Well hellooo, beautiful readers!
I’m so excited. I pretty much got this chapter out on time and it has me doing a victory dance on the inside. Touchdown, TB Viking Addict!
Okay, seriously, I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and condolences. I am extremely grateful to have such wonderful people reading my story and I want you all to know that you are all appreciated. Apparently, I now need two procedures and the first is scheduled for Nov. 11th- just a warning so you guys know I may slow down again this month. You all are so amazing for sticking with this story even when I pop in and out like Fairy Sookie on V.
Which reminds me, when did I get so many readers? I think I let out a squeal louder than the little piggy who went to the market when I realized, between the two websites, there are like 700 of you following me. That’s a huge change from when I celebrated at 100. Can I just say… THANK YOU?!
I hope you all enjoyed purebred fairy Sookie last chapter. She’s a rare treat. She’s been itching to pop out for the last few chapters and nearly made an appearance in “My Fairy Nature.” If there’s a purely vampire side to our Faepire Sookie though, then there must be a purely fairy side as well.
I’m all about the balance of nature.
This chapter is another long one and a lot happens in it, but I think you’ll enjoy it. Let me just say sorry in advance for the ending. Please don’t stake me! If you can tell from the title, this chapter is about battling fears. *snickers* So it seemed like a fitting place to end it. I’ve already started the beginning of the next chapter though, so hopefully I don’t leave you hanging from the cliff for very long.
Even though it’s about fears, it’s another one of those chapters where I just cracked myself up. Maybe it’s the sugar rush from Halloween or the fact that I haven’t slept in a couple nights, but I found it so funny I think I bled a tear…
By the way, I set up an iron trap for my muse, leaving a picture of ASkars in the middle of it and then BAM! Got my outline back.
Who’s the sneaky bitch now?
Disclaimer: True Blood and SVM belong to Charlaine Harris, Alan Ball, and HBO. I own nothing. I just bonded to the show. You should see the photos from the pledging ceremony…
Eric began to slow down as we neared the farmhouse, coming to a stop just as we reached the front door. Unable to open it himself, he reluctantly set me on my feet, his lips twitching when I flushed him with amusement. I stood still for a second, desperately trying to find my equilibrium as the world came back into focus around me, and glared back at up at Eric when he chuckled. He shrugged and motioned towards the door, urging me to get on with it. I rolled my eyes and twisted the brass knocker on it, revealing a fingerprint scanner hidden beneath it. There was also a hidden keypad built into the frame of the door just in case we ever needed to let someone in, like Alcide or Jason, but didn’t have their fingerprints in the system yet. That way we could just give them a security code that would temporarily override it.
While I scanned my thumb, I turned back to Eric and asked, “Why didn’t we just pop?”
“I thought it’d be better if the wind took care of any lingering scent from those tears,” he said with another shrug. He then eyed me while the lock disengaged and the door popped open with a hiss, adding, “I guess flying would’ve worked too.”
I could feel Eric gauging my reaction when he spoke, wondering how I felt about flying. I tried to tamp down on the excitement that flooded my system but knew I failed miserably when he smirked at me. He chuckled and pushed me forward, bringing my attention back to the door. Once we were inside, he headed for the closet, doing an awkward turn that made me giggle when I took off towards the kitchen instead. He pushed me exasperation, making me laugh harder, and followed me into the room.
“I need blood,” I reminded him. He nodded and made himself at home by leaning against the doorway, watching as I pulled a couple bags out of the fridge and popped them in the microwave. “There’s a blood nook in the hidden meetin’ room downstairs, but since we’re already up here…” I shrugged and pulled three glasses down from the cupboard.
“I don’t need any,” he stated, surprising us both. I turned, giving him a weird look as the microwave dinged.
“But I drank from you,” I pointed out, utterly confused. He was confused himself.
What the hell?
“Twice,” I added with a blush, remembering what happened in the shower. He chuckled with a cocky grin on his face, pushing me lust and mirth. I smacked him on the back of the head with my blood and, thankfully, he stopped before my fangs dropped.
I gave him an expectant look while I pulled out the blood bags and began pouring them into two cups. Finally, he stated, “I’m not thirsty. I feel like I’ve had enough blood to last me for days.”
I thought back to the last time Eric fed and realized it was when he fed from me during the exchange. Slowly, a possibility began to occur to me and I whispered, “You don’t think…”
“What?” he asked, sending me curiosity. I emptied the rest of the warm blood into the cups before turning back to him, giving him my undivided attention.
“That it’s the fairy blood? That my spark doesn’t just filter the taste, but makes it… nutritional again?” I asked, feeling a little trepidation. I wasn’t sure if it would be a good thing or a bad thing if my spark did. On one hand, I would be able to give my blood to the vampires of my line if they were ever injured and human blood wasn’t available to us. On the other hand, it might make me more likely to be kidnapped for my blood if someone found out they could literally feed from me.
His emotions suddenly scattered and I was greeted with nothing but static for a full minute while he thought. The bond then turned reflective and he shot forward, snatched up the glasses, and started walking towards the closet again as he said, “We need to speak with Godric about this.”
What didn’t we need to speak with Godric about?
