A/N: A little FYI, I have chosen to forego the alternating POV in this story, I felt it was too limiting. Perhaps at some point in the future I will alter the previous chapters into the third person narrative.
We were interrupted by the cries of Lisbet and curiously Louvelle followed me to the nursery upstairs that was next to our small bedroom. In comparison to where Jason resided, the house was modest and could use some work, but it had us perfectly content despite the fact we were running out of places to put things for Lisbet.
“How did you find us, Louvelle?” I asked when she was deemed sufficiently pliant by Lisbet’s gurgles while she carefully held her and cooed.
“It wasn’t very hard,” she shrugged. “I know his scent, like my own family. I could always scent it in the wind the moment you stepped on European shores. All I had to do was find the opportunity and follow my nose.”
“As a wolf?”
“Of course,” she shrugged while rocking the baby in her arms with gentle ease.
“Can others?” I asked with a sudden panic. Alcide had, in my employ, revealed much about the Were community, but I had never heard of their skills being this highly evolved.
“Of course not,” Louvelle scoffed. “My mother was the last of an ancient line of thoroughbreds, tied to the Aurelies by blood. He may be disconnected to them by bond, but it will always be their blood that courses through his veins and yours,” she nodded at Lisbet with reverence, “and hers.”
My heart fell in my stomach with this information, wondering how quickly we’d have to leave this time, to an even more remote place where we had no chance of even comprehending the language. Surely this time we’d have to leave on our own, Isa and her family no longer necessary to see a risky pregnancy through. Perhaps Jason would come along, but it would probably be safer if he didn’t.
“Don’t worry,” she quipped before gently placing a lulled Lisbet into her crib. “I am the only one that can track you and no one knows I can. My father suspects, of course, for my mother was the last one that could, but I kept still.”
“Quiet,” I whispered in correction while I guided her out of the bedroom, leaving our daughter with a night light for company.
“Yes, Lisbet is very quiet.”
“No-” I attempted to explain the difference between still and quiet, but a knock on the door with the sense of a familiar void interrupted us. It wouldn’t be the first time he forgot his keys in haste. Despite the remote area and it being one of the safest in the world, we had been diligent from day one, locking every window and door carefully. Without caution, however, I flung open the door, letting the cool air come in along with the cold-blooded creature I hadn’t been expecting to see push against the barrier of my threshold uninvited.
That familiar Southern drawl expelled with ease, as did the malicious grin tipped with pearly white fangs, greeting me as if we were long lost neighbours, “Evenin’, Ms. Stackhouse. Why don’t you invite me in?”
The familiar name escaped her in a gasp as it corresponded with the one before her. Sookie wasn’t quite sure whether to be frightened or delighted. Thankfully, it was Eric who appeared out of nowhere with great speed and flight, equally as unrestrained about seeing the vampire in question, kissing her forehead affectionately, utilising her sudden position in his arms while she looked, suitably, alarmed. She looked even more so when Sookie engulfed the former ice queen in a great, big hug between them, leaving her nowhere to go in this affection sandwich. It hadn’t registered with Sookie until that exact moment how much Eric had given up in terms of leaving his Sanguine family, how much he had missed that connection, and how much more of himself he seemed than when it was just the two of them, three with Lisbet now.
“I missed you, Stackhouse,” she whispered so quietly causing Sookie to burst into profuse tears, part hormones, but mostly genuine cries of sorrow and delight.
“Me too, Pam,” she returned warmly. “How did you find us?”
“Wolf girl over there,” she grinned with a flippant gesture. “Knew she’d make a move eventually.”
“You followed me!” the girl in question cried in outrage, only to be returned with an unimpressed shrug. “It’s not possible! I would have sensed you!”
“Yes, you would, Sniffer Extraordinaire, hence the chip.”
“Don’t look so outraged, little bitch. Good little doggies get them all the time,” she dismissed. “Now where is the little munchkin?”
