Pre Edit Count – 3,020 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Over My Head (Cable Car) by The Fray
Staring at him, helpless under the onslaught of his logic as well as his pressuring her as his sister, she finally nods as tears spill down her face. Eric smiles and gently wipes them away. “No tears, lillasyster. There is no reason for these, and they make me uncomfortable. Now. Do we need to go through why Godric is allowed to spend money on you, and will be taking care of you also? Or are you ok and we can now see what else the good doctor has to say?” He is watching her with a slight twist to his lips. He won, and he will allow Godric to soothe his lillasyster now that he is done making sure she understands his duties to her.
Dr. Ludwig leans against the wall and watches this all with glee. Oh yes, she has heard of Eric and of him being able to maneuver his way around a boardroom, but watching it in person? Priceless. If anything, it has cemented her wish to makes sure she records the coming altercation with Charlie.
Godric watches with a little shock as his son talks his Mate into doing what they would have done anyway, but now they at least have her agreement. He also understood Eric’s caution hidden in his words. They will have to break her in gently with the money. As someone who has had to count every penny to make sure they ate some days, she will be uncomfortable for a while. He is just happy that he can take care of her, but he will be talking to his son about taking his Mate under his wing…
With Bella’s agreement, Eric takes her face in his hands and kisses her on the forehead. “When we get done with all this, we will take the blood oath and become family.” Then he grins, “I am looking forward to having a lyllasyster.”
Bella can’t help it, “Like anyone would be a big sister to you.”
The room erupts into laughter.
Godric is basking in his Mate being here with him as they all talk. Bella is taking it all better than he had ever hoped. Eric had helped with that, and he smiles as he thinks of how he will suggest that they do a first level Bond. They both care for each other, and it was nothing like what had passed between Eric and Nora. No, this is a true family bond between the two. From what he remembers, the Blood oath that Eric is asking of her will satisfy this request, though he knows that Eric’s version will be different from the ones he had seen in the past.
Eric’s family is descended from Freya, and she is the patron of their kingdom. She has been known to step into her descendants lives quite often, and Eric, while never having seen her in the ceremonies, has met and spoken with her. He had also flirted with her before he had found out who she was.
As he watches his mate and Childe talking, he will candidly admit that he is surprised with Eric’s acceptance of her. As he recalls the previous night, one of the longest in his life, he finds that Eric had been accepting of her the whole time. Maybe she being Eric’s sister is just as fated as being his own Mate?
Eric lounges at the end of the bed, talking with Bella and discussing some of the traditions that he remembers from his life as a human. He is as stretched out as he can be, looking like nothing more than a lion at rest, but Godric can feel his love for the petite brunette in his arms. In his emotions there is nothing of the lust that Eric usually feels for any woman, believing that all women are put on the earth to be worshipped…by him if possible.
Looking at his Maker, Eric can’t help the smile that graces his face. Godric looks happy. Thinking back through the years, Eric could not remember the last time he had seen his Fader this happy. If nothing else, he would love Bella for that.
Instead, he finds that he loves her as his lillasyster. It really seems like she was born not only to be Godric’s mate, but to be what he has been missing in his own life. Pam is his Childe and he loves her, but Bella gets his sense of humor, and she allows him to be himself in a way he just can’t be with Pam. He can goof off, something that his Maker is the only living being to see, but as mischievous as Godric can be, and he can be quite bad, he still wasn’t quite what Eric has needed all these years. With Pamela, he has to be forceful since she is a brat. He can and has joked around with her, but in the back in his mind he knows that he cannot let go. He always has to keep the upper hand with her since she will take that inch you give her and run for a mile with it. As her Maker, it is his job to restrain her.
Bella is the outlet for, as she termed it, his frat boy side, that side of him that goofed off and played pranks. It was that side of him that was fucking when his family died, which made him be harder on himself and much more serious until Godric taught him that there was a place for revenge.
Godric also taught him that he’d been lost as a youngster, that he hadn’t lost his family because he didn’t love them. He had been rebelling against his father, yes, but he had fulfilled his obligations. He had gone on raids and brought back wealth for his lands. He had done everything but act serious around his father. He had not understood that his father had tried to love him as he much as he could at that time and age. Eric had wanted to stand on his own, and his father had never wanted to let him go. So, instead, he had acted out against him for it. And when his father died, Eric had sworn his vengeance, and had lost that part of himself. Godric had told him that while vengeance is a good thing to follow through on, he cannot live his life that way.
