Thalia escorts Godric and Sookie to the airport. The car ride is silent; the two vampires do not feel the need to fill the silence with pointless chatter, and Sookie does not speak. Godric reflects on Sookie’s behavior, finding it peculiar for one so young. She remained quiet while saying good-bye to her family, displaying no emotion. Godric rationalizes that her behavior is due to her being overwhelmed by all the abrupt changes. Thalia drives the car to the private hangar where the plane is waiting. Thalia and Godric quickly exit the car, but Sookie remains inside. When Godric opens her door, he sees that she is crying silent tears.
“Little One, we must go,” Godric says gently as he crouches down to Sookie’s eye level. She draws in great gulps of air to calm herself. Once calm, she releases the seat belt, and climbs out of the car, clutching her worn stuffed animal to her. She moves to stand in front of Godric, her eyes staring at the pavement.
Godric places a finger under Sookie’s chin, forcing her to look him in the eye. This tiny cherub brings forth compassion in Godric; he wants to take away her pain and soothe her fears. “I promise you, Little One, I will take care of you and keep you safe. You have nothing to fear from me.” He rises from his crouch when she nods and they start walking towards the plane. While walking, Sookie places her small hand in the ancient vampire’s. It is Godric’s turn to stare; he cannot remember the last time he touched someone for reasons other than violence, feeding, or sexual release. As Sookie looks up at him with a small smile on her face, Godric feels something within him shift. He smiles down at her, and together, they walk to the plane hand in hand.
Thalia smiles as she watches the door of the airplane close. As the plane taxis to the runway for takeoff, she whispers, “May the Gods keep you strong, Brother. We are all counting on you.”
Several hours pass and Godric waits for the plane to make its descent to Dallas. His gaze does not move from the child that curled up to sleep in his lap. He does not know how it happened, but she has gotten to him. Godric does not form attachments to mortals, the pain of loss far outweighs the few years of joy that can be achieved. But this tiny child elicits strong emotions in him; he wants to protect her…care for her…see her eyes light up with laughter…see a smile light up her face as the sun lit up the sky.
Sookie shifting in his lap pulls Godric out of his downtime. She sits up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes, and stretches. She asks while yawning, “Where are we going?”
“To my home. It is now your home. You will live with me from now on.”
As only a child can, she asks, “Why?”
“Your grandfather thinks that I will be better able to help you with what you are.”
Sookie asks excitedly, “Are you a telepath too?” She starts bouncing in her seat.
Godric smiles. “No, Little One, I am not. But I am something different,” he says gently as he pushes the hair back from her face and tucks it behind her ear.
“Your hand is cold. And why can’t I hear you like everyone else?” She shifts in the seat and props her chin up on her hand.
Godric pauses slightly before answering. “Sookie, when you hear people’s thoughts, does everyone sound the same?”
She shakes her head. “Nah, some people think in pictures, some people think in words. Some people are easier than others,” she says nonchalantly. “Like my brother, he’s real easy to hear, but then again, he pretty much says what he’s thinkin’. My Gran always has real nice thoughts…not like Momma or Uncle Bartlett,” Sookie finishes quietly.
“What do you mean?”
Sookie continues on oblivious to the turmoil her earlier statement caused. “Well, my momma was always worried ’bout money, thinkin’ that Daddy didn’t make enough, and how she hated havin’ to borrow money from Gran and Grandpa. She also always thought Daddy was cheatin’, but cheatin’ at what I never knew. She would get real mad at me for listenin’ to her; she said that thoughts were private and I shouldn’t listen. But when we were in public, she’d always ask me to listen to other people. She said I needed to tell her, because it would help us get by. If I didn’t tell her what people were thinkin’, she’d punish me,” Sookie says sadly.
Godric is disgusted by the woman who was using her child to help her threaten people. “Was Uncle Bartlett mean as well?”
Sookie stills. She clutches her bunny tightly to her and whispers no. She does not say anything else. Godric senses Bartlett had hurt Sookie in some way. “What did he do Princess?”
Sookie looks up at Godric with fat tears threatening to spill out of her eyes. She whispers, “He’s creepy.”
Godric’s brows knit together in confusion. “Creepy? He is like an insect?” Modern vernacular is not something Godric is familiar with. He makes note to ask Mrs. Ruiz to help him.
Sookie’s lower lip quivers, “No, he makes me feel dirty. He likes to touch me and Hadley, my cousin. He thinks about kissin’ us and touchin’ us, and it’s really gross! I hate him!”
Fighting the urge for his fangs to snap down, Godric remains gentle with Sookie. “Did he ever do anything to you? Did you ever tell anyone?”
Tears slide down her checks. She whispers, “I tried to tell Momma, but she slapped me and said to stop lyin’. After that, I’d run and hide if Uncle Bartlett came over.”
