Disclaimer: I don’t own it. We all know it. I’m not affiliated with True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries or their creators. No copyright infringement is intended. I’m just playing with the characters and twisting a little mythology to suit my needs for your entertainment.
A/N: Cricket & JP belong to me. 😉
What the…? I don’t know how long I stood there, staring at the phone before I threw it onto the floor as if it had burned me. It had to be a wrong number. Surely they weren’t actually trying to call me!? They must have been calling someone else and then stayed on the line as I amused them with my rant. It wasn’t possible that someone was calling me specifically, was it? Of course, if that were true, why not say something when I took my first breath or after I asked? There had been multiple opportunities.
An ominous thought crept into my head. Did someone get their hands on whatever phone Maggie had been using and called to see whom she had called, who would answer? What about Octavia? Did someone have her cell phone with the numerous missed calls from me?
I thought over everything I remembered saying into the phone. Did I say Godric’s name? No. Did I say Russell’s name? No. Did I say anything that would remotely make sense to anyone else? Not likely. I was in the clear. I unintentionally had been very vague in my one-sided conversation. Thank God for small favors! On the other hand, I had been slightly more forthright in my text to Octavia. I told her that she was right about the ties and she knew something, but surely that wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else, right?
Wait a minute! Why was I suddenly thinking that someone had taken anyone’s phone in the first place!? Just because I hadn’t spoken to Octavia didn’t mean she was in danger. I was fairly confident that Maggie would have more than likely deleted any evidence of calling me if she was concerned about anyone knowing. That led me back to someone intentionally trying to call me…but who? Maybe it was Godric? I dismissed that thought. If it was him, he would have said something, wouldn’t he? Then I remembered that I didn’t think I’d even given him my phone number. We were always together and there was no reason to call each other here at the hotel. He had been staying in my room for crying out loud! If he had wanted to call me, he probably would have called the hotel, and I was fairly certain he wouldn’t risk it for his own reasons.
Octavia’s name would have shown on the ID and Maggie’s calls had said ‘Unknown Number’. This call was from a ‘Private Number’. Whomever it was didn’t want me to know their identity. Why?
A sudden thought occurred to me. What if it was Pam? What if she tried to call me, but because of the command was unable to actually speak? What I didn’t know, however, was if the command included not calling me. I know she had said that she wasn’t allowed to contact me. I wondered if calling was included in that, even if she wasn’t able to speak. My guess was, yes, the command prohibited calling as well as speaking. I mean, that would be trying to get in touch with me and that was something she wasn’t allowed. Unless…maybe Eric lifted the command? Then again, why would he do that? He wouldn’t. It had only been a week, give or take, since he left. I hadn’t been keeping track of how many days, but I was certain that would be too soon for him to lift his command in fear or whatever that I would be looking for him. No, it wasn’t her. A shiver ran up my spine as my mind whirled through the same thoughts over and over again.
‘No! It was just a wrong number! Wrong number! Wrong number! Calm down, Cricket!’ My inner voice yelled in my head.
Then it hit me! It could have simply been a bad connection. There had been plenty of times where JP or I had called each other and the reception didn’t work right for some reason. Thinking of that made me realize it could have been anyone. Hell, it actually might have been Russell calling back. It had been completely silent on the other end of the line. Maybe the caller was also saying ‘hello’ to me just the same as I had been and we couldn’t hear each other. It would make sense then that there was no callback since he would have needed to go to his day rest. There was nothing sinister or strange going on. It was only a bad connection. I breathed a sigh of relief at that realization.
One thing was certain, I still hadn’t told Russell not to come. I approached my phone cautiously, as if it would jump up and bite my hand, and then rolled my eyes. I was being ridiculous! The phone wasn’t responsible for giving me chills. I shook it off and picked it up, texting JP immediately.