Bella is the last part of the healing he needed. She lets that little part that is still mourning the loss of his family to be put to rest to allow him to dote on her. Godric had better be prepared, because he is intent on spoiling his little sister. In fact, he intends to spoil her worse than Pam, as only a brother could. He grins, his eyes sparkling as he thinks of all the ways he can annoy her then make it up to her…
Bella relaxes as she enjoys the banter with Eric, the questions from the good Doctor, and Godric’s support. Feeling his feelings was odd at first, but she is learning how to deal with it. When she had asked it earlier, Ludwig had been only mildly surprised that she could feel them already.
When pressed by Godric for a prognosis, she declared, “Godric, you feel her no matter how far away you are. This should not be surprising to you, and makes sense. The Mating Bond wants you guys to be together, and this helps clear any issues as you go. Neither of you can question the other’s feelings for each other.”
Now they are all waiting for the sun to set. Bella is a little worried since she’d gotten hints that tonight will not be easy on her father. She is also thinking about her options. To be truthful, what really is holding her here? She is 18. Her father never really wanted her, just accepted her here. She did nothing but cook and tend house for him or, when they were here, spend time with the Cullens. So why exactly would it be worth it to keep Godric and Eric here when they have more important things to do at their homes?
Godric can feel her worry. “What is it, a thaisce,” he asks, interrupting the conversation by calling everyone’s attention to her as he tries to understand why she is troubled. He didn’t care, nor did the others. This is the way it will be since her wellbeing is Godric’s top concern, and as the head of the Bloodline, his concern is theirs.
The rest of the group becomes quiet, and Bella blushes at being the center of attention. Eric grins at her, encouraging her. She won’t be in the background much longer since, as Godric’s mate, she will be often be in the center of attention. Others will pay her attention to get on his good side. This is another reason Godric wanted to have her learn these things before she became his Mate in front of the world. Instead, she will find out the hard way as they go forward.
She sighs then asks, “What if he kicks me out?” She will be blunt as she finds that in most circumstances it gets her answers more often than not.
The vampires’ growls are immediate, but Godric answers her question. “Then, a thaisce, you will come to live with me. Eric lives 31 minutes flying time from us. If this could happen without you being this sad, I would prefer it. But I am committed to your happiness and my King will understand.” Secretly he is thrilled. He has left instructions to find a house for her, but this way he can find one with her. Already his living quarters should have been altered in preparation for his human Mate. This would be the best solution. In Texas, many see him as the Sheriff of Area 9, but in reality he controls the state. His adopted childe, Andrew Roberts, will make sure he is safe there. It is a place of refuge in case they need it in the coming years.
Sighing as she looks down and plays with Godric’s hand, she starts when Eric’s hand stops hers. When she looks up at him, he informs her softly, “There is nothing to be worried about, lillasyster. Did we not just talk about this? I am only waiting for Godric to acknowledge my formal suit to swear the blood oath with you. But if it will make you feel better, I will do it right now.” He cups her hands in his.
Godric smiles at his son for the acknowledgement of her being his Mate and what that means to their society, and informs the both of them, “It is not up to me. You two can make that decision and I will support it. Truthfully, I am thrilled about it, and request that it be a true Blood Oath. Dr. Ludwig is here, and we can have Alcide and Sam as witnesses.” Nothing would make him happier. To know that his Mate and his Childe are this close? It is unheard of in their world, but he wishes there to be no questions or notions of splitting his family.
Bella looks up into his face then to Eric. Letting go of their hands, she runs her fingers through her hair as she slowly asks, “What all does a Blood Oath entail? I thought it was like when you were kids and swore to be best friends forever, with the blood swap…”
Dr. Ludwig snorts from her place against the wall. “That is the ceremony in the most basic sense. It is a very poor rendition of what Eric wants to do. Eric is suggesting literally becoming your brother in every way. He will exchange blood with you, and, though it is considered a first level binding by vampires, the magic of his Gods and his belief in them will make it reality. And trust me when I say the Viking’s beliefs are very strong. I know magic, and the power of his beliefs crackle around him at all times. Your version of the Blood Oath that you will be swearing with Eric you need to get from him. But the ceremony is quick and relatively painless.” She is interested as she had never witnessed the ceremony herself. As always, she also wonders about Eric. He holds himself differently than other Vikings, and she has seen how he is given way when he is around any of his contemporaries
Looking over at Eric, Bella questions him, “And what is this ceremony?” She is once again playing with Godric’s hand as it seems to help with her nervousness.
Eric grins at her and quickly rights himself to take one of her hands. “First off, what we will be doing is sacred, and no one can speak of it. There is no record of this anywhere, and I, as well as my contemporaries, refused to tell anyone of it. As Dr. Ludwig said, it is a deeply religious ceremony and can be done for many of the same purposes. For that of family, however, it needs to include each of the four elements. Our blood is the Water, the soil we stand upon the Earth, Air will be from our lungs, and Fire will be from the Eternal Flame. Since as vampires we cannot stand under the sun to do this, the light of moon is allowed to witness it.” His voice doesn’t show his trepidation about the substitution of the moon for the sun. He is not sure the change will be forgiven, and since he is the only royal of his line alive as a vampire, he will have to do as he has always done…work through it.
