A/N I’m so glad that none of you saw my little plot twist coming! Hahaaa :’)
Lets get this show on the road!
I have been blessed and I feel like I’ve found my way, I thank God for all I’ve been given at the end of every day
I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve, to be here with the ones that love me, to love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed, across a crowded room, I know you know what I’m thinking by the way I look at you
And when we’re lying in the quiet, and no words have to be said I think to myself, I think to myself, this love is a beautiful gift
~ Blessed, Martina McBride
Fairy. I was a fairy. A fairy.
Niall’s words stunned the room to silence, no words were spoken but the emotions bouncing through the bonds I shared with Eric, and subsequently Sookie, along with Pam and Ata were saying it all for me. Shock, disbelief and confusion.
“You’re telling us that Godric, and Eric, were part fae in their human lives?” Ata spoke first, having cleared her throat beforehand.
With a nod Niall confirmed his words. “Yes, why do you think they have both survived for so long? It wasn’t down to pure luck. The fae have a natural ability to stay out of trouble and to survive.” Niall shrugged, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
“Clearly Sookie missed that memo.” Pam muttered under her breath. As mean as her words were, I couldn’t help but laugh, and Eric and Ata seemed to have the same idea. Sookie’s scowl caused our laughter to cease however.
“Yes, she does seem to have an uncanny ability to land herself in bad situations.” Claude spoke up for the first time, giving Sookie a pointed look. She cringed a little at his gaze, ducking her head slightly. I could remember the moment I had first met Sookie, when Gabe had been forcing himself on her. While it wasn’t her fault at all, it was a troublesome situation. Couple in the bombing of my nest, her run in with Russell and Sophie-Anne, and dealing with an amnesic Eric and it was easy to see why Sookie was considered a trouble magnet.
“I’m sorry, but how exactly do you know that we’re fae?” Eric broke in, quirking an eyebrow at the elderly fae prince sat opposite us. “These two sons you’re talking about could be anyone.” My Childe added. Though he was making a valid point there was no denying the fact the moment Niall had told us we were the half fae sons I had felt another tug from deep inside my chest, as if my own body was trying to tell me that Niall was telling us the truth.
Niall granted us an indulgent smile, raising his hands to steeple his forefingers. “The markings on your left arm, they represent water do they not?” he asked me.
Dropping my gaze to the tattoo upon my left arm as I felt Ata tracing the marks in exactly the same way she had over 2000 years ago. I smiled slowly at her actions. “Yes, my tribe were from the coast, the water was our element.” I answered quietly as Ata’s eyes lifted from my tattoo to meet my own eyes, a soft smile on her features as she continued to trace my markings, no longer needing to look at them to know their exact shape.
“And your people, Eric, were fans of the sea too were they not? You enjoyed travelling by longship and exploring Europe, yes?” Niall’s attention shifted to my Childe, a smug smile on his features.
I could feel Eric’s annoyance through our bond and had to fight to suppress my smile. Niall was indeed right, and my Childe hated it when others were right. Even in his human years he had always felt the need to be 100% correct, 100% of the time, to be the ‘smart one’ of whatever company he kept. Usually he was correct, but every so often he would be wrong. Not that he would ever admit to being wrong, my Childe was far too proud for that.
“So they both lived on the coast and liked water, big whoop. That doesn’t prove anything.” Pam sighed, shaking her head as she continued to look over her nails. Obviously after the initial shock of Niall’s revelation had worn off she had instantly doubted the old mans words and decided he was a few slices short of a loaf.
“You don’t think it was strange, Godric, how much you enjoyed being by the sea and how you ventured into the Nile at any opportunity, how you felt the need to teach Ata how to swim even though it was something she didn’t need to learn?” Niall’s questions flipped back to me and I gave his words thought for a moment. I had felt this deep need to teach Ata how to swim, but I guess I had read it as simply my want to see her completely exposed.
“That’s what I thought.” Niall stated lowly, taking my silence as confirmation, which, of course, it was.
“If both my Maker and Grandsire are, or were fae, then how come they aren’t able to do the freaky mind reading thing?” Pam’s hands dropped to her lap, as she looked to both Niall and Claude before quirking an eyebrow, daring them to answer her.
Ata’s anger was like a hot knife through our bond and I had to grab onto the arm of the sofa with impressive strength in order to stop myself from reacting to it. “There is nothing freaky about our ability.” My beloved snapped at Pam, her small hands balled into fists at her side.
“You can snoop in peoples minds and rifle through their memories, that’s definitely freaky.” Pam responded calmly.
Snorting, my Ata shook her head. “It’s rich of you to call my kind a freak, given that you crawled out of a hole in the ground with your cold, dead heart and your lack of need for oxygen. Need I mentioned your need to consume human blood? You’re the creature human children have nightmares of, yet they have pleasant dreams about my kind. If anything you’re the freak.”
I tried to not take offence to Ata’s words, they were spoken in anger and she had a point. Vampires had no right to call fairies freaks, or any other supernatural for that matter. We were all freaks; we should be working together, not against one another. Vampires were the stuff of nightmares, fairies were thought of by children as sweet and cute.
