Ethereal Redemption Chapter 41
A/N Thank you to everyone who has favourited/alerted this story and me as an author, it means the world to me!
Sookie’s mind opening ritual is included in this chapter, the words uttered will be in Latin and the translation will be at the end of the chapter. I’ll also be incorporating a Wiccan element to the ritual, I’m Wiccan myself and given Ancient Egypt’s link with magik and such I feel my religion compliments it. I’m not gonna push the religion down your throat though, that isn’t how I roll, but I get the feeling, in my gut, that Ata would pick Wicca as a ‘modern’ version of her Ancient Egyptian religion.
If any of my UK readers watch the channel FX (I’m sure you do…True Blood is shown on it!) then you’ll know the guy in the Joop! Homme advert yes? He’s the guy I picture Ari as! I never knew it was him in the advert until a few days ago, haha! :’)
I will say now that I’m going to write this chapter (or portions of it) three times. This first one is Sookie’s POV, then we’ll get Eric’s POV and then Godric’s. We’ll get Ata’s the next morning. I think it’s important that all four main characters get this chapter, and what goes with it, from their own POV’S. It’ll make more sense when you read them I think, but I’m just giving you the heads up
Sorry this is shorter than usual, but there is little I can really do with Sookie given her current circumstance.
So, off we go!
Tear yourself apart; keep your chin up high.
The only things that matter will always make you cry.
Another simple change to take my mind away, take it to the river and let it wash away.
We’re going through changes.
How funny this is to be alone so long, making steps to get me farther.
The light ahead is just a cool, sweet, song. It plays to me when things get harder.
We’re going through changes, a million miles out there.
~ Going Through Changes, The Samples
Everything Niall and Claude had informed us of in the past forty-five minutes had shocked me. Eric and Godric had both a human and vampire connection, Ata and Godric’s blood was in Eric, Pam and myself, and our souls were all bound together. It was quite shocking to learn that we were as much of a family as we could ever be. For so long I had believed that Jason was my only family remaining, but now I was twice bonded to Eric and subsequently bound to Pam, Godric, Ata and all of her boys. I had a family. I’d lost everyone but Jason to supernatural forces, however I was determined to up my game, to increase my powers enough so that I would be able to protect myself so that my family could protect themselves too. I didn’t want anyone else to die because of, or for me.
Hearing Niall speak to Ata of her parents, I felt my cousins’ sorrow that she was unable to speak to them herself. I tried to push comfort to her, as she had done to me in the past, but I was unsure as to whether it was working or not. I had always thought of emotion pushing as something that was only part of a vampire bond, but Ata had been able to push emotions to me the other day and I wanted to return the favour now that she was in need.
I wasn’t sure what to make of the fact that Eric still held a spark, that he might be able to have fae powers just like mine. It would be useful no doubt for him to have more power at his disposal in order to protect himself, but it was strange to think of Eric as part fae. To me he would always be the Viking vampire Sheriff, not the Viking part-vampire and part-fae Sheriff.
I decided to accept Niall into my life as my great-granddaddy. He’d come to my aid and had told me to get my ass to Vegas, where I had met Ata and learned more about my heritage and my gifts. He’d even come on over specially this evening to spend time explaining things to me and those I cared for. There was also the fact that before his earlier revelations I had believed Jason to be my only family member. I wanted as much family as possible. Call me greedy but when your parents die at the hands of water fae, your cousin runs off as a drug addict to some bratty vampire queen, your grandfather is taken by evil fairies and then your grandmother is killed by a mad man wanting your head, it’s easy to see why I would want some family now, some unconditional love. While Eric was giving that to me I wanted more of it, from as many people as possible. It was selfish of me but when I stopped to really think about it I realised I hadn’t done anything for myself over the past few years. I’d turned my life upside down for everyone else, accommodated everyone else and thrown aside my own feelings and needs. It was time that I did something for myself. If I wanted as much love as possible from as many people as possible then I would damn well have it! It was the least I deserved for all the shit others had put me through.
I embraced both Niall and Claude when they went to leave. Although I had no knowledge of Claude so he was still a relative stranger to me, I felt oddly close to him. He was family after all I supposed, and if Ata trusted him then so would I. It seemed that Ata had spent some time in Faery with Niall and Claude; I’d have to ask her about that later.
