“He claimed to love her,” Eric returned with a slump in his shoulders. “He took no precautions for her protection. He did not bind her to him by blood exchanges only ties. I assumed he had revealed her to me so I could ascertain her effectiveness. I feared he was preparing to sell her off to the highest bidder with my testimony. I had put things in motion to protect her from poaching.”
“Such as?” Godric asked pen ready in hand.
“The demon lawyer Cataliades was preparing an employment contract for her. She had agreed to work for free at my disposal as long as any wrongdoings would be handled by human law enforcement where possible. The contract would put her on my company health plan. I knew she was in need of that.”
“She must be very special if she managed for you to agree to those terms,” Godric chuckled. “I would like to meet her.”
“Is that necessary?” Eric asked tensely.
“Yes,” Godric replied. “You have confirmed to me my suspicions that Compton was speaking half-truths. I wish to hear from Ms Stackhouse herself. I have already sent the human guards to retrieve her.”
Sookie lay atop the hotel bed picking at her food. She wasn’t very hungry under the circumstances but she forced it down regardless. She had checked in the night before with Alcide and they had snuck in Pam through the window. It was a small town and there hadn’t been too many vampire friendly thoughts when they had searched for suitable accommodations. Pam ended up sleeping in the bathtub whilst Sookie guarded her during the day. It had been quite disconcerting when she had to use the toilet with a dead to the world vampire lying next to it.
Pam would be up in a few hours and Sookie hoped Alcide had managed to arrange the helicopter with one of his fellow pack members. He had yet to make contact with her since departing back to Jackson.
She looked over the map of the area they would be searching and she was marking all possible caves. She had wondered how a vampire could live so reclusively without feeding. Pam had explained at his age Russell could feed once a year and it would sustain him without a pang of hunger. He could abstain from feeding for decades before it would truly impact his survival.
From Pam she knew about the mysterious death of his lover’s untimely demise. He had simply vanished and the tie that bound them together tethered into nothingness. Russell spent many nights desperately searching. Not even their shared blood could locate him. His reign suffered and he was exceptionally cruel to anyone that would even dare suggest Talbot was no more.
It wasn’t long before he could only tolerate the company of his second in command. One day during his day rest he felt the brief imprint of their bond dissipate into its final death. The blood bath left behind did nothing to alleviate his grief and the AVL had forged some sort of deal with his exile leaving his former second in charge. Lost in thought of the mysterious ancient vampire her lids fell heavy, resting them for but a short while.
Sookie startled awake from her unintended nap as the door she was resting against opened and the momentum had her flat on her back on the cool tile floor. Pam simply looked down on her as if it was the most natural position to find a human in. Considering her contact with humanity was mostly through her bar it wasn’t that far off her normal.
“Sookie,” she informed. “Alcide just texted. He’ll be at the prearranged spot within the hour.”
“I’m sorry I fell asleep Pam,” Sookie replied rubbing at her eyes. “I know your safety is important.”
“No one knew I was here,” she shrugged. “Besides I need you at your best tonight. Have you eaten?” Sookie replied she had and they quickly departed the room. Pam via the window and Sookie through the door.
“So when are you going to accept you’re mine poppet?” Pam said as she was nursing another vile synthetic concoction. They were seated in Sookie’s car at the agreed meeting point awaiting Alcide’s arrival. Sookie shifted uncomfortably at the blonde vampire’s declaration.
“I’m not your anything Pam,” Sookie said with apparent annoyance. “Technically I’m still Bill’s.”
“That is a bit of a technicality,” Pam replied with heavy sarcasm dripping of the individual vowels. “Just like the first time he proclaimed that.”
“What?” Sookie asked confused, scowling at Pam’s taunting quirked brow.
“His claim on you was unfounded the first night in Fangtasia,” Pam continued in her monotone voice till it quipped up towards the end, “I smelled your innocence a mile away. It was delicious!”
“If that is what it means to be yours,” Sookie said with a glaring eye roll, “then rest assured Pam that is never going to happen.”
