Pre Edit Count – 3,664 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: California 37 by Train
Godric says softly, “Love, the most powerful force of all.” He knows it is enough to have changed Eric and himself both. It is also what has given him a whole new outlook on life, and to have him willing to take over duties he has put aside not wanting to be involved in the world any more than necessary.
Peter and Charlotte nod in agreement. It had given them and Jasper the will to wait for Bella, to do what needed to be done so that they could be here, now.
Eric sighs. “Now what?” He gives into the inevitability that Bella will accept this Jasper in their lives, and that he will have Guardians. At least he doesn’t have to worry about knowing them, they will be around as long as he is.
Peter grins at the man. “Now I get to know Little One’s new family, and we wait for Jasper to get here. Alcide would probably would like to get on to Pittsburgh, and from what I gather, we need to get one monarchy established, another one set up to fall, and to get Little One’s house not looking like it was designed by an idiot. Oh yeah, and my Knower says something about bars. Yes, plural. Seems Eric here is going to be updating his bar for the Reveal.”
He stands there grinning, ignoring Charlotte’s sigh as well as Andrew’s snort. He is just happy to finally be here.
The unlikely group spends the rest of the night talking and, as Peter said, they eventually get around to discussing those bars along with plans for toppling a monarchy. Their conversations are varied and each was looking to their strong points. Right now, the discussion is focusing on their clubs, and Bella is arguing with Godric over the particulars.
Peter is sprawled out in a chair in the conference room down below looking at the documents in front of him. He glances through the paperwork, but his attention is on his Bella. The papers in his hand are just props to make them believe he is working so they won’t involve him with what they are doing. He needs the time to think. He needs to mull over what to do now that he and his coven are finally where they have fought, maneuvered, and striven to be for centuries. Jasper had faked being human to be in the civil war. But that shit with Maria? Yeah, that really happened; it was just much earlier than anyone thinks. Jasper, being older, has suffered for 500 years for his sister, all to follow his Knower to be here now.
He leans back in his seat as he works on the documents from Godric to install them as Eric’s Guardians. They will be watching the two men who now mean the most in his descendant’s life. He is slightly jealous, but he is controlling that shit right now. Bella may be Eric’s sister and Godric’s Mate, but he has prior claims on her just as Jasper does. And this small little woman holds many of the most powerful supes in the world in her hand. Only one other will compete with her influence, and neither of those ladies care about the power they have, although that will not stop the men who love them from sacrificing everything to allow them that choice. His eyes look over the motley bunch in front of him. Nope.
He listens as Bella and Godric discuss the new bar. Andrew and Eric are with them, arguing over security measures as they work it all out. The site they had chosen to be the key place for this club is one that Godric had purchased a long time ago, and right now there are only a couple of unused buildings at that location. While they are working on demolishing it, Alcide’s company will actually be digging the basement that would hold the supes who need to be detained. Peter had volunteered his and Jasper’s help in forging the bars and such with their venom. Both had known that this would be needed at some time, and had been gathering their venom for a while now.
Bella is the one who had asked if the addition of the venom would make the silver and mercury hard enough to mix with iron so they could make cells that would be strong enough to hold most of the known supes. Instead of having traditional cells, they would use that material to surround the prisoners to not only hold them, but to weaken them at the same time, the idea being that with supes, the weaker they are, the better it will be when dealing with them.
Eric and Godric had looked shocked at her suggestion, but when Peter had thought about it, and allowed that his Knower seems to favor it, they quickly agreed, with Eric wanting to redo his bar to take advantage of the change. Right now his holding area is dark and dank. It is a nightmare waiting to be sprung on anyone he finds going against the rules.
Encouraged by their praise for suggesting such a unique and valuable way to hold all supes, Bella also mentions that they should include UV lights, and some other ideas. Eric kneels in front of her and holding her face in both hands, he tells her solemnly, “You were meant to be with us. Will you please accept the change to your name to reflect it?” He wants to do this for her. He wants to erase that portion of her life, especially when she becomes a vampire. There is no need for the reminder of her past with her name. It needs to be gone.