“Pam, are you here alone?” Sookie asked carefully, stepping back, the natural threshold that barred the vampiress entry into their home suddenly wielded as a weapon against her, in protection of Lisbet. Another tear trickled down Sookie’s face with how much her life had changed, there was happiness, but their world had become so small and it pained her to think that Pam would possibly have to remain a satellite outside of it for the nucleus of their tightly knit family of three to continue to exist.
“Of course,” she answered in a tone that revealed nothing, but Sookie could discern the hurt nonetheless. They remained silent, and it was a deeply unnerving thing when one species breathed heavily and the other didn’t. Eyes shifted nervously from one to another before almost inaudibly Sookie offered, “Pam, please come in.”
“You are sure you can trust her?” Louvelle demanded while Eric placed her things on the dresser of the small guest room. They knew better than to offer it to Pam, most likely she had her own lavish abode set up nearby and if not, Jason’s mansion was far better suited to her tastes than their small home.
“Yes,” Eric replied so certainly it even startled him with its definitive claim.
“I’m sorry I brought her here,” she said timidly, her face becoming obscured by the heavy curtain of her thick and straight hair, as sharply edged as the girl herself.
“We lasted longer than we thought,” Eric offered with an encouraging pat to her shoulder. “We knew it was only a matter of time, and we made the time we had count. Perhaps, like you, all Pam wants is to see us.”
“And Lisbet,” Louvelle added with a smile.
“Yes,” he beamed, hiding the fear that that statement inspired well from the teenaged girl. “Everyone wants to see Lisbet.”
“Eric,” she whispered when he was at the door, ready to turn off the light after bidding her goodnight. “Monsieur Godric, he misses you very much. He doesn’t say much, but then he never did. Now he says even less.”
He closed the door, but instead of standing outside of it he returned to the stool by the bed. It was laughable at how oversized he was for it, but neither one had the spirit to laugh in that moment. “Has he talked with you?” he asked tentatively, but she shook her head. The only friendship she had ever pursued with a vampire was the one she was with now. Godric, despite his appearance, had always seemed so old to her and the wisdom he carried intrigued, but never attracted.
“What was your plan, Louvelle?” he asked with a sigh. Eric hadn’t planned on having this conversation until she had at least a good night’s sleep, but he had recently become a father and that had brought him a new perspective.
“I just wanted to see Lisbet,” she sniffed. “I just…”
He smiled, Louvelle was never the one grasping for words even when they weren’t speaking in her native French. She always knew exactly what to say.
“It’s okay to miss someone,” he soothed. “I missed you, too.”
“I’m sure you did,” she grinned widely, her natural bravado returning to the forefront. “It’s a miracle Sookie is still with you without my guidance.”
“I do quite well on my own,” he grinned after a demonstration of mock outrage that sent her to a fit of giggles. “However, I’m sure I’ll do much better now that you are here.”
“Naturellement,” she said before burying herself further under the covers, a dopey and very tired smile pressing into her pillow. “It’s why I came after all.”
“That is just unnatural,” Pam scrutinised, “They can’t be that big.”
“It’s just milk,” Sookie shrugged, causing the baby on her breast to cry out in protest for the mild disturbance. “She likes you,” she smiled when Lisbet instantly calmed with a touch from Pam over the down hairs of her cheeks.
“Of course she does!” Pam huffed, letting her cool fingers linger, “Everybody likes me!”
“Stop trying to cop a feel,” Eric warned as he anticipated the calculated move Pam’s hands were making towards Sookie’s breast. She feigned innocence, but it was hardly convincing anyone, including a sceptic Lisbet who eyed her warily from the envious spot that suckled Sookie’s breast.
“How long till the rest show up?” Eric asked, sensing Sookie’s tiredness.
Pam laughed, but it wasn’t a very genuine display. It was one he recognised that came into play often in her court, meant to put her audience at ease while simultaneously heightening them to alert. “Do not delude yourselves,” she said. “They know exactly where you are. It is simply convenient for them now. When it is no longer convenient…”
They fell silent, Sookie worried as she often did, and it caused Lisbet to fuss once more, though a kiss from Eric to her head caused her to calm again, still the ill ease of her parents had yet to lift with the tense atmosphere.
