A/N I just want to spend a paragraph here addressing one review by a guest. Yes Sookie was ‘thrown under the rape bus’, but there’s a reason for that. I was trying to come up with ways to hurt the girls, something that would leave a mark for a long time, and I figured that anything physically done to them would heal with time. What leaves the most impact is something psychological. Rape, I believe, is the WORST thing one person can do to another, which is why I chose for Sookie to suffer in that way. Though it may seem at the moment like Ata is the ‘golden girl’ she’s going to suffer herself in this chapter. I’m keeping the suffering fairly equal between them so that they can relate to one another, confine in one another etc. Having them both suffer in the same chapter was no fun…I like to drag things out. I’m kinda sadistic that way. Soz. Perhaps the rape scene was expected, and tbh a lot of people thought it would happen, but I can’t help that ya’ll are too clever and figured it out! As for the whole ‘she’s fae, she’ll bounce back and get over it’ – I wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket if I were you. As I mentioned above, rape leaves the most impact on the person suffering and I intend to explore the hurt left behind in later chapters. Our girls will not simply bounce back, because out of all of the people I know who have been victims of rape, not one of them was completely and utterly fine again for a long time. I intend to keep their recovery realistic, and it will have an impact on the girls for the rest of their lives, as it does for those in the real world who have suffered in such a cruel manner.
I hope that clears up any of your queries etc. guest reviewer, but if you have any more questions then feel free to PM me or something and I’ll get back to ya.
Also, major thanks to Tessan91 for correcting my shoddy Swedish. I’m still learning, so I stumble over my words a lot!
Godric’s Maker is mentioned in this chapter, I stole one of the book characters and changed things up a little, so this is for you, dear bookies *MWAH*
Moving on, this is once again going to be a multi-POV chapter, and once again I’m chucking in a warning. Torture and a mention of rape will be in this chapter. Warning system will be the same as the last chapter for the rape, so if you can’t remember what the system was for that then click on back to the last chapter and read my top A/N 🙂
He made a big impression when he walked across the room
And I must make my confession, I might have spoke too soon
He’s a killer without a cause, the time is right, to settle scores
On the streets he lives again, down the alley and round the bend
On the beat beneath the light, an angel comes to claim the light
From the streets this rebel shall rise, his soul shall soar through the skies
~ Killer Without A Cause, Thin Lizzy
I’d been worried about Eric before Sookie had returned to him. He had been starting to fray at the edges without his bonded by his side. I was in a similar state of disarray, but after 2000 years I had a poker face that even Stu Ungar wouldn’t dare compete with. I’d given Sookie a vial of my blood, knowing it wasn’t as strong as it would have been should Ata have taken it directly from my body, but I hoped that it would be enough to tide my bonded over until I could get to her and save her from Felipe.
Eric’s little panic episode had been unlike anything I had ever witnessed before, and the only explanation I could come up with was that Sookie was in distress, that she was disorientated and the bond was calling out for Eric to rescue her. If it hadn’t been for Riei and Oeri, along with their quick thinking, I had no doubt in my mind that Eric would have done something utterly reckless and forced our hand. My dream-like state, frolicking in the sunshine with Eric, Sookie and my Ata, had done plenty to heal all four of us, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had been summoned to the dream for another reason entirely. Though it was within my right to question what was going on with mine and Eric’s bonded women, I knew that the girls wouldn’t give Eric and I a straight answer if we were to ask them about the current goings-on in the basement of Felipe’s mansion. Only time would tell.
Half an hour had passed since Eric had gone under the influence of the sedative that Riei and Oeri and administered. Jason and Hunter had rejoined us in the living room and thankfully Ari had been charitable enough to undo Eric’s earlier glamour, his age giving him the ability to do so. From the feelings crossing our bond earlier in the evening I knew Eric felt bad about glamouring his bonded’s brother. It was for the best though. I had seen first-hand that Jason was an honourable man, that his heart was in the right place, but he was easily influenced and not entirely all there. He was smart when it came down to it though.
I was left in the living room to take care of Hunter, Jason, and a still unconscious Eric. My other Children were out finishing up plans for the attack, contacting other allies or educating the younger vampires on how to fight. Isabel had left with Khai, and Pam was glued to Ari’s side. Bubba and Oscar had gone out to feed, their young age meaning that they required blood much more frequently than Eric and I did.
Hunter was perched on my lap while Jason sat at the other end of the sofa, channel hopping on the flat screen TV. The sound was turned down low, not because it bothered an unconscious Eric, who was sprawled out on the other sofa, but because my hearing was a lot more fine tuned than others. Humans always seemed to have their TV’s on ludicrously loud when there was no need for it.
“Uncle Godric,” Hunter started, moving until he was comfortable on my lap. I really had no problem with young humans, unlike some of my kind. “When we get momma and Auntie Ata back, can we go home please?” Hunter turned to me with wide eyes. Raising a hand, I ran it through his bangs, ruffling them.
“You miss Louisiana?” I questioned, sensing that Eric’s lack of movement was worrying the young boy. I would do anything to draw this conversation out. Hunter’s little nod only confirmed what I already knew. “You can go home with your momma and daddy when all of this is over, but I’m going to stay here with your Auntie Ata. This is her home and her business, so I’m sure she won’t leave it.” I informed Hunter, giving him some hope, some light at the end of the tunnel. If anything I felt in need of a holiday when all of this was said and done, and I hadn’t been on holiday in over 247 years.
“But then you won’t be home.” Hunter’s face scrunched up in concentration. “Won’t you miss home?” He asked, his features softening as his head tipped sideways in curiosity.
Giving the boy a gentle bounce on my knee, I shook my head. “Auntie Ata is my home.” I offered by way of explanation, but the frown on Hunter’s features told me that he didn’t entirely understand.
“A person can’t be home, silly.” A grin broke out on his features, as if he had outsmarted me. I would give him this little bit of happiness, and the thought that he had outsmarted a 2000-year-old vampire.
“One day you might change your mind, but alright.” I conceded. A low groan from the other sofa captured our attention and Hunter was off my lap before I could even reach out to restrain him.
“Daddy! You’re awake!” Hunter all but threw himself at Eric, just as my Childe was trying to haul his 6’4 frame up off of the sofa. With a thud Eric hit the sofa once again, a happy Hunter now straddling him before he nose-dived into the crook of Eric’s neck, hugging him tightly. The confusion that had flooded my bond with Eric only moments ago as he had awoken was replaced with contentment.
“Hello my son. I hope you were good while I was resting?” Eric rubbed one of his large hands across Hunter’s back, the contrast in their sizes almost comical. His other hand was holding the boy steady. Hunter nodded into the crook of his neck, refusing to let him go. Realising this, Eric took his feet off of the sofa, swinging them down onto the floor as he sat up, still cradling Hunter to him.
“Nice t’ have you back, man. Ya didn’t miss much. The others went to sort out the rest of the takeover.” Jason muted the television, giving Eric his full attention as he spoke. Eric offered the Stackhouse male a nod.
“Thank you for taking care of Hunter while we were planning.” He offered, even though he had glamoured the man into taking care of Hunter anyway.
“It’s no problem, I enjoy spendin’ time with the little guy.” Jason offered Hunter a smile, which he returned, having turned his head to look at Jason and I. He was still wrapped in Eric’s arms. It was strange for me to see my Childe cuddling a tiny human, to be concerned about their welfare. Sookie had certainly changed him for the better. He was no longer so cruel towards humans, treating them like a food source and nothing else. That had been my one major mistake. I had taught Eric that humans were beneath us, that they were nothing. I should have been teaching him to respect humans, because we had once been them.
I was just about to suggest that the humans present order dinner when Hunter suddenly went stiff in Eric’s arms, his head snapping towards the penthouse door, eyes wide. Eric let go of the boy, holding him out at arms length. “Hunter, speak to me.” He ordered in a gentle tone, pushing his worry aside. My Childe could feel the young humans emotions thanks to the weak connection that had been forged between them when Hunter had taken Eric’s blood in the bathroom. My Childe thought I hadn’t noticed, that his brothers hadn’t noticed either, but we had all heard their conversation, and smelt Eric’s blood in the air.
