*A/N: No throwing old nasty veggies at the writer, please. Nice fresh things (I’m out of tomatoes and avocados…) would be ok, though I’d prefer some blondies (homemade with real butter, almonds, and pecans, anyone?)…*
The closer they came to Nat’s cell, the more pensive Cara’s mood felt to Godric. Thoughts rapidly coursing through his brain, he couldn’t help but wonder if seeing her cousin again was a good idea, but if she wanted to say a goodbye of sorts to the fool, he would not forbid it. He then wondered if she truly realized that this was likely the last time she would see the man who claimed to be family yet acted in no way familial, but he decided not to press the subject.
Such disloyalty to a supposed relative was one of several reasons he would have willingly seen to the man’s end even if Cara hadn’t been his to protect.
His hand holding hers automatically tightened.
Mine to protect.
His beast chose that moment to rumble to the forefront of his psyche.
He had been pacing in the background since having watched his mate feed for the first time. Of course she had drank from him before, but watching her during the act of feeding had been…intense.
It was as though fire had raced through his veins and settled in a hot pit below his navel.
As she wasn’t full vampire he wasn’t sure if her instincts would feel the intimate correlation between fucking and feeding, but his own certainly did.
He also wasn’t sure how she would feel about engaging in acts of a sexual nature with him since the last time they’d done so had resulted in him almost draining her life away.
Talk about the ultimate fuck and feed, his brain mocked wryly.
Focus! He forced his thoughts back to the subject at hand. The rest could be, would be, dealt with later.
He hoped Eric’s telepath could discover more helpful information from the prisoner, but he doubted this would be the case. Eric was very well skilled in extracting information from humans both with and without using physical encouragement, and he knew his Child had enthusiastically employed both techniques with the foul excrement below. His beloved progeny knew that a threat to Cara was in effect a threat to his Maker and had acted appropriately. Loyalty had always been one of his strongest traits.
Godric hid a smirk. Anyone who actually knew Eric knew that with his smooth cunning and well-honed talent with glamour, the Viking had no actual need of a telepath’s services. With all the experience and intelligence gained during the past thousand-plus years – not to mention being taught by one of the most prolific “information gatherers” in existence – his Child was certainly capable of finding out what he needed to know with no one’s help. Granted a telepath could take a far straighter and pain-free route, but where was the fun in that?
Also, to his understanding a telepath could only detect what the subject was thinking about in that moment. Thoughts and agendas would remain hidden until they were forcibly brought to the forefront by skillful questioning. A well-placed glamour instructing the subject to “reveal all they know” about the topic would be by far more effective.
No matter how hard he tried to maintain his vampire facade, Eric had a badly-hidden heart of gold, but even so his claiming of the Stackhouse woman as his asset had been a bit surprising to his Maker. Well until that Maker had met, and scented, the lady in question. Although their bond had been one-way at the time, the emotions flooding it from his Child had explained all the elder needed to know.
Still, claiming her talents as his asset had been a wise and forward-thinking move. Not only did it keep the woman safe from that silly queen as well as other all other supes, it also prevented those supes from using her talents for their own gains unless they sought her services through Eric.
Briefly Godric wondered if Eric knew he should speak with Sookie first before renting out her talents if that was, in fact, something he planned to do. Mortals liked being consulted about anything having to do with them, and Eric in his arrogance – and in his tendency to simply forget things – often forgot that small fact. Initially the blonde in question had seemed shy with his Cara, but he knew from listening to Eric’s grumbles that if she felt the need she wouldn’t hesitate to tell him to go have sex with himself.
He decided against interfering for the time being. If Eric didn’t realize this about women yet, the telepath was rather likely to tell him herself, and if she didn’t give him one of those clue things he had overheard his mate talking about in the past, his Cara certainly would!
Godric’s eyes sparkled as he looked forward to hearing his mate and his Child bicker. They seemed quite well matched.
Cara, meanwhile, began sincerely hoping she wouldn’t have to find her own way out of the maze that would lead – at some point she hoped – to these mysterious “cells” she’d never known existed before the other night. The more hallways they went down and doors they went through the more confused she became.
