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.
A/N: I do own my OC’s and their antics as well as this particular spin on things fictional and mythological… enjoy!
“It’s almost time? Why not now? What are you waiting for?”
“I wanted to sort out my thoughts. I need to speak with my child. I need to let them… I need to tell them I was wrong in my teachings after I turned them. That’s why I came here, to make the decision in what I would say. Vampires aren’t natural. Humans are not here for our enjoyment. Though it’s true we need sustenance, there must be another way. I want my child happy, and they need to understand the importance of changing their ways. They should not suffer for my mistakes before I say goodbye.”
“So you’ve decided to leave your nest and live on your own again?”
“I am going to leave, yes.”
“And live on your own? You’re leaving your child behind?”
“My child has a life without me. I do not wish to impose on that, other than to attempt to correct my errors.”
“So I’m right. You’re leaving them behind and going out on your own? Live on your own as you used to, correct?”
I was met with silence as my answer.
“Godric, you are planning to live alone, right? I know you said you’ve seen the world. Was there someplace you were happy? Are you going to return there before you come back to your child? I can understand if you don’t want to live as a savage like those in your nest. I can’t even imagine you that way now that we’ve gotten to know each other.”
“Don’t fool yourself, Cricket. It is in our nature, but, as I said, it is not natural, and it is not my way any longer.”
“It is natural for you. You are a vampire.”
“I shouldn’t be here! We shouldn’t be here!”
“But you are here and you have so much to offer!”
He scoffed at me.
“When vampires make themselves known, just think of how much you could teach us!” I exclaimed, emphatically trying to make him see my reasoning.
“Death! Destruction! Brutality!”
“Kindness! Concern! True history! You don’t have to kill. You don’t have to live the way you did when you were turned. Isn’t there a way to feed without killing the human?” I insisted.
“Yes, and I do live that way, never taking more than I need. The difference is I don’t need to feed often and when I do, I don’t need much. If I don’t drink from bagged blood, I glamour the human to remember a good experience, not the vile act I’ve performed.”
“You need to stop seeing yourself as a monster. You aren’t anything like that. You could have killed me, but you didn’t. You haven’t even tried to feed from me. You said you would only do it with permission. I think the others I’ve met are like that. The vampires I’ve met…I don’t think they kill. They have humanity.”
“Then you obviously do not know them well enough. I will admit there are many who are changing, but I fear it is not enough. There is a new synthetic blood that will allow us to live among humans. It is the only way we could possibly make ourselves known, however, it is not enough to survive on solely. It is enough for me at my age, but the others…the young ones? How do you think humans will respond to that?! How would you react if there was a vampire who only wanted you for your blood? You cannot be glamoured. What if there are more like you? Did the vampires you met know that? I don’t know what will happen. No one does. We should not even be…procreating.”
“So, you’re going to hide in another country or in another state just to see what’s going to happen? You are an ancient vampire. Shouldn’t you be leading them in the right direction when you are exposed…I didn’t mean exposed. I meant…”
“No, you are right. We will be exposed. I don’t think it matters that we show ourselves willingly and trick the humans into thinking the synthetic blood will be enough. It won’t be!”
“How do you know? I saw the bottles of blood. They seemed to drink a good bit of it, but no one was being attacked.”
“That you know of.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake! Why are you going to hide? Don’t you have a glimmer of hope that it will work? Why are you ‘coming out of the coffin’ so to speak, if you all know it won’t work?”
“Many believe it will. They don’t realize the truth.”
“Then how are you so sure?”
“Do you not understand? It does not matter. They will kill indiscriminately regardless!”
“I can’t believe you have so little faith in your own kind.”
“How can I after the centuries I have lived?”
“Look at you, for one thing!”
“I am only one. I can only reach so many. I have been unable to even get those in my nest to see things my way. What about the others? There are millions of us.”
I was taken aback by that statement. It never occurred to me that there could be so many. How could I have not even thought that? They’ve told me they live among the humans to some extent, but the rest must be hiding amongst themselves. How could so many hide? Where are they?