With a click Pam’s fangs were exposed and she’d lent across in her seat to close the gap between herself and Ata some, but Eric and Sookie were in the way. “You might wanna watch your tongue, fairy princess, lest you forget what species your banging every night.” She spat.
“Pam.” Eric warned lowly, his gaze shifting from myself to his progeny. His warning did nothing to quell her ire though.
“I don’t understand why you’re picking fights with me, Pamela. We’re not that different you know. You loved Theodore yet your parents wouldn’t allow you to be together because of social differences, I love Godric and yet my parents wouldn’t allow us to be together given our own social differences. We share the same feistiness and the willingness to perish for those we love, we both like expensive things and heck we’re even the same shade of blonde!” Ata sighed, her hands slowly unfurling as she pulled her emotions under control.
“You started it.” Pam stated childishly, flicking her hair over her shoulder before dropping her gaze back to her nails.
“Ladies.” Claude interrupted, capturing the attention of everyone in the room. I could feel Eric’s annoyance at the little tiff between his Childe and my beloved, but I could also feel his amusement with regards to the fact that my Ata had been able to force Pam into giving such a childish and weak come back. Clearly they were still to sort out their differences.
“Back to the original question, telepathy is only a gift of the sky fae. Each type of fairy has a special gift. The sky fae have telepathy as their thoughts are transmitted through the air, which of course makes up the sky. Our thoughts could most likely be picked up on if they were sent via a radio frequency, it would be like Morse code, which is kind of cool.” Claude explained, grinning like a child. Clearly the young male fairy was interested in human communication methods. “The sky fae need the sunshine to replenish their energy as, of course, the sun hangs in the sky.” Claude added, clearly as an afterthought.
“Which is why neither Sookie or I could ever be turned, because we’d be compelled to meet the sun, even if we were commanded not to we’d find a way.” Ata supplied. I couldn’t help but feel something inside of me drop at her words. Should my Ata ever be so badly injured that my blood wouldn’t be able to fix her I would be unable to turn her in order to keep her forever. I would lose her once and for all. As if sensing my train of thought, I felt Eric’s eyes on me and turned to capture my Childe’s cerulean orbs. A small wave of reassurance entered my system from him and I sent it back, knowing he would need the comfort too. Ata’s words were a painful reminder about how fragile our women were.
“The fire fae have the ability to manipulate flames and can control heat, it makes them a lot safer when in the presence of vampires, given your aversion of fire. It’s their method of protection, just like telepathy is the protection for the sky fae. Earth fae are in touch with nature, they have an intuition of sorts, meaning that they know things about everything because the world around them tells them all they need to know. All the information they could ever ask for, about everything they could possibly want to know, is carried by the wind, the trees, the ground, the water. Earth fae are usually seers because of their gift.” Claude expanded further, telling us all about the other different types of fae. I was grateful that he was taking the time to keep us informed, with fairies being the natural enemies of vampires we knew little about them, yet because we had come out of the coffin so to speak they knew everything about us. Not that I was planning to go to war with the fairies, but it was always useful to know more about the species that you were suppose to hate.
“Water fae, well, they have the ability to manipulate the air and are more in tune with the phases, and the rising and setting, of the moon. Although most argue that the air is a sky fae trait, the water and sky fae have always been closely linked so in some sense they share traits. The water fae need the water to recharge their powers, but of course water is all around us so it isn’t difficult for them. Haven’t you two ever wondered why you’re the only vampires in existence to be able to fly?” Niall questioned, glancing between my Childe and myself. I felt it rather ironic that the water fae were in tune with the phases, and the rising and setting, of the moon. As a vampire the moon represented our ‘daytime’ and the moment it entered the sky we would wake, and the moment it would dip below the horizon we would sleep.
“I always assumed it was my vampire gift.” My Childe shrugged his shoulders, wrapping his arm around Sookie.
Shaking his head, Niall chuckled. “No, you’re vampire gift is your entrepreneurial skills, you’ve always been able to make money no matter where in the world you’ve been. People, both vampire and human alike, have always found themselves wanting to be around you, making your wallet that little bit thicker.”
“I’m sure it’s not my entrepreneurial skills that draws people to me.” My Childe flashed his signature smirk, flexing his muscles subtly. Pam’s smirk matched Eric’s and I could only shake my head at my progeny. I’d turned Eric during the prime of his life, when men and women alike were clamming for a piece of him. He’d always been confident and self-assured, knowing full well the effect his appearance had on others.
“Careful, or you’re head won’t fit through the door any more.” Sookie muttered under her breath, playfully punching Eric’s side. My Childe rumbled with laughter and I found myself smiling at the southern fae, she definitely knew my Childe well.
“And your vampire gift is empathy.” Niall’s eyes swung to me, and he offered me a small smile. “You’ve always been able to understand others emotions perfectly, and while in the past you use to play on them to your advantage it’s safe to say you’re using it in a more positive manner now. You allowed the human who betrayed your nest to walk away free from harm when others would have outright killed him. He deserved it, and yet you sympathised with him and felt his pain.” He explained, leaving me curious for a moment as to how he had known about Hugo’s betrayal and the fact that I had allowed him to walk away, even if I had banished him from my area. Looking down at Ata, she gently tapped her temple and it all clicked, Niall had been rummaging in my thoughts. It was strange to think that the secretive old man had been able to see everything I had ever done in my life.
