A/N I took some creative license with Godric’s past. All in all most of this is factual but some dates have been tweaked here and there to fit the story more.
I will warn you now that there are sections referring to physical and sexual abuse along with a brief mention of suicide in this chapter, nothing graphic at all but if stuff like that bothers you then let me know and I’ll send you an altered version of this chapter.
I whisper in your ear the words you want to hear
You feel the wind and it reminds you it happens every time you stop and close your eyes
You can’t deny what lives inside you
Well I know it’s hard to see what is meant to be when yesterday is so far behind you
Deep inside your soul knows I’m always there, you made me believe the day you surrender to me
The memory will never die, the love that you gave I’ll never throw it away
~ The Memory Will Never Die, Default
I didn’t think it was possible for vampires to go into shock, but there was no other explanation for what I was currently feeling. My Sookie, my beautiful little faery is the great-granddaughter of Ni all Brigant: She is royalty.
Of course, it made perfect sense: she’d grown up not knowing what she was. The secrecy had been to protect her, and to stop others from finding her and hurting her. I had to hand it to the old man he did his job well. But then she went and got involved with my kind and the little bubble Niall had created around her was broken. I would never let any faery take her, though: never again.
The year I had gone without her had been the hardest of my existence. I couldn’t feel her presence and that had been what had killed me the most. Her life force had always been there, a gentle hum in the background, but when she’d left, that hum had stopped altogether and for the first month I’d panicked in private, not allowing anyone to see my stress. I’d bought her house from Jason and restored it. I didn’t trust workmen with some of the jobs so I had done them myself. I even went shopping myself in the old antique stores in Shreveport to try and replace the trinkets Maryann had destroyed. It became my little project, my way of being close to Sookie.
At the time I didn’t have a clue what I would have done if she had never come back; that house contained so many memories for her, and her scent lingered on everything. I’d contemplated a few times turning it into my main home but I found myself unsure of what I would say to my spitfire if she suddenly returned and found me slumbering in her bed. Of course, now I had complete access to her bed, and to her. Speaking of her home, I’d have to call my dayman, Bobby, to gather the paperwork to put it back in her name: It was a little security at least.
With Niall now gone I had time to think through everything he told us. He had people expecting us in Las Vegas, which meant he’d planned this; did he know Russell was going to get free? And if so, how did he know?
“I guess we go to Las Vegas then,” Sookie interrupted my thoughts, sparing a glance between my Maker and myself me. We currently had a lack of options, and walking into the unknown wasn’t my usual MO, it seemed the only sensible choice right now. We were in need of all the help we could get.
“Godric, could you take Sookie to the car, please? I need to leave instructions for Pam,” I asked my Maker. The last thing I needed was to abandon Pam when our relationship was already extremely fragile.
Nodding his head, Godric rose from his seat, moving to the door and holding it open for my lover. “Go on, I’ll join you shortly,” I assured her as she looked back to me.
Once the two had left my office I took out a pen and a sheet of paper and wrote a note to my Progeny, leaving it on the desk for her to see. Removing my wallet from my back pocket I plucked out one of my black Amex cards, leaving it on top of the note, before returning my wallet to its usual place. Pam would certainly take great enjoyment in trying to make a dent in the fortune I had saved over my 1000 years. Rising from my seat I, too, left my office, locking it behind me. No one would be able to gain access to my fortune, I kept the pin codes secret and only Pam and I knew them, but it was a precaution nonetheless.
Leaving the bar, I locked the external door too, moving around the side of the building to my Corvette. Godric and Sookie stood beside it and judging by Sookie’s laughter and my Maker’s smile he had just told her something rather amusing. “What did I miss?” I quirked an eyebrow at my lover, who was trying her hardest to contain her laughter now that she had clapped eyes on me. Her eyes moved to my Maker’s and he gave a small shake of his head.
“I can’t say, sorry,” my Sookie responded with a shrug, the smile on her lips telling me that later I’d get it out of her.
“How are we gonna do this? Your car only has two seats, Eric,” my lover pointed out.
“I’ll run, I don’t mind,” Godric piped up, placing his small bag in the trunk of my car before making a comical show of stretching as if he were warming up as Sookie took her seat in the passenger seat of my car.
“See you at the airfield in ten?” I challenged him with a smirk.
My Maker mirrored my actions, “Make it five,” he shot back before disappearing off into the night. Within moments I was in my car, had the engine started and was speeding down the road.
