**A/N: Hi Cara! Hi Godric! Ok, readers, beware the upcoming bedroom disaster… Also, BOLO for a potential clue or two for you to view in this chapter, too. Enjoy!**
Godric tightened his hand around Cara’s waist and lightly pulled her to a halt in the middle of the hallway. His action was so unexpected that her fangs almost dropped and she sent him a burst of curiosity while attempting to keep the extremely sharp teeth contained.
The return burst of patience combined with the almost boyish glee on his face was even more surprising than his actions and she couldn’t wait to quiz him later. His expression and that lovely light in his eyes had brightened to match his delighted mood, and she couldn’t help but smile back.
Curiosity, delight, pure joy…along with the pride he displayed so freely when she would grasp a more complicated idea or skill quickly were all her favorite expressions of his, and she was thankful that he was allowing them to show more often now.
Of course his bedroom expressions that ranged everywhere from “light and teasing” to “extreme intensity” belonged in a class all their own.
She even liked, well, more respected than liked, his furiously angry expressions as they’d generally come about on her behalf. It still sometimes surprised her how very seriously he took her care and safety.
The only expression she didn’t particularly enjoy was his seemingly “calm and placid” facade. Over the past couple afternoons and nights, he had been teaching her more about her new world and had spoken about the need for a vampire facade. The value in such an all-encompassing ‘front’ was obvious, of course, from several standpoints, and she had even halfheartedly tried to create her own look, but had given up when Eric had politely informed her that she just looked constipated.
Pammy had almost split a seam trying not to laugh.
Cara had decided that, for the moment at least, “mildly confused” would have to work…
She let her gaze drift over Godric’s face as they stood stock still mere steps away from the room where his child was speaking with the telepath. She adored this expression – the one where his face would relax and his eyes would light up and the weight of the world would seem to fall off his shoulders for just those few minutes. For such an ancient beast, as she would sometimes call him, an almost childlike joy could suffuse his face and seemed to radiate that sweet inner joy.
As she wondered what he was like as a child, she realized that she was an utter idiot. If he was listening to something audible in the hallway, then she could, too. With a partial ear she finally tuned in to the conversation between her Brother and Sookie while still happily allowing her powerful brain to think about what it wanted.
Being a vampire hybrid had its distinct advantages. Her mind could think not only faster but in several directions at once, and while with Godric’s help she had realized that her newly enhanced senses weren’t quite as astute as a pure vampire’s would be, they were vastly superior to what she’d been used to as a human.
In a way it could be superbly annoying but finally, after some fine tuning, she was usually able to mostly ignore the background noises that were much louder now than in the past…unless a sound was startlingly loud.
Cara tamped down a strong wave of mortification as she remembered the potential disaster that had taken place just hours ago. Godric had woke up randy as always – she was sure her hand gently massaging his ball sac and her lips sucking on his nipple had nothing to do with it – and had been delighted to find that she was in a distinctly similar mood.
Events had then progressed most naturally from him pulling her over to straddle his lap so she could impale herself on his hard cock at her leisure while he happily fondled her swaying breasts and teased her hard nipples…to him heartily thrusting up to meet her…to him quickly growing impatient with her deliberately slow pace and sending her a burst of elemental hunger so strong she had gasped.
At that point he had – unsurprisingly – sat up in the bed, carefully so as to keep their bodies joined, and grabbed her hips to increase both the pace and the force of their movements while baring his throat to her hungry gaze in such a tantalizing manner that she simply had to strike.
All had been going well – quite, quite well – until a book had fallen from the bedside table. Somehow her fangs had clenched at the same moment she’d jerked backward…
Memory of the resulting carnage of his neck still made her cringe.
For his part Godric had taken it completely in stride and had used the event to calmly teach her How to Heal a Bite Gone Badly.
Logically she knew that vampires healed, that even if she had run away screaming he’d be fine sooner than later especially at his advanced age, but the thought – just the mere thought – that she had caused so much damage to her Godric’s neck during feeding and…and…
Cara blinked hard a couple times to clear the sight from her mind’s eye.
