Disclaimer: I don’t own True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Those rights to belong to Charlaine Harris, Alan Ball and HBO. I am in no way affiliated with them, no profit is being made and no copyright infringement is intended. I simply like to play with the Viking!
A/N: I do own my OC’s and their antics and this particular spin.
I sat up on the sofa with a slightly stiff neck, hoping that a very hot shower and some ibuprofen might take care of that little inconvenience. I had the urge to check on Godric to make sure he was OK, and then thought better of it. Not only might that send the trust we were building into jeopardy, it would also be an inexcusable invasion of his privacy. Still, if I decided to disregard those two things given that he probably wouldn’t know I was ever there, the door was locked. I took comfort in the fact there was nothing that could have happened to him without my knowledge even while I slept in the main room. I wasn’t usually a heavy sleeper. I shook off that thought. He was fine. Everything was fine.
After folding and returning the throw in its rightful position, I dragged myself into the bedroom, tossing the pillow back onto the bed. When I glanced at the clock, I was shocked to see it was six in the evening! Unbelievably, for the first time in days I awoke before sunset! It was close, but still. I couldn’t verify this, of course, since I left all the light-tight shudders closed for Godric’s protection, including those in the bedroom, just in case. I wasn’t sure what time he would rise, and didn’t think rays of sun streaming through the windows would be a welcome site for the ancient boy.
Yes, I still thought of him as a boy. Being introduced and getting to know him as someone I believed was a teenager would take some time to wrap my mind around. The mere fact that he was alive during the reign of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor was just…crazy! I didn’t know why, but I never thought twice about the notion of Russell being 3,000 years old. That in itself was absolutely insane! I wondered how Godric possibly dealt with becoming a vampire while he was still so young. Of course during those times, at sixteen-years-old he already would have been considered a man for several years. In some ways, he acted like a teenager, but that was more than likely the image he attempted to project to others. In other ways, he behaved more like a man and I was sure that I would soon come to see him that way, but for the time being I was his senior, at least in my mind.
The other vampires I knew were all adults, or I guess, appeared that way anyway. I supposed I wasn’t sure. I had never asked. I mean, who knew really? For whatever reason, it didn’t faze me in the slightest that they were decades, centuries, or in some cases, more than a millennia old. Eric looked to be the same age as me.
What would it be like to walk the Earth so long? How much had they seen in their long lives? There was so much that could be learned from them, any of them, all of them! Did anyone ever bother to ask? I knew I hadn’t, but now I found that I wanted to know as much as possible…about everything! I had never been much for history. Then again, I had never known anyone or so many who had been there and lived it. It was fascinating, not to mention overwhelming and daunting, to say the least.
Unfortunately, I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the daylight seeing as I couldn’t bring myself to leave Godric alone in my suite, despite the fact there were spells protecting the room. I wondered if there was an expiration date on how long they would last without a little magical boost. Neither Maggie nor Octavia had mentioned anything in that regard, but, at the time, we hadn’t thought our stay here would last any longer than a couple of days. At least, I hadn’t believed it would. Who knew what the hell either of them thought at any given time? Maggie had hoped to stay a week, at minimum! Where the hell is she anyway…and Octavia for that matter!?
When it was just me staying here, I was comforted by the little bags hanging on the door frame. Now I was concerned for Godric. Would they be strong enough to protect him, or would his age over ride that? Was that even possible, or was I just being paranoid? Probably the latter, if he had used Octavia’s abilities. There was no way to ask her though without exposing that we were together. Maybe I could ask her hypothetically, as if I was planning for the future when we would meet up to talk. It might be a good idea to be certain; that is, if I was even be able to reach her. I could really only trust the fact that they had kept him from entering and hoped that was proof enough of their strength.
