Chapter 23 – Divide and Conquer

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“I’m sorry, Sookie,” he whispered against her unmoving lips while she continued to lay still in shock. He turned his head towards Isabel, regretting that he was forced to rely on a vampiress in whom he had little trust. “Bring them to safety. If anything happens to my Bonded, believe me, you will be begging for your true death.”

 

Isabel nodded curtly, understanding the severity while Sookie came to sense what was happening while he started to dampen the bond between them to spare her the onslaught of the continued, incessant call of his Maker.

 

“Eric!” she cried through heavy tears when he hovered over her injured body to say goodbye, anger overtaking her with the thought that he was leaving her in the midst of chaos. “Don’t you dare leave me!”

 

“I’m sorry,” he repeated before kissing her protesting mouth fiercely, trying to communicate he had absolutely no choice in the matter. The pull was becoming harder to ignore by the second. It was a sensation he had never experienced before, rationally he knew a Maker retained this prerogative to ‘pull’ a Childe to them whether or not the tie was finally cut. However, he had never anticipated the physical strain to be this great, fighting against his very instinct to stay and protect Sookie. Without the live connection to his Maker he had absolutely no ability to respond to the call. “I’m sorry älskling, Godric needs me.”

 

“No,” she begged, latching on to him physically in any way she could. “Please don’t leave me behind. I’m sorry, I should have listened better. I’m so sorry Eric, I should have known.”

 

Eric considered her request momentarily, but he knew she was too weak to sustain the cold night air, especially at the speeds it would require for him to return to Northern Louisiana, the fight against the call already draining him of the energy. He kissed her on the forehead before carefully disentangling from her weak hold on him, he proceeded to address Isabel to make sure she was taken to the hospital as her shallow breathes indicated the smoke inhalation wasn’t being cured by his infusion of blood. “I’m sorry,” he whispered again with pain in his eyes.

 

“Eric!” Sookie cried weakly while she tried to sit up; the dizziness in her head, however, forcing her into a horizontal position again. “Don’t leave,” she pleaded in a whisper once more before passing out.  Eric never got to hear the words, his body already launched into the air to seek out his Maker at the highest possible speed through the call of his blood.

 


 

Tara had been an emotional mess all night and Godric couldn’t understand through it all how to respond. Two thousand years and he was completely unprepared on how to respond. The force of her emotions were overwhelming, both through their bond and in the incoherent sentences she emitted at intervals. The ancient vampire questioned if he had ever felt something so strongly outside of bloodlust. Unsure of how to react or finding the words to offer, he had simply held her as she cried herself to sleep. He left with just enough time to spare to retreat into one of Eric’s safe houses nearby, only to pace the day away on the roughened concrete floor waiting for sundown while he made his plans on how to proceed. As soon as he had received the message where she asked him for help, he had dropped everything demanded of his new station including the diplomatic mission to his former Sheriff territory, sending Isabel in his stead.

 

Throughout the hours of the day, Tara had fallen to her monotonous emotional state again only allowing him to feel momentary bursts of anger, as was par for the course with her. He practiced his speech in the mirror, how he would step up and care for the child in whatever manner she saw fit. Mimicking concern on his face, a natural trait that was washed away from his now stoic face centuries ago, Godric decided he wouldn’t relent until she would at least entertain the thought to give him an opening; an opening to an opening if it came to that. Somehow he felt it necessary to back up his argument with a thing, a gift, he was assured human men did this to commemorate a life that was to be born, or at least the internet had assured him so.

 

He considered reaching out to Cecily but then decided against it, she may have been a fertile female once, but she was probably even more clueless than he when it came to offering a gift that would make Tara consider the life that grew inside as hers rather than the nuisance she now perceived it. With deep regret, if all else failed, he would offer to be there by her side in support of whatever decision she would make. In turn that had been the hardest decision he had made in the hours he waited out the sun as death to disallow the sight of new life.

 

The Internet had settled it for him in the end, which is how he came to be in the Shreveport mall moment after sundown seeking out jewellery store known for its robin egg blue boxes that the Internet had assured him would make any woman swoon at sighting. However, he found none who sold the rattle or baby hair brush he was looking for in the signature boxes. In the end, he decided it was probably for the best as all the items to present to an expectant mother were made of sterling silver. Looking somewhat lost, he continued to wander the mall in hopes of finding something equally alluring and slightly less painful on his skin.

