One Night – The Fourth Night – Part 2

**A/N:  Annnd here we go – the second part of the first full night in Dallas.  We have the usual suspects – Eric, Sookie, and Godric, then in a later Part a certain Pam just might chime in.  In this Part there will be a Tina, some toes, and yes – a lead-in to a haircut.  Read with kind eyes – I’ve been sicky, ya know…**

Instead of inviting Stan’s friend’s brother’s cousin’s aunt’s whatever to Godric’s not-so-mini mansion, Eric wasn’t at all surprised to discover that his Maker preferred other arrangements.   It made sense, of course – while the location of this home wasn’t considered a national secret, there was no sense in unnecessarily broadcasting its existence, either.

Given Godric’s talent for using all available options to his advantage, however, Eric wondered why the old man hadn’t suggested having Sookie read the…whoever he was.  The ancient survivalist seemed to have security precautions embedded in his very bones so it was a bit odd…but then Sookie’s bemusement when Godric had simply called someone and told that someone to call someone else to see if that someone could meet him and Eric at the Area nest had been mildly adorable.

An open book…odd how well she seems to fit in…her humor and curiosity are almost tangible – it’s like she smiles through this small bond…smiles…gads how maudlin can I be…should be used to that from her by now…right?  Wonder what it will be like when this evolves into a real bond?  Need someone to follow me around with tiny violins by then at this rate.  Damn it stop staring at her feet…even when lightly tanned with little painted toenails, feet are feet…and toenails are not cute…

Tina, who had jumped down from Godric’s lap in a snit over his movements when he’d dared to extract his phone from his pocket, haughtily wandered over to the locked screen door to pointedly ignore everyone.  Obviously the nothing going on outside was now far more interesting than the two vampires and fairy hybrid chatting companionably in the library.

Silly cat.  Ok, yes, fine…her toenails are cute.  Ah, Tina, you are a little diva…need twelve more of her…don’t they come in different colors and degrees of fluff?  Variety is good…and maybe some dogs, too.  Dogs are…smelly, though. Too Were-like.  At least Godric’s manly bits are safe now…should have spooked the cat just for the hell of it…

Long legs stretched out before him, Eric watched his Maker’s interaction with the hybrid from the comparative safety of one of the comfy chairs across from the couch where the two still sat.

Just as he had expected, Godric felt a growing curiosity about the young telepath and her circumstances, and as he had hoped, the old man was intrigued enough to involve himself beyond what he might have done solely on his progeny’s behalf at least.   That the two seemed to get along well was a definite plus.

All totaled, the feelings from both of them in regards to the other seem to be becoming faintly familial…a whispering of it at this time, sure…have only just met, but fascinating!  Something about her seems to have nudged at the old man’s protective instincts…this is good…quite good…

Eric had never bothered to study the growth of bonds, blooded or not, and found the whole concept interesting.  His glanced around the room again and felt a small burst of warmth at the sight of the two pairs of shoes seemingly shed at random.

She seems to have made herself at home, well, at least here in the library anyway…wonder how she got along with the Weres?  Need to do a meet-and-snarl with them…responsible for her safety and welfare during the day…need to discuss the guards here, too.  Too many will draw attention but can’t leave a newly-discovered, ill-informed, too-friendly telepath unsecured…

They weren’t in any particular hurry to implement any sort of plans, not since they had the vague security of the signed contract, but time was still a luxury at this point.

…which is a rare blessing given how little she actually knows about our world.  Fucking Compton hasn’t even scratched at the surface…

He was particularly curious to hear how Godric would explain the subtle and not so subtle mechanizations that helped ensure and maintain vampire safety and all the pomp and bullshit needed to keep some sort of peace in vampire society.

Mentally, he snorted.

