Pre Edit Count – 3,489 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Fix You by Coldplay
When she turns her head up to him, he takes the opportunity to kiss her and tells her, “We have some serious things to discuss.” He is reluctant to tell her. Really, how does one tell the other half of their soul that she is dying? They had just found each other!
Sighing as he realizes the reason Godric is pausing, Eric tells her, “He ruins all of the fun. I am hoping you will bring back the part of him that I used to play with.” He is going to make her laugh, and then he will break it to her. Better him than Godric. The pain Godric is going through just thinking of it is awful enough.
Bella shyly comments, “Well I don’t want the part of him that made you toss him into the lake.” Her eyes rise up to meet his and Eric softly gasps. Her eyes remind him of his little sister.
Then, hiding his shock, he laughs, “Yep, it is confirmed, she has a sense of humor and we need to keep her.” His eyes are hooded as he controls himself. This is not what he had expected when he came here.
Godric is looking down into her eyes as he tells them both, “I sincerely hope that Bella chooses that option, especially as the simple solution didn’t work.” He knows she is intelligent and that this will give her a hint.
Bella looks at both of them and asks, “What’s wrong?” There is no mistake that the two of them have bad news. And she was enjoying herself for the first time in a long while. But the only thing she can think is… No. Godric’s blood healed her. There is no way-
Not knowing he is interrupting her internal rant, Godric tells her sadly, “I’m sorry, a thaisce, but you’re dying.”
Bella stares up into his face. She lifts an eyebrow and asks, “I take it you mean more than normal?” She can’t think past this, that he means…
Eric smirks. “Yes, lillasyster. He means more than you rushing to death on your own time.”
Sighing, Bella complains about something that she can handle. “Well at least I understand Eric’s words for me. Godric’s sound nothing like English!” Her mind cannot accept that what they are saying is real. She is only 18 years old. Yes, she faced death before with James, but she choose that. How is she possibly dying now?
Laughing, Godric kisses her nose, and tells her, “Wait until he really starts to nickname you. The Norse had some weird endearments.” He can feel the shock going through her body right now. She is trying to sidetrack everyone to be able to deal with this, and he will allow it for a small amount of time. She deserves it after all those other shocks.
Eric is grinning mischievously, already thinking of some of them. He will have fun with these, oh yes…
Waving her finger at him, “Any names will get translated. And if I don’t like them, I’m siccing Godric on you.” Her brown eyes are dancing with amusement but her voice gives a hint of the woman she really is.
Teasing her, “You don’t think you can do anything, you’ve got to rely on Godric?” He thumps her on her nose gently, teasingly.
Her eyes reflecting Eric’s mischievousness, her quick reply showed she listened last night, “But he is older and stronger than you. A regular human can stop me, much less a 1,000 year old Viking!!” They grin at each other, totally enjoying the moment.
Groaning, Godric looks up, “What did I do that was so bad you stuck me with two of them?” His voice is full of his pretend agony over this, but he is truly enjoying this fun between the two people he loves so very much.
Looking up through her eyelashes, Bella asks softly, “Do you regret me?”
Actually feeling the rejection, Godric pulls her back into his arms and tells her seriously, “Never.”
Eric watches them as he too felt Bella’s rejection, and is saddened by the fact that she fears Godric’s rejection of her that easily. He also can feel how free she had felt when they were teasing her. His eyes harden momentarily. His little sister will be healed from what the Cold Ones have done to her both physically and emotionally, and from what her own parents did to her, as well. He will see to it personally if he had to. And with that decision, Eric’s future shifted.
Godric holds her while he brings them back to their previous conversation. “Unfortunately, Eric and I were being truthful earlier. You are dying, a thaisce. Whatever the Cold Ones did, whatever it is they infected you with, it is fighting back against my blood. So far, my blood is winning, but, a mhuirnin…” His voice trails off. He finds it so very painful to tell her the hard truths. She has incredibly difficult decisions to make, and he doesn’t trust himself not to try to influence her. But who could blame him when his mate’s life is on the line? He himself would abide by her wishes; he is bound to her for the rest of their soul’s eternity whether as vampires, a human and a vampire, or as pure souls. No matter what, they will be together.