Claude and Niall popped themselves from the room just as the elevator doors slid back to reveal Egor, Agmund and Isabel. The three vampires instantly took in the scene before them; the two males placed Isabel’s bags down on the carpet. “What’s happened?” they demanded, vamping to Ata’s side, wrapping their arms around her the best they could considering Godric still had a tight hold on her.
Deciding that my cousin would need a moment to collect herself, I crossed to Isabel, offering her a warm smile. Almost instantly the Spanish vampiress had me locked in her embrace. I could feel Eric’s trepidation through the bond but I ignored it, wrapping my arms around Isabel in return. Although it had been her human, Hugo, who had betrayed her, Godric’s nest, and myself, I would never hold it against her. She hadn’t known that he would go and do something like that because she refused to turn him. I wouldn’t have turned him if I were being honest; he didn’t strike me as being vampire material.
Isabel had blamed herself for what had happened to me, for what had almost happened to me, for Godric being taken and for the bombing of the home she had shared with him and Stan. She blamed herself for Stan’s true death too, as he had perished in the Fellowship bombing.
There was nothing I needed to say to the Spanish woman holding me, our embrace was enough of a greeting and I felt if I were to say anything then our little moment of female bonding would be lost. Slowly her head dropped down and she sniffed me. Looking up at her I watched as she quirked an eyebrow, glancing quickly to Eric before back to myself. Knowing she was asking if her nose was correct, that she could smell Eric’s blood in me and that we had finally decided to be with one another, I gave a nod. Isabel’s smile was nothing short of impressive and beautiful. Obviously she was pleased for us.
“Isabel.” Godric’s soft welcome graced my ears as I pulled back from Isabel’s arms. Isabel wrapped Godric up in her embrace moments later and I found myself trying not to point out that he was still a bit uneasy with physical contact, but I managed to bite my tongue. Eric had moved to my side in this time, an arm wrapped around my waist protectively though there really was no need. Isabel was no threat.
“It’s good to see you, Godric.” She murmured softly, pulling back to observe the vampire I was now coming to see as a father.
“And you, Isabel. You of course remember Sookie, and my Childe.” He gestured to Eric and I. “This is his own Childe, Pamela.’ He introduced, gesturing to Pam who gave Isabel a small nod of acknowledgement.
“And this,” He held a hand out behind him and, untangling herself from Egor and Agmund, Ata took it, allowing him to gently pull her forward as she wiped away her tears. “Is my Ata.” He introduced them.
I watched Isabel’s reaction carefully. It was painfully obvious when looking at Ata that she was more than human. She had an ethereal beauty to her and power seemed to follow her wherever she went, even if she was a teary mess at the present moment. I was also a little worried as to how Isabel would react to Godric having a lover; she’d probably experienced a much different version of Godric to the one that was around now.
“It’s lovely to meet you.” My cousin politely spoke to Isabel, blinking furiously to push away her tears.
“Oh no, the pleasure is all mine! I hope you’re keeping an eye on him, lord knows what mischief he’d get into without someone watching out for him!” Isabel spoke to my cousin, a smile fixed firmly onto her features. I let out a breath I hadn’t known I’d been holding.
Ata looked up at Godric with an affectionate smile. “He’s been as good as gold.” She whispered, never breaking eye contact with him. I was struck right at that moment with how much love they held for one another, how pure their affections towards one another were. Their eyes shone with it and I wondered if I looked at Eric that way, or if he looked at me that way.
“Ata, we’re ready for you and Sookie upstairs.” Oeri’s voice broke through the room; ending the moment Ata and Godric had been sharing. I hadn’t heard him enter; I hadn’t heard him shove the heavy bookcase out of the way. Not that the bookcase would be heavy to him anyway – vampires and their damn super strength.
Turning to Oeri, Ata sighed heavily. “I don’t have a dress yet, Oeri. I have to go shopping.” She stated dejectedly.
“Why don’t Isabel, Pam and I go shopping instead? I’m sure that together we could find something for you to wear tomorrow night.” Godric offered. I was relieved with his offer in all honesty. I wanted to get his process out of the way with and sleep for the rest of the night, and if I was going to be able to read vampire minds it would be best if there were only the required number of vampires in the building. Besides, I didn’t really want Pam with me. While she and I had sorted out our differences I knew there would be some negative thoughts regarding myself in her memories, and the last thing I wanted was to accidentally stumble upon them because I was unable to control my shields.