Bella cocks her head to the side as she asks, “But if we do it before the sun sets, then it will be before the Eternal Flame.” If Eric needs the sun, then why can’t that work?
Eric grins at her, “I didn’t think of that, I was thinking of how we would be outside. But you are right, if we do it here…“ He pauses as he shakes his head. “But the Earth…” He really wants this to be as accurate as it can be. This is important to them both.
Bella turns her head to the side and thinks. “How about if they cut some sod from the ground and brought it inside? Would that work? Plus it would be on the hardwood which is often a symbol of earth, and would fit in with your views…” She trails off as Godric and Eric grin at her.
Godric chuckles. “You’re right, Eric. She is a worthy Mate for me and more than worthy to be your blood family.” He looks down at his Mate with pride.
He nods as he thinks through everything she said then pulls out his cell phone and sends some texts. Once he is done, he looks up with a glint in his eyes. “Alcide and Sam are getting what we need. Master, I brought your Goblet in case you needed it for anything, since the two other people you trust with it are with us. With your permission, I would like to use it.” His eyes meet his Maker’s with the excitement not only showing, but growing as he realizes that they actually are doing this, that he will literally have family with him. Forever…
Nodding, Godric kisses the top of Bella’s head. “Of course.” He plans to use the Goblet with her as well. It is fitting that Eric gains his sister through the same Goblet he has somehow retained through 2,000 years.
Bella watches everyone moving around and can see how happy Eric is. She softly asks Godric, “This means a lot to him doesn’t it?” She can’t believe she will have a brother, but even if this doesn’t work the way they think it will, Eric will still be her brother. That he is doing all this means more than she can tell anyone.
Leaning down so that his mouth is at her ear, his watches his Son as he tells her, “He has no way of contacting the few from his bloodline, and even if he did, he still could not have much to do with them. His family, for all intents and purposes, is dead. And while he will be happy after the Revelation if his family will accept him, even though they are his direct descendants, at this point they are at best a cousin branch of the family. They do mean a lot to Eric, but to have a sister again?” He kisses her below her ear, noting the shudder she gives, and divulges to her, “You could give no greater gift to Eric. And you will be actual family to him. Once you do this, there are no take backs, as I think it is called. Are you sure, a thaisce?” He just wants to make sure she wants this. No matter what, he didn’t think Eric would have her as anything but his sister. But, if she is unsure, Godric will put this off for her.
Bella looks up at him and smiles. “Of course I am. To have a brother? My mother doesn’t love me, nor does my father. But to have someone who loves me for me? While I know and can feel that you do, it is nice to have someone else who wishes to do the same.” Her glee in this, the wonder of it all, is evident in her voice. This is truly amazing to her. She is blown away to not only have the love of the man holding her, but to have another man who, on the very day he meets her, do something so major as to claim her as his sister.
Eric’s voice above startles them both as he imparts to her, “And nothing makes me happier. I miss family. And you will be family in a way that Godric cannot be for me nor could Pamela. I was raised with the expectations of large family. My sons I grew to care for, loved them. It would have been different if I had been with the family all these long years for me to care for my descendants that way. I have taken care of them and they will not want for anything. But for me to tell you what any of their names are at this point? There is over a thousand years of nothing but time in between us. You will be my family. My Blood. I can’t explain it to you.” He is looking down at her, his face openly showing how much he desires her as his sister, how very much this all means to him.
Staring up to him, she asks, “Isn’t Godric as your Maker your Blood, your family? Pamela?” She is not denying him his joy, but she didn’t want him thinking she is his only family. He has one, and she is only joining it.
He chuckles and crouches in front of her, ignoring Alcide and Sam who had entered the room with the square of grassy sod and the Goblet. “Bella, you will BE my family. Your name becomes my own as mine becomes yours. This ritual will change your very DNA to have parts of me encoded into it as will my own. We will not change physically, but if one of your human scientists were to ever test our blood, well, once they get over how different mine is, they will be able to see our family connection in it. I cannot explain it, it is the magic of my Gods.” And with all these elements, how could it not go right? If it does, then he will pass it on to the worthy few who would be interested.
Biting her bottom lip, Bella asks, “And if I don’t believe in the same Gods? Is it going to hurt our chances?” Again, she is trying to make sure that if this doesn’t go right, he isn’t too upset.
Shaking his head as he smiles down at her, “No. But if you want to do this, we need to start.” And with that he holds his hand out to her. He knows all too well what she is doing. His lillasyster needs to get used to being the star of productions, and trust that there are more things out there than what she has been coached on yet. This will be her first venture into the real world.