Eric interrupts when he feels how much it is hurting Godric to tell his Mate this. “To be truthful, Bella, here are the facts. Your father mentioned that you had been upset a couple of times at Edward’s handling of you, then soon it was as though you were never angry to begin with. He also commented that he too had changed his mind when he had planned not to. There have been mentions of you allowing them more and more control over you as time went by. Lillasyster, I can tell you now, this is not the woman I am seeing in front of me, nor is it the woman I know who raised her mother, paid bills since she was 5, took jobs to earn money to make sure the electric is not turned off at 7. No, the girl back then may have been shy, but she saw what needed to be done and she did it. That woman has a strong will. The woman that researched and figured out the Cullen’s secret is a strong woman. I cannot understand the differences between that woman, and the change in the recent behavior of that woman as has been described to us. But what the good doctor is finding out, from these descriptions of your recent odd behavior and from the drug-like substance found in both you and your father, is that you did not become this way voluntarily. No matter what you yourself may believe, it was something in them, something about them that gave you this drug and changed you. The most evident symptom is a person’s complete inability to refuse them. Fortunately, your father was subjected to a low dosage and it is working its way out of his body.”
His own eyes reflect the fire he feels that anyone would be drugged to do this. Yes, he glamours, and he has no problem with it. But to drug someone? To him that is very close to raping, something he abhors with every cell in his body. He has never raped anyone, either physically or with glamour. He often uses his glamour to hide his presence from the world, or for any duties required of his position, but never for something like this.
Thinking over the many ways that this could have ended up so much worse for his little one, Eric leans forward and swallows Bella’s small hand in his two. “However, in your body, this drug-like substance is fighting Godric’s blood. It had been hoped that with an exchange, the beginnings of the Bond would help.” He stops and lowers his head so that he looks her in the eyes. “Godric asked first if it would hurt you, and that was when he was told that it would be better for you. Godric cared, Bella. He wanted to make sure that his greatest wish would not cause you pain, but would help you out. Then, I felt his emotions when he asked, when you agreed. I wish you could have felt it, it was the most wondrous emotion I have ever felt. He was beginning to Bond with his soul Mate, and he had a good chance to heal her.” He grins and his face is showing his awe of that emotion that he got the pleasure of feeling. He can never explain it to someone, and hopes she can feel it in the future as they Bond closer.
Then his face drops as he tells her, “And it looked like it was going to work. All your scars are gone, but for one. All your bones are solid as if they’d never been broken, your appendix is back, and your health is overall the best it has ever been. His blood even found a slight issue with your inner ear that may have caused your clumsiness and fixed that too. But then it went against the scar that had been inflicted on you by the Tracker and Edward. It burned not only you, but Godric too. At the same time, his blood is fighting something in your brain, the drug. You had passed out by the time he discovered this, but he is not wanting to hide anything from you. He is scared, and to be frank, so am I. His blood is ancient and should have healed you.”
Eric takes a breath. “Bella, right now, it is your choice. What do you want to do? Continue with the Bonding, and see if that will heal you? Just take more of his blood without Bonding further? Or be turned? Even do both, and be turned if it doesn’t work? Or the last option, do you want to live the rest of your life as you can?” He tells her the choices that Godric couldn’t since he feared influencing her. Eric had to use all of his training, his 1,000 years of being in the deep end of vampire politics, to do as Godric wished: to give her the complete choice. But he is begging his gods, her, and anyone who could help that she chooses an option that would not involve him losing his Maker, his brother, his…father.