Godric chokes. He looks at the two of them. “Eric, what good would that do? Before we come out, I plan to marry my Bella.” He cannot see why changing her name would be a big deal. But then he thinks about the reminder, and he slowly nods as he realizes that this is what his Son has thought about.
Bella lifts an eyebrow at Godric. “And when are you going to ask? Because there isn’t that much time between then and now. And I think with your subjects, they may want more than a small wedding.” Turning her head and her thoughts away from the horror of a big wedding and all that hassle, she smiles at Eric. “I’d rather be known as Bella Northman, if you don’t mind. If Godric ever decides to ask me, and if I decide to accept, I will just make it all work.” She taps her finger against her lips as she muses, “Bella Northman Nervii. So yes, but make it go back as far as you can. I don’t want the name Swan.”
Her grief at the mention of her current last name has Godric purring to calm his Mate, and has Eric leaning his forehead against his sister’s as he holds her head to his. He gives her a kiss on her forehead and nods. “It shall be done as you wish. I told you, you are mine, my family. I will make sure your past, which was a mistake to begin with, is gone.” He then grins. “But of course this will make it so that Godric will need to ask me for permission to marry you. That is the custom now-a-days?” His eyes twinkle with mischief, and her answering grin and gleaming eyes show her agreement.
Godric growls at his Son as he gathers his Mate close to him. Eric smirks at him as he nonchalantly stands up, “We will discuss the bride price. Do not think you will get her cheaply. I intend to have you pay handsomely for the chance to be able to ask for her.” He will barter for the best price he can, which will tell his little one how much she is worth. During all this he knows that her understanding from olden times of what this means will come, and hopefully, she won’t be as a woman of this time and potentially think less of herself.
Peter just grins. He had known that this would happen. In fact, it had been one of the main things that had messed them up when they had been watching for her – he had Known her name was to be Isabella Northman. Not knowing the way of things, he had looked for her and found her a Swan. The only Northman he found was Eric in Louisiana. So while they watched Northman for a long time to decide his worth to their Bella, they had not recognized the move to Forks for the life alternating change that it was. Jasper had been especially interested since they found out he may have been more connected to their Bella than had been thought. And this was all before the Oath Ceremony. Bella seems to have been born to be part of Eric’s family from the very beginning.
Then he grins as he hears a voice he had not expected any time soon. A tall, dark headed Cold One appears in the room. Watching the two vampires around his sister, he grins, his eyes a bright ruby red. “I think that’s an excellent idea, Northman.”
With the sound of the voice Bella looks up and, seeing the only Cold One that she knows to the bottom of her heart loved her, she springs from Godric’s lap and is in Jasper’s arms squealing. She knows it is him, even with the shorter hair, and it being more like her own than when she had known him. Nothing he could have done to his physical being would have made her not recognize him.
Eric had a snarl on his face as he instantly appears behind the man, his hands and fangs on his neck. He growls as he informs the Cold One who has his lillasyster in his arms, “Harm her and I will have your head before you complete the thought.” The fear that ran through him when she had jumped into the arms of the Cold One who had appeared without any warning would have stopped his heart. He hated that these beings could appear in a home uninvited. What made them so dangerous is that they move fast enough to kill them before his kind could even know they are there!
Andrew is on the other side, ready to assist his brother and to free his Queen from the hands of this stranger who just appeared in their midst. His mind is already busy thinking of witches they can call in to make Godric’s home impenetrable to these beings who simply appear at will. The safety concerns alone become nightmarish. Neither could ever be alone; to be truthful, they would have to have guards beside them every instant. Not feasible. So he tried to think of other alternatives since the silver and other metals in the walls of Godric’s home are not enough to deter them.
Bella, being held safely in Jasper’s arms, tells Eric, “Eric, chill. Look at Godric. He is calm. This is Jasper.” She cannot believe the feelings she has been getting through their bond, but she talks in a steady calm voice. Eric had been really afraid, and it was because of her! She knows how much Godric loves her, and she knows Eric loves her, but to have him that scared because of her? This is something that amazes her.