“If you’re not mine when we meet Russell he’ll snatch you up on sight. You smell too damn delicious,” she said with a fangy grin. Sookie shivered uncomfortably at the sight of its appearance.
“Fine,” she gritted out. “Only around Russell will I accept your claim. No biting and especially none of the other stuff.”
Pam smiled with glee at her momentary triumph. “What about my master?”
“Eric?” she asked at which Pam nodded. “I guess I’m a little bit his too.”
“So not technically then?”
“I don’t know,” Sookie sighed with her mind flustered, she really didn’t want to think about the ramifications of it all. “Can I belong to two vampires at once or does one cancel the other out?”
“Yes. A human can belong to more than vampire. Not if one of the vampires is Eric though,” Pam said as she thoughtfully tapped the corner of her mouth with her index finger. “I guess he does cancel the other one out.” She finished with a menacing smile at the thought of her maker taking out Bill Compton.
“What do you have against Bill anyway?” Sookie asked. She had asked Bill but he had evaded answering her at the time.
Pam looked a little piqued. “Let’s just say I knew him when I was still a human. It was not pleasant.”
Sookie decided to leave it at that. She wanted to know more but Pam really wasn’t turning out to be the sharing type. It was like pulling at teeth or perhaps fangs in this case and Pam’s were especially sharp.
“How did you and the mouseketeer meet anyway?” Pam drawled in an effort to maintain a conversation through the deafening silence. It was still decidedly strange to Pam to interact with a human without the physical pay-out. She wondered if this is what being a vegetarian was like.
Sookie shared the details of their first encounter and all that had happened after. Pam was initially impressed as she listened to Sookie’s recollection of how she saved the surly vampire from a drainer’s fate. Though in her opinion Sookie should have just left him to the drainers, and that was a first for Pam. Her façade turned to stone when she heard of the next night’s events. Apparently little had changed with Bill Compton since she first met him.
The helicopter arrived as promised and they quickly got in with a snoring Alcide. Sookie assumed he must be really tired if he could sleep through the noise of the chopper. The pilot introduced himself as Logan Chase and they quickly hovered off to navigate the expansive area.
Pam instructed the pilot on the area they would circle first as Sookie concentrated on any detection of a void. Thankfully the pilots mind was preoccupied with flying and Alcide seemed to be dreaming about puppies.
They had been flying for hours. Some areas were marked as potential spots but Sookie had yet to find something definitive. The following night proved to be more successful.
“There,” Sookie said through the microphone of the headset as she pointed into the darkness. “Wait he’s gone.” She continued to focus her mind till she found him moving at great speed.
“He’s moving due north,” Sookie said as she located his direction. “Follow him.”
“No,” Pam said halting the pilot beside her. “He might think we’re chasing him. You’ll have to return during the day to locate his resting place.”
Sookie nodded as Pam directed the pilot to take them to Jackson where she could spend the day safely in a vampire hotel whilst Sookie would set out with the set of weres again.
They arrived with a few hours before dawn. Sookie collapsed into the heavenly bed as soon as she saw it. Pam partook, with great fulfilment, in the hotel’s available donors. When Sookie saw the bill the next day she assumed Pam had cleaned out their entire donor pool.
Eric rose early in his new surroundings, he could feel his maker’s presence but their bond was subdued. He was pacing, an uncommon act for his maker. Godric had always been light on his feet but they stood steady regardless. Although he had to wonder in the situation Eric now found himself in, how well he really knew his maker anymore. Centuries of mutual trust and affection had existed between them but it seemed Godric had discovered a new version of himself. Eric no longer found recognition in the maker that had discovered him mortally wounded that fateful night.
The wound he was festering at to protect Pam had given him an insight he never possessed before. Godric had spoken of Cecily once and only because Eric had asked if he had ever sired any other children. Godric had shut the bond down completely. At that time in his training as a newly born vampire that was not unusual occurrence, so he had not thought of it much. Eric had still been a little rash, erratic most nights. Though he had great control and restraint as a human in his vampire form he had to regain those teachings and apply them to his new state.
