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Pre-Edit Count: 2,129 Words
Song: Her Diamonds by Rob Thomas
Benedict is still holding Charlie, but he looks at his other two brothers, worry in his features. Charlie is sobbing, collapsing, and Benedict guides him to a chair.
He looks to Ludwig and raises his eyebrows. She looks at him, “All we can do is pray. If he called for Godric, well.” She shakes her head and disappears.
As soon as he realizes what is going on, Eric has Bella in his arms, moving through their home to their rooms below their home. He is aware of the problem of germs and how they may be what kill her. So with that in mind he takes her to a room that he hopes will have the least amount of any other.
When he makes it to their room, Eric slows and sets her gently on the bed. It had taken him a few precious seconds to realize what Jasper had referred to and that Ludwig had confirmed. Raking his hand through his hair, Eric looks down at her, trying to think of what they can do to make her life easier.
The fact that this all happened to his mate makes him feel helpless. He has the strength of his years, the might of one of the strongest bloodlines behind him, and none of it can help her. The first time Edward had stuck that needle inside Bella and took her marrow, he had shortened her life.
A cheerless chuckle rises from Eric as he remembers how much Bella had told him Edward had fought against her being turned. It had not been until later when Edward came up with the agreement of her marrying him did the topic of being turned come about. Eric suspects it was around that time when she became tired, and the choices became limited to Edward. While her blood turned would taste similar, there would still be a change.
Pacing the room, Eric smiles to himself thinking of the torture devices that his family has come up with, as well as the alternatives Caius has mentioned on the way here. Seems Caius is not happy that the last of his remaining human family has been used this way, but he is happy that someone will value her as she deserves.
His thoughts go back to why Edward would have changed his mind on her being turned. Then again, being faced with not having it at all, well, that made all the difference. Eric wonders if the time he had left her for that year and a half had been in training to allow him to change her. He won’t know until he tortures them, but he will have his answers to that as well as some other questions he has from her story.
And Eric will be inflicting an equal amount of pain on Edward for every ounce of pain his Bella feels.
His head snaps to the side, and then he moves to his knees beside the bed when he hears a quiet moan. When she doesn’t wake, his head drops to the bed.
For one of the very rare times in his life, Eric doesn’t know what to do. The last time he actually felt this helpless is when he watched his entire human family be murdered all around him. He would do anything to make this better, unlike that time. But ultimately, he is useless again.
Kill someone to make this better? In one of her heartbeats.
Threaten someone for hurting her? Done.
Give his blood to heal her? Of course.
To give his life for hers? No, unless she is already dead. Then he will get their revenge before joining her. He will do more than die for her, he will live for her.
Realizing he is on a tangent again, Eric searches for something to be his anchor. He needs a way to stabilize his thoughts; trying to find something, anything. The memory of his family dying yet again rises, and Eric realizes that was the last time his mind had been this disordered, jumping from place to place with no connections between the two. He needs to think clearly, plan his revenge.
With that in mind, Eric thinks about what else they will be working on in the rooms specially prepared for the Cullens. To gets his answers, Eric will be inflicting some of the pain his mate is suffering now, as well as earlier, on Edward. Too bad the Pixie Bitch got away, but they are searching for her.
Anything, everything he would do for this woman, and instead, her fucked up Cold One had already taken her life. All he ever wanted was the woman in front of him, but it seems she has to pay the ultimate price for them to be together.
He wishes to have more time with her as a human if she wants that. If she wants him to turn her right now, he will. He just doesn’t know what to do. He needs to talk with her, explain what is going on, and let her make an educated decision. He will give her what the Cullens’ never did: an informed choice.
With this in mind, Eric takes a deep breath before leaning down to his little mate’s ear. He murmurs in a loving voice, and his eyes are soft, “Bella.” She moves, and he caresses her face as he calls her name again. When she slowly opens her eyes, he smiles down into her face, “Evening, min älskade. How are you feeling?”
She sighs, “Tired, but here. I told you I will be fine, Eric.” Bella returns his caresses and smiles up at him. The smile slowly fades away as she watches him, and she asks, concerned, “What’s wrong, Eric? Did someone get hurt?” She turns her head to the side, worried that something else has happened.