“I forget you are so young sometimes,” Pam sighed. “There is little that’s your own now, little that you control. Even the things you think you control, you don’t. You are here, safe and undisturbed, because they allow it. The fact they haven’t shown up is a sign that they approve.”
“You know because they have told you this?” Eric asked with suspicion.
“Eric,” Pam returned gently, as if he were but a child. “I know this because I have lived this way for so long. It is a great gift to be an Aurelie, but nothing is gratis.”
“No,” Sookie whimpered in protest, and found it impossible to stem the stream escaping the corners of her eyes, stinging as they went. “Lisbet is ours. They cannot take her.”
“No matter what her name, she is a Brigant, she is an Aurelie,” Pam said stoically. Sookie had recognised that tone instantly. It was the official voice Pam had taken whenever she laid down one of her judgements in her Queendom.
“Are you here to take her?”
“No,” she said with a reassuring shake of her head. “Unlike her, for now I am not an Aurelie. I am no longer my Maker’s Childe.”
“Pam, I’m so sorry,” Sookie whispered, sensing the distress of that confession. She handed off a rather full Lisbet to Eric who made sure to shield Sookie as she recovered her breast. “What happened?”
“It is not so bad,” she lied as Sookie came to sit beside her. An informing glance made Eric disappear with their daughter to their bedroom, though all knew he would be able to overhear exactly what was being said, but the semblance of privacy was enough for Pam to divulge further. “I left the night after you did.”
“What about Kristian?”
“What about him?”
“Pam,” Sookie exhaled with worry. “You don’t have to pretend with me.”
“What is there to pretend?” she said, purposefully devoid of any emotion. The cool business tone was unnerving, but equally settling since it was so quintessentially Pam. “They took my crown as a precaution, and I didn’t want to stick around to be humiliated further.”
“Was it because of us, our disappearance?”
“Not everything is about you,” she answered in a clipped tone. “Without the tie to my Maker there was no assurance of loyalty. Of course it was easier to inform the public that I was not running the territory to standard, that my inability to act effectively with the attacks was ending my reign.”
“They disowned you like that?”
“I left before they could, it was for the best.”
“I don’t believe that,” Sookie said. “Kristian wouldn’t do that to you. Have you spoken to him since?” She shook her head, confirming what Sookie had assumed. “He has reached out to you, yes?” Another nod, another confirmation. “It’ll be okay, Pam,” she soothed while gently rubbing her back. Sookie honestly couldn’t remember ever seeing Pam this vulnerable, it was very much like Eric earlier in the night when he had latched onto Pam. Whether they felt the blood of their family inside them or not, the kinship and the loss of it left them mourning something they had always taken for granted and left them flailing without.
“What really happened, Pam?” Sookie pressed. “With you and Kristian?”
She stared at her with annoyance, a tersely-held brow communicated the former vampire queen was not in the mood to divulge a thing. “Come on, Pam.”
“He told me he loved me!” she finally growled out, incensed, making Sookie rather unsure whether it was for the coerced confession of the statement. “The nerve of him!”
Sookie stared at her dumbly, “This is a bad thing, why?”
“He ruined everything!”
The telepath could only stare in disbelief. Pam had some odd notions that were in part motivated by her upbringing and rearing as a Sanguine, but she was failing to grasp her thwarted logic.
Pam huffed with exasperation, “Of course you wouldn’t understand, you’re so young.”
“Try to explain it to me,” she said gently, suppressing her need to roll her eyes at being too damned young to understand what amounted to Pam and her idiosyncrasies.
“He told me he loved me,” Pam repeated, “He all but spelled out the end. He killed whatever was left of us.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Think about it, where do you go from there? We’re not mortal, there is no growing old together. Love isn’t made for eternity. Once you’ve said it there’s nowhere left to go but down.”
“You’re just being cynical,” Sookie dismissed.