He continued to sense his maker’s turmoil and as Godric’s noticed Eric’s attention he promptly called on him with his maker’s call.
“What is weighing so heavy on your mind?” Eric asked as he was granted access to his chambers.
“No one has heard from the men who I sent to retrieve Ms Stackhouse,” he sighed. “You said she would not be forced to do anything. Is she capable of harming my men?”
Eric grinned a little at the thought. Yes the little blonde spitfire was capable of a lot, especially when she or her loved ones were threatened. The news of her slaying a serial killer with a shovel had raised his esteem of her to considerable heights. Eric only regretted not being informed of the threat to his personal asset at the time. Sookie had fought valiantly and carried her wounds with pride. He worried not for her location, he knew through his remaining faint tie to Pam that they were in northern Mississippi now.
“Sookie can be defensive but she would not take on an entire contingent of your guards,” Eric responded assuredly. “If they were reasonable she would come willingly. She came to Fangtasia whenever I summoned her through Bill.”
“I have heard things about this town before in the past. Supernatural activities, there is rumoured to be a portal there.” Godric sat thoughtfully patting the hard seat beside him for Eric to join as he ran through his afternoon musings again.
“A fae portal?” Eric asked as it finally dawned on him. It wasn’t because he was starving that had made her taste so good. She was part fairy. “I have been to the town once, I didn’t register anything unusual.”
Godric had stopped listening as his phone rang and he was informed the second group of guards had not reported back. He didn’t need to inform his child as he overheard the phone conversation perfectly.
“This does not sit right with me,” Godric said pensively. “We will fly out to Bon Temps at sundown.”
“As you wish master,” he replied happy to be able to come along to divert attentions if necessary. With a small bow he departed from the room to change into clothes that would withstand the high speeds of flight. The linen tunics everyone was now forced to wear would fall to threads in minutes. Eric was glad to be out of them, it felt like he was at the tamest pyjama party he’d ever attended and they had yet to locate a pair where the hemlines reached to his ankles.
They hovered over the town that was sprawled in disarray. Crowds of humans were recklessly violating property, sound and each other. When the two vampires descended down they observed that the humans’ eyes had glazed over into pools of black. Upon taking notice the humans they immediately writhed towards them begging to be bitten, Eric had yet to see this level of desperation at Fangtasia. Godric pulled out a small penknife and scratched a bit of skin from one of the willing donors. He sniffed at it before gently nudging the humans in another direction.
“My prophecy it has come true,” Godric said with satisfaction and wonder. Eric couldn’t contain the grain of disbelief at his lofty words. “You still doubt me,” his maker said dejected at the detection of it through the bond.
“You have raised a rational being,” Eric offered apologetically though he did not feel it. That probably hurt Godric more than the doubt Eric continued to hold onto. “I can follow you blindly wherever you lead me to. This is just not my cause.”
“It is yours too,” Godric said insistently. “You were a rational being before me.” He regarded the mayhem around them. “This will prove to the rational beings of my faith. Of our destiny,” he spoke aloud. The words were meant for his child but he mostly spoke to himself. They were too abstract for Eric to understand regardless in his great levelheadedness.
Eric followed his maker’s gaze as they took in the devastation of the town. He had seen this sight often in his many lifetimes. Destruction was as much a part of creation on this earth. Whether caused by supernaturals or the human race itself it was an endless cycle. Eric had long seen it for what it was. Action needed reaction and it oscillated back and forth continually. This was no different from any other incident of ruin he had witnessed despite his maker’s devout convictions.
“What of this Cyrus?” Eric asked wanting to know what was causing this. Godric continued to refer to the threat from his prophecy with this ancient name of an invader of the North. Whatever the threat may be Eric still felt responsible for the area despite the loss of his enacting title.
“A maenad,” Godric spoke fervently.
“They cannot be defeated,” Eric said drawing on his maker’s own teachings. “They are as eternal as the gods they worship.”
“The prophecy foretold I would defeat the undefeatable,” Godric said with joy in his eyes. It was the first time Eric had ever noted such an expression inside his maker. “Do you have any allies here?”