“Human on board! I’m fragile Eric!” My lover shouted at me, and all I could do was chuckle. Did she really think that I would let any harm come to her?
Drifting around the city’s roads we were out in the country within three minutes and it was then that I could put my foot down properly. Few people lived out here so my chance of hitting someone was reduced drastically. I had such good reaction times, though, that if someone did come into view I would be able to stop the car without hitting them.
As the airfield came into sight a blur shot past the passenger side of the car, causing Sookie to shriek before laughing. My Maker’s age meant his speed was difficult to rival. Driving onto the airfield, I slammed on the brakes as we entered a private hangar, throwing the car into park and jumping out of the driver’s side. Only once I was out of the car did I realise I’d lost.
Leaning against the steps up into the aircraft, Godric crossed his arms over his chest, a smug smile on his features. “I do believe I won,” he commented, vamping over to my car and to the passenger door: Opening it, he offered his hand to Sookie who took it graciously.
Giving my Maker’s arm a playful slap, she glared at him, “Never challenge him again! I’m breakable and he’s a lunatic behind a wheel!” She huffed.
Ever the apologetic sort, Godric dipped his head as an apology, “My apologies Miss Stackhouse, it has been some time since I have been able to race my Childe.”
“Yeah well…“ Sookie muttered under her breath, moving to the trunk of my car, which she opened with ease. Leaning over, she rummaged around for her bag and I couldn’t help but admire her pert rear end.
“Perv,” my Maker’s whisper met my ears; it was quiet enough for my Sookie not to hear. Stifling a laugh I turned to watch as my Maker took his own bag from the trunk now that Sookie had hers.
“Your point?” I shot back as a whisper, moving to my lover before taking her bag, and mine, from her and handing it to a member of the crew who was stowing our luggage in the hold.
The crew member went to take Godric’s bag but he suddenly became defensive, “No, this stays with me,” he demanded, clutching the bag tightly before disappearing up the steps and into the aircraft. Frowning at his protectiveness of his little bag I escorted my lover up the steps and into the aircraft where we took our seats. There was a cluster of four seats around a medium-sized coffee table and Godric had taken one of them, his bag was on the other. Taking the last two seats, Sookie and I sat down.
The first hour of the flight was spent in silence, it wasn’t awkward but I knew we all needed time to think things through. It was after this hour, however, that Sookie broke the silence. “I don’t want to pry but I was wondering, on your travels, if you found a way to be close to her?” She spoke softly, addressing my Maker.
A brilliant smile lit up his features as he nodded his head enthusiastically, “Yes, I did!” he exclaimed happily. Maybe that was why he’d been so protective of his bag, had he found something?
“Would you be willing to tell us about her? About what you found?” Sookie asked gently. I could tell she was being cautious, she knew all too well how vampires shut down at the mention of their human lives or emotions.
“I’m going to have to start at the beginning, Miss Stackhouse, and it isn’t a sweet tale. You might want to get yourself comfortable. It’s a tale I should have told Eric hundreds of years ago, but I never had the courage to do so. You see, once we are turned we are taught to forget our human lives; we are taught that we must end that chapter and start another. Some refuse to do so, while others embrace it. I’ll admit that I originally embraced it but now, now I wish to return to that time. Things were so simple then.” I could almost see the wistful look in my Makers eyes, and something inside of me told me I’d get to see a side of him I never had before. Pulling Sookie over to my seat, I arranged her comfortably on my lap, taking my hands in hers as she leaned back against me to listen to my Maker’s story.
“I was born in 60BC in a place called Gaul: You would know it as present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. I was a Nervii: we were an ancient Germanic tribe, and not to sound my own horn but we were one of the most powerful Belgic tribes; we lived in the north-eastern corner of Gaul on the coast, we were known to trek long distances to engage in various wars and functions,” Godric explained, pausing to allow Sookie and me to process the information. I’d always known Godric was European but he’d never divulged to me where it was exactly that he came from.
“We were considered one of the most warlike of the Belgic tribes. We had a Spartan culture, we didn’t believe in drinking alcohol or having any luxuries. We believed that the mind must remain clear in order to be brave. We had no trade or merchant classes either, everyone was equal. We weren’t exactly very rich or economically developed, yet we still thrived.