 

While holding up the third onesie, a small smile crept up his face as the words ‘I love Dad’ were revealed when the tiny garment unfolded underneath his hands. It was the most inappropriate thing to gift to Tara, but somehow he couldn’t find it in himself to carefully fold it back and return it to its place like he had done with all the others he had rejected so far. A sudden surge in Tara’s emotions brought him to attention again while his mind had wandered off about the infant that might one day fill the piece of cloth. He wanted to let go, rationally he knew this was never the role Tara would allow him to fill, but he needed that piece of hope if only for the possibility to exist. He moved to the counter to pay until the volatility of Tara’s usual mix of anger and annoyance merged into fear.

 

Godric was up and out into the air, worry wracking his system. He should have felt guilt for setting off the alarm in the shop when he refused to let go of the piece of cloth that represented a new future to him, even if it wasn’t his. Tara was becoming completely numb, beyond anything he sensed from her before and he could only interpret it as bad news. As he neared her approximate location suddenly the tie fizzled to an echo of nothingness, crippling him in pain. He fell from the air, the softened ground still wet with precipitation as he sobbed into the soft white cotton staining it red, the word ‘Dad’ no longer legible. Through the pain of another bond being cut in such a short period of time, he managed to bring himself to the studio apartment where nothing seemed amiss. It wasn’t even a conscious motion when his body cried out for his Childe.

 


 

“Well, you’re not completely useless after all,” Niccolò grinned while shoving the depleted and satiated body from his.

 

“I told you my William would come through for us,” she returned while pulling herself up to rest against the headboard not bothering to hide her naked body to him. “He knows the telepath better than any of us.”

 

“You do know how to save yourself by the skin of your teeth,” he commended with little regard for the skill when he got up and slipped into a dark emerald silk robe.  “Your fellatio technique could use some work, but you are very skilled in the art of seduction. It doesn’t change anything once we have the girl. It’s a shame about the other one.” He motioned for the set of guards to restrain the infuriated former vampire Queen whose screams of protest were quickly strangled with a well-aimed shot of colloidal silver to the neck. “Pleasant dreams, Lorena,” he grinned before her lids fell closed again.

 

The large double set of doors closed on Niccoló before he took the only empty seat to the right of the Guardian at the lengthy conference table. A brief exchange of nods was given for formality’s sake while everyone settled down.

 

“The plans are in motion?” Roman questioned to the youngest member of their curia, Nan Flanagan, who unsurely stood to present the latest information.

 

“How goes things in Dallas?” Niccoló asked when it appeared the woman had nothing but meaningless facts to regale.

 

“We cannot reach our contact,” she answered nervously.

 

“Eliminated?” Salome requested with a cocked brow.

 

“We have no confirmation,” Nan returned. “A team is on its way right now. It is difficult with Stan’s forces.”

 

“He may be an unintelligible box of muscle, but he does inspire loyalty,” Niccoló sighed before regarding Roman thoughtfully.

 

“Perhaps we should expedite our plans with Texas,” Roman tested.

 

“No,” Niccoló proclaimed. “Too soon. We wait.”

 

“We wait,” Roman agreed with a little hesitance.

 


 

“Eric?” Sookie croaked out when the oxygen mask was finally removed and replaced with a tube that allowed her to breathe in through her nose.

 

“Is that the tall and dark young man in the hallway?” the nurse asked kindly of the stationed vampire from Stan Baker’s entourage.

 

“No,” Sookie said sadly with a shake of her head while tears at her abandonment threatened to fall again. “Tall and blonde.” Ancient.

 

“Sorry hun, no one of that description out there,” she smiled. “Can I call him for you?”

 

“I don’t think so,” she replied, with the realisation she didn’t even have his phone number memorised had it been of any use, causing her to emit a poorly contained sob.

 

“Looks like your man is here in spirit,” the nurse perked up with the sight of a delivery man with flowers knocking on the door. Sookie had to admit the arrangement was beautiful, but it wasn’t him and it seemed to hurt to the very depth of her soul that he wasn’t here beside her right now. “The doctor will be here to see you any moment.”

 

Sookie nodded absently at the nurse while signing for the flowers. She picked the card out of the small envelope and had to snort a little at the sight of a teddy bear wishing her to get well soon. It was obvious Eric had instructed whoever had been at the end of the line to make the decision for him which was only more obvious by the feminine script inside. She was thankful for the tube delivering air as she had momentarily forgotten to breathe when reading the words that she assumed by the uninspired handwriting the florist had written these words all too often.