“So, you don’t think there are any, other than you, who have changed to your way of thinking? I can’t believe that’s true.”
“Believe as you like. You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“It’s true. I don’t. I don’t have the faintest idea of what your life must have been like or what it’s like now, or how many there are or where they are. Are they like you? I mean, planning to hide out and wait to see what the fallout is going to be?”
“I’m not going into hiding.”
“So what is your master plan? Stay in the open and live as a young adult, never changing? Don’t you think someone will figure it out once it’s known that there are vampires?”
“No. That is not my plan.”
He didn’t elaborate. It did not escape my notice that, despite the fact that I had asked at least half a dozen times, he wouldn’t tell me his plan. Arguing my views was doing nothing to encourage him to see things my way. He had been through too much. He had seen and done too many horrible things. He was obviously feeling guilty. I decided to try a new tactic.
“Are you going to tell your child that they aren’t natural? That they shouldn’t be here? That you made a mistake and you wish they didn’t exist? You are going to tell your companion that you resent that they were ever made, that you don’t feel anything toward them? That you never did? How can you do that?”
He only glared at me. I could see new tear tracks, but he wasn’t openly crying. The way he was looking at me made me feel as if he wanted me to take back my accusations, to roll his eyes at my continuous efforts, but wasn’t, out of respect for me. It made me want to weep all over again. Obviously, that was the wrong thing for me to have said. I only wanted him to see that he had done something good. I had to believe that any child of Godric’s had good in them just as he did.
“Aren’t you close to anyone? Isn’t there anyone you would want to…I don’t know…be with?”
“I told you. I only want to see my child.”
“Right, to say goodbye before you go, and to scold them for their way of life before you take off for God knows where!”
“I don’t plan to reprimand my child! It is my fault that their life is the way it is. I want to explain. I only hope to encourage them to change and explain the wrongs we have done. I want them to do the same with their child. I haven’t truly spoken to anyone in this way, the way I’m speaking with you.”
“Are you saying you are closer to me than your own child? That’s ridiculous.”
“In a way, yes. It doesn’t matter how long I have known you. You are like my family. You remind me… You are already family to me. I haven’t spoken to my child in quite some time. I needed to determine what to say. You have helped me find the peace and the words to do that. Your concern and care for me has assisted me in how to vocalize my care and love for my child. I am indebted to you.”
Great! I helped him make his decision to leave and by ‘leave,’ it seemed it was going to be a permanent and irreversible act. I couldn’t let him do that. I wouldn’t let him do that. I had to try to make him understand. He had to see there was more reason to stay.
“Have you ever loved anyone?”
“I love my child.”
“I meant, other than familial love? You have never loved another? Been in love with anyone, vampire or human or…otherwise?”
He tensed and returned his attention to the fire pit.
“What did your friend mean when she said ‘they don’t know about you’?” he asked, actively and obviously avoiding my gaze and my question.
Just like that, the subject was closed. Well, whether Godric wanted to or not, we would be discussing it again! He would not be leaving if I had anything to say about it. I would drop it for the moment, but I wouldn’t give up on him. I had decided to help him and realized my worst fear was the decision he had made, and he said I had helped him to make it! How the fuck did that happen?! I knew I had time, at the very least, until he contacted his child.
Maybe I could find his child first? Maybe I could talk to them before Godric did anything rash? Maybe when he finally ‘called’ them I could take them aside and…do something? Maybe they could talk some reason into him? I could only hope that his child was not like those who lived in his nest. I prayed that they were living the way he wanted for them already. Maybe then he would see that others were changing, on their own, already? Did Russell know his child? Should I call him? Would that be breaking Godric’s trust? I knew Godric wouldn’t listen to me now, but what if I could get his child there before he opened the bond and told them his plan? Would his child even listen to me? They couldn’t possibly agree with his decision. If I could get in touch with Octavia…would she know? Would she interfere? Would she help me?
He looked at me while I was having what Octavia and Maggie would call ‘a conversation with myself.’ My mind scrambled to change gears. I supposed it was my turn now.
