**A/N: No note other than to just hope you enjoy and that you’ll promptly and graciously ignore all/any mistakes!**
As soon as he knew that Cara was sleeping soundly – sleeping! she sleeps!! – Godric sent Eric the all-clear to enter the rest of the house. The burst of strong concern and curiosity he received in return from his Child warmed his heart even as he curled protectively around his Cara. He would need to discuss all these changes with his familia, but…not yet.
This time with his Mate was precious and new, to be cherished and guarded fiercely.
He was certain that Eric and even Pamela would understand.
In the vampire world the needs of one’s Mate would always supersede the needs of one’s progeny, the thinking being that one could create more Children but not another Mate, but Godric did not feel that was always necessarily the right way to look at it. To him, the member of his bloodline, or even clan when he had still been blessed with humanity, with the strongest need was tended to first whether elder, younger, or now, Mate.
His beast mocked his arrogance.
The living instincts residing within him knew that Godric had never before been captured, bathed, and cocooned by a love like this. He knew that the body in whom he resided had no idea how deeply tendrils of the love, affection, and care Cara had bestowed upon him had woven themselves into the core of his being.
While the Maker part of himself adored his progeny far more deeply than most Creators would ever consider, he knew the being called Godric had never met the other half of his soul before, and he knew that when or if it became necessary, he would certainly react accordingly.
He would make sure of it.
Wisely even Godric agreed that as much as he loved his progeny, at this moment Cara had the strongest need for his time and so would be his highest priority.
It was all still too new; things were still unclear… The how’s and the what’s were swirling around in his mind competing for space against the need to rest, to simply rest with his woman safely in his arms.
The most basic of his protective instincts were screaming for him to keep both her and all knowledge pertaining to her close lest his ignorance somehow prove to be a weakness to her safely. There were still so many questions. How had she not Turned? Had he not stolen from her body quite as much blood as he had thought? Perhaps the old knowledge had been wrong?
He had known it would be a risk, but she was a risk worth taking, and so he had done as he had thought best – he had chosen to at least attempt to let her keep her life.
Whatever the result, the consequence was by far better than he could have dreamt. His Cara’s heart still beat, her lungs still breathed… She could still eat and drink whatever would please her, and she could still be comforted by the sun – the sun whose lethal rays were beautifully powerless to harm her.
And she was still warm.
Despite her need for blood, a need he would gladly spend the remainder of his time on this plane meeting and a need he would relish teaching her how to fulfill, she was still warm.
Godric burrowed his nose into her dark hair and inhaled deeply and considered the miracle that was his love.
His scent rising from the warmth of her body was heady in a way he had never known, and he could not imagine fighting its call.
The whole of her scent, however, confused him. The human component was obvious, but there was no denying the large amount of vampire blood in her system. His heart swelled at how very strongly she smelled of him. There was no ignoring her link to him, he thought smugly. Any Supe catching a whiff of him off her skin – his fangs clicked at the thought that it had better not come from her actual blood – would instinctively know that she was under the extreme protection of an incredibly strong, powerful, old vampire.
He smirked around his fangs with understandable pride in the respect and instinctive fear inspired by his most advanced age.
And, his face then displaying only a slight petulance, he stoically concluded that it was good that she also smelled of Eric and Pamela. Both were strong, capable, powerful vampires in their own right, and being linked with them would also serve his Cara well.
But she certainly smelled much more noticeably of him.
No protection was too much for her, especially since he couldn’t decipher what that fifth scent was – the scent that was now more pronounced than before.
It didn’t matter what it was as his only concern was for her safety and well-being.
No one would dare touch her.
She was his, he snarled to himself as he gathered her closer to his body now tense with the unnecessary but instinctive need to defend his Mate from all who would dare…
He didn’t bother trying to resheathe his fangs. He knew the effort would be useless.
Upon waking for the night, Eric naturally held himself absolutely still until certain of his safety and environment. After that, his first thoughts turned to the events of the previous night, and he worried both for his Maker and the outcome of his Maker’s actions.
Knowing that Godric rose even earlier than himself during the day, he felt for their connection, and he gratefully noted that there were no wildly careening depths of angst or despair.
While it was muted, what he did feel was certainly obvious: curiosity, relief, pride, and a love so profound that it almost brought tears to his own eyes.
It took him a long second to recover from that rose-colored overload.
As he rose from his bed, he received Godric’s unexpected but unmistakable command to remain where he was. The tenor of the communication held no fear or warning, so Eric correctly guessed it all had something to do with that Cara.
Inhaling so he would have the air to snort in affectionate exasperation with Godric’s possessive and proprietary attitude toward the short, dark-haired tornado he was undoubtedly caring for, he paused, then sniffed with a purpose.
Was that Cara?
He could smell her human scent as it lingered in the gently circulating air, and he could smell the components of what could only be her new vampire nature. It was a strangely pleasing blend of himself, his Child, and, mostly, his Maker.
But there was a third odor…an odor vaguely reminiscent of…buttered popcorn? It was too faint to have been the extremely annoying food item that humans seemed to salivate over, and he knew that there had certainly been none stocked in the safe house. Vampires generally detested the scent as it would permeate an entire abode approximately one second after being removed from the microwave. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wouldn’t take weeks to air out.
Another purposeful sniff detected the thankfully also faint stench of some sort of spiced decaying animal meat, but he chose to ignore that one. Some sort of species he was currently unfamiliar with must have expired in the woods beyond the residence.
Not knowing what to expect this night and while mourning the lack of a shower he chose to go ahead and dress for the evening anyway. He grabbed his phone and checked his messages all the while battling his curiosity over what was going on with Godric.
