Pre Edit Count – 3,335 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Look After You by The Fray.
Billy can’t help himself and opens his mouth to answer when someone knocks on the door.
Charlie stomps over to the door and opens it, about to give the visitor a piece of his mind for knocking on his door at 3am.
But he stops, and instantly understands what Sam said about the pure weight of age surrounding the vampire. He is shocked looking at the young man in front of him dressed in a shirt and tie, obviously having just removed the suit jacket that was hanging on his arm, and staring back at him.
Godric cocks his head to the side as he studies the man in front of him. He states with a firm voice, “I take it you are Charles Swan. My name is Godric. May I please come in so we can talk?”
Charlie is blown away by the vampire in front of him. There is no doubt in his mind on this, yet at the same time his eyes are telling him that this is a man who is either just out of high school or in college at the latest. His demeanor, though, is of one who has lead armies, who is confident in himself.
Godric is studying the man who is the father of his anam cara (soul mate). He is still slightly angry from the confrontation he has just come from, upset because Bella is worse if anything, and determined that no one will come in between the two of them. He is also mindful of Eric’s information and that while there is no question of the man’s love for his daughter, he neglected to allow Bella to have a childhood and instead basically made her chamberlain to his household. If any cooking of cleaning or purchasing of household supplies was done, it was done by her. The only thing he does is pay the bills.
If Godric needed to hire a maid or anything else, he will. This needs to stop and she needs to learn how to be a child. Even he was a child at one point.
Charlie finally swallows and stands to the side, “Please come in Godric.”
Godric nods his head and comes inside, removing his gloves and laying them and his jacket on the chair nearest him. His eyes constantly rove around, not only taking in his mate’s home, but also noting all the exit points and any other vulnerabilities. He also notes the placement of Sam and the man in the wheel chair. He looks up as he registers not only his mates smell and heartbeat, but someone else’s.
Sam noting Godric’s quick perusal as well as the beginning of a growl coming from him, guesses the reason why and tells him, “My mate is up with Bella helping her change.”
Godric’s head turns to him and he states, “She has not come out of the state from earlier?” His blue green eyes are penetrating and Charlie notes that what Sam said is true; you can see the years hanging on the young man.
A shake of Sam’s head answers the question.
Godric sighs and looks up where she is. He will need to find out more about the Cold Ones and about Bella’s general wellbeing. Right now, she is so doused in self-hatred and rejection that he is having problems not heading to her and trying to waylay the feelings. But he knows that will not help. Right now he needs to secure her father and see what needs to be done.
With this in mind, he turns his full attention to Charlie. Godric studies him, trying to decide if there really is anything to keep his mate here other than, if he is reading the situation correctly, her misguided guilt. He feels Eric pushing some comfort and love through the bond, and his lips lift in a small smile.
Charlie studies the young man in front of him and finds him full of contradictions. He finally asks, “Do you have a last name, Godric?” He is trying to regain control of a situation the young man who just walked in had already taken over, not understanding that he had never had any control in the first place.
Sam snorts, realizing what Charlie is trying to do and the stupidity of it.
Godric cracks a small grin. “I currently use Nervii, which was what my tribe was called. It is what I would have been called in a meeting of the tribes as I was the chieftain.” He is staring at the man in front of him, accessing him in every way.
Charlie had moved in front of his chair, but as he takes in what Godric is saying he sinks down into the chair. “You mean, you really are 2,000 years old?” His minds just stops. He cannot even try to recognize the years that the being in front of him has lived.
With a smirk at the reaction, Godric tells him, “Older actually. As you may have guessed, we didn’t adhere the Roman calendar system in my tribe. So I can’t tell you when I was born, nor when I was turned. I only started to mark time later and have come to find out that I am older, much older, than your Christ when he was born, much less than when he died, which is when the current time started being kept.”
Billy looks from Sam to Godric. He finally says, “Is it true that Sam is not what is considered a real werewolf?” He is curious about it, but he is wrapping his mind around it, and that not all vampires are the same. There is more humanity in this vampire before him than some humans he has met.
Godric turns his head just enough to meet the man’s eyes. He asks, “I take it you are Chief Black?” At the man’s nod, Godric continues, “Yes. He is the size of a small horse, while werewolves are the same size of normal wolves. Nor does he stink as one of them does. He smells of earth, of the loam.”
Charlie asks, “And who are you to determine who is or isn’t a werewolf?” His tone is acidic and, unbeknownst to him, he is solidifying his daughters future with his attitude.
Chuckling, Godric tells him, “If you don’t mind, I would like to call my Childe and have him on speaker. It will save on recounting this conversation.” And allow Eric to judge the man on his own merits. It wouldn’t be long until Charlie will find out how a Viking can be.