“Eight voids, I don’t know any of them, and there’s a ladies mind but it’s all cloudy. I think she’s chanting something. They’re all coming towards the elevator.” Hunter informed us in a whisper, the scent of his fear permeating the room. It didn’t take a genius to work out that the woman’s mind was clouded because she was under the influence of glamour, nor did it take a genius to work out that the only reason she would be under glamour was if the vampires wanted something with her. Russell had mentioned that he had Amelia, and a witch was the usual suspect when it came to chanting. I was up off the sofa in a flash, turning the TV off in the process. Eric was up the stairs to the panic room, using his vampire speed to secure Hunter.
I used my speed to stop Jason, and as he looked up to me in confusion at the sudden outburst of speed I quickly pulled him under my glamour. “You are going to stay in the panic room and take care of Hunter. You won’t do anything stupid or jeopardise your life or Hunter’s. You will only leave the room when one of the vampires who are a member of this nest comes to get you, and even then you will explain to them that staying in the panic room with Hunter is the best thing for you.” I reeled off the instructions. None of us could afford to worry about the Stackhouse male, but if something happened to him I could only imagine the fit that Sookie would throw. I could hear Eric reassuring Hunter from upstairs, telling him exactly what I had told Jason. The two males needed to be on the same page. Hauling Jason up, I vamped him up to the panic room, placing him down on the bed beside Hunter. Eric pressed a kiss to Hunter’s forehead before we left the room, the door swinging shut behind us and locking. No one would be able to get in. Jason and Hunter would only be able to let people in, and the monitors in the room would give them a live-feed from all the cameras in the penthouse so they could check who was home before they opened the door.
I’d smelt Eric’s blood in the panic room before he had left, and sparing a glance to my son I could see a small drop of his blood in the corner of his mouth. He had given Hunter his blood once again. While I believed the blood to still be sacred, Hunter was his son, and was in danger. I could understand his motives.
The pair of us vamped back to the living room, just as the sound of the elevator coming to life graced our eardrums. Eric and I took up defensive postures, fangs snapped down and hands clawed, ready to strike. Perhaps it was somewhat foolish of Eric and I to be out in the open, when we could be locked away in the panic room with Hunter and Jason, but I had a feeling that the vampires coming after us wouldn’t give up until we were captured, and though this would no doubt lead to Eric and I being in some form of pain, it would save the rest of the nest. The elevator dinged as it reached the penthouse, and as the doors slid open 4 blurs came speeding out. The vampiric vision I’d been given upon my turning enabled me to see the whole scene in slow motion, so it came as no surprise to me as two came towards me, their own posture matching mine – fangs down and hands clawed. The other two were aiming for Eric, and my Childe was quick to rip the head of one of the vampire clean from his shoulders, the body erupting in a pile of goo remains milliseconds later. Knowing my Childe was fine; I took care of the two coming for me. These vampires were younger, cockier, and I followed my Childe’s actions in decapitating one of my would-be kidnappers. The second vampire took a swipe at me, his nails clipping my face, opening a wound on my cheek. The smell of my blood permeated the air. Without giving it much thought I used my age to my advantage, grasping the younger vampire around the neck before I hoisted him clean up off the ground. With a flick of my wrist I snapped his neck, rendering him immobile for a moment. I took the opportunity to remove his head from his body, letting him disintegrate in my grip, his blood splattering my clothes.
Glancing to Eric I was proud to see that my Childe had killed his two attackers also, and was splattered in blood as well. “That was too easy.” He commented grimly, looking down at the four piles of goo slowly staining my beloved’s carpet.
“That was only four of them, Hunter said he felt eight voids in total. They were the warm-up.” I commented turning back to face the elevator as it dinged once more. This time though, when the doors slid open, two silver nets came flying out of guns that two other male vampires were wielding. Though Eric and I were quick, the fact they were shooting us with nets caused us to delay for a second, and that vital second proved our downfall. The heavy metal nets fell on both of us, the silver burning our skin, rendering us immobile. The pain felt like a thousand suns beating down on me and I hissed loudly, bearing my fangs at the vampire that had shot at me. Eric, being younger, felt the pain of the silver much more. Though he was older than most and therefore not as susceptible to the pain as a newborn would be, it still hurt him more than me. I could feel him trying to stop his pain from entering our bond, but with a little coaxing I felt him finally give in, letting me feel him as I let him feel me.
“Well, well. Two for the price of one.” Russell’s sneer filled the penthouse as he stepped out of the lift from behind his two lackeys’. Felipe followed him out, looking rather smug as he dragged a heavily glamoured Amelia with him. I would not rest until that smug smirk was wiped from his face. I would not rest until his head was clean off his shoulders. “Little Amelia here was so gracious. She told us all about the protection on this place, and was even kind enough to undo it all! Imagine my glee when I found out that she had been the one to place the protection spells on this building in the first place!” Russell clapped his hands together, as if he were a child in a candy store. I had to restrain myself from rolling my eyes.
“Though I must say that I am hurt that you would not share this information with your king.” Felipe added, tutting as he shook his head.
“You forget,” Eric rasped from under the silver net. “You’re not our king.” He pointed out. Felipe snarled in Eric’s direction, but my Childe’s point was still valid. Eric owed fealty to William Compton, though I had no idea how that imbecile had become king, and I owed fealty to no one as I had spent the past few years travelling.
“But my GrandChilde is your king, and therefore you will show me the respect you show him.” Felipe retorted, raising his nose into the air in a show of arrogance.
“I don’t show Compton any respect, so you’ve lucked out there.” My Childe chuckled. I wanted to smack him upside the head for prodding Felipe to the point where he might snap, but I couldn’t help but admire my Childe’s need to get under the petty vampire’s skin.
“This idle chit-chat is boring me. I have better things to do with my evening. Put them in the van.” Russell ordered his lackey’s, turning to head back into the elevator. Felipe followed him, dragging Amelia behind him. The poor girl looked so lost, and would more than likely not remember her part in all of this should she ever be released from the glamour. Eric and I were hauled up onto our feet, the silver nets tied around us by the two vampires who had shot us down. They were both wearing leather gloves so as to not come in contact with the burning metal.
“My Children, do NOT come back to the penthouse. Eric and I have been captured; we are being taken to Felipe’s mansion. Do NOT follow us. Stick with the plan. Hunter and Jason are locked in the panic room. Jason is under glamour. Protect them.” I threw out a quick mental warning, hoping one of my Children would hear me. My bond with Ari was suddenly flooded with concern and anger, but I soothed him as best I could just as Eric and I were forced into the back of a black van at the back of the hotel. The two vampires that had captured us were positioned in the back with us, and Eric and I both inhaled at the same time. There was a faint trace of both Sookie and Ata’s scents in the van. They had been kidnapped in this to.
There was silence in the back of the van while we were driven to Felipe’s mansion, but Eric and I never broke eye contact. We could have spoken to each another mentally, but the strong bond we shared was saying enough. The emotions ping-ponging between us gave us a good estimation of the others current mental state. Eric was worried inside, though giving off a calm demeanour to our captors. He was worried about Sookie more so than himself, and he was worried for me to. He was morbidly curious as to what was going to happen to us once we arrived at Felipe’s, but his most prominent emotion was his rage, concealed under his cool façade. He was stewing inside, ready to tear every vampire inside of Felipe’s home to shreds, starting with Russell himself.
The van rolled to a stop at our destination, and the words of the Ancient Pythoness flooded my mind for a moment, filling me with a quick sense of dread. In the house of royalty four will fight, yet only two will leave. I silently prayed that Ata would get out free, and so would Sookie. Though I would never wish the true death on my Childe I was aware of the fact that if Sookie didn’t make it out he would meet the sun the following morning. His love for her was that strong. I wasn’t cruel enough to wish my wife to not make it out either. If she escaped with Sookie then the two women would be able to console one another through the years, care for one another. Ari would take care of Pam for Eric, and my other Children would care for Ata and Sookie. It was the best possible outcome.
Eric and I were bundled out of the van, pulled into the lobby of Felipe’s mansion. Now that I was seeing it for myself, without all the fanciful decorations that he had strung up for his party, I couldn’t help but find the building distasteful. He’d tried to recreate my wife’s home and his attempt was terrible. He needed to fire whoever he’d hired to decorate. Russell stopped our group, turning with Felipe and Amelia to face us. “Now then Miss Carmichael, would you be a sweetheart and please tell me what magical charms you gave these two boys.” Russell questioned her, tipping her head so she was forced to look at him.
