Pre Edit Count – 3,182 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Somebody I Used to Know by Gotye (feat. Kimbra)
He turns to his Mate and son, and nods to the rest. Soon the house is full of activity as they get ready to vacate the premises. Eric hands Bella back to him, and blurs out of the room. Godric carries Bella out to his car and carefully sits in the passenger seat with her in his lap. He nuzzles her as he pushes his love and concern to her through their bond.
Soon Eric sits down in the driver’s seat of his Bugatti, and tosses a bag on the floor by Godric’s feet. He answers to his Maker’s raised eyebrow, “I hunted through her room to see if there was anything else. I noticed a floorboard that had been loosened and when I looked into it, I saw that. It looked like it was what she had been missing. I sealed it in a bag Dr. Ludwig gave me for her to look through later. I will send Pam back at some point to gather pictures and anything else she may want. I also glamoured the father to not destroy anything until we are able to return.”
At his nod, they both understand. This is her human life, and she will want reminders at some point. And unlike the rest of them, she can have them.
Godric asks, “Are we following someone?” They need to go to the Cullen’s house, the last errand they have in this god-forsaken town.
As Eric backs the car out, he nods to the side where Sam is in the van with the others, “He will take us. Pam has already called to have the jet ready for when we are done. I hate flying when at rest, but the sooner we are gone…”
Godric nods. He holds his Mate as they make their way to where the Cold Ones had lived. It is time for some answers.
Eric follows the van as Sam directs them to the Cullen’s house. He shakes his head in contempt that the house was well known to the locals, but it does seem as though it is difficult to find the turn off. He looks over to his syrra sitting in Godric’s lap and his heart hurts.
If he could, he wouldn’t expose her to them again, but Godric is right: they need to go through the house to familiarize themselves with the scents, and see what they can turn up with a quick toss of the house. He also will be sending others back at a later date to search the house more thoroughly for them.
He can see how this might be painful to his syrra, but right now, answers are needed. Plus he really wants to see a certain room, hoping to leave it destroyed.
He smoothly handles the car, and at any other time would have loved driving it. But this was not the right time for him to be enjoying himself. Though he will never admit to loving any car other than his beloved corvettes. Those cars had impressed him when they had first come out, and he often upgrades when the cars improve.
But his maker loves the fast cars, and always gets one sent to him when he decides to get a new one. He also loves to speed. Eric has no idea how many tickets he has glamoured himself out of so far. It is getting trickier with the cameras that are often mounted on the dashboards, but Godric thinks it is great fun to work himself out of it. He also doesn’t care about the mileage he adds to the machines, saying that if he wanted a collector’s edition, then he would just add to his show cars.
Which reminds Eric that he will need to gently remind his beloved Maker that they’ll need to make provisions for transportation for Bella. If they don’t get her a car of her own, which would depend on her pain levels, then they will need to get her one that will seat more than two…no matter now comfy Godric is with his syrra on his lap. He starts musing over cars he needs towed to his lineup in case his syrra comes to him. Even with all these thoughts in his head, Eric is still maneuvering the car up the Cullen’s long twisty drive. When the house breaks out of the trees, Eric quickly maneuvers the car into park and surveys the area in front of him.
Then Eric looks up to the house and just stares at it. He finally comments, “And Cold Ones lived here? Didn’t they worry about the windows?” Those same windows scream at him about how close dawn is coming and that he would not be safe there. Plus, his instincts are not wanting him to go in there. If it weren’t for his syrra, he would leave and tell his Maker about this bad feeling.
The house is unique to say the least, but both vampires shudder at all the windows that are showing. Their instincts for the last combined 3,000-plus years are warning them that they would meet their ends here if seen in the daytime.
Even if it weren’t for their natural aversion to so many windows, the house was still much too exposed for Eric’s tastes. There were too many ways in. And with the forest being so close, there were too many ways predators could approach for it to be securely guarded in any way or form. He prefers to be able to detect enemies who somehow actually make it to his home so that he could more easily destroy them. As it is, Eric glances at Godric and meets his eyes over his syrra’s head. This is not going to be easy for either of them.
And a small voice suddenly comes from Bella. “It’s hidden from any humans coming across them accidentally and where they could be themselves. That’s what Edward told me.”
They both look at her. Godric tells her softly, “You don’t have to go in, a thaisce. We can go through the house without you.”
She takes a deep breath. “But it will help you if I came along.” Her blue eyes are staring at the house, the exact shade of her brother’s at the moment, and her instincts are telling her the same things as her elder brother’s are. This house is not safe. Be wary.