Seeming to mull it over for a moment, Ata nodded in agreement. Up on her tiptoes she pressed a kiss to Godric’s cheek before reluctantly letting go of his hand. “Will you keep an eye on him for me, please?” She asked Isabel with a small smile, even going so far as to look over to Pam who had appeared at her side. I found it amusing that the three women before me were pandering to the oldest vampire male in the whole building, probably one of the oldest vampires in the whole of America too.
“Oh I’ll look out for granddaddy for you.” Pam teased. Godric gave Ata a chaste kiss before he whispered something in her ear. I was unsure exactly as to what he told her but judging by the light blush on her cheeks and the shy expression on her features it had been something regarding their bedroom antics. A promise for later, perhaps? I could feel Eric’s grip on me tighten a little as he shifted behind me, pressing his crotch against my behind. It was far from an innocent move and I knew it. Obviously he had overheard them and was coming up with his own inappropriate thoughts. It was definitely a conversation about their bedroom antics if Eric’s sudden turn of emotions was anything to go by.
Letting go of Godric, my cousin approached me and offered me her hand. There was no going back now if I were to take it. I would have to listen to vampire minds for the rest of eternity, but at least it would be another level of protection for me. I would be able to hear my enemies approaching, hear what they were planning and plan against them accordingly. Taking her hand I made my decision. Slowly Ata led me to the bookcase and I held my hand out behind me for Eric. He was quick to slip his large hand into my smaller one and the three of us climbed the staircase. Oeri and Riei were close behind us, sealing the bookcase back over the entrance in order to give us some privacy. The staircase was plunged into darkness, however with Ata guiding me and Eric’s strong hand in mine I was able to navigate my way up the stairs unharmed.
Entering the training studio I was completely surprised with the changes that had been made to the room. In the middle of the vast open space was a table, a delicate white cloth placed over it which reached the floor where a pentagram had been created with what looked like salt. A small cool box and a small trolley sat a little way to the side, and upon the trolley sat several jars of different substances. There were also candles in green, yellow, red, purple and blue. There was a curved knife, a glass of water, a packet of pills, a tall lit black candle and a golden chalice. The only light in the room was from hundreds of pure white candles, scattered across the floor in strategic places and across the few surfaces of the room. The windows had been blacked out and thick, lined curtains covered the glass surface, light-proofing the room just in case the ritual went on into the early hours of the morning.
Once we were all inside the room Oeri shut the door behind him, pushing it firmly so it locked. Ata took a moment to observe her surroundings before she turned to me, “Sookie, you can back out still and none of us will think any less of you, but once you do this there will be no way to go back. The ritual will ensure that no one will be able to suppress the ability ever again.” She warned me one last time.
While I appreciated her final offer I gave a nod of my head. “I’m ready, I want this. I want to hear what’s going on in Eric’s head.” I stated firmly, receiving a squeeze of my hand from Eric in response. I could remember Ata’s words from a few days ago, she’d told me that I had to truly want it and that I would have to want to listen in on one vampire, and by doing so I would be able to hear them all.
Ata offered me a warm smile before she licked her lips to moisten them. “Okay Sook, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to need you to sit down on the table on top of the cloth, but try not to disturb the pentagram on the floor. Once you’re on the table I’m going to cast the circle in salt and place each of the coloured candles, once lit, onto the points of the pentagram. You and I will be the only ones allowed in the circle, no one else can enter. I’m then going to ask you how you enter this ritual, your answer is your own and cannot be influenced by any others, but it must be the truth. You could say you enter it honestly, or with trust, it’s totally up to you. Once that is done you need to blow out the black candle and then I’m going to use the Boline, that’s the curved knife, and I’m going to make a mark in the black candle. I’m going to say some words and then I’m going to make an incision in my wrist and empty some of my blood into the chalice. Once I’ve handed it to you, you’re to drain it. I’ll take the chalice back from you and then I’m going to leave the circle. No one else can get in. You’ll probably start to feel light-headed; my blood will be a shock to your system and your spark. I want you to then lay down and close your eyes. My boys and I will stand at each point of the pentagram and while holding hands we’ll utter the ritual that should open up your mind and my subconscious will enter yours. I have no idea what you’ll experience, so I want you to keep your bond with Eric wide open all the time. Once we start we can’t stop, however should your emotions start to overpower you, I need you Eric,” Ata paused, turning to my Viking, “to take the negative emotions from her and smother her in all the positive emotions you hold for her. Can you do that for me?” She asked.
