Eric woke that next afternoon and was surprised to sense his Maker stretched out on the bed beside him. Naturally the elder vampire woke even earlier than he, himself, did, and Eric never knew where he would find his Maker from moment to moment, even when he chose to rest beside him.
He rolled over onto his side and saw Godric lying on his back, his bare arms raised with his head resting on his hands. His soft, dark hair was somewhat disheveled as if he had run his fingers through it a few times. His eyes were closed and his beloved face was relaxed. A surprisingly peaceful expression graced his deceptively youthful features. His legs, clad in light cotton drawstring pants, were crossed at the ankle, and he was slowly moving the top bare foot in time with some beat from his mind.
As his eyes slowly trailed down his Maker’s bare chest, he noted each well-defined muscle, still firm and strong several thousand years after they had been earned by battle and toil during the male’s human life.
When his eyes followed the smattering of dark hair that disappeared under the band of his low-riding pants, he realized once again just how strongly he missed the times when sharing physical affection with his Maker were the norm.
Never before and seldom afterward had he felt a preference for finding pleasure with a male, but all things were different with his Master. Godric had been extremely loving, achingly gentle, and intoxicatingly proficient when introducing Eric to the often carnal nature between a Maker and their progeny. Throughout the passing centuries he had taken the rare male lover, but nothing compared to his Maker.
“Good rising to you, my Child,” Godric said, the smile obvious in his voice.
Of course his Maker would sense that he had risen in more ways than one.
Eric laughed it off, knowing those days were long passed, but hopefully weren’t gone forever. “Good rising to you, my Fader,” he replied wryly. With sadness he instinctively sensed that it would be a long while until the ancient vampire was his broder once again.
“What plans have you for this night?”
With an unnecessary but pleasant stretch, Eric rose from the bed to heat several bags of premium blood. “Work, of course, although I may pay a visit to my telepath. She attracts such trouble to herself yet refuses proper protection.” He paused to shake the blood bags to ensure even warming, then punched the buttons to continue their heating. With a grunt of annoyance, he continued, “She really is her own worst enemy.”
“And you would have her no other way,” Godric interjected with a knowing grin, his thoughts obviously on his own Cara.
Eric snorted and removed the tray of warmed blood from the microwave and brought it over to the bed. He placed the tray near Godric, then settled back against his pillows to enjoy a repast with the most important person in his unlife. Peaceful, relaxed times such as this one, quietly shared with his Maker, were far too rare.
Almost without seeming to realize what he was doing, Godric slowly reached for and drained three bags in a row. It soothed Eric’s heart to be able to ensure that his Maker fed well, especially since the troubling antipathy toward feeding had come upon the elder vampire. He reminded himself to look for more sources of information. Working below all radars was appallingly slow and frustrating, but the fewer who knew of his Maker’s current condition, the better.
Half an hour later, after the blood bags had been drained and cast aside and both vampires’ complexions were showing a pinker, slightly healthier, cast, Eric realized that no one had spoken. At one time such companionable silences were nothing out of the ordinary, but during the recent past…
He glanced to the side and could have sworn that his Maker was…meditating. Eric quirked his brow in curiosity, but decided against disturbing his peace. Instead he rose with a vampire’s stealthy grace and proceeded to dress and ready for the approaching evening.
Somewhile later, well after the moon had risen, he was working at the desk in his secure quarters dealing with that evening’s emails, when he was startled by the sudden interruption of Godric’s voice.
“Eric, I have a task for you,” the elder vampire stated with just the barest hint of command.
“Master?” Eric immediately straightened up and focused. Godric only used that tone when he was serious, not with anger but with firm intent.
“I need to dispose of a vampire.”
The very calmness of his Maker’s verbal bombshell sent a slight shiver up Eric’s spine. Ah, well, he reasoned, at least he was apparently forming a plan rather than arbitrarily taking out a city block this time.
“Who?” His curiosity was almost painful. Although things were different now, in decades and for several centuries past, his Maker was almost too well known for being even-tempered and level-headed. Of course, his Maker was also known as Death…
“That is what I want you to discover.” The previously peaceful expression was gone from the ancient vampire’s face.
Ah ha! No wonder he hasn’t simply ended the vampire out of the blue – he doesn’t know who it is.
“Of course,” he immediately assured Godric of his cooperation. “What are the leads,” he asked, his attention more sharply focused and his expression alert. Area business was at best a bore, something that could never be said about the deceptively youthful-looking man before him.