In 52BC, when I was eight, my people were part of the Belgic alliance that resisted Julius Caesar as he tried to bring Gaul under Roman rule. After the alliance broke up and some tribes surrendered, my people came very close to defeating Caesar. At the Battle of the Sabis in 51BC, when I was nine, my people concealed themselves in the forests and attacked the approaching Roman column at the river.”
“Our attack was so quick and unexpected that some of the Romans didn’t have time to take the covers off their shields or even put on their helmets. The element of surprise briefly left the Romans exposed. However, Caesar grabbed a shield, made his way to the front line, and quickly organised his forces; at the same time, the commander of the tenth legion attacked our camp where the women and children, including myself, sat waiting for the men to return. The two Roman legions that had been guarding the rear of the Roman soldiers arrived and helped to turn the tide of the battle. My people were almost annihilated in the battle.” Godric sighed, remembering the slaughter that he had witnessed.
I felt for my Maker, he had lost everything and had been powerless to help. It was true that in those times young men were an aid to battle, my father often taught me how to wield a sword and protect myself, but at nine years old my Maker would still have been considered too young to fight in the fields. Sookie sat silently on my lap, yet I could feel the sadness rolling off her and into the bond. It touched me that she felt sorrowful for my Maker’s loss.
“Caesar’s men captured those of us remaining in the village and took us as slaves. The group was split in half, half going to Rome and the other half to Egypt. My mother was taken to Rome while I was taken to Egypt. I don’t know what happened to her.” Silence fell in the room again and my Sookie offered her hand to Godric in a comforting gesture. Although I knew Godric was shy of physical contact he took her offering, giving it a light squeeze in return. Sookie brought her hand back to her lap; my Maker had our rapt attention.
“There were at least thirty of us in my group and we were taken to Cleopatra’s palace on the island of Antirrhodos, which is now submerged in the port of modern-day Alexandria. Cleopatra herself sat upon a throne and observed us all one by one as we were presented to her: She was picking which of us she wanted in her palace. I was the youngest in the group, all the other children under the age of nine had been slaughtered as they were of no use.” Godric paused for a moment, pain evident in his eyes at the memory. I pushed comfort through our Maker-Childe bond and received a small smile from my Maker for my effort. By now a tear had slipped down Sookie’s cheek at the tale: life was so different in my childhood and even more so during Godric’s, I could understand why she felt sad about the information she was receiving.
“It was then her daughter entered the chamber, carrying a little doll in her hand. Caesar’s men parted for her and I remember the respect they showed her even though she was only a child of ten. She marched up to her mother and crossed her arms over her chest like a little madam, tucking her doll under her arm,” my Maker recalled with a warm smile. “She said ‘I want a new friend, Mama, I have no one to play with!’ and stomped her foot. Caesar told her she could have one friend and that she could pick from the group of people I was standing with. Her mother reprimanded her for tucking her doll under her arm. ‘Young ladies do not tuck toys under their arms, they set them down or ask someone else to hold them.’” Godric chuckled at the memory and I couldn’t hide my small smile.
“She sighed and blushed slightly at the public reprimand but she set her doll down on the arm of her mother’s throne and turned back to us. At the time, I was frightened of this little girl who seemed to have such a hold over her parents. She started at the other end of the line and walked along it. As I was the youngest I closed my eyes and prayed that she’d pick me, even though I was frightened of her, I knew she was my best chance at freedom. When I opened my eyes, she was standing before me and I remember how bright her blue eyes were and how shiny her blonde hair was. She was smiling at me and her chubby cheeks were flushed from being out in the sunshine. She stretched out one small hand and traced the markings upon my chest, using her other hand to move a strand of my hair out of my eyes,” Godric explained, subconsciously moving to touch the pattern peeking out from under his shirt collar.
“She said to me ‘You have pretty markings and your eyes match mine, so you’re going to be my new friend. My name is Ata’ and she gave me a hug. I was shocked, and although I was young I sent prayers of thanks to anyone who was listening. I was too young, however, to live in the palace permanently. Other slaves already had to care for Ata, and I wasn’t going to receive the same treatment as her. Instead, her mother entrusted my care to her close friend, who only ever arrived after sunset. Suffice to say there’s no need for me to explain what he was,” Godric grimaced.
“Did Cleopatra know this man was a vampire?” Sookie asked with a frown.