She had to wonder if real vampires got lost easily because she certainly was. But then, she wasn’t a real vampire anyway, was she? The deal with the “feeding” certainly hadn’t been all that much fun. Having the real food appear when it did had been a stroke of great luck, and something to keep in mind since she was pretty sure Godric would want her to “feed” again at some point.
At least she had managed to swallow enough to dull that weird hungry… thirsty… whatever feeling for the time being. The food had been great and she was nicely full from that, but she suspected the blood craving wouldn’t go away completely any time soon.
Oh, maybe I should order something to take back to the house with us so I can eat again tomorrow, she thought suddenly. Eating is good. Thank God I can still eat real food! If I break Nat’s teeth then no food for him… Of course, knowing both Eric and Godric, it’s not like the asscanoe will be seeing any tomorrows anyway, douchebag twatwaffle motherfucker…
Then the thought of seeing Nat again in a few minutes turned her stomach.
What a fucking bastard.
She could sense Godric’s concern and squeezed his hand in appreciation.
It was sweet of him to worry, and she was sincerely thankful for it, but she’d given up on Nat being a true family member long ago. When she’d found out what he’d planned, that had been the final straw. From that moment on all she wanted from him was information.
Regardless of anyone’s species, people just should not be going around trying to sell people to other people.
Courage and social responsibility weren’t things she’d ever considered being her main strengths, but the idea of busting up a human – or otherwise for all she knew – trafficking ring seemed like a great place to start. The fact that she was now far more durable would be a definite bonus. But…did she actually have enhanced healing powers? And if so, to what degree? She knew vampires did; that shit had been all over the news for a while after they’d first revealed themselves. They could even regrow lost limbs, well, only if they lost the body part after being Turned.
She tongued the back of her mouth where her wisdom teeth had been surgically extracted and devoutly grateful that they wouldn’t likely regrow. Someone would die if they did considering how painful the extraction had been.
Wait, can vampires have surgery?
Ew, if I get hurt somehow, would I have to drink more nasty blood to get better?
Am I immune to colds and flus and allergies now?
Will my hair keep growing?
Do I still have to shave?
Is flossing still an irritating thing I’ll have to keep doing or can I ditch the string now?
I still have to go to the bathroom but will I still have to fart now?
Will nail polish still chip as fast as ever?
Does being a partial vampire even have an effect on nail polish?
Will my nails still grow?
What about my toenails?
Will I still get hangnails sometimes or is that over now?
I should have eaten the rest of those pickle chips. They were really good.
Can I really eat what I want without gaining weight? I know regular vampires say in interviews that they could drink all the blood they want and that gaining weight doesn’t happen, that they stay the same way forever, but I’m not a real vampire.
It would be just my luck to gain weight but the gained weight would be permanent.
Seriously, if I get hurt will I heal faster than a human? I need to know these things if I’m going to be a crime-fighting semi-vamp.
As they finally entered an elevator car, she turned to the ancient vampire with the curiously sparkling eyes and asked after he’d pushed a button, “Godric, how much faster do you think I’ll be able to heal now that I’m, well, the new me?”
Faster than Sookie’s wide eyes could follow, Godric turned to face his mate, his gaze automatically flitting over her body.
“Why? Are you injured?” He didn’t think she’d…
“No! No, I’m fine,” she clarified reassuringly. “I was just wondering, you know, just in case.”
His face softened in relief, and for once his beast didn’t tease him.
“I don’t know, but I suggest we not find out until it becomes necessary,” he replied, his voice betraying his dislike of the thought of it ever becoming necessary.
Cara hummed what passed for agreement.
Godric didn’t believe it for a moment.
Cara paused and gave him a considering look before answering. “See, the way I figure it, because of my cousin I’m now involved in some sort of inter-species human trafficking ring, right? Things like this don’t usually end well in the movies.”
Sookie, who up until that point had been quiet, snorted. “Welcome to my life,” she muttered quietly while giving Cara a sympathetic look.
The noise of Godric’s thundering snarl rattled the walls of the well-appointed elevator car and drowned Sookie’s words, but Cara understood enough to smile wanly at the blonde for a moment before turning her attention to the ancient vampire standing tense before her. The tips of his dropped fangs peeked over his lower lip.