I tossed the empty blood bags in the trash and vamped after him, beating him to the closet. Inside, I pushed against a hidden panel on the wall. It made a clicking sound as it rose beneath my hand, revealing a hand scanner. I slid the panel to the side and scanned my palm before sliding the panel back over it and pressing it back into place again. The security trapdoor hissed and clicked as it disengaged. I reached down, grabbed the handle that, oddly enough, was disguised as a high heel, and pulled the door open. Eric began walking down the staircase while I followed, pulling the door above us shut once we were safely inside.
When the scent of Godric’s blood hit my nose, I froze, scanning the room for signs of a struggle. I relaxed after I discerned Godric was fine, sitting with his back to us on one of the couches. My heart ached once I realized if he wasn’t injured, he must’ve bled tears.
I never wanted to be the cause of tears unless they were tears of joy.
Eric glanced at me, feeling my alarm, relief, and heartache, in that order, before worriedly looking back to Godric as he hit the last step. We both walked over to him warily, coming to a stop next to the couch.
Godric was sitting tiredly, as if the weight of the world suddenly rested on shoulders, with one of the golden framed photos from the wall in his hands. He didn’t look up as we approached, keeping his eyes glued to the photo of the race we ran and his face did, indeed, have a smear of red beneath an eye. I carefully took the blood from Eric and sat down next to Godric, placing one on the beautiful coffee table in front of him before lifting my own cup to my mouth and drinking deeply. Eric took a seat on the other couch and spread out, fully relaxing into it and somehow managing to make the three-seater look like it was made for only one.
But, man, what a gorgeous ass it was.
“So I haven’t lost you?” Godric asked softly, still looking at the photo, running a finger over it as he asked.
I stilled when he spoke and slowly lowered the cup, placing it on the table before I turned to him. I pulled the picture out of his hand, sticking it on the table too, and laced my own with his as I gently opened up the bond. His relief began to flood my system, quickly followed by the immense amount of remorse and sorrow he felt. I calmed the storm raging inside of him by pushing him love, collecting his tear and popping it into my mouth when it trickled out. After a moment of searching his blood gently for fear, I braced myself.
He did feel fear.
My heart ached again and I suddenly had the urge to cry. I knew it, Godric was afraid of the fairy in me. Eric reinforced me with strength as I dug into it, worried about what else I would find as I burrowed deeper. Then I nearly toppled over with my own relief and surprise when I realized the only fear he felt was the fear of losing me.
“You will never lose me, Godric,” I said softly. He finally chanced a look at me, turning his head towards me to study my face. “I’m a part of you,” I explained, squeezing his hand gently, “and you will always be a part of me. Figuratively and literally. Even if I meet the true death one day,” I paused to push him comfort, support, and reassurance when he blanched internally, “my blood runs through your veins. You will always be able to seek it out. And my spirit? It will always be among my bloodline. I’d follow you guys everywhere. That’s the problem. My word is my bond and my kin are my life. I need you to acknowledge that, because I can’t live that life if you try to keep me from my kin.”
He sighed slowly as understanding flitted across the bond and said, “I do… I know that, Sookie. I know that your kin are your life. They’re your very core. I just hadn’t realized you’d already accepted her as kin… I knew you were planning to, but vampires do not normally consider others as part of their bloodline until that prospective progeny actually joins it. Sometimes I forget that you aren’t the normal vampire. Or, rather, that you aren’t just vampire.” I gave him a sad smile as a tear spilled over. He caught it with vampire reflexes, relieved to see it was blood, and swallowed it before adding, “I sincerely wish I had taken the time to see this room before I called you to me.” I gave him a confused look and he smiled. “Your very soul is on these walls, Sookie. Everyone who is important to you, who you hold closest, is on these walls. If I had just taken a look, I would’ve realized you already consider Jess to be your child, that the ceremony is just a formality to you.”
I looked up and eyed my family tree, realizing he was right. I had subconsciously organized the photos to reflect everything I lived for, everyone I lived for. I quickly looked back to Godric and admitted, “I did plan on tellin’ you Jess asked if we could do the ceremony ‘as soon as possible.’ I was gonna tell you tonight, but I didn’t wanna distract you from the upcomin’ meetin’ with the Authority. And I know you just meant to show me earlier that I needed to put my child first, but-”
“You already do,” he surmised for me.
I nodded and explained, “Just because I would’ve waited to tell you didn’t mean I wasn’t puttin’ her first. It’s in her best interest if we’re all focused for that meeting. One mistake and her whole future bloodline could just be,” I snapped my fingers, “wiped out. So I wanted to make sure everyone was focused and elected to wait on tellin’ you. Now, in hindsight, I realize I shouldn’t have told Pam if I had planned to wait to tell you, but Pam was her sponsor. She had to know she wasn’t gonna be her sponsor anymore.”
I let that sink in, relieved to feel understanding dawn on him. He squeezed my hand gently and said, “That makes sense. It never even occurred to me, but I should’ve realized there was a reason why you hadn’t told me yet.” He paused a second, then whispered, “I have made so many, many mistakes as your maker, Sookie, but this was the biggest. I didn’t mean to challenge your word or your commitment to your kin. I was frustrated you hadn’t told me and wanted to make sure you were ready, that you would put your progeny first. In doing so, I’m afraid I didn’t put you first, and I’m sorry, so very sorry, for the mistakes I made with you tonight.”