“Leather bracelet. Claw pendant.” She robotically answered him. Felipe gave a nod of his head and the two vampires that had kidnapped us snapped silver cuffs onto our wrists, removing the nets in the process. The burnt skin on my face and exposed arms started to heal, albeit slowly due to the silver around my wrists. Eric began the healing process also. The two vampires made light work of removing our protection charms, and the moment my leather bracelet left my wrist I couldn’t stop myself from snarling in Russell and Felipe’s direction. The warmth and sense of security my bracelet had offered me was no longer there, and I could tell Eric felt the same when he snarled at our two enemies also.
Our protective charms were mementos from our human lives, so they carried even more importance to us. Our belongings were deposited in an ornate silver bowl on an end table near the front door. The bowl was made of several segments, all in the shape of leaves, curved towards the tip, which faced upwards, creating an edge of spikes. The leaves were engraved with branches and other leaves. The piece had to be at least 300 years old. I would be taking the beautiful bowl with me when we all managed to get out of the mansion alive. Maybe I would get it melted down and turned into a crown for my beloved. It would be a reminder to all that our nest had overthrown a king and his entire bloodline.
“Now then, would you like to see your accommodation?” Felipe offered, shoving Amelia towards one of the other vampires, where she was led away into another part of the mansion. She would more than likely be dead by sunrise. I could only pray that Eric, Sookie, Ata and I lasted a little longer than that.
I was looking back on my life and all the things I’ve done to me
I’m still looking for the answers; I’m still searching for the key
The wreckage of my past keeps haunting me
It just won’t leave me alone, I still find it all a mystery
Could it be a dream?
The road to nowhere leads to me
Through all the happiness and sorrow, I guess I’d do it all again
Live for today and not tomorrow
It’s still the road that never ends
~ Road To Nowhere, Ozzy Osbourne
I’d killed him. I was sure I’d killed him. “Marc.” I whimpered, staring into the familiar, cold, determined eyes of the 6′ tall man, with his thickset neck and square-jawed, fleshy face. A grin broke out across his face, and in the moonlight spilling through the barred windows I could see the two sharp incisors protruding from his gums.
“Hello princess. You didn’t expect to see me again did you?” He taunted me, chuckling under his breath. Gulping, I tried to move away from him, but my restraints wouldn’t allow that. I could feel Sookie trying to push reassurance to me. The moment I had uttered Marc’s name Sookie’s emotions had skyrocketed, matching my own. She had controlled it now though. Even though he was an unknown vampire to her, she was far more relaxed around him than me. She had only witnesses his cruelty towards my brother and I that I had allowed her to see when we had shared blood. She hadn’t lived under the same roof as this monster; she hadn’t listened to his drunken ramblings, his curses and his slander.
“I killed you. I put a sword through your chest.” I murmured, feeling the sweat gathering on my brow. I’d killed him, left him dead when I had returned to my brother.
“You did. Don’t think I’ve forgiven you for that.” Marc mocked me, raising a hand to shake a finger at me tauntingly. “Luckily for me, my dear Maker, Russell, was stalking the outside of your mothers palace. I issued him an invite inside and in return for your mother’s empire he offered to turn me. I accepted and he went to kill your mother while you sat in your bedroom with that little brat you call a brother. Unfortunately we underestimated you. We thought you would leave, taking your brother with you. But you stayed and ruined everything.” Marc’s calm explanation ended with a snarl. Russell had turned the man who had stolen away my mother, the man who had abused my brother and I for years. Marc was Russell’s other Childe.
Marc started to wander around the table I was secured to, stopping me from taking Sookie’s hand for support. “The gift of immortality is a wonderful thing. I have kept to the shadows for 2000 years, not wanting the humans to know of my existence. Unfortunately your mothers need to have everything painted on those blasted palace walls, and to have everything carved in stone, meant that the humans had a rough idea of my appearance. Now that vampires are out of the coffin though I fully intend to let the humans know of my existence.” Marc paused mid-step, looking down at me with a look that I couldn’t quite decipher. “Maybe I’ll tell them about you too! I’m sure they’d love to know about the forgotten daughter of Egypt’s ‘last’ Pharaoh and Rome’s most brutal warrior.” Marc threatened.
Inside I was a mess. I’d rammed a sword through this mans heart, told my baby brother it was all over, and now 2000 years later he was back to kick my ass. I should have made sure he had no heartbeat. I should have stayed with his body until he took his last breath. I should have buried him myself and claimed that he had gone out hunting, and then he would have mysteriously never returned. “You abandoned my father in his time of need. He died because of you.” I pointed out. My voice was quite but I kept a steel edge to it. This man should have helped my father, they were family after all, but instead he ran. “You are nothing more than a coward.” I voiced my opinion.
Marc surprised me with his booming laughter. “And you are nothing more than a little girl. You played with politics, tried to win the crowds and government over with a flutter of your eyelashes and a flash of bosom in those ridiculous dresses your dear, dead mother commissioned for you. You played the game well 2000 years ago, but the world has changed. Politics is no place for a woman, especially one with a disability like yours.” Marc continued to walk around the table, stopping when he reached his initial spot at my side, looking down at me. “But hear me, little girl, I will not let you play this game any longer. You took my empire from me, everything I ever cared about, and now I’m going to take away everything that you care about. I think I’ll start with that slave boy of yours.” My head snapped sideways as Marc mentioned Godric, and I only just restrained my growl.
“Oh yes, Russell told me all about him. Incredible how he survived so long, killed his own Maker in the process too.” Marc’s eyes left mine, flitting to Sookie for a moment. “Or maybe I should start with your delectable companion?” He threatened, pushing himself off from my table, vamping to Sookie.
“NO!” I screamed as he lent over, as if to bite her. Sookie was shaking violently, her body covered in sweat, as I’m sure mine was as well. Her thoughts were chaotic. She had just been raped; she didn’t need to be drained down. She didn’t need any more abuse. “Whatever I have done to you, you will hurt me for. Leave. Her. Alone.” I ordered.
Marc stood tall, looking at me over the table Sookie was sprawled out on. “Now there’s the Pharaoh’s daughter. Tell me, do you speak to your Children in such a manner?” Marc moved to a table in the corner of the room. He returned with a strip of iron, holding it over Sookie’s exposed stomach. She was still bare from her abuse; only a scrap of fabric was left covering her breasts.
“I only speak to cowards in such a manner. They need putting in their place.” I gritted out. As soon as Marc had heard the chaos inside the Theatre of Pompey, where my father had been in session with his men, he had ran, leaving my father to die by the hand of Brutus. Now I wasn’t so sure if my father’s demise had been something Brutus had chosen to do, or had been glamoured to do by a greedy Russell.
“Well, it’s a good job you’re in your place then my dear.” Marc quipped just as he dropped the iron chain. It slammed down onto Sookie’s exposed stomach, burning her skin. The heavy weight of the iron weighed her down even further, and the thickness of the chain meant that it would be so much harder for her to recover her strength. Sookie’s scream rang out in the room and I fought against my restraints, praying for some slack in them. Tears were rolling down my cousin’s face.
“Leave her be! Harm me instead! You had no problem doing it all those years ago. Are you such a pussy now that you cannot hurt a woman whom you know will not take it laying down?” I shouted at him over Sookie’s whimpers. Marc was over me in a flash, one of his large hands wrapped around my throat. Though I had insulted Sookie, saying that she would roll over and take any pain dealt out to her when we both knew that was a lie, I had succeeded in taking his attention away from her. He needed to be focused on me. He needed to hurt me. Sookie couldn’t take any more. Marc’s face, a picture of anger and aggression, slowly morphed into something much worse. A grin broke out on his features, exposing his fangs.
“It looks like our other guests have arrived.” He commented, retaining his firm hold on me, as the basement door was opened. Sookie and I turned to look in the direction of the basement steps. We could hear four minds, and four sets of feet. Two of the minds were agonisingly familiar.
“No, no!” I struggled against Marc, who simply laughed as he held me down tighter. Sookie was struggling the best she could against her own chains, but the iron across her stomach restricted her movements considerably.