“I need a drink. Can we return to my suite, please, before we get into that?”
“Yes, of course. We only have a few more hours before sunrise anyway. Come, I will get us there quickly.”
He turned off the fire pit and led me to the edge of the roof. He promptly put his arm around my waist and we flew down to my balcony before I registered what was happening.
“Holy fuck! Um, thanks? That certainly was faster,” I laughed nervously.
Godric smiled and opened the balcony doors, then gestured for me to enter. I walked to the refrigerator and removed an Energy drink, which I drank in its entirety. When I finished and threw away the can, I saw that he had already opened the second bottle of wine, and was carrying it back out to the balcony along with a clean glass. I followed and took a seat next to him, looking out over the city.
“Now, tell me. Who doesn’t know about you and what is it that they don’t know?” he asked directly, clearly relaxed to have moved on from the topic of him.
“OK. Um, Maggie…or well, I guess, Amelia…No, Maggie, but at your nest she’s Amelia, Octavia’s apprentice. She was sent by Octavia to request an audience with you. Octavia said she had left a message for you with someone there,” I rambled nervously.
“I understand. What did Maggie mean ‘they don’t know about you’?”
“She meant that no one knows what I am or that I exist, or really, I guess, that what I am still exists or maybe ever did,” I sighed, taking a long drink of the wine he had poured for me.
“What you are?”
“Yeah. Octavia warned me that she didn’t know how other Supernaturals would react when they knew, but that you would be different. You are different than the others. You would be OK with it…with me. You would know, because you did know. I mean, you knew them,” I babbled as I stood and paced the small area.
“Who? The Supernaturals?” he asked.
“Um, no,” I said quietly, watching as my hands started to tremble slightly.
Why was I so nervous to tell him all of a sudden? This was the whole reason I had come to find him, specifically him, and when I had the chance, I was afraid. What if Octavia was wrong? What if this was a bad idea? What if he confirmed that my draw was the only reason that Eric… NO! We would NOT be talking about Eric! What if it was the reason Godric and I had become friends so quickly? I knew it wasn’t for me, of course, but what if it was for him? Would I always doubt everyone I ever met and everyone I had ever met before? What about my friendship with JP? You’re being ridiculous! What if he confirmed that I had some latent something in me that would make me begin to want to seduce or worse? Calm the fuck down and get a grip, Cricket! He had just shared something personal about himself, many things actually, beyond personal. I could do this.
He was thoughtful, looking at me while I mentally grappled with too many fears and questions. It was the same look I had gotten from everyone. I was the puzzle to be solved, only I knew he knew the answer and I could see it was on the tip of his tongue. I poured another glass and downed it, then poured another, and sat playing with the rim of the glass while he tried to put it together. I wanted to tell him, but he was so deep in thought I waited and watched as he worked it out. After a few minutes I opened my mouth just as his eyes widened in recognition, and he began chuckling.
“I can’t believe I didn’t realize it before! It’s so obvious now.”
“Really? Thank God! You are the first one to figure it out! I’m so relieved. All the Supernaturals I have met, and I’ve met several now, look at me like they don’t know what to make of me, or like there’s something off about me.”
“There’s a simple explanation for that. They never met him. I can see the resemblance and, of course, your voice is otherworldly, but you obviously already know that.”
“Are you kidding? I didn’t think there was anything otherworldly about me until recently! I thought I was a plain, old human. I mean, I was just a week ago. Octavia thinks it was because I was surrounded by so many others that were other all at once, it triggered the part of me that’s a Siren.” Had it really only been a week?
“Yeah. Wait a second, you said him? I thought they were all women.”
“Who told you that?”
“She told you that you’re a Siren?”
“You’re not a Siren, Cricket,” he said matter-of-factly.
“What are you talking about? Of course I am. What else could I be? The music, the draw everyone has to me when I sing…or when they look at me. How I have been able to influence with my voice? I mean, what else does that?”
“You are not a Siren, at least not entirely. Though I would guess it’s possible you are, in part.”
“Then what do you think I am?”