I sighed unnecessarily and asked, “Do you think maybe… maybe when it comes to family matters it’d be better if you tried to address them as my brother instead of my father?”
If Godric hadn’t dressed me down like a father scolding his daughter, I would’ve reacted differently. Threatening to take Jess away from me in punishment because he thought I wasn’t taking the situation seriously enough was what made me snap. It was the move of a typical father, whereas a brother might’ve asked me if I was ready point-blank. I would’ve preferred the second tactic to the first.
He gave it a moment of thought and the bond filled with resolution. “I think that would work. I’m a little too set in my ways after 2,000 years, so you may have to remind me occasionally, but I think maybe that would be a better approach to ‘family matters,'” he agreed. After a moment of silence, he added, “Besides, I’m not sure if I can command you again anyway.”
He didn’t think he could command me? HA! I wished. Before tonight, I’d never been able to break a command before. Then again, I’d also never felt Godric was a direct threat to someone I loved before either.
Maybe that was the key?
“I have a theory ’bout that,” I responded, “I think you can command me again. I can’t break all of your commands, Godric. But when I feel you’ve endangered me or my kin in some way? I think that’s when I’m able to smack them down. Earlier, I felt Jessica’s future was bein’ threatened and the fairy in me sprang out. In that moment, not a single part of me was vampire, not one iota, and that’s why you couldn’t command me.”
Surprise suddenly enveloped our bond and he asked, “So even though my command was just to sit and listen, you broke it because you felt I had endangered Jessica somehow?” I nodded and he pressed, “But you can’t break the average command?” I shook my head, limbering up when his responding tidal wave of relief sank into me like a dozen valiums.
After a moment of contemplation, I asked, “Do you wanna try it? Command me to do somethin’ and I’ll try to fight it.”
“Sookie,” he began and I braced myself, filling myself up with determination and the will to fight, “I command you to tell me where you got the WWII photos.”
“I stole them from you,” I replied instantly and slapped a hand over my mouth. Eric and Godric looked at each other, surprised, and then burst into laughter. Amusement and mirth fizzled in my veins and I finally cracked a smile myself as I dropped my hand, glad to see Godric laughing again.
And more than just a little relieved I wasn’t in trouble for stealing from him.
Honestly, I’d been in trouble enough for one night.
“Godric,” Eric said once the laughter died off, grabbing his attention, “try commanding her to hurt me.”
I panicked the second the words left his mouth. If I was wrong about this theory, I could seriously wound Eric and he was the one person in my life I never wanted to hurt, intentionally or not. I didn’t have the chance to voice my objection though before Godric ordered, “As your maker, I command you to stab Eric.”
My eyes widened in alarm, disbelief, and fury. How could Godric risk Eric’s life like that? On some half-baked theory? How could he put the man I love at risk of being stabbed by my own hand?
I could feel the command weighing on me, making me twitch with the need to comply before my body suddenly heated, flushing my veins with what felt like liquid fire and burning as if my blood itself had somehow ignited. The weight of the command slowly began to evaporate, like water when it was exposed to a flame, transforming into steam as the heat of my fury destroyed it. Once that weight was gone, I realized Eric and Godric had been right to test me. We needed to know which commands I would follow and which commands would trigger a Fae response. That acknowledgment helped me let go of some of my fury. I focused on that rage, trying my hardest to make it evaporate like the command had, thankful when Eric and Godric stepped in and did their best to drain me of the poisonous emotion, filling me to the brim with love, pride, tranquility, and reassurance instead.
I had never been more thankful for being different in my entire existence.
“Please, please, never do somethin’ like that again,” I weakly pleaded.
Godric nodded, tucking a loose piece of hair behind my ear, “I will never command you to hurt your kin like that again. We had to test it. Now that we know, I will never intentionally endanger a member of your family with a command.”
I exhaled slowly as the last bit of rage drained away, replaced by relief and gratitude. Now that we had talked everything through and I knew the fairy in me wouldn’t be making another appearance, I felt better about reconnecting with everyone and slowly began opening up my remaining ties.
I flinched, unexpectedly smacked in the face with Jessica’s full-fledged panic, and jumped to my feet. Startled, Godric and Eric mimicked me, standing up as well and flooding me with alarm.
“Jessica,” I whispered in explanation and began patting my pockets, searching for my phone, only to realize I left it upstairs. I turned to Eric, held out my hand, and demanded, “Phone. Mine’s upstairs. Phone, now.”
Eric looked at me oddly as he pulled his cell out, handing it to me, and I rolled my eyes when I realized why. My order had turned him on.
It was good to know what would fire him up, but now was so not the time.
I scrolled through his phone, freaking out when it dawned on me that he didn’t have her number. They both embraced the bonds with strength and reassurance while Eric suggested, “Number one. It’s Pam.”
I nodded, pressing the number, and tugged on a flustered and frustrated Pam. She immediately tugged back, pushing me gratitude as she answered, “Well, fuck a zombie. Where the hell have you been, Sookie? I can’t get her to calm down! She’s-”
Her voice was abruptly cut off and I had to suppress a smile when I realized Jess had snatched the cell away from her. “Sookie?” she asked, desperation lacing her tone.
“Jess, what’s wrong?”
“I couldn’t feel you, Sookie. I’ve felt you from the moment you first gave me blood, then your tie suddenly turned dark and burned at the same time, and then you were just gone! GONE!” she said in a frenzied rush.
