Pre Edit Count – 1,457 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain) by Gary Allan
Bella is sitting in the booth of the backwoods bar she has discovered. The waitress for her table seems like the typical blonde cheerleader – exactly her brother’s type, to be honest. She slowly nurses her whiskey while her mind goes back over the last couple of years…a very eventful last couple of years, at that.
The Revelation had gone as planned. Eric, naturally, had to leave the night before it was scheduled so he could prepare to take care of his Area. Since she needed so much blood, he would normally leave right before evening, handle his business, then return so that she could feed from him at midnight. The night of the Revelation, however, he had needed to be in his Area, but he had taken to the sky as soon as he could. By dawn he was feeding her while Godric still dealt as needed with the random issues in their Kingdom.
Everyone had been busy, quick to discipline as necessary to keep the peace. Before Eric had returned, she and Godric had discussed the possibility of taking Louisiana so that they could have their Eric with them all the time, but neither wanted to rock the boat too much. The need for Eric to remain in his Area had not diminished, and neither Peter nor anyone else could tell them why.
It wasn’t for lack of trying, however… Peter, especially, was upset with his talent for not showing him what he needed to know…
Then there had been the issue of her early change. It had been a lot to work with, her newborn hunger slightly worse than that of a normal vampire, but nowhere as bad as that of a Cold One. Jasper had figured out that it had to do with the changes the venom did to her DNA.
She had come out of the transformation looking even more like Eric than before. According to Emmett, she had already been slowly evolving, but they figured the turning had accelerated those changes, and now there is no mistaking that they were brother and sister. Neither she nor Eric complained. They enjoyed taking advantage of being brother and sister, and none could gainsay it.
She had worried at first that Godric wouldn’t like the changes, but once she was finished feeding from them that first time, he had laid a kiss upon her that took her breath away. He then moved them back to their home and proceeded to show her how much he appreciated that she was now like him. The only thing that made them stop were her feedings, and she thanked their goddess that Eric was not shy.
Emmett, however, had been a surprise. Eric, Jasper, and some other members of the nest had done a number on him, and until the day he died his True Death he would carry the scars of those sessions. But, as Bella had told him, he now visibly carried the invisible scars that were on her soul and heart. Since that time he had been more than loyal to them all, but especially to her, and Eric had commented that she seemed to draw the supernatural world to her.
The information Emmett had given them had been shocking – Edward had been the one who added some “surprises” to the Club’s design. Most were innocent, showing that he was thinking of ways to take her beforehand, but some would have been very nasty if they weren’t the changed beings that the three of them had become. Sunlight seemed to be Edward’s preferred way of killing them.
He probably liked the idea of her dying by something that she had commented once that she loved.
They had gone back over the blueprints and found every single alteration. For tactical reasons they left the visible changes visible, as with the window in the closet, but blocked threats from the inside. The rest of the tamperings were immediately disabled.
Emmett had been helpful in telling them what he knew. He had also finally given in to Eric so that they could try to catch the two, but once he saw that Bella was alive, he had totally broken down.
The story he told made it clear that he had been confused. He hadn’t blamed Eric since, as Eric stated, he hadn’t done right by her as her brother. She would never trust him as she did Jasper, Andrew, Peter and Charlotte, but he is now part of their nest, and a bouncer in the club as well. His strength is perfect for the job, and knowing the difference between the vampires and his kind make it even better.
He had been upset when Bella had told him that he had lost her trust, and had worked harder than anyone imagined to gain it back. He had been jealous of Eric’s relationship with her, and it had taken him a while to understand that Godric truly was Bella’s Mate…not to mention his reactions to the rest of the nest, especially Andrew who had no problem preening that Bella was his sister now. The Cold One hated how he had found out that he had been duped into helping cause his sister to be changed that night, into helping, to his eyes, to cause her to be slaved to Godric and Eric to save her life.
His questions about why things weren’t as he’d been told they were had made him decide not to take Bella to Edward and Alice right away. He had wanted answers. Too many things had not jibed with what he had been told about her being a blood slave. That pause is what Peter had said threw off everything. Emmett had been the game changer this time, but he would say nothing else on it from there.
When Emmett had told them everything he knew, agreed to never contact any Cullen again, and agreed to let them know if the Cullens ever contacted him, they gave him a chance. He had agreed, saying that the Cullens had lied to him.
They did, however, allow him to contact Rose, which proved to be the final nail in that coffin. She had told him to either come home, or never contact her again. That was the last day any of them saw him with gold eyes. The pain in his eyes lasted for a long time – his relationship with the woman he had considered a Mate was nothing like what he had seen between Bella and Godric.
Then he learned that they actually could survive on blood bags. This had shocked him because, when he had asked, Carlisle had told him that the additives in the blood would make them hungry and that it would therefore not work. Instead, he had been surprised by how the Dallas vampires had gotten their blood before the Revelation. They had a company that gathered blood that the blood banks got rid of. Whatever made it unusable by humans made no difference in vampires. In fact, it helped them to dispose of the blood in a useful way and everyone was happy.
Until after the revelation… Then the crackpots came out of the woodwork and made it so that the service providing the vampires with blood, the service that they had spent a lot of money showing to the humans, was not safe for the vampires. Now every single bag had to be tested. After people protested the vampires coming out, suddenly Hep D appeared, and it was lethal.