“I don’t think it, Cricket. I know it. You are a Muse.”
“No, I am definitely not amused by any of this .”
“Not amused. A. Muse.”
He laughed at my reaction, and although it was good to see him laugh after the last few hours, I found nothing humorous about the situation.
“A muse? I thought they, I don’t know, inspired people or something? Hell, I didn’t even know they were real!”
“Do you remember when I told you that you reminded me of someone?”
“Yeah, but you didn’t say who.”
“That’s because I didn’t put it together in my mind. I only knew there was something familiar about you. Actually, I thought it was something else.”
“You mean something different.”
“No, I said something familiar. I think I didn’t realize it because I haven’t thought about him or any of them in a very long time.”
“Who are we talking about? Who is he?”
“To be honest, I was thinking of Orpheus, but it might have been Linus. Then again, Terpsichore was the muse of chorus and dance and she was the mother of the Sirens, so without actually seeing your family tree, which I doubt would stretch back that far, it really is difficult to say exactly. Nonetheless, you are descended of Muses. I’m leaning toward the brothers because they were half-mortal. Although they were not said to have children, but that doesn’t really mean anything, does it? There was quite a bit of debauchery in those times,” he stated as if I was already well-versed in mythology, “There is something else, but we should talk about that at another time,” he added to himself quietly.
“Muses? No, that can’t be right. Are you sure?”
“I believe it to be so, yes.”
“Huh. OK. So, who is Orpheus?”
“Was. He was actually killed by a group of Sirens and Maenads.”
“He was heartbroken by the death of his true love and refused any of their sexual advances. He was alone playing his lyre and singing sad songs. They tried to seduce him, and were so angered by his disinterest and refusal that they threw stones at him. However, the power of his music stopped the stones from hitting him, so they attacked him and tore him apart. That is a sad, but well-known fact.”
“Well-known? Sure, let’s go with that. Wait! I thought the Sirens were the singers? Didn’t they kill sailors and anyone who reached their islands before, I guess, associating with them?”
“That’s not entirely true. In the case of Orpheus, after the death of his love, he wandered the land of the living spurning all women. He was found in one of their flowered meadows under a willow tree.”
For a moment, an image of the painting from Maggie’s purple bedroom flashed through my mind.
“What do you mean the ‘land of the living’?”
“Orpheus was in love with Eurydice, who died after she was bitten by a venomous snake. He followed her to the Underworld and coaxed her release with the use of his lyre and song. There was a stipulation though. She would follow him out of Hades, but he couldn’t look back. When he was nearing the surface again, he was afraid that she hadn’t really been released and he had been tricked. He looked back and she vanished back into the Underworld. He wasn’t allowed another opportunity and returned alone.”
“Oh my God!”
“Yes, well, you don’t want to anger any demons. Besides, I think that part may just have been the story he told because he couldn’t admit that she was simply dead and it drove him mad. I knew him before that, before he met Eurydice, so I can’t tell you if it’s true and I’ve never asked any demons to confirm it. I suppose you could find out if you were really interested. I could get you in touch with some if you would like to know. I don’t believe it, but that’s my opinion,” he shrugged. He shrugged! As if discussing demons was no big deal. Maybe it’s not? Fuck me!
“Got it, don’t mess with demons. So who is or maybe was Linus?”
“Was. He was killed by Heracles, or Hercules, as you may have heard of him.”
“Hercules?! You mean, Hercules, as in, big, strong guy? Holy shit! What happened?”
“Hercules killed him with his own lyre after Linus corrected him for making too many errors . You see, Linus was thought of as the inventor of rhythm and melody. He was the one who taught music to his brother, Orpheus. He also taught Hercules, who clearly didn’t play too well. Or rather, he didn’t take constructive criticism well.”
“No, I believe it is safe to say that Jesus is not one of the candidates of your ancestry.”
I rolled my eyes at his poor attempt at humor and motioned for him to continue.
“Perhaps I should start earlier.”
“Yeah, that would be good.”
“Let me think, there have been several stories told about them, but I will tell you the truth. After all, I knew them and the Sirens, for that matter.”