All three of us were suddenly drowning in guilt. I looked up at Godric and Eric, tempted to laugh when they hurriedly looked away, avoiding my gaze and feeling very much at fault for Jessica’s panic.
“I tried calling to my blood and nothing lit up, like you disappeared right off the face of the earth. Then I tried your cell and it went straight to voicemail. Pam wouldn’t let me leave so I could go to your house either and I didn’t know what to do! You disappeared!” Her strangled voice then got quieter, like she was just barely breathing out the words, when she murmured, “Just like Bill.”
Godric jerked and Eric froze, their guilt consuming them as sorrow and remorse joined it.
“Jess,” I tried again, pushing her strength, tranquility, and regret. When she remained silent, I pushed her a continuous stream of love, finally speaking once I heard her gently purr, “I am so sorry, Jess. I left my cell upstairs and didn’t realize you were tryin’ to call me. That burnin’ you felt? It was fury. I was angry, real angry, and I shut down all of my connections to protect you all, to shield you from it. My emotions… Jess, they can get too intense and burn the people I’m connected to. I have to shut myself off from everyone when they get like that so I don’t seriously hurt someone.”
The purr died and I felt Jess searching my blood, weighing the honesty of my words. I opened our connection up to its full width, helping her find the truth in it. When she finally felt satisfied and pulled back, she disbelievingly asked, “That was fury?”
Eric snickered, so I felt completely justified in smacking him again. The snickers stopped and he rubbed his head with a pained expression on his face. Apparently I smacked him just a little too hard.
Oops. My bad.
Godric chuckled at him, quickly quieting when I turned my warning gaze on him, making my bond with Eric go into an uproar of glee, mirth, and hilarity over the fact that one look from me had Godric shutting up. Godric pulled one of my moves, giving Eric a violent push that told him to go gargle with holy water. Eric barely suppressed another snicker, aware I’d probably smack him even harder if he dared laugh again while I was still on the phone with a distraught Jessica.
I rolled my eyes at their antics and answered Jess, “Yeah, it was. I’d never just disappear like Bill did, Jess. Not when I know how much it would hurt you. And you can bet your ass that I would never just up and leave you all alone without so much as a word. Remember what I said before? You need to trust that I’m doin’ it for your protection? Well, now, you need to trust that if our tie burns in the future before it suddenly cuts off like that, then I’m tryin’ to protect you. I wanna keep you safe and, unfortunately, that means that sometimes I need to protect you from myself.”
I could feel her frustration surge in the tie and I winced at the strength of it. She was getting tired of the “I’m trying to protect you” answer and I could literally feel how grating that response was to her through our connection.
“Jess, listen,” I sighed. “There are things ’bout me you don’t know yet, things I can’t tell you until you become my progeny. And it has to be this way because there are people out there who would literally try to hurt you if they thought you knew somethin’ about me that they don’t. They would force you to betray me. After you become my progeny, they won’t be able to do that. Do you understand?” I asked.
Concern, trepidation, and worry slowly oozed its way across our tie, working its way into my blood as she whispered, “Is Bill one of them?”
I chanced a look at Godric, who nodded, so I reluctantly replied, keeping my voice just as quiet as hers, “Yes, Jess. He’s one. So is the person he worked for, but there are more.” I then flooded her with confidence and conviction, my voice gaining in strength as I added, “I give you my word that you will never regret joinin’ this bloodline. However, I can’t give you my word that doin’ so means you will always be safe… but I do believe you would be safer with us than alone, by yourself.”
My mouth ran dry as I suddenly realized what I had to do. I had to give her the choice. She needed to be sure, to be confident that she was making the right decision. If she wasn’t? Her trust and faith in me would continue to waver every time we had a small hiccup. I swallowed unnecessarily as I came to a decision to give her an out, to give her a way to back down from the choice she made last night.
I kept my voice even, controlled, as I said, “Ultimately, you have to make a choice. You have to decide which is better for you- takin’ a risk, not knowing everything, and gain a bloodline, gain a family? Or riskin’ nothin’ and gaining nothing, endin’ up completely alone and at the mercy of the world around you. Part of that risk is trustin’ me until I get the chance to explain everythin’ to you, after you rise as my progeny.” I paused, letting her absorb that for a moment before asking, “Are you willing to take that risk?”
Pride swallowed me up from three sides as Pam, Eric, and Godric registered what I had just done. I wanted Jessica to be mine, to be my progeny, and she agreed last night. She was showing reluctance now and instead of playing it safe, forcing her to keep her word, I had just given her a chance to gracefully bow out. I loved Jessica, which was why I had to do the hardest thing a person can when they loved someone, I had to be willing to let her go.
Jessica was turned against her will. She had been kidnapped, killed, and resurrected against her will. She was finally free of the man who had turned her and who had retained the ability to keep making her do things against her will. Abruptly, that same man had released her, freeing her from that inability to make her own choices. Afraid of being alone, she had rushed into agreeing to bind herself to me. Now she had spent a night knowing what it was like to be without a maker, to be without someone who could impose their will on her. If she decided being free and completely independent was worth more to her than the support, structure, and love of a family, then she wouldn’t be the right progeny for me anyway. My family was my life, was more important to me than anything else in the world. Jessica had to decide if family was important enough to her to sacrifice this newfound freedom. She had to decide if she was willing to live under someone else’s command and trust that it would be okay, trust that her maker would take care of her.