 

I’m sorry. I love you.

 

-E.

 

Tears fell, she wasn’t sure for what anymore. The sense of betrayal or the words only to be interrupted by a small chirping noise that sat hidden behind the large vase. With a bit of a stretch she managed to retrieve the irritating noise maker only to discover it was a small cardboard box with her name on it. The chirping continued till she managed to release the thick tape and find a phone inside. A smile overtook her as the display reading ‘Eric 2’.

 

“I love you too,” Sookie spoke hoarsely when she flipped open the phone and held it to her ear.

 

“Glad to hear it, my little nugget.”

 

“Pam?” she all but sobbed out.

 

“Sorry to disappoint, dearie,” she cackled, unaware of the emotional turmoil Sookie was experiencing in that moment. “Eric’s airborne and he asked me to check in with you till he could.”

 

“IT SAID ERIC!” she accused with great anger overtaking her. “THOSE WORDS WEREN’T MEANT FOR YOU!”

 

Pam stared at the phone with wide eyes not quite sure how to respond to the emotional outburst. Dr. Abbey had never discussed this. Logan took the phone from her hands and carefully probed, “Was that the first time you were expressing that to your man, Sookie?” A strangled whimper confirmed as much. “Listen, he’ll be excited to hear that no matter what and when. You holding up okay?”

 

“No,” she sobbed. “I feel like a part of me is ripped away and I don’t know what’s going on. I feel so empty inside.”

 

“You bonded?” Pam demanded after grasping back the phone. “Fucking asshole doesn’t tell me a thing.”

 

“Yeah, me too,” Sookie huffed. “Where did he go, Pam?”

 

“Godric had an emergency and isn’t answering a phone, it’s all he knew. He had no choice, Sookie, no one can fight their Maker’s pull,” Pam offered consolingly before her voice fell to a whisper. “Not even Eric.”

 

“Oh,” she returned feeling slightly guilty for being so demanding of Eric’s presence when something was clearly wrong with Godric to warrant such an extreme measure. “Pam, is this the bond’s doing? That I feel so miserable without him?”

 

“I lack the experience to know, Sookie,” she answered honestly. “Could be, could also be because of those three little words you whispered so sweetly in my ears.”

 

“PAM!” Sookie cried out harshly, forgetting the damage to her throat, but she couldn’t help giggle a little at the vampiress’ antics. “So have you told Logan yet?”

 

“I have to go,” she lied before Sookie could protest and quickly hid from the raised brow that hung in question on Logan’s face. “Eric’s on the other line.”

 


 

“Godric,” Eric called out from the threshold that barred him entrance into Tara’s apartment where he could only see his Maker’s crumpled form sobbing in the corner. He didn’t think he had ever seen him so broken before and finally came to understand the disbelieving words Cecily had spoken of his desire to seek out the sun. He had hidden this side to him all along.

 

“Eric,” he said with a surprise barely lifting his face to meet his gaze. “What are you doing here?”

 

“The Maker-Childe bond escape clause,” he offered in explanation where they both instantly understood that it had only been activated through the intensity of the emotion that had surged through Godric with the sudden loss of Tara.

 

“What happened to you?” Godric questioned when he stalked towards the door and finally noticed Eric’s dishevelled state.

 

“We were attacked,” he spoke aloofly not wishing to further upset his Maker’s already fragile state. “An ambush at the airport.”

 

“You must return to Sookie,” Godric spoke with deep concern. “I am sorry I called you like that.”

 

“She is being well taken care of,” Eric assured with the knowledge of the bond that she was sound asleep. Added to that, Pam had given rather extensive details over multiple voicemails mid-flight and though he wanted nothing more than to follow Godric’s suggestion, he knew he was needed here too. “What happened?” he asked peering into the small studio where nothing but the sight of his Maker seemed amiss.

 

“I’m not sure,” he whispered coming outside still holding the onesie tightly in his hand. “Her emotions spiked, but that was not unlike her, but she seemed fearful and then she just went numb. It felt like she dissipated.”

 

“No physical pain?” Eric questioned.

 

“No,” Godric answered with surprise. It wasn’t something he had contemplated in his grief. “Tara can fend off entire armies with her offensive tongue; this isn’t like her.”

 

“You are uncertain she is truly dead?”