“That’s awesome! I was hoping you did. Octavia said you were around at that time, but I’m not sure she knew what your early life was like.”
“She knows, but she disregards it as she has only known me since I…calmed down.”
“Right. OK. Tell me about them.”
“Orpheus and Linus were the sons of the muse Calliope.”
“She was the muse of song?”
“No, she was the muse of eloquence and epic poetry, but was known for the harmony of her voice. Her talent inspired not only poetry, but musicians, dance, and song. She was sort of the ‘Chief of all Muses,’ or was referred to in that regard as her voice transcended to multiple inspirations. Their father, some say, was the God, Apollo. However, he was actually Calliope’s father. The father of Orpheus and Linus was the King, Oeagrus, of Thrace. He was also known as the ‘Thracian wine-god’,” he said, winking at me as he watched me down another gulp of my Merlot. Well, at least I know where I get it! It’s a family trait!
“Oeagrus himself was a descendant of Atlas,” he continued.
“He’s the one holding the world, right?”
“Yes, though that is not relevant in regard to you. Anyway, Oeagrus and Calliope were married and had two sons, Orpheus and Linus, who were obviously both musically inclined.”
This time it was his turn to roll his eyes since we had established I knew nothing about any of them.
“Apollo taught Calliope how to play the lyre. That was passed down to both boys, though, as I said, Linus taught Orpheus how to play the music.”
“So, Linus was the natural talent and Orpheus was a learned musician?”
“Oh no! They were both natural in their musical talent, but Calliope taught her older son, Linus, first. He was a brilliant musician, as I said, he invented rhythm and melody or was known as such.”
“I can’t even fathom that it didn’t exist beforehand.”
“The fact is that he wrote the most beautiful music and inspired other composers as well.”
“Even though he wasn’t a Muse himself?”
“Correct. The Muses are female.”
“Are? As in, they’re still around?”
“Of course. They are immortal. Daughters of Zeus. They inspire everything you can think of….music, science, writing, architecture…the list could go on forever. You have to remember, they were the sons of a Muse, so inspiration in music came naturally, much as it does with you.”
“I don’t think it’s the same thing. My voice draws people to me.”
“Yes, like Orpheus’ did. When he sang or played his lyre, he could make the animals, even the stones and trees dance. It was an amazing thing to behold.”
“You saw it?”
“Of course. I knew them separate from the Sirens. To hear him sing or play his instrument was… There are no words. It was magical, indescribable. It could override all else that was happening around him. It was the same way I felt when I heard you sing and not just the first time, but each time I have heard you. Whatever you are feeling and conveying in the words comes out through your emotions, and it invokes the same feelings in those around you. It is safe to say that I was not drawn in as a mortal would be, but I can appreciate it, nonetheless.”
“You mean; my voice didn’t draw you in? I mean, it didn’t hypnotize you in some way?”
“Hmm, aren’t we a bit full of ourselves?”
“Ugh! No, that’s not what I mean and you know it. When I’ve sung before in front of others, they seem to lose sense of everything else around them. I can see on their faces that they feel what I feel. In the lobby when we checked into the hotel, I tried an experiment. I saw that the woman at the desk was grappling with something and for some reason, I thought it was a romantic issue. I quietly sang a song about, sort of, pursuing her feelings and making a move, and I could see her decision and determination when I was finished. It was both surprising and well, I guess, satisfying at the same time.”
“You inspired her.”
“Hmm, yeah, I guess I did.”
“That could not happen with me. Don’t misunderstand, your voice is definitely something to draw attention from anyone, but to me and I suspect to any other vampire, it is simply the beauty that is attractive and extraordinary to hear. It could not inspire me to do anything, and I wasn’t seduced by it.”
“OK, but in front of you, you only heard songs about…” Songs about Eric. I thought silently.
“Yeah,” I said, suddenly embarrassed and blushing furiously.
“I didn’t feel those things along with you or for you, though I did, I do, truly appreciate the sound of your voice.”