Godric’s thoughts turn murderous. If she wasn’t already dead, Godric would have taken pleasure in torturing and draining Sookie’s mother. Godric had committed many heinous acts throughout his years, but never without cause and NEVER to a child. As for Sookie’s uncle, he will have Thalia handle him. She will not kill him, but she has many creative methods at her disposal to make certain he will never harm another child.
“Please don’t be mad at me,” Sookie cries suddenly. She flings herself in Godric’s lap, wrapping her arms around him as tightly as she can.
Godric is puzzled. “Why would I be mad Little One?”
“You got real quiet, and I can’t hear your thoughts, but I can feel you. You’ve been this blank hole next to me, but it started changin’, and gettin’ cloudy and black. I promise I’ll be good, I’m sorry I said anything!” Sookie hurries through her explanation, her voice muffled as she buries her face in Godric’s shirt.
Godric commands softly, but firmly, “Sookie, look at me.” She resists for a moment and he repeats the command. Sookie reluctantly raises her eyes to his, and Godric pushes his glamour at her. “You will cease being upset. You will forget about the thoughts of your Uncle Bartlett. You will never be alone with your Uncle Bartlett again.” Godric releases the glamour as he stops speaking.
Sookie frowns. “I can’t stop bein’ upset just cause you said so.”
Godric pushes his influence harder towards Sookie. “You will cease being upset.”
She grabs her head and whimpers. “It hurts. Make it stop.”
Godric stops. He wraps Sookie in his arms, rubbing his hand up and down her spine. “I’m sorry you were hurting. But I promise you Little One, no one will hurt you again. I will take care of you. If you ever hear something that frightens you or upsets you, you must tell me immediately. I will keep you safe. I am your family now.” His voice is fierce as he tries to comfort the child in his arms. The captain announces that they will be landing in Dallas in a few moments, and asks everyone to return to their seats. Despite what the pilot says, Godric holds Sookie until the plane stops moving.
In Dallas, Godric and Sookie disembark from the plan to find Isabel standing next to a black Mercedes sedan. Sookie once again holds Godric’s hand. Isabel raises an eyebrow at Godric.
“You are getting soft in your old age if she has you wrapped around her finger already,” Isabel teases Godric.
Ignoring Isabel’s comment, Godric introduces Isabel to Sookie. Isabel smiles at Sookie, and says, “Hello Sookie, I am Isabel. I hope that you will be happy here.”
Godric gestures for everyone to get in the car. Isabel moves to the driver’s side as Godric opens the back door for Sookie. Sookie climbs in the backseat, and Godric settles in the passenger’s seat. On the backseat, Sookie finds a pink gift bag. Sookie looks at the bag curiously but says nothing. Isabel is watching Sookie in the rear-view mirror. She says to her, “That is for you child. You may open it.”
Sookie eagerly grabs the bag and throws the tissue paper to the side. She pulls a yellow Care Bear out of the bag. Sookie smiles brightly and hugs the toy tightly. “Thank you Isabel!”
Godric smiles at Sookie’s enthusiasm. He can see that Isabel is going to spoil Sookie. Isabel had joked that he was wrapped around Sookie’s finger, but he has a feeling that Isabel will soon be wrapped around Sookie’s finger as well. He nods to Isabel, and she starts the car. “Let’s go.”
The Mercedes pulls to a stop inside the garage of Godric’s home. The two vampires did not speak during the ride, both not wanting to discuss anything unsettling in front of Sookie. Both vampires exit the car, but Sookie does not. When Godric opens Sookie’s door, he sees that she is asleep. Godric smiles softly and picks her up to carry her inside. He pauses in the foyer of his home; he does not know what to do with the child. She cannot stay with him in his resting place; he does not have the necessary facilities for a human. Isabel, sensing Godric’s dilemma, starts walking up the stairs to the second level.
“I have prepared a room for her up here. It is near your room, so you are close if she needs you.”
Godric follows Isabel up the stairs, moving gingerly so as not to jostle Sookie. When Godric moves to the doorway Isabel indicates, he pauses momentarily. What had once been an austere bedroom is now a room fit for a fairy princess. The once gray walls are now painted a sunny yellow. The over-sized black lacquer bed is gone; in its place is a white canopy bed, white chest of drawers, and white desk. In the corner of the room is a small play table with a pink doll house on it. A bright blue toy chest with clouds painted on the sides sits near the table; the top of the chest is completely covered with stuffed animals. Isabel turns down the bedding, and Godric places Sookie on the bed. Isabel removes Sookie’s shoes, and places the Care Bear in the bed beside her. Godric pulls the covers up over Sookie, and both vampires leave the little girl to her dreams.