Less than two hours later, I’m standing outside of the house with Eric. He’s already said his goodbyes to Godric. I expected some sort of grandiose gesture between them, but I was sadly disappointed. There were words exchanged between them, but again, it was in a language I didn’t understand. For a telepath who’s used to knowing everything, it’s extremely frustrating to be out of the loop!
I need to learn whatever language it is they are speaking ASAP. Call me nosey, but I wanna know what it is they say.
Before Eric left, Godric placed his hand on Eric’s shoulder, and Eric bowed his head respectfully. Even though it was simple, the gesture between them was very profound and I felt the need to look away so that they could have some privacy. Godric’s quiet voice telling me to find him in his office when I was ready brought me out of my daze. I must have slipped into downtime. Eric is waiting in the center of the room with his hand outstretched. I hurry to his side, clasping his hand tightly between the both of mine. We walk without hurry towards the front door and outside. It’s the first time I’ve seen the front of the house. It’s very nondescript; nothing would scream that a vampire resides here.
Eric guides me down the gravel drive towards the road. I don’t see any vehicle in the driveway, so I have to wonder how Eric is getting back to Shreveport. It’s an awfully long drive from here to there, even further when you factor in he’s going to Bon Temps. Eric stops walking and turns to face me, extracting his hand from my grip so that he can cup my face between his palms. His thumbs glide smoothly back and forth across my cheeks, a soothing gesture I think meant to comfort him as much as me in this moment.
“I hate that I have to leave you so soon,” Eric murmurs quietly as he stares at me. “It was many months after turning Pam before I left her alone and even then I followed her to make sure she was safe and stayed out of trouble.”
“Are you sure I can’t go with you? I could help,” I plead. As much as I want to make sure my brother and friends are safe, I know the main reason I want to go is so that I won’t be separated from Eric; especially not now, not after earlier. I want more! Yes the sex was amazing, and I have no doubt that when Eric is finally inside me it’s going to be an out of this world experience that is going to totally blow my mind.
Among other things.
I can’t explain it well, but I want to be with Eric. I enjoy talking with him, he makes me laugh, and if I’m completely honest, I even like fighting with him. He is probably the most passionate person I’ve ever known but he keeps it behind that cool facade of his. Maybe someday I’ll manage to act cool and collected all the time, even when I’m freaking out, but I doubt it. I’m too emotional, even as a human; I tended to act without thinking. How else do you explain going alone to defend a vampire being drained by two people? Better yet, if I’d been really smart about it, I would have lowered my shields and listened to what was going on and not charging in with both guns blazing so to speak. Eric’s ability to stay unflappable no matter what must be an ingrained trait; it must be something that he had even as a human. It is the trait of a born leader.
“Min kära,” Eric breathes as he lowers his forehead to touch mine. His eyes close and his lips spread in a small smile. He breathes in deeply, wanting to hold our combined scent inside him for as long as possible. He sighs before lifting his head from mine. “It is not safe for you to come with me just yet,” Eric says with a look of regret.
I nod my head. I know he’s right, but that doesn’t stop the lump from forming in my throat as I try to fight the tears from falling. I don’t want him to go. This is harder than I thought it would be. “Hurry back,” I plead.
Eric smiles softly before leaning down to press a kiss against my forehead. “I will be as quick as I can be. It all depends on the Shifter; I need him to agree to my plan.”
“And if Sam doesn’t?” I can’t imagine how Sam will react to whatever plan Eric came up with, but I get the feeling it won’t be good. Sam hates vampires as a rule. I don’t know how he feels about Eric, but I know the only thing Sam never fought Bill on was keeping me safe. Now that I’m a vampire, I wonder what Sam’s gonna have to say.
“I have ways of making him cooperate.” Eric smiles wickedly and gives me a slight smirk.
I gasp and smack his chest lightly. “Eric! Don’t hurt him!”
“I wasn’t,” he says in a completely innocent voice.
“Don’t threaten him either!”
Eric gives a long-suffering sigh. “You are taking all my fun out of this woman! Is this how eternity’s going to be? You constantly nagging me?” Eric quirks an eyebrow at me and his lips twist in a smile.
I give him a mock glare and smack his chest again though I’m trying hard not to smile. “You’re the one that made me, so you’re just going to have to deal with it. You’re stuck with me, buddy!”