Her eyes full of tears, Bella looks into Eric’s eyes and sees only honesty there. She looks back at Godric and what she see there is painful. Godric will allow her the choice, and will abide by it. But she remembers the pain last night, and she also remembers that Godric had already told her that if she dies, so does he. Can she be responsible for his death too? For something that they are suspecting was a real attempt at killing her or whatever the Cullens were doing? She doesn’t think she can do that, not when she feels so comfortable in her skin for the first time in her life.
She had always felt out of sync with the realities in her life. She wasn’t a 5 year old kid making decisions for herself and her mother; she was a much older person stuck in a 5 year old body. And it never got better for her. She thinks that might have been her fascination with the Cullens, and Edward in particular. Their bodies seemed young, but their eyes showed their true age.
But it still didn’t quite fit. Edward rejecting her physical advances, Alice treating her like a Barbie doll, Rosalie hating her, even Carlisle and Esme treating her like a child all came to mind. While it was a relief not to have to worry about things, she still felt like she was not fitting in. Somehow, somewhere she had become desperate to fit in somewhere, anywhere. She had been so desperate that, since this was the closest that she had ever been to being ‘normal’ and she was so tired of being lonely, she did whatever needed to be done to fit in. And now, thinking it over with Eric’s information, she saw that she was not being her true self. In the past she had never felt the need to fit in; she simply didn’t and she saw no reason to try to force a round peg into a square hole. But, during the Cullen’s involvement in her life, she felt this was not only desperately needed, but it was if her very life depended on it.
However, unlike having it being forced on her as with the Cullens, instead now with Eric and Godric, she realizes that she does fit. These ancient vampires are like her. They understand doing your duty, taking care of family. They understand, Godric a little better than Eric, how it is to be stuck in a younger-than-you-feel body. She didn’t need parents; she raised herself and her parents. She didn’t want children; she is sick of raising adults, much less wanting a child. And what if they are like her, older in spirit than in age? She couldn’t do that, not in this time when adults often are nothing more than children themselves.
Looking down into her brown eyes, Godric has a small smile on his face as he wipes the tears off her face as she thinks, and faces the truth, and brings them to his lips. They taste the same as he feels, bittersweet. The joy of finding his Mate is being overshadowed by the fear of her dying on him. But, he will abide by her wishes. She has endured too much of that boy and his family taking away her choices. This is his Mate, his equal in all ways. Why would he try to influence her? If she asks for his opinion, he will give it. And he will even offer it when he thinks he knows a better way than she does. But he will never take the choice out of her hands.
Eric watches the two of them, and tells himself that he wants the same thing. No matter what Bella may tell herself, she already cares for Godric as a Mate. And he is selfish to want her to stay if only to save his Maker’s life. Godric and he will make sure she will live for herself. But he is silent, per his Master’s wish. Godric wants her to make the choice, and he can understand that.
Thinking it over, Bella softly asks, “Bonding will only encourage our Bond, right?” She wants to make sure she understands what all this will mean. Bonding may give her the chance of fighting this and staying alive for however long it takes for her to wrap up her life. If it works, then she and Godric can spend the time needed to see how this will work out.
Godric nods, telling her softly, “But do what you wish, a thaisce. Do not live for me; live for yourself. I will not lie, I want you to want me. I want you to also want to do it for yourself. If you choose to live our life, it is too long for you to so with regrets. And that has no place in the life I wish for the two of us. There will be things to regret in time, but let’s not overshadow our beginning with it.” He is rigid with the effort of not allowing anything through the Bond. He will NOT influence his Mate.
Smiling softly to him, she divulges to them both, “I have made many decisions like that, living for others. My life was spent making sure we had food and everything we needed. I worried in bed, an adult’s worries, while my mother slept peacefully. I took care of my father when I moved here in thanks for allowing me stay here. Edward pushed and pulled me, but then I was just happy that someone wanted me for me. Later I found out that he only wanted my blood and my silence. I was an experiment. He wanted a wife from his time period, not me, and no matter what he did, I showed that I couldn’t be docile. But you and Eric, you want me for me. I can’t explain it, but I feel it deep inside, a connection to you both.”