That should make for some fun conversations. Teaching Pam was a breeze…already knew enough of the whys to make the hows easy…very smooth transition.  But Sookie?  Modern young lady if there’s ever been one…most of the bullshit won’t make the least bit of sense to her…rightly so…most of it IS bullshit…may have Pam help…female, so…explain things from the female point of view…might help.  Still, better them than me…especially him…

As with all wise men before him, his Maker had a way of explaining things that never failed to enlighten if the listener bothered to listen and truly hear what was said…and sometimes what wasn’t.

Surely she can keep up with him…hope she can…seems bright enough to and if nothing else she doesn’t mind asking questions.  Godric never did mind questions when the other party truly listened…so patient, even during his bloodier nights…

Sookie seemed to be an intelligent sort so he fully expected his charge to pay attention.  Some fools didn’t…

Then he grinned.

The adorably bemused expression on Sookie’s face had made Godric laugh…especially when her nose crinkled in response to his good humor.

Good.  He needs to laugh more.  More felines it is, then…maybe a baby goat, too…  Wonder if there are more Sookies?  He needs his own…

“This is one of my private homes and so the location isn’t known to many whereas the location of the Area nest in Dallas proper is not so much of a secret, at least not in the supe world,” he’d calmly explained as he tossed his phone to the side.  “So it would be the better location for tonight’s purpose.”

Eric noted that Godric simply waited for the inevitable questions, and sure enough, Sookie did not disappoint.  He supposed he should consider becoming accustomed to that.

“What exactly is a nest?  Eric and Bill have both mentioned the word an’ all but…  Does it mean different things in different contexts, or to different vampires?”

Godric nodded as he considered his words.  A nest could mean many things depending on the vampire involved and the purpose of the location.  He wished he knew the words Eric had chosen to use with this child but in the end it was irrelevant.

He could choose his own words…he knew so many of them!

“Yes, a vampire nest can be many things and are as varied as the creatures who comprise them.”

He watched as this Sookie regarded him steadily as she awaited his wisdom.   It seemed she did possess the rare ability to listen as well as hear.

“A nest can refer to a structure, usually a house these nights, which shelters a group of vampires, or it can refer to the group of likeminded vampires themselves who have chosen to live and roam together as an organized group… although the degree of organization is questionable with some,” he added with a wry shrug.

“Vampires band together for the same reasons humans would, mostly for protection, but often because they share similar goals or personalities.  Some join a nest solely for convenience and are more or less simply roommates.  This how it is with those in my retinue who share a home nest.  It is purely for convenience and security.   They come and go as they please with no undue allegiance or loyalty toward others who share the same house.”

Godric paused to give the charming hybrid a chance to nod her understanding and smiled when she made a gesture indicating her wish that he continue.

“My retinue,” he then automatically explained, “or group of subordinates, is comprised of vampires I have chosen to employ for their talents.  They work with me on official matters related to my Area.  They are loyal subjects and have skills that are beneficial to me.  It is convenient to all of us for them to be immediately available to do their jobs especially when emergencies arise.   Most of them have other places that they consider home and they visit during vacations or whenever, but it is simpler to stay in the Area’s nest.  So in this case, the nest is both the physical location of the house and the vampires in my retinue who reside there.  Keep in mind, however, that not every vampire is part of a nest.”

Sookie made what Eric was beginning to consider her concentration face before responding, “That makes sense, I guess.  I can see where being in a group of other vampires would make life safer and you’d have company, too, but it’d also be annoyin’ if you didn’t really get along with the others or didn’t trust them or whatever.  Plus some people are loners by nature and they’d hate bein’ in with a group all the time.  So…is this house here your nest?”

It was difficult but Eric contained his smile.  He knew Godric’s opinion of most so-called nests…

Godric, however, laughed.  “Oh, no, child, this is one of my homes. If I had to, I suppose I would consider the Area nest to be my nest…I have sheltered there often, but I do not consider it a home.  It is a convenient place to take care of business and keep an eye on situations when I’m out of my actual office.  But other than that location, I do not consider myself a member of any nest.”

He shook his head with slight disdain.  Nests were fine for the younger set but were far too annoying for an elder no longer having to endure the absurdities of the younger crowd.  The phrase ‘get off my lawn’ drifted through his agile mind and he…agreed.