It had been an accident, of course, but even so he hadn’t yelled – hadn’t even so much as raised his voice – the entire time. She had followed his instructions instantly by holding the torn flesh together as best she could with one hand and using her fang to rip a gash in a finger on her other hand. She had then applied her blood to the horrible looking wound as she prayed that it wouldn’t be hybrid-weak, that it would be strong enough to heal his torn skin.
With incredible relief she saw with her own eyes how very powerful her blood was when it came to healing a wound. To even Godric’s own surprise the torn flesh had knitted itself back together within moments.
And then the delightfully horny old goat had had the audacity to interrupt her flood of groveling, embarrassed apologies to ask her quite benignly if she was going to waste all that blood coating his chest or would she mind licking it off?
Cara tamped down the pleasant aftershocks of that particular memory.
Godric stroked his thumb along Cara’s side while he listened in delight as his child spoke with the blonde telepath. He was proud of Eric for finding the courage to allow his more natural kind and generous tendencies to show themselves. The Northman could be suaveness personified, of course, but when it counted, Eric reminded him more of a boy on his first date.
While he had never actively worried about his progeny finding someone of his own, now that he knew the joy to be found in such a relationship, he wished the same for his child. From what little he knew of her, even he could tell that Sookie would be a fine match for the kindhearted Viking…but only if that kindhearted Viking would remember to show that part of himself more often.
Ahh, reserving the woman a room of her own in the complex was a stroke of genius! Without knowing the room’s location he couldn’t be sure, but if he knew Eric it would be in the private wing where the best quarters were.
As always he had kept check on how Cara was doing, and with a well-hidden snicker he felt first mortification then slight arousal work their way through her system.
The poor newborn – what a terribly embarrassing accident to have! And honestly, quite a painful one, too, he added with a silent cringe. There was nothing like having the flesh of one’s neck ripped to shreds to ruin a mood, but his Cara…his poor Cara…she had taken it so badly.
She had managed to get herself together and heal him with admirable efficiency, however, and within moments of the incident he had been whole once more. While the speed with which her blood had healed him had been worthy of further investigation, her utter mortification and remorse had needed to be addressed immediately.
And so he had.
His Cara, it turned out, gave a delightful tongue bath.
His beast rumbled in agreement.
As he listened to the quiet conversation behind the doors and sent his beloved a bit of subtle reassurance, he considered how he had reacted to the earlier incident.
There was a time when something of that nature would have set him off and horrible things would have happened in the blink of an eye. This afternoon, however, his main concern had been to reassure his Cara while ordering his blood to stop flowing so quickly from his body so that his tissues could repair themselves.
Her self-castigation over biting him so badly when she’d been startled had hurt far worse than the admittedly deep wound ever would.
His beast snorted. Of course they wouldn’t, couldn’t, hold an accident against their beloved.
And the following tongue bath had been truly spectacular.
Thankfully the conversation behind the door came to a natural conclusion just then or he would have strongly considered hauling his Cara back to their quarters and returning the favor, sans painful wound, of course.
“Come, let’s see what the not-yet lovebirds have been up to,” he whispered too quietly into her ear for Eric to discern.
Cara leaned into his shoulder and laughed softly. “Big Brother did seem to have it going on in there, didn’t he? He keeps on like this and he might figure women out yet,” she whispered before adding just loud enough for Eric to hear, “It probably wouldn’t hurt if I gave him some modern dating advice, though. The “me Tarzan, you Jane” days are long gone. Now the poor thing has to figure out how to treat ladies right while at the same time remembering to talk nice to them…this could take a while.”
The shocked humor on Godric’s face was priceless and she could only imagine what Eric was sending him through the bond.
Teach Eric to tell her she looked constipated…
Godric simply shook his head. From the moment his child had not-quite-jokingly insulted his Cara he had been biding his time waiting to see how she would return the favor, and in all honesty, she had done him proud. It would simply take time for Eric to realize that she wasn’t Pamela who had to follow a stricter, if only slightly, protocol when dealing with a Maker.
