For over two thousand years, I have walked this Earth. I have seen and done everything one can imagine as well as many things that defy explanation. For many years, I wondered this realm acting as if I were untouchable; that there was no one above me. I was a creature of the night with limitless strength, and I had little to no regard for those weaker than me.
The night I turned my beloved Eric, I referred to myself as ‘Death’ thinking myself a god because I chose who lived and who died on a nightly basis. Even with my progeny in tow, I did not alter my perception of my abilities. We were unstoppable; we did as we pleased, and damn those that tried to stop us. Not once did I ever stop to think about the repercussions of our actions.
I was a fool.
A chance encounter changed my outlook for the future, though I’m not exactly sure that anything is left to chance when it comes to the Ancient Pythoness. She appeared to me one night while we were in Crete. I nearly ended her because she threatened the existence of my progeny. Though that isn’t an accurate assessment; she merely ‘enlightened’ me to what would happen to Eric if we continued along the path of mayhem. She told me that if we continued our reckless behavior that it would end in the True Death for me and enslavement for Eric.
Shortly after Eric was turned, we encountered an elder vampire named Appius. I was not a saint by any means, but even I thought Appius was deranged and cruel. Appius had a proclivity for beautiful men, the younger looking the better. I was not interested in the Roman Legionnaire’s advances, so I rebuffed him. That did not discourage the vampire from going after Eric. Appius wanted my progeny desperately, but the only male he was attracted to at the time was his maker, so he had refused the elder vampire’s advances.
Appius was not accustomed to anyone denying him. He’d even gone so far as to offer me money or one of his blood slaves in exchange for The Viking. I refused. I may have been a monster and committed many acts of atrocity, but I never condoned slavery; not after all the injustices I suffered both as a human and under my maker’s “careful” tutelage.
I made it perfectly clear to the arrogant Roman that my progeny wasn’t for sale or trade, nor would I force Eric to service Appius as the vampire desired. It was only through sheer luck that we managed to escape from Appius’ clutches that night. We ran like fugitives, trying to escapes Appius’ far reaching, greedy clutches.
The Ancient Pythoness, the most revered of all supernatural beings, chose to interfere. To this day, I still cannot understand why the seer chose to help us. In my arrogance, I’d demanded to know what she wanted in return, yet the old woman only spoke in riddles.
“You will pay me back when the time is right,” had been the female vampire’s parting words. She disappeared as suddenly as she had appeared, leaving no trace for me or Eric to follow.
An impressive feat in and of itself.
Thanks to the wise woman’s words, we avoided Appius’ trap and turned the tables on the sadistic bastard, leaving him a rotting pile of goo on the jagged island’s shores. However, we needed to leave the island quickly since we hadn’t been careful in concealing ourselves from the natives. Fortunately for us, we escaped from the island on a ship bound for the coast of Africa. I had thought we would need to glamour our way on board, but the ship’s captain knew us for what we were immediately though he was not a supernatural being himself. He promised us safe passage and a steady supply of blood. All he asked in return was that his crew not be harmed; that they be treated with respect as all God’s creatures were meant to be.
I remember thinking the captain a fool. Oh, I’d agreed to the gullible man’s demands, yet I fully intended to slaughter all aboard before we made our way to shore. I was a vampire; I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me what to do. I was Death. However, it was Eric that stayed my urges. My child was and always has been a man of honor. Most do not realize that, and think him dishonorable. Believe me, my child’s code of honor runs deep. It is this honor that has had him seeking to avenge the death of his human family for over a millennium.
I smile as I look at the wooden ship carving sitting on the shelf of my room. This house, though not ornate, is home to my most prized possessions. It is here that I keep everything that has sentimental meaning to me. The carving that has triggered my moment of reflection is a replica of the ship The Redemption, the ship that was captained by Alfonso Giovici, the man who made a deal with Death.
“Fader . . . Broder . . . Son,” I whisper as I look lovingly at the carving thinking of my Eric. “You brought me out of the darkness, my child. You showed me there is more to the world than death. I may have taught you how to survive as a vampire, but you taught me how to survive as a man.”
I am speaking softly though there is no one to hear me. Given that the sun is still an hour away from setting, Sookie is still dead for the day, lying in the bed that she had shared with her maker. She had been so lost last evening without Eric by her side; a ship without an anchor. She clung to me as if I were her lifeline. She trusts me implicitly, a fact I still find astonishing. She trusted me completely while she was still human, though she knew nothing about me.
Other than my children, I have never had another trust me blindly. Even the woman who captured my heart did not trust me easily.
When I introduced Sookie to the donors, I thought she would be foaming at the mouth because of so much fresh blood around. While I could tell the need inside her was great, she was far more practical than I would have thought possible and definitely more selective than a newborn should be. A newly turned vampire, with an insatiable thirst, should not be overly discriminating when it comes to their choice of meal. They tend to gorge themselves on any and all blood available to them. Newborns are able to discern that some types of blood smell and taste better than others, but any blood will do.
I could tell that Sookie was using her telepathy to inspect the donors before she engaged any of them. It was fascinating to watch; the way her facial expressions would change given the information she gleaned from their thoughts. Of the six donors that were at the house, there was only one she dismissed after her mental examination, a Latino woman. I thought perhaps she was a Fellowship spy or something equally detrimental to our survival. Before I could question Sookie, she’d vamped to her room and back with a handful of money. She gave it to the woman and told her that she was free to go. Sookie had said that the woman’s children at home needed her more than Sookie did. I could only watch in awe as the Latino woman began to sob and thank Sookie profusely for her generosity.