“Godric, let’s be real here, ok?” She squeezed his hand to keep his focus. “We don’t know the extent of Nat’s involvement but even if he’s just a wee tadpole in a huge swamp, the fact remains that there is a huge swamp and he was trying to toss me in. Because of that my name is known to someone. I’m glad we’re getting what information we can while we can, but after this, one name is still going to lead to another and another and…another,” she exhaled.
He opened his mouth to speak, but she dropped his hand to place a fingertip over his lips, and firmly resisted the urge to play with the tips of his fangs.
“Look, I’m not going to go Rambette and storm the world filled with copious amounts of righteous indignation, but I can’t stand by and do nothing, either. I know you’re not going to allow anything preventable to happen to me; that’s not who you are. But honey, things just have a way of…happening, you know? Now, I used to know my strengths and my limitations, more or less, but I don’t know what they are now.”
The almost unnoticeable bounce of the elevator coming to a stop and the ensuing ding of the door opening halted the rest of her words.
They were greeted by two visibly tense blond vampires.
Eric and Pam had evidently felt Godric’s burst of rage over the thought of any danger coming to his mate and, primed for action, were waiting on the elevator car to arrive.
Cara’s mood fell noticeably.
Some vampire I am, she thought when she saw them. Two full-blooded vampires waiting that close, two vampires I’m supposed to have some sort of familial bond with, and I had not one fucking clue.
Godric felt a strong wave of despondent chagrin from his mate. He put his arm about her waist and pulled her to him as he faced his Child and grandChild.
“All is well. Escort Sookie to the prisoner and we will follow shortly.”
Eric gave him a brief if searching look, then nodded. Godric noticed Pamela’s concerned gaze flickering over his Cara, and sent his Child’s progeny a small burst of comfort. Apparently reassured, the blonde walked on the other side of Sookie as the trio headed down the long hall.
The moment they turned the corner, he turned to his Cara.
“What? I felt your mood plummet.”
“It’s nothing. I’m just kind of a dumbass is all.” She folded her arms across her chest and, to Godric’s astonishment, seemed to fall into a full pout!
“What is this?” He asked, his voice filled with teasing amazement as he lightly tapped her sulky bottom lip.
“It’s me pouting at myself. I didn’t even realize that Eric and Pam were right here,” she explained. “Not only are they full old vampires, well, old compared to me, but they’re part of my blood family now, aren’t they? I surely should have sensed them – they were right here!”
Arms still folded across her chest, she leaned into Godric’s hard chest fully willing to let him help her feel better.
He gladly obliged with a smile fully hidden and wrapped his arms around her smaller form. He lowered his head to whisper into her ear, and began slowly stroking one hand over her back.
“Developing these senses will take time, Cara mia. Some things are instinctive, yes, but even these instincts take time to hone and that can’t happen until you’re accustomed to their presence.”
When she snuggled closer into his embrace and slid her arms around his waist, he purred.
“Do not worry, my Cara. I will work with you to strengthen and perfect not just your instincts but any other skills you may have. Expecting yourself to be perfect at any time will only lead to unnecessary disappointment, but expecting such things from yourself at this point is futile at best. Now,” he stated as he leaned back to look into her face and was vastly relieved to both sense and see that she was now more relaxed. “Our conversation from earlier is not over, but you will not worry about not sensing Eric and Pamela’s presence.”
Cara looked up into the ancient eyes smiling reassuringly down from his handsome face, and raised one dark brow.
“Oh, I won’t?” She purposefully blinked a couple of times and tried valiantly to hide her teasing smile.
“No, you won’t,” he insisted, kissing her lightly between each word. He adored when his Cara chose to bless him with her lighthearted play!
His beast chose that moment to make himself heard and heard loudly. Their mate was receptive to their advances and he wanted – demanded – that Godric take advantage of this fact immediately.
They were surrounded by empty rooms.
Eric could wait.
The prisoner could wait.
That other one…they could all wait…
Without conscious thought, he lowered his head and fully captured her soft, eager lips.