“What about sparks? Ata told me I had an essential spark, do Eric and Godric have them too?” Sookie interrupted, asking another important question.
“Eric still has his spark, but his vampire nature has suppressed it. It’s why, now that you two are together, Eric is becoming more and more human. Your spark, Sookie, is encouraging Eric’s to show itself. With time Eric might even develop fae powers of his own, but that is something we will have to wait and see for. Although Eric lost his family he took over their crown and ruled fairly, while at war he and his men were equals. He knew he was going to die, and Godric gave him the choice to accept death or to accept a new life. Because he willing chose his new life he maintained his spark, and his spark gives him his jeux de vie, so to speak.” Niall addressed Sookie, obviously pleased to be delivering the good news to her. I, on the other hand, felt a sense of dread at his words. He had chosen to speak of Eric first and had stated that he still had his spark; he hadn’t included me in the first sentence.
Niall’s ancient eyes moved to meet my own and I could almost feel the sorrow pouring from them. “Unfortunately, your spark did not come with you completely into your new life, Godric. Your removal from your homeland and the suffering at the hands of your Master, coupled with your forced turning, eradicated the vast majority of the spark from within you. I had hoped, the moment I met you this evening, that it would be back in full force, but that is not the case.” There was no sarcasm in his voice, no faked emotions. The old man was saddened for me. Ata’s sorrow washed over me and I was struggling to keep a lid on my own emotions.
“It’s my fault, it’s my fault you lost your spark. I’m so sorry.” My Ata whispered sorrowfully from my side, her blue eyes turning to look up at me with unshed tears.
Reaching down, I brushed my fingertips across her cheek, pushing my love for her back through our bond as reassurance that it wasn’t her fault and that I didn’t blame her. Her father had been following orders; Ata and her mother had no clue that my Master had been a vampire. “This wasn’t your fault, my darling. If anything it is fates fault.” I reassured her gently, feeling a push of comfort through the bonds I shared with Eric and subsequently Pam. It was a strange sensation, to receive comfort from Pam, but I welcomed it in that moment.
“It’s why you felt compelled to meet the sun, Godric. Without your spark you became tired of life and, if I may make a guess here, you felt there was something miss.” Niall’s voice was soft once more. Refusing to remove my gaze from my loves, I gave a nod of confirmation at his guess and the old man carried on speaking to me. “Being reunited with Ata has stirred the small amount of spark left within you. As Sookie’s spark is nurturing Eric’s, Ata’s is nurturing yours. It’s a good thing Ata is older and more powerful than Sookie, as her spark is working harder to help yours along. It will be a slow and long process for your spark to gain any strength, but it’s there anyway and that’s all that really matters.”
Wanting to move the topic along, for fear I would throw an angry tantrum over my lack of spark, I focused on something Ata had told us earlier. “What’s the difference between a vampire bond, and a fairy bond?” I questioned, finally breaking eye contact with Ata to look at the two male fairies sat opposite us.
Claude shifted in his seat slightly, getting himself comfy. I had the distinct impression that Niall’s short and sweet visit was going to be anything but. “I’m just going to take Ata’s explanation to Sookie right out of her head for this. When a fae finds their mate it’s instantaneous. The moment a fae locks eyes with their mate their souls start the binding process and they’re pulled together. If it’s two fae, or a fae and a human who are in love, then when they consummate their marriage the binding is complete. With a vampire and a fae, it’s when the third vampire bond is complete, or so we all believe seeing as how relationships between a vampire and a fairy are rare. Once the souls are bound together then there’s no going back. You share a life force meaning that you can’t break apart. The fact you’re bound together stops you from getting bored with one another. It’s just like the vampire bond in that sense. Sometimes gifts are shared too. For example, a vampire once bonded thrice with a human and the human gained sharper senses and quicker speed. It was nothing compared to her vampires abilities but it’s still something.” Claude explained, and I could feel Ata’s small irritation that Claude had lifted her conversation with Sookie right out of her head and recycled her words, rather than phrasing them himself. Fairies were notoriously lazy in that sense, they snooped in people’s minds and took what they wanted, putting little effort into things they weren’t happy about. While this Claude hadn’t uttered a word against the relationship between Ata and I, and the relationship between Eric and Sookie, it was clear that he wasn’t 100% onboard with them either.
“So you’re saying that Eric and creampuff here started this fairy bond the first night she entered Fangtasia?” Pam quirked an eyebrow while jerking one of her thumbs in the direction of Sookie.
“Eric refers to you as min älskling, and I feel that I need a nickname for you. Creampuff suits you, so live with it.” My Childe’s progeny flipped her hair over her shoulder once more, offering Sookie a smile. Pam’s smiles were like the brand new mini coopers you could win on those $1 scratch cards they sold in the grocery stores – extremely rare.
Deciding it was best not to argue with Pam, Sookie gave up and simply settled for rolling her eyes, something I had noticed both she and Eric were doing a lot of recently. They were spending far too much time around Pam.