“Aside from Sookie there is a shifter who runs the local bar,” Eric offered.
“I will look for Sookie and the maenad. You seek out the shifter,” Godric commanded. They floated up and Eric pointed out Sookie’s home before he took off in the opposite direction. He landed in the deserted area of the parking lot. He sensed a collection of heartbeats inside, they were fast and erratic.
Three steadier heartbeats accompanied them. Their loaded guns greeted him as he suddenly appeared in the kitchen. He smirked with his fangs out at the lacklustre threat. He recognised the shifter Sam Merlotte but not the other two. The blonde one smelt vaguely of Sookie, Eric’s blood raged a little at the thought that Sookie had been with this man too until he looked closer.
This must be the brother Pam had told him about. He had unfinished business with him and by the fear wafting from the colourful one, the same went for him. Strangely enough he smelled vaguely of Pam. Upon closer inspection he recognised her fang marks. They were hard to miss were it not for his dark skin. Pam was still a messy eater despite her age, there was little remedy for it now he reflected wistfully. Without Eric to remedy it, her puncture marks would continue to mark the delicate necks of the women of the world.
“Northman,” the shifter spoke in recognition as he lowered his weapon and indicated the other two to follow suit.
“Why are you three unaffected by the maenad?” Eric asked curiously. “And why do you have a freezer full of teacup humans.”
“I assumed I am unaffected because of my weekend behaviour,” Sam said with pleading eyes. “I am unsure about them.”
“You,” he said pointing to the blonde one, “are Sookie’s brother, correct?”
“Yeah man, I am. Jason Stackhouse,” he said offering his hand, “You a friend of vampire Bill.”
Eric looked down at the hand with disdain which limply fell back to his side. “Far from it,” he replied. “I am a friend of Sookie’s.”
“What were you doing with my progeny?” Eric asked his attention now on the last unknown male.
“Sookie made me feed her,” he replied nervously. The two of them were hiding something, he should have spent his time glamouring it out of them and seek appropriate retribution. However those days had passed now that his Sheriff duties lay forgotten. He chuckled a little at the thought of the little Southern Belle offering refreshments to his child like a good hostess in the form of the colourful character before him.
“Did she give her your blood?” Eric asked with a discerning look as Lafayette still carried her scent when he knew Pam had left days ago. He nervously shook ‘no’ like one of those amusing bobble heads in response. Eric didn’t need to glamour the truth from the nervous duo their guilt was written all over them. Dealer and User he concluded. Former user he corrected, which was an unusual occurrence. His existence seemed to be filled with those now.
Eric moved into the dealer’s personal space and he froze solid with the vampire’s intense scrutiny. Eric dragged his nose over his sweaty skin scenting deeply. “Witchy,” he remarked disregarding the undertone of fried foods.
“That’s what she said,” the fry cook stumbled out nervously to which Jason laughed automatically. The warning look from Sam was the only thing that shut him up before Eric’s threatening gaze descended on him again.
“Dealer and user,” he said as he pointed to the two of them as he watched them pale and nervously caress the butts of their weapons. “Under normal circumstances your heads would be on a pike,” Eric threatened leaving no room for doubt. “Right now I don’t give a shit, I am in need of your assistance.” Before he managed to explain what he would need of them Eric doubled over in agony.
“Fuck,” he roared as the pain coursed through him from his maker’s bond into him before he managed to close it down to the bare minimum. “Eyes to me,” he commanded all three men who immediately did as they were told even writhing on the floor in pain they knew this was not a vampire to disobey. He intricately glamoured them about Sookie’s supposed whereabouts before rising up onto his feet again.
“Stay here I will return,” he warned leaving no room for objections before he took flight with great haste.
He swiftly arrived outside Sookie’s home, which seemed to be serving as Maenad central. Eric had never visited her home before, only having passed it on his way to retrieve Bill Compton for the magister. He disregarded the hedonistic orgy and bull headed woman around the bonfire in search for his maker. He located Godric stumbling down the steps of the porch. Without hesitation he sped to him and flew him back to Merlotte’s.