Charlie glances upstairs and asks, “Childe?” Did this vampire have a child? And is he expecting Bella to have his children?
Godric is already calling Eric and has him on speaker phone as he answers with his normal, “Northman.”
Godric deposit the phone closest to Charlie and Billy, since they are the two humans in the room. “Eric, I got the resolution that we were looking for, and because of the emotions that we have been feeling, have made my way to the Swan residence. Chief Swan and Chief Black are both present along with Sam.” He cannot help the small smile he has in anticipation of Charlie’s reaction. Sadly though, he knows this type of anger towards his kind will be showing up when they come out in the Revelation.
Charlie cannot help himself, “He doesn’t sound like no child.” He is angry. Here is a child who is basically here to take his daughter out of his house. One way or another, it comes to that. Godric will remove Bella from his house and take her with him to wherever he lives. Who will he have then? Plus, with Bella gone he will lose face in Forks. People will think that his own daughter left him as soon as possible, and this is not something he needs during an election year. He has enough worries as it is with so many deaths, and he is still trying to minimize the damage from Bella’s flight earlier this year.
Eric’s rich baritone rings out as he laughs. “Chief Swan. I am considered Godric’s childe because he is the one who turned me. I am over 1,000 years old, and was in no way considered a childe on my death.”
Charlie lets out a breath and shakes his head. “What have you gotten involved with, Bella?” he mutters under his breath, not understanding that everyone but Billy still heard him.
Not willing to let Bella take blame for something she has no control over, Eric answers him, “With a world she was already in danger from knowing what she already knows. But at the same time, she has someone who will lay down his very life to defend her, to care for her. As one who has benefited from that same care for over a thousand years, I can swear that your daughter is in the very best hands. Godric is considered one of the most honorable and respected Vampires in the supernatural world. He could be King at any time if he wished, or even be head of the Vampires and the representative for us in the Council.” There is a clear pride in Eric’s voice as he talks about his Maker, his Fader.
Godric shakes his head as his son boasts of him. “Eric.” There is a gentle rebuke, but none of the men in the room or on the phone can sense anything but how proud Godric is of Eric.
With that, Eric falls quiet. Godric turns his head back to Charlie. “In answer to your question, there is more than Werewolves and Vampires in the world. There is a whole world of supernaturals that exists. If there is a tale, there is probably truth behind it. Sam is a new species in our world. Hopefully he and his will be better than the Cold Ones.” He shakes his head as he thinks the messes that his kind and the rest of the Supernatural world has had to clean up after the Cold Ones.
Sam is watching Charlie. Charlie is looking shocked but he is asking sharp questions, ones he didn’t think of. Sam also is letting him dig his own hole, knowing as he does from Emily the rumors in town. He has always been tolerant of Charlie, but what he has heard both from his mate and now is making him think that it would be better if Godric just took Bella.
Charlie thinks and he asks, “What is this imprint thing that Sam was talking about?” Maybe he should keep Bella here with him. This vampire in front of him could possibly wait to take her. Wouldn’t she be better off around familiar surroundings and such?
Godric sighs and looks upstairs where Bella is, feeling through the bond how she is doing. He absentmindedly informs Charlie, “Mating in our kind is rare. You would think with as long lived as we are, that there would be more, but the chances of meeting your soul mate, the other half of you, in a world with over a billion people in it now, much less all the people in times past, is very rare. I only know rumors of it from my Maker. But being who she is, she would have known that at some point I would need the information.” He muses over the revelation, trying to decide if she had been hinting at his future. He had always thought it was Eric she was hinting about, but maybe it was him?
Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he looks at Charlie as he explains. “Bella is that one in a trillion chance for me. There is nothing I won’t do for her. If something happens to her, even though I have avoided touching her or seeing her eyes to create the mating bond, I will probably greet the sun. I was on my way to doing so until tonight. However, because of her, I now have the will, the need, to live. I have reopened my Bond with Eric, and have already taken steps to prepare for her in my life.” He cannot help his look of pride knowing that he will be able to keep his mate in a way that few could hope. Although, if she is his mate, then she probably will enjoy his simple homes and the same pleasures he himself does. He will be looking forward to getting to know her to answer that question himself.
Eric’s quiet gasp is enough to tell Charlie that greeting the sun is something serious. He frowns, his daughter is going to be mated to a suicide risk?
Godric sends reassurance to Eric, knowing that he has only stated the truth. He was getting lost in his depression and while the Bond to Eric had been the last thing that had kept him afloat, he had slowly closed his side of the Bond in an effort to save his son from feeling the painful spiral into darkness. This selfless act only served to push him further into his depression.