“Are we still part fae?” Eric addressed his question to Niall, completely disregarding the younger fae male who had been just as helpful as Niall.
“Given that you still have your sparks to some degree, yes you are.” He answered truthfully.
“Your old age must have made you senile, they were drained in order to be turned, therefore bye-bye fairy blood!” Pam waved a hand mockingly.
“So young, so naive.” Niall muttered with another of his indulgent smiles. “Not every drop of their fae blood was removed at the point of turning, so there was still some left, blending with the vampire blood to create hybrids of sorts.” He responded to Pam, before flipping his gaze to Eric.
“Although not a lot was left, it was enough to maintain your respective sparks to some degree, to stop you from loosing them completely. Even though over the years you’ve given blood to others or lost it during fights, your body has automatically made you more, including the fairy blood. It’s always been in your system, you just haven’t known about it.” Niall explained, moving his line of sight to myself before he looked back to Eric.
“When Godric turned you, he gave you a small tinge of his fairy blood, mixed with his vampire blood. It’s why the bond the pair of you share is so much stronger than that of usual Maker-Childe ties. You both carry vampire and fae blood, and in actuality you’re cousins.” Niall shrugged, his expressions informing us that he had only just realised of our human tie to one another.
Turning my head to look at my Childe, I captured Eric’s eyes. “You missed that connection out, when you turned me.” He murmured softly.
“Fader, broder, son, kusin.” I corrected my words from over 1000 years ago, earning myself a soft smile from my Childe, and a wave of love through our bond, which I happily returned, along with a smidgen of pride. His happy purr last night had reminded me of how vital it was to tell Eric how important he was to me, how proud I was of him and all of his achievements.
“I guess that makes me the only non-fairy in the room.” Niall washed Pam’s smug comment away only seconds later with his booming laughter, causing my Childe’s progeny to scowl in his direction.
“Dear child, you are amusing! You seem to be forgetting that you were drained down and fed Eric’s blood in order to turn you, just like Godric fed Eric his to turn him. There’s fae blood in your veins, mixed in with your vampire blood too.” His earlier smile and booming laughter morphed into a smirk as Pam’s face dropped, her eyes widening and her smugness vanishing.
“We always knew she was a fairy anyway, at least now she’s one in a literal sense, and not just metaphorically.” Ata spoke from her spot curled up against my side, under my arm. Everyone in the room, bar Pam, burst into laughter, including myself. During her human years Pam had loved men but, after her turning and her brief sexual relationship with Eric, she had decided that she preferred women. They could go longer without needing to be ‘tended to’ as Pam so eloquently put it and she stated there were less bodily fluids involved which pleased her no end. The irony of the fact that she actually lived off of one certain human bodily fluid was not lost on either Eric or myself.
Claude had a hand to his mouth, trying to hide his snigger, as Niall’s whole frame shook with laughter. “Ah Ata my dear, I have missed visiting you and I have missed having your company in Faery also. You manage to put everyone in their place.” Niall offered my beloved a warm and almost fatherly smile. His words then sunk in, Ata had spent some time in Faery? Hadn’t Eric stated something along the lines of Sookie going to Faery for what felt like fifteen minutes to her and was yet a whole year back on this world? How long had my Ata been away for, and why had she gone in the first place? I stored my questions away for later, along with the questions regarding Compton and his persuit of my beloved, knowing that right now they weren’t at the top of my priorities list.
“What is fascinating about this whole fairy blood thing though is how Ata’s blood, and Godric’s is actually in all of you.” Claude’s hand dropped from his mouth now that he had controlled his laughter. “I don’t know if you were all aware of the blood oath sworn between Godric and Ata when they were humans,” Claude started tentatively.
“You created a blood oath?” Pam asked in surprise, her eyes swinging to me. Unable to do anything but nod in confirmation, I offered her a shrug of my shoulders in a hope it would satisfy her until later on. I was mighty curious as to what the effects of both Ata’s and my blood in everyone would do.
Claude shifted his attention to us, offering Ata a familiar smile before he offered me one, though it was a little colder than the one had given my beloved. I could understand why though, he and I were strangers after all with Ata being our only connecting link. “When the two of you created your blood oath, your blood entered one another’s systems. Now it’s not a lot, just a couple of drops, but it makes all the difference. This is going to sound a little cliché but, when you were being drained in order to be turned, that little bit of Ata’s blood in your system sheltered itself within your heart, taking with it a reasonable amount of your human blood. Once your vampire blood was in place, Ata’s blood blended itself with yours, giving your system back some of your human blood too. It’s one of the reasons you were able to hear Ata’s anguished cries over the city the night her mother passed away, and why you felt the need to rush to her aid. Her blood in your system, and the small amount of your human blood, enabled you to overpower your Maker and end him.” Claude offered Ata a sympathetic smile. The moment her mothers passing had been mentioned I had felt the waves of sadness rolling off of her, so I had instantly pushed all my love for her through the bond, adding in a tinge of comfort and reassurance as I pulled her into my side. It amazed me how much Niall and Claude knew, how much they had gleamed from my mind in the short space of time they had been sat with us. I would need to discuss shields with Ata; I wasn’t particularly keen on any old fairy being able to access my mind whenever it suited them.