She had to make the choice. And she had to make it by herself.
Indecision burned across our connection as she weighed her options, drifting back and forth between the two I presented her with. After a moment of bouncing around like a basketball, she finally asked, “Can I ask you a question first, Sookie?”
“Of course,” I replied evenly, not letting my nerves leak into my voice. She zeroed in on those nerves in the tie, analyzing my reaction and delving into how I felt about the chance I was taking, the risk that she would walk away from our bloodline, that she would walk away from me.
“Do you actually want me to be your progeny?” she whispered.
“Absolutely,” I replied immediately as the tie between us became unbelievably tender, though I hadn’t consciously meant to send her that tenderness. I then flooded her with love, affection, and the need I had inside of me to have her as my progeny. She purred while I elaborated, “Jessica Hamby, I want you to be my progeny. I want you to join me at my side as I walk through eternity. I want to be your mother, your sister, and your daughter. From the night I met you, I have felt an urge to take care of you, felt pulled to make sure you would always be all right. I want you to be a part of my bloodline, to be a part of my family. I want you to be a part of my life, always and forever. You are wanted. Is that clear?”
I hadn’t realized that this was the source of her indecision and I wanted to be crystal clear that I was not like Bill, not like her father, and not like Eric the first time she was dropped off on his doorstep. Every authority figure in her life had ultimately rejected her and she was afraid that I asked her to make this choice because I was the one who didn’t want her. That wasn’t the case and I was not about to let her make such a monumental decision without knowing that someone in the world did actually want her.
When I pushed her my overwhelming confidence and conviction, her wavering ceased. An iron will consisting of pure determination rose from our connection, briefly astonishing me, as she smoothly said, “Well in that case, I accept you as my maker.”
Godric and Eric finally laughed, unable to keep it bottled up any longer. Relief surged into me from three sides and I nearly collapsed under it, feeling deliciously relaxed. I smiled and said, “Then give me one hour to talk through some things with Eric and my maker, then get your ass to Merlotte’s and we’ll celebrate with a disgustin’ True Blood, ‘mkay?”
“Okay. Bye, Sook,” she said and we both hung up.
“Mind if I drink this, Godric?” I asked as I picked up his untouched glass of blood and drained it with one gulp before he could answer.
He looked at me with a frown on his face that clearly said, “What the fuck?” and I burst into giggles. He rolled his eyes at me and started walking down the hallway, heading towards the blood nook. Eric and I followed him, pushing each other amusement, and came to a stop at the wall on the far end. He reached up, wrapping his hand around a light fixture on the wall to his left and yanked it down. The wall in front of us then slid open, revealing a conference room where we planned to hold any meetings. The lights automatically turned on at sunset every day, so it was already lit as we filed in.
On one end of the room was the nook we set up, containing a refrigerator full of donor blood and True Blood, a counter with a sink installed, and a microwave. A large conference table was set up in the middle of the room with cushy, leather chairs and a console that controlled the Smartboard on the wall. Opposite the wall with the Smartboard was a huge flatscreen TV showing surveillance video from the cameras now set up around the property, giving us 10 different angles. Finally, a ladder was built into the wall on the far side, opposite the blood nook.
“A second exit?” Eric asked.
I nodded and explained, “The underground level is built perpendicular to the rest of the house, so the ladder leads us up into the shed out back. Godric thought it best if we always had a secondary exit since there’s a risk I could be… hunted one day. The walls all have a mixture of silver and iron in them. The only way in for others would be the closet entrance. We can lock ourselves in here if that happens and flee through the shed if necessary.”
Obviously, there was a second layer of wood on the inside or we all would’ve burned ourselves the second we touched a wall.
“Sookie, are you affected by iron?” Eric asked, turning to give me a curious look. I shook my head and he visibly relaxed, feeling grateful and relieved with that answer.
“I was a fairy hybrid when I was alive. Iron and lemon didn’t affect me and still don’t. I guess bein’ part human comes in handy, even if I no longer am one. My spark is as strong as a purebred fairy’s, but ya can’t erase genetics,” I said with a smile.
He chuckled and rolled a chair out to sit down as Godric popped some blood into the microwave. I made myself at home in his lap, feeling his urge to pull me into it anyway, and slipped my arm over his shoulders. My lips kicked upward when I felt how much pleasure he got out of the fact he hadn’t had to pull me down to sit with him.
Didn’t he know I was a cuddlebunny?
“That ladder is why I didn’t see the family room before now, even though it hadn’t yet been decorated,” Godric admitted. “The first time we came down here, we used the ladder. Sookie popped us down after that, and I used it again last night.” He poured his blood bags into the glasses I brought down earlier and handed me one as he pulled out another chair and sat down. When he felt my corresponding surprise, he quickly explained, “I can feel your hunger, child, and I do not know if we’ll be able to go hunting tonight.”
I nodded and quickly asked, “Do I need to call Jess back and tell her she needs to stay at Fangtasia? I called the store durin’ the daytime while we were in Jackson and had the furniture we ordered delivered to Jason. He held onto it for me and when I picked it up earlier today, he asked if we could meet him at Merlotte’s tonight. He’ll be there until closing, so I was hopin’ we could stop by for a True Blood.”