He kisses her head, “I won’t lie to you. It will be helpful, but I really don’t give a damn about that if you don’t want to go. You are my first concern. What do you want to do?” Godric has already laid out how he wishes to treat his Mate, and this is another example. She is more than able to make her own decisions.
She looks up at the house, then reaches over and opens the door. Before she can leave the vehicle, Eric is there holding his hand out.
She looks up at him, “Gentleman? Really?” She just cannot help teasing Eric. It’s not like he makes it hard for her!
He grins at her, “Of course, lillasyster. I need to set the standard high for Godric. I am a firm believer of showing by example.” He waggles his fingers for her to take his hand.
She rolls her eyes at him as she takes his hand to get out. Once she is out of Godric’s lap, he is beside her, offering his arm. She smiles up at him as she takes his arm. Eric smiles at her and walks beside them as they head up the stairs to the house.
Bella didn’t think the door would be unlocked, yet Eric opens it easily. But when she looked up at him, he grins. “You would think they would have stronger locks.” An impertinent grin on his face shows his amusement.
She snorts. “They acted so human that they probably thought it was enough.” Though she does wonder that it is so easy for others to get in. Did they just not know about the presence of others Supes?
Godric shakes his head. “Our doors are not so easily gotten through. We have so many to protect ourselves from…”
Frowning as the information floats up to the forefront of her mind, “Silver for vampires and weres, iron for fairies, mercury for witches?”
Smiling as they walk in, Godric murmurs, “And so the blessings continue. Yes, a thaisce. Those are all things we protect from. Normally the doors will be steel with silver in it to prevent a vampire from gaining entrance. We also have large resting areas. But we will discuss this on the plane. I will also show you our homes and you can choose which one you wish to have as our residence.”
Eric looks around, but he is also watching Bella. He wonders if all the information he has is now hers to access. He doesn’t mind, since as his actual Blood relative, she has as much right to all of it as he does. It would be different if he had a Mate, but not much. As it is, he will be arranging many accounts for her, just as he knows Godric will. Neither will take a chance with her; she is precious to them both, and they will treat her as such. Now that she is theirs, there is no chance that she won’t be well cared for. Though Eric is saddened by the thought that if anything were to happen to one, the longer they’re bonded, the sooner the other one would follow. He would not only lose his syrra, but also his father and brother.
Bella is now lost in all the information she is suddenly finding in her head. She wonders at Eric’s mind, and if this is all from the Goddess giving it to her. She also marvels at how it is all organized. While her brain is not what she would consider normal, the the way it is all organized and available to her is so similar that it’s kind of funny. She wonders if the way she thinks is different now, or if she and Eric had always thought in a similar fashion.
Godric studies the house around him. He takes note of the structure, knowing from his many years on this earth that the homes often give hints of his adversaries. And they became his adversaries the day he realized who his Mate is and what they did to her. He doesn’t care why they did it, though he will be finding out for her as he knows it is one of her questions. They will suffer for the pain that she is going through, and for the fact that she is still fighting for her life even with his blood and Eric’s strike that helped drain the venom from her arm. Finally, they will suffer for the sheer fact that he and his Mate are not being given the time to begin a relationship that will span millenniums.
He looks down at Bella to make sure that she is fine and catches Eric doing the same. She had been strangely quiet since they entered. They both look at each other, then back down to the small woman in between them. They calmly wait for her to lead them where they need to be.
Taking a deep breathe, she asks them, “Where would you like to start?” She notices that the cross is down, but that the collage is not of the Graduation caps. Other things catch her attention as if her mind is trying to tell her something.
Godric squeezes her hand on his arm while Eric bows to her and teases her, “Lead the way, syrra.”
Shaking her head as she asks, “Syrra already?” She glances at Eric out of the side of eyes as she leads them on the tour she herself had months ago. She smiles as she sees his sly grin and his own look at her.
Godric leans down, “Just wait… Now that you know his language, he will be searching for names to call you.” He can’t help himself and kisses her nose. He cannot explain the feeling he has with this little woman. She is just as he told her: it is as though his very dreams have been given form in this woman. And her brain and her heart? These are things he finds himself falling more and more into her.
Smiling, she sighs, then proceeds to give them the same tour Edward gave to her so many months ago. She quickly moves to show them everything, leaving the bedrooms for last. Edward’s, because she is not sure how to feel about going in there, but she knows her two vampires would be eager to ‘search’ the room. Carlisle’s, because she knows the leader of the coven may or may not have information Godric wishes to have. And Jasper’s… She has no idea why, but she has this feeling that it will have something in it.