Eric can’t help the steady growl. “The Jasper that I looked up had chin length blond hair.” He needs to think of a way to get her away from the Cold One!!! He looks at Andrew for a second and got the nod, telling him that Andrew will whisk Bella away if he acts.
Charlotte’s laugh rings out merrily. “Oh my God! I didn’t think that would actually work!” She really is amazed that a trick worked that she and Jasper had thought of when Peter told them that they had to make Jasper seem much younger than he really is. So to help with that, they decided to change his hair. Peter had indicated it would work, but she and Jasper had not been convinced. Later it became an inside joke that Jasper was the first one to do the Superman/Clark Kent disguise.
Looking at the blond, Paul asks, “What?” He is blinded by the speed at which these Cold Ones move. He knows he can keep up with them as a wolf, but unless he wanted to spend all his time as the wolf, he cannot protect Bella. He is beginning to see why Jasper will be his partner instead of Alcide. There is no way Alcide could keep up with them. His species is not made to destroy them, so he doesn’t have the same benefits that Paul has.
Still chuckling, Peter informs them, “The truth is that we can grow our hair and such. It took a lot of work, but Char convinced the Major here to become blond and grow his hair out. It made it easier for him durin’ the Civil War, but a bitch for the years after that. But when she came to me with the idea, I had a thing telling me that it would make it easier for Little One and him not to look similar if he did. And I was right, wasn’t I?” He had listened when Char and Jasper had brought it up, but Char had brought it up to him first. Neither wanted the Major to do something that wouldn’t have worked. But to know it worked this well!
With that comment, they all look at Bella and Jasper where he still held her, and they could see the similarities between the two. Eric, still not happy, steps back but stays close to protect his sister. He glances at Andrew who is doing the same thing on her other side. He looks between Bella and Jasper and sees that the only changes in her are the ones wrought by their Vow, but he cannot deny the similarities between the two.
Watching his Son, Godric has been waiting for this to come to pass. He knows his Son better than he thinks he does. Bella is his sister, a chance to have someone for himself. He would be jealous of the man that Bella has run to, but soon enough Eric will remember that he had looked forward to knowing this man until it registered on him that the man would compete for his affections as a brother.
However, Bella, being who she is, looks at Eric and tells him, “Min bror, det finns inget att oroa sig för. Enligt Peter du är den enda som kan bidra till att stödja mig när jag vände, och i själva verket är en av två som kan hjälpa till med min smärta nu. Jasper är en släkting, och kanske en broder till er för framtiden. En vapenbroder om ingenting mer. Jag älskar dig, Eric. Alltid kommer och ingen kan ta det ifrån. Nu, vara Eric jag vet eller jag kommer att ha Godric kasta dig in i en sjö.” (My brother, there is nothing for you to worry about. According to Peter you are the only one that can help support me when I am turned, and in fact are one of two that can help with my pain now. Jasper is a relative, and maybe a brother to you for the future. A brother in arms if nothing more. I love you, Eric. Always will and no one can take that away. Now, be the Eric I know or I will have Godric toss you into a lake.) Her eyes start sparkling near the end, and Jasper can’t help but grin off the feelings he is feeling from her.
Eric’s blue eyes search the matching ones in his sister, and he sighs as he examines the bond between them. He finally holds out his hand to Jasper. “Nice to meet you, and thanks for keeping her out of as much trouble she probably could have found without you there.” He will not be jealous. As she put it, he is hers, and the man in front of him had protected her. If he hadn’t saved her from that nomad, then Bella would have been gone before they ever got a chance to meet her.
Jasper grins at the man in front of him then shifts Bella to his other side as if she weighed no more than a small child. He grasps the hand and, grinning ruefully, replies, “And thanks for becoming what I could not be. She needed someone like you, and no matter how much I love her and think of her as a sister, you are her true brother.” Then his grin deepened to the point his dimples come out as he informs the man in front of him who he greatly admires, “When you get the chance, I have some ideas for that bride price.”