I downed the glass while waiting for his answer and stuck it on the table, licking my lips clean of blood with a small moan. He shook his head slowly, digesting that piece of information as he took a drink, and finally commented, “I called Nora to ask what time the Authority will arrive. She texted me back that a representative is scheduled to meet with us at midnight, so I believe we will have time for a True Blood after all.”
I smiled widely, excited to see the other half of my tree when I suddenly registered Eric’s incredulity in the bond. I turned to look at him in question. His gaze was trained on Godric and he filled both of his bonds with us with disbelief as he slowly asked, “You reached out to her for the first time in decades and she responded with a text?”
Godric looked between the two of us pointedly and Eric’s nerves suddenly soared. Confused, I peeked into their minds, quickly pulling back out when I realized what the problem was. I turned back to look at an uneasy Eric, smacking the back of his head hard with my blood while slapping his chest with my actual hand, biting out, “You slept with Nora, Eric?!”
Godric’s glee shot through the roof as Eric’s fangs dropped, making mine drop, and I growled warningly at Eric, making him think twice before he said something stupid. He looked down at my hand nervously and I followed his gaze, realizing my hand had lit up and was crackling with electricity. I closed my eyes, frustrated, and focused on pulling that energy back into my spark, thankful when Godric helped me by decreasing my anger. When I opened my eyes again, Eric was avoiding my glare and slowly retracted his fangs.
Still too pissed to retract my own, I snapped out, “Well, now you’ve slept with both your blood sisters! That was not what I meant when I told you to ‘Keep it in the family,’ Eric!”
Godric’s glee erupted all over again, trying his damndest to tamp down on it when I shoved some of my fury his way, while Eric snapped back, “It was years before I met you, Sookie!” He paused a second, apparently counting the number of years it had been, and contemplatively remarked, “Actually, the last time was years before you were born.”
I growled again, making him shiver, and tucked my head into the crook of his neck as I tried to calm down. He started stroking my arm tenderly, like petting me would suddenly make the lioness in me put her claws away, freezing when he felt my exasperation mount and decided to wait until I calmed myself before touching me instead. That alone made me giggle, rapidly decreasing my anger. I finally retracted my fangs and lifted my head again, shaking it when his lips twitched.
“Ya know, they have words for guys like you,” I said.
He gave me a curious look and retorted, “Charming?”
I shook my head.
I rolled my eyes.
I leaned in closer, enjoying the way he shivered when my breath hit his ear, and ran the fingers of my right hand up his neck to his cheek, stroking him and eliciting a soft purr. “Man-whore,” I whispered and patted his cheek mockingly before pulling back.
Eric fell silent, chewing on that for a moment before repeating, “Man-whore. That’s a new one.” He looked up questioningly at a very amused Godric, who just shrugged in reply. “Are you sure that’s a real term, Sookie? I’ve never heard the vermin use it.”
I snorted before I could stop myself and Godric started shaking with silent laughter. I ignored my laughing maker and explained, “Of course you haven’t. No fangbanger is gonna insult you within earshot, not even vampire earshot, if they’re hopin’ to get into your bed, Viking.”
“And yet you insult me. Aren’t you hoping to get into my bed as well?” he asked with a devious grin as he started flooding me with lust.
I shifted uncomfortably and grumbled, “That’s different.” When he cocked an eyebrow at me, I added, “I know I can get into your bed anytime I please.”
“You really believe that?” he asked, doubtfully.
“Yep, all I have to do is slip on a sundress and promise to let ya tear it off me,” I pointed out.
Godric started shaking harder with suppressed mirth while Eric skeptically asked, “You truly think I’m that easy?”
“Or I guess I could just use the forbidden word,” I stated meditatively, trying not to crack a smile when my bond with Godric literally felt like it was vibrating with his laughter.
I nodded, grinned mischievously, and whispered, “Master.”
His fangs dropped and Godric broke, cracking up into the loudest laughter I’d ever heard from him. We both turned and looked at him incredulously when his laughter turned into a noise that one would expect from a hyena. He clutched at his sides desperately, like he was literally holding himself together so he didn’t fall apart at the seams. When a blood tear fell and he snorted accidentally, we both started laughing too.
He tried to calm himself, made that hyena-like noise again, and finally stated, “She knows exactly what to say to you!” He bled another tear as Eric fell quiet, making us laugh that much harder.
When we finally calmed down, Eric asked, “Are you done?”
He turned to look at me and asked, “Yes?”
“Your fangs are still out.”
He growled in frustration and retracted his fangs while Godric cackled in the background. I smirked at Eric, who obviously could dish it out but certainly couldn’t take it, and dropped an affectionate kiss to his cheek. He purred with surprise, apparently soothed by just that one gesture and hugged me closer to him.
Eventually, Godric managed to a slap a lid on it and Eric asked, “Ready now, master?”
“Yes,” he said with a nod, his response sending enough relief through Eric for my lips to twitch, before he added, “Back to more serious matters, though that was amusing. I’m afraid we have a problem.”
“And I’m afraid there’s more than one,” Eric rebutted. When Godric furrowed his brows at him, Eric looked at me quickly before looking back to Godric and stating, “Sookie read something disturbing from Compton’s thoughts. Apparently, Sophie-Anne wanted to procure her for more than her telepathy. Her Majesty believes she can day-walk if she drinks Sookie’s blood.”