Then her face falls and she looks down, her hair sliding to hide her expression. “But I am scared. I thought I was doing the right thing in being with Edward. What happens if my instincts are wrong here? Forever is a long time to be wrong yet again.” This truly is her only concern. She can accept being alone for a human life, but for the rest of eternity? That is much harder for her to accept.
Eric lifts her head up in his hands. As she met his eyes, he smiles. “Lillasyster, I will be by your side no matter what. If you need me, I will be there. I will make a blood oath with you, if you allow it. If for some reason you are wrong, you will still always have me. But, even though I loathe the suggestion, there is an end to forever. Our kind can die, and the sun can and will kill you if you wish to end this existence. So make the decision you wish to make, and I will do all I can to make it happen. Godric will too. I have no doubt that if you no longer want this existence, just mention it to him, and he will walk into the sun with you.” His eyes rim in red, but he will not lie to her. Godric will walk by her side no matter the reason…even if it is to greet the sun.
She shakes her head. “But that is exactly what I don’t want! I don’t want him to die because he no longer feels something for me! I am not worth someone’s life!” The last is yelled at them. It is the core of who she is. She sacrificed herself for her mother, she did it to make sure none of the Cullens would get hurt. Yes, Jasper had told her she is worth it, but in reality, she really doesn’t believe that. Nothing is worth the life of another person, especially her life.
Eric’s eyes harden at her statement and he moves closer. He will shake some sense into her if that is what is needed. He stares into her eyes making sure she couldn’t look away as he informs her, “But you are, lillasyster. You are worth many lives, and you are worth having all happiness for yourself. Believe in yourself, and believe in your heart. You made the leap once, can you make it once more? Truly, what is there to lose? Dying? You already are. But this, this has the hope of happiness and you, of all the millions of people I have met in my lifetime, you are one who deserves this. So choose for yourself, mia syrra. I will defend you no matter what.” He is being honest with her. No being other than Godric deserves him championing her. Not even Pam, his own Child. To him, Bella is his blood sister; he just needs to do the props for her to see this.
Godric holds her close, truly afraid. In her hands is her fate, and therefore his. He just nuzzles his face in her hair as he waits, still not trusting himself to say anything.
Bella stars at Eric, feeling Godric holding her close to him. She thinks over what these two men are telling her. And she realizes that Eric is right. She made the leap once, why not do it again? And this time, she can sense just how right this all feels. With that, she finally says, “Promise?”
Both Godric and Eric say at the same time, “Promise.”
She smiles, then tells them, “Then Bonding first. I would rather see if that helps. If not, then we will turn me.” The Bonding will bring the two of them closer. And if it gives them any time at all before she also has to tackle becoming a new species, she will greatly appreciate it. But she will follow this road to its completion.
Godric again embraces her, thanking her over and over. Eric closes his eyes as he thanks his gods too. He opens them to smile down at her. “Thank you, lillasyster. I thank you for letting me get to know my new little sister. Since my own died as an infant, I am looking forward to all I that have missed over the years.”
Groaning, Bella snuggles back into Godric’s arms begging, “Godric!” She can just see it in Eric’s eyes, the mischief that he will be up to with her…
He laughs as he kisses her, feeling her amusement. He tells her, “Thank you, a thaisce. You will never regret this decision.” And he will lay the world at her feet, as he has promised earlier. She deserves nothing less.
Feeling her happiness, he sighs in contentment. This right here is all he wanted in his life. The love of his Mate, and the love of his son. The three of them just spend some time in peace and quiet, Eric holding Bella’s hand and watching the two of them with a smile on his face.
After a while, Godric stirs from the euphoria he is in, enough to ask, “Bella, I think it’s time for Dr. Ludwig to come in. Let us see if there is anything she can tell us beyond what my blood is telling us.” At her nod, he looks to Eric who already has his phone in his hand and messaging the good doctor.