Then I started to wonder, wasn’t anyone worried about him? I was still very concerned on the subject of what was troubling him. I knew there was more than he was willing to tell me, yet I didn’t think he had told anyone else either if he left without a word, just the same as someone else I knew! For the love of God, stop it! He is nothing like Eric! Did he have a significant other who would be worried after days of not hearing from him? Surely, they, of all people, would be concerned. What if he was married? Did vampires even get married? Were his nestmates upset that he had left, or was he right to think they would respect him enough to leave him alone?
I imagined his age gave him some power in the sense that no one would mess with him, but I didn’t really know. That sort of seemed to be the way it worked in their world. I guess it’s my world, too, now, but I still don’t know the first fucking thing about it, or anything else for that matter! From what I had seen, it was obvious that Eric was well respected and feared simply from the way others had behaved around and toward him. I could only guess that was due to the fact that he, too, was an ancient. No one really spoke to him, outside of Pam and maybe Russell, that I’d noticed. I hadn’t seen him with Russell outside of the filming, but it was obvious they were friends. Of course, there was also Douchebag Bill who spoke to him, but Eric didn’t seem to hold much regard for him, and I sure as hell didn’t either. He was a dick. Odd that I wasn’t afraid of any of them, not even Fuckface.
I had to wonder how Sookie could stand being with Bill!? She obviously couldn’t see past his façade of suave well-bred chivalry. I could. He was an asswipe. No, that wasn’t true. I wouldn’t even wipe my ass with anything he offered, even my ass deserved better than that! That thought made me laugh. I still couldn’t fucking believe he said I should’ve died! God damn motherfucker!
Regardless of what Douchebag thought, I was beyond glad that Eric had saved my life that night. I still wasn’t entirely sure of the reason, and I definitely didn’t hold out much hope that it was anything more than my association with him. He had been seen with me quite a bit and it would’ve drawn attention to him to have been the last one seen with me before my demise. He couldn’t very well blame it on a werewolf that I was on the third floor of the school.
Still I was grateful, even if I would never be able to tell him. I hoped I had thanked him. Though with my constant peril and confusion at that time, it was difficult to remember, not to mention the distracting activities that followed my recovery. Regardless of his callous departure, saving me was still an act of kindness, or maybe he really was only thinking about what the consequences could mean for him if I died. Jesus! Stop thinking about Eric! I was so conflicted when it came to him. I didn’t know what to think and I had to focus on his last act only, not all the pretense and pretending that led up to it. One. Night. Stand. Focus on that and move on! It didn’t matter that my feelings had changed, or that I had realized or accepted them, or whatever.
I thought about Godric again. Was he close to anyone? Wait! He said he had a child! Did he have more than one? I hadn’t asked and he hadn’t volunteered the information. I knew he at least had a grandchild, if they called it that. I should encourage him to contact them, at least one of them, if only to put their minds at ease. If he closed off his bonds, what would that mean to them? Did they feel it? Would they know if they weren’t trying to feel it or something? I still wasn’t sure exactly how that was done. It was more than likely something I wouldn’t be able to understand. As if I understood anything at all about the Supernatural world, let alone vampires and their bonds!
Then I thought about the stupid argument I had with Eric about it. If there had been a bond started between us, he would have undoubtedly done the same thing and closed it off when he left. If there was, would I be able to do that? That was definitely something I wanted to know, if not for now, then for future reference. Pam said he had been mumbling about a ‘fucking bond’ and I was one hundred percent certain that he had been talking about me.
Was that the reason I couldn’t get him out of my head and my dreams? I hoped that wasn’t the case. As difficult as my emotions had been to deal with, as hard as it was constantly warring with myself, I didn’t want to think they were the byproduct of something else. It would be the same as if he truly was only drawn to me by my Siren-ness. No, it would be better if he was right and nothing had started between us. I could only imagine it would take longer for me to get over these new feelings, which I needed to do. ‘Shut the fuck up! You felt something before that night! When he held you after Pam knocked you down. The way he took care of you that night, and again, the night you went to the hospital. You already felt something more for him!’ My inner voice scolded me.