His face is gentle as he gazes at her with all his love, devotion and affection. He then fortifies himself with a deep breath before answering her. “Teo called the doctor on the plane to be here when we arrived. I tried to merge with you, my blood was showing me damage, and none of it was working as it should have been with the quantity you had taken from me. When we got here, she came to look at you.” He stops and closes his eyes. He needs to tell her, but-
Interrupting his thoughts, Bella frowns as she inquires, “What is it, Eric? Just tell me.” It worries her that he is this reluctant to tell him what the doctor found. She is already aware of who the doctor is; Eric had wanted her to look Bella over when they got here, as a routine checkup.
Looking up at her where she has sat up in bed to find out the issue, Eric informs her, “She found that he had been bleeding you, that my blood was healing your bones from him. She is not sure what they did to put you under their control. But then, Jasper asked if those bruises could have been actual needle marks…And they were. He was stealing your marrow.” He tells her straight facts, letting her know everything he knows. Well, at least to that point. He may need to remind her of some facts.
Bella searches his eyes. “I’m sorry. I will heal. If not by myself, then with your blood. It’s not cancer right? It can’t be all that bad, can it?” She remembers him telling her that cancer took their blood and made the tumors worse. Cancer was a disease that if not caught in time, that there was often a chance of turning not working.
He growls and runs his hand through his hair, frustrated. “Lover, the marrow is what makes your red blood cells. It is also where your immune system is from. Him taking it-“ He has to stop when the growls of anger overtake him.
She holds her hands to her mouth. “AIDS?” It is the only thing she can think of that would make this so bad. How the hell did she get AIDS? Unless one of the needles Fuckward used was infected.
She could see him doing that to make sure she had no choice but to be turned by him.
Shaking his head, Eric jumps up and starts his pacing again. “No. That had been the first thing Ludwig had looked for with how you are to her senses. Nevertheless, she doesn’t give you long and thank the Gods you didn’t pick up anything from anyone in that fucking travesty of a wedding, nor your father.” Then he stops and looks directly at her, anger making his eyes stormy as he spits out, “A cold. A fucking cold could kill you!”
A tear drops from her eye, rolling down her face and drops. Not able to touch her with the rage rolling through him, Eric watches as it shatters like tiny diamonds. He looks back at her, and discloses to her in a hoarse whisper, “I don’t know what to do, Bella. I could turn you now, but if my blood hasn’t healed you, then there is no guarantee that it will bring you over! If we wait, I could lose you to the simplest things that a child could ignore.” By the end, he sinks down to a chair by the bed, the same chair that Godric had sat in so many times waiting for news on Bella.
She looks at him, “What can we do? What options do we have? Is there anyone with stronger blood?” Needing answers, Bella starts firing the questions that she comes up with in her head.
Eric takes her hand and he ventures, “Godric?” He is lost, but maybe…
Looking down, Eric’s hand engulfing her hand, she shakes her head. “You told me makers are sexual with their children. Can you take that? And can we catch any breaks?” Why him? Why does Eric need to pay her price to have him?
Eric pulls her out of the bed, and he holds her close to him as she breaks down and cries. “I j-j-just want to be wi-with you!” He rocks her as she cries, his own tears flowing down his face. Neither commenting on them, but both feel the other’s pain.
His heart is breaking at this moment when it was supposed to be happy for the two of them. Eric promises her, “I will do whatever it takes to have you with me. If you are willing, I will call him here, and we can talk with him. Just trust in us. No matter what, we will be together, min älskade.” When she nods, he sends the call to his maker, hoping that this will be a solution that will work.
After leaving the mess upstairs for his children to take care, Godric rushes downstairs. He hesitates a moment before entering the room. However once inside, he stops as he watches the two in front of him. Eric is holding Bella, surrounding her as she is curled in his lap. He can see them both crying as they cling desperately to each other.
Godric’s heart hurts looking at them when this should be a joyous time and decides to do whatever it takes to make them happy as they deserve. To that end, he clears his throat, as he walks in and sits down on the bed in front of the chair where the two are. Giving them time, he watches them.
Surprisingly to him, Bella is the one who speaks first. “I guess you know. About me I mean.” She looks at him with her tears still rolling down her face as she struggles to get a hold of herself.
He nods, watching her; waiting, willing to give her the time to tell him what they have come up with.
Sighing, Bella asks, “To be blunt, Eric is not sure if I can be turned. His blood has not healed me, but to give me time to heal to guarantee that I survive the turning runs the risk of me dying from a germ. We thought of you, but…” She trails off. It is hard for her to say it. She does not want to hurt the feelings of the Ancient before her that means so much to her Mate.