“The difference between a vampire’s home and a vampire’s nest may sound subtle but is strong.  This is my home, my primary residence for now, just as your house would be your home.  Eric is my child and so is considered family, and if his progeny were here, the three of us would be considered a familia, not a nest, as we are related by blood. You,” he pointed at Sookie with a wide grin, “are a guest in my home, not a nest mate or a nest toy.  That is the difference between being in the home of a familia versus being a pet in a nest.”

His expression became more serious.

“And just as with humans, some nests are harmless while others are not and should be avoided at all cost.  The phrase ‘birds of a feather’ is true.  When you hear of a less than savory nest, remember who the members are and know to avoid them at all costs.”

Memory of Sookie’s experience at the hands of the “Disco Triplets” surfaced and Eric felt his temper rise.   He was coming to the conclusion that fucking Compton’s ill-handling of her introduction to the supe world would always piss him off and rightly so.

Piss-poor judgment…astounding stupidity…  Fucker is definitely old enough to know better.  Exposing her to such vile creatures…what the everloving fuck had Compton been thinking? 

Evidently sensing his temper, Godric flicked Eric a barely discernable look of surprise but said nothing as he patiently waited for his child to speak.

“Sookie, do you remember the ones you called the “Disco Triplets”?  Malcolm, Diane, and Liam,” he added for Godric’s benefit, “are considered a nest regardless of where they spend their day.”

Both vampires watched as Sookie shivered in memory.  This time Eric felt Godric’s anger tingling through the bond.  The old man had most assuredly heard of the disgusting members of that slimy little nest.

“While they are an example of a vampire nest formed by, shall we say, like-minded individuals, not all nests are comprised of such low-life scum,” he assured the telepath.  “But some are, so it is wise to know which nest a vampire is affiliated with because like does tend to run with like.”

Fucking Compton…fucking Compton…fucking Compton…bash his fucking head in…fucking ill-bred pond scum…

“Birds of a feather,” Sookie muttered with distaste, and both vampires caught the sickened expression on her face.

“And what happened with this nest?”  Godric’s voice was deceptively nonchalant, one side of his mouth slightly curled.

Sookie’s shiver proved her reluctance to discuss the issue, so Eric described the encounter with just enough detail for Godric to understand the points that perhaps even the blonde in their midst hadn’t realized and, Eric hoped, never would.

Compton’s complete disregard for the girl’s health and safety were beyond insulting.

As he felt his Maker’s revulsion rising, he ended his exposition with, “I believe Thalia will enjoy making their acquaintance.  She’s due for a reward soon.”

Godric smiled and Eric could have sworn the temperature in the room fell by several degrees.  Thalia’s reputation – cold, ruthless, skilled – was known by elders the world over.

Godric nodded, satisfied.  “She always was a bloodthirsty little thing.”

To some vampires, especially the ancient, killing humans had long shed its glamour so they’d made the move to stalking and running vampires when the need for bloodsports reared its happily little head.  Luckily Thalia tended to go after the worst of their kind.  Any human casualties weren’t worth mentioning in her eyes.

It’s past time for her to slip her lead…been good for the last couple years…deserves a treat…  Compton and his Maker…gag ball…ha!…are suitable gifts but Malcolm, Diane, and Liam will be icing on the bloodcake.  They’ve scented the hybrid’s blood…can’t trust them to forget it…been a pox on humanity for far too long.

Go Thalia go…

Eric whipped out his burner phone and fired off a text to Pam while Godric caught and held Sookie’s attention again.

“As Eric said, it is a very good idea to know which vampire is affiliated with which group as those with more nefarious feathers do tend to flock together.  That information could well prove useful.  But as for myself,” he decided to clarify, “while I am associated with the Area nest here in Dallas because I am Sheriff, it has been a very long time since I have bothered with a nest…of sorts.  I live in my homes, here and elsewhere, when I’m not actively performing my duties.” He paused when Sookie’s worried expression indicated another question rising in her delightful mind.