“As long as one of us never said it, the possibility was there. Now it’s gone. We had forever and now it’s marked by time. The moment is lost, we can never be what we were.”
“But you can be something more,” Sookie encouraged. “Eric and I, we’re in such different places from where we started, and yeah, it was more exciting and new in the beginning, but still I prefer to have what we have now.”
“You have a little breather that binds you,” Pam pointed out. “You two are anything but ordinary, pining for years as you both did. Kristian risked something for a moment, moments don’t matter when time isn’t a limit. What’s to come is what matters, it’s where hope resides.” A single tear trickled from the corner of her eye, and surprisingly, she let it travel in Sookie’s presence. She knew Pam held a particular disdain for bodily contact, but she ignored it and moved in for a hug, holding her as she sobbed quietly. “He took the hope of us.”
“I don’t think he meant it like that,” Sookie assured. “I think he risked it all for a moment to endure.”
“It doesn’t matter now,” Pam sighed, her composure restored. “It’s the past, and the past is of no interest to a Sanguine. The future is all that matters now.”
Sookie nodded, fully aware that all she and Eric had been doing for the past year was denying this very thing, living day by day in denial of what was to come. Sympathetically Pam squeezed her hand with a kind smile, “Don’t worry. I’ll call him, for you,” she offered with an eye roll. “She’s your future and you need to know what to expect.
Cautiously she smiled back, a tension that had followed her from the moment they disappeared into the night finally relenting with Pam’s assuring words that all would be well. “Thanks, Pam.”
Later in bed when it was just the two of them, Lisbet and Louvelle both snoring happily, and Pam unquestioningly having installed herself as Lady of the Manor, bumping Jason from his master bedroom in the process, Sookie couldn’t help but be compelled by guilt. “I’m sorry,” she whispered into the dark, causing Eric to regard her with curiosity. She said it often, for the smallest things, and usually it wasn’t her fault, just her innate politeness kicking in. Before he could ask what she was sorry for she had already begun to answer, “It was so selfish, Eric, I took my family with me and what I thought was yours. I’m sorry, we should have stayed.”
“No,” he said, bundling her in his arms. “We did the right thing, maybe not for everyone, but we did the right thing for Lisbet. We did the right thing for us.”
“You think Pam is right? That they know exactly where we are and they’re just letting us be till it no longer suits them?”
“Maybe,” he said before falling to a whisper of resignation, “Probably.”
Louvelle’s excitement around them didn’t last long when her father’s disapproving gaze fell upon her the following day. Eric hadn’t hesitated for long, forcing the young wolf to contact her father and she remained temperamental with the betrayal, but neither had expected her father to show up so quickly. Her supposed indignation had diminished quickly when they saw who had accompanied him. It shouldn’t have come at a surprise, but somehow it had.
“Eric,” his Maker had barely whispered, containing the same sense of disappointment in the two syllables as carried by Louvelle’s father. Instinctively he swallowed, Adam’s apple bobbing, suspended somewhere between terror and contained joy with the impromptu reunion.
“Godric,” Sookie greeted with a sense of unease. She shifted nervously on her feet, unsure how to act as neither party was quick to volunteer any further spoken word. “Please come in.”
“Your home is lovely,” he commented, polite as always; however, in this instance the gesture appeared perfunctory rather than genuine.
The silence indoors contrasted heavily with that outside, where a worried parent expressed his anxiety the only way he knew, yelling loudly and with a healthy dose of profanity till Louvelle understood the gravity of her actions. Neither responded especially well.
“Would you like to meet your granddaughter?” Eric asked, the first words he dared speak since coming under the sudden gaze of his lost Maker.
“Granddaughter?” Again expressed no louder than a whisper.
“Is that not the correct term?” Eric asked with worry, Sookie’s hand coming instinctively to the small of his back to ease his nerves.
“I suppose she is,” Godric finally acknowledged after letting the silence linger on beyond comfortable once more. “We are somewhat in unchartered territories, however, yes, she is assuredly mine.”