Godric froze and his blood cursed, sending amusement skittering through us. I added to Godric’s worries by saying, “There’s more, Godric. After Eric drank from me during the exchange, he rose an hour early.”
He sighed in frustration as he rubbed a weary hand over his eyes. Finally, he said, “We’ll have to test it before we decide what to do about this situation. I’ll drink from you before dawn and find out if it’s true.”
My blood instantly rebelled against the idea and Eric argued, “No, master, I’ll do it. I’ll burn slower if the theory proves false. You’ll disappear in a cloud of ash instantly if it doesn’t work.”
Godric opened his mouth to argue with Eric when I quietly interrupted, “Neither of you will do it.” They both turned to look at me in surprise and I explained, “Jess is joinin’ our bloodline tonight. She’s already gonna be inoculated against the sun if the myth is true and if it’s not, I’ll pop her back into darkness the second she starts to burn. Hopefully, she’ll wake up early, like Eric did, or it’ll have to wait until the followin’ sunrise.”
“No, Sookie. I will-”
I cut Godric off and snapped out, “I don’t have the extra blood to spare, Godric! Jessica needs whatever blood I can give her and she’ll burn the slowest out of everyone in the bloodline. It is my blood and if you truly wanna test it, this is how it’ll be!” My voice took on a fiery edge as I nearly snarled, “My decision is final.”
Realizing my glittery fairy ass was about to make an appearance, they both hesitated and looked at each other before reluctantly agreeing and pushing me acceptance.
“That would be an amazing gift to give Jessica on her first day as your progeny, Sookie,” Eric pointed out. “She hasn’t seen a sunset in months.”
I forgot about the gifts.
It was usually a rare event when someone new was accepted into a bloodline, so when that event happened, the bloodline usually gave the new progeny gifts. My silver dagger was my gift from Godric, as well as shares from his companies. I fought with him when he tried to give me the shares as well as a percentage of his net worth and we came to a compromise. I would accept the interest from the shares, starting with a bank account balance of zero, and one share per year on the anniversary of my turning. I refused the percentage of his net worth point blank.
Needless to say, I was already filthy rich.
Giving Jessica the sunset, however, was something no vampire could put a price on.
I smiled, liking the idea, and replied, “If the myth I heard from Bill’s mind is true, we’ll all get to see a sunset this week.”
They both smiled as childlike wonder rippled through them before focusing once again.
A thought then occurred to me and I desperately wanted to snicker. Bill thought he could use me as his own personal sunscreen. Now, it was his progeny, Jessica, who was about to see her first sunset since her turning.
Karma was such a bitch.
“There’s one more thing,” Eric added and Godric braced himself, “Sookie drank from me twice tonight, yet I feel like I’ve had enough blood to quench my thirst for days. I told Sookie this and she voiced the possibility that her spark doesn’t just filter the taste, but restores the nutritional value as well.”
Godric thought through it all and slowly nodded, “I can see why you would think that, Sookie. Thankfully, I see more positives than negatives in that situation. Obviously, we need to keep anyone from outside the bloodline from ever feeding on you, but we had planned on that anyway.” I nodded in agreement. “Anything else?” When we shook our heads, Godric shared his own problem with us, “After you two left last night, I went through the evidence Sookie gathered. Pam does not know who the chancellors of the Authority are, so she hadn’t recognized who they were when she came across three of their names…”
Eric suddenly tensed as understanding trickled into our bond, his body becoming as rigid as a board before denial ran violently through him. With a curt shake of his head, he said, “No. She’s not in it, master. She can’t be a Sanguinista.”
“I’m as shocked as you are, min son, but she is a Sanguinista, as is her mentor, Salome,” Godric stated sadly, flushing Eric with strength as genuine fear lit up in his blood, the fear of loss.
Godric then tried to soothe away my shock, my body having stilled completely when Eric’s fear hit me. His fear felt like riding a rollercoaster when the safety bar suddenly breaks, leaving me grasping desperately onto everything as I tried to keep myself from being thrown to my death from the violent ride.
I didn’t think it was possible for Eric to feel fear.
Disturbed by the emotion, I reached out and snatched it, yanking all of it into myself. Eric twitched in surprise and turned his wide eyes towards me, whispering, “Sookie?”
“You’re the strategist,” I muttered, laying my head on his shoulder while I rubbed my forehead, feeling like the world around me had suddenly flipped upside down underneath the weight of his fear. “You can’t think clearly, Eric, if you’re driven by fear. I think I’ll just keep it instead.”
I felt Godric’s amusement and astonishment briefly battle the fear weighing down on me, flabbergasted that I had managed to snatch all of Eric’s fear and pull it into myself. Slowly, Godric used his blood to soften the blow, absorbing what he could while Eric raised his left hand and touched my cheek, caressing my face as he watched me face his fear.
Together, Godric and I slowly wore it down, draining Eric of it all. I hadn’t stolen his capacity to feel fear, just the amount of fear he had tonight. Eric could potentially do the same thing to me by using our bond if he wanted, but my emotions were too intense, burned too much, in my fairy state for him to really help.