Clearly Sookie’s need to be a Good Samaritan far outweighed her thirst. And that is what I find most puzzling about Miss Stackhouse. She willingly endangered her life to search for a vampire that she had never met. Sookie had no way of knowing what kind of being I was. I’m sure if she knew the full extent of how much of a monster I am she would shun me. Then again, perhaps not; she does seem to find the good in everyone. I wouldn’t say Sookie views the world through rose-colored glasses, but she is far more trusting and naïve than any adult I have ever met.
That could potentially be the downfall of us all, and that is the crux of the problem.
Sookie needs to learn how to adapt and survive. To do that, she will have to fight and eventually kill. However, both Eric and I loathe the idea that she may have to lose the goodness that rests inside her. Sookie knows no prejudice; she has no malice in her heart. Even those that have wronged her do not have her apathy.
They have her pity.
Once dismissing the woman last night, Sookie listened to all of my instructions, committing each one to memory. She fed from the donors with clinical precision, showing no preference for male or female, nor did she enjoy one blood type more than another. Once finished she fled to the room she’d shared with Eric. There was no joy coming from Sookie as she fed though I keenly felt her hunger and desire. All vampires feel the need for sexual gratification while feeding. The endorphins released during sex make the blood taste so much sweeter. The only thing to make blood taste better is fear.
After Sookie left the donors, I fed quickly, not really enjoying my meal. I was more concerned with the blonde vampire I could tell was pacing furiously in her room. I paid the donors, glamouring them to forget where they had been for the night, and sent them on their way. I knew Sookie was in need of a sexual release, it is the only thing that would have eased the ache inside her. I’d even promised Eric that I would take care of Sookie, fulfilling her sexual urges instead of letting her use the donors in that capacity.
I’d lied to my child.
I was letting him down by not taking care of his newest progeny.
However, I cannot and will not hurt Eric, and engaging in any kind of sexual activity with Sookie will hurt him. Perhaps in the future this will not be the case. Makers and children often experience a period of heightened physical attraction to each other. It usually fizzles out within the first six months, though the two will continue to engage in a sexual relationship on and off throughout the years. Exclusivity is never expected or required.
Yet I do not think this will be the case between Eric and his Sookie.
Do not think me a saint. Sookie is a beautiful woman and I am attracted to her. It is more than her physical appearance, though I have always appreciated the female form in all shapes and sizes. There is a light that shines inside Sookie. Even as a vampire, Sookie has a brightness to her soul that calls to me. When I saved Sookie from Gabe in the basement of the Fellowship church, I had no idea who she was. All I knew was that someone was being raped and I detested the act. It is the one heinous crime I have never committed. I’d suffered the indignities and violations of such abuse while a human slave and again under my maker’s tutelage. I vowed when I became a free vampire after my three hundredth year that I would never violate a man, woman, or Supernatural in such a way. For over eighteen hundred years, I have kept my vow.
When the bomb went off in my home, I knew Sookie would not survive. She was too close to the bomb. Even if Eric had been able to shield her body from the blast, it would have been at the cost of his own existence. As it was, Eric needed the three days waiting for Sookie to rise to recover from his own injuries. As it was, his hair has not grown back to its full length, though Sookie has not commented on the change in Eric’s appearance. Fear had overtaken me at the thought of Eric meeting the True Death. I have no fear when it comes to meeting my final end; in fact, I had embraced the idea. It is why I had allowed the Fellowship to take me. In my mind, it was better they take someone willing to die.
I now know my idea was a foolish one, but at the time, I thought it was the right one. The first time I questioned the certainty of my decision was seeing Eric willingly offer to sacrifice himself to protect me and Sookie. It wasn’t Eric’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his maker that affected me; it was the feeling of acceptance that overcame him when he decided to give up his existence for Sookie. I had forgotten when I lost my beautiful Sophia what it felt like to love someone with that feeling of absolute devotion. I love my children, but I did not live my life for them, nor do they live their lives for me, and that is how it should be.
However, it was the night of the bombing that completely snapped me out of my melancholia. Seeing Eric’s lack of self-preservation again that night had my apathy replaced completely by one driving emotion.
It was the need to avenge those that had been murdered by the cowardly attack.
It was the need to save Eric.
A need to do everything possible to save Sookie so that Eric never need experience the heartbreak I did when I lost Sophia.
Those feelings all morphed into another, one more powerful than any I have experienced in years.
The need to survive.
The bombing of my home in Dallas cost over a dozen lives, human and vampire, however it also served as a rebirth. Not just for Sookie, but myself as well. Her needs are similar to mine. While she is learning how to adjust to her existence as a vampire, I am adjusting my perceptions of what it means to be a vampire. For over a thousand years, I did as I pleased. Then for many centuries, I tried to blend in with the world, tempering my vampiric instincts and regaining much of my lost humanity. When I met Sophia, it’s as if I ignored my vampire self completely and tried to live as a human. Once she was gone, I was lost in despair and apathy.
And now . . . I need to figure out who I am. Something tells me that Sookie is key to my renaissance. In the meantime, I have other needs to satisfy, the two most basic needs for a vampire.
Blood and sex.
If I am to help Sookie stay in control, I must have my urges under control. Thankfully, there are fresh donors arriving. I asked for them to arrive earlier than the previous evening. This way I can satisfy my needs before assisting Sookie in controlling hers.