Eric nodded in confirmation and a small smile appeared on Ata’s lips. “I have no idea how long the ritual will last for, or how long it will take for Sookie to start hearing your thoughts, but I had the room light-proofed and there are plenty of bags of relatively weak fae blood in the cool-box should you need it in order to stay up past dawn. My boys have my blood in their veins so can fight the sun for much longer. I don’t intend for this to go on past sunrise and hopefully the Gods will see my reasoning and agree with me.” I nodded in acknowledgement. I didn’t want this ritual to go on past sunrise but once it was started there was no way for it to be stopped, so I really had no choice in the matter.
Ata nodded towards Ari who suddenly appeared at her side, holding onto a soft cotton nightie. “I thought you might like to change out of your day clothes into something softer and more comfortable, just in case we are here for a while.” I couldn’t help but smile at my cousins concern and care; it felt strange to have someone do something so simple as to think of my comfort. I would be flat on my back for goodness how long, Ata and her boys would be doing all the work, and yet they were worried about me?
Taking the nightie from Ata, I nipped into the small private library. I took a moment to look around the room, taking in the shelves upon shelves of dusty, ancient textbooks. It’d been a while since I’d last read a book; perhaps Ata would let me borrow one when all of this was over. Shaking the thought away, I stripped out of my day clothes, pleased I had chosen a soft pair of panties and a matching bra which had no underwire. Pulling on the cotton nightie I adjusted it so my panties wouldn’t be on show before returning to the training room. Depositing my clothes by the door I swiftly made my way to Ata, wrapping her up in my arms.
“Thank you, cousin.” I whispered in her ear, wanting her to know how grateful I was for everything she had done for me so far.
“It’s my pleasure.” She whispered back in response, rubbing my back for a moment before she pulled away from my embrace. “Go and give your vampire a few cuddles and kisses, this might not be easy on the pair of you.” She told me quietly.
Heeding her words, I took one step towards Eric and found myself pressed against his strong chest moments later. I seriously disliked it when he used his vamp speed around me but I could understand his need to have me close right now. We were still in the unknown with regards to Russell and this ritual, and to me this was even scarier than a 3000-year-old psycho, and that was saying something! “I love you, my Sookie.” Eric’s husky voice brushed over my eardrums and I couldn’t help but smile against his neck, tucking myself securely in his arms.
“I love you too, my Eric.” I whispered in response, pressing a kiss to his clavicle before finally pulling back to look up at him. His 6’4 frame towered over me and yet I wasn’t intimidated by him at all. I knew there was a softy underneath the scary Sheriff exterior.
“I’ll be here for you when this is all over, I promise. If you’re in any pain, let me take the emotions from you and replace them with all the love I hold for you.” He ordered me gently, and I couldn’t help but smile at his high-handedness. Some things would never change. I gave in to him however, knowing he was worried about what was about to happen. Letting my lips meet his, I put all of my love and adoration for my Viking warrior into it, wanting him to know that I would love him regardless. I was finding myself even more curious about his thoughts; I just wanted to get on with it now! I had to restrain myself and pull in my rising lust levels, which was always a difficult thing around Eric, as the last thing I wanted was to be all hot and bothered during the ritual. Eric’s lips were firm yet soft against my own, moulding to fit perfectly with my own. His lips left mine and he trailed a line of blazing kisses across my jaw line, nibbling on my earlobe, causing me to giggle. His breathy chuckle was music to my ears and, after capturing his lips once more for a tender and reassuring kiss, I pulled out of his embrace before making my way to Ata, who had positioned herself near the salt pentagram.
She’d changed into a pair of soft white cotton pants and a matching shirt, her blonde hair was pulled up into a ponytail off of her face and she wore no shoes. She was most certainly the female version of Godric. The clothes looked so similar to the ones he’d been wearing when I had found him in the Fellowship. “Yes, they’re the same. Apparently he owns many of these.” She laughed gently, rubbing her hands over the soft fabric.