A few minutes later, Dr. Ludwig comes through the door, smiling at the three inside. “Eric! Glad to see you. I have to tell you, a lot of people are waiting for your entrance down below. And I am definitely one of them!” If she could, she would be selling tickets to this. She may actually begin to like the Viking instead of merely putting up with him.
Bella moans into Godric’s chest. “What’s happened now? Wait, what time is it?” Her heart jumps as she remembers her chores and the rest of what she needed to get done.
Before she can get upset, Godric holds her close to him and he tells her, “No worries about that, a thaisce. You are not your father’s maid nor are you his cook. If need be, we can hire one. But this stops now. My Mate does not work to live anywhere and especially not in her own father’s house! I could understand chores, or even if all this is because you turned of age, but by the admission of outsiders, he has done nothing for you except give you a place to live.” His face is hard, and from the emotions he is feeling from Eric, his Child is feeling the same. The showdown between Eric and her father will be one for the record books, but at the same time he is hesitant as it may hurt his love.
Bella shakes her head, “But that is it. He has no reason to let me live here. He doesn’t love me, he proved that all those years ago when he didn’t fight for me. He lets me live here and he even bought me a truck to get around. In fact, I need to get a job since my savings are about to run out and I won’t have the money for gas.” She is trying to make them understand that there is nothing that her father needs to do for her. He allowed her to stay here when he didn’t need to.
Eric widens his eyes, “You used your own savings to get gas to get you around town, to get food and run errands and other chores?” Oh, there is so much he will be saying during the discussion that seems to be coming…
Nodding as she thinks he’s trying to understand where she is coming from, she admits to him, “At first I was trying to learn my way around here, then Edward came along and I got wrapped up with him. Every time I would think of getting a job, he would convince me not to. I don’t think he realized that money isn’t just there for normal people. He came from a wealthy background and Carlisle is rich too.” She shrugs, not letting the idea even faze her. Money is something you worked for.
Getting up to pace, Eric looks at her a couple of times and opens his mouth, then shakes his head and paces some more before repeating the actions. He finally stops and crouches before her.
“Bella, you realize that I am a thousand years old and that, once I became vampire, I never had to eat, and literally didn’t need a home because I could make my home in the ground itself. Now, I will be the first to tell you, I hate being dirty. But in all this time, I worked at different crafts at different times, plus I was an enforcer. Do you have any idea what they pay enforcers? They can’t promise us food, because we can get our own. Most enforcers wouldn’t let someone else know their resting place, since it is a very easy way to kill us. So one of the only ways to pay us in is currency. And since vampires are international, we usually get paid in gold and jewels, artifacts. Only recently has there become a way for us to store our money, and even then, I have my money scattered around the world in different banks under different names. In addition, the Kings and Queens we worked under also gave us properties since this was another commodity a lot of us would accept since it could be sold or traded for other things. Again, I still have these properties all around the world, and the Kings and Queens who gave them to me are mostly truly dead. There are no records and the properties themselves are under different names as if they have been sold. Now, I am a thousand years old, and Godric is double my age. He is also one of the best enforcers out there, and we often worked together. In addition, Godric and I seem to be very good at making money. Very, very good. Are you following me so far?”
She nods, not following where this is going. But Godric is, and he is starting to grin. Bella is in for a large shock if Eric says what he thinks he will. Eric is a master of these sort of situations. Though he won’t have to take care of Bella; Eric has Pam, and Bella is his Mate. But he can foresee a lot of gifts coming her way from her new brother.
Eric stares into her eyes as he continues. “Now in my culture, I am bound to care for anyone I claim as family and swear the blood oath with, which I will be swearing with you be since I want you as my lillasyster. You will not make me forfeit my honor and my place in Valhalla, will you?” He is open to her, allowing her to see that he is not bullshitting her as humans say now. His future if he ever meets the true death is at hand.
Bella shakes her head, but Eric presses on. “You would have me spend the rest of my eternity not celebrating the great deeds I have done, but in hell?”