Bella looks up at him and doesn’t hesitate to put her own in his. He pulls her to him, gives a little bow to her Mate, his Maker, and escorts her to the window. “Are you ready?”
At her nod, he brings her to stand on the Earth with him. He looks at everyone else and demands, “This ceremony is for these few to see or witness. Swear on your Gods that you will not allow any particulars to pass your lips or hands to educate another on it.” His fangs are bared by the end of this declaration.
The witnesses agree, swearing to their Gods to never allow the details out. He turns to Bella and instructs her, “Bella, this is to become your heritage. You will be the sister of the Royal Bloodline of the North Sea. Or, as we are named, the Kungligt blod raden i Nordsjön. As the head of our line, it is my privilege and honor to bring you into the Family. It will be my duty and honor to tutor you in our language and legacy. You will bring your uniqueness to our Family, and you will bring great honor. You will bring back the birthright of our Family to light and show others alongside myself how the Northmans are honorable. Your enemies are mine, your honor mine to defend. You will be my sister in all ways, and my hearth will be open to you no matter what happens, as is your right. I will listen to your opinions and consult with you as is your right from me, your brother, on any lovers you may wish to take. I will clothe you with my own clothing and feed you from my own plate if we are ever without. Your place will forever be cemented at my side for all of eternity.” He has a ghost of a smile, but mostly he uses his right as head of their Family, and as King of their subjects, to enact this holy ritual.
He holds out his hand and takes the Goblet from his Maker as he gives Bella a small smile. “I swear by Freya, the patron Goddess of our Family line, and our Ancestor, that I will never turn my face from you. If I ever fail at this, my time at Odin’s table will be forfeit for the rest of eternity as it should be for the transgression against Family. I swear this by the Blood that you will become Blood.”
With this oath, he uses a knife that Alcide hands him to cut open his palm. He watches the blood drip into the cup then looks up at his Lillasyster. “Do you, Bella, promise to listen to my guidance, to allow me to care for you as Family should, to honor me as your Brother?” His eyes are intent, making her recall his earlier words.
Bella reaches her hand out, and with no hesitation, slices her palm on the knife and holds it over the cup. “I do.”
With a huge smile Eric clasps their hands together. As their blood mingles though their cuts, a flash of light encompasses them as Eric intones, “Jag, Eric i den kungliga blod raden i Nordsjön, svär på vattnet i vårt blod, på jorden vi står på, luften ur våra lungor mingel tillsammans, på mycket sol som gör livet på jorden att jag kommer ära och vaka över min lillasyster för resten av evigheten. Må våra Bloods bli en under vår gudinna, Freja.” (I, Eric of the Royal Bloodline of the North Sea, do swear on the Water of our Blood, upon the Earth we stand upon, the Air from our lungs mingling together, and on the very Eternal Flame which allows Life onto the Earth ,that I will honor and watch over my little sister for the rest of Eternity. May our Bloods become One under our Goddess, Freya.)
A being of fire appears before them and rests her hands on their joined hands and chants, “Jag accepterar ditt löfte och hädanefter kommer ditt blod att bli en. Jag svär också min krigare Eric att alltid skydda sin syster, Isabella. Hon är sin fars själsfrände och syster i hans själ. Så hon har alltid tänkt att vara, och detta är min gåva till krigare som har stått vid mig ett årtusende. Från och med nu, kommer varken gå rikena ensam.” (I accept your pledge and hereafter will your blood become one. I also swear my warrior Eric to always protect his sister, Isabella. She is his father’s soulmate and the Sister of his soul. So she has always meant to be, and this is my gift to the warrior who has stood by me for a millennium. From here on out, neither will walk the realms alone.)
And with that the being flares and disappears, leaving Bella and Eric standing there staring at each other in amazement as each feels the other become a part of them. They know that it is as the woman had foretold, that they will never walk the world alone again. They will always have each other, as brothers and sisters should.
Eric clears his throat and instructs Alcide as he gently tugs Bella from the grass, “Take the Goblet and the grass outside. Before replacing the sod, pour the contents of the Goblet on the dirt and then place the sod back on it.” This is the final component of the ritual, the part that binds them to the very Earth.
Alcide nods, his mind in shock from realizing that an actual Goddess had appeared before them, and leaves with Sam. As they make their way out of the house and stand where they got the grass, he looks down at the Goblet and exclaims, “Fuck!”
Sam stops from leaning down to be ready to replace the sod, looks back at the husky man, and lifts his eyebrow.
Alcide looks at him and then slowly empties the Goblet that had held Eric’s and Bella’s blood. Water poured forth from the Goblet onto the Earth.
Final count: 4,504 words.