Plus, if he could enjoy Cara’s particular version of witty teasing then it was only fair that Eric should, too. And Eric had earned it…
As they entered the room the Viking in question sent a narrow-eyed glare at Cara over Sookie’s head but gave no other indication that he’d heard her teasing.
Before anyone could say anything, he respectfully bid a good evening to Godric then asked, his sharp gaze barely including his ‘little Sister’, “I’ve just ordered Sookie some coffee. Would either of you want anything?”
Cara, to Godric’s continued delight, walked directly over to Eric, hugged his stiff form, then to everyone’s confusion, kissed her palm then not-so-lightly patted his cheek with it.
“Good evening, BB. I’ve slept quite well and have had a wonderful day, thank you for asking. How are you?”
Torn between anger and reluctant amusement, and slightly miffed that the amusement was winning, Eric caved and rolled his eyes.
“Ah. I shall order your coffee then. Would you like some snacks, a cheese plate, maybe something more suited to your modern tastes?”
“Oh, all of that sounds good. Sookie, would you help me polish off some plates?”
Bemused by her friend’s antics but sensing this was an odd vampire brother/sister thing and knowing it was nothing serious, she simply nodded.
“Good,” Cara replied, then turned back to Eric. She let her concern for the subdued telepath show in her expression, and grimaced when he mouthed “headache”. “Add some chocolate cake and a huge glass of milk to that,” she added with a glance in Sookie’s direction.
Eric phoned in the additional order as he leaned against the desk and Cara moved over to sit on the sofa near Sookie. Godric stepped further into the room and glanced down at the blonde.
“You are not well?” His hearing, far superior to Cara’s, had enabled him to catch more of the conversation so he knew of her headache, but social niceties required him to ask anyway.
“I’m fine,” she answered. “It’s just a headache.”
Cara grimaced in commiseration. “Is it from using your telepathy?”
Sookie nodded. “And it doesn’t help to take anything for it, either.”
“Chocolate will help, and so will your coffee, too, when they get here. For right now, though, I want you to try something that helps me sometimes. Just lean your head back and close your eyes, and concentrate on the color black. Doing that helps me when Advil doesn’t, so maybe it might help you.”
Willing to try anything so long as it was simple and not too strange, Sookie did as she was bid and relaxed her head against the back of the couch.
“Think of black and only black, and imagine trying to look around in that absence of color. All the lights and sounds have softened until there’s nothing left but the calm, easy darkness absorbing the pain from your mind. Just let it go,” Cara instructed softly.
Within moments the slight signs of stress started melting from Sookie’s face and soon enough a tiny smile lifted the corners of her lips.
Slightly bored as she waited for her little trick to help her friend, Cara glanced around the room and happened to catch Eric’s curious look. She shrugged and continued mentally inventorying his office.
Something needed to be done about all that boring steel blue, and honestly, would some throw pillows make the couch cry?
A few minutes later Sookie opened her eyes and blinked a couple times.
“Wow…that really worked,” she said with obvious but quiet enthusiasm. “That…that really did work. Thank you.”
“Just keep kind of still for a little while and think about having an early night, but yeah, that’s what I do if regular pain meds still won’t touch it.”
Godric heard the food cart approaching and quietly opened the door to prevent the delivery person from knocking and ruining the mood. Eric moved to help with the cart.
“How did you think to do that?” Sookie was amazed. Nothing had ever rid her of one of those headaches so quickly. Just think about darkness and let that darkness absorb the pain…
“Consider it a gift from my migraines,” Cara quipped wryly. “Light makes them so much worse like you wouldn’t believe, and I figured that at the very least darkness wouldn’t hurt, and since my eyes were already squeezed shut, I thought about dark and imagined it absorbing the pain. Can’t say it was all that effective against the migraines but it sure helped with the other kind of headache I’d get every now and then. Glad it helped.”