“What did she do to you master?” Eric asked mid-flight as he cradled his maker’s small form to his own body. For this moment he couldn’t care that the maker he loved without question was lost in his religion. He needed him to be well no matter what the cost, that loyalty would never die in him.
“I bit her,” Godric spoke softly tampering down on his agony.
“Her blood is poison,” Eric scolded as if he was his senile parent that needed admonishing like a child.
“Yes,” he sighed dejected. “Even to me.”
Eric didn’t say anything. Godric’s unquestioned belief in his own prophecy had left his maker vulnerable to himself. It reassured Eric that ration was not something to put aside for blind faith. He hoped, perhaps in vain, that this would allow his maker to understand the error of his ways.
“Shifter, French Fry guard the doors,” Eric commanded when he flew into the kitchen with his maker clutched to his chest. He waved at one of the teacups peering out of the freezer before scaring the child back in when he descended his fangs in display. A chorus of excited squeals erupted from the freezer before Jason told them all to calm down.
“User,” he said addressing Jason. “Feed him.”
“There isn’t any Tru Blood here,” Jason said.
“For fuck’s sake,” Eric growled as he grabbed Jason by the wrist and sunk his fangs in. It was apparent to him Sookie’s natural intelligence had clearly evaded Jason in the gene pool. Jason cried out in pain at the sensation of it whilst the blood sprayed around them.
“No,” Godric spoke strongly through his agonising pain. He held back the impending wrist from reaching his mouth. “I am still fasting.”
“Illness should allow for an exception,” Eric tried to reason tightening his hold over the bleeding limb to avoid waste. Godric had not seen such a plea in his child’s eyes since he was newly turned and he had disallowed Eric to partake in his favoured pleasures.
“The poison will pass,” Godric reasoned as he restrained his nostrils from taking in the scent of the dripping blood in the air. It was taking all of his strongest will to give in to the temptation of it. “I will heal soon enough,”
“You wish to leave the town to her mercy whilst you heal? It will take you weeks without blood,” Eric reasoned with a grave tone. He continued by trying to placate to his vanity, “How will you fulfil your prophecy without your full strength.”
Godric felt a small surge of pride. His son seemed to be losing his doubt, acknowledging his prophecy. It gave him hope and allowed himself to see the argument his child was presenting.
“He is unwilling,” Godric sighed still resisting with his newly found moral objections.
“This one owes us blood,” Eric said to his maker before addressing Jason. “Your debt will be settled between you and I.”
“Take it,” Jason said without hesitation thrusting his wrist in Godric’s direction. He reluctantly nodded and took in the deliciously sweet blood. Eric scented that it was not unlike Sookie’s, be it a less concentrated version. Considering how long his maker had not fed it would most assuredly taste like ambrosia. It was a shot in the dark from him but a shot nonetheless.
When Godric had his fill he instructed his child to seal the wounds. Eric noted his maker lingered a little in the sensation of the flavour but guilt soon took hold of his maker’s emotions.
“Why are there children here?” Godric asked when he finally took stock of his surroundings.
“We’re protecting them from the rest of the town,” Sam responded. “Can you get us out of here I have a supply truck out back. We couldn’t fight of the crowd with just the three of us.”
“Yes, we will retreat to Fangtasia,” Godric acquiesced, reasserting the sensations in his body as his full strength returned to him slowly. “But tell me where I can find Sookie Stackhouse first.”
A/N: Happy 4th of July to the Americans among you and a happy Friday for the rest of us. Next week will see a continuance of the diverging storylines but there will be a bit of a shuffle in cast. A little note about the maenad: I, like many of you, was never a fan of the storyline on the show so the interaction with her is limited. She doesn’t reappear for at least a couple of chapters but it is an important vehicle to Godric’s prophecy.
For those of you who have found my stories through my winning entry for Sephrenia’s writing challenge, In Memorium and Memento Mori, I am happy to announce it has found a continuing story. I will start posting it from Tuesdays onwards under the title From Time Immemorial.