Sensing she cannot say it, Godric quietly finishes for her, “But you wanted to have that link.” He sighs, then stands to pace, going through ideas in his head. All of them say there is a chance, but he can see all the downfalls at the same time. “I can appreciate the issue. In addition, I can bet if Eric has talked about Makers and their children, he has admitted to you about the relationship between them.” He shrugs it off. It is all because of how closely they are bonded, and that the maker often needs to help the youngling figure out the difference between bloodlust and normal lust. He has never regretted it, not with any of his children, especially Eric. It allows them all to be closer than normal, even the ones who get fostered after the month of being with them.
Nodding sadly, Bella looks at him, hoping he may have a solution. Godric can feel the helplessness coming from Eric. This is Eric’s mate, who he has waited too long for, with no promise, not even the hope of her to help him through the nights. And then, suddenly she appears to him. Then not only did Eric have to wait to get her, he gets there only to find that she is in pain; so injured from her stay with the Cold One’s that he is not sure if he can turn her. That he will miss that bond that they so deeply both desire. A mating bond between a maker and child are rare, but sought after more than any other since there is no master and child, but equals and closer than any blood bonded pair.
“A genuine quandary if I have heard of one,” Godric murmurs.
He turns and looks at them, thinking harder, going through options in his head, rumors he has heard in the past of things being done. He wants to find a solution to all of this, to at least let them have some kind of bond.
Then he frowns, wondering if there is something about their bond that might help them out, and his mind goes quickly down that route, searching for all the lore he knows of mates.
After a couple of minutes, he thinks he might have a solution. Then his phone goes off and he pulls it out of his jeans. Godric smiles as he reads the instructions. “Eric, we are about to attempt something that should work. Now, either way, this is going to be tricky, but this may give her some time. Have you completed the third exchange?” His maker never makes it easy for them, but then she can see that they will eventually make the right decision. Otherwise she will call as she did with Eric not going to Bella earlier.
Eric looks his maker in the eyes, “No.” But he is full of hope because of the emotions he is getting from Godric.
Godric nods. “You need to make the third exchange. As bonded mates, this is the only way it will work.” He smiles as he explains the solution that will give them the time they need. “Afterwards, we will give Bella some time to heal, by giving her my blood. She needs to stay here, and you will need to take care of her by following Ludwig’s instructions. Teo will get a communication set down here for you. The only people allowed in will be me, you, or Ludwig, with the exception of Teo once.” He runs through the options he can think of, and is prepared to make alterations if needed to make sure they are safe.
They both nod, watching him with hopeful eyes. Hope is a delicate flower blooming between them right now. Godric smiles, and then looks at Bella. “How badly do you hurt?” He watches her face, as he has most of this evening since they retrieved her. He suspects that she hurts more than she is letting on.
She slides her eyes to the side, but Godric is in front of her, and gently takes Bella’s face to make her meet his eyes. “None of that, min dötter; tell us the truth.” He is firm with her. He needs for her to admit to him that she is in pain. He will have no dishonesty between them; it is his rule between all of his children.
Staring into his eyes, Bella makes up her mind, admitting to them, “I’m always in pain. But, I am truly used to it; I have been this way for so long, I really don’t notice.” She shrugs; it is no big deal to her anymore. Plus the promise of there being no more pain, makes her willing to put up with even more pain to get what they all want.
Sighing, Godric puts his fingers on his forehead, muttering, “They are going to pay for this.” He smiles as he hears Eric say, “Agreed.” His mind runs through the things he can do to them, in preparation for them to be ready to answer their questions, of course.
Looking at her, Godric informs Bella, “You need to allow Eric to help with the pain. He will be able to do this once you bond. Afterwards, I will give you my blood, and we will see what happens. Each time I give you blood, Eric and you are to exchange. When we go to turn you, it will be both of us.” He smiles at her, “You will be min dötter in every way. I promise.” He knows he can keep this promise; his maker congratulated him on his true daughter, fulfilling a promise she made to him long ago to have a daughter, one that he would have had as a human.
Bella’s eyes fill as she realizes that he is telling her that he will not treat her as most children. She will truly be his child. She gives him a watery smile.
Still holding her, Eric closes his eyes in relief. “I take it she approves?” He hopes this will be the last of it, and if Godric’s maker approves, then this is what they need to do.
