It has been over two thousand years since I was first made a vampire, but I can still remember the hunger that consumed me the night I first rose. Throughout my existence there have been many times I have risen hungry, but nothing ever matched that first night. The hunger was all consuming; it went beyond hunger. It was need; a need for life. Blood is what sustains a vampire’s existence. That first night I rose with the need for blood racing like a fire through my veins. My mind was focused with a singlemindedness that I never achieved as a human. I died a slave of the Roman Empire. The night I rose as a vampire, I slaughtered those that enslaved me. My maker enjoyed the brutality I displayed the night I rose, but his brutality far exceeded mine. After I had gorged myself on blood, I learned the second lesson that almost every vampire learns: to submit to the will of their maker. My maker, even after all this time I refuse to say his name, raped not only my body, but my spirit and mind. His savagery sought to destroy every aspect of who I was as a human and rebuild me as an absolute monster, a true terror of the night.
For centuries, he succeeded.
It wasn’t until sometime after the rise of Christianity, that I truly began to change from what my maker wanted me to be. It wasn’t that I found religion with the rise of Christianity, but Christianity did introduce me to another concept.
The rise of Christianity marked the end of the acceptance of the supernatural world. Christianity is a religion based on fear. It taught to fear everything but God and Jesus; evil and the Devil were lurking around every corner. The rise of Christianity also saw increases in the human population. We as vampires needed to be more cautious, to hide in the shadows. This was unacceptable to my maker. He refused to change with the times, which put us in danger many times. My maker never allowed me to leave his side; he never freed me. I was his to use and abuse for centuries.
I hated my maker, despised him with every fiber of my being. I yearned to be free of him, but he had commanded me to never act against him. For a vampire to fight the command of their maker causes extreme pain and anguish. It is debilitating, but I fought through the pain.
I needed to be free of my maker.
To that end, I devised a plan to free myself from my maker. The minute the first inkling of the plan formed in my mind, I felt pain in my back. It was the equivalent of being stabbed, but I persevered. As the plan took shape in my mind, and as I acquired the items I needed to end my maker, the pain took over my entire body. Looking back, I cannot believe I succeeded. The pain was all-encompassing; physical, mental, and emotional anguish. The day I ended my maker I used silver to keep myself awake after the sun rose. My maker, despite his age, never stayed awake beyond the rise of the sun. I stumbled towards my maker’s prone body, barely able to raise the arm that held the stake. Once I stood over his body, I stared at him for several moments, memorizing the features of my tormentor one last time. I still remember the feeling as I thrust the stake into my maker’s non-beating heart. I screamed in agony and ecstasy as I felt the force that tied me to my maker snap in two. My body bent in two as agony consumed me. The pain was so great that I blacked out. When I reanimated that evening, my eyes blinked rapidly as I tried to understand the new reality I found myself in.
Freedom is a heady feeling, and I’d never had the opportunity to experience. For decades, I did anything and everything I wanted without impunity. I was drunk on my independence, but I should have known that it was an illusion. Freedom is the biggest illusion perpetuated by humanity. No one is ever completely free, and I was no different. Other vampires learned that I was the one to end my maker and came after me. They couldn’t let me survive because it would give other progeny hope that they too could free themselves from the yoke of their makers.
As I spent years outrunning those that hunted me, a different need developed inside me. A need for companionship, a desire to be a maker. It surprised me to feel the need to become a maker. I knew I never wanted to be the type of maker that I had, but I did not have any other example. My fear that I would end up being like my maker despite my fervent desire to be anything but is why I refrained from being a maker for such a long time.
Until the need overtook me, and I could not deny it any longer. A thousand years ago, I gave a beautiful yet brutal man a choice. Life or death. I am thankful he chose to live; in truth, I would not have respected his wish if he had chosen to go to his people’s Valhalla.
Now looking at the progeny of my progeny, I smile with genuine affection. Sookie is the perfect complement for Eric. She is a breath of fresh air in what has become a stale existence. I shall enjoy watching the two of them navigate this path together. I know I am accepting it as a forgone conclusion that Sookie will remain a vampire, but the alternative is unthinkable.