It had been far too long since he had played the role of teacher.   The only knowledge Eric currently lacked was the type that could only come with experience; he no longer had true need of a Maker to hold his proverbial hand.  Although for whatever reason she seemed to lack some observations that he would have thought she’d have mastered by her age, this fair Sookie was proving quick-minded and able to see correlations… at least she knew when and how to listen.

He found he missed the exhilaration of sharing knowledge with one genuinely worthy.

“Are you on vacation now?  Is that why you’re here?  Oh, no, you didn’t have to take time off because of us did you?”

Godric smiled calmly at her fallen expression.  “Yes and no.   I decided to take time away from my nightly Area duties for you and Eric, but I had some vacation nights due to me anyway.  If something comes up that my Second can’t handle, I am certain she will notify me, but otherwise my time is my own for a while.”

“How much time-off do you have coming to you?”

He paused for a long moment before replying with a shrug, “Years.”

Sookie’s jaw dropped and both vampires laughed albeit the younger with slightly less humor than the elder.

Eric smirked as he felt first a burst of shock from Sookie followed by a secondary wave of what he could only consider scheming.

“So what all do you have planned to do right now while you’re off work?   You need to take advantage of this time and go do something fun.  Can vampires sleep late?”

Ah, humans…even the hybrid variety…the delightfully scented hybrid variety…with little painted…

Godric resettled himself on the couch he still shared with Sookie before answering.

“Right now?  My current plans are to enjoy my child’s visit since they are so rare,” he haughtily intoned with a sly slide of his eyes toward said errant child, “and to oversee your introduction into the vampire world.  There is much you must learn, and while doing so quickly would be to our mutual benefit, we can’t skimp on the details or the experiences.  Knowledge is power and you will need all you can get considering your…gift.”

Eric couldn’t help but notice the minute hesitation before the final word.

No doubt he’s thinking about her heritage…thank all the powers that be that her scent is subtle enough…much more and she’d have been someone’s dinner well before now.  How…who?  Wonder what Adele knows or has been made to forget…

Sookie nodded although she appeared to be concerned.

“Mine and Eric’s names will go far to aid in your protection, but at the end of the night you are responsible for your safety as much as we are, if not more so…albeit in different ways.  The current contract will protect you to an extent, but no matter how inadvertently, if you were to, say, threaten or badly insult the wrong vampire, that contract would only be a paper shield.”

Eric felt a spike of fear from the telepath so he sent a burst of caution to his Maker.

She needs to know the seriousness of her situation but there’s no need to terrorize the girl, damn it.

Godric cocked his head as he regarded the now pensive Sookie.  “And now it is my turn to ask the questions.  It is only fair, no?”

Surprised relief tinged with humor instantly brightened her face.  “Sure, go for it.  Even if you didn’t answer my question.”

Godric laughed and inclined his head in acknowledgement.

“Vampires do not actually sleep so much as we fall into something along the lines of a… stasis, of sorts, but that is for later.  In short, we succumb to the sun’s pull when the night grows into day and are released from that pull when the day fades into night.  While we can descend into what we call downtime whenever the need arises, no, unfortunately, we cannot sleep late…although lying abed after waking, what we call rising, has its own rewards.   Now, how long has it been since you were on one of these vacations?”

“A vacation?  Me?  I’ve never been on one.  I’ve been to Dallas and New Orleans once with school groups, though, does that count?”

“No, my dear, it does not.  And I cannot think school would have been such fun, either.  How did you manage your telepathy when you were in such close proximity to other students?”

From what she had mentioned on previous nights, Eric knew it hadn’t gone all that well.

“I didn’t,” she replied with a wince.  “It was terrible.  All though school I had to struggle every day to keep from accidentally answering some other kid’s thoughts or even the teacher’s thoughts.  The headaches were excruciating.   I did great on the homework because once I got home I could read the books and concentrate but while I was around all the others I couldn’t even tell half the time what the teacher was sayin’ because of everybody else.   Tests were the worst, too,” she mumbled then apparently cringed in memory.