“I’m never going to get use to that.” I muttered under my breath with a laugh. I’d all but forgotten that Ata could get into my mind to see what I was thinking.
“Let’s begin.” Ata started, silence falling over the room. Offering me her hand, I took it happily, using her for support as I stepped over the salt pentagram to the table in the centre. Hauling myself up I sat neatly, my legs dangling over the edge. Ari handed Ata the five coloured candles, the lit black candle, the knife, the chalice and the pot of salt, all of which she placed on the table beside me. Picking up the pot of salt, Ata gracefully moved to the eastern side of the pentagram, where she slowly started to pour the salt in a circle, capturing the points of the pentagram within the circle line. “I welcome air to my circle,” she reached the southern area of the circle, “I welcome fire to my circle,” she moved on to the west of the circle, “I welcome water to my circle,” and finally she reached the north of the circle, “I welcome earth to my circle.” She finished in a whisper, joining her salt circle together. Having finished, Ata sealed up the salt pot, placing it down beside me.
Picking up the green candle she held it out to me. Immediately I took it in my hands, watching as she placed the flame of the black candle to the wick of the green one, instantly setting it alight. Exchanging candles with me, Ata placed the green candle at the northern point of the pentagram. “Green for the earth we walk upon.” She murmured, returning to me a moment later. Handing me the yellow candle, we swapped and repeated the lighting process. Ata placed the yellow candle on the eastern point of the pentagram. “Yellow for the air we breathe in.” She returned to me and we lit the red candle. “Red for the fire that burns all it crosses.” She placed the candle down on the third point. The purple candle was next and Ata placed it on the following point. “Purple for the spirits of those of our royal bloodline.” Finally Ata handed me the blue candle, which we lit together, placing it on the western point. “Blue for the water that hydrates our bodies.” She finished.
Returning to me, she stopped right in front of me. “How do you enter the circle?” She asked.
I didn’t even need to think about my answer, it came to me the moment the words had left Ata’s lips. It was as if my body knew how to respond and did so automatically. “In perfect love and perfect trust” I replied, my voice even and strong. Ata’s smile told me my words had been perfect and I gently blew out the black candle as instructed.
Ata picked up the Boline, removing the black candle from my hands. Slowly she started to carve a foot, a cane and what looked to be a small man into the black wax. “Bes, I welcome you to my circle and thank you for providing your energies to our ritual. I ask for your protection towards both my cousin and I, and I ask for your luck as we enter into the unknown.” My cousin’s tone was steady and slow as she finished up her carving. I had no idea who Bes was but I assumed he was another of Ata’s ancient Gods.
With her carving finished, Ata placed the black candle down on the table, near to where my head would be when I finally lay flat. Raising the serrated edge of the blade to her wrist, she made a deep incision and I grabbed the chalice, placing it beneath her wrist. Slowly Ata allowed her blood to flow steadily into the chalice and, pressing her fingers to the vein in order to slow the blood flow, she finally pulled her wrist away, giving me a nod.
I’d taken both Eric and Bill’s blood over the years, so I was in no way squeamish, but the thought of taking my cousins blood was a little disturbing to me as she was still mostly human. Eric pushed reassurance and strength through our bond and before I could think on it any longer I raised the chalice to my lips and downed her blood. I didn’t know what I had been expecting it to take like, but I was pleasantly surprised. Her blood was relatively thick for human blood and held a tinge of orange and chocolate to it, mixed in with a deeper undertone of peppermint. It was deliciously sweet. The moment Ata took the chalice from me the light-headedness she had warned me of surfaced. I could barely hold myself up. Ata’s hands shot out and she slowly helped me lower myself onto the table. The room felt like it was spinning, it was difficult to focus on any one thing. Screwing my eyes shut I willed the sensations away. It felt like the world was spinning so incredibly fast and I was stuck in the same place, completely still. I felt nauseous. It reminded me of all the times, as a child, when I had spun around on the spot to make myself dizzy, except it was the other way around now. I was standing still and the world was spinning. “Submerge yourself in your bond, let go of everything in the world, let it all go.” Ata soothed, brushing my hair back from my face. My nauseous feeling felt like it was being taken away and, slowly, a sense of peace overcame me. Everything was going well so far, too well given my track record.