I rolled my eyes over the fact that it didn’t even fucking matter anymore. As much as it pained me to think about never even seeing my Dream-Eric again, I needed the dreams to end. It wasn’t doing me a bit of good to be constantly thinking about him, both asleep and awake. He was like an addiction and I needed to break my habit before I drove myself insane…well, more than I already was. ‘Then stop fucking thinking about him and stop talking to yourself about him, dumbass!’ Why wouldn’t the dreams stop? Every night he was there. Every fucking night he told me he couldn’t leave! Why? Was it the tie? I’d had his blood. How long would that last? Would they stop when it left my system?
My inner voice was right. I had enough to deal with, namely, whatever the fuck it meant for me that I was a Siren and, of course, my poor Godric’s dilemma. I truly hoped we would be able to help each other as I had told Dream-Eric. Godric had seemed nervous about whatever he sensed to be down the hall. Had he actually sensed something? Did he smell something or maybe someone? Was he concerned about the Were who was a few doors down? Octavia said that Weres and vampires didn’t exactly get along. I would try to remember to ask him. I was concerned for him, of course, but that really was at the bottom of my priority list.
If he felt so strongly about it, he would say something. Maybe he could tell me if it was just another human? Another human? That’s rich! You’re not human…not entirely! I began to wonder who else or what else might be on the coveted twentieth floor. It was all so very secretive. Were all Supernaturals unnaturally quiet, or were all the rooms filled with wards? I was certain I was overthinking things again. I knew that I, myself, was very quiet in my room, to the point of covering my mouth when I thought there were others in the hall. I had been uncomfortable knowing someone had been trying to determine if there was anyone in this room, but I wasn’t necessarily freaked out until I saw him acknowledge to someone else that there wasn’t.
I grabbed an Energy drink out of the refrigerator and chugged it down, knowing it was going to be another long night, and then started pacing ’round the room. Who was with the large man? Which one of them had actually wanted to know? Was the person he was protecting asking or was it he being simply curious? I needed to get my mind on something else before I became ridiculously paranoid, or too inquisitive for my own good. I reasoned that I should just be relieved that they dismissed the thought. It meant the wards and spells were working.
After all, I had nothing to fear. If I ignored them, they would ignore me, right? That’s what Octavia said. I shouldn’t draw attention to myself. Leave everyone alone and don’t try to figure out what they are. Until the assumed bodyguard stopped outside my room, I hadn’t taken a moment to worry about anyone else being nearby. Call it bravado, but I naïvely assumed I was the only one on this floor. Now that Maggie hadn’t turned up and Octavia was unreachable, coupled with Godric’s anxious behavior, I was starting to question if I should have been more concerned all along.
Since I had time to kill, I called room service for dinner, and then proceeded to the bathroom to luxuriate in the shower I had been thinking about since I awoke. It was as relaxing as I’d hoped it would be and I felt the muscles in my neck soften with the hot water cascading down my back. I was feeling much better once I finished dressing in my jeans and an oversized SLU tee-shirt. The knock on the door came just as I finished pulling it on.
I padded to the doorway in my bare feet and checked the peephole. I was pleased to see Barry standing in the hallway and opened the door. I still needed to get in touch with Sookie and tell her about him. It could be that she might not want to know, but I would bet that she’d be curious.
“Hey! Are you the only one that works here?” I laughed, and stepped back to let him in.
“Well, no, but I just came on shift and not many of the staff are willing…” he began awkwardly averting his eyes, “That is, not everyone tends to the upper floors.”
I had a very good idea of why they wouldn’t be willing to go to the top floors if they knew anything regarding the type of clientele who stayed in the hotel. However, I found it difficult to believe that the human staff would know, or the Supernatural staff would even care. Maybe the management was looking out for their staff by not sending them? The cat wasn’t out of the bag, so to speak, about lions and tigers and bears, oh my…or vampires, werewolves, and whatever the hell else! It was also possible that they had been glamoured to stay away from those rooms.
