Godric’s eyes snap open. A vampire does not gradually slip back into consciousness like a human; a vampire instantly animates at a set time each day. For most vampires, that time is a little before sunset. The older the vampire, the earlier they may rise. At Godric’s age, he typically rises 2-3 hours before sunset. As he lies in his bed, he reflects on everything that has occurred in the last twenty-four hours.
The previous evening, Godric flew to a safe house near the Texas/Louisiana border that he owned. Once there, he called Isabel to explain the situation to her. To say she was surprised was an understatement. Isabel agreed to make arrangements for Sookie and Godric to return to Dallas. Godric also asked Isabel to contact the local Supes in Dallas to see if there was anyone seeking a governess position. Isabel assured him that she would have a list of possible candidates for him to check upon his return. Godric knew that Mrs. Ruiz, the Were housekeeper he had employed for the last 25 years, would love to have Sookie in his home. Her own children had moved out of Texas, and she rarely saw her grandchildren. Sookie would fill a void in her life.
Godric moves from the bed to the bathroom. He vamps through his shower and dresses for the night. Godric choses a loose pair of cotton pants in a dark gray color and completes the outfit with a light gray sweater. Next, he checks in with his answering service. The only message is from Isabel outlining his travel plans for the evening. She arranged for a private jet to go to Shreveport that night; it will be waiting for his arrival. Godric does not want the flight traced to him; he hopes to stay off of the grid so that no one will be aware that Sookie is no longer with her family. Isabel had arranged for the flight in the name of one of her companies, and the flight plans show that they will be departing from Shreveport, having a short layover in Dallas, and then continue to Phoenix. Subterfuge is an intrinsic part of survival for a vampire.
With everything arranged, Godric has nothing to do until sunset except think. Godric has not been human in over two thousand years. What does he know about raising a child? Even when he was human, he had not been a father. Godric fears what is to come. He has no doubts that he can protect Sookie. But can he handle everything else?
The telephone ringing interrupts his ruminations. Only a select few have this number, and even fewer of those will be awake at this time of day. Godric picks up the phone waiting to hear the voice on the other end.
Godric snarls into the telephone, “You find this situation humorous? You find enjoyment knowing that a child is being taken from the only family she has ever known to be raised by someone who should be her enemy because of what she is?”
“Oh, get over yourself, Godric. I know you have reservations about the child, but this is the best possible solution,” says the voice on the other end of the telephone, disapproval dripping from every word.
“But there are other solutions?” Godric feels anger rising within him. He does not enjoy feeling like a pawn in someone else’s chess game.
“Of course there are other options, but none of those options will ensure the child’s survival. YOU are the only way she can survive.”
All the anger fades from Godric and he closes his eyes in defeat. “I hate it when you are right,” he states quietly into the receiver.
A deep throaty laugh is all Godric hears. Just as quickly as the laughter starts, it stops. “Trust me, my son, I wish I was not always right. This gift of mine is a terrible burden to bear at times.”
Godric smiles softly even though it cannot be seen. “I would ease your burdens any way I can, Mistress. How may I be of service?”
“Take care of that little girl, my son. As your maker, I command you.” Issuing the maker’s command reinforces the situation to Godric. Before he can issue a reply, she continues. “And might I suggest you feed before picking up the child. Something tells me you will need it.” The line goes dead as the call disconnects.
Godric hangs up the telephone. His maker always knows how to make an exit. Glancing at the clock, Godric sees that sunset has just passed. With his maker’s words fresh in his mind, he takes off to search for his dinner.
Later that evening, Godric hovers over the woods by the old farmhouse. Fintan said the Prince of the Fae had arranged for Were and Dae guards to protect the family. However, he detects no presence in the woods. Godric lands silently in the woods. His fangs click down instantly and he crouches in a fighting stance. The scents in the woods are similar to those on the bridge from last night, meaning that Fintan’s enemies have been here. Using vamp speed, he moves to the old farmhouse and enters through the kitchen.
“Fintan!” Godric cannot sense anything out of the ordinary, but that does not mean everything is as it should be.
Fintan, Adele, and two small children run into the kitchen. The four of them look at Godric in bewilderment. Fintan moves closer to Godric. “What is it?”
Looking at Adele and the children, Godric replies. “It would be better if we have this conversation alone. I think your wife should take the children upstairs.”
Understanding that something is wrong, Fintan gestures for Adele to take the children. As they move up the stairs, Godric hears the boy ask who is Fintan.