Pamela and the others make their way into the house and take note of the rooms that Bella has pointed out. Once the tour is over, the three of them are in Jasper’s library. This is the first of the rooms Bella has felt a need to look over for herself.
Bella frowns as she looks around the room. The room has no mention of Alice in it at all, in fact, it is what she had imagined would be his when they had been in Arizona and she had wondered about her guardian.
Eric is over by the bookshelves, studying them. From what Bella has said, this is the warrior in the family, the one that they will need to know in case he attacks them. He is looking for any clues to the way the man thinks. Though from what he has heard from Bella, this one may be the brother he wished he had. How he would like to sit and talk with him.
Suddenly he feels an emotion from Bella that makes him look up. “Bella?” He looks at her as he tries to figure out what is making her feel so…thoughtful?
Looking at him, Bella divulges, “Carlisle had his office, that from what I gathered was his office for his medical files and also where he held private meetings with the family. But this room…it doesn’t make sense. Jasper and Alice were together. Why would he not just share their room? Why would they need separate rooms?” She keeps looking around, as both her Mate and her brother watch her.
She wonders around the room, looking at everything and noting how much this room fits the man that had told her she was worth it. She finds herself in front of the bookshelf with Eric, her eyes gliding over the volumes of Civil War history. She even finds the Art of War in the shelves and then stops at a book. The Red Badge of Courage. She looks at the others around it, then looks back to it.
Eric watches her, but then frowns as she pulls out the Red Badge of Courage and the Art of War books. He cocks his head looking at them then back to the books. “Syrra?” He has no idea why she pulled those two specific books out when there are tons of books mixed in together. There is no rhyme or reason to the library.
She takes the books to the desk and flips open the Red Badge of Courage book. “Jasper seems to love the Civil War. He had helped me on a paper for history on it. Best paper I ever wrote. But these two books… just feel off.” And as she said that, a slip of paper fell from the book. All it had was a number. 63.
Bella picked up the Art of War and turned to page 63. Then she frowns as she can barely see the writing along the edge of the page. She hands it to Godric who is behind her and ask him, “Can you make sense of this?” If her eyes can’t make it out, his could.
Godric turns it and frowns. It was written so lightly that if you were not looking for it, you would think it was a watermark along the edge. The writing is that fine. He scans it then looks up at Eric.
Eric stares back at his Maker as Godric reads the note out loud.
Bella, yo sabía que ibas a encontrar. Sólo estoy esperando que usted sabe lo suficiente español de ser el área de Phoenix para ser capaz de leer esto. Nunca fui después, yo estaba tratando de salvarte. No puedo decirte cómo lo sé, pero decirle a Godric esperar una fría y su compañero a visitarte en Dallas. Será mi hermano de sangre. No confíe en nadie que no esté avalada por su pareja. recuerde, que no importa qué, usted se lo merece. Su hermano, Jasper Whitlock. (Bella, I knew you would find this. I am just hoping you know enough Spanish from being in the Phoenix area to be able to read this. I was never after you, I was trying to save you. I can’t tell you how I know this, but tell Godric to expect a Cold One and his mate to visit you in Dallas. It will be my brother by blood. Don’t trust anyone who is not vouched for by your mate. Remember, that no matter what, you ARE worth it. Your brother, Jasper Whitlock.)
Eric lifts his eyebrow as Godric finishes. “What is going on?” Neither he nor Godric have any issues translating, and he looks to Bella and she shows every sign of having understood the language, even as old as it is in that writing.
His arm around his Mate, Godric muses, “I think we are finding out not everything is as it seems in this family.” Looking up to Eric, he tells him, “Have the others go through the rooms. There are only two other rooms I want to see here before we leave.” He really wants to search the impudent boy’s room, but he also needs to search the coven leader’s room. He can feel from Bella the same need to go there.
Bella looks up at him with her eyebrow raised in silent question. He smiles down and kisses her quickly. He gives a little sigh as he enjoys the feeling of her here with him.
Eric just grins. “Let’s leave the fun one for last. The leader of the coven I take it?” He loves watching the two, knowing that Godric will take care of his syrra. The two of them are good for each other.
Godric nods. He offers his arm to his mate and they leave the study, the two books in Godric’s hands. He will not leave any trace of the other vampire’s note to his Mate. Though, he is shocked there is no jealousy from Eric. But then, Eric is more her brother than any other person will be on this earth. But it makes him wonder how the Cold One knew of him and his claim to his a thaisce.