 

“No, I’m no longer sure. Her presence it is vaguely there, like Pam.”

 

Eric quirked his brow and didn’t hesitate to contact the woman herself. “Get me Russell,” he demanded through the phone he had lifted from the first idiot he saw driving and talking on his phone. He knew Sookie would disapprove of the theft, but he felt it justified for the human’s inability to legally do two things at once.

 

“Well, hello to you too,” she grumbled before lowering her voice an octave in a poor imitation of him. “No ‘how’s my Sookie?’ or even ‘how’s my loveable only Childe?’ or do I have a sister I know nothing about too?”

 

“Russell,” he warned. “Now.”

 

“Bottom!” Russell greeted with the self-fashioned pet name in homage to the Viking’s enticing behind and the preferable position the three-thousand-year-old vampire would like to take him in. “I knew you’d succumb to my charm eventually.”

 

“This line is secure?” Eric demanded, ignoring the joyful glee in Russell’s voice.

 

In seconds a flipped switch became audible to them both. “It is now,” the King of Mississippi answered with a more serious tone, oozing a voice of business. “What can I do for you, Northman?”

 

“When your tie with Talbot faded,” Eric probed carefully. “How did it feel?”

 

A deep sigh was emitted before the ancient vampire replied, “Like a light dimming, from everything into nothingness.-”

 

“But a remnant of the electrical current is still there,” Godric finished up after taking possession of the phone. “Gone-”

 

“But not forgotten,” Russell confirmed with a hint of excitement. “You have experienced the same? With Cecily?”

 

“No,” Godric clarified to the man he only knew by reputation. “This was different, a human I was tied to. You sensed no physical pain in the process?”

 

“No,” Russell replied in an equally soft tone. “It took me some time to pick up on the curiosity of that. When did this occur?”

 

“Hours ago, I think.”

 

“You lost track of time,” Russell noted with recognition. “Give me your location, I wish to trace the scents.”

 

“You think it the same as with Talbot?” Godric enquired after informing Russell of their whereabouts.

 

“I am all but certain,” he responded. “You two haven’t exactly been playing footsie with the Authority, now have you?”

 

“You think he is alive?” Godric tested carefully, tasting the hope he didn’t dare hold out for Tara’s faith hours before. The cotton onesie that held his tears was suddenly held with reverence as he tucked into a pocket close to his heart.

 

“No,” Russell replied. “I no longer think, I know now.”

 

The line went dead instantly, the King of Mississippi already scurrying out the door while Pam trailed behind him. “Pamela, darling. Not a word of this to anyone. You’re holding down the fort,” he instructed. “My crown better be here when I get back and don’t think I won’t fucking smell it if you fuck that Were on my throne!”

 


 

A/N: Thanks to msbuffy for all the hard work she puts into editing my chapters.

 

So some of you had caught on that the Maker ‘Batcall’ was initiated because of Tara’s disappearance last time, I hope now it explained why Godric was so out of control with the use of it. The characters are shuffling in location again and it will be interesting to see what the Authority is up to and while Eric and Sookie suffer from a bit of bonding sickness, and the question of how much of a loose cannon Russell is will become more apparent or not… and let’s not forget poor Godric and his adventures at the mall… right more insight into what’s going on next time. Hope you all enjoyed and thoughts welcome as ever!

 

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17 thoughts on “Chapter 23 – Divide and Conquer

  1. It seems the plan to divide and conquer has completed it first stage–divide. I am hoping that Eric can get back before they take Sookie to the bad guys. Of course he won’t because what would be the fun in that 🙂 I really liked seeing my review start the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it was a brilliant review and it saved me from having to recap what happened last time 😉 You’ll just have to wait and see who ends up where next but it will be fun… well at least for me 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Is the Authority behind all of this?? All to get Sookie?? I hope Eric makes it back to her before someone tries to take her.. Is it possible Tara and Talbot are still alive ?? Can’t wait to get some answers, its frustrating not knowing whats going on.. Loved it..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmmm can’t say yay or nay… You’ll frustratingly have to wait and see… Why is everyone always worried about Sookie, maybe Eric needs rescuing again, she already saved his ass once, so why not twice? Thanks for loving it despite the frustrations! 😀

      Like

  3. Godric buying the onesie is adorable. I hope Tara is okay and that he can convince her to let him take care of her and the baby–after he finds her. Looks like Sookie is having trouble with the bond being stretched. So many things are going on. Great chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

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