- Hey Harlot! I was thinking and decided it would be best not to come here. I mean, I think it would be better if things went directly to the place and not to me in light of the circumstances. Your “love” (btw we need to talk about THAT!) will know what I’m talking about if you don’t. Besides, I want to keep my promise to you about not going there and this option would be better. Everything’s fine. If you come to town, call me and we’ll meet somewhere. I’ll talk to you soon. Love you!
I had a feeling that might have been too confusing or he might think something was wrong. Which there was; sort of, but I crossed my fingers that he would understand or figure it out. I realized this must have been how Maggie felt when she would leave what turned out to be almost cryptic-like messages in her texting. The sun had fully risen and I knew I wouldn’t hear from Russell or JP until nightfall. JP was keeping vampire hours and was undoubtedly asleep. I had a slight, creeping feeling that someone would see the text, but I knew that was paranoia due to the phone call I had received. I was being absurd. No one had hacked into my phone to read my texts. What is wrong with me? It was just a creepy, prank call! It was a wrong number! It was a bad connection! Paranoia was an awful feeling.
The rest of the morning progressed much the same. I continued to think over the same thoughts about the mystery caller and what they heard, but, ultimately, there was nothing to be done about it. I tried to convince myself it really had been a bad connection and whichever of my friends had called would try again later. It really made the most sense that it was Russell given that there hadn’t been a follow up call once the sun had risen completely. I eventually made the decision to put it out of my head. I would ask Godric if it had been him when he returned. Unfortunately, I couldn’t mention that I thought it might be Russell since I was still hoping that he wouldn’t find out I had called that particular vampire after he specifically asked me not to. I hoped I would evade that topic if it came up.
After being up all night and most of the day, I was beginning to wear down and my body wanted sleep. What kept me from napping was thinking about my last dream. I was mildly afraid to sleep. More so, I was concerned over what I might dream. What if Eric wasn’t there? What if I truly had said goodbye and seen him for the last time? It made my heart ache, though it was probably for the best. On the other hand, what if he was there? Would my subconscious continue to keep things the same as if we hadn’t talked and my dream version of him be the same? Worse yet, what if my subconscious made it so we both remembered and we would have another heartbreaking conversation? I knew the damn conversations were all me doing what my mind needed to find some solace or closure.
It was once again becoming difficult to distinguish what was real and what wasn’t when I thought of Eric. The entire time we’d known each other back home, I had been in and out of consciousness so often that, at one point, almost everything seemed as if it was a dream. I was starting to feel as I had then…before I knew. I had been taking comfort in the dreams of being with him and consequently, it seemed as if it could have all really happened. If it wasn’t for the fact that I knew Eric wasn’t in my life…
I couldn’t think about it anymore. Everything was weighing too heavily on my mind and it was exhausting. I needed to get out of my head. Despite my mental protests, my body won. I needed to sleep. I literally stumbled my way to the bedroom, put my phone on the nightstand, and changed into pajamas before crawling into bed.
I was snuggled under the covers, spooning a pillow when I felt a cool arm wrap around me. Relief washed over me. I didn’t realize how badly I truly had wanted him there.
“You came,” he sighed contentedly.
I wrapped my arm around his that was tucked under my waist and twined our fingers. I turned my head slightly and he kissed my temple.
“I’m so glad you’re here. I was afraid that…” I couldn’t finish when I felt the lump in my throat. A tear slipped from my eye.
“Do not cry, Chelsea. Just be here with me,” he whispered, leaning forward to place a gentle kiss on my lips.
I nodded and he relaxed behind me, pulling me closer to his chest. I felt his other arm slide under my pillow. We didn’t speak again. No words were needed. We simply laid together for what felt like hours. Finally, I turned over and rested my head against his chest, wrapping my arm around him. He hugged me closer and inhaled as he kissed my head. I heard a low purr come from his chest and when I glanced up, his eyes were closed. He was so breathtaking. I pressed a kiss over his heart and snuggled into him. I breathed in his scent and closed my own eyes. I finally felt secure, relaxed, and peaceful.
I woke up feeling calm and completely refreshed. It was the best sleep I’d had in days. I had no idea what time it was. The room was completely dark. I stretched as I sat up in the bed and looked toward the window, wondering when Godric would be returning. I checked my phone and saw there was a text from JP. I crossed my fingers and read it.
- No worries, Hussy. I told him what the text said. He said he understood. We do need to get together or at least have a real chat soon. So much to tell you! Love you!
- Yes we do need to talk and YES you do have SO MUCH to tell me, ‘my love’! Talk soon! Love you, too.
Whew! Thank God! I felt so much better that I had taken care of what could have been a disaster. I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth as well as took care of my other needs. When I returned to the bedroom, I re-dressed and headed out to the main room. When I opened the bedroom door, which I didn’t remember closing, I saw the lights were on and the fire was lit. I saw him sitting quietly, watching the flames.
“Godric!” I cried, rushing toward him.
He was in front of me before I could blink, and welcomed me with open arms as I launched myself at him.
“My thygatéra! You look rested. I’m glad. I was afraid you would try and stay awake again, waiting for me,” he pulled back and winked.
I took his hand and led him to the sofa, “Are you OK? Did everything go all right? Did you see her? What did you say? What did she say? Did she believe you? When did you get back?” I fired the questions off in rapid succession.
“Breathe, Chelsea,” he smiled warmly as he sat on the opposite end.
I stiffened only briefly at hearing him call me by my given name. It sounded strange suddenly to hear someone else say it, but I’d told him he could, and there was no reason why he shouldn’t. I shook it off as I pulled my legs underneath of me and looked at him expectantly.
“I’m uncertain in what order you would like me to begin. It seems you have been saving up a great many questions. Do you have a list somewhere?” he chuckled as he pretended to look for one.
I rolled my eyes.
“Oh, before I forget, did you call me this morning before you rested?”
“No. Why do you ask?”
“I’m sure it’s nothing, but someone called right before sunrise and they didn’t say anything. I mean, at all. They waited silently on the line and then it went dead.”
His face flashed between confusion, worry, and anger quickly. What was he angry about?
“Who do you believe it was?”
“I don’t know. I’m guessing it was a bad connection, but enough of that. Tell me what happened. Start anywhere. I’ve been going crazy here all by myself. Seriously, I was starting to think I was literally going crazy,” I complained in a playful tone, but I saw a look of concern flash across his face quickly before he could mask it.
“First, let me tell you, I am fine. I returned about an hour ago. You were sleeping peacefully, so I closed your door and sat here to wait for you. My flight was quicker than I originally planned and there were no issues. She was closer than I thought she would be. In honesty, she is closer than she should be. I learned of her whereabouts when I called on my way to see her. I arrived the same night I left.”
“What do you mean she is closer than she should be?”
“She lives in a remote area away from all population with the exception of her handmaidens, but now she is in this country and before you ask, she did not divulge her intention or her destination.”
“You think it has something to do with the vampires making themselves known soon?”
“I honestly do not know. I suppose that could be true. She keeps herself far from the rest of us and contacts few. In fact, had I not known her so long, she would more than likely not have given me an audience.”
I thought that over for a minute. I wondered how long he had known her and why she would speak to him if she didn’t speak to many, if any, other people.
“You don’t think she was curious enough about me to come here, do you?” I asked. I hoped not. I hadn’t been afraid of the vampires I’d met, but something told me I should be wary of her.
“I can’t say. I do not think so. I don’t believe she was entirely surprised to learn about you. You see, she speaks in riddles and often it is difficult to decipher exactly what she is trying to convey. I can tell you that she certainly surprised me when I saw her. I kneeled upon entering the room, but before I could even greet her verbally she spoke,” he grinned.
“What did she say?”
“With no preamble or acknowledgement of my presence, she told me a story,” his voice was in awe as he recounted her words.
‘The Muses, bringers of inspiration, were wondrous singers and musicians. They felt no need to disguise their superiority when it came to their artistic talents and enjoyed proving it to others. The Sirens, a little over-confident in their own talents, challenged the Muses to a singing contest. When they inevitably lost, the Muses plucked their feathers and wore them as a trophy. With their feathers plucked, the Sirens were no longer able to fly. It is believed by many that due to this, they changed their form and turned half of their body into a fish tail. Thus, they became known as mermaids.’
“I had never heard that exact tale, but, again, before I could speak she continued,” he was smiling at this point, probably entertained at the thought of the contest.
‘Though you and I know this is not the complete truth. It was the choice of only six of the nine Sirens. Those who had good in them turned into mermaids. They all lived together on an island where the remaining three kept the full form of women and enticed sailors in hopes of bringing them to their demise. The mermaids in turn saved those they could. Rejecting the approach of a mermaid brought severe misfortune to the man, and if she was injured, a period of misfortune would meet a crew. Yet, despite all this, the mermaids are still viewed as gentle creatures, kind in nature. Odd, isn’t it, Godric? Each group was thought to be three when in actuality both were nine? What do you think that means?’
“I had no response. I was more struck by the fact that she had been speaking of Muses and Sirens the moment I arrived. She had never spoken so clearly and directly to me, or others of which I am aware. It was as if these were remembrances for her and she seemed quite enthralled and excited in telling them. She told me of other such contests that the Muses were challenged to, all ending in misery for the loser. For example, a Thracian musician, who was the son of a nymph, was another who challenged the Muses in music and upon his loss was punished with blindness, loss of his musical talent, and his singing voice. The Muses and Sirens both had enchanting singing voices and played lyres flawlessly. So wonderful was the musical talent of the Sirens that they could even calm the winds.”
“Hang on a second. I am completely confused now. Octavia told me the Sirens were the children of Melpomene, and you said they were the daughters of Terpsichore, but the woman you visited didn’t say either. You can’t both be right. Also, Octavia said the Sirens would cause great storms with their voices to aid in crashing the ships and drowning the sailors, but your friend said they could calm the winds. When I sang, everything became perfectly still. Does that mean I’m really a Siren? Octavia didn’t think so because she thought they caused destruction. What’s the truth, because none of it is adding up? Oh, and don’t even get me started on the Muses. I thought they were benevolent, inspirational goddesses, but you make it sound like they were vindictive harpies!” I said exasperated.
“Chelsea, consider your sources. Octavia is a human witch who has only heard and read stories of the Sirens. She is more knowledgeable, but she is still a human. She said nothing at all to you about the Muses. What I have told you is the truth and reality from the mouth of a vampire much older than me. The Muses are not vindictive. They are simply sure of their talents, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the punishments doled out to their competitors were prompted by other Gods or Goddesses. They were all overly dramatic. I suppose that was one of the only forms of entertainment they had. Well, that and playing with humans to varying degrees. I had believed you to be a Muse, but from what my ancient friend said, she inferred to me that you are both as you suspected yourself. After all, as I have told you, the Sirens were born of Muses.”
“What do you mean she inferred that I was both? She didn’t say anything about me in those stories,” I said.
“I have not yet told you all we talked about. There is no point in telling you her exact words. I told you she generally speaks in riddles and you are left with no choice but to solve them for yourself. However, if you succeed, she will tell you so.”
“OK. So after her history lesson and real-life myths, you guys talked about me? What did you tell her?”
“Not of you specifically, but I didn’t have to say much. I told you that she more or less oversees us all and she foresaw some of our interaction. She didn’t see you exactly. She doesn’t know who you are or anything about you. She said she knows I am growing close to someone of dual nature and is curious to know more. I didn’t tell her your name as I had previously planned.”
“I thought she knew everything?”
“She knows everything about the vampire population. She can see our interactions. She will focus her gift on one or many if she sees something interesting.”
“And I’m interesting?”
“Can’t say that’s not the first time I’ve heard that,” I scoffed, thinking of Eric telling me I was an interesting creature.
“I am certain that is true,” he winked.
“Did you ask her about the blood tie?”
“Yes. At first I thought she might believe it was me who was tied to you, but of course she didn’t. As any of us, she could tell I have not shared nor given blood to anyone. It was foolish of me to even think it and she told me so,” he laughed.
“What did she say? What about the dreams? I assume you told her about those, too?”
“Though it is true that consuming the blood of a vampire, no matter how little you actually ingest, will almost unavoidably cause dreams of an intimate nature. Like me, and Octavia for that matter, she believes it is far deeper than a normal blood tie. The dreams you are having are far beyond typical. She would only tell me that they are not as they seem, but she would not tell me more. She said it is not my concern. Of course, she cannot know for certain what they are until she meets you in person. Since she has not seen you before, she cannot see you clearly. Add to that, the fact that she hasn’t met anyone like you, there is no link or common ground for her to draw upon. It would be the best to determine the nature of the dreams if she were to see you and him together.”
“Well, that’s not gonna happen,” I laughed ruefully shaking my head.
“Yes. I told her that may be the case.”
“There’s no maybe about it. He doesn’t want to see me and there’s no way in Hell I’m going to seek him out. I hope you told her not to try and get us together either.”
“As if she would,” he chuckled, “She does not interfere. No matter how curious she may be, she would not be the cause of any meeting between the two of you. Though, I will admit, I am quite curious as to how that will go when it happens.”
“Good. I don’t want anyone interfering. It doesn’t matter who it is. At this point, I’m not even sure I would want to see him,” I huffed.
That was a complete lie and Godric knew it as well as I did. His response was a simple raise of his eyebrow and a small smirk. I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t going to take it back, regardless of the fact that it was so ridiculously obvious that there was no truth or conviction behind my words. I crossed my arms over my chest and he laughed quietly at me, shaking his head.
“Wait! What do you mean, when it happens? It’s not going to happen!”
“You are aware of the Supernatural world, now. You are part of it being what you are,” he said matter-of-factly.
“We don’t even know what I am!”
“Nevertheless, it is not something you can walk away from. You are bound to cross paths. I believe it is unavoidable. You will see him at some point.”
“Not likely. Let’s change the subject.”
“What would you like to know next?”
“Well, you said she wants to meet me in person? I’m not sure I’m ready for that.”
“There’s no cause to be afraid of her, though she can be frightening…if she chooses. I don’t believe you are the reason she is here, so there’s nothing to worry about in that respect.”
“Why do you think she’s here? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for her to, I don’t know, oversee the revealing from wherever she was? I mean, if things are happening soon? Is it better to have her close or do you think there’s something else going on?”
“I don’t think there’s anything going on yet. However, she sees the future, or many futures as the case may be, so it is likely that something is going to happen soon. I’m not talking about the reveal, necessarily.”
“I do not know.”
“Well, that’s cryptic.”
“I know. I apologize, but she didn’t give any answers and I know better than to ask.”
“So, what did she say when you called to tell her you were coming?”
“Well, you don’t simply call and talk with her. I spoke with one of her handmaidens. She was already expecting my arrival even before I contacted her.”
“Really? I guess she saw it, huh? Did she know why you were coming? I mean, did she know you wanted to talk about me?”
“Yes, my interaction…my relationship with you as well as other things.”
“What other things?”
“What I’ve been struggling with and why I’m not staying with the others. That and my…decision,” he said tentatively.
“What did she have to say about that? Did she give you advice?”
“She does not council. She does not become involved. She only sees the paths of what may happen. On this, she had already seen more than one outcome,” he said, looking toward the fireplace.
“Did any of it have to do with me?” I asked quietly.
“I am unsure. As I said, she doesn’t know who you are, so it wasn’t possible for her to see you clearly. She didn’t tell me what would lead to my choices, only the outcomes. She mentioned my Childe as well and through her words, it is important that I speak with them. Though I had already decided on that.”
“Before you tell me anything else, I need to be honest with you,” I took a deep breath, “I’ve been trying to find your Childe.” There, I said it.
“Why would you do such a thing without asking me?”
“Would you have told me?”
“See! That’s why I had to try and find them for myself. Don’t worry. I couldn’t even find out who they are. I didn’t really have anything to go on. I mean, I did sort of have a lead, but I told them to stop looking. I didn’t want to go behind your back, but I wanted to try and talk to your…family before you… You should also know it was Russell Edgington, but I didn’t mention you at all.”
I expected him to be upset, but he wasn’t. Instead he smiled. He took it in stride. Maybe that was because I told him about it? Maybe it was because he had expected me to do something as I had.
“I don’t want to deceive you either. However, I need to speak with my Childe. I have already told you the reasons why,” he put up his hand when I opened my mouth to speak, “Before you say it, no, I am not planning on scolding them or telling them I wish they didn’t exist. I simply wish to see them again and there is much to say,” he said, “much more than before,” he added so quietly I wasn’t sure I heard it correctly.
“Look, Godric, you’ve never said it out loud, but we both know what you are deciding. I don’t want to dance around it anymore,” I took a deep breath, “Have you…are you…are you going to kill yourself?” I forced the words out even as I felt the tears prickling the corners of my eyes. I blinked them back and kept my face from crumpling as I waited for his answer. Please say no!
He looked surprised at my bluntness, but I couldn’t keep pretending that wasn’t what his decision or choice or whatever was about. He returned his gaze to mine and I could see the weariness in his eyes. He looked so much older than the body he’d been frozen in. He sighed and looked down.
“Please know that it is the absolute last thing I want and I’m really, really hoping your answer is no, but I don’t know how to help you and I want to. I need to help,” I added quickly. Please say no!
“In retrospect, I see it was obvious, though I truly was hoping that you believed I was simply going away. I have not thought about the fact that I did a poor job hiding my turmoil. I cannot remember the last time I needed to. Everyone defers to me in most, if not all, things, and I wear my mask well in their presence. In truth, I don’t remember the last time I had emotions to hide. That is something I have not concerned myself with around the residents of my nest. With you, I feel more at ease. It is easy to be open, but I did not want to cause you any undue pain, so I remained silent on the nature of my decision.”
“Well, yeah, it’s been pretty clear, but I wanted you to own up to it, or at least finally acknowledge it. You don’t have to hide anything from me. I’m sorry, but trying to evade the topic by calling it your ‘choice’ or your ‘decision’ is pointless, especially since you’ve been so depressed,” the tears were trickling silently down my face.
“It isn’t that I’m depressed, per se. I am conflicted.”
“I know you have had to live through more than I could ever imagine, but I also know that you are a good man. You have overcome your desire to harm or kill innocent people. You could teach so many a new path to choose. The revealing of the vampires will need someone like you. No, not someone like you, they will need you. You could be an example for them all to see. You want to co-exist. You don’t want evil. I know that. I see that. You’ve told me.”
“That would not be an easy task. You make it sound effortless.”
“I know it wouldn’t be easy. It won’t be, but I think…I don’t think you want to give up. If you did, you wouldn’t have debated so long over this.”
“I do not have to debate any longer. I know what will happen.”
“She told you the outcome of each future?”
A long silence passed between us until I couldn’t bear it any longer.
“You’re going to do it, aren’t you?” I could barely force the words out.
His eyes moved from his lap to my face and locked with mine. I saw something in them pleading for me to understand though his face stayed stoic. I felt like I had been punched in the gut as all the air left my lungs when I let out a loud sob. Godric was immediately at my side, holding me close to his chest and petting my hair as he had so recently done on the roof. I clung to him tightly, shaking my head vehemently as I continued to cry.
“Not tonight,” he said low in my ear.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Allan Hyde as Godric
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