Godric nods before handing his phone to Eric, as he takes his daughter from him. “Read what needs to be done.” He settles her in his arms, wiping her face of her tears. Caring for her as he means to go on. He smiles lopsided realizing that they both will be his in a unique way that only they can be.
Eric reads the text, and then sighs, rubbing his eyes. This won’t be easy; there will be additions to their room, as well as dietary concerns. But it is doable. It is something he can accomplish and not feel like a stranger watching his mate wither in front of him.
He can be active in her care. Not helpless.
Sensing his relief, and determination, Bella looks at him, but before she can say anything, Godric consoles her, “It will be ok. It just will be tricky. It will work min dötter, but it will take time. Ok?” He warns her, but wants her to know there is an end for them, a happy end for the three of them.
She nods, dropping her head to his shoulder. “Thank you, Godric.” She tells herself to do everything to make sure Godric is always happy. He deserves no less for doing this for the two of them.
He smiles, and confides in her, “I always wanted a daughter. I never imagined that I would get one this late in my life.” He cannot help but tease in the end. He loves to laugh and joke, but can only do it around the bloodline. Otherwise, he is stoic, and rarely smiles.
They laugh, and soon Godric has her talking to him, telling him about her life before the Cullens. Eric sits back in the chair, sprawled out as he watches the two of them, taking the time to understand what is going to happen, though smiling at some of the teasing Godric gives her about her past.
He finally moves to get his laptop, and Eric starts sending messages out, letting their line know of what needs to happen. He smiles as Teo pops up telling him he has everything ordered and is soon immersed in making sure his mate will have what she needs. He messages with Ludwig then turning it into having her in a conference with Teo, Ewan, and Benedict. Seems the AP already contacted her to be ready her for the barrage of questions from all of them. With them all in accordance with the plan and why, they will make sure Bella will have everything she needs until she is deemed safe to change.
Watching Eric, Bella is enjoying the time with Godric, and then he tells her, “Your father is here.” He is sober, not the joking individual she has been getting to know.
Looking quickly at him, Bella takes in what he just told her. Then she sighs. “I don’t know what to do, Godric. I love him, but I have said goodbye already. I don’t know what will happen, but I know he cannot be part of this life. He will be too easy a target to hold against Eric and me.” She shrugs and leaves unsaid how she thought that she would have had to remake herself after her death so that he would have no knowledge of it.
Through Godric’s comments as well as her memory of the night earlier, she knows they have outed themselves to the world, but still, to hold on to her father? How would that be fair to any of them? She has said goodbye already, and he has his own life in Forks. There is nothing to be gained by stretching the goodbyes farther.
Humming as he thinks this over, Godric asks, “Is it too much to allow him his request? To know Eric and to know he will keep you safe? I am proud to be your father, but he is worried, min dötter. He deserves to know the man who will be taking over his care for you.” It is little, and he suspects that once Charlie is assured of her happiness, he will be willing to start stepping back. Bella has something none of them had before, but at the same time, he understands her position.
Her head rests against his chest, and after thinking about it, Bella finally nods. Godric kisses her head, and cautions her, “He can’t come down here, but you can talk to him from where Teo set ups whatever he needs to. But Eric will visit with him. And my part, well it’s up to you, but I don’t think he will understand my place.” He shrugs. The maker and child relationship is not one he wishes to share to be frank. On top of that, Bella and he will not have the normal relationship. There is no need to tell Charlie any of this.
Answering them from where he is working to make sure his mate will be safe and as happy as he can make her, Eric gives his own opinion, “I will make my peace with him. But I agree with Godric. Even though he has stated you are to be his daughter, this is the first time a vampire will have two makers. We cannot be sure what will happen.” Then he leans forward, putting the laptop to the side. “I, for one, am more than willing to do this; anything to keep you with me.” He smiles at his mate, happy for a solution to this mess. While he cannot share his mate sexually with his maker, he can share the making of her with him.
Sending him her love and affection as well as her hope that it will work out, Bella smiles, and then asks, “So what did you not follow of my suggestions for this place?” She decided enough of this; she wants to know more about their casino.
Godric just laughs, enjoying her fire. He listens as the two start a conversation that is evident to have happened many times, smiling as he sees the tears stop, as the two argue over some minor point.
No more will he see her cry those tears, not if he can help it.
Final count, 4,170 words.