Sighing, she gives in. She can see that Eric is being honest. He truly believes in his religion that he was raised in, but then, isn’t Godric older than Jesus?
He nods as he realizes she has given in. He presses forward. “Now, by my standards, if you are going to spend the rest of your eternity with one man, is it not too much to think that you are married? In the Supe world, as Mates, that is a foregone conclusion. Being Mates supersedes any paper declaring anything. Paper can be lost to time, and religions change all the time. But the other half of your soul? That is eternal. Godric’s people didn’t believe in monogamy nor in marriage. But he will be nothing but dedicated to you, no other will hold any pleasure for him, not even me. He will just not see anyone without it being in regards to you. Is this not what your time would call for in a married man?”
He will press this advantage as far as he can. He can just see this being an issue for her, and Godric doesn’t deserve to have to fight with her about this when he has just found her. Plus, Eric will be wanting to give her things, too. She is his little sister and deserves to be celebrated. And Godric is the only one who he would gift his sister to, for him to be her other half. He is the only one that Eric would trust to treasure her as she not only deserves, but is her right.
Looking out the window, Bella is quiet as she thinks this over, and tries to wrap her mind around it. Eric is right, this mating thing can outlast religions. The age and experiences of the two in front of her are proof positive of this. And while Eric says that this is the same as marriage, he has no idea how much she detests the marriages of her time. It seems so easy to just walk away. Marriage is just what Eric says, a scrap of paper. But what she is daring to hope that she has with Godric…isn’t that what she wants in her heart? A way for someone to love her and never leave her?
Eric smiles as he enjoys having someone not want to spend his money. “Bella, how much money do you think I’m worth?” He is using his instincts and is going to drive this into her head that money is nothing to the two of them.
This shocks her from her thoughts of matrimony and back to the here and now. She looks at him, “What?”
Being patient, he asks her, “How much do you think I’m worth, money wise? We already know I’m worth more than others, but I want you to think of just money.” His voice and eyes are showing the teasing, but his face is serious.
Frowning, Bella tells him, “I have no idea. Millions?” She doesn’t care how much money they have, they earned it. Not her.
Eric tells her softly, “Try trillions. And Godric has much more than me. You could spend millions all day long, and it will not scratch the surface. It wouldn’t even make a dent in the interest we get daily. Think for a second, please?” He knows she doesn’t feel entitled to it, but what else are they going to spend the money on? It stopped being a placeholder in keeping track of something in the game of life. Now it is just something sitting there making money by itself, and the new measure of the game is their happiness and their survival.
When she nods slowly at him, he tells her, “Now I have a Child who tries to spend my money, but unbeknownst to her, I have accounts just for her and she has done nothing to scratch the surface, and she spends money like it’s going out of style. I have no mate, and I don’t date around. Fuck and feed, yes. But I don’t keep pets as they would be known in our world. I am going to be your brother, and in our world, family takes care of family. So there is no reason for you to work, especially not to drive around and buy necessities. Do you understand?” He is using something she may be able to understand.
Bella tried yet again to protest, but Eric stops her with a finger, “It is simple, lillasyster. You have no need to work. My job, as your family, as your bother, is to care for you. I know you understand the worth of every nickel you have ever needed, but now you don’t have to worry. I am not asking you to try to outspend Pam; I am asking you to allow me to take care of my sister. I know you think that since you didn’t earn the money, it isn’t yours, but it is. Neither of us knew you were in our future, or we might have worked just a little bit harder to make sure that when you came onto this earth, it was ready to be laid at your feet as Godric wishes to do. Instead, I am asking you to be my family and to use our resources. Let me care for you as you would have in my time. Will you allow me to keep my head high and keep my honor intact by doing this?”
Later he will inform her that she is also granted the title of Princess. He is King, and his sister would be nothing less than a princess in her own right. In giving her to Godric, he raises her to the station that she deserves, of Queen.
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.
Final count: 6,003 words.