He had never heard of flooding a mostly-drained body with the blood of three vampires before and wondered at the likelihood of success, or what would even count as success. With his current instructions to remain in his quarters, it seemed that success of some sort was likely.
If this were to be a true Turning, he reasoned, then it wouldn’t matter if he and Pam roamed freely about the house. In fact, Godric would demand that they call in reinforcements, secure the area, keep watch by night, and call in a full detail of Weres for the daylight hours.
And he couldn’t blame him. He remembered the stark vulnerability he had felt during Pam’s change…and he hadn’t been at all close to her, not like Godric was with this Cara.
No, Cara wasn’t Changing, at least, not in the traditional sense, no matter how delightfully she carried the combined scents of three vampires, two of whom would be considered elders…
Just as he made the realization, he caught the sound of movement in another part of the house…according to the location, it was probably coming from the kitchen.
Nope, not Turning in the traditional sense at least…
Naturally Pam would chose that moment to rise.
Still concerned but mostly curious now, he quickly chose to use a Maker’s command to warn her to wait in her room. He could easily have whispered through the wall – her quarters in this house were beside his – but he wanted to practice ‘speaking’ via their link.
Naturally he had taught her how to communicate thusly during her formative years, but he would always take his Maker’s duty toward her very seriously. He knew he was lucky that they were such close friends even now as most progeny would naturally fly from the nest sooner than later, but it never left his mind that he was her Maker and therefore her safety, her education, her protection…it all fell to him, and he had never been one to shirk his duties. Well, not after…
He shook his head. Such thoughts weren’t necessary just now. He changed his focus to the possibility of a new baby vamp, or whatever, appearing in the family.
Cara… She intrigued him, confounded him. She definitely worried him, but she also gave him hope for Godric.
He shook his head wryly. She was, indeed, the Godric whisperer.
And at least he no longer had to weigh the pros and cons of causing a convenient accident to befall her so that he could Turn her first and ask questions later…
As he continued listening he heard voices as a conversation began between Godric and Cara – it wasn’t as though he could ignore them, of course – and he was as baffled as surely his Maker was.
If Cara had already been up during the daytime hours, then she must not be vampire, or at least not fully vampire. This fact was supported by the continuing humanity in her scent, yet the strength of the vampire scent…and that popcorn?
Except to his knowledge, there was no such thing as a partial-vampire.
He listened closer and barely contained his snicker at Godric’s smart-ass answer. Few knew just how snarky and sarcastic the old one could be. Pam, apparently, had gotten it honest…
When he felt a muted array of annoyingly scattered emotions flowing from his Maker, he pointedly probed the Bond and found it still mostly closed.
So, frustrated curiosity running riot, he decided to see if he even had a Bond with Cara, and if so, was he perhaps a Maker and just didn’t know it yet – however impossible it actually was to ignore the pull of one’s Child?
A moment later he couldn’t decide if he was happy or disappointed. He was not Cara’s Maker. He did, however, feel a connection of some sort flowing between her and Godric, but it had none of the tenor of a Maker/Child Bond.
Ahh, that must be a Mate Bond, then.
But, then, who was her Maker? She had to have one.
This worried him.
If she were some sort of strange vampire hybrid, maybe she didn’t have a Maker?
The mere idea was so foreign to Eric that he had to abruptly sit down.
Vampires had Makers. They always had, and they always would. That truth was as written in stone as having to avoid the sun’s burning rays and having to fall into daydeath.
But…if Cara had no Maker…
If she had no Maker, then who would help her adjust to her new state? A Maker’s first duty was to tend to their new Child, to feed them, and then teach them how to feed effectively. A Maker taught their progeny how to hunt without being caught, how to select a good meal from a mediocre one. A Maker had the ability, and the duty, to help their new progeny learn how to deal with the intensity of their new emotions and physical senses, which of course the old man could do. A Maker would help the new Child identify, harness, and learn to control any powers the newborn might have. Godric could certainly do these things with no problems whatsoever no matter what kind of Bond he had with her. But, if worse should come to worse, a Maker would also be the only one with the ability to control that Child if they were to spiral out of control. A good Maker would never use a harsh command when a softer one would work, and would only ever resort to any sort of discipline if it became absolutely necessary. But a Maker could only do these things because of that Maker/Child Bond…the one that he did not sense between Godric and Cara.
Eric snorted. Godric’s most effective and therefore most favored form of discipline had been truly horrendous to the young Viking who adored him: a Maker’s disappointment. He acknowledged that the old man probably should have been a bit firmer with him in his more exuberant “toddler” stage, but all had worked out well.
Hell, Godric had still been Death during part of that time and not only thoroughly enjoyed their hell-raising ways but incited the majority of them. There had been precious few instances of Maker/Child disagreements along the way.
Then Eric snickered.
Somehow he just knew that Cara would be able to get away with murder along with everything even he hadn’t been able to… He knew full well that Godric would never, under any circumstances, strike the young woman in any way so he knew Godric would have to rely on “the disappointment” trick just as he knew that the first time Godric tried “the disappointment” trick, two tears is all it would take from Cara and it would all be over…something about him being wrapped around her smallest finger…
But it still didn’t feel as though Godric was her Maker.
If word spread that Cara had no Maker, her life, or unlife as it were, would be at risk for a long, long time.
Fuck, her life could well be forfeit should the wrong ears hear, and his Maker? Godric would…
**A/N: Well…how ’bout them apples? Is Eric right to worry? So, what did you think?**