With my eyes shut I couldn’t see Ata as she left the circle, taking her spot in front of the yellow candle, the element closest to our sky. Ata took her boys hands, all of which had taken up positions on the remaining four points. Egor, Agmund and Oscar were back in the living room of the penthouse, as another layer of protection against anyone unwanted trying to get up into the training room.
Slowly their voices entered my ears and I found myself lost in the Latin words being uttered.
“Invoco te, O Hapi, Archangelus Neptuni Et rector Clariuidens vires.”
Immediately a burning sensation started in my toes, causing me to whimper. The sensation started to creep slowly up my body, the pain increasing as the sensation continued upwards. The burning sensation was in my knees and I couldn’t stop my scream of pain. Eric’s love washed over me but try as he might I could still feel his underlying concern and worry. I tried to open my eyes but my eyelids were refusing to cooperate. The fact I couldn’t see anything sent me into panic and my back arched off of the table as the burning continued upwards, reaching my thighs. Every nerve in my body felt like it was on fire, like thousands of matches were being lit all over my body.
“Quaeso te ut aperiet tertia oculus Et ostenderet occulta lux. Videat futurum. Videat praeteritum.”
Their collective voices carried on as the burning continued upwards to my stomach. For a moment it settled in my lower stomach and I couldn’t help but scream out again, the burning sensation seeming to scorch my insides. I felt Eric’s void get a little closer to the circle and I felt more of my pain being pulled from me, replaced with love, reassurance and adoration. It was practically impossible for my back to arch up any further. I needed to move some part of my body, anything. I needed to know I was still in control. Going to move my arms I found I couldn’t, they felt pinned to my side. Going to move my legs I found I couldn’t shift them either. Knowing I was a prisoner in my own body, I felt the panic start to bubble inside of me once more, just as the fire was crawling up my body like a slippery snake, reaching my chest. The burning suddenly attacked my heart and I started to gasp for breath, struggling to breathe. I went to scream but no sound came out. It felt like my heart was being constricted, yanked and pulled. I could feel the blood flow through my arteries. My blood felt heavy and lethargic, making its way through my system.
“IT’S KILLING HER!” My brain registered Eric’s panicked yell from the sidelines of the circle.
“DON’T CROSS THE CIRCLE! SHE’S FINE, ERIC!” Ata yelled in response. Eric had almost crossed the circle to get to me; the thought of him doing so sent me deeper into my panic. What would have happened to me if he had crossed it? What would have happened to him? Would the spell have worked or not? My brain was running on overtime with questions.
“Percipere divina Regna ignota. Intelligere sapientia fortium universi. Ita mote sit!”
Their voices went up a few octaves as they recited the final sentence of the Latin chant and the burning sensation finally reached my head. It engulfed my brain and it felt like my head was being torn in two, the burning went from hot to cold repeatedly, and I was finding it difficult to keep up with the changes. A fog was descending on my mind and I struggled against it, fighting my way through the thick blanket, but it was no use. Although powerful in my own right, I was no match for the strength of the fog. Howling out, I felt a surge of love and pride take me over from Eric.
“Succumb to it, Sookie.” Ata’s tender voice floated through my mind and I found myself unable to go against her wishes. My mind was still burning, scalding, with the flames that had consumed it and yet my body completely relaxed. I could feel no pain south of my head and my body felt like it was floating. It had been such a long time since I had felt physically relaxed, I had always been on high alert, what with Rene, the Fellowship, Maryann, Sophie-Ann, Russell Edgington and the witches that had cursed Eric.
While my body was relaxed however, my mind felt it was working overtime. I could feel what, to me, felt like soft fur drifting through my mind, brushing through my thoughts and memories, pausing to observe key moments in my life before continuing on its path. Claws were digging against the inside of my mind; I could feel every rough edge as it slipped through the passages of my head.
It was such a strange sensation, all of this was occurring inside my mind and yet it was as if I was an outsider looking in on the scene. The cat sliding through my mind was a beautiful shiny black colour; its body slender and its supple bones allowed it free movement through my mind. I could see every hair upon its body, every marking. Turning down one corner of my mind the creature stopped, huge emerald eyes focused on something in the distance. I could see a form at the end of the corridor, and a door.