Eric’s look turns possessive and he growls in that sexy way that makes my body come alive. “Mine!” He pulls my face towards his as his lips capture mine in a passionate kiss. I don’t know where this is coming from, but I’m not complaining. Eric is a master at kissing; he’s had a thousand years to practice. I never knew a kiss involved more than just lips, but with Eric, he puts his whole body into it and it makes my toes curl and another part of me weep with joy.
It’s far too short a time later when he tears his lips away from mine and stills his hands on my body. Eric rests his forehead against mine and closes his eyes. “I must go,” he says softly in a voice full of regret.
With a ragged sigh I step out of Eric’s arms. If I don’t do it now, I won’t let him leave. “Hurry back,” I reply softly.
Eric nods. “As soon as I can, I will return. In the meantime, be good for Godric. Don’t do anything I would do,” he says with a roguish wink.
It’s my turn to smirk at him. “So basically I can’t do anything.”
Eric’s grin widens. “Exactly.” The expression falls from his face and his eyes become serious. His next words to me are said in a voice so low, so pained that if I had not been a vampire, I would not have heard him. “I want you to experience life as a vampire. Do not hold back; embrace the feelings you feel. Enjoy the sensations. Remember, you are no longer human; do not feel as if you must deny yourself anything.”
Before I can form any response, Eric once again kisses my forehead, whispers a few words in Swedish before releasing me. It’s like he is a rocket; he takes off so quickly from the ground and is flying high up in the sky within a few seconds. Even with my keen eyesight, I lose sight of him as he flies east towards Louisiana.
I won’t deny it; I ache without Eric near. It’s not the pain I feel when I think of Gran, but it is a definite sense of loss. I miss him already and it has not even been a minute. Eric must feel my melancholy because the bond between us pulses with energy. It reminds me of sitting in front of a fire, wrapped in my favorite blanket, with a cup of hot chocolate in my hands. I felt warm and toasty, but it was more than that. I was comfortable and at peace; I was content. What Eric is sending to me, makes me feel the same way.
I smirk to myself and mutter quietly, “Damn high-handed vampire,” before turning around and going inside. However, Eric accomplished his goal; I feel better, no longer moping about the loss of him by my side.
As I turn to walk back in the house, I stop when I hear the thoughts of the donors approaching in a vehicle. They are still far enough away that it will be a few minutes until they arrive, but given the vastness of the area and the lack of minds around, my range is quite good. It’s only then that the meaning behind Eric’s words sinks in.
He wants me to enjoy myself tonight.
He doesn’t want me to hold back.
I speed inside, looking for Godric. He is sitting at a piano, his fingers stroking the keys softly as the most beautiful melody fills the air. I hate to interrupt him because he looks so happy, so at peace, but I need to know if my suspicions are right.
“Godric, what did Eric mean that he wants me to enjoy myself tonight?” I guess I’m still too new a vampire to understand subtlety and talking in abstracts. Gran always said to get to the heart of the matter and to call a spade a spade.
Godric’s fingers still on the piano keys, leaving the music hanging unfinished in the air, as he stares at me. His expression once again becomes that blank mask that he uses to hide his try feelings away from the world, though I know the mask covers years of heartache and remorse. The Fellowship of the Sun is wrong; vampires are not unfeeling. In fact, they feel far too much and those feelings have far longer to linger. No wonder vampires come off as unemotional; they have to insulate themselves against the pain of a constantly changing world where people come and go in the blink of an eye.
“What do you think Eric meant?” I hate when people answer a question with a question. It’s an evasive tactic to avoid the topic at hand.
“He wants me to embrace my vampire nature; to accept that I am no longer human and that human notions of right and wrong no longer apply,” I respond while crossing my arms over my chest.
Godric nods. “There are some notions that apply, but not all. If you knew what he meant then why did you ask?”
“So Eric wants me to have sex with random strangers because I’m a vampire now? The other night he didn’t want me to give into my vampire instincts because he said that when I was back to being myself I would regret my decisions.” I am completely confused.
I remember how badly I wanted to have sex with Eric before; how I wanted to use and be used by him. I wanted to know every single pleasure that he could give me. But he talked me out of it because he said it was our bond and bloodlust. Even earlier tonight when I finally decided I wanted to be with him in every way, he wouldn’t have sex with me. Oh he did just about everything but fill my vagina with his penis, but he said that we had to wait because he wanted more time. Eric said our first time together was not going to be hurried, and that quite possibly we would need days before he was finished with me; he said I deserved more than a quick fuck. Hearing that, all parts of me had been completely on board with that plan. But yet he told me to enjoy myself tonight; to not deny myself anything.