“When you turned Eric, you not only gave him your vampire blood but some of Ata’s fae blood too. So, in essence, Eric is the progeny of you both.” Claude’s gaze flickered to Eric, as did mine and Ata’s. “It’s why you have such a strong family tie. Didn’t you tell Sookie the other day, dear cousin, that you would like to think of Eric as your son as you can no longer have one of your own?”
“Claude!” Niall reprimanded the young fae male as Ata’s eyes snapped to her male cousin, narrowing at his tactless ramblings.
“Thanks for reminding me.” Ata hissed at the male, sinking further into my side. My love for Ata was bittersweet, we could be together for eternity, experience everything in the world together and there was no denying the love we shared and yet our love for one another was stopping Ata from having the one thing in the world she wanted more than anything – a child of her own. A child she had said she would want with me. I couldn’t give her that though, and being reminded of it saddened me.
The shifting of the sofa beneath me broke me out of my saddened state and I watched as my Eric, my coldhearted Childe, leant over Sookie slowly in order to reach Ata. Almost cautiously he rubbed a hand over her arm, dropping a kiss to the top of her head before offering her a small smile. Eric had neither verbally confirmed or denied wanting to be thought of as a son to Ata, but his actions spoke volumes; that he was willing to try and give it a go, for her. As Eric went to pull his hand away from her arm, Ata’s own hand shot out to grab it, giving it a gentle squeeze before she let him go.
During Eric and Ata’s little exchange, I had kept one eye on the two other women in the room. Sookie hadn’t seemed too bothered by the affectionate gestures, I guess after hearing my loves side of the story and her thoughts on the matter she was more than willing to accept little displays of affection between them. Pam on the other hand seemed mighty unimpressed. Once again she had one of her perfectly groomed eyebrows quirked upwards and although she was sat down she had even managed to place a hand on her hip. Her expression clearly read that she was unhappy with the new relationship. I couldn’t say I blamed her; her own human mother had never been there for her so she had never grown up with a motherly figure. With Eric as her Maker she’d had no influence from other females in her early vampire years either. The only kind of affection Pam showed to women was one that involved limited clothing and open legs.
With Eric settled back in his seat, Claude picked up the conversation, seeming to forget his little verbal fuck-up only minutes ago. “This also means that Ata’s blood is in Pam.” He dropped the proverbial bomb.
“I highly doubt I have any fae blood in me, especially Ata’s. Why aren’t I always high?” Pam demanded instantly, as if not believing that my beloved’s blood was inside her veins.
“Nice to know my blood is so unwanted.” Ata muttered under her breath, rearranging herself on the sofa. She now sat curled up against my side, her feet and ankles locked with her cousins and her arms wrapped around my middle. It was comfy and secure; I could keep hold of Ata this way and see her all the time. It would also stop her from lashing out at Pam if she continued to run her mouth.
“Pam meant no offence, she was just curious as to why she has no reaction to the blood. I think I’ve only ever had one reaction to Sookie’s blood, and that was after our first bonding.” Eric defused the situation, offering a piece of information in exchange to shift along the topic.
“The reason for that is because you already had fairy blood in your system, your blood was tinged with fae blood from both Godric and Ata and therefore you have some resistance to it. As Pam was made using your blood, which already included established fae blood, she too has a resistance to it. The one reaction you had was because Sookie’s blood grabbed your spark and yanked it out of hiding. As it was a willing mutual exchange your blood sought out Sookie’s spark too, thus giving you both your mutual high.” Niall picked up the slack, allowed Claude a moment to collect his thoughts and phrase his next comment.
“Sookie has taken Eric’s blood on occasion, meaning that she has also ingested Godric’s and Ata’s blood. Its created a strong family tie between you all. As Pam has given her blood to Eric in the past to help him heal, Sookie has taken in some of hers also. The five of you are bound together rather tightly, not just by DNA but by blood too.” Claude stated, his eyes flickering across all of us on the other side of the room to him. I couldn’t help but smile internally at the fact that my little family were bound so tightly by blood and, in the case of Eric and I along with Sookie and Ata, were bound by DNA too. I would never get to have a child that would grow in Ata’s womb, but knowing both of our blood was pulsing through Eric, Sookie and Pam’s veins would be enough for me. We were as much of a family as we could be.
“Throw into the mix the fact that Ata’s boys have been feeding from her over the years and your little family just doubled in size.” Niall’s eyes drifted to the bookcase, where five of Ata’s seven boys were upstairs training and reading.
“My boys have only taken my blood, not Godric’s.” Ata pulled herself out from under my arm, rearranging herself into a sitting rather than a slouching position.
“When you created your blood oath, a few drops of Godric’s blood entered your system too, and subsequently smidgens of it were passed on to your progenies. They have both of your blood in their veins.” Niall clarified.
I was stumped, for over 1000 years I had believed that Eric was my only progeny, when in actuality Ata’s boys were mine to some degree too.
“Are you saying that I have six brothers now?” Eric’s head tipped sideways as he asked Niall his question.