Now with Bella and the reopening of the Bond, Godric feels… rejuvenated. But if he ever lost Bella, that would tip him back into that void with no hope of recovering, nor any wish too, beyond not wanting to cause his son pain.
He looks into Charlie’s eyes and reveals to him. “I don’t know if Sam told you, but I gave Bella my blood tonight in hopes that it would heal her enough that she will not suffer physically from the exposure to the elements. This also formed a bond in that I can locate her and feel her feelings. Normally this would be a very light bond, even with the couple of drops and the age of my blood. Instead, I felt her all the way to Seattle as though she was right beside me. Even more telling, Eric can feel echoes of her in our own Bond. She is feeling rejected and she loathes herself. Her self-esteem is very low. She is at the very least depressed, if not on the verge of suicidal. I would be worried but she honestly cannot bring herself to care enough to cause herself harm. If she did, nothing would stop me from initiating the Bond with her. I cannot take that risk. But right now, what we need to worry about is making sure that she eats and moves…that she lives.”
The shock on Charlie’s, Billy’s and Sam’s face is the same as the shock he is feeling from Eric, as well as recognition. It is more a realization of what he is feeling from her than anything else.
Godric informs them, “Eric has already started researching the Cold Ones to see if this reaction is being caused by them somehow. Some of it I can understand. The history we have found on her shows that this was her first relationship, and the low self-esteem is because of her nonexistent childhood. But that same self-reliance and the need she feels to take care of people should have her worried about you. Instead we have someone who is basically shutting down. This has brought me from Seattle instead of our agreed upon meeting by phone. I needed to make sure everyone here understands the importance of Bella to me and my Bloodline, and to also look around and see what evidence I can gather from the Cold One’s residence.” His face is no longer giving anything away as he is waiting to see how her father will react to this news.
Eric’s voice came from the phone, “While Godric is doing all that, we have many people working on finding out what we can about Bella’s mental state of being. Nothing is more important to our Bloodline nor those who owe us fealty at this point. As you heard, Godric’s actual well-being is in her hands, and I for one am looking forward to meeting her. But first, we need to heal her.”
Charlie just shakes his head. “I don’t really understand it, but I am not going to say no to anything that will heal her. But…I really don’t understand this. What is the difference between you and the Cold Ones?” Information is good, information will allow him to not make a mistake…
Eric answers this one since he is currently researching that very question. “For one, there are more rules for us than for their kind. We cannot be exposed to the sun, or we burn. We also die for the day when the sun rises. Both Godric and I, because of our ages, can stay up later and wake earlier, but we still have to die or suffer the bleeds. We can be killed by a wooden stake or decapitation. Silver harms us and if enough is used, we will die. We heal from anything else, even loss of limbs. We need to be invited into homes, and can be uninvited. We have fangs, and actual blood in our bodies. We can feed without killing humans. We can also glamour most species into doing what we wish or, more importantly for our secret, erase information. There is history going back as far as before mankind existed that we have been around.”
Charlie and the rest looked shocked that Eric just told them how to kill them, in detail. Unbeknownst to them, they will never be in a position to use this information if Eric and Godric have anything to say about it. It is why they have spent so much money for specialized coffins and so on. Neither of them have lived this long without taking into consideration all manner of safeguards. Plus Eric is not telling them anything the general public won’t learn from the Revelation itself.
Bringing up the spreadsheet he is using to detail the information he is finding out on the Cold Ones, Eric continues. “The Cold Ones have venom for blood and either they kill their food, or their venom spreads and turns the victim into one of them. This venom is highly flammable, but their very bodies harden into a marble-like toughness. This venom enhances their human traits. Beauty is always there, but anything from a markedly compassionate nature to latent psychic powers is enhanced to a high level. The only way to kill them is by fire. Anything lost to fire will never be replaced, but the thing is to be able to get to that level. Tearing them apart does nothing but temporarily stall them. The very pieces will move to rejoin the host. Not even decapitating them kills them without fire.”
Charlie is shocked and he looks to Sam, “And you can kill them?” His amazement in the being next to him showing. And he is also thinking that these other vampires sound like they are more powerful than Godric’s kind.
Sam smirks. “Our wolf bodies are actually made to do that. Our teeth and claws can rip through their skin as though it is butter.”
Eric simply says, “Interesting.” Then he informs them, “However, there are some things that are somewhat the same. Both species are fast and strong, but their species declines in strength and speed after about a year. Our speed and strength continually increase as we age. Both are known to have gifts. Their gifts are set when they are turned; ours are known to gain some as time goes by. For instance, both Godric and I can fly. My childe cannot, but she has only barely reached her century mark. Godric’s speed and strength are beyond what is considered normal for his age, as are my own. My main skill is generally considered tactical planning. Both Godric and I are very experienced in vampire politics which, at the very least, can be described as cut throat. Both of us have shown evidence of skill with making money. These are just a few of the examples of our skills, which actually number more than normal, but then we are some of the oldest vampires in the world.” He is working on processing all the information that is coming in from their Bloodline and others who want to have their Bloodline either owe them or think of them favorably in the future.