“How so?”

Eric had the strangest impulse to scoop the girl into his arms and console her on his lap, but with his millennia of experience he was able to fight the urge.

When it finally lessened a bit, he didn’t feel as though he had actually won anything.

•~•0•~•

INTERMISSION, MAYBE

This part is less than 7,000 words, so I’ve opted not to include an intermission, official or otherwise…much.  Maybe.  Use your own judgment about it – if you gotta pee or tend to the kiddies or laundry or if you wanna cuddle puppies (squee!!), have at it.   Make yourself a cup of coffee and/or a grilled cheese sandwich (sans pickles and/or ketchup if you must), pat the hubby/wife/sig-o/breathing chore-doer on the head as you pass – gotta keep’em happy, right?  Toss’em a grilled cheese if you want to come off especially nice.  Don’t toss the hot coffee, though…well, unless it’s gone cold and then it’s entirely up to you and your cleaning preferences.

Just keep in mind that this Part won’t disappear as if by magic unless your browser/internet/device/etc suddenly hates you.   Now, it could magically disappear if we were overtaken by hopefully-benevolent alien wannabe overlords, but if that’s the case then forgetting where you left off reading would, perhaps, be of less than major concern.  Yeah, it’d probably fall under “minor concerns” at that point, right after “how will this affect the world’s coffee/chocolate supply” and before “wait, do I still need to return those library books?” but on par with “how long do I have until I have to cook that roast in the fridge before it goes bad.”

Decisions, y’all.  The days are filled with them.  Make the right ones. (Tomorrow…roasting that damn roast tomorrow…alien overlords be damned.)

END INTERMISSION, MAYBE

•~•0•~•

The cat caught his attention as she came around the sofa.  During their conversation Tina had finally become bored with staring out the screen door and had been daintily stalking around the room and pausing now and again to rub against the furnishings.  She chose that moment to jump up on the couch and butt her head against Sookie’s knee.  Obliging the demanding little diva, Sookie began lightly stroking her fur as she answered.

Eric’s eyes followed the caressing movements of her fingers over the cat’s fur and he pondered the sanity of being jealous of a dainty little feline.

“Everybody was quiet while they were takin’ the tests and you’d think that would have made it easier for me to focus, but because it was so quiet, everybody’s thoughts felt like they were even louder.  They would all be thinkin’ so hard it was like they were screamin’ in my head.  It was mental torture.  Any good grades I got were because of my homework and good behavior.”

Both vampires noted the drooping of her shoulders as she subconsciously curled in to herself.

“I did do ok in PE, though.  I was on the softball team,” she added with a half smile.

Storing his observations for future consideration, Godric queried, “PE?”

“Physical education, where students go outside or to the gym to play games, then later when they’re a little older they learn more about sports and can play on organized teams,” she explained.

Godric inclined his head in understanding then reached for his phone when it rang.

“A moment,” he said to excuse himself from the room as he rose and exited the library to hold his conversation in private.

Sookie continued petting Tina.

Eric continued watching as though he couldn’t afford to look away.

Although he still wished it was his hair that her fingers caressed, something she said remained at the forefront of his mind.

The modern educational system made little sense to him given that his own childhood “educational period” had been both long ago and far different, but from what he understood, a number of small to mid-size humans would be herded into various rooms and talked either to or at by an adult in boring clothing who ostensibly knew more than their students did.  Somehow there were tests of some sort to gauge what knowledge these sticky little people had retained and then they would be talked to or at again.