“Eric?” I heard Sookie croak as my bonded and son came into sight. Eric’s eyes snapped to Sookie the moment his name slipped from between her lips. With a flare of his nostrils and one look at Sookie’s nude form he easily determined what had happened to her in his absence. Though chained in silver, with Felipe’s hand on his shoulder, Eric mustered enough strength to throw Felipe’s hand off of him, vamping over to Sookie on the table. Though his hands were chained he grabbed at the iron across her stomach, pulling it free of her skin, only seconds before Eric went flying backwards, hitting the concrete wall of the basement. Russell had swapped places with Felipe, shoving my bonded towards my soon-to-be ex-monarch, before he vamped to Eric and backhanded him. Sookie cried out as Eric hit the wall, a deep ‘omph’ rushing out of his lips as he crumbled to the floor.
“Don’t be so foolish, Viking.” Russell taunted, hauling Eric up onto his feet before he was dragged back over to stand beside Godric, away from Sookie. My cousin and I turned our heads to look at our respective mates. There was no exchanging of words between us all, mentally or verbally. We all knew we were seriously fucked.
“Now then, ladies.” Russell turned to address Sookie and I, nodding at Marc. He released his hold on my throat and I sucked in as much air as possible. I was 100% positive a hand-shaped bruise would paint my neck purple within the hour.
“If you give us what we want, then I’m sure we can negotiate some kind of deal. Your precious partners wouldn’t walk away free, but we may be charitable and make their deaths quick.” Felipe picked up from where his Maker had left off.
“And what is it you want?” I wheezed, swallowing thickly. My throat was sore and dry from Marc’s rough handling.
“For the pair of you to willingly bond with us, renounce all ties with the Viking and the slave boy, and then live with us here as our own personal telepaths, and our food source.” Russell declared. “Mrs. Caesar-Nervii, you would of course return to your maiden name, but you would bond to Marc. You two do have some shared history after all.” Russell taunted, taking a step closer to my table as Marc took his place restraining Eric. He lifted his eyes to Sookie. “Miss Stackhouse, you would bond to William.”
“No!” Eric snarled from his position on the floor, having been forced to his knees. Godric was down on his knees beside him, but my bonded was holding his tongue.
“Ohhh it seems we have an objection!” Russell loudly proclaimed, throwing his arms out as he spun around on the spot to face my son and my husband. “Felipe, Marc, shall we show our guests how we deal with objections?” Russell tipped his head in the direction of another two tables in the basement. Using their speed, and the silver on our bonded’s to their advantage, Marc and Felipe soon had Eric and Godric strapped down to the other two tables. Silver chains held my husband and son down on their respective tables, and the groans of pain from them, plus the flashes of their hurt through the bonds I shared with them, made me wince for them. My family shouldn’t have to suffer. “Now then, who wants to go first?” Russell taunted, stalking to a low-slung bench on the far wall. The dim moonlight through the barred window made it difficult to see exactly what he was doing, but an unmistakable flash of a blade in the moonlight made my blood run cold.
“I’ll go first.” I volunteered quickly, sensing that my husband and son had just clocked on to the weapon in Russell’s hand. They both sharply turned their heads to me, shaking them the best they could. I could feel their panic that I was offering myself first. Sookie was trying to mentally berate me but I pulled my shields up, shutting her out.
Marc’s lip curled upwards into a sneer as Russell tutted, turning to face us all, the blade in his hand. “I know the rule is usually ladies first, but you and Miss Stackhouse are human, mostly. You are fragile. I’m talking about the vampires present, and isn’t it always courtesy for the eldest to go first hm?” Russell’s eyes darted to Godric and I was instantly filled with dread. I couldn’t stop myself from thrashing against the iron chains that had me pinned down. “Seeing as how Mr. Nervii is the second eldest in the room, after myself, he should get the pleasure of going first.” Russell gave me a fangy grin before he turned his attention to my bonded. With a flick of the wrist Russell held the blade out to Felipe, who spared no time in taking it from him.
My chains were constricting, seeping my power from me, and the thought of them harming my bonded, my husband, and me not being able to rescue him damn near broke my heart. “Hush my darling. I will be fine.” Godric’s calm voice wove its way into my mind. It was difficult to believe him when I could feel his current emotions. He was the picture of calm and collected on the outside, but inside he was worrying, panicking and strategising. I had no doubt in my mind that over the past 2000 years he had been hurt and tortured, he had been in his human life after all, but it didn’t make seeing it any easier.
“Fight back, please! Fight back!” I mentally begged him. I was met with my husband’s silence, but his love through our bond enveloped me in what felt like an embrace. I didn’t have time to mentally berate my husband any further before Felipe brought the blade down on my husbands’ body, cutting through both his shirt and his flesh, carving a line across his torso. A scream tore through the room and for a moment I didn’t recognise it as my own. Tugging my chains I tried to find some give in them, I tried to get to my husband’s side, muster up enough strength to blast Felipe away from him. Russell, Marc, Felipe, and Bill had done their best though, using heavy iron chains as if they knew I would try to fight against them. My bonded didn’t even flinch as the blade tore through him, but I could smell his blood as it pooled in the wound, seeping into the tattered edges of his shirt. I could smell the stench of burning flesh from the silver blade.
“It would seem the slave boy isn’t a screamer. I wonder if his progeny is.” Felipe paused, smirking down at my husband who didn’t even blink, maintaining eye contact the entire time. I could feel Godric’s pain in our bond; I could feel his anger at Felipe and the whole mess we were in. I got us into this mess. I stepped out of the elevator and took Sookie with me. I should have just stepped out alone and blasted all of the Were’s away. I should have told Hunter and Jason to live in the panic room until all of this was over. It was my entire fault.
Far across the night I can see a new horizon
It’s making my destiny but I think its coming back
Like the bad memories
Like the bad memories
Alone with pain, I don’t want to live with your memories
I am trying to find a way to freedom
But at the end of the day
There’s no escape so don’t tell me this is not a game
Alone with my pain, can’t you see that I am crying
Touch my light and you will see
Like the bad memories
~ Bad Memories, Dyslesia
The blade that tore through my torso hurt like hell and the silver left some residue behind, making it difficult for me to heal myself. My wife’s scream as I had been hurt had been worse than having my heart carved from my chest. The sound was filled with such pain and sorrow. I wouldn’t break though. I had been through worse at the hands of my Maker, and yet my beautiful wife had healed me then. She would heal me now. Eric’s emotions matched my own, but I could tell he feared Russell, feared the man who had slaughtered his entire family. I could also feel his need for revenge, his thirst for vengeance. Good. Revenge was motiving, and I knew my son well enough to know he would not stop until Russell was nothing more than a pile of goo on the floor, taking with him his entire bloodline.
“I would love to stay, but William and I have other matters to attend to. Marc, Felipe, I am leaving our guests in your hands.” Russell bowed out, disappearing back up the stairs to the main house. Coward.
Felipe approached my son, venom in his eyes. There was no reason for it to be there, Eric had never done anything personal to Felipe. Then again, Eric had entombed his Maker in cement for a year, letting him starve and wither away. Marc took up a position between Ata and Sookie’s tables, stopping them from reaching out to one another and holding hands for mutual support. “Will you scream for me, Northman?” Felipe hissed before he also brought the blade down on Eric, carving a line from his sternum to his belly button. Eric gritted his teeth, his jaw clenched and he refused to howl out at the pain. I had a feeling that Eric’s Viking heritage was coming in useful now. He was a warrior, a survivor at heart. “No scream from you either. How pitiful.” Felipe dropped his head, his lips inches from Eric’s ear. “I bet your mother screamed when Russell had her killed.”
I had to suppress my growl at the mention of my son’s human family and their untimely demise. Eric didn’t both to suppress his anger however, openly growling and snarling at the vampire towering over him. Felipe chuckled, relishing in Eric’s anger. I could feel my bond with Ata reverberating with her own anger, and from my bond with Sookie I could feel her sadness and her pain for Eric and his loss. Sookie’s tears gave the stale basement air a sweet yet salty taste.