It made me wonder why Barry was willing. He certainly didn’t seem comfortable in the general sense. Perhaps his ‘gift’, if he really had it, helped him in that regard. I wondered what he would do if I asked him if he was a telepath. Again, I had to question if he could hear me or just music. I didn’t even know what that meant. Sookie hadn’t said it to me directly. She told Eric and Bill while they thought I was sleeping.
“So, you have special privileges?” I asked, noticing his eyes had wandered to the door of the room where Godric was resting, and his body had tensed.
“Actually, I don’t have much say in things, but I don’t mind so much when some people are staying here,” he said, blushing slightly and glancing at me, then averting his eyes again.
“Well, I appreciate it. I was wondering if you could do something for me?”
“Of course, what do you need?” he asked somewhat eagerly, finally looking at me fully.
“I would like you to leave the food and everything else on the counter, and take the cart back down with you? I will wash the dishes myself and put them in the cabinets, if that wouldn’t be a problem?”
“Someone can come and pick them up later. You don’t need to do that.”
“No. I would rather…not be…”
Before I could say that I didn’t want to be disturbed, I saw Barry’s head turn abruptly toward the small room again. He was frowning, and his head cocked to the side, almost as if trying to see through the wall or maybe he was ‘listening.’
“Is someone else here?” he asked, continuing to stare at the door. His voice was a strange mixture of fear and dread.
“Nope. Why do you ask?”
“I just thought… I mean, I would hate to think…that you…” he began stuttering.
I cleared my throat to bring his attention back to me.
“I’m the only one here. Although, I have to say, as much as I like you with how nice and accommodating you’ve been, if I did have company, I don’t really think it would be your business, do you?”
“No, no. Of course not, I’m sorry. I just… I don’t know… Sorry,” he mumbled, quickly unloading the items from the cart. I noticed there were two more bottles of the delicious wine.
“I didn’t order those,” I said, indicating the bottles.
“You didn’t? They were on your order ticket.”
“No, I didn’t. You can take them back.”
He removed the bottles from the cart and placed them on the counter by the sink, ignoring my protest.
“I can’t take them back. I’m always supposed to deliver everything. If you don’t want them, then I guess you don’t have to drink them, but they were added on. If I take them back, someone could think I was keeping them for myself.”
“That’s ridiculous… Why does someone keep sending me wine?” I asked more to myself than to him.
“I don’t know, but it’s yours. I really need to get back downstairs now. If you need anything, call the desk and someone will take care of it,” he said, quickly handing me the folder to sign.
His behavior seemed off all of a sudden, and I could tell he really didn’t want to stay another minute in my room. I could only assume he somehow knew what kind of guest I had and wanted to get out as quickly as he could. I signed the bill, adding a hefty tip for him, and thanked him again for his assistance. He mumbled a ‘thank you,’ and quickly pushed the cart back out of the room. Obviously, we were finished talking, and I somehow knew he would not be the one returning if I were to call downstairs again.
I closed the door behind him, locked it, and turned around to find Godric standing behind me, wearing the pseudo-pajamas I had given him. I let out a squeal and jumped back.
“Jesus! You scared the shit out of me! How long have you been standing there?”
“I apologize. I only just now left the other room. Who was that?”
“The bellboy. He didn’t see you, did he? I told him I was alone. Not that it matters, I guess. I mean, it’s none of his fucking business, but I didn’t want to…I don’t know, ‘out’ you.”
“I appreciate that, and, no, he didn’t see me. I heard you speaking to someone when I rose and waited until he left to come out.”
“Godric, he literally just left. How did you get behind me so quickly?”
“Vampire,” he said, pointing at himself and smirking.
“Right. Hey, isn’t it early? Why are you awake already?”
“Cricket, I’m very old. I generally rise a couple of hours before the sun has completely set. However, I don’t think it will be too much longer now anyway.”
“Oh. Well, then I’m glad I left the shutters closed.”
“I noticed. Thank you. That was very considerate of you.”
I could only shrug and smile at his compliment. Then something occurred to me and I had to know!