Bella frowns and pushes at him. Jasper just laughs at her, then kisses her on her forehead and lets her go. She moves to Godric, not noticing how much she relaxes when they touch. She snuggles back into him, sending him her appreciation that he too had not overreacted as Eric had. Godric sends back love, and some caution. She should be worried about the safety issues that these Cold Ones are highlighting by just popping up as they pleased into their home. Eric had not overreacted by too much.
Jasper, Andrew, and Eric stand side by side, and grin at her. Andrew comments, “It would be a poor showing if we didn’t make sure Godric pays through his nose for her. What would others think to have her go from the safety of those that consider her a sister to him at too cheaply a cost?” The three grin even bigger at her.
Blowing air out of her nose she ignores the three of them. Luckily for them she had already gained her knowledge about what they are really saying, or she would have gone off on them for putting a price on her. Her memories show how proud she should be for getting a high bride price. It’s not as though what he paid would be theirs, anyway; it would be hers. They are trying to set her up as a very rich woman in her own right, and it is truly love that makes them want that for her.
Godric just laughs. This is what his Bella needs. Family. And while Jasper may have not been what she needed in the past, he will be here for her now. She and Eric understand each other in a way no others possibly could, and he has a feeling that it will be like this for the rest of their life. Not even he gets their humor often, but he is happy that they both have someone now.
He then shakes his head as he thinks of Pam. She has some rough life changes in store for her. She is even jealous of him spending time with Eric without her around. And now this?
Peter leans back in his seat as he raises an eyebrow. “I didn’t expect you here so soon, Major.” In fact he had not expected Jasper for a couple more days.
Jasper and Eric look at each other and nod, promising a talk if not more later. Jasper sprawls on a seat near Bella, leaving the one next to her open for Eric. “Alice got on my nerves worse than normal. The whole family went up in flames when Godric appeared, and then they both disappeared. I took some time to find the red headed bitch that Edward had left alive, killed her, then stopped by the Forks house before coming here. I wanted some clothing to wear that was actually normal. I had kept a hidden chest in my library. I also helped the people you left at the house to unbooby trap the shit they found in there. I’m not sure it was worth all the work it would have taken to retrieve what they did find, but then, I believe the Cullens did it just in case you guys ever showed up.” He growls at the end of that.
There were numerous silver colloidal sprays hidden all over the place. They would have seriously hurt the vampires if any of them had been activated. The hidden doors that would have slammed shut and sealed other rooms in silver would have also hurt them. He could not believe the nastiness that he encountered in that house…and he has no idea when they even installed all those traps.
Trying to get the memories out of his head, Jasper washes his face with his hands as he recalls just how malicious the family he’d lived with for the last century had been. “That was some nasty shit they did. I should not have left so early, but I needed to call Peter, and then I ended up fighting Edward when I tried to get back to check on Bella. It took a lot for me not to kill him, but I needed them to believe that the rumors of the Major were just that, rumors.” Shaking his head, he sighs as he leans back and looks to the ceiling for a second as he collects his thoughts.
Andrew watches the new member of what he thinks of as his family. This young looking Cold One is not at all what he expected after meeting Charlotte and Peter. He is very self-possessed and confident. He gives the impression that he would tear into any other being with a savagery that would be shocking, but he can tell that the young man cares very much for Bella. He reminds him of Eric in some strange way.
Realizing he has not introduced himself properly to even Bella, Jasper looks over at Godric. He has a wry grin on his face, knowing he is about to shock the shit out of most of the room with what he is about to say. “I am sorry, sir. I forgot to introduce myself to you.” He stands and bows to him as he introduces himself, “Major Jasper Northman Whitlock.”
With that he rises, and, grinning at Eric, continues, “And yes, from what Peter has found, we, Bella and I, are both related to you from very, very far back in time. But when we searched out my human past to erase everything we could get our hands on at the time, we were shocked at the name. We had to find everything we could so that there would be no proof anywhere of me being older than what we were claiming. We wiped the connection out of existence and replaced it with the others we wanted in place, for anyone who looked. I just said I remember being part of the Civil War, which I was, and my rank is recorded,” he smirked.