“Someone who battles your fears for you, Eric, truly loves you,” Godric commented as I tiredly closed my eyes, slipping into downtime to unwind a little from all that work. I felt Eric nod in agreement and turn to press his lips to my forehead.
I smiled softly as he turned back to look at Godric when a thought suddenly hit me and I snapped back up. They both turned to look at me as I asked, “Pam didn’t know Nora’s name?”
I felt disappointment abruptly surge up in my bond with my maker and immediately flinched, belatedly realizing it wasn’t directed towards me, but towards Nora.
Eric shook his head and quietly said, “I told Pam I had a sibling, but nothing else about her. Nora refused to meet Pam, claiming Pam’s previous profession made her lowborn and unworthy.”
My fangs dropped, making Eric’s drop, as my emotions tightened in the blood, becoming more compact. I fluidly cracked my neck before concentrating on the insult paid to Pam. I snickered and asked, “Didn’t Nora have the same profession, just higher up? In service to the king?”
Eric’s eyes widened and Godric stilled before they both burst into fits of body-shaking, knee-slapping laughter. Their mirth increased my own, bringing my emotions back out and allowing me to retract my fangs. After a moment of their continued laughter, they finally calmed down and Eric met my eyes, retracted his fangs, and begged, “If you ever tell her that, lover, please wait until I’m in the room for it. I’d love to see her face when she realizes she had the same profession as Pam.” He then turned to Godric and asked, “Why didn’t we ever think of it that way?”
Godric shrugged and guessed, “Status. Sookie is both a faery princess and a former waitress. Status doesn’t apply to her, so she doesn’t think in terms of it. To her, a shoe is still a shoe no matter whose foot it’s on.”
Damn straight. It didn’t matter if one worked in a brothel and the other serviced the king, they still sold the same goods. One sold it for money while the other sold it for favors and land grants.
Unless sex drastically changed between the different social classes, I was pretty damn positive Nora was being hypocritical about Pam. Instinct told me it was jealousy keeping her from meeting Pam, not Pam’s former profession. Nora had warmed up to me at first and I was a former waitress. Now I could feel her resentment mixed in with her other emotions, directed towards me in the tie, making it obvious it was my relationship to Eric, and thus Pam’s past one, that made us into people she resented. No doubt she would try to tell Godric I was lowborn too.
Which would be funny as hell since I was Sky Fae Royalty.
“So what’re we gonna do about the Sanguinista evidence? Just erase Nora’s completely and hold onto Salome’s until we meet with the Guardian?” I asked.
I suggested holding onto it until we could give it to the Guardian himself because she could always throw Nora to the wolves to get back at us. This way, I could literally glamour them all if I had to, though I’d prefer not to with the technology and amount of guards they were bound to have inside their complex. Hopefully, the Guardian would be inclined to grant Godric a favor (he was the eldest) and Godric could recall Nora to his side, temporarily bringing her home with us so we could deprogram her.
Eric hummed contemplatively and remarked, “That’s not bad, Sookie. We could give him the third name and tell him we have another name, one that’s local which we fear reprisal from and we want to hand it off to the Guardian ourselves.”
“Salome would assume we meant your queen?” Godric asked, clarifying our combined idea.
Eric nodded, smirking, “She’d assume we erased her information to both protect Nora and to have Sophie-Anne ended. Switching their places, so to speak.”
We didn’t need to have Sophie-Anne ended. It looked like the Magister was soon going to take care of that little matter for us, especially if Nan Flannigan impeded Bill’s death sentence. The Magister needed someone to punish publically for the V infraction, so one or the other would have to do.
“Is there any credence to the risk Salome would tell Russell what’s going on if we didn’t turn over that evidence?” Godric asked.
Eric thought about it carefully, evaluating the idea before slowly shaking his head, “I don’t believe so, master. By then, Salome’s main focus will be damage control. There will be so many Sanguinistas gathered up and turned in that she’ll be running herself ragged trying to slap a gag on them all and keep them from leaking her name. If they force us to put our plans on hold and capture him for questioning, it wouldn’t surprise me if she tortured him simply for pissing her off and gathering evidence on Sanguinistas.”
I shivered involuntarily and they both dropped their gazes to me in surprise. “It was somethin’ you said,” I started with furrowed brows, thinking through his words. “Salome?” I asked, “The same Salome from the Bible? Who did the dance of the seven veils in exchange for the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter?”
“The one and only,” Eric purred.
“It sounds like she doesn’t like gettin’ her hands dirty,” I added contemplatively. “Like she excels in seduction, in manipulation, but has others fight her battles for her.”
“That is a very apt description of her, Sookie,” Godric agreed and leaned forward, sensing I was on the verge of something.
I ran through Eric’s words again, literally picturing Salome running around trying to gag a bunch of people, shaking my head slowly when I realized that image was wrong. She wouldn’t flock to the masses… she would isolate one vampire, the most powerful one, and try to use him to her advantage. With a shudder, I pictured Russell making a deal with Salome, one she couldn’t possibly hope to control, and Russell then getting everything he ever wanted, toppling the Authority from the inside, and establishing himself as a supreme ruler with a complex full of Sanguinistas just begging him for a chance to be released. I cringed at the thought of what Russell would ask them for in return.
He would have an army.
“What is it, Sookie?” Eric whispered, rubbing my arm soothingly as I met his eyes.
“Checkmate,” I breathed.