“Can I ask you something?” I asked tentatively.
“Do you think it’s weird that you’re starting to feel like my kid brother?” I asked, moving to the counter to retrieve my food.
“It’s only weird in the sense that you are starting to feel like my daughter.”
“That is weird. I look much older than you!”
“It doesn’t matter what you look like; I am much, much, older than you!”
We laughed together for a minute while I grabbed my dinner. There was a dinette set on one side of the room that I actually hadn’t even noticed yet, and I took my plate and utensils there. Godric followed behind with one of the bottles he had opened along with an empty red wine glass. We sat across from each other while I prepared my meal and settled in.
Despite the fact that I wanted to try something else from the menu, I couldn’t bring myself to order anything other than another Caesar salad, the only difference being that my new salad was topped with grilled chicken rather than shrimp. It smelled as heavenly as the first one. Briefly, I pondered asking Godric if he knew Julius Caesar and if he really ate this salad, then dismissed the thought. ‘You’re an idiot!’ Godric sat silently, watching me as I speared a piece of chicken and brought it to my mouth. I stopped my movement, meeting his gaze.
“Um, you’re not going to sit there and watch me eat, are you?”
“I’m sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable?”
“No. Not really, but don’t you want to take a shower or change or something?”
“Yes, I suppose I could do that while you eat. I will return soon.”
“I didn’t mean you needed to leave. You can shower here. Besides, isn’t the sun still up?”
“Yes, however, there are no windows between the penthouse and this room, and no one will see me if I use the stairs instead of the elevator.”
“Oh. OK, then,” I placed my fork on the plate, stood, and walked with him to the door.
“I will be back shortly. Enjoy your dinner,” he said, smiling.
He opened the door and stepped out. Then rapidly he turned around, pushed me backward into the room, nearly knocking me over, and closed the door behind him.
“What are you doing? Did you want to change into your own clothes before you leave?”
I stepped toward the door so I could look through the peephole, but Godric grabbed my arm and pulled me away.
“What the hell?”
“Nothing. It is nothing. I will shower here, if the offer is still open. I can go to my room later for new clothing,” he said, turning me, trying to guide me back to the table.
It was then I heard the voices. They were about to pass the door when they stopped. I could only hear the muffled conversation of two men, but I knew they were right outside my door. I was certain it was the same man and his companion from the other night and before I realized what I was doing, I was moving toward the door again. I barely made it a step when I was pulled further away into the main room.
“I just want to see who it is!” I whisper-yelled, pulling my arm from his grasp. He let me go, but the look on his face stopped me from taking another step toward the door.
“Let it go, Cricket. Please.”
The timbre of one of the voices outside seemed vaguely familiar, though I couldn’t place where I’d heard it and, of course, I couldn’t hear very clearly, thanks to the distance we were from the door, and the protection spell that canceled out nearly all noise. So it was likely that I didn’t recognize it at all, but simply imagined it. I desperately wanted to look, but Godric’s gentle hand on my arm stopped me from pursuing my curiosity.
“OK. I’ll let it go.”
“Thank you. Why don’t you continue your dinner?” he asked while exhaling a sigh of relief.
I looked back at the door where I could still hear the men talking for another moment, and then returned to my seat. Godric made no move toward the door either, in fact, he made no move at all. He was still as a statue, and I was curious as to why he wasn’t more interested in finding out who they were and what they were saying. Another minute passed and when I irrationally thought they were going to knock, as they had been there too long in my opinion, I heard them moving further away, continuing down the hall.
“I want you to tell me what that was all about,” I said frustrated.
“I doubt it.”
“Ugh. Fine. I’m going to eat.”
“I’m going to shower,” he said and was gone in a blur, first to the small room, and then to the bedroom.
I heard the shower turn on, and returned my attention to my meal. I wanted to know what the hell just happened, but once I tasted my food and took a long drink of my wine, I relaxed. Suddenly, it didn’t seem quite so pressing. There were more important things to discuss.