If Sookie meets the True Death, I know Eric will follow shortly behind her. If my beloved progeny leaves this earth, then I too will cease to exist. I was ready to meet my end before the bombing of my nest, and in many ways, I am still ready. Two millennia in existence wears on the soul and mind even if it does not wear on the body. My child has need of me now, not only to protect his newest progeny, but to protect him as well.
There is much unrest in the state of Louisiana, not only with this threat from a maenad, but from the monarch herself. Sophie-Anne was once a good queen, shrewd and fair, but she has descended into madness. I will not hesitate to end her existence if she threatens me and mine, but she is not the threat I fear.
That threat lies further east in Mississippi.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Sookie’s southern lilt drifts across the space between us pulling me from my dark thoughts. Sookie’s cheeks are slightly pink after her evening meal. Before she had risen, I’d dealt with my hunger, both for blood and sex with two of the donors. I rushed through my meal, so I was in complete control for when Sookie fed. Unlike the previous evening, she showed no hesitation when it came to taking what she needed from the donors. Still, she did not engage in any sexual activities with them. I do not know whether to find it endearing she wants to save herself for Eric or worry that she is not embracing her vampiric nature.
I smirk slightly. “Can you not hear them, Little One?”
She shakes her head no. “I feel your mind pressing against my shields, but I can’t get a sense for what you are thinking. I tried opening my shields to see if I could pick up anything, but all I can sense are the color of your thoughts.”
I look at her intrigued. “Color?”
Her head bobs enthusiastically and she adjusts her position on the couch so that her feet are tucked underneath her. She puts her hand in her chin as she gathers her thoughts to explain to me her telepathy. “Like I said, I can’t tell what you are thinkin’, but I can sense the tone of your thoughts. For example, your mind now is buzzing like electricity, so your thoughts appear yellow. Before, your thoughts ranged from black to dark blue and dark purple. They swirled around like storm clouds. A few streaks of red streaked through them, like you were angry about somethin’.”
“But you heard me with clarity before. Perhaps it is only when I think directly at you that you can hear me. We should experiment, test your ability so we know its strengths and weaknesses. A vampire must use every advantage at their disposal,” I advise her sagely.
“You know I hate hearin’ anyone’s thoughts. It scares me to know that I can hear vampire thoughts now. I’ll never be safe if anyone else finds out,” Sookie replies looking fearfully at the carpet. I sense tears forming in her eyes and wish to comfort her.
Eric and I will do everything in our power to protect you, Little One. Have faith in us.
Sookie looks at me and smiles sadly. “I know you will. You’ve both been doing your best to protect me ever since I set foot in Dallas. But you won’t always be there. Eventually I’ll be alone.”
I move to sit next to her on the couch she occupies, drawing her into my arms in a comforting embrace. “Little One, you need never be alone again. I know you are new to this existence, but you must understand that the bond between a maker and child is eternal. You fear being alone because almost everyone in your life has left you. Know this, Eric will never abandon you. His blood runs through your veins. Even if you two choose to separate in the future, he will always be there. He is here,” I say as I touch the vein along the top of her hand. “And here,” as I touch the side of her temple. “And here,” as I brush my fingertips across the flesh that covers her non-beating heart.
Sookie sniffs in my arms and burrows closer to me. “It’s such a big responsibility. I don’t understand why anyone would want to be a maker. Are all maker/child relationships like this?”
“No,” I utter succinctly as my jaw clenches thinking of my maker. Sookie pulls out of my arms to look at me questioningly. Before she can give voice to her thoughts, I continue. “It is similar to humans procreating. Everyone can do it, though it does not mean everyone should do it. There are maker/child relationships that are built on mutual admiration and respect, and there are those that are built on brutality and enslavement. A maker chooses the tone of the relationship with his or her progeny.”
“I get that,” Sookie admits slowly. “But I worry that I make Eric a target, that somehow I will be used against him. The Fellowship knows about me. Bill was sent to procure me, so someone else must know about me. I don’t want anyone to hurt me to get to him.”
“Then we must do everything we can to strengthen you, my dear Sookie. Do not let yourself be weak; do not let anyone take advantage of you again,” I respond forcefully.
Sookie looks at me incredulously. “Godric, I’m a newborn vampire. I don’t stand a chance against another vampire!”
I smile darkly. “There are those that will underestimate you because of how young you are. That is to your advantage. Use it. If you go into the fight thinking you are weak, you have already lost. Your telepathy is a great weapon, Little One. Do not be afraid to use the gifts you have to defend yourself or your maker.”