“Yes, which is rather amusing given your attachment to Egor and Agmund from your human years. You fought alongside one another like brothers, but now you really are, at least in a vampire sense.” Niall chuckled, and Eric broke out into a huge grin. While I had only ever had one progeny, in order to give him my full attention, it was reassuring to know that should something ever happen to me Eric would have other vampires as old as he, and even older, to turn to.
“Does this mean I get to call them my uncles?” A devious smirk crossed Pam’s lips at the new information. I could almost see the cogs turning in her head. Pam had always been one to use information to her advantage. She would store it in her ‘vault’ until a time when it was needed and then whip it out to blindside someone.
“You can try it, but need I remind you that they bite.” Ata turned her attention to Pam, pointing a finger in her direction.
A predatory smile passed over Pam’s lips as she lent towards Ata’s pointed finger. “As do I, fairy princess.” Her purr bounced from my eardrums and instinctively my arm tightened around Ata’s middle. Although Pam meant no harm the seduction in her voice had stirred a deep need inside of me to protect Ata.
Seemingly not minding my possessive display, Ata sank back into my side. “It would be prudent for the five of you to exchange blood, it would be a good idea to include Ata’s boys in the exchange too. I suggest a first level bond, how you want to go about it is up to you, but it will enable to all to feel one another’s emotions and locations, which will no doubt be invaluable in the coming month or so.” Niall suggested, Claude nodding beside him.
“You want me to be forced to feel petty human emotions all the damn time?” Pam protested, outraged at the idea.
“Hey, we’ll be forced to feel your cold-heartedness in return, it’s a two way street.” Ata sassed.
Pam opened her mouth to speak, but Eric cut her off. “Pamela, don’t make me command you.” His tone was stern and there was no room for argument.
“Eric! You wouldn’t!” Pam protested further, her jaw dropping open. The Maker’s card was something I had rarely pulled with Eric, and something Eric had rarely pulled with Pam. I’d chosen a loyal and obedient progeny and Eric had done the same, there had been little need for commands.
“It’s for the best if we all bond ourselves to one another, it could give us an advantage over Russell. He has no one to come to his aid should he be in pain. I staked Talbot, so we’d have the upper hand.” Eric pointed out. Pam’s mouth closed at his words as she mulled it over.
With a sigh she relented. “Fine. I’m not happy about it but if it means I’m still alive by the end of this whole ordeal I’ll do it.”
“Good girl.” Ata patronised her, earning herself a scowl.
“Great-granddaddy, can I ask you something?” Sookie broke up the impending tiff between Ata and Pam, accepting Niall as her relative. It was a huge step from the conversation she had held with him in Eric’s office, where she had almost been offended by the fact he was her true great-grandfather. With a nod Niall encouraged the young female fae to speak up. “Do you know what this tugging sensation in our chests is? I felt it the moment I entered Fangtasia for the first time. I don’t know when it started for everyone else but I’m guessing, as Eric asked me about it earlier, that they’ve felt it too.”
“As you know, you’re fae bond was started the moment you captured one another’s gaze, but your souls were one step ahead of you. They felt one another as you drew closer and started to tug, starting to bind themselves together, urging the pair of you to come together. When you were parted for the year you spent in Faery, Sookie, Eric experienced the tugging sensation because your souls were stretched, they were trying to rejoin with one another but couldn’t because of the vast distance. You didn’t experience the tugging because the magic in Faery soothed it, reassuring you that Eric was alive and okay.” Niall explained, his eyes shifting from Sookie to Eric.
Although curled up at his side, Sookie turned her head to look up at my Childe. “You felt the tugging sensation while I was gone?” she asked him quietly, her tone suggesting she was saddened by the knowledge.
“Yes, I blamed it on lack of blood consumption but obviously it was because I was missing you, min älskling.” He offered Sookie an affectionate smile.
“I don’t like that you were suffering because of me.” She whispered sadly, burying her nose in Eric’s side.
Leaning down, my Childe placed an affectionate kiss on the top of Sookie’s head. “I wasn’t suffering, min älskling, it was just a reminder that we are bound together incredibly tightly, and that is wonderful.” He soothed her gently, running one of his large hands over her arm in a tender gesture.
“I felt the tugging too, when I went to visit the elderly gentleman who gave me Ata’s scrapbook.” I omitted the information about her family crown, wanting to use to it to surprise my Ata when the moment was right. I directed the thought of the crown to Niall and Claude, putting up one of those shields that Sookie had spoken about in the direction of Ata, in a hope she wouldn’t see the image of her crown in my mind.
“You felt the tugging because the scrapbook contained pieces of Ata, her memories, her fingerprints. Her scent lingered on it. Your soul was trying to latch onto it. You felt the tugging upon entering Caesar’s Palace because your soul recognised that it was close to Ata’s and, like a little child, it was excited at the prospect of being reunited with her.” Niall answered my question as Claude offered me a knowing smile; obviously my little thought stunt had worked. Ata hadn’t mentioned anything, and I’d been monitoring our bond closely, so it was safe to assume she hadn’t witnessed the image of her crown in my mind.