Felipe straightened up, laughing to himself as he returned to me. “Tell me, how does it feel to be married to the daughter of the man who killed your father.” Felipe taunted, dragging the blade across my left arm. My skin sprang open under the blade, covering the silver in a thin sheen of my blood. I couldn’t withhold my hiss of pain, not only from the blade but also from the mention of my father. He had been an honourable man, a brave fighter, and he had wooed my mother the right way. He had taken care of her since they were children, and when the time had been right they had married and had me. My father had loved my mother and I dearly. I had no proof that Ata’s father had killed mine, which is why I hadn’t held it against her, or Julius. “How does it feel to carry the surname of the man who shipped your mother off to Rome, where she no doubt lived out the rest of her life as a whore?” Felipe continued to taunt me, dragging the silver blade across my body in several other places.
His mention of my mother made all the anger in me disappear and instead I felt this overwhelming sadness. I could remember the last time I had clapped eyes on her. The Roman army had pulled me from her, two big soldiers were dragged me away from her while two others were holding her in place. I could remember the dirt under my feet as I kicked and struggled, but it was futile. I could remember seeing her getting smaller and smaller as I was dragged away. I could remember the emerald green dress she’d been wearing and the little gold locket around her neck. My father had crafted it himself for her. I could remember how she had wept as we were parted, how she called out my name through the screams and yells of my people as they were pulled from their homes, thrown into cages on carts, raped and abused. I was thrown into another cart, filled with those who would be joining me in Egypt. I could remember the moment the horses started, pulling us in the direction of our new home. I never saw my mother again.
I could feel Ata pushing at our bond, trying to pry me from my thoughts, but the feel of the silver blade against my skin and the pain from my memories cancelled her out. Maybe her father had killed mine; maybe that was why Julius was being so kind to me now. Maybe that was why, when I had spoken to him alone and asked for his daughters hand in marriage, he had been so quick to grant it. I could be carrying the name of the man who murdered my father, the man who tore my family apart. Ata was nothing like him though. No. His blood was in her veins, and she carried his name. Her eyes matched his also. That was it though. She wasn’t a bloodthirsty or power hungry woman. She was nothing like him, right?
The pain from the silver blade stopped, snapping me out of my thoughts. I felt disorientated and a little weak from the blood loss, my previous thoughts still swimming around my head. I could feel Ata through our bond now, her worry and her fear. Lifting my head ever so slightly I was able to look down my body, ascertaining the damage done. Cuts littered my body, the worst of which ran from my sternum down to my left thigh, narrowly missing my groin, yet still managing to knick the deep V that occurred where my lower abs met with my hip flexor. Several others covered my arms, legs, torso and abdomen. In places I could see muscle. The cuts were deep and positioned in order to be difficult to heal. I would need serious amounts of blood to heal, and there was no way I was going to be getting that here.
“Marc.” Felipe barked, his older brother moving to take another blade from the low-slung bench, this time approaching Eric.
“NO! Leave him!” Sookie cried out, her tears having dried against her cheeks while I had been lost in my thoughts.
“Aw, your human has to stand up for you, Viking. How precious.” Marc sneered, ignoring Sookie’s pleas and cries for him to stop. Felipe grabbed my face, forcing my head sideways, demanding that I watch as Marc carved at my son, leaving cuts along his body that matched my own. Eric only cried out twice – once when the blade was dragged across his right pectoral muscle and once when he had a cut made across the thin skin under his right eye and down across his cheek.
The scent of my blood and Eric’s was heavy in the air, mixed with the tears of our bonded’s. I could feel how weak Eric was through our bond. The blood loss would drain us of our energy slowly and stop us from going to our day rest. Our bodies would not allow us to rest, believing that we were already weak and vulnerable. Our bodies would only allow us the relief of our day deaths when the silver was removed. Felipe and Marc threw their bloody blades down onto the low-slung bench, smirking over their shoulders in the direction of Ata and Sookie, who were holding hands with such force that I could see how white their knuckles were from my position on another table. Tears decorated their cheeks, their eyes hollow from lack of sleep and hurt. I could only imagine how Eric and I looked, especially to them. Sookie and Ata had never seen Eric and I this badly hurt.
I could smell the silver seconds before it came in contact with my wounds, and this time I couldn’t hold it back. I howled out at the pain as Marc rubbed silver powder into my cuts, protecting himself with thick leather gloves. It was bad enough that the small parts of silver that had flaked from the old blade were stopping me from healing; this powder would stop any chance of healing that I had. I struggled against the silver chains, only burning myself further. I had nowhere to go and the panic started to settle in. If Eric and I were so badly hurt that we were unable to move, which I assumed was the plan, what was going to happen to Ata and Sookie? Felipe proceeded to douse Eric’s wounds in silver powder, chuckling while my progeny and I cried out at the pain. Sookie and Ata’s screams blended with ours, and try as I might to close my bond with my wife I didn’t have the strength. She was taking as much pain as she could from me, but her pain threshold was much lower than mine.
“I would have thought you would have been accustomed to pain, Nervii. Didn’t Appius enjoy fulfilling his twisted fantasies with you, in more ways than one?” Marc pushed silver particles deeper into my wounds, blood oozing from the opening as he jammed his thick fingers into the cuts. The mention of my Maker had me thrashing against my chains, my fangs firmly in place as I snarled at the vampire leaning over me. “Yes, my Cleo had quite the vast array of pillow-talk. Amazing what she would talk about after a few good orgasms. Tell me, is her daughter the same?” Marc winked at me, egging me on. The mention of my beloved, especially at such a moment as her climax, had me seeing red. Whatever happened behind closed doors was between Ata and I, that information would never be shared with anyone. Ata’s embarrassment flooded our bond, both at such talk about her and the mention of her mothers’ sexual escapades. “I think she is.” Marc chuckled, placing the jar of silver powder down beside me. “What was it like, the crack of a whip across your ass, and then the welts that rendered you unable to sit for days? Do you remember when he used to overpower you, use his vampiric strength against you whenever he rose for the night?” Try as I might it was difficult to not let Marc’s words affect me. “Do you remember when he finally took you, when he defiled your little, virginal body?” Marc traced a finger lightly over the tattoo around my neck before his hand closed around my throat, squeezing tightly.
I didn’t want to give in, I didn’t want to cave, but his actions reminded me more and more of Appius and his sick desires. He’d pinned me down countless times and had his way with me, abused me with punches and smacks, whipped me whenever I had done something wrong. He’d even whipped me after he had forced himself on me, so that I would have to walk around all the time bearing his mark. I could remember the first night he had forced himself on me. A man had asked for Ata’s hand and I had cried out in protest, not wanting her to be tied to anyone other than me. Appius had dragged me home and had proceeded to beat me into submission before he had pinned me to the ground, holding my throat in the exact same manner Marc was now. He had forced himself on me, not preparing me for him. It had hurt, but I’d refused to cry. All I could think about while he’d defiled me was Ata, and how much I wanted to be with her. I’d wanted my first sexual encounter to be with her, but Appius had taken that from me the moment he had turned me and pinned me down, slowly squeezing the life out of me. It was at that point I’d realised he was a true monster, and not just a bad man. He’d fed from me to at that point, but had healed my wounds so as not to arouse suspicion. He’d glamoured that memory from me but the moment I was turned and I drove a stake through his heart I had been granted that memory back. I didn’t want it though. I didn’t want to remember his cold hands on me, or his fangs in me. Yes he had given me my immortality, and given me the chance to turn Eric and finally find my Ata once again, but he had destroyed my humanity.
“Stop! Please!” Ata’s begging made Marc release his hold on me, only for him to stalk towards her and raise his hand, striking her across her face.
“SILENCE! You will obey me, as you failed to do so when you were a child!” He demanded. Marc was sent flying back a few feet however when Felipe shoved him, coming between Marc and Ata. Though I hated the man with every fibre of my being, at least he was stopping Marc from striking her once again.
Felipe glared at his brother. “Do not mark her! Ata is mine!” He reminded Marc. I hated hearing that Ata was his. She was mine! She had my surname, my blood in her veins, and my essence inside of her from our past couplings!