Thinking through the information he had just been given, Charlie frowns. “But if you have been around before mankind, wouldn’t that mean there should be some really old ones?”
Godric smiles as he leans against the wall closest to where Bella is. “There should. But as Eric has mentioned, our way of existence is very much life or death. There are many who underestimate others, or others who fail to follow the laws of our kind. Then there are ones like me, who just get tired of living life. 2,000 years is a very long time, and if you remember your history, some of the bloodiest known.” His mind is somewhat on the conversation; he has come to a conclusion already, but is waiting to hear from his son and his mate before initializing any of his plans. But the rest of his mind is on his mate and wishing they already had a bond so that he could push some positive emotions to her.
Eric shifts in his chair as he reads incoming emails and comments to the group on the phone, “We have recently decided to come out. Human technology has come close in the past to revealing different Supernaturals, and it has been decided that vampires are the first to expose themselves, given that we are the more radical of the Supes and there is already some love of our species because of our mystery. There is a new synthetic blood being made in Japan that was invented by a coalition of vampires and Fae, with the help of witches and the Weres. Right now it is being used in surgeries and passing every test that is being put to it. The AVL, or Allied Vampire League, is going to use this as the reason we can come out and that we don’t have to drink from humans.” Eric chuckles; he and Godric are going to make a killing as soon as the substance comes out. Godric in fact had suggested it to help with the plan to come out. “It is all a lie. While True Blood can be used as a substitute for a certain amount of time, depending on the age of the vampire, the magic that makes us what we are cannot subsist on it for a long period of time. It does not have what we need from humans to animate us.”
Shaking his head at his child’s simple explanation, Godric expands, “As we get older, we can survive on less and less blood. But on the other hand, it means that what we do take in, is needed in full. Currently, most of us use blood bags from donation clinics. It has what we need, and lessens the risk of exposure. But there are those, mostly the older ones, who refuse to do this. True Blood will actually be more useful for the younger ones to help them in between the crucial feedings. But again, this is just an excuse so that we can start exposing the supernatural world to humans. It will be happening by the end of this year, so you are only receiving the information ahead of time.”
“And more in depth and truthful than Nan will be spinning it.” Is Eric’s quick rejoinder.
Godric nods in agreement.
They are all digesting this news and Sam asks, “What about my tribe?”
Looking at the Native American in front of him, “That depends on you. I will say that I would like to form an alliance between your tribe and my Bloodline. Instead of smelling repulsive or even edible, you smell like the earth itself, a smell that is close to Vampires since to become one, you have to rest in the earth itself. Plus there are the similarities to us in your mating practices. No other species is close except the Fae.”
Frowning at a piece of information, Eric interrupts them and asks, “Does anyone know how close the Cold One was to Bella?”
Charlie clears his throat and answers, “They were dating. But Bella told me just before her birthday when I brought up safe sex that she is a virgin. I actually got the impression she was frustrated about it but it disappeared after Cullen left.”
Godric stands up straight. He asks him, “Do you remember anything else like that, times when she had been irritated or upset but forgave him easily, or when she was acting oddly at all?”
Charlie frowns as he leans forward. “Actually that is what made me dislike Edward. It seemed like the more time they spent together, the more she was allowing him to dictate her life. I even found myself agreeing with Alice when she would ask me things even though I had been determined to not agree.”
Godric growled and they could hear the vibration from Eric through the phone. “Eric?”
He Calls for his child he tells Godric, “Working on it. I am going to send Pam your way. I will explain what is going on. I will also be sending Alcide with her. They will be there tomorrow, and I will notify you if I find anything else. Do you want me to send Ludwig to you?”
Godric sends his thanks as he tells Eric, “Yes. I want her to not only check Bella, but her father too. Also, send this information to her. It sounds as if they are not all as peaceful as Aro has promised.” With that Eric hangs up the phone as Pam enters the room in answer to his summons.
In the Swan house, Godric is rigid and staring up at where Bella is. He is thinking, and then turns to Charlie. “Once the good doctor is here, I will have her check on Bella and then you. What you have described is something we have suspected, but never had confirmed, and it may be what is causing Bella’s symptoms. If it is, this coven will not escape us.”
And for the first time, Charlie gets chills as he sees how very dangerous Godric can be…
Final count, 4,282 words.