They were spared another awkward silence as Louvelle’s indignant cry pierced sharply through the heavy atmosphere, setting off the cries of Lisbet simultaneously. Sookie returned swiftly with the crying infant, but not even Eric’s calming influence seemed to soothe her temper while Godric observed them with curiosity.
“May I?” he asked as he watched the two become more and more frantic with their inability to calm Lisbet. Without hesitation Eric placed her in his Maker’s arms, only noticing Sookie’s fear-filled eyes after the fact, the word ‘mine’ having taken a different interpretation to both, a very vocal appropriation and possession to Sookie while to Eric it represented belonging and family. “There, there, little one,” Godric cooed gently, shocking them both with the ease at which he calmed the girl whose wet eyes locked on the gentle face as it softened for her, something both Eric and Sookie were unaccustomed to detect in the ancient vampire. “Help is here.”
They watched with poorly held breaths as their daughter calmed, locking onto the curious gaze with her own, the tears gently wiped from her eyes gently as if she were the most fragile thing in the world.
“Are you taking her from us?” Sookie managed to choke out with wet eyes, her entwined hand clasping hard into Eric’s hold for added strength. Godric looked up in surprise, only sensing their mood of terror then.
“No,” he answered with an added shake of his head for emphasis. “A child should not be without its parent.”
“Parent?” Eric asked hesitantly, emphasising the singular.
“You must excuse me,” Godric said with a hint of a smile, though it seemed reserved solely for the child in his arms and not the ones to whom he was speaking. “I have been a vampire for so long, we have but one Maker.”
“We’re sorry we ran-” Sookie started.
“You did well in running,” Godric interrupted. “You even did well in staying hidden.”
“Until now,” Eric finished, voicing the unspoken end of his statement. His shoulders slumped with the realisation why Godric looked on them so severely, their much fought for independence was coming to an end and it was something his Maker mourned for him, for them. His deep disapproval lay in the fact that they had given it up for a teachable moment for the young were who was being berated outside. “I’m sorry.”
“I need no apologies,” Godric noted with a clipped tone that suggested otherwise.
“We did what we thought best,” Sookie offered.
He nodded in what one could be supposed was an agreement. “I had hoped for a boy,” he said, meeting her eyes again. “For your sakes.”
Neither one was well-versed enough to understand exactly what he had meant by that. The Supernatural were typically not that obsessed with patriarchy, but neither Eric nor Sookie were well-versed enough as to why Lisbet’s sex was of such importance to Godric.
“You will want Aelia as her godmother.”
“We were thinking more along the lines of Pam and Isa-”
“Trust me,” he interjected. “You will want Aelia.”
“Very well,” Eric acquiesced, causing Sookie to gasp involuntarily, announcing a conversation would be had over this decisive pronouncement.
“You may be her grandfather, but those decisions will be down to Eric and me!” Sookie countered with indignation.
“I am merely advising,” Godric shrugged, seemingly unimpressed by her protest. “It will be of utmost importance to consider those you trust from now on.”
“I don’t trust you, Godric,” Sookie spoke evenly, seemingly finding no reaction in Godric.
Lisbet’s hand clenched into a small fist around Godric’s pinkie and he took an extended moment to observe the gesture before raising his eyes again to meet the heated gaze of her mother, “That is probably be wise.” He placed a soft peck to Lisbet’s forehead before placing her back in Sookie’s arms.
“I will return tomorrow,” he announced while moving towards the front door, his eyes finding those of his Childe. “It is unlikely that I will be alone.”
“Goodbye, Godric,” Eric spoke softly, with a sense of finality, before closing the door on him and with another sigh, rested his weary head against the wood of the door before turning his gaze on Sookie and Lisbet, “Where do go we from here?”
A/N: So at least it wasn’t Bill at the door, but as for the rest of it… I know it’s looking a little bleak but it appears politician Godric is kinda sorta in their corner and well Pam has a munchkin to dress… now she just need to get her head out of her ass with that Maker of hers…
Many thanks to msbuffy for her everlasting patience through my writer’s woes…