Sookie slowly rotated her head and was vastly relieved that the pain truly seemed to be gone.
As Eric placed the trays of food onto the low coffee table before them and Godric closed the door, Cara asked Sookie to look over at her.
“Yeah, you’ve still got that weak look to your eyes so if you don’t mind me saying so, you might want to have an early night after you eat something. I know it’s probably late to be drinking coffee, but the caffeine in it should help; same with the cake.”
“But that cake’s yours,” she protested.
“Nah, the salties are mine – the sweets are yours. Headache Girl always gets the cake,” Cara stated authoritatively. “I ordered it for you,” she clarified with a shrug.
“Oh, well in that case…” Sookie prepared her coffee then promptly dug into the huge slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.
After Cara fixed her own coffee and started in on her food, Eric eventually nodded to Godric then the door. Having previously been notified through their bond that Eric had something of importance to discuss with him, Godric kissed Cara’s temple then went out into the hallway. He wasn’t surprised that Eric didn’t indicate the extremely secure inner office hidden behind one of the numerous panels on his wall as the tenor of his ping hadn’t indicated urgency.
Within the minute Eric joined him, and he did, indeed, have news.
“I have located the vampire responsible for introducing your Cara to the idea of “pets” as per your request,” he began in a generally forgotten dialect of Middle High German then paused so that Godric could collect himself.
The ancient vampire’s countenance immediately changed from placid to eagerly malevolent. His eyes blazed with unholy glee but remained sane.
His beast rumbled happily in anticipation of the stench and taste of their enemy’s blood.
Now having a better understanding of just how deeply he cared for the girl and seeing no evidence of impending insanity, Eric simply nodded before continuing.
“Simon Jarvis, said to be 437 years old, nests over on Wilmont Drive, #377, and get this…one of his nestmates is a co-owner of…Cob’s.”
The ensuing silence reminded Eric far too much of standing up in the eye of a hurricane.
“He will not greet his 438th deathday,” Godric stated coldly in like dialect. “Investigate the rest of this nest,” he spat, “for more links to this accursed club and to see if any should be spared. Is there news of the worker’s sister?”
“Kylie,” Eric over-enunciated, “is quite happily enslaved and is said to be actively recruiting dogs for her Master. My source wasn’t optimistic but stated that there might be an extremely slim chance she may still be salvageable. Bluntly, no.”
Godric shrugged. “As you will.”
He had bigger issues at hand.
Nests were comprised of likeminded individuals. If one member so fully approved of keeping humans as slaves and another member co-owned a seedy bar where human trafficking deals were commonly made, he could only imagine what the other nest-rats were involved in.
His intention all along had been to clear the area of those who would have so used his Cara and others like her, and in one evening great inroads had been made toward that quest.
That they would dare…
Suddenly he could barely contain the urge to land in #377 Wilmont Drive and test the weights of each one of their worthless hearts in the palm of his hand before crushing that now unnecessary organ right before their dying eyes.
Just then Cara came through the office door and walked directly into Godric’s quickly opened arms.
Although she could tell that the bond was highly muted, his rage and a twisted sense of needful anticipation was still all too palpable.
He wrapped his arms around her and soothed his beast by nuzzling her throat. Not fully trusting himself to speak just then, he pinged Eric.
“We have a lead on your friend’s sister and on Cob’s. I’m going to escort Sookie up to her room and then go have a chat down in lock-up.” With a nod, Eric turned and reentered his office.
Confused and well aware that she hadn’t been told everything, Cara nonetheless ran her hands over Godric’s tense shoulders and back as she tried to soothe him…from what, she wasn’t sure, but her gut told her that he needed a diversion – fast.
“Can we go back to our quarters, hon? It’s my turn for a tongue bath, ya know.”
His startled laugh warmed her heart but her breath expelled with a whoosh when she suddenly landed on his shoulder.
**A/N: Apologies to anyone who lives, um, you know… So, what’ja think? Any of you view a clue or two? (Sorry/not sorry for the alliteration – Godric made me…you know how he is.)**