“But I earned that rank much earlier in life, and when a descendant who had been named after me died mysteriously, well, it was too perfect for us to let go. We did what we could to replace all images of him with my own. The younger images of him could have been my own. Now that we are done with that persona, I can place him back where he belongs in history, well, the minute amount that we changed when we made him me. My middle name, well, that has been lost to history. You know how those things work.” He grins, his dimples showing.
Eric is sitting there shocked. Bella as his sister, yes he can easily admit to that, but being related to Jasper…. “Knulla! That fucking asshole is a descendant of mine?” His eyes darken as he realizes it is one of his descendants that had treated his syrra so badly. He actually shakes for a second, needing to tear into something. Andrew lays a hand on him, but only to calm him temporarily. Eric turns to him, and they nod slightly to each other, acknowledging that when they get time, Charlie Swan will be a miserable man. If they could do it without Bella being hurt, they would rid the world of him.
Jasper’s eyes grow black as his lips lift in a snarl. He had restrained himself with a control he had not been conscious of having when he had been around Charlie. “I’m not happy about that one either. But think about it, he is a lost shoot off the family. She is my niece…my sister that I lost back then when I was turned by a sadistic bitch of a maker who wanted my talents and my body in her bed.” He looks Eric in the eye as he tells him, “He is not someone that our family would be proud of claiming as family, not the family I have watched over since then. I have no idea why he was so wrong in how he treated Bella. But unfortunately, he is also the last of us besides Bella here of our line. Not sure if those in Sweden are related or not, we could never find out.” He says the last softly. He wants nothing more than to find out that when Bella is changed, his family line would be dead. Even knowing that they are a branch would make him feel so much better. But either way, this is nothing to do with the fact that Bella is the end of the family he had loved so much.
Godric clears his throat as he purrs to comfort his Mate. She is upset to discover that she really is the last of the line. He had felt her happiness when she realized that she and Jasper were family, along with Peter. But to find out now that she really is the end of that branch…it is not something he likes feeling from her.
He looks up to Jasper and informs him, “You wouldn’t. During Eric’s human past, someone came in one night and murdered all the rest of his immediate family. To protect the aunts, uncles and cousins of that line that survived the periodic killings in the area, we hid the connection to Eric. They had been pushed out of the line for the throne, so it didn’t matter anymore to keep the line detailed for the rest of history. Though I would be interested in knowing how you found out what you did. The murderer is still out there and we are still working to make sure he can’t wipe out the last of the line.” The last is said meeting Eric’s eyes and the acknowledgment of what they had sworn to do. And so far, they have done the part of keeping the family safe. Vengeance is the only answer to someone so twisted that they had seemed to try to hunt Eric’s very family as you would a rabbit.
Jasper’s eyes go darker, as did the rest of his coven. “What?” He had sat down, but he leans forward, intent on this new information. A glance at Peter showed he had no idea. They had done what they could to keep anything about the Northman family secret from all once they realized that it was possibly a connection to Bella.
Eric’s voice is deep and dark as he subconsciously grabs Bella’s hand as the painof remembering that night flows through their bond. He needs the reminder that he is no longer alone, that there is now a Northman who is part of his immediate family. Back then, they really didn’t consider the family to no longer part of their village; they were all close even if they weren’t of the same name. His reality changed when someone started to hunt down those that could claim to have the same blood. The frustration of not being able to defend those closest to his line, of finding them dead, was not a memory he likes to relive.
“One night, while I was off fucking a servant, a man entered our home and killed my baby sister, my mother, and my father, along with anyone else who had been in his way. They stole the crown from my father’s head. I came in just in time to see a wolf attacking my father, and come close to ending his life. I ran to my mother and saw that my newborn sister, that I had held only minutes before, was dead on the floor. I checked my mother, and she too was dead. My father was up again, and I grabbed a sword to help him. He yelled at me and I killed the wolf that was attacking me from behind, then was shocked as that wolf turned into a man right in front of me and slid off my sword. I, still in shock, only saw the scar on his neck, and then my father was attacked again. I went to help, and then a robed figure standing in the doorway told me not to be a hero. I watched as the wolf who attacked my father brought that stranger – the same stranger who stood in the doorway to our home and just watched while they murdered my family – my father’s crown, and he laughed at me. Then all of a sudden, he was gone and my father lived long enough to swear me to vengeance. Vengeance that has not come yet, no matter how hard Godric and I have searched for the man.” His eyes are blazing by the end of the recital.
