted, as the vampire in me became stronger, closer to the skin. I purred again, saying, “Excellent, Magister. Thank you.”
The Magister’s smile grew slightly and he began to circle me slowly, methodically, as he twirled his cane. Godric backed up a little to allow him room, but was still poised to step in if he felt I was threatened. The Magister made two rotations around me before he came to a stop between me and Godric and asked him, while keeping his eyes trained on me, “She’s not like the typical newborn, is she?”
Eric tensed, now picking up on the Magister’s other interest in me. Possessiveness started to pulsate in his veins and I flooded him with reassurance. I wasn’t going to jump the Magister just because he was interested. I mean, ew.
“No, she is not, Magister. My progeny is unique. I believe control may be a gift of hers,” Godric answered, surprising me and Eric by revealing one of my gifts, though the only actual reaction we gave was through our blood. Godric responded to our surprise with reassurance and strength. He hadn’t sent me caution, so I wasn’t too worried about the interest of the Magister. Yet.
He started circling me again. I stretched myself lazily, like a cat, becoming even looser under the more predatory movements of the Magister.
“She acts like an ancient,” he observed, fascinated. “Her emotions?” he asked, while trailing his eyes up and down my form.
“At this point, Magister, nearly non-existent,” Godric responded with a bored tone of voice.
The Magister paused, finally pulling his eyes away from me and looked at Godric, “Non-existent?”
“Her control is like no other I have ever seen. Her emotions have lessened even more while we’ve been speaking. Right now, she feels nothing. She is now the perfect predator,” Godric answered honestly.
I purred. Vampire Sookie liked being called that.
The Magister brought his gaze back to mine and murmured, “Yes, I believe she is.”
He finally retracted his fangs and mine followed suit. I couldn’t even attempt to retract them when he was acting aggressively. When in predator mode, I seriously thought the only time I showed submission was to Godric. Maybe it was the knowledge I had extra abilities or maybe it was stupidity, but when I knew I could elude my challenger or make a move, I just couldn’t bow my head or lower my eyes. Maybe that was what the Magister had been looking for? Submission? Godric had asked me to avoid reading the Magister, so I had prevented myself from doing so, even though his actions had piqued my interest. Vampire Sookie was completely submissive to Godric, so when he made a request of me or gave me an order, Vampire Sookie usually treated it as a command in predator mode.
“Have you pledged fealty yet, Godric?” the Magister asked as he stepped back in front of my maker, switching to a business tone, bringing his eyes away from mine to meet Godric’s, and leaning on his cane. Eric lazily walked over to me as he spoke, wrapped his arms around my waist, and rested his chin on my head. I wanted to laugh at his actions, as did Godric. He wasn’t shouting “MINE!” but Eric was still staking a claim. I let him though and laid my hands over his. If anyone did have a claim on me, it was Eric. Besides, I certainly didn’t want an offer to join the Magister when he left. I would end up offending him and it would be much better if he left feeling some level of affection towards me instead of anger. How he felt for me could either make my life a little easier or incredibly more difficult.
Guess which I preferred.
“I have not, Magister. I was going to approach the Queen with my progeny to swear fealty within the week,” he answered carefully, not sure where this was going.
“Good. I would be very pleased if you could be persuaded to take a trip up to Mississippi for me and see if there is anything to this lead on Compton. A former sheriff, such as yourself, would be aware of all the angles involved here and, as someone who has not pledged fealty, you and your progeny would be welcomed and I believe your presences might even be… courted,” he said with a closed-lipped smile.
I couldn’t help my reaction to his request. My predator liked the idea too much and I purred. To be the ones tasked officially to hunt down Compton? It was far too tempting an idea for me. Godric shot me his mirth for my reaction.
“Ahh, it would seem your progeny would be in favor, and you?” he asked smugly.
Godric took a moment to feign consideration. We had planned on it anyway and it would actually make it much easier for us if we could travel on official business, but Godric had to pretend to have no interest in this matter other than what we had already revealed to him, which was my need for some alone time with Billy Boy to express myself. Otherwise, the Magister would realize we had an ulterior motive and he would definitely bar us from Mississippi if he thought we could cause any problems there. Finally, he turned and looked towards me.
“It would be a good opportunity to see how she fared at court,” he said contemplatively, then turned back to the Magister and gave him a quick nod. “And if there is something to this lead?”
The Magister smiled sinisterly and said, “Either you can call my office or… you could give your progeny more than a moment alone with him. I just need him back undead, not necessarily in one piece.”