He took his time and returned from the bathroom, wearing his own clothes from the night before. Just as I finished eating, he sat across from me. He seemed to be contemplating something, possibly where to begin our conversation. We looked at each other for a long moment until I picked up my wine and took a long drink.
“Do you enjoy the wine?”
“Oh my God, yes! It’s the best Merlot I’ve ever had. You know what’s crazy? Someone keeps sending it to me. They added it on to my dinner order and the other day a bottle was sent ‘on the house’. I mean, I don’t even know anyone here! Maybe I should be more careful. It might be poisoned,” I said with a wink.
“Maybe they’re just being nice?” he supplied. Then I saw the small smile tugging at one corner of his mouth.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!? Why would you do that? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it, but this wine costs a fortune!” I said shocked.
“I thought you would like it, and you were kind enough to let me stay here last night, so I ordered them for you before I went to my day rest.”
“I call Bullshit! We barely knew each other when the first bottle arrived.”
“It’s not Bullshit!” he defended, sounding very much like my teenager, “You were kind to me the night we met as well. I wanted to do something nice for you. You have no idea how long it’s been since I had a genuine conversation with someone who wanted to simply talk…about something other than vampire politics. Again, I’m sorry to have deceived you about what I am. It was not my intention. I just… I really enjoyed talking with you. It made me feel as if I was…like I…. I like getting to know you. You…cared.”
“I enjoyed talking with you as well. It got me out of my own head for a while. I get it, and I do care about you, of course I do. Besides, I didn’t tell you the whole truth either. So, we’re even. I still can’t believe you sent me the wine, any of it. Thank you, truly. Had I known when I thought you were a young human, I would’ve kicked your ass for wasting your money. Now that you’ve told me you’re rich, who am I to tell you how to spend your money? Feel free to keep sending it!” I laughed and so did he.
“Have you heard from your friend or Octavia?” he asked, sobering me instantly.
“Shit! I didn’t even look at my phone when I got up, though I doubt it.”
“Where is your phone?”
“It’s in the bedroom on the nightstand.”
He stood and was back with my phone in his hand immediately. There were no missed calls or texts, but just as I was about to set it down, it chimed with an incoming message. I looked at it and saw a text from an unknown number.
- Spoke to O. Sorry you were worried. Don’t have my phone. Don’t text or call. I will contact you when I can. – M.
“What the fuck?”
“What is it?”
I handed the phone to Godric so he could see the text. After he read the brief message, he handed the phone back with a furrowed brow.
“Do you think she’s still at your house…um, nest? Why would she be there so long? It’s been days! Do you think she’s OK?” I asked.
“Yes, I do believe she is still there. If she is messaging you, then she is not harmed. If I had to guess, I would say they asked her to stay and help them.”
“Harmed? Why would she be harmed? What do you think she is helping them to do?”
It was like a punch in the gut, and I had to take a moment to recover. She was there, with a nest full of aggravated or upset vampires looking for Godric, and he was here with me! To say I felt guilty didn’t begin to cover it.
“I thought you said they would respect your privacy? What’s going on, Godric? Why didn’t you tell anyone you were leaving? And this text doesn’t sound like her. She’s normally very bubbly and energetic. Do you think maybe someone else sent it? You have to go back or at least call. If she’s in danger, I’ll never forgive myself.”
Just as I was contemplating the possibility that maybe the message hadn’t come from her or she had been forced to send it to dissuade anyone from looking for her, my phone chimed again.
- Sorry, C! I realized how cryptic that sounded after I hit send. I know you’re probably freaking out, but don’t. There’s more than one missing and I’m helping, or trying to. They don’t know about you and O says we should keep it that way. I’m fine. Don’t worry. Talk soon. – M.
I stared at the phone, both relieved and confused. Of course I’m fucking freaking out! Did she mean more than one vampire was missing? Was Godric included in that total? Um, duh! They thought he was missing! It didn’t occur to them that he had simply left of his own accord! He needed to contact them, or someone, anyone! They must be looking all over for him. How could she help? My mind was going crazy with questions when Godric’s voice broke me out of my trance.