Growls rise from the Cold Ones, the Vampires and the Wolves in the room. The anger they feel with the older vampire is enough to have Alcide’s eyes turn yellow, and Paul’s eyes also to mirror his wolf. Andrew, who has heard the story before, again swears to help his brother gain the vengeance he had sworn to his father.
When Eric’s dark eyes rise from tabletop, Jasper grabs his hand and swears to him, “We will not rest until our family has been avenged.” His face reflects the beast inside, and both Peter and Charlotte agree. Jasper is their Sire, and his family theirs. Both of their families had died out long ago.
The rest of the group agrees. Bella, still on Godric’s lap, moves closer to Eric. She puts her small hand under Eric’s chin and brings his face to look at hers. She leans forward and kisses his nose. “It’s not your fault, Eric.” She stares at him, and when he glances to the side, she sighs and says, “But we will talk about this later. For now, Peter and Jasper will make sure your connections are completely hidden. The night is fading, and so will Andrew. We need to work on what needs to happen before daytime. Plus, now that Jasper is here, Alcide needs to get to Pittsburgh to meet his Mate.” She smiles at the man at the end of the table as she says the last part. She knows how much he wants to meet her, and knowing that Jasper can protect Godric better, well, that might rub against him some, but he will be honest.
Staring at her, shocked at both her words and how much he can feel from her, Eric can do little more than nod. His eyes redden, but he manages to do nothing as he leans his forehead to hers and they sit there communicating through their Bond. She is reassuring him, and he is telling her how much he loves her and will protect her as his sister. All is silent, but none of it is missed by Godric as he watches his Mate and Son.
Jasper and Peter meet each other’s eyes, and Peter leans forward and starts to work on the table since his prints are on record. He will erase what little is left, and he will put Jasper Monroe Whitlock back into the history books as himself. His Knower is going off in his head, telling him that this story, this tale that has been over a thousand years in the making, will be ending soon, and that they will be all needed.
Jasper turns his attention to Paul and he cocks his head. “You’re Bella’s Guardian?” Jasper had been mystified at the term when Peter had first mentioned it, and he had watched over the years as Godric implemented the practice. But slowly, he had understood. The Guardian knew everything. While he accepted that Paul is to be her Guardian, and that he needs to be her Guardian to enable some very important events to happen, he is not happy.
Godric, taking his own look at the Cold One in front of him, nods. He honestly would rather Jasper be in charge of it, and will ask Peter about it later. He has some idea that Paul is going to do something he will not like. But he will wait and see what is going on before he rocks the boat. If he has to, he will enforce his will to make Jasper be Bella’s Guardian.
Jasper smirks. “I know that Eric will be probably teaching us some stuff, but I look forward to teaching him and Paul, too.” He gives Peter a quick glance, but he is not looking up as he intently works. Jasper isn’t fooled, and as he has for the last two centuries, he plans to try to find out what Peter is hiding.
Then he turns his attention to the group that gathers around his sister as they try to get back to work on what they had been doing earlier. He leans back to listen and learn about what they are doing, and is pleasantly surprised to find them all talking about a club. The longer he listens, the more interested he becomes until he finally asks, “Correct me if I’m wrong, ‘specially since I just got here, but darlin’, are you trying to make a club that will also serve as your headquarters?” He lifts an eyebrow to make sure he has it right.
Eric looks up from where he is leaning over the table and answers him. “Two clubs, actually. I’m making the one I have in Shreveport into a vampire bar, and we’re making the one here to serve Bella and Godric as their headquarters for their duties as the monarchs of this state, and for when Louisiana is added.” He grins when he says it. He loves that he won’t be under the rule of the incompetent Queen any longer than necessary.