Shaking his head, Godric sighed sadly. “No, she didn’t. I never mentioned it to her either, as I was simply grateful I was still alive. Many slaves died after a few years of service due to lack of nutrition or overworking. As I grew up I was put to work. I still spent time with Ata in the palace but her mother was training her on how to be a proper Queen so there was little time to play. Of course, once we reached thirteen, playing held no interest so instead we talked. I would go for walks with her around the grounds and she would complain to me about whatever had happened that day. I had plenty to complain about in return but I never did so, I was just grateful she’d chosen me.
“When she turned fourteen, however, things changed. Her mother started bringing young men into the palace, trying to get them to court her but she didn’t want them, and I’ll admit that over the years I’d grown protective of her. I remember being in the throne room with my Master as a young man asked for Ata’s hand in marriage: Ata looked so upset at the prospect of having to marry the man. I couldn’t contain the anger I felt and I shouted out in protest, telling the young man he couldn’t have her. My Master dragged me out of the room and that was the first time I was beaten. Every night he found some reason to hurt me, and for a week I wasn’t allowed to see Ata. I thought that perhaps she had grown tired of me but one day she surprised me with a visit. She’d slipped out of the palace without her guards because she missed me. I hid my bruises and cuts from her, though, not wanting her to worry.” Godric smiled fondly at the memory and I couldn’t help but smile too. To know a Princess favoured you was one of the highest compliments.
“I went and visited her every day after that, and I remember we once went swimming in the Nile together: We did what the youth of today called ‘skinny dipping’ and I remember seeing her without her clothes. She was the first woman I had been attracted to that I had ever seen nude and she was beautiful. Her body had filled out into these soft curves, her limbs were slender and strong and her skin was beautifully pale – those with tans in those times were often seen as slaves and working class, because a tan signified that they spent time outdoors working – of course, times have changed now,” my Maker reminisced and I couldn’t help but trail my hands over my Sookie’s beautiful body. That was one thing my Maker and I shared in common, the love of a shapely woman.
“She was unable to swim so I taught her. I’ll admit that at the time I wasn’t interested in teaching her, but I used it as an excuse to see her without her clothes on, an opportunity to get to place my hands upon her warm flesh. Our knowledge of anatomy in those days was limited, but pretty good, given the lack of back-knowledge we had to work from. It was obvious, however, without going into too much detail, that I was attracted to her and she to me. She saw my bruises and cuts one day and took me back to the palace; she nursed me back to health with a variety of different mixtures she learnt especially for me. One night while cleaning my cuts she suggested we make a blood oath: I’d heard of them before but never conducted one. She cut her palm and then cut mine and pressed the two wounds together, she said ‘If we ever need one another, we’ll find each other. If we ever need comfort, then it will be with one another. If we ever get tired of this place, we’ll leave together.’ And I repeated her words, feeling closer to her.”
Reaching for his bag, Godric pulled out a thick papyrus book and a sudden sweet smell hit my nostrils, causing me to inhale sharply. “Her scent still lingers on the pages,” he explained as he turned the book to us, slowly leafing through the pages. “She drew me as I slept, every night.
“While I was travelling, I went to visit an elderly man who had some Egyptian artefacts and this was among the items.” He gently handed the book over to Sookie, and I could feel how honoured my lover felt that Godric would allow her to handle one of his treasures. If my heart had been beating it would have swelled.
As Sookie and I slowly looked through the book, Godric continued, “My Master found out about the time I was spending with Ata and told her parents. Her father deemed it outrageous and gave my Master permission to do with me as he wished. It was then that my beatings shifted from a more physical aspect to one of a sexual nature.” My Sookie gasped at the revelation, a small hand covering her mouth. I, too, found it difficult to contain my shock; it explained why my Maker had never taken a lover, why he had always found it difficult to fuck after feeding even though his nature told him to.
All those years by his side I’d joked that his genitalia was ‘broken’ and now I realised it wasn’t, he was the broken one, unable to do to others as his Maker had done to him. He’d been taken against his will and I suppose, in some sense, glamouring a human for a feed and fuck was the same thing. Hanging my head in shame at the years I had spent tormenting him about it, Godric seemed to understand my sudden mood change, “Do not blame yourself, my Childe. You did not know,” he comforted. Sookie looked like she was about to ask about our conversation, however, she backed down seconds later, sensing perhaps that she didn’t want to know.
“That is why physical contact is such an issue for me, Ata was the only one since my mother to give me gentle caresses and love. The only other feelings I had known were that of the smack of a hand and the lash of a whip. It is an unfortunate trait I carried over into this life.