Instantly the cat reared up, flicking its tail up in the air before landing nimbly on its paws. Its ears were pricked upwards to hear everything going on and its nose was twitching, picking up the scents. The cats’ mouth opened and its sharp incisors, which were fang-like, appeared for a moment, and I couldn’t help but shiver. Eric’s fangs were the only kind I liked.
The thought of fangs reminded me of when I had first moved to Grans house. I had never been in contact with a snake before so the moment I had walked into my bedroom to find a cottonmouth slithering across my floor I’d panicked and screamed. The snake had turned to me, opened its mouth to reveal his sharp and venomous fangs, and had started in my direction. My legs had stopped working, I’d been frozen to the spot, but thankfully Jason had heard my scream and he’d raced into the room seconds later, attacking the snake with the broomstick that we’d kept in the hallway. I’d been scared of snakes ever since.
With its head held high, the cat moved gracefully to the other end of my mental corridor. The form at the end came into focus, shifting from a mass of black to take the form a woman; she was tall and slender, dressed in a red column maxi dress. On her head sat a crown, a feather standing tall on the front of it. She stood before a thick double wooden door, it had a medieval feel to it and I couldn’t help but be fascinated with what would be behind it. “Ah Baast, what brings you here?” the woman spoke to the cat. She radiated a sense of power and authority, just like the cat, which I now knew had a name.
“I think you know, dear Ma’at. Her third eye needs to be opened; she can no longer be kept in the dark. ” The feline spoke. I don’t know what I had been expecting, but it had most certainly not been the Egyptian lilt of my cousin!
The woman’s rich laughter vibrated through the corridor in my mind and she offered Baast a small smile, “I keep the earth in balance, if I were to open up the young ones mind she would have an advantage over others, the balance would tip in her favour.”
The cat seemed to laugh, its tongue flickering out for a moment to lick its lips. “The balance needs to tip in her favour. You tipped it in my favour upon my birth, and now I ask you tip it for my cousin. We’re in trouble, there are those out there who wish to harm us, we need every bit of help available. The scales need to be tipped in our favour if we are to come out of this alive.”
Ma’at seemed to think over Baast’s words for a moment before she finally crouched, lowering herself to a height similar to that of the felines. “What will I gain from this? I have been guarding her third eye since the day she was born, it is all I know, it is what I have dedicated my life to.”
Baast smiled at Ma’at, swishing her tail through the air. “There is another who will need your protection, a child. He is like my cousin and I. He is too young to control his gift though. It is too early for him to be told of his heritage also. I promise you, by the blood, that if you leave my cousins mind, open up her third eye, that I will take you to the boy when all of this is said and done.” The cat offered the woman.
The woman mused over Baast’s words for a moment before pulling a small knife from her pocket. Baast offered the woman the side of her body and Ma’at was quick to make an incision, capturing the ruby red droplets of blood that escaped. Raising her fingers to her mouth, Ma’at consumed the liquid before offering her wrist to Baast. Baast struck with precision, sinking her incisors into the skin before removing them, her rough tongue lapping up the small blood droplets that welled up to the surface.
Once the exchange was complete, Ma’at rose back to her former height and moved to the door. With one hand on either handle, her voice dropped. “Beloved Baast, mistress of happiness and bounty, daughter of the Sun God, slay the evil that afflicts our minds as you slay the serpent Aapep. With your graceful stealth anticipate the moves of all who perpetrate cruelties and stay their hands against the children of night. Grant us the joy of song and dance, and ever watch over us in the lonely places in which we must walk.” As her words ended she pulled at the handles, heaving the door open.
If I had believed the previous pain to be bad, it was nothing compared to this. My brain felt like it was about to implode. My body was fine, no burning sensations had overcome my figure, and yet my mind felt like it was melting. Thousands upon thousands of memories were bombarding my mind, battering my brain, trying to store themselves away. Flashes of the human lives of all of the vampires in the room whizzed through my mind. Ari as a royal guard, following Ata everywhere she went, watching her as she played with Godric in the Nile. Khai and the death of five of his siblings, working as a royal guard alongside Ari, looking over Ata as she went about her day-to-day life. Oeri working as a doctor, examining Ata, writing down every little detail about her, the death of his parents, being approached by Ari and Khai about being turned, faking Ata’s passing and sleeping beside her in the day while the effects of the drugs in her system wore off.