Sookie nods resolutely. “I don’t want to be Eric’s weakness. Teach me how to defend myself. Teach me how to fight.”
My fangs snap down in anticipation. “With pleasure, Little One.”
I left Dallas several days ago with a clear plan in mind for how to defeat the maenad, yet I am no closer to ending this madness than I was when I left Texas. My plan was simple: have the Shifter pretend to be the likeness of the maenad’s god by appearing as a bull. When her defenses are down, the bull will gore her heart, thereby ending her existence. Simple yet effective, but there is only one problem.
I cannot find the Shifter.
The night I’d returned to Louisiana, I’d first gone to Fangtasia. Pam was waiting for me in my office, having felt me call to her when I neared the building. She was very un-Pam-like when we met. Gone was the snark and bitchiness I was accustomed to. In their place was something I’d very rarely witnessed in my eldest child. She was meek and humble. It is not a combination I am particularly fond of seeing in her, so I did what a good maker is supposed to do. I reassured her that I was not abandoning her for Sookie. I did not turn Sookie because I was bored with Pam. The feelings I have for Pam are drastically different than those I have for Sookie. When I look at Pam, I see my child, my progeny; she is my greatest creation. When I look at Sookie, I do not see her as my progeny; I see her as my mate. The two women I have made vampire are not interchangeable; they are distinct and hold two separate places in my heart.
As I told Pam, I love her more when she is cold and heartless.
Once things were back on track with Pam, we made our way to Bon Temps to perform reconnaissance. To attract less attention, I flew us to the backwater town. I could smell the stench of the maenad as we landed behind the Shifter’s bar, but it was not fresh. Pam and I worked silently as we searched the carnage of the bar. Neither of us had been given an invitation to the Shifter’s home (and I use that term in the loosest of senses), but it did not matter. From the fading scent, I could tell he had not been there in over a week. Why would the Shifter disappear?
Our search through the town showed the path of the maenad’s madness. The town itself had been looted; the stores were destroyed and anything of value had been taken. The scent of the maenad grew stronger as we left town, and it was with dread that I found the scent concentrated around Hummingbird Lane, more specifically the Stackhouse homestead.
With my keen eyesight, we could see the orgy taking place across the lawn of Sookie’s ancestral home. My anger raged as I saw the humans desecrate the property of my newest child. I knew they were not in their right minds, controlled by the madness of the maenad, but I longed to kill each one of them for destroying that which Sookie valued. Sookie’s home was all she had left of her departed family members, and the maenad saw fit to take that away from her. My rage was quickly overtaking me, and I wanted nothing more than to swoop in and kill them all. Pam could feel the bloodlust coursing through my veins and was eager to join in. We would have attacked too, except it was then that a woman, the one that must be the maenad, made her way to the lawn. She was dancing, but then her dancing turned to a frenzy. The faster she moved, the more those on the lawn slipped into madness. I felt the effects of her madness begin to creep into my existence. In fear, I grabbed Pam and raced away from Sookie’s home. The last thing we needed was for that fucked up bitch to have control over two vampires.
My path of retreat took us in the direction of Bill Compton’s residence. While I could not destroy the maenad (yet), I could take my aggression out on Bill Compton. There were many infractions the pathetic antebellum waste of a vampire needed to make restitution for, the least of which were his sideburns and overly dramatic Southern accent.
I took some satisfaction in destroying the already dilapidated interior, though I longed to direct my pain at Sookie’s former paramour. He deserved every torture I imagined for him. If Sookie can stomach it, I will use Bill Compton to teach her the finer points of interrogation and suffering. I know Sookie is furious with Bill, but will she really be able to hurt him if given the option?
I hope that she can, and I hope to be there if it happens. Perhaps the file Pam found on the Stackhouse family hidden in Bill’s armoire will be the incentive Sookie needs to punish him for his trespasses against her.
It does not matter. As I told Sookie the night she first rose a vampire, I will send Bill Compton to his True Death.