“I did not tell them because I did not want anyone to know! I wanted…I want to be by myself. They will respect my decision! I am over two-thousand-years old! How could they think I was taken!?
I was taken aback by his sudden change in demeanor. I had yet to see him angry. Though I understood his desire, I was mildly hurt by his declaration.
“You want to be…alone? Listen, we don’t have to talk. I mean, you don’t have to stay here, if you don’t want,” I said in a small voice.
“What? No! I didn’t mean… I didn’t mean you. You are the only person with whom I wish to speak. I am upset with them. The idea that someone could abduct me is ridiculous! They should know better. Stan is clearly not thinking straight. I would guess that Isabel is feeding his concern.”
“Stan and Isabel?”
“Stan is the Sheriff of this Area and Isabel is one of his lieutenants.”
“I could be if I wanted. I declined both positions. I want nothing to do with the politics of overseeing others, especially now.”
“Why? What’s different now?”
“I told you. I don’t know if I want to live…that way any longer.”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know if I… I don’t feel that I belong there.”
“Godric, my friend is trying to help this Stan guy look for you and the whole time you’re here with me. I feel terrible about that. I want to let her know you are OK.”
“No! I know you are worried and I’m sorry about that, but just…no. Honestly, I’m more concerned for the other who appears to be missing,” he said, furrowing his brow.
“All the more reason to go back! Don’t you get it? As far as they are concerned, you are missing! You need to let someone know you left of your own free will.”
“I haven’t decided that.”
“So, what, you’re just going out on your own?”
“I haven’t decided that, either.”
“Damn it! You have to at least call someone!”
“Cricket, I said, no,” he said quietly with a hint of sadness in his voice.
He turned away and walked to the balcony. I felt bad for pushing him, but for fuck’s sake! How hard would it be to simply let them know he was all right? Then I had a dreadful thought. What if he didn’t want to contact them because he was afraid they would talk him out of…whatever he was going to do? He was still dealing with something. All thoughts of Maggie left my mind as my concern for Godric consumed me. I followed him out onto the balcony and put my hand on his shoulder, gently turning him around so I could see his face. I spoke softly and sincerely. I could feel a lump in my throat.
“Godric, please tell me what’s really going on? What are you trying to decide? Why are you hiding? I know it’s not simply whether to live on your own or live with other vampires.”
“Can we go to the roof?”
“Of course we can. Are you sure you aren’t concerned about whoever was outside seeing you?”
“No one is there now and I… I want to go to ‘our place.’”
“OK. Let’s go,” I said while putting on my shoes.
We walked in silence until we were outside and to where I now also thought of as ‘our place.’ It was private in that no one seemed to ever come up there. He lit one of the fire pits and I sat in my usual chair. Oddly, he pulled one of the chairs closer to mine and sat next to me, rather than across the fire as he normally had in nights previous. He stared into the fire and I watched him. I really wanted him to open up to me, and I needed to put the other thoughts out of my head.
Maggie said she was fine. If she was helping them, she could just as easily be looking for whoever else was missing. Godric was struggling, and I needed to help him, if I could. That was my main concern and my only priority. He looked very much like the broken teenager I had met initially.
I reached my hand out and lay it atop his, squeezing it and trying to offer him some comfort.
“You know you can trust me, right?” I asked quietly.
“I know,” he said, still staring into the fire.
“Talk to me.”
He turned his palm up to hold my hand, and then finally looked at me.
“The way they are…I just don’t want to do that anymore.”
“What are they making you do?”