They soon enter the room that Bella has been in twice before. Once, when Edward was showing her around, and when he had told her about the three kings. Godric kisses her head as he moves through the room, Eric on the other side. She turns around and stares at the picture of Carlisle and the three kings. She cocks her head to the side and muses out loud, “I wonder if he really left them. He is the only one that is shown seated with them. No one else is sitting.”
Eric voice is behind her as he stops and looks at the pictures himself. “Only royalty can sit with others. Where did Carlisle come from?” He tries to help her out, thinking that with how she found the books, maybe she can find other things?
Still looking at the painting, Bella cocks her head to the side. “He is supposed to be a preacher’s son. I don’t think he has any more claim to royalty than me.”
Godric snorts from where he is at the desk.
When Bella looks over her shoulder at him, she catches Eric’s grin. “Actually, Lillasyster, you have more right than these self-proclaimed royalty to sit on a throne.”
Before Bella can ask Eric what he meant, Eric had moved closer to the paintings and mused to himself. “Why would they leave these behind?”
He reaches up and Bella grabs his hand to stop him. When he looks down at her with a raised eyebrow, Bella repeats to him, “Why would they leave these behind? Eric, just humor me and have someone else take some safeguards when they look at the pictures. Plus, they took his cross, why not these? If there had been time to take the cross, then there was time to take these. And these pictures by themselves are damning to the whole “keep the secret” thing.”
Godric appears next to them and nods as he looks at them. “Leave them, Eric. I am not liking this at all. In fact, have everyone exit the house and we will send in a team to go through it. I think we found the most important information tonight. For now, I want to get us back into our territory.”
With this said, and with a bad feeling creeping up on him, Godric soon ushers his Mate and his child back out of the house. Along the way he orders everyone else out of the house along with them.
Outside the house, Godric eyes it. Sam walks up to him and looks at the structure. “We didn’t get to look at a lot in there.”
Eric is also staring at the house as he grumbles, “Or fuck up a certain room like I wanted.”
Godric shakes his head and holds his Mate close. “I have a bad feeling. Pamela, I want you to have a crew come in with full suits. I want no vampires if possible. Sam, I know you mentioned you wanted to be allies, and I will do this. But, you need to keep your tribe away from here.” He does not know where this came from, but a quick check of his Bond with his little Mate tells him it originates with her, but it is not all from her.
Pamela is still shaken up by Eric’s comments earlier and by how he’s acting around Bella. She can see Godric’s possessiveness over his Mate, but what is up with Eric? Is she his Mate too? Why is he hovering over her?
Shaking her head, she asks Godric, “If you wish, Grandsire, I can stay here and organize the search team as well as negotiate the treaty with the shifters.” She will deal with this when she can, but first, she can tell that whatever is going on here is a big deal, and she never fails her family.
Godric looks over at Eric and lifts an eyebrow. It is his call, since as his second, this is now his job.
Eric looks over at the house and thinks. “You have tonight and tomorrow, Pam. After that I need you back in Fangtasia. No later.” His eyes cut over to her and he tells her, “You are not to go inside that house. I command you.”
She shudders as the command sets in and nods. She walks away and is soon on her phone arranging for her stay here.
Eric turns to Sam. “If you don’t agree to any part of the treaty, or if you feel as though Pam is being unreasonable, call me. I want to have someone from your tribe guarding my sister with Alcide. Her safety is too important for me to leave it up to one type of Werewolves. Since you do not register as one, even after you are announced to the council, no one will expect one of you to be guarding Godric’s Mate. I like the hidden cards.” To say the least. If he could, he would have the whole tribe protecting them, but he will take what he can.
Sam nods. He is mentally going through the wolves he has available and asks “I can send one with you now. The only thing I know he will want is the chance to make something of himself. Though I warn you, he is a ladies man. But he has no ties to the reservation other than being a wolf.” And he can get that wolf into a better place – he is wasted here.
Godric chuckles. “Eric should get along with him then. If he wishes to leave now, we will take him. I am not taking any chances with Bella. But warn him that she is taken…” As he growls out the last part. His mate…
Sam snickers. “Oh, Paul won’t mess with her other than to tease her. But this will be good for him. He needs to get away from the tribe. I am hoping that this will present him the chance he needs.” He truly hopes this will help. And he needs to do this. He understands the needs of the tribe, but if three could guard it in the past, then three can do it now.
With assurances from both Eric and Godric that Paul would be welcome, he walks away to make the arrangements.
Bella sighs. “What is going on? Why do I feel like there is more going on here than we think?” She feels like something huge is coming.
Godric kisses her forehead and he holds her close. The three of them turn to stare at the house in front of them. “I don’t know, a thaisce. But we will find out. That I promise you.”
Final count: 4,366 words.