“Forgive me,” Godric says once they hear a door close. “I did not mean to give your identity away. I can glamour the children if need be.”
Fintan smirks. “There is no need. Jason will probably forget about it as soon as they start playing. He has a short attention span. As for Sookie, I think she may already know that I’m not who I say I am. It is difficult to have secrets around a telepath.”
Godric nods once in understanding. “Where are your guards? I did not detect them outside. I did find the same Fae scents in the woods that were present on the bridge. It seems your enemies are watching you.”
Fintan reaches into the closet near the door, and pulls out twin, razor-sharp swords. Before Godric can say a word, Fintan begins to shimmer, indicating the use of magic. When the shimmer fades, there stands the Fae that Godric remembers from centuries ago. Fintan looks no older than Godric. He is nearly 6 feet tall, dressed in the traditional uniform of the Fae. His long blonde hair is braided, revealing his pointy ears.
A noise outside draws the attention of both supernaturals. Before they can move, a voice calls out. “You can’t hide from us forever, Fintan. You are merely delaying the inevitable.”
Fintan opens the door to show three Fae emerging from the woods. Godric sees Neave, Lochlan, and Murray standing in the yard, three of Breandan’s most vicious fighters. Godric’s fangs snap down, he feels them throb as bloodlust rolls through his body. It is his vampire instinct to hunt and drain the Fae. He ceases to breathe; the scent of the Fae threatens to overpower his control. If he loses his control, there is no hope for survival this night. Godric tries to formulate the best plan to end the enemies in the yard.
The three Fae in the yard grow restless. “Come out, come out, wherever you are,” taunts Neave. “The longer you delay in facing us, the worse it will be for you. If you come with us now, your death will be swift. But if you make us wait, I’ll enjoy torturing those you call your kin in front of your battered body. Perhaps I’ll start with the children,” Neave says eerily with glazed eyes and a demonic smile on her face.
Before Godric can stop him, Fintan pops out of the house into the yard, his swords drawn and attacks Neave. Godric vamps out of the house, grabs Murray by his arms and throws him into the woods. The sickening sound of a body hitting a tree is heard, followed by a keening wail. Godric turns to Lochlan, but does not see him. He hears a pop and hisses in pain. Lochlan has wrapped a silver chain around his neck. Godric feels his energy waning as the silver digs into his skin. As he struggles with Lochlan, Godric reaches into his pocket where he had hidden a dagger made of iron. He shifts his body so that he is able to stab Lochlan in the side with the dagger. Lochlan staggers back, dropping the silver chain, his hands moving to cover his wound as he grunts in pain. Neave is distracted from her fight with Fintan, hearing her brother cry out in pain. As her attention shifts to Lochlan, Fintan swings his swords through the air, slicing across Neave’s arms and chest. Her screams of agony fill the air. Dropping her weapons, she pops to her brother, and then they both pop out of sight.
With heaving breaths, Fintan watches Godric warily. Fintan was not injured during his battle with Neave, but the smell of blood hangs in the air. Knowing that Godric is injured and needs blood to heal, Fintan keeps his weapons ready, waiting for an attack.
“If it is Fae blood he wants, he can have the blood of this one,” a voice calls from the woods. Two pairs of eyes swing to the woods to see a petite vampire emerge holding an unconscious Murray over her shoulder. She is smaller than Godric, with dark, curly hair flowing down to her waist. She has a slight olive complexion beneath the pallor, and her eyes are a dark chocolate-brown. She is dressed completely in black. She walks towards the two men, and throws Murray to the ground.
Fintan asks Godric, “Friend of yours?”
“In a manner of speaking.” Godric addresses the new arrival to their group. “Thalia, why are you here?”
“Is that anyway to greet me, Godric?” Thalia folds her arms across her chest, glaring at Godric. When Godric just stares at her, she drops her arms in exasperation. “You know why I am here; don’t pretend you are surprised to see me. I am to make sure that you and the child get safely to your destination. Now, if you wish to return to your home this night, I suggest you feed,” she kicks the still unconscious Murray with her boot, “before you and the child leave. Fae, I would recommend that you collect the child and her belongings so that she is ready to leave as soon as Godric has finished healing.”
Fintan nods in agreement. “I’ll get Sookie, and say our good-byes. I don’t want her to see any of this. We will stay in the kitchen until you have finished.”
Once Fintan closes the door to the kitchen, Thalia turns to Godric with a fangy smile. “It has been centuries since I have had a Fae. Care to share?”
Without saying a word, the two vampires bury their fangs in Murray, draining him until he fades into dust.