Jasper nods as he thinks through his next question. “And you are demolishing both to hide the fact that you’re putting dungeons in the basements?” He wanted to make sure they are really thinking through destroying the buildings. He doesn’t see why, but knows there has to be a reason.
From her place, Bella nods. She flicks some of the pictures they are looking at to Jasper’s spot at the table. He leans forward, interested in the technology and what information they are considering. “So far Eric’s bar is looking like a dark fantasy from Disney World. I don’t want to deal with the trouble I think will happen when the news hits.” She looks disgusted. She can just see what will happen in this type of atmosphere since she had seen the same thing to happen to clubs in Phoenix. Black electrician’s tape is all she can think of. Black tape and nothing else.
A smirk spreads across Peter’s face. “Oh, I don’t think I’ll mind.” Unlike Bella, he knows what this club will be like. And yes, the distaste on her face comes from thinking about the black tape over nipples. Oh hell yes, he wouldn’t mind this club and guarding Eric in it.
At this point the slap to the back of his head is expected by the group, and none of them hide their grins. “No one asked you, Peter.” Yep, he deserved it. And they just grin as Charlotte stands behind him with an eyebrow raised as she waits for his excuses.
Andrew is almost in tears. He loves this. The two of them have been making him laugh so hard. Earlier he and Eric had started a betting pool for how many times in a night Peter would get slapped by his Mate. And it was never for things they would feel bad for him about, nope – he deserved them all and then some. Andrew’s eyes grow wistful as he can only hope he finds himself a Mate that would be as tolerant of him.
The looks Peter sends to his Mate are full of pleas for pity. “But we will be there every day, why can’t I give some input?” He knew it wouldn’t work, but he has to try….
Eric grins at him across the table. “Give all the input you wish. I look forward to it.” His eyes are excited, he can only guess at the fucks and feeds he will be able to find in his new club.
Lifting her eyebrow at them, Bella crosses her arms and stares at Eric. He looks back with a playful glint in his eyes. “What? Pamela will need something to occupy her mind when we take over Louisiana,” he innocently tells her. He has the same hopes as Peter had just seconds ago, but is getting the same response.
Andrew snorts, and in a true brotherly fashion, adds fuel to the fire. “As if you, the great womanizer of all time, would refuse any woman who throws herself at you.” He grins at him, throwing him under the bus requires perfect timing to be done right.
Eric’s grin expands as he glances at his brother, his quick glare at him promising retribution as soon as he gets himself out of this pit. Then glancing at his syrra, he gives her an even more innocent look. “What?”
“And what makes you think I will want to visit you at your whorehouse?”
He pouts at her, and Jasper can’t help but laugh at him. “She got you. Nor should you wish our sister to have to face that.” He lifts an eyebrow at him, too. Jasper never anticipated he would actually get along with Eric so well.
Godric just smiles at them all ganging up on his Son. He also doesn’t want Bella going anywhere near what he thinks his Sons’ bar is going to turn it out to be. But right now, he is busy making sure that his own bar will have standards. He figured forbidding her to visit until Eric cleans up the place would have his Son learning his lesson. But right now? He is just sitting here quietly and enjoying it all.
Eric looks at the vast difference between the bars, and sighs. “No, you’re right.” His shoulders slump. He would never want Bella in some place like that. And looking at the pure…class that will house his Maker and syrra’s headquarters? No. And to be truthful, as much as the idea of having women throwing themselves at him makes him grin, it is a reflex. He doesn’t actually feel like that Eric anymore. He can easily see himself becoming bored and sick of humans acting like…vermin.
Bella shakes her head. “Are you sure that it’s going to be that bad?” She can feel Eric’s conflicting emotions, and will give him the bar if he really wants it. It won’t be all that bad…right?
Jasper snorts. “Think of Lauren and Jessica. And if they found out about Eric and all about vampires.” He stares at her as he tells her. It is the best way he can think of to tell her how bad a bar looking like this will be.
Her face shows her disgust at the thought. She then chews her bottom lip as she tries to think of what they can do. Godric reaches out and gently tugs the lip away from her teeth. He has done this a couple of times, and it has become a habit with the two of them by this point…one that warms the hearts of any who catch him doing it. It is truly just an affectionate move between the two Mates.