So how do I deserve a quick fuck with a donor yet I don’t deserve a quick fuck from my maker?
Anyone else see the sense in that one?
Godric smiles seeing my confusion; I’m glad one of us finds this amusing. Sensing my rising agitation, Godric gestures for me to join him on the piano stool. Once I sit, his fingers begin moving gracefully over the keys, creating a melody that acts as a balm to my tattered emotions. He plays in silence for several minutes, allowing the music to soothe us both. At first, I fought the pull of the music, wanting to hang on to my confusion and outrage. I’d even tried sending my feelings to Eric so he would know how unhappy I am with him, but he’s too far away. The bond between us is silent though it is stretched tightly and it aches. All I can tell is that he still exists and is somewhere east of here.
It’s little comfort, but it’s something.
“Did Eric tell you the story of how he came to be a vampire?” Godric interrupts the beauty of his music to ask me his softly spoken question. I shake my head no and a smile curls his lips as he begins his tale. “I’d followed Eric for several nights. His band of men was raiding in Britannia, Northumberland to be exact, now known as the northern part of England. Even among all the men on the battle field, Eric stood about above all the rest.”
“Well sure; he’s a giant!”
Godric chuckles as his fingers continue to move over the keys of piano. The melody is changing, evolving with the story he is telling. Gone are the soothing tones and longer notes to be replaced with something lighter in tone and more rapid in speed. I do not recognize any of the music he is playing, but then why should I? He’s had millennia to learn various melodies from around the world, while I can’t tell the difference between Mozart and Beethoven.
At least I know one of them was deaf.
And I know Amadeus was about one of them.
Ah hell, now I’ve got Rock Me Amadeus stuck in my head.
Godric continues speaking; thankfully it forces me to stop singing the eighties dance song inside my head. “It wasn’t Eric’s size that drew me to him, though he is a striking individual. Through the dirt and grime, even covered in animal skin, you could tell he was a god among men. To be honest, Little One, it was Eric’s passion for life even among the dying that made me seek him out.”
My grand-maker chuckles seeing my confusion but continues playing his music. “Yes, Little One, even among the dying, Eric had a passion for living. He was mortally wounded on the battlefield yet continued to command his men to attack, killing several others before his most trusted men forced him to retreat. I followed them, knowing that Eric could not survive his wound.”
Godric chuckles again lost in the memory of that night. “Of course he was stubborn; if anything his stubbornness has only grown as the centuries have passed. His men built him a funeral pyre, and guarded him as they waited for him to pass to Valhalla. They were telling stories of what the afterlife would be like. Of course, Eric said that wherever he went, there would be women.” Both of us chuckle knowing how true that is.
Godric sobers before continuing the story. “I knew by the sound of his heartbeat that he did not have long to live. I killed those guarding him, leaving him alone on top of the pyre.”
My eyes widen and I stare without blinking at Godric. I cannot imagine him doing anything so . . . savage! In the Fellowship of the Sun, I thought he would have been more than justified to kill Reverend Newlin and everyone else there that planned to harm him, yet the only one he killed was Gabe to stop him from hurting me. Godric seems so unflappable; so calm and collected.
As if knowing my thoughts, Godric gives me a wry smile. “I am not a saint, Sookie. I am vampire; the same urges and reactions you have I too experience. Control is something that all vampires must learn. For many years, I did not feel the need to control myself. I was known as ‘Death’. I never felt the need to control myself, to let my meals live after I was finished with them. It wasn’t until Eric that I stopped killing indiscriminately.”
“Why?” I am floored. Here I thought Eric was the one that killed indiscriminately, not caring about any of his victims. But Godric?!?!?!?!
“Eric is the greatest achievement of my existence,” Godric tells me solemnly, but then he chuckles again. “Of course, I will never tell him that. It doesn’t do well to play favorites among my progeny. But Nora knows that there is a special bond between Eric and me that she and I will never have. I love Nora; I am proud of her and all she has accomplished. But the only reason I made her a vampire was because Eric asked me to. He admired her spirit and desire to live life on her own terms, qualities that drew me to him so many years ago. Yet, he was not compelled to make her, nor was he compelled to make Pamela. In truth, I do not know if he felt the maker’s pull to you, but I do know that he could not let you go, just as I could not let him go the night his human life ended. I gave him the choice to become the companion of death and live or to die.”