“Two years ago I felt the tugging, it was around three hours before sunrise I think and I felt so unbelievably sick. Why was that?” Ata asked her grandfather and cousin, a frown set on her pretty features. I hadn’t given much thought to Ata’s tugging, nor her illness, but now that I was reminded of the time frame I was struck with a thought.
“It was my fault.” I whispered. Ata’s head whipped around so she could look at me and her frown had vanished. Instead she was shaking her head adamantly, pushing all of her love for me through our bond.
With a rueful nod of his head, Claude agreed. “I’m afraid, to some degree, it was.”
Ata turned to look at her cousin, a hard glint to her eyes. “No, Claude. It wasn’t.” she hissed from between clenched teeth.
“Do you remember the date you started to feel the tugging?” Claude asked, his tone flat so that he wouldn’t start an argument.
“Yeah, September 17th, what does that have to do with anything?” She asked, quirking one of her eyebrows. Scratching the back of her head, Ata tried to figure out why that was relevant to the current conversation. Of course I knew instantly why it was relevant.
“It was the morning I went to meet the sun. Three hours before sunrise here, is an hour before sunrise in Dallas, when I had decided finally what I was going to do.” I answered quietly before Claude or Niall could, dropping my gaze to Ata.
“Why would I feel the tugging the day you went to meet the sun?” She asked me quietly. I had no answer for her though so reluctantly I turned to Niall, feeling Ata’s eyes still on my face.
“Ata,” the old fairy spoke softly, gaining my beloved’s attention. “You felt the tugging and the sickness because your souls are bound together. Your soul was crying out for him not to meet the sun, begging him to stay alive. While Sookie’s words may have swayed Godric into staying, your soul would have also kept him in this world anyway. You passed out for three days as your body tried to recuperate. Although you only felt the inability to sleep and a dislike for food during the time, your body was exhausted from fighting. Fighting to keep Godric around.” He explained to both my beloved and I.
“The tugging continued until the moment your souls were reconnected when you met once again because your soul was working to keep him around, not wanting Godric to meet the sun. It was a homing device of sorts to, the closer you got to one another the stronger the tug was.” Claude added helpfully.
My foolish act of almost suicide had caused my love to be in pain, she’d been in pain for over two years. Pulling Ata close to my side, I dropped a kiss to her temple. “Ana asefa” I whispered my apology in Arabic, knowing it was the closest language still around today to my beloved’s Ancient Egyptian.
Looking up at me, Ata shook her head, brushing off my apology. “Ne vous blâmez pas.” She whispered back to me in French, the closest thing she knew to my long extinct Gaulish, as she raised a hand to brush it across my cheek in a soothing gesture. I couldn’t help but lean into her touch.
“You said one of the sons would rule in this world, and the other in Faery. Do you know which way round it’ll be?” Sookie asked Niall and Claude, causing Ata and I to break away from our little moment.
“No I’m afraid not dear one. There is one who knows, but she is refusing to say anything. She believes that should we know we might do things differently, we might not follow the paths that have been given to us, thus changing the future and adding uncertainty into the mix.” Niall sighed, shaking his head. Clearly he was use to having all the pieces of the puzzle and yet here he was a few pieces short of the complete jigsaw.
We all fell into silence for a moment to sort out our thoughts. It was a lot to take in, even for someone my age. My whole heritage had been blown out of the water, as had Eric’s. We were more tightly bound than we had believed, and we both had a huge family now, something we had both lost at young ages during our human years.
“I have a few messages from your mother and father, Ata.” Niall murmured softly.
Instantly Ata’s head snapped upwards, eyes wide and lips parted. “Mut and Itf?” Ata whispered quietly. “How, where are they? How are they?” she asked gently, leaning forward in her seat towards Niall.
“I went to the Summerlands for my yearly visit to Einin. I came across your mother and father before I left. They’re very happy, Ata. They’ve been watching over you over the years, they told me they’re proud of you. Both of you.” Niall’s gaze drifted to me. A tightening sensation worked its way into my chest, why would Cleopatra and Julius be proud of me? Cleopatra had always been kind to me, so I could see a reason for her affections, but Julius had despised me. He’d hated that I’d captured his daughters attention, that I’d stopped her from willingly marrying a wealthy powerful man.
A choked sob left my beloved as she clamped a hand over her mouth, tears welling up in her eyes. Sookie placed her hand on Ata’s arm, rubbing it soothingly, while Eric was rubbing her knee that was closest to him and, I was surprised to find, that Pam was looking on with something akin to concern.
“They asked me to pass along some proverbs from your time, they said they would be a guidance for you. They told me they wished they could help you more, but there was little they could do in their current situation.” Niall continued on gently, offering a hand out to Ata who instantly took it, squeezing it tightly. Wrapping my arm around her waist, I nuzzled the side of her face, letting my Ata know I cared. After 2000 years of silence from her parents, it had obviously been a shock to hear from them after so long, especially now that there seemed to be others out after us all.
With a nod, Ata encouraged Niall to convey the proverbs.
“For every joy there is a price to be paid.” He stated, pausing for a second before continuing. I found myself looking to Pam, silently asking if she was storing these proverbs away in her fault for later. Looking to me, she gave me a nod of assurance.