As much as I wanted to think of my Ata, all I could think of was Appius and his torment, the years I had spent living under his roof and abiding by his rules. For the first time in a long time I was afraid of him, even though I had delivered the true death to him 2000 years ago. He had taken everything I had been and crushed it, forcing me to become a monster like he was. It was only when I found Eric that I tried to salvage some humanity. I had lived for 1000 years like a savage, angry at the world for my mistreatment, angry for the loss of my parents, angry for my separation from my beloved. I had channeled that anger the wrong way – I killed thousands, drained them and left their bodies behind for strangers or family to find. It didn’t matter if they were male or female, young or old. I took and I never gave back.
Karma was now rearing her ugly head.
I’ve never been the kind to ever let my feelings show
And I thought that bein’ strong meant never losin’ your self-control
But I’m just drunk enough to let go of my pain
To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain
From my eyes, tonight I wanna cry
Would it help if I turned a sad song on
“All By Myself” would sure hit me hard now that you’re gone
Or maybe unfold some old yellow lost love letters
It’s gonna hurt bad before it gets better
But I’ll never get over you by hidin’ this way
~ Tonight I Wanna Cry, Keith Urban
I could sense that Marc’s words were getting to Godric, that he was starting to relive those memories he had long ago suppressed. It was no surprise to me that he’d had a rough beginning, nor that he had spent 1000 years as a savage – after all, the night he had turned me he had been shirtless, the blood of my comrades dripping from his mouth. I could feel Ata’s struggle to soothe him, to send emotions to him that would calm him and ease his mind out of his memories. I could feel it was doing no good though; she couldn’t get through to him. I moved to the bond inside of me, focusing on Godric’s strand. I pushed my reassurance through it, but I didn’t feel it go through. Our bond was still there, I could still feel him, but I couldn’t get anything through to him. Scowling, I moved to get a better look at my Maker, but all that did was cause my silver chains to come into contact with some of my undamaged skin. Hissing at the pain I realised my noise brought me to the attention of Marc. I was already feeling weak from the blood loss. I’d withstand the next round of cuts, maybe even the silver particles, but anything else would do more damage than I could withstand unless I could get fresh blood in my system soon.
Having gotten over the shock of his brothers shove, Marc tossed the silver powder to Felipe who effortlessly caught it. The older of the two vampires took his place between Ata and Sookie, placing a hand on each of their metal tables. Though he uttered no words I knew it was a warning, and both women realised that to.
“So, Northman. Care to tell me why you buried my Maker in cement for a year, letting him wither away and almost meet the true death?” Felipe demanded the answer from me, unscrewing the cap from the bottle of silver powder. I internally cringed at the thought of having the silver powder on my skin. They said that honesty was the best policy, but in my 1000 years I had learnt that telling the truth usually meant more pain. This time however, I’d try telling Felipe the truth.
“He killed my human family. Death was too good for him.” I replied, not daring to shrug my shoulders, as I would have done after such a statement. I could do without the silver chains burning me any further.
“You buried him because you missed your family, who have been dead for 1000 years?” Felipe hissed, putting on the gloves Marc had been wearing earlier, before he tipped some of the silver powder onto his hand.
“Yes.” I admitted, looking at the vampire looming over me, daring him to say otherwise. The mention of burying Russell reminded me of the illusion I had seen of Godric, where he had seemed disappointed in me. Had I really seen him, or had he just been a figment of my imagination in my time of need? He was there when I had been burning in the sun beside Russell also, right before my Sookie had rescued me.
Felipe growled, exposing his fangs. “Well then, if death is too good for my Maker, then it’s too good for you also.” He informed me before he slammed his hand down on the cut across my torso from my sternum to my belly button. The silver powder he’d poured onto his hand tumbled into the cuts on my torso, the fine grain ensuring that it got into every little space available. My teeth sank into the inside of my cheek, and the taste of my own blood entered my mouth. I wouldn’t scream out though and give Felipe that satisfaction. “I will keep you only just alive if I have to, and soon you will be begging me for the true death.” Felipe made it sound like a promise, but I knew that my family would be coming for us soon. I’d closed down my bond with Pam, not wanting her to feel my pain. She would only be able to feel Ari strongly now, and I hoped he was taking care of her.
“If I recall my Maker’s tales over the years, and his mention of an adolescent Viking who tried to take him and his wolves on, then you had a baby sister.” Felipe stated. The mention of my little sister, who hadn’t even managed to make it fully through her first winter, had my eyes snapping into the younger vampires direction, a low growl reverberating from my chest. Eðla had been beautiful, looking exactly like our mother, Astrid. She would have been a heartbreaker; I would’ve been fighting off the young men and having to threaten them. No one would have been good enough for her. “I can’t imagine what it would be like to see your mother and father murdered, and for your younger sibling to be killed before they even had a chance at life. Maybe your sister would have been turned to; maybe I would have been able to train her to be my consort! She’d have been like my own little pet.” Felipe’s suggestion made my already cold blood turn to ice. My sister would NOT have been the consort of such a man! She would not have been anyone’s pet!
“She would have more than likely staked you and then taken the crown for herself.” I retorted, shaking my head. Although my sister had died young I had no illusion that she would have been as ambitious as our father, Ulfrik, and as beautiful as our mother. The moment she was born I had known she was going to do something great, and yet Russell took that from her.
“I find it quite amusing that your situation is similar to that of Miss Caesar’s. Her parents and her sibling were murdered.” Felipe pointed out, as if it had completely escaped my notice. I was aware that my situation matched Ata’s, and with her now as my supernatural mother it was an odd situation, but it didn’t change anything. If anything, it helped us understand one another more, and the need for vengeance.
“Mrs. Caesar-Nervii, for fucks sake.” I heard Ata growl out from her own table, and I couldn’t fight the slight quirk of my lips as she corrected Felipe for the umpteenth time. Felipe, not liking that he had been corrected, poured more of the silver powder onto his hand before he blew it out over my body, the particles floating down to land all over my body. This time I couldn’t stop my howl. It was as if millions of tiny needles were all jabbed into my body at the exact same time. It was difficult to give witty comebacks and sass Felipe when he was dusting me down with silver powder.
Through my bond with Godric I could feel him coming back to himself, trying to suppress his earlier memories. He wasn’t as strong as he had been before though. It was a well-known fact that the older the vampire, the less they liked to discuss their human years, especially if they had suffered in them. As a vampire we physically healed quickly, and our mentality had shifted from when we had been human so very little affected us. Of course, the mention of our human lives was usually still a bit of a sore spot.
Ata and Sookie had been forced to watch the abuse that Felipe and Marc had given us, both physically and mentally. I could feel Sookie’s fear, and it cut through me even more than the blade that Felipe had used on my body. I didn’t want my bonded to be upset, but I could do nothing to help her. I didn’t have the strength in me to send any reassurance to her. I was struggling to reassure myself, let alone anyone else. After rubbing silver into a few more of my cuts, Felipe left me alone, taking the silver powder with him. Turning to look at Godric, we caught one another’s eyes, and for a moment I had a brief second of peace, thinking we were going to be left alone. I was wrong.
Marc and Felipe returned, each of them dragging a hip height IV bag stand behind them, an empty bag on each stand and a tube with a needle on the end was coming from each bag. My wide eyes moved to Godric’s, and neither of us had any illusion as to what was going to happen. It was ridiculously obvious, and a very old torture trick for vampires. Our blood was the only thing keeping us animated, without it we were simply corpses. Felipe approached me, while Marc took Godric, and we had no chance to move before the needles were being jabbed into the inside of our elbows. The low height of the bags meant that our blood was flowing downwards, draining us down further. Godric and I had little blood left anyway, and I could feel my vampiric nature chomping at the bit for blood, wanting to replenish what was being lost. Of course it didn’t help that the only relatively human blood supply in the room was from Sookie and Ata. I would have to find myself some donor blood or Tru Blood before I went anywhere near them.
A glint of steel, a flash of light
You know you’re not going home tonight
Be it Jack or switch, Doctor’s or mind
Nowhere to run, everywhere you’ll find
You can’t escape from the bed you’ve made
When your time has come, you’ll accept the blade.