Unfortunately, Bill Compton is the least of my worries. The nights have passed with agonizing slowness. The Shifter is still nowhere to be found. I cannot confront the maenad alone. I may not believe in her god, but I cannot refute the power she possesses. I know that if I ask, Godric will come to help, but then that means he will bring Sookie with him. As much as I long to have her near me, I do not want her here. I cannot allow her to see the destruction of her home. When the maenad is no more, I will see to the restoration of Sookie’s home. I promised Sookie I would take care of her home, and it annoys me to realize that I have already broken a promise to her. But honestly, how was I to know that a maenad would claim squatter’s rights over the property? Some things are beyond even my control.
I feel my frustrations rising over the situation again, knowing I am no closer to achieving my goal of returning to my newest child. I’d enjoyed destroying Compton’s home my first night back but found little satisfaction in the nights since. Each night, Pam and I searched for the Shifter, but we were unsuccessful. Tonight’s search was no different and I returned to Fangtasia to brood. To clear my head and regain control, I focus on the bond with Sookie. The bond hums with energy, and I sink into the feeling, analyzing the emotions coming from her. Determination, concentration, and exhilaration are the strongest emotions coming from her. I wonder what Godric is teaching Sookie. A part of me is jealous that my maker is getting closer to my progeny. I resent bitterly that I am not the one training Sookie. I have no one to blame but myself, but that does not lessen the intensity of my resentment nor does it do anything to abate the irrational emotion.
Gods, I miss Sookie.
It’s a strange feeling inside me these last few days. It isn’t anything like what I felt when I turned Pam. I was attracted to my eldest progeny and we engaged in a highly charged sexual relationship for a few years. I was protective of her, concerned about her, and I enjoyed her, but I also wasn’t afraid to be a disciplinarian with Pam. I wasn’t concerned with Pam’s feelings when it came to establishing who the dominant in our relationship was. I am the maker, she is my child, and she will obey my will when it is required. I did not fear that Pam would regret the path I had chosen for her when I took her human life and made her a vampire.
With Sookie, I do not have the desire to assert my authority over her and dominant her. I want her to accept me and her new existence. I want to know everything about her and have her know me completely. I want to show her the world, experience everything through her eyes so it feels like the first time for me as well. I do not want to fear that one day she will come to me and ask to meet the sun.
I want her to love me as I love her.
I still do not know how it happened. How did a few brief encounters lead to this? Before arriving in Dallas, I had five encounters with Sookie Stackhouse. Of those five meetings, the total amount of time I spent interacting with her maybe equals two hours of time at most. It is quite humbling to realize that those two hours with Sookie are among the most profound of my existence.
Obviously, the night we first met I was captivated by her. Every vampire in Fangtasia wanted what Compton had. How could we not? Vampires are creatures of the night, we live in shadows, yet we yearn for that which we can no longer have. Sookie radiated sunlight, purity, and innocence that first night at Fangtasia. I wanted to drown in her. In addition to her physical attributes, she intrigued me with her wit, courage, and spirit. Her telepathy was a bonus and gave me the in that I needed for our second interaction.
I knew Longshadow was the one stealing from me, but I used it as an excuse to have Bill bring Sookie to Fangtasia. I was already angry that night at Longshadow, but my anger morphed quickly into a jealous rage. I smelled Compton on and in Sookie and it made my skin crawl to know that cretin had defiled Sookie. I wanted to imprison him in the basement, castrate him with a silver knife for eternity so that he would never again have the chance to engage in sex with Sookie. My pleasure at being in Sookie’s presence again was marred by the knowledge that Bill had truly claimed her. Never had it mattered to me that a human was no longer a virgin. I resented that Bill would have a part of Sookie that I could never have, that he will always have this part of her.
When Bill staked Longshadow, I was ecstatic. It was my discretion whether Bill would be brought up on charges with the Magister. You’re fucking A right I was going to bring that twat up on charges! It was the perfect opportunity to get Bill away from Sookie. The traditional punishment for ending a vampire to protect a human was five years in a coffin lined with silver. I knew with Bill out of the way, I could easily win Sookie to my side. I was positively giddy the night Pam, Chow, and I went to escort Bill to the Magister. Pam could feel my joy in our bond and kept casting glances at me but said nothing. My happiness took a nosedive when I saw Sookie’s tear-stained face. As much as I wanted her for myself, the thought of her in pain troubled me. It was because of her tears that I ended up speaking in favor of Bill in front of the Magister.