My fangs dropped again and I growled. The Magister chuckled, thrilled with my reaction, and shot towards me at vamp speed. I understood what his intention was and fluidly dropped my right hand to my side before he had even come to a stop. Eric tensed again and gently squeezed my waist, ready to push me behind him, so I sent him the need for trust. He loosened his limbs and answered by flooding me with it.
I may not have been feeling emotions, but I did register his trust and how great a deal it was since Eric had previously only ever trusted Godric and Pam.
When the Magister stopped, he gracefully grabbed my hand and kissed it, at which point understanding leaked into the tie, and he said, “Miss Stackhouse, I can honestly say it has been a pleasure. Please make sure to give Mr. Compton my regards. I hope to see you again when you return from Mississippi.” I nodded in response. After all, I still had my fangs out. “Sheriff Northman, Godric,” he added, straightening up and nodding to each of them before gathering his guards at the door and heading out.
All three of us were silent for a moment before Eric quietly remarked, “He knows your scent now.” If I turned around, I was pretty sure I would find him glaring at the door.
“No, he doesn’t,” I denied and retracted my fangs. He just sent me his confusion and Godric quirked an eyebrow at me. “He knows ours, because you are on me like white on rice.”
Godric finally broke down and laughed.
Eric just dipped his head to the crook of my neck and ran his nose across my collarbone and shoulder, scenting me, before dreamily sighing out, “Now that would be a beautiful combination.”
He then fell into a fantasy where every vampire automatically kept a fifty foot radius from me because his scent was combined with mine, having marked me like a dog would a fire hydrant. Bonding would combine our scents, but I was not about to bond with him just so he would feel more at ease having me around other vampires.
I shot him an emotional eye-roll before closing my eyes and concentrating on an earlier memory of Jessica telling me how much she wanted to feel connected to me, to be my kin, and the emotions I had experienced during that conversation. When I opened my eyes again, Fairy Sookie was firmly in control and Vampire Sookie had officially left the building.
“Amazing,” Eric whispered, his breath ghosting across my ear and causing a delicious shiver to work its way down my spine. Godric’s blood softly hummed in agreement.
“What is?” I asked softly.
“Your emotions, Sookie. How you bring yourself back. You are amazing,” he explained in the same hushed tone and kissed the sensitive spot behind my ear. He seriously had to quit saying things like that or I would start writing a book called, “Confessions of a Viking Vampire Sheriff.” If I could use the photo of him as Mr. January in Fangtasia’s calendar for the cover, I would be a best-selling author.
Since I knew Eric wouldn’t be letting me publish that manuscript anytime soon, I relaxed back into his embrace and stroked our tie to reward him for such a beautiful compliment. This time, he shivered.
“Godric, why did you tell him about my emotional control?” I asked as Eric started nuzzling my hair. I was getting seriously good about learning to talk while in the middle of being sexually taunted. I had a feeling it would be my most common state of being with Eric around to torment me for eternity.
Godric sighed, “You’ve caught the eye of the Magister, Sookie, which is excellent for our mission in Mississippi. However, when something catches the eye of the Magister, he investigates it to death until he’s sated his curiosity. By telling him it’s your vampire gift, he’s sated his thirst for the origins of what makes you unique and will not dig further into you. By telling him what I did, he will not look into your life or your heritage searching for what makes you different. Though, now, he has other desires he wants satisfied.’
“The Magister respects strength, which is what he saw in you. He collects people of strength. He makes them allies, which makes him more powerful. If he deems them a threat rather than an ally, he seeks to eliminate them quickly. He is evaluating you, my child,” he looked at me tenderly and spoke with empathy, “and deliberating on whether or not you will be enemy or ally. He began by questioning you to satisfy his curiosity, and then he moved onto challenging you to find out if you do have as strong a backbone as you appear to have. Now, he has decided to test you with this trip to Mississippi. If you pass his test to his satisfaction, he will embrace you as a friend and you will have gained a powerful and loyal ally until your true death- unless you ever betray him.”
“And if I fail?” I breathed. Eric stilled, becoming as lifeless as a marble statue. Anxiety rolled off of him and through our tie.
Godric stared intently into my eyes as he drilled the importance of this evaluation into my head and stated, “Because you have made it to this phase, he now believes you to be too strong to leave you to your own devices. He’ll find a way to destroy you if you fail. So we must make sure you pass. When you do, and you will, another one of the most powerful vampires in America will work to protect you, Sookie. Though not one of the oldest vampires, he’s definitely one of the most powerful.’