You’re cornered in the alley way, you know you’re all alone
You know it’s gonna end this way, the chill goes to the bone
Now here it comes, that glistening light, it goes into your side
The blackness comes tonight’s the night
The blade is gonna ride
~ Under The Blade, Twisted Sister
I felt a mess, I felt exposed and vulnerable, and seeing Eric hurt did nothing to make me feel any better. I could feel very little coming from my bond with him, he was stopping me from feeling his pain, but he was forgetting that I could mentally hear him and that I had spent so much time in his company that I could read his body language like a book. He was usually so good at keeping his body language in check, making it match his words, but I could tell he was in too much pain and far too weak to even attempt that. I wanted nothing more than to get up off of the table, batter Felipe and Marc until they were piles of goo and then run off with Eric, Godric, and Ata, so that we could all heal. Marc stood between Ata and I, stopping us from holding hands and sharing our strength.
When Godric was being tortured I could see Ata’s strength waning, I could feel her on the edge of breaking down into hysteria. At the time I hadn’t understood her reaction, but the moment the other vampires turned their attention to Eric I could understand perfectly. They could do whatever they wanted to me, as Bill already had done, but I didn’t want anyone hurting my Eric. He was supposed to be stronger, faster, better, and yet he was hurting just like I was. It brought home the hard truth that even though he was a vampire, he could still feel pain like any human. We needed to stick together as a group of four, we needed to work together in order to get out of this place and return home. I needed Louisiana right now. I needed the solitude of my home and I needed the balmy nights with the blazing sunshine of the day.
Ata’s head tipped sideways, and I watched as she caught Godric’s gaze. Through my bonds with them I could feel them slowly supporting one another, sharing the pain they were both feeling between them, so that one wasn’t suffering more than the other. Though I couldn’t get eye contact with Eric I prodded our bond, easing it open. Eric’s reluctance shone through – he didn’t want me to feel his pain. I wouldn’t let him get away with it though. I started to pull the pain from him, hoping it might let him heal. Under the pain though I could detect his hunger, and it worried me. Eric had once called me sunshine in a pretty blonde bottle, and I hoped he didn’t wish to open up said blonde bottle any time soon.
I was aware of Marc moving and Felipe took his place, looking at Ata like she was a tropical pool of thirst quenching water in the middle of the Nevada desert. In a fluid motion he removed a blade from his pocket, weighing it in his hand as he stopped beside her. Breaking her gaze from Godric, Ata turned to look at the monarch, gulping as she took in the blade. I frowned, unsure why he would be brandishing a silver blade around her. The moment he brought it down on her skin though I knew it wasn’t silver. Ata’s scream echoed around the basement and she thrashed on the table, only causing the blade to dig deeper into her flesh. With their bond open, Godric howled along with her, snarling and snapping at Marc who watched on in smug satisfaction.
“I was not allowed to harm her and yet you are, brother?” Marc questioned over the noise of Ata’s whimpers. Marc quirked an eyebrow as he folded his arms over his chest, watching his brother carve away at my cousin.
“Of course, she is mine after all.” Felipe stated, removing the blade from Ata’s skin. My cousin sagged in relief as the blade left her body, and the mark Felipe had made was now visible. A small F was etched into the skin on her hip. His torment continued for what felt like hours, as he carved his way through her body. Eventually he gave up. Godric and Eric had both filled their blood bags halfway and were looking considerably paler than usual. Eric’s hunger was almost consuming him and I slowly closed down our bond. If he couldn’t feel me then I wouldn’t be one of his victims, he wouldn’t think my blood was his to take.
Ata was exhausted to, from the blood loss and the feeling of Godric’s tiredness. It had taken both Marc and Felipe to turn her over, showing the vast expanse of her unmarred back. Felipe set to work on her back, carving away as he went. Although I didn’t have vampiric senses of smell I could still smell Ata’s blood, and if I could smell it then so could Eric and Godric. With their blood loss, and the scent of Ata’s blood in the air, our bonded’s were thrashing on the table, fangs down, snarling in Ata’s direction. I could see the hunger in Eric’s eyes, and it frightened me. I had never been scared of Eric before, considering I had even gone so far as to smack him before, but now I was truly terrified of him.
Ata’s screams and cries had died down, and I could feel that she was on the brink of consciousness. I wished I had the ability to pull her into a meditative state, filled with sunshine and happiness, just like she’d done for me. As Felipe’s blade met her back once more, something snapped in Ata, and her scream damn near deafened me. She went to move her legs but I watched as she struggled to move them. The panic building up inside her was immense, and I tried to smother it with as much reassurance as possible, but it was no use. The only explanation I could make was that Felipe had nicked a nerve in her back, and my high school biology class had me selecting the sciatic nerve as the one that was damaged. Miss Dawkins had said that the sciatic nerve could lead to pain in the lower back, buttock, thigh and calf. She’d even said that sometimes the pain was so great that the sufferer couldn’t feel their legs and had trouble walking. I’d never experienced a damaged nerve before, nor had I ever seen the effects of one first hand, but I was experiencing a lot of firsts in Nevada.
Felipe nodded towards Marc subtly, and he vamped from the room, heading up into the main house. Ata let out a sigh of relief, as did I, but I could tell that Eric and Godric were not quite convinced. They were right.
‘Cause I’m losing my sight, losing my mind, wish somebody would tell me I’m fine
Losing my sight, losing my mind, wish somebody would tell me I’m fine
I never realised I was spread too thin ’til it was too late and I was empty within
Hungry, feeding on chaos and living in sin, downward spiral, where do I begin?
It all started when I lost my mother, no love for myself and no love for another
Searching to find a love upon a higher level
Finding nothing but questions and devils
~ Last Resort, Papa Roach
I’d been subject to a lot of torture over the years; it was part of the job really. My sons had suffered with me on many occasions, taking some of my torture so that I wouldn’t be hurt too badly. This time though 6/7 of my sons were nowhere near me, and my bonded and newest son were strapped down on metal tables, drained down, hunger in their eyes, silver coursing through their veins. I needed vampire blood, and soon. It was a struggle to keep my eyes open but I forced myself to stay conscious. If I fell unconscious then I would have no idea what Felipe or Marc was doing to me. This way ensured that I could keep an eye on them.
The moment one of my nerves had been nicked I knew I was fucked. The pain was immense but I let it fuel my anger towards the two men torturing me. I couldn’t move my legs very much, and I guessed that it was to stop me running away.
When Marc left the room I breathed a sigh of relief. My torture was almost over, and I’d be able to focus on healing. My sons back home would be able to send me their strength when I opened our bonds back up. I’d closed them while Felipe had been carving into me, not wanting any of my family to feel my pain and come rushing to my aid, doing something stupid in the process. Unfortunately I was unable to keep my bond with Godric closed, so my poor husband was being subjected to all of my hurt, his own hurt, and his immense hunger.
My relief was short lived. Marc returned holding a branding iron, glowing red from its time in a fire. “NO, NO, NO!” I screamed, trying my hardest to thrash out of Felipe’s hold as Marc approached. It was futile though, my nicked nerve making my legs all but useless. The brand itself didn’t worry me immediately, vampire blood would heal it, but the fact the tool was made of iron had me worried. The iron would slow down the healing process, even with vampire blood. It might not even heal completely. As that thought sank in my eyes widened. I didn’t want a mark on my body and I didn’t want a brand. Brands were symbols of ownership, and I wasn’t anybody’s but my husbands.
With sneers on their faces, Marc handed the rod to Felipe, and using his vampire speed he forced it against my left shoulder blade, Marc’s cold hands holding me down with a vice like grip. The heat was scorching and I could feel my flesh giving away underneath the metal. The addition of the iron made the pain unbearable. A high-pitched scream filled the basement and it was only when it died down did I realise that it had come from my own mouth. Godric thrashed on the table, pupils dilated, fangs extended, snarling in my direction. I prayed he wasn’t snarling at me, but I was too busy crying as the branding iron was taken away from my skin. My flesh was stuck to the iron, which was now starting to cool. I could feel blood on my shoulder blade, and I could feel the indentations from the brand. Just before it had come down on my skin I had managed to get a look at it. The brand was key shaped, curved at the top and adorned with bat wings, mocking the vampire myth, and if it weren’t for the fact it had just been seared into my skin for what could end up being the rest of eternity I would have found it beautiful.
“Now you’re marked as mine. My bloodlines symbol is a key.” Felipe grabbed my chin, yanking my head up so I was forced to look into his cold eyes. “A key because our power opens many doors.” He explained, but I was too busy thinking about my bonded. His threat was there though – if I tried to escape, he would use every resource at his disposal to find me.