Pam looked as if she wanted to stake me for speaking on behalf of Compton. I wanted to defang myself for the words that came out of my mouth, but I didn’t want to be the cause of Sookie’s heartache.
I still don’t.
The night Compton brought Sookie to Fangtasia after she was attacked by the maenad was the first time in my existence I knew I had a heart because I felt it breaking as I watched her suffer. I’m sure she thought my fangs were out because of seeing and smelling her blood, but that wasn’t the reason. My fangs were out because I was so angry at how helpless I felt. The only thing I could do was call Ludwig to help Sookie. Despite my strength, power, blood, and every other attribute I had, none of it could save the one who had stolen my heart. Once she was healed and after Compton retired to Longshadow’s coffin, it was the first time I was alone with Sookie.
For long moments, all I did was stare at her with all the longing I felt for her. My need to be closer to her brought me to my knees by her side. I grazed my fingers over her flawless skin. I leaned as close as I could to breathe her in. I wanted to hover over top of her so that I could feel the heat of her body pressed against mine and feel the beat of her heart echo through my chest, but I did not. The pleasure I took at finally being able to touch her was unparalleled, but it was short-lived. I did not want to run the risk of Sookie waking and finding me beside her. I knew she would think the worst of me, that I was taking advantage of her unprotected state. I went to my death that morning with a smile on my face because Sookie’s scent clung to my body and lingered in my coffin when I rose the next evening.
It was intoxicating.
Rising that evening found me close to bloodlust because of how badly I wanted Sookie. Her scent, her blood, her lush body so scantily clothed, and the fact she slapped me made me want to keep the bar closed and ravage her body for hours. The only thing that prevented me from doing it was the negotiation to release her friend Lafayette in exchange for her help in Dallas.
Sighing, I rise from my desk and begin pacing the length of my office. Dallas went so horribly wrong. I miscalculated when it came to bringing Lorena into the equation. In truth I miscalculated every scenario. It is because of me that Sookie lost her human life and rose a vampire. I selfishly could not let her go. While she seems to be acclimating well to her new existence, I fear that it will all come crashing down when she returns to Louisiana. While her brother accepted her, I have little to no hope that her friends will accept her. Will their fear and prejudice be the beginning of her descent into self-loathing and hating her new existence?
A knock at my door brings me out of my musings. I snarl at the interruption, “What?”
My eldest progeny flings the door open, letting it bounce off the wall. She strides confidently into the room, placing her hands on her hips as she stares at me broodingly.
“Blah, blah, vampire emergency, blah.”
As quickly as she entered, she strode out. The heels of her shoes clicked loudly on the cement floor as she moved down the hallway towards the bar. I roll my eyes at her theatrics but follow her. The bar is not busy for a weeknight, but there are several of the more persistent fangbangers in the bar, hoping that they will garner attention from a vampire. They are pathetic, and I am finding it harder and harder to stomach their attentions. I never imagined when we opened Fangtasia that I would become bored with the adoration so quickly. As I stand at the end of the hallway staring into the bar, it is not the fangbangers I notice.
It is the missing Shifter with two teacup humans.
I stride angrily towards the Shifter, my fangs snapping down as I reach him. “Where the fuck have you been? And why did you bring children into my bar?”
The Shifter places the children behind him, thinking to protect them from me. The children have nothing to fear from me. In my thousand years, I never attacked a child. The Shifter on the other hand, is far game.
“I’m here to ask for your help,” the Shifter says through gritted teeth. “There’s a maenad destroying everything and everyone in Bon Temps. I found the kids wondering alone because they said their momma hasn’t been home in days. Everyone seems affected by her madness.”
I stare at the Shifter with narrowed eyes. “What do you know of a maenad’s madness?”
The Shifter swallows fearfully as his eyes dart around the bar. I take a menacing step closer to him. “I…ah…I’ve dealt with her before. She, uh…she found me when I was a teenager out on my own. I know why she’s here,” he ends with a sigh as he scrubs his face with his hands.
I stare at him waiting for him to continue. He stares off to the side, not saying anything more. I growl in frustration. “Well? What is it she wants?”
The Shifter’s head drops back, and he stares up at the ceiling. He inhales deeply and exhales loudly before answering. “Me,” he says with resignation.
“Good,” I utter darkly. The Shifter’s head snaps forward to stare at me. “That will make my plan easier to enact.”