“It’s not that they are making me do anything. The way they feed…it can be savage. I’m not like that, not anymore. I killed, stole, and took what I wanted when I wanted it. I had no regard for human life. I had no regard for life at all. They were food, nothing more. They were there to give me what I wanted, what I needed. The world was mine, and I embraced it in every way possible. When I was human, I was a slave and when…when I was turned, I no longer had to abide by anyone’s rules. I slaughtered those who had punished and owned me as a human, feeding on them, and torturing them simply because I could. I relished it, and fled from city to city, brutally murdering for no reason other than my own enjoyment. I made my own rules and that meant I had no rules. I owned the darkness. I would fuck, feed, and kill without remorse. I thought that’s the way…it was the way I was. I rarely saw any of my own kind and when I did, I often fought or killed them. I wanted to be the only one. I wanted to be in control. I lived that way for centuries. I was Death.”
“What changed you?”
“I became lonely. Word of my violence reached all corners of the globe and none would dare to cross me. I found that I was not welcome anywhere. The way I lived didn’t change, but I wanted a companion. That was when I decided to create another. I found a human who I felt was worthy of the gift I could give.”
He spat the word ‘gift’ and laughed without humor.
“And when you made your child, did things…change?”
“Yes and no. I was no longer alone, but I taught my child to live as I did. Together we continued the brutality that I had known for so long. Now I see that what I taught was wrong. Soon my kind will come out of hiding and… I fear for the humans. I fear for the vampires. It will not take long before the mortals figure out how to dispose of us. We are vulnerable, as you know, and if someone found our resting places… If someone found our nests…” he looked back at the fire as he drifted into his own thoughts, but I felt him hold tighter to my hand.
It wasn’t painful. It was a silent plea for comfort and understanding. Although I couldn’t really understand what he had been through, I could empathize to some degree. He was my family now, and it hurt me to see him so conflicted and lost. When I glanced at his face, I saw a single red tear trickle down his cheek. He didn’t bother to wipe it away. I doubted he even realized it was there.
“I just can’t…I can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to…it’s not right… I’m not right. I shouldn’t be here,” he whispered, his voice thick with the weight of his emotion.
My eyes welled up, and I wept silently for him and his pain. I turned my face away from him and wiped my eyes with my free hand. After that, we sat quietly, watching the flames dance for what could have been hours or maybe minutes. I didn’t know. Then I did the only thing I could think of to bring him comfort. I quietly began to sing to him.
I will be right here when you fall
Hold you close until you calm down
It’s not as bad as it seems you still have me
I’ll be right here wait and see
He looked at me then. I saw the red tracks falling from both of his eyes, and it broke my heart as my own tears fell freely down my face. I put all the emotion I was feeling in my voice to let him know I meant the words. I was there. I was with him.
You can count on me
When you think you’ve lost it all
Remember it’s ok to be afraid
It’s not as dark as it seems
You still have me when you think you’ve lost your way
His grip tightened on my hand and he twined our fingers together. I squeezed gently, trying to convey the truth I was telling him. He didn’t have to deal with it alone.
You can count on me
You can count on me
To let it go
To let you in
To guide you home
When your heart is heavy
I’ll do my best
To leave and learn
To be the one
You can always turn to
I turned in my chair to face him fully and reached out my other hand to hold his between both of mine.
You can count on me
It’s not as bad as it seems
You still have me when you think you’ve lost your way
I’ll be right here when you fall
You can count on me
He reached up with his free hand to wipe the tears from his face with his sleeve.
You can count on me
To let it go
To let you in
To guide you home
When your heart is heavy
I’ll do my best
To leave and learn
To be the one
You can always turn to
You can count on me
A small smile appeared on his face as fresh tears followed the tracks already there.
“Thank you,” he whispered.
“Godric?” I said very quietly, my voice breaking on the word.
He looked at me expectantly, but said nothing else. I had a feeling he didn’t trust his own voice.
“I think it’s time to open your bonds and contact your child.”
He nodded minutely. Had I not been staring at him so intently, I would’ve missed it. We turned our attention back to the fire and sat in silence again, but I kept one hand in his. He leaned back into his chair and exhaled shakily as he closed his eyes.
“I’m not ready yet, but you’re right. It’s almost time.”
I wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but I hoped against hope it wasn’t what I thought.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Allan Hyde as Godric
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