Godric stood stock still as he took a moment to digest and make absolutely sure he understood her words before his beast roared in exultant terror – she really had invited him inside her home!
Suddenly he was dreadfully unsure of his manners…he wasn’t sure where he had put them…it had been so very long since he’d been inside the home of a human for aught other than business or death.
Yet here he was on the verge of entering her home!
Her apartment, that place he watched, guarded, even dreamed of, but had never been allowed entry… That place, both hallowed and hated solely because she could and did enter and he could yet follow – her home!
It was all he could do to keep from bowling her over in his haste to enter before she regained her proper senses and rescinded his invitation.
Fool…FOOL…FOOL!! WHY HAD HE TOLD HER HOW TO UNINVITE HIM, he castigated himself with dismayed regret. With his own lips he had betrayed himself, had given her the secret of how to break him into tiny slivers of who he used to be.
But an honorable fool, he consoled himself as he savored crossing over the threshold just behind her, pausing only to inhale deeply of her passing scent before stepping completely into what appeared to be her central living area judging by the furnishings and their arrangement he had noticed with a glance.
Another focused inhalation, this one an instinctive scenting of a new environment in search for enemies, and the concentrated fragrance of her blood and her life washed through him – a living thing, wafting, circling, imbedding itself into his pores, weaving itself through the strands of his hair and his clothing; he would later swear he could feel it intertwining with the magic in his blood.
Godric’s entire body reacted, stunning him with the strength and immediacy of its response.
His cock, locked into various stages of erection since he’d first caught her fragrance earlier at TSO, sprang once again into full hardness. His fangs, still partially extended in anticipation of seeing her at her home, dropped fully and throbbed to penetrate her flesh until her skin soothed his gums and her blood soothed the fire in his veins. His arms and hands yearned to hold her and rend the clothing from the beauty of her body while even his tongue ached to taste her and drive her to madness with intimate caresses.
He braced his hard hands on the back of a nearby chair and tried to regain his figurative and literal balance. He’d known that entering her home would be a notable milestone in his long, long life, but he didn’t know it would level him so thoroughly.
She was talking…saying words to him and he was missing them because her scent was wrapping itself around him like a blanket…a soft, heated blanket, enveloping him and warming him from his bones outward. She smelled of sex and promise and of home in a way he could not understand.
“F’annwylyd, I apologize, but your words have escaped me. Could you,” he paused to swallow, and she could have sworn he started panting, “repeat what you said?”
“I asked if you were ok?” She wasn’t sure if he was ok or not. Could vampires go into shock, she wondered, because that’s what he looked like. She took the couple of steps needed to bring her to his side, then placed a warm hand over the back of his own where it grabbed hold of the back of the chair. She rubbed her thumb over his white knuckles soothingly, knowing that something was up with the gorgeous ancient being who looked suddenly looked so otherworldly in her living room.
With her touch on his hand, he glanced up into her face, into her shining, worried brown eyes, and could only stare. Everything in his mind and in his heart sped up and slowed down and he felt himself breaking apart and healing and… It took every atom of willpower he had left to keep from bringing her to the floor with him so that he could curl up, place his head in her lap, and weep uselessly for all he had ever seen and done and for all he would never be.
To his astonishment, instead of running or screaming or any other logical reaction, his Cara took the step that touched her body to his, and raised her hand to cup his cheek. Confused, worried, but innately trying to soothe and ease, she urged his hard, stiff body around and into hers, wrapped her warm arms about his waist, and held on tight.
“I don’t know what’s wrong, but something obviously is. I doubt a hug will help, but it surely won’t hurt, will it?” Her gentle voice eased him back from that edge, that edge he was determined not to greet.
Cara’s mind whirled around in confused circles as she gently encouraged him to rest his head into the curve of her neck. Maybe she really shouldn’t be urging a 2,000-plus year old vampire to cuddle, and especially not when it involved having his humongous fangs that close to her neck, but there was something so desperately sad and lost in his eyes, and if she could help him find his way home or back or whatever, then that’s exactly what she was going to do, dammit.
She wasn’t stupid, she thought to herself. She was fully aware that things could go south real damn quick, and she knew that she wasn’t holding the vampire version of a lost little boy in her arms, either, no matter how much it felt like she was. But her gut…her gut told her that she was safe, and that she was doing the right thing. Well, she thought, it was her gut and if she wanted to listen to it then she damn well would.
Feeling surer of her decision by the second, she began running her hand lightly up and down his back, determined to calm whatever beasts were running rampant in his lovely mind, and when his hard arms cautiously encircled her waist, she breathed a sigh of relief into his neck before whispering, “Good. This is good.”
Godric shuddered in involuntary reaction to being so close to his Cara after being so far away for so long. Although he was unused to being touched, the feeling of being held and finding solace in her arms, in her very breath upon his neck, eased him in indescribable ways.
A wry smile teased his lips – his Cara had no survival instincts at all. He relaxed fully in her hold, and absorbed her comfort and healing into his bones then jolted in realization.