“Plus, if he deems you worthy as an ally,” he sighed and smiled wistfully, “he will open the door for you to other powerful and influential people and you can begin your own base of allies. In reality, if we can win him over, this could be something that tips the balance for you and you could potentially gain enough favor among an elite class of vampires that you would be safe even if vampires were to discover your heritage and abilities. I would never, ever want you to be in that position, daughter, but this test with the Magister could very well be the thing to save your life one day.” His determination to see me through this and his hope that I would be protected swelled within the bond while he spoke. My trepidation did as well.
“If I don’t fail,” I stressed. I was beginning to panic, but Eric and Godric flooded me with tranquility and security.
“If you do not fail,” Godric repeated with a nod. “Especially since the Magister seems to believe you truly are the perfect predator. He will never allow you to be left to your own machinations if you cannot gain his approval because, with that one observation he made about you behaving like an ancient, about believing you to be a perfect predator, he has also labeled you as his potentially greatest threat.”
“How do you know this, master?” Eric asked, stunned. Like me, he had completely missed the undertones to what happened with the Magister. Eric had no idea an elite group of vampires just extended an invitation to me to compete in their games. He had no idea there was another meaning attached to being courted.
“Because I once evaluated him, I once was him, and he was Sookie. He passed my test and became part of my collection,” Godric confessed.
Great, I was being challenged and evaluated by a powerful vampire trained by my maker. Godric was a thousand times stronger, better, and smarter than me. How was I supposed to pass a test by someone trained by him, with hundreds of years more experience than me? I didn’t even realize I was trembling until Eric lifted his hands from my waist and wrapped his arms around me higher up, crossing them over my chest to rest his hands on my upper arms, and squeezed gently, doing his best to make me feel safe by surrounding me with his presence.
“She’s just a baby vamp with great emotional control to him,” Eric whispered, “so what does he really see being accomplished with this, master?”
“Nothing, Eric. He sees her potential for accomplishments. And his instincts are spot on. Sookie is already one of the most potentially powerful vampires in the world. She is nothing but pure potential,” Godric whispered back, this time infusing our bond with pride. It didn’t matter though. I was still as scared as a church mouse in a snake pit.
Realizing his pride and security weren’t enough, he put himself in front of me at vamp speed, placed a hand on each cheek, and said, “I have complete confidence you can pass this test. And if you don’t, you are forgetting about one of the new and amazing abilities you have, Sookie. If you fail this test, you can glamour him into barely remembering you and make him think that you were unremarkable, that he never challenged you and this was a favor between him and me. But, child, I have every faith that you can do it.” He finished this with a kiss to my forehead and a mountain’s worth of faith and confidence being poured into the bond. When Eric added to it, my unease finally subsided and I realized my own blood was humming in agreement. My own blood believed I was capable of it.
Godric and Eric laughed when they caught on to my epiphany and Eric chuckled out, “Vampire Sookie thinks you’re capable of it too. Her instincts are usually magnificent, so I think you should listen to her, lover.” He laughed again when he felt my lust kick up.
Stupid pet names.
“Why hasn’t Eric been courted like this, Godric? He’s stronger than me, older than me, and definitely has a backbone,” I pointed out. It surprised me Eric hadn’t understood what had been happening with the Magister either, which in turn led me to the conclusion he hadn’t been extended the same invitation. I felt Eric’s curiosity rise too as I asked this.
Godric gave us a beautiful smile as he dropped his hands and said, “Eric is a sheriff who already has his own retinue and a base of allies. He’s also part of my own base. The Magister knows this and he knows you’re no older than a month old, so you don’t have a base- though you have made an ally of Thalia already. You simply haven’t been vampire long enough to create a strong base. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if the group of people the Magister associates with extends an invitation to him upon completion of this test. With his connection to you and me, it would be a natural course of action to include Eric as well. He’ll be given his own challenge, one likely to be more difficult because of his age and strengths, if they do decide to approach him.”
Eric nodded, understanding he was facing his own life or death challenge soon, though they probably wouldn’t try to seek his destruction if he had his own powerful collection of allies in his toolbox.
Apparently, Eric then decided the conversation was over because he dropped his head back to my neck with renewed vigor and began tasting my skin.
Godric chuckled as my eyebrows rose, sent me mischief, and said, “I’m going to go check on Jessica and make sure she understands why you ordered her away, Sookie. She might not completely comprehend you were doing it for her emotional well-being.”
I nodded in agreement and pushed gratitude and my concern for her into the bond. Godric shot me a tender smile and left the room at vamp speed.