Jasper is also looking over the plans, and Bella tosses more his way. He looks from the ones Godric and Bella are using for their club; he had heard Godric commenting that he is still not happy with the dance floor. But other than that, Godric is pleased with the idea. The business the club will hide will be behind closed doors, and Jasper highly praises that idea since it will make guarding them much easier. It will be bad enough when he and Bella will be out on the floor, but the theme of their bar will discourage the type of people that would not be suitable for Bella.
However, when he looks over the plans for Eric’s club, the main difference is that Eric will be a Sheriff of another state at the time of the Reveal, so he will need to be more available to the public. Not that the general public will know what he is to their world, but the orders of his Queen demand it. It is a stupid move of hers, but at the same idea, it could have potential. But…a club? What is she thinking?
So Eric’s idea is to capitalize on the fact that he will have to be there. He is a good looking man and very well knows it. His idea is to have a throne that he sits on in the club, and basically be accessible for anyone who wishes to approach, while at the same time drawing in females who will want to be with him. But the people that will be attracted to this kind of bar would be trashy looking. This is nothing less than the truth.
Jasper sighs, then voices his ideas, hoping they will make sense to the elder vampire. “This would make the best use of his time while he has to do this. But at the same time, I can see Bella’s point.” He shrugs and then tells them both, “Maybe have this club for the Reveal, and when the appeal is gone, have another club to use? And leave this clientele to this one. Or even build them both, start off at the main one, and move to the other one within a month of the Reveal. It will make you busy at first, but it can anchor the less desirable clientele to the trashier place. Hire someone to sit in your seat from the beginning along with you and your Child. Then you can leave her there along with the other person.” He just throws out ideas that will maybe work. If the public is not to know about Eric, then why not make the money off of the idiots, and have the club that Bella wouldn’t mind visiting him in as the classier alternative?
Peter grins as his Knower goes off like crazy. He sees many things working out from this, and making all their lives so much easier. “Yes! If you do this, Eric, it will make so many things so much easier for you in the long run.” SO much so…the biggest problem would be solved with this plan. Bella will take care of the others.
Eric flicks a quick look at him, wondering what he knows, then turns his attention back to Jasper. “The holding rooms?” He is liking the idea, and that is one of the things he will need. His area fears him, but those holding cells will make his life much easier.
Jasper looks at them, “Both clubs. Keep the riff raff at the first one, and the higher ups in the other one. If I understand correctly, you guys’ blood has a drug-like quality to humans, right?” He looks up and stares at Godric and Eric.
The looks of distaste on both vampires faces answer that one. Nodding his head, Jasper tells them, “Yeah, you know it won’t take long for that shit to get out. Unfortunately, you will be a minority, so the police will not take it seriously at first.” He shakes his head at the stupidity of humans, but history will prove him right.
When Bella’s head whips up, Jasper tells her softly, “Think of the KKK. Depending on where they are, they are often set free without even a slap on the wrist. I lived through the times that helped form these ideas in the past. I know just as well as these two men that even though it will be easier to be accepted in the Americas, there will still be a lot of issues. You are smart. It will just take a bit of time for us to come up with a way to dissuade the haters from actual harm.” He watches her, sad that she has to know this, but it is crucial that she realize just what harm humans can cause.
Sighing, she nods. Eric looks up at her, “Well, syrra. I will hand over the planning of the second club to you. I like your ideas for Godric’s club, and since this is where you will be if you come to visit me, I want you to be comfortable.” He pushes his trust to her and meets her grin. He expects there will be a lot of back and forth, but he loves how imaginative she was for their club. He is looking forward to her ideas for his own place.
Godric’s mind starts to twist as it sends up warning signals about a danger to his Mate. A quick glance at Peter shows that he is also worried. Pamela will not like any of this, and he is certainly not looking forward to her reaction. He glances at Peter again, and the look the Cold One sends him is all the confirmation he needs.
Pamela may be a problem if Eric doesn’t do something soon.
Final count: 7,777 words.