My brand was on the other side to Godric’s, and now I could understand how he felt when his Maker had branded him. I’d always been top dog; I’d always had the ability to fight back whenever anyone had cornered me. My sons had always been there to help me also if I ran into trouble that I couldn’t handle, or I could have simply popped away. Felipe had made it obvious though that right now he was more powerful than me. I was nothing more than cattle, branded with Felipe’s family mark. I was an object now, something he would be able to show off to the rest of the vampire world. No vampire would touch me now that Felipe’s mark was branded onto my shoulder blade. Vampires were possessive by nature, and no vampire wanted another’s sloppy seconds. They were too proud for that. I would be stuck with Felipe. Forever.
I wanted to shower, wanted to drown myself in an ocean of bleach. I couldn’t be Felipe’s. I wouldn’t be. There was only one vampire I wanted to be with, one vampire I wanted to belong to, and now he would no doubt no longer want me, what with me carrying the mark of another. It had been so long since vampires had marked their pets, usually fang marks were the main way of claiming a pet, but back in the 17th and 18th centuries branding had been the way. Many men and women had walked down the streets carrying the brand of the vampires they belonged to. At the time they assumed they were tattoos, having been glamoured, but those privy to the supernatural world knew otherwise. The supernatural community wouldn’t touch a branded pet. Bloodline symbols were well known. My own bloodline carried that of the sun, blended in with the stars and the moon. There was one star for each of my sons, though I would have to be adding an extra two for Eric and Oscar soon. My symbol was the fae and the vampires combined.
I could feel Godric’s anger through our bond, and I whimpered under the intensity of it. I refused to meet his gaze though, even though I could feel our bond demanding it. I didn’t want to feel his disapproval, or his pity. I didn’t want to see the anger in his eyes, the annoyance, and the hatred. I was marked by another, claimed by another, and I had no doubt that Godric would no longer care for me, maybe he wouldn’t love me any more. I couldn’t live with that.
Won’t you take me home? I’ve been standing too close to the edge
Take me home. I’ve been standing too close to the edge
Calming down, I lost the fight.
And I can’t make it out here on my own so take me home.
I’ve been standing to close to the edge
Wrote you a letter, I never sent it, it doesn’t matter now.
All my intentions went out the window don’t let me hit the ground.
Can you hear my voice, calling out your name? I know that I let you down.
Sometimes I’m on a run. What have I become?
That’s enough, I’m tappin’ out.
~Take Me Home, Boys Like Girls
I could feel how tired and weak my bonded was, but the hunger that was trying to consume me was making it difficult for me to send her any support or reassurance. The draining down of my blood was making it hard to focus, but I grasped onto my bond with my wife, trying to lose myself in it, trying to use it to soothe my hunger. It didn’t help though. I was craving blood now, in need of it like a newborn vampire on their first night. I could do nothing but watch in horror as my wife was marked with Felipe’s symbol. I wanted to rip him apart, tear him limb from limb and feed him to the gators that resided at my Childe’s gator farm in the bayous back in Louisiana. I wanted to rip his fangs out and make them into earrings for my beloved. I wanted to hurt him, to maim and kill. I could feel her desolation through our bond; I could feel her hurt and her worry. I tried using the bond to get Ata to look at me, but she resisted it, she fought against it. Her shame was like a bucket of cold water over me. My hunger was still there, eating away at me and clouding my judgment, but it didn’t stop me from figuring out that my wife thought I would no longer love her because of the mark she now carried. If anything it made me love her more. Just because she now had a brand didn’t mean I would stop loving her. I had a brand, and it had done nothing but make her love me more, it had made her want to protect me and care for me. I would return that favour once we were out of here. I wouldn’t let her down again.
I could still feel Eric’s love for Sookie, even though Compton had defiled her. He still loved her regardless. I still loved my Ata, even though Felipe had abused her and branded her. Though my wife wouldn’t meet my gaze I could see the sorrow and desolation on her face, and it was reinforced with the feelings coming through our bond. It damn near broke my heart. My wife should never have to feel like that.
Unfortunately the branding iron was thrown onto the table next to me, and I could smell Ata’s flesh and blood on it. Her blood hit my nostrils and it was intoxicating. Her pain meant she was unable to suppress her blood toxicity. The scent of it was incredible. Turning my head towards the iron, I tried to flick my tongue out to capture a small drop of her blood, but I couldn’t reach. Growling, I tugged on the silver chains, further burning my flesh. I didn’t care though. I wanted her blood. I needed it.
Dream of demons while you sleep that make you stutter when you speak.
Speak now or forever hold your peace in pieces.
Now that I’m grown I’ve seen marriages fall to pieces.
Now that I’m grown I’ve seen friendships fall to pieces.
Weekend warriors and our best friends.
The writers weren’t kidding about how all good things must end.
Then again some things, then again some things are far too good,
Some things are far too good to go ahead and let go.
~ Down and Out, The Academy Is…
Though Bill had hurt me, and made my childhood nightmares come true, I was worried for my cousin. She was strong yes, probably stronger than me, but I could see that the brand on her shoulder had affected her. It had affected her more than I thought it would have. I understood how she felt about Godric’s brand, so it was no surprise to me that being branded herself had some mental repercussions. Marc approached Eric and Godric, and I shouted out, hoping to distract him. I didn’t want him harming my bonded or Godric. Marc ignored me though and Felipe started to move towards the basement. Were we finally being left alone?
I allowed myself a seconds relief, but my relief was soon over as Marc started to unchain Eric and Godric. I’d been able to feel Eric’s hunger getting more and more prominent as the night went on. If he was unchained now, there was no telling what he would do…
Eric and Godric were slow due to their blood loss, but as Marc finished unchaining them he moved towards the basement stairs. “Sunrise in 20 minutes. Enjoy.” He commented, disappearing up the stairs before I heard numerous bolts and locks go. Ata and I were locked in the basement, chained down by iron, while Godric and Eric were free to roam, and both were starving. The silver in their bodies would slow down their healing, and they’d need good quality blood to heal. Ata and I happened to have good quality blood in our veins.
The possibility of what was about to happen caused me to swallow thickly, and Ata and I turned to look at one another briefly before we glanced to our respective bonded’s. Godric and Eric were both still conscious, and both of them started to move on the tables, nostrils flaring as they took in the scent of my blood, and that of Ata’s.
“GODRIC! NO!” Ata screamed at her husband as he got up from the table and started towards her. My cousin was thrashing on the table, and I could feel her frantically pounding their bond, hoping it would snap him out of it.
I turned my attention to Eric, who was up and stalking towards me. Hundreds of cuts littered his body and I could see his struggle to heal. Looking up I caught his eyes, and the usually beautiful, bright blue was replaced with an almost midnight black colour. I attacked our bond, hoping that maybe Eric would respond better given how long we had been bonded for, but it was no use. There was no trace of the man I loved there anymore and I could feel the tears streaming down my cheeks. “Eric, please! No!” I begged. He paused for a second, tipping his head to the side as he examined me. For a moment I believed my bonded was back, but when his lips tugged upwards into a smirk I could see the ends of his fangs, and my hope was dashed.
Using whatever energy they had left, Eric was on me and Godric was on Ata. I felt a searing pain as Eric’s fangs entered my throat; one hand holding my head to the side while the other massaged the vein in my throat, forcing my blood to the surface. He’d never been this rough with me before, he’d always been gentle when biting, giving me only pleasure. The pain he was giving me now reminded me of when Bill had drank from me. He’d never made his bites pleasurable. I didn’t need any further reminders of Bill. He’d already had his way with me earlier in the evening.
Ata and I whimpered at the pain, and I grasped at my cousins hand. Locking our fingers together, I could feel myself slipping into unconsciousness. I had a feeling Eric and Godric would be the two to leave Felipe’s mansion, just like the Ancient Pythoness had predicted. I didn’t want to die. I was too young to die. At least it was the man I loved who would end my suffering though, not some nameless face in a darkened alley in downtown Shreveport. I gathered up my last piece of strength, using it to enter Ata’s mind. The edges of my vision were starting to darken, the only view I had was of Eric’s golden locks in the moonlight.
“I’ll see you in Aaru, cousin.” My message just got through before my vision disappeared, and I slipped into nothingness.