“One night my Master became so angry with me. He’d watched me leave the palace in the evening, giving my Ata a kiss goodbye. I had no idea it really would be a goodbye. I was supposed to meet her the following night, she had sent me a letter telling me she had exciting news and that she wanted to meet me at sunset outside the palace, but of course I never made it.” A red tear slipped down my Maker’s cheek as his heartache flooded our bond and instinctively Sookie leant forward, offering him a tissue from the box in the centre of the table with a reassuring smile. I had never seen Godric stripped down emotionally before. There was no one else here to listen in and pass on his secrets, Sookie and I were his family and he trusted us with his tale. After 2000 years, he was finally taking the weight off his shoulders and letting others carry it with him.
He’d taught me, back in Germany while we were in the SS, that emotion made a vampire weak, that we had to dominate them, and yet now I realised that it was his way of coping. He had to shut out all the emotions to keep going but now he didn’t have to, now they were suffocating him and he needed to let go so he could carry on: My respect for my Maker doubled in that single moment.
“I woke three nights later and the first thing out of my Maker’s mouth was a command not to go near Ata, not to see her, nor speak to her. I wasn’t allowed to pass along letters or word-of-mouth messages either. I was to have no contact with her whatsoever; she was to believe I’d died. I watched her from afar, though: I watched as her guards told her of my demise and I watched as she fell to the floor in agony. I watched as she cried herself to sleep and then her father died, assassinated. Her mother took another lover, Mark Anthony, and I watched as the two were happily in love, feeling bitter about the fact I would never get to love my Ata.” Another red tear slipped down Godric’s cheek but he quickly wiped it away. Leaning forward I grabbed another tissue and handed it to Sookie who was a shaky, teary mess on my lap.
“In 30BC her mother died one night. I wasn’t there to witness it but I heard Ata’s anguished cries from across the city. My Maker had been dishing out abuse once again and he commanded me not to go to her, I couldn’t fight the feeling to be near her, though. I fought with my Maker and ended him, ending the commands he had placed upon me. I couldn’t enter the palace, I had no invitation, so I watched as my Ata cradled her mother’s body, the Asp that had killed her lay dead beside her. Ata took the crown that night even though she didn’t want it, and was forced a few years later by the High Court to marry in order to start the process of producing an heir.” He growled, clearly displeased with the thought of his lover carrying another man’s child. I couldn’t blame him, I would hate it for my Sookie to have another man’s child growing inside of her.
“She had already been looking after a child, her physician Oeri had taken in his newborn nephew after the baby’s parents died, and Ata doted on that baby.” Again Godric fell silent for a moment. “I found out one night that it had been her wedding day, but that in the morning she had taken her own life. She had told her Vizier, her right-hand man, that she didn’t want to marry someone she didn’t love and she never would. She said that Osiris, the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead, had taken the one person she loved from her and that she wanted to be with him. She died because she thought I was dead and because she wanted to be with me. I should have made myself known, but I was so frightened that she wouldn’t want me anymore, that she would be scared of me. I couldn’t live with that. I watched as seventy days later they carried her gold sarcophagus through the streets of the city in the middle of the night, torches lighting the way. They buried her with her mother and sealed her tomb. I left Egypt that night, and I haven’t been back since.” We all fell into silence, none of us sure what to say.
Sookie rose from my lap, gently closing the book Godric had handed to us and placing it back in his bag. Slowly she moved towards him, wrapping him in a gentle embrace. Although he had spoken of his issues with physical contact he tried his best to return her gesture, knowing it had been given with the purest of intentions. “My friend Lafayette is a medium, when we get back home I could talk to him for you if you’d like? We can see if he can find her for you. She loved you so much, that’s obvious. She couldn’t bear the thought of another and gave up her throne, her crown, and her life because she wanted to be with you. That’s not something to be sad about, but something to be proud of, like I said up on that roof two years ago, she fought against those who were supposed to love her so that she could be with you, she didn’t allow anyone to take your place in her heart. She’d be proud of you for coming this far, and for doing everything she never got the chance to,” Sookie reassured.
My Maker looked up at her, red still rimming his eyes. It pained me too to see him so upset, but at the same time, I understood his need to talk about it. “You think she would be?” he whispered, seeming almost afraid of the answer.
“I know she would be,” my beautiful faery answered confidently, and it only cemented that I loved her not because of her beautiful body, not because of her sweet blood, but because of her pure heart and the way she reassured and loved all those around her, even when they had never loved her.