I watched as Riei took care of the royal household, as he shopped for Ata, purchasing her the finest of fabrics and jewels, as he dressed her up like his own personal Barbie doll and he doted on her every need. Then there was Egor, how he had been in line to take his fathers crown yet had stumbled upon a cold and hungry Ata in the middle of the winter, how he had offered her a warm bath and nourishment, protected her from ‘evil’ when she had returned to her Egyptian vampires later that night. I observed the same scenes from Agmund’s mind, how they had both adored Ata the moment they had clapped eyes on her.
As these memories tried to store themselves away in my mind, I screamed out at the pain. It felt like pieces of my mind were being picked up, examined, prodded and placed elsewhere. My mind was a jumbled mess and it was difficult to make sense of anything.
Suddenly another set of memories attacked me. They were Eric’s, my beautiful Viking. My mind was filled with his memories, his past. I was given the image of his little sisters birth, of how he had cradled her close moments later, spoken to her in his native tongue. There were scenes of his little sister in her first few years, how Eric had wrapped her up in her blankets at night, how he had dressed her and bathed her. It was hard not to cry, witnessing the tenderness he showed her. His actions were so natural to him, so fatherly. It made me yearn to carry his child even more. Then came the scene where Russell’s wolves had attacked and murdered his family. Try as I might I couldn’t stop the memories from playing out, and I was forced to watch once more as his family were slaughtered. Crying out at the horrible memories as they invaded my mind, I tried to force them away to no avail.
The images shifted to Eric on the battlefield, gravely injured, speaking with his fellow Vikings. There was no doubt about their conversation; Eric was trying to make light of the fact he was dying. I screamed out for him, begging him not to. The image shifted once more to my Eric resting on top of his funeral pyre, his fellow Viking’s watching over him. In a blur they were all killed and a young and rather savage looking Godric crouched over him. I was appalled with Godric’s appearance, blood smeared down his chin, his hair matted with filth and blood. I couldn’t make out their conversation, but it was obvious that Godric had taken such a shine to Eric immediately. I watched as Godric chuckled over something Eric had said before finally he vamped over my beloved, sinking his fangs into his neck to start the turning process.
The memories ended there and the blackness overtook me, a huge dark blanket felt like it was being thrown over me. I had no idea what the time was, and I couldn’t open my eyes. My body felt weak and limp and my throat felt scratchy. I was in dire need of some water. “Thank you, Bes, for joining me in this ritual. Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.” I heard Ata’s voice as a whisper. As if someone knew I would need water I felt the cool liquid being poured down my throat, yet I could do nothing to help it enter my system. A large, cool hand was slowly massaging my throat, helping the water enter my body. When the liquid was finished I felt several pairs of strong arms underneath me, lifting me off of the table. “She needs to rest, to bed with her.” Ata’s strained voice caressed my eardrums and I felt her lips against my forehead a moment later. I was being moved, and yet I had no idea where. My body was swaying from left to right slowly, and if I hadn’t of known better I would have believed myself to be on a hammock, on a golden beach in the tropics. That would be nice. Maybe Eric and I could go on holiday there when all of this was over.
My back came to rest upon a soft surface and the arms that had been carrying me disappeared. Instead one pair of large, muscular arms wound themselves around me, and seconds later I felt cool lips against my own. “God natt min älskade” Eric’s husky voice sounded out. Seconds later, the darkness completely overtook me, pulling me under.
Invoco te, O Hapi, Archangelus Neptuni Et rector Clariuidens te ut aperiet tertia oculus Et ostenderet occulta lux. Videat futurum. Videat praeteritum. Percipere divina Regna ignota. Intelligere sapientia fortium universi. Ita mote sit! (Latin) = I call upon thee, O Hapi, Archangel of Neptune and ruler of clairvoyant powers. I ask you to open the third eye and show the hidden light.
See the future. See the past. To perceive the divine. To the realm of the unknown. To understand the wisdom of the mighty universe. So mote it be!”
God natt min älskade (Swedish) = Good night my love
Just to let you know, information on the whole dream sequence, vision, and the roles/characteristics of Baast, Ma’at, Hapi and Neptune will be spoken about in the Ata POV chapter, you may have to wait a chapter or two for it but I promise I’ll explain it all to you! You’ll get another mini history lesson, unless you want to outshine the rest of the class and read up yourself!