He admitted to himself that because of his greed for her, his need for her, he would be dragging her into his world, exposing her to a universe not fit for her soft hands and bright light, too dark, painful, harsh…and grieved for the eventual loss of her innocence.
Because he would not stop himself.
He could not stop himself from bringing her to his side, could not stop himself from exposing this fragile youngling to his ongoing nightmare of 2,000-plus years.
But he could, and would, give her power…the power of knowledge. He would teach her everything he knew, even the horrifying things, because she would need to know them. It would take time, eons, eons he would revel in spending with her. He would never allow her to suffer ignorance. No, he would teach her, guide her, never force her, always respect her, treasure her, cherish her…
With a soul-deep breath he took hold of himself and, for a moment at least, once again became the calm, cool, collected vampire he knew himself to have been, and gently patted his Cara’s back before easing himself out of her grasp enough to gaze down into her worried face.
“Cara,” he sighed happily, transfixed by the sweet, worried curiosity in her eyes, “Cara, you have no survival instincts at all, do you?”
Correctly interpreting his desire to avoid discussing what had just happened, Cara allowed her weird sense of humor to surface. Her eyes slowly warming with merriment, she answered, “What, just because I let an ancient vampire be all snuggly with my neck?” She ended her query with a quiet laugh, then decided to say one last thing before letting the unsettling events pass.
She cupped his face in her palms then fully met his ancient eyes that still harbored too many memories and secrets. “Whatever it is, you can talk to me, and I will listen.”
Then she impulsively kissed his cheek and offered to give him what she called “the grand tour” of her home. He took her up on her offer, and was pleased to verify that, other than a meager smattering of windows, there were only two door’d exits.
He made a mental note of several security upgrades, things he deemed necessary like alarms and internal steel shutters for the windows, until he could convince her to move into the home he was already establishing in her honor.
His mind expertly concentrating on several different things at once, he took the opportunity to visually investigate her main living area. A two easy chairs, a couple of strategically-placed small tables, and a sofa, soft, older, not worthy of providing her with comfort, but it would have to do until he could convince her to let him provide furnishings much more suitable for her.
It quickly occurred to him that several centuries had passed since he’d been inside a human female’s home, and the differences between this home and that of a female vampire were heartily apparent. Scent, of course, was the most outstandingly obvious difference, and he tried to avoid deep inhalations as he didn’t want to risk the same sort of breakdown again, but the other differences were still notable. For one thing, vampires didn’t tend to accumulate as much inane clutter. Granted everything seemed to be in its place, but there were just so many…things! The accoutrements of her daily life were scattered hither and yon, most in no discernable order or pattern, but the total effect was one of pure hominess.
He was pleased to note that while she kept her areas tidy, she wasn’t a ‘neat freak’ like his child tended to be. His child was worse than a woman… Then he snickered. He would have to tell his child’s progeny that she was right about Eric being ‘worse than a woman’ in his habits since his child really was worse than a woman – Cara!
Focus, he sternly commanded himself. It was no exaggeration that every night of his future depended upon remaining in control of himself and of his actions, his words, and even his observations.
Forty-five minutes later, Godric emerged from his Cara’s apartment, invitation blessedly still intact. Their conversation had been light, an extreme relief after his near faux-pas when he’d first entered her home. Her questions had been well-considered and thoughtful, her answers to his own queries lively and honest.
The delicate scent of her building arousal had caused him to repeatedly bite his own tongue to swallow his own blood to keep his most basic instincts at bay.
On his way slowly back to his child’s home, he realized that he felt both shattered and whole, and the feeling was most disconcerting. He knew that huge changes were taking place deep inside both his mind and his heart, but he wasn’t sure what to do with himself in the meantime. His thought processes were much clearer since he had first sensed his Cara, and he was a great deal more in control of himself and his reactions, fools named Cal notwithstanding.
As he slowly floated over the dimly lit streets of Shreveport, he heard sounds all too familiar at different times in history, and zeroed in on the source. Although it wasn’t that late in the evening, three thugs were assaulting an unfortunate young woman. She appeared to be a strumpet, but regardless of her occupation, whether chosen or not, such things were never to be tolerated. Within seconds, he had broken the necks of all three men and tossed the monetary contents of their wallets to the grateful and shivering woman. He then glamoured her to forget him, and to start a new life if she so chose. The men, however, would no longer have need of the contents of their…anything.
When he took to the sky after disposing of their now-useless bodies, Godric realized that although his stomach was almost uncomfortably full, something, a necessary connection of some sort, was still missing. After contemplating this strange need and the events of the evening for a moment, he gently called his child.
He smiled softly in anticipation.
Eric…the comfort and care of his Eric was what he needed after the astounding success and disorientation of this night.
**A/N: I hope you liked this chapter. I wanted to show what’s going on in Godric’s mind, and how he’s handling things. He’s…different, eh? Reviews are welcome!**