“If one tries to navigate unknown waters one runs the risk of shipwreck.” Another pause.
“And finally, the key to solving problems is the problem of consciousness.” Niall reiterated the three proverbs and I found myself stumped with them. None made sense to me, but then again I had never known how Cleopatra’s nor Julius’s minds worked. Ata had grown up with them, she shared their DNA, they would hopefully make more sense to her.
“But, they make no sense.” Ata finally spoke up, having taken a moment to analyse her parents’ words.
“They told me you would say something along those lines, so they told me to tell you that the answer will come to you when you all put your heads together.” Niall gave an affectionate smile, giving Ata’s hand one more squeeze before rising to his feet, Claude hot on his heels. “We must be going, we’ve been here longer than we anticipated, and I can sense a vampire coming up in the elevator.” Ata and Sookie rose to their feet, embracing both males before wishing them farewell. Both males poised themselves to pop out of the room, but Niall paused, “Oh and one more thing, Ata,” my beloved looked to her grandfather. “Your parents told me to tell you that everything happens for a reason, that there’s always a bigger picture. They also told me to tell you, ‘Te amamus, angela nostra parvula'” he offered Ata a smile as the tears started to flow freely down her cheeks. I found myself up on my feet seconds after her first tear fell, pulling her into my embrace. I may not have been taught the language from the moment I had been born, but I was well aware of the meaning of her parents’ Latin words.
With a nod Claude and Niall popped from the room, just as the elevator doors slid back and Isabel walked into the penthouse, followed closely behind by Egor and Agmund. They instantly took in the scene before them, the vampire males placing Isabel’s bags down on the carpet. “What’s happened?” the two male vampires demanded, vamping to Ata’s other side, both wrapping their arms around her the best they could considering I still had a tight hold on her. Knowing Ata would be okay for a moment, I untangled myself, letting her youngest boys embrace her. Sookie was locked in Isabel’s embrace as I approached them, and I couldn’t stop my smile. During her stay in Dallas Sookie had forged many friendships, but her connection with Isabel was rather impressive given the short amount of time they had known one another.
Isabel had felt responsible for Sookie’s kidnapping and her almost rape, she had taken a shining to the young fae female and had, in some sense, taken her under her wing. “Isabel.” I greeted with a smile as they ended their embrace. The moment her name was out of my mouth I was wrapped in her arms. I still found physical contact with anyone other than my Ata difficult, but I allowed my former nest mate to embrace me, knowing it was much needed. The last time she had seen me had been when I had handed her the reins, shortly after trying to end myself.
“It’s good to see you, Godric.” She pulled back from our embrace, offering me a smile.
“And you, Isabel. You of course remember Sookie and my Childe,” I gestured towards Eric, who was up on his feet too now, holding Sookie to him. “And this is his own Childe, Pamela.’ I introduced them, gesturing to Pam who had wiped her previous concern for Ata from her features, instead giving Isabel a small nod of acknowledgement.
“And this,” I held a hand out behind me and, untangling herself from Egor and Agmund, Ata took it, allowing me to gently pull her forward as she wiped away her tears. “Is my Ata.” I introduced them.
“It’s lovely to meet you.” Ata 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 beloved, glancing in my direction with a chuckle.
Ata gave my hand a gentle squeeze, looking up at me with an affectionate smile. “He’s been as good as gold.” She whispered, never breaking eye contact with me.
“Ata, we’re ready for you and Sookie upstairs.” Oeri’s voice broke through the room, spooking me a little. I hadn’t heard him push aside the bookcase, nor had I heard him take the few steps into the room that he had taken.
Turning to look at her Childe, 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?” I offered. The thought of being apart from Ata was killing me but this process of opening up Sookie’s mind wouldn’t be painful for Ata, it would be for Sookie, and Sookie would need Eric there for her. I also knew that it would be a way to get Pam out of the penthouse and for us both to update Isabel on the current situation. Ata’s boys would be in the building to keep an eye on Ata while we were parted.
Seeming to mull it over for a moment, my beloved nodded in agreement. Up on her tiptoes she pressed a kiss to my cheek before reluctantly letting go of my 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, asking her to take care of me too. It was comical that she was asking two younger vampires to take care of me. I was over 2000 years old, I had protected myself from far worse than whatever a shopping mall could throw at me.
“Oh I’ll watch over granddaddy for you.” Pam teased me. Ignoring her jibe, I gave Ata a tender kiss, swiping my tongue across her lower lip, eliciting a low moan from her.
“Postea.” I promised in a whisper, letting her go. Pouting, my beloved took Sookie’s hand, leading Sookie and Eric to the bookcase before climbing the staircase to the second floor.
Turning my attention back to my company for the evening, I gestured to the elevator. “Shall we?”
I would allow myself to dwell on the evenings revelations later on while alone with Ata. I couldn’t deal with all of the new information right now.
Ana asefa (Arabic) = I’m sorry
Ne vous blâmez pas (French) = Do not blame yourself
Te amamus, angela nostra parvula (Latin) = We love you, our little angel
Postea (Latin) – Later