And that cycle would continue until one or both parties either completed their educational obligations or couldn’t take it anymore and left to experience life outside of those walls…almost feel sorry for the sticky little people…do they really have to raise their hands and ask permission to visit the toilet?  …remember some movies Pam made me watch…why she would want to watch movies where the lead characters were in a school setting is beyond me…most of what she considers entertainment is beyond me…  But surely teachers aren’t as clueless, as misinformed or as downright cruel, as the ones in those movies and shows…would have to cram those erasers in certain highly specific places…even the small sticky people could release a large selection of bugs into those boring rooms…would be hard to smuggle crows in but an effort could be made…oh, chickadees…those would be fun…

But the system seems so barbaric…forcing the sticky little beasts into sitting still for hours…and knowledge is meant to be passed down in stories told by beloved and incredibly experienced elders and by doing the things a person needs to know…  My how times have changed…and to have to endure hearing all the other brats’ thoughts while trying to pay attention to whatever the adult was saying…and even having to combat the adult’s thoughts…

He couldn’t imagine how difficult it must have been to try to focus, to try to learn anything, with those obstacles.  He’d known from previous conversation that it had been bad and he’d suspected that it had actually been a little worse than she’d indicated, but to hear more of it…

“I know you said that sometimes your telepathy causes your head to hurt, but are the headaches still as bad as they used to be?”  The question escaped before he could think to think about it.

He slouched down a litter further into the almost-big-enough chair as he considered buying a roll of duct tape to prevent future lapses…lapses that were sadly becoming more frequent around the lovely hybrid.

Sookie shrugged a shoulder as she continued petting the lucky, lucky cat.

“They’re not usually as nasty as they used to be, but yeah, once in a while it’ll feel like the inside of my brain wants to explode.  Being here with you and Godric like this is pretty much like a vacation for me since I can’t hear you or him.  I mean, I still catch a tiny little bit from the Were ladies, but they’re easy to tune out.  I guess it’s because of their Were-ness.  Their minds are so hard to read that it’s easier for me not to try.”

Then, to Eric’s surprise, she exhaled gustily.

“While I’m lovin’ bein’ here with you guys, I can’t stay here long, not like this.  The longer I’m completely away from human minds, the harder it’ll be when I’m back around them again.”

His hands gripped the chair arms as an invisible hand clenched in a most unpleasant manner somewhere in Eric’s chest.  He wasn’t even going to think about how his stomach lurched.

Wait – WHA…WHAT THE FUCK?  She can’t go—it’s not safe!!  No!

A lifetime of pretending to keep his cool came to his rescue.  He even managed to loosen his left hand as the chair arm protested his treatment.

“Constant exposure to humans helps that much?  It seems as though a break from the stress would be helpful, but too long of a break is bad?”

She nodded, all too obviously having no idea how hard his chest would be pounding if it still did such things.

“I love the silence – you have no idea how much I love it, but yeah, my shields are like muscles and if I don’t keep usin’ them, at least a little, they’ll weaken in no time.”

Eric made what he hoped was a noncommittal sound before replying, “Do not concern yourself.  We will think of something.”

Something…there’s got to be some way she can spend time around humans without risking discovery…  What do humans do?  Local bars…but the local vampire problem…  Same with supe-human restaurants…  They would be perfect, but finding one secluded enough to not rouse Area vampire interest might be tricky…Godric might have some ideas…his Area, he should know…get her point…muscles…she has attractive muscles…are lips considered a muscle?  Pussies can have very strong muscles…wonder how…

Godric strode back into the library and Eric nonchalantly readjusted himself in his seat.   Tina decided to be startled by the elder vampire’s reappearance and scrambled off to partially hide under a table.  She was hidden; her tail was not.  Godric shook his head about both their antics.

“That was Stan.  We leave in ten.”

He quickly slipped his shoes on then looked to Sookie.

“The staff is here if you need anything.  In fact, I believe they dawdle in the kitchen area for that purpose.”

Sookie smiled and rose from the sofa to stretch…rather enthusiastically in Eric’s pleased opinion.

Just as he was enjoying the sight of her healthy stretch…and all the delightful things it did to her curves, he heard a pop that sounded suspiciously as if it had come from one of her body parts.

“Oh!  That felt good,” she breