Pre Edit Count – 2,100 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
In the circle, Godric’s eyes snap open, and for a second there is pure sadness on his face. Then he sees Sookie, and tells her, “I was not accepted.”
Sookie freezes, then the words sink in regarding the moment Godric left them, and she holds her hand to her mouth as a sob escapes. She shakes her head at the man she had watched die in front of her. “He does. He forgave you, and gave you a second chance, Godric. Eric needs you, I need you. Please stay,” she begs him, knowing they need him more now than ever.
Godric looks from her face to see Eric behind her, and behind his Son he notices the Tree of the Kingdom he helped Eric to take when he rose as a Youngling. Then his eyes travel around the circle as he looks upon his bloodline. He can see all of them, and can feel them through the Bond he has with Eric. The Bond is now open once more; Eric is no longer hiding who he really is, and his Family is truly at his side once again.
Then his attention returns to his eldest and he asks, “Why did you use your one opportunity to bring me back? Wouldn’t it be better to call back one of your own? What happens if Frey and Arathorn fall in battle?” Or the blonde at your side remains unspoken since it normally has to be a vamp – but there is a rumor that a Bonded Mate has been brought back…
Swallowing hard, Eric tells him, “Because you are worth it. I need you, Godric. Gods, do I need you.” He will do anything to keep Sookie alive, and he admits to himself that if he himself died, so would she.
Smiling at his Child, Godric gently shakes his head. “No. You have your Mate. You do not need me.” His face shows how happy he is that Eric has found his Mate, but at the same time, he yearns to be back in the place where he had been. It had been nothing, but it had been so peaceful.
“Eric has found the man responsible for killing his family.”
That one statement changes everything, as it is meant to do. This lets Godric know that things are not the same as they were when he left; the game has changed.
Godric’s eyes flash back to Sookie. His face hardens, and he asks, “Does he still live?” The options are flying through his head about what this means.
Growls fill the room from the Family, and Eric nods his head. “Yes,” he bites out; he blames himself for this.
With this information, Godric looks down to the floor, his face thoughtful. “Do you need me to help you defeat the monster?” He wonders if, when this matter has been dealt with, he could fade back into the blackness of nothing once again.
“For that, and for so much more, my Lord.” Frey answers him, his voice rough. He is not able to handle this Godric. The ancient vampire before him is nothing like the strong youthful vampire he had known when he was younger, the one who helped guide his steps along with his Fader’s, the one whose quiet strength was enough to make him feel that nothing could faze him.
With tears still falling down her face, Sookie begs Godric, “Please stay. We need you. It has been foretold and you don’t want your line to be destroyed, do you Godric?” Eric’s arm is around her, and she feels his support, but she can feel the pain he is suffering from having to listen to them beg his Maker, his Fader, Broder, Son… to stay with them.
Godric looks at her. “But we don’t belong here.” He repeats the line that explains everything he has come to believe. While Eric may have found his Mate, so few of their kind do, and there was nothing to hold him here, not really. They are parasites on the human race.
She feels Eric’s pain and remembers this conversation from the rooftop. “If you didn’t, then you would be gone. God wouldn’t do that.” She now says what she wishes she had said before, when they were on that roof together. She hadn’t felt confident enough to argue with Godric then, but knowing that her Mate would suffer with the loss of his Maker forever is enough to give her the courage to argue with the ancient vampire now.
He shakes his head. “But this is the same God who refused my entrance into his Kingdom. He is cruel,” he answers bluntly, but at least he is conversing with her.
More tears falling down her face, Sookie shakes her head. “Godric, what is a day?” She remembers thinking about this when she was younger, and when she had asked Gran about it. The question had made the older lady sit and think, and then finally admit that Sookie had a valid point, so she decides to apply this same logic to the situation now facing her with Godric…but this time it’s for a far more worthy cause than simply settling her mind on the matter.
He cocks his head. “It is a revolution of the Earth, twenty-four hours. Your science has proven this.” He wonders where the little blonde will be taking this argument.
She shakes her head. “But what would be a day to God? To a Being who has no sense of time? One who is not restricted to the same idea of time that we have?”
Puzzled, Godric just stares at her. “I am not understanding,” he finally admits. Different ideas on what makes a day?
She inhales and ignores the hitch in her breathing to answer, “Consider your sense of time, does it not mean that you think of things in a different time frame than I do? That you can plan for decades, centuries even? And is a day the same on Earth as it is on Mars, or Jupiter, or even Pluto?” She asks these questions hoping to make him think about what she means.
He nods, trying to understand where she is going with this.
She asks him, “Godric, have you ever read the Bible?” Here is where she is going to push it – to make him think instead of just giving up.
She shifts slightly, and lets Eric to pull her back to him to allow her some respite from standing so long in one place. Sookie informs Godric, “One of the big debates is evolution versus the Bible. You probably have heard about it since it was huge before you guys came out of the coffin. But why is there a debate? Why can’t both sides be right?” She lays the whole idea out before him, just as she had with Gran.
He blinks at her.
Seeing his reaction, she sighs, knowing he will need the explanation. “They say the Earth was created in seven days,” she states, starting from the beginning.
Godric nods as he watches this young human in front of him. She interests him, and he wonders if the way her mind works is one of the things that drew Eric to her.
Taking his interest seriously, Sookie asks him, “So what would be a day to God?” This one question is the crux of her entire argument, the basis on which her hope for saving Godric depends.
He blinks, then blinks again. He opens his mouth, then closes it as he thinks through her question.
While he thinks, Sookie throws in, “And if billions of years can pass in a day, then why do you think he denied you entry when maybe you were only there a second or two?” It is simple. They say the Earth was made in seven days, but who determined the length of those days before God parted the Heavens? It is simple, yet profound.
He swallows, then finally nods. “I accept your point.” Godric is intrigued by this blonde Mate of his Son. He is looking at her in a completely different way now, and wonders about her.
She sighs, her hope building as she makes her point to the man before her who holds their salvation in his very hands. “And didn’t God wipe the Earth in the past, and even now there are species dying out. If he wanted your species to die, he would have done it.”
Godric tells her with a small smile, “He promised not to.” He is looking forward to where she will take this.
She cannot help but laugh – this is a common misconception. “He told humans that he promised not to flood them again, not that he would never wipe them out, and he made no separate promises for you guys. You belong here as much as I do, as much as the birds in the sky and the lions on the prairies do. If not, God would have never allowed you to become.” Then she presses a hand to her face as she thinks about how much she would miss Eric if he had not become a vampire and had not been here for her.
Feeling her pain, Eric wraps his arm around her and says, “I am here, Lover. I will always be with you.”
Godric watches the two of them, and he smiles. “Eric?” He has an idea that he might like getting to know this woman who has so obviously stolen Eric’s heart. If only she had been part of his…
Eric looks up from his Mate and, with tears falling down his face, meets Godric’s eyes. “Master?”
The ancient vampire laughs. Shaking his head, he tells his Son, “I am not the master. Why did you call me back?” He wants to hear his Child’s reasoning, not just Sookie’s.
Eric is holding onto Sookie tightly since she needs his support because of the loss she is feeling, but he also needs to be able to plead with Godric. He is torn between what his mind and his heart are demanding for him to do.
Thankfully, he feels a sudden tap on his shoulder. Brandon is there for Sookie, and draws her away to the side. Eric falls to his knees before his Maker. “Because I need you. There is so much happening; I took back my Crown and my Kingdom to protect Sookie. You once protected her from a vampire trying to kill her. Will you not help me protect my Mate once again?”
He begs Godric in the one way he knows the Elder would understand more than any other.
Eric hates being on his knees before anyone. In fact, once he had found out what it meant to the younger vampire, Godric had ordered him to never bend his knee for anybody unless he wished to do it. Since he has so far only knelt before two people, Godric and Sookie, his Maker will know what it means when he kneels before him. He will do whatever is needed to protect his Mate.
Blinking at him, Godric asks, “Are you Bonded?” His mind is turning, churning away.
Feeling hopeful for once, Eric nods his head lightly. “Twice-bonded. Last night was the second, and once we have time, I will finish the Bond with her.” He offers all this information on the chance that it may be the thing that will sway his Maker.
Godric looks at him, and then turns slightly to look at Sookie. He watches her for a moment, then finally tells Eric, “Bond with her in front of me, and I will come through.”
Eric blinks and turns to look at his Mate. Sookie nods and, moving toward him, says, “It’s a small price. We were already going to do it anyway, so why not now? Why not go ahead and do it for a cause that will make us both happy?”
He cups her cheek, and then stands up to bend down to her. He looks over and asks Brandon, “Will you retrieve the knife?”
Brandon nods, and is gone in the next second. Eric looks down to her and lets her know, “I want it all, Lover. I wish for you to hand me the knife, and be Pledged to me. After I accept the knife, I will use it to seal our Bond, to become one with you in every way I can. Then as soon as I can marry you the human way, we will. But I wish to show you how dedicated I am to you, how much I love you. Will you do this?”
She sobs, and nods a yes to him. He smiles, and pulls her close.
The rest of the Family grins at each other, proud to be able to witness the joining of their line to their Mother’s.
Brandon comes back with the knife on its pillow and Eric tells her, “All you have to do is take the knife. You can kiss the blade before you give it to me or not. Once I take it, once I kiss the blade, we are then Pledged by the Knife. Then I will take the knife and cut myself so that you can drink from me, and then I will either cut you, or bite you.”
She swallows and, after accepting the hanky passed to her by Aisling who is still standing behind Eric, wipes her face clean of the tears from earlier. “Does it matter?”
Eric says nothing, and Brandon just tells her, “He has given you the choices, and cannot say anything else. None of us can. This must come from your heart, Sookie. Choose.”
She stares at Eric, then reaches out to take the knife. She brings the blade to her lips and kisses it, then hands it to Eric. He accepts it, then kisses it too.
The blade starts glowing, and Eric kneels before her, bringing the knife to cut himself as she watches. Once he makes the cut on his neck, she takes his hand holding the knife and guides it to her neck.
Without reacting, Eric pulls her head to his neck, and jolts as she takes his blood. He waits a second, until he can feel his blood entering her system, and then cuts her with the knife.
In that second, with both of their blood on the blade and then on their lips, a bright white light bursts from the two of them, and the sound of a bell rings out.
No one mortal in the room can stare into the brilliant light surrounding their Fader and Mother. But Godric, as a Being not fully on either plane, does, and smiles as his terms are fully met. He then feels the flood of the Bonds that he had left behind crash back into him as he Crosses to the Earthly plane once again.
His eyes close, and he can feel both Sookie and Eric in his Bonds. He also feels more than he did before, and cannot stop the joy that spreads throughout him as their light travels down the Bonds and flows through him. He glows as they do, and from them the room becomes blindingly white.
The next moment the light dies, and Godric is standing there, more vivid that he was before. He looks over at Eric and Sookie, and sees Sookie passed out and being cradled in Eric’s arms. He calls out, “Min Dotter,” amazed by the information he has just received.
Eric looks up at him. “Godric?”
He smiles at his Son, his Brother, his Father. “I am back. And you have married my Daughter.”
Blinking, Eric tries to make sense, and Frey cautiously walks forward. “Because she married Eric, you mean?”
Godric shakes his head, an impish look to his face, one that Eric has not seen for centuries. “No. She is of me. With the Mating Bond fully formed, I can sense her, and she is mine. I did not understand why I was driven to bring you two together, but I had suspected you were Mated.”
This was also why he had been so angry about the attack on her in the Fellowship, as well as the attacks on her in the nest. He can even see how, after that attack, he had felt worse, as though he had not achieved anything. Was it because some part of him recognized his failure in protecting one of his own?
Instantly he moves in front of them, and looks down with love at the daughter he had not realized he had still alive. Unlike Eric, he had no chance to watch over his bloodline after his Turning. It was only due to these particular circumstances, him coming back and the two being soul mates, that he knows now. Otherwise, it would have taken him tasting her to discover it.
Eric chuckles, and, even though she is still down for the count, he tells his lover in his arms, “You have gained one of the most powerful Vampires as your Guardian…and one of the best Fathers to ever have. You are going to be loved in every way.” She will be so spoiled – his grin gets bigger as he realizes that his Mate will be loved more than she has ever been in her life.
Frey claps his Fader on his shoulder. “Congratulations, Fader.” He looks down at the woman who is now so important to the Family and the Clan.
Eric grins at his Son, and nods his head. “Tell the Clan. I will be caring for her until she wakes.”
He nods and leaves. Godric watches him go, then notices the woman behind Eric, and stares at her.
The rest of Eric’s Sons come up to congratulate their Fader on his marriage to their Mother, all thrilled that she is theirs now.
However, Godric continues to stare at the woman behind Eric.
Soon they have the room brought back to normal, with the desk being set up by Gainor and Griffon. Eric moves to their throne, still holding his Mate tenderly in his arms.
Godric is still watching the woman, and now she’s watching him, too.
Settling back into his chair, Eric looks to the side, then looks again down the room to where Godric is, and notices his staring at Aisling, and how she’s looking back at him. He frowns, trying to figure out what is going on, and finally asks, “Godric?”
Godric never looks away from the woman in front of him as he answers, “Yes?”
“Is there something wrong with my Wife’s assistant?”
Godric blinks. He looks at the woman, then Eric, then back to the woman.
The whole room has stopped, and is looking at Godric.
He turns his head sideways and asks, “Are you one of Eric’s?”
She nods. “Aisling Northman.”
He shakes his head slowly, and then moves in front of her. He cups her face softly, and then he kisses her as the room just stares at them in shock.
After he stops to allow her to breathe, he looks down to her. “I apologize. If I had known, I would have never left. I gave up the hope of finding you long ago. Will you forgive me, mein gefahrte?”
Final count: 3,259 words.