“Do you think it’s your age? You said you suspect it would be the same for any vampires. Would that depend on the age of the vampire? Some of the ones I’ve met didn’t have the same reactions as others.”
“No. It is not my age. It’s because I’m dead or undead, if you prefer. I don’t have the same neural synapses as the living. It would trigger something in an impulse of a living brain. I don’t really have a better way to explain it.”
“So, you’re sure it wouldn’t work on any vampire? I mean, you know, if someone was drawn to me when I sang?”
“Anyone would be drawn to your voice, but it is because you have a beautiful voice. A vampire would not be enticed by it as a living being would. I hope you understand what I mean by the distinction between the two.”
I let out a huge sigh of relief as well as a deep breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding while I awaited his response. Eric wasn’t drawn to me because I was a Siren, or a Muse, or anything else! He just enjoyed hearing me sing. I hadn’t bewitched him in any way! What a relief! He was with me because he wanted to be with me. Yeah, he was with you because he wanted a quick fuck before he left town! Don’t get so excited! Suddenly, my exuberance over the revelation left me and my shoulders slumped while I sunk back into my chair.
“Did I say something wrong?”
“No. You said exactly what I wanted to hear,” I said dejectedly.
“It doesn’t seem so.”
“No, really. I honestly wanted that to be the case.”
A silent moment passed between us.
“Does this have to do with the vampire whose blood is currently in your body?” he asked quietly.
I froze at those words. I shouldn’t have. I guess I should have known he would know. For the last several days, it had slipped my mind that Russell, Pam, and even Douchebag had smelled it and known. Fuck! How could I answer that? I supposed we were being truthful with each other, but I didn’t want to get into that conversation. I had promised myself we would not be talking about Eric and I didn’t intend to. What if he knew him? Obviously, the others knew it was him. Hell, Pam saw it happen, Russell knew we were together, and Eric fucking told Fuckface! Ugh!
“I wanted to know for…you know, um, future reference, in case…” I couldn’t lie.
“In case he returned?”
“No! In case…just in case it…came up in the future. I mean, any circumstances that I would need to deal with in the future, you know?”
“Ah. We won’t be discussing it tonight, then?” he asked with a hint of amusement and a smirk.
“No, thank you.”
“I understand and I will not press the issue.”
“Thanks. I just…uh…”
“Cricket. It’s all right. I understand more than you know,” he said, holding up a hand to stop me.
“Um, OK. Thank you.”
“I do have one more question.”
“Yes?” I braced myself for whatever it would be.
“Would it be terribly inconvenient for you if I rested here again today? I still feel somewhat more at ease with your protection spells, and dawn will be coming soon, so I need to either return to my room for the day or…”
“God! Of course it’s not inconvenient! Godric, this is an open invitation. You can stay here, or spend time here as much as you want. In fact, I would rather you be here so I can keep an eye on you…you know, for your safety. I don’t like the idea of you being afraid of someone discovering you, though I really wish you would contact your nest and let them know you are alright, at least for Maggie’s safety.”
“I cannot do that yet, but I will.”
“Oh good. Thank you.”
“After I speak with my child.”
“But, that might be days.”
“Do not worry. It will not be long. Your friend is, and will, remain safe until then.”
“But, I want to know more about my ancestry. You still haven’t told me about the Sirens and I’m sure there’s still much more you can tell me about the others. We’ve only just begun discussing it and there’s so much I need to know… That will take time, right?”
“My mind is set on this. Please stop worrying. We will talk more tonight. There’s no more time left at the moment as it is. Now, I would like to retrieve new clothing from my room. I will return shortly. I know your code, so I will return through the door. Do not be frightened. It won’t be long.”
I handed him my keycard, but before I could respond verbally, he stood and flew up from the balcony. I knew he would return as quickly as he could. There was nothing more I could do.
It was then clear that I only had a short time to try to find and contact his child before they arrived, or at least before Godric could take action. I planned to spend the next day trying to get any information from anyone I could think of. Sadly, that didn’t leave me with many options.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Allan Hyde as Godric
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the chapter! Please leave a review and let me know!