“A female named Caitlyn works at the same place as my Cara. She called her a ‘receptionist’,” he repeated the word carefully. English was not his first, or even his twentieth, tongue, but he and his progeny had always made a point to speak the words of the land they were in even when alone to increase their proficiency. However, if they desired a more private conversation, they could easily switch to quite a few well-honed dead or archaic languages. “This Caitlyn has a sister who is a vampire’s pet,” he spat the word. “I want the name of that vampire,” he finished with a growl, his eyes flashing hot and hard.
Fuck, Eric thought with a sigh, I should have known this had something to do with that Cara. He has always held quite a bit of disdain toward vampires who owned pets, and if this Cara’s friend has a sister in such a disgusting situation…
“When this Caitlyn heard that my Cara was coming to the talk, she expressed her rightful worry over her sister, and asked Cara what she knew of vampires.” Godric began pacing the length of the rooms in his frustration. “She then exposed to my Cara the knowledge of…pets.”
In his rising anger and indignation, he began pacing faster than human eyes could track.
“I do not wish to expose her to such things at all, but certainly not before I had the chance to introduce her to the more favorable facets of our existence,” he stated stridently. “It is my right as her Mate to show her the good before she learns of the more unsavory aspects of vampire life and politics,” he finished with a bellow.
Barely a moment later Eric was startled by a series of loud, rumbling crashes, and immediately rose only to see an empty spot where his California King sized bed used to be. The new hole in the interior wall surrounded by splinters, shredded linens, and parts of the former mattress and foundation revealed the fate of his former sleeping platform.
The headboard and footboard both leaned at drunken angles in the middle of the floor, but had somehow exchanged positions. The pillows had, oddly, survived intact.
Eric shook his head and was relieved that his Maker’s ire was gone even more quickly than it had risen. And that, this time, there were no bodies to have to hide or cops to pay off…or bystanders to glamour…or property owners to pay off…
Sadly, he had grown accustomed to his Maker’s ‘swift turns in temperament’ of late. At least they hadn’t been in their quarters at TSO…he shuddered at the thought of all the trouble that would have caused. So many mortals to contain and glamour…
He was glad he had instructed Pam to quietly to inform the local Pack leader to warn all their local Weres and the solitaries to avoid all contact with that Cara, and had her to provide the least grainy screen shot she could pull from their security cams. One death was easy enough to cover – the male Were truly was a bumbling oaf and the local Pack knew better than to ask questions – but two such disappearances might arouse suspicions…not that he really cared.
“So…,” he began as he surveyed the destruction and resolved to call in a contractor at first dark the next evening…and buy a new bed from the ‘boards up, “do you want me to run a background report on Cara for you while I search for her friend’s sister’s vampire?” It was a given than he had already done so, but wanted to give his Maker the option.
“Ah, my Son,” the elder vampire paused to quirk a brow and level a strong look at his progeny, “Remember – I know you well and know you have already done this thing, but no, I do not wish to see the results. I will give her the respect she deserves by discovering her as it is meant to happen.”
He nodded, not withering under Godric’s strong look but not acknowledging anything, either. In times past his elder would have ordered a report on the woman mere minutes after noticing her, but now? Things were different now.
A beatific smile lit the ancient vampire’s face. “Already in progress as much as possible. Later, of course, many more Weres and vampires alike will join her team.” Godric paused, then began gathering the larger portions of the mess he had made. “I am already considering and planning many things for and about my Cara.”
“She has no idea?”
Godric turned his head, raised his brow, and smirked. “Of course not.”
Ahhh, Eric thought with satisfaction as he saw that sly, devious grin, there’s the man I used to know.
Even though the need to work and to see his Sookie were pulling at him, Eric chose instead to cherish however many hours his Maker would spend with him. Their low-voiced conversation, only interrupted when Eric briefly contacted his telepath for no discernible reason, continued well into the night.
Eventually the two departed from Eric’s home, one to procure a light feeding and an increasingly unsatisfactory sexual release with a body at the club, the other to check on the guards caring for his slumbering Mate.
**AN: This space intentionally left blank.
(Isn’t that irritating when you see it on official correspondence or a bill? So, how’s this: reviews provide great inspiration! Not a lot of action this time around, but I do love seeing Godric and Eric interact.)**