The new church that sprung up overnight made all of the vampires nervous, but none so much as the ones in Texas, and more specifically, Dallas. So many new safety steps had to be implemented, and from the information they are getting from the Weres that Bella had talked them into employing, there was need for those safety steps.
Godric and Bella were the main targets of the group. They had been very open about being a couple, and that they owned the popular club, Damhsa álainn. Plus there were signs that Godric and Bella were something big in the vampire world, and even worse, they were well liked by everyone. This made them large targets, and their subjects were not happy with the church. They had to hold back Andrew when he found out that they were the primary and secondary targets. Finding out that Bella was the primary because she was female and her death would affect everyone more was what had sent the normally placid man into a rage. No one hurt his sister.
And then there was the whole Daywalker problem for the church. Neither of them did without anything including their ability to be active during the day. They had answered the question of them being Daywalkers, stating it was a genetic fluke in Eric’s family. Godric had gained it from being the Maker of both of them. Then they proceeded to make appearances in the daytime, not flaunting it, but making it an irrefutable fact.
The excuse was not precisely true, of course, but it worked well for them. They did what Eric suggested and made it public so that there could be no claims of them hiding it. Godric and Bella became the spokes-couple of the vampires, with Eric being with them the entire time. Nan Flanagan had been shuffled into a consultation role, or debate team as Bella called it. She had to debate things with the Fellowship of the Sun while they dealt with the more serious aspects of their reveal.
Everything was working well, and they were on the way to making humans more comfortable with them, when the Cold Ones started attacking humans in Europe. The Volturi were not happy that the vampires had come out. They sold it as animal attacks – instead of making the humans hate the vampires, they alerted the humans to the fact that something else was out there, especially when any vampire was asked gave samples of their teeth and blood. There was no love between the species, not even when Bella was attacked, and all the vampires knew how much work Godric and Bella had done to further peace between the species.
Bella sighs, then drains the drink in front of her. She looks up and meets the shifter’s eyes and he nods and begins making her another. He never says anything, but she knows he is aware of who she is. Everyone in the supe world knows of her oddness.
Right now, she is in this goddess-forsaken backwater bar. Godric can sense her location very well, as she can sense his. Therefore, when she left, she had to settle near her brother. It is the only reason her Mate isn’t right here guarding her as he always does. That, and he trusts Paul with her safety, and he knows that Eric would not allow anyone to harm his sister.
However, Eric has no clue she is here. He may sense that she is close, but he is more easy-going than Godric. He says it is because Godric is her Mate and that he had to kill her. Her brother gives her space, but if he knew she was here without Godric, he would be angry, especially since she cannot feed without one of them. In fact, to be honest, she really shouldn’t be here since she is basically starving herself. The alcohol helps the craving for blood, but it does not sustain her. It simply fools her system somehow.
She normally would never have left her Mate; she truly loves him as no other. However, she had to leave because Godric was pressuring her to make a date for their pledging. She had been fine with it at first, but the fear her mother had put into her of marrying was resurfacing. She needed to leave to be able to think on it without anyone asking about it all the time. It was one of the biggest upcoming events, and it was as though the world itself was waiting on it to happen.
Bella had not minded being the face of vampires; it was said her fresh face along with Godric’s showed that vampires were not harmful. Nan Flanagan didn’t like it as the blonde vampire was supposed to have been “the face”, but people latched on to the two of them and the AVL used it. Bella had agreed, but had made sure that people knew her private life was exactly that, private. As she had thought earlier, there was nothing wrong with it, but then the news of his proposal leaked.
She had no idea the power of paps and people. When word had gotten out that Godric had proposed and that they were not going to marry as humans did, but as their race did, it had gone viral. It shocked the world to find out vampires really did have their own culture and that it had little to do with humans.
It had been a wakeup call, one that had ended up being important since it told the world that humans thinking they could control vampires by taking away their right to marry did absolutely nothing. After that a new set of advisors had sat down with vampires to work on treaties. They actually acknowledged that vampires were their own race and, although they resided in their countries, they were like the American Indians. And, as Bella had once quipped, vampires often were here before the humans.
That had turned the world upside down as it truly registered how old many of the vampires were. That, and the fact that Eric was King, and so was Godric, brought history to life for younger people in a way none had imagined. There was a new respect for those vampires willing to share their stories with people.
On the other side of the coin was that everyone wanted to be a part of Godric and Bella’s pledging, and they had no shame in asking for it.
So, in looking for an excuse to escape the madness, Bella had come to Louisiana because of a report she read from Peter and Charlotte’s spies. Her work had been easy so she had taken on more of the spying and other duties from Godric. This had given her the information that the Queen’s procurer had moved to a little-known town called Bon Temps.
Good Times… Bella snorts.
Since she has been here, she can tell that all they had were red necks, but she had finally spotted Compton last night as he peeked into this bar. He never gave Bella a second glance, making her think he was not very knowledgeable. Since she is the face of vampires, she had been shocked that no one thought twice about her being here, but then, she has been gone for three weeks. News outlets are just now getting the idea that she was not in Dallas.
Currently she is here trying to figure out why her waitress has the interest of the Queen’s procurer, and watches as the vampire enters the building for the first time.
Final count: 2,552 words.