I cock my head to the side and study Godric’s profile. “What if he had chosen to die?”
Godric’s eyes meet mine again and for the first time his fingers hit the wrong keys, making a sound of discord that sounds like something out of a horror movie. He stops playing and turns to face me fully. “I would have made him a vampire anyway. I could not let him go. Thankfully, he chose to live. Since I made Eric, I have always given Eric the choice to decide his own path. Choice, my dearest Sookie, is the greatest gift any of us can ever have.”
“So he’s giving me the ability to choose,” I say slowly.
Godric nods solemnly. “No matter how much it hurts him.”
I look at Godric in alarm. “Hurt him? Why does it hurt him? I don’t want Eric hurting because of me. Am I doing something wrong?”
Godric’s lips spread in a warm smile as he takes both of my hands in his to comfort me. “Eric knows you would not have chosen this life, and he hates taking that decision away from you. I know he offered you the chance to meet the sun if you are truly unhappy with your new life, but he did ask for time to show you everything our life can offer. Do you not think it would hurt him to lose you that way?”
“Well I . . .” I stop because I never really thought about it. To be honest, I haven’t even given Eric’s offer much thought since he made it. I’m not unhappy in my existence; it’s just different. I had thought I would miss the sun and all my favorite foods, but I don’t. My brother is happy to still have me in his life, whether my heart beats or not. As for my friends, we’ll have to see if they accept the “new” me. I’ve accepted every part of them whether I liked it or not; if they can’t offer me the same courtesy, then they were never my friends to begin with.
“Godric, what does ‘Jag älskar dig’ mean?” I’m sure I butchered that pronunciation but it’s the last thing that Eric said to me before he left and the feeling that came through the bond was the most intense thing I’ve ever felt. It was brilliant, like being blinded by the sun, but instead of hurting me, it made me feel whole.
“Where did you hear that?” Again, I hate when people answer a question with a question!
“Eric said it before he left. What does it mean? Please,” I tell him desperately, “I need to know.”
“It means ‘I love you’ in Swedish, the language that is closest to Eric’s native language,” Godric replies gently.
“He loves me?” There it is again, that warm feeling that starts in my heart and then radiates throughout my body. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I feel buoyant, like I can float away because I’m so happy.
“But why does he want me to have sex with the donors?” That doesn’t make any sense. If you love someone, you shouldn’t want them to be with another person. You should only want them to be with you. If he loves me, he better not fuck a donor while he’s away! I’ll kick his Viking ass the next time I see him if he does!
“He doesn’t think you feel the same way. Eric knows you are attracted to him, but he does not think you have any feelings for him beyond those that are created by the maker/child bond. You are tied to Eric for eternity. That is a long time to hate someone and Eric is being extremely careful to make sure you do not have a reason to hate him. By giving you ‘permission’ to enjoy yourself with the donors, he is trying to ease any guilt you may feel about needing to satiate your sexual desires with someone other than him,” Godric offers in explanation.
“Well that’s just stupid! No offense, Godric, but I was a virgin for over twenty-five years. I know how to take care of those urges myself if they hit me!” Oh my God, did I just tell Godric that I know how to masturbate?!?!?!?! Dear Lord, I’m so embarrassed! I would be redder than a tomato if blood still pumped through my veins.
Godric chuckles as he releases my hands. The donors have arrived outside and he rises from his position on the piano bench to go let them in the house. He pauses before leaving the room to look at me. “Are you sure you are ready for this? I can command you not to do anything other than feed from the donors if that is what you wish. Eric did command you to obey me as if I am your maker.”
I too rise from the piano bench and stand staring hungrily at the door that separates me from the fresh blood. Their heartbeats are a sweet torment and my mouth is watering. I want to feel their skin against my lips as I drink from their veins. My vagina is also starting to pulse with need; the pulse matching the beat of the humans’ hearts. My fangs snap down and I feel myself shaking with need.
“Please,” I beg. I don’t want to have sex with any of them even if my body craves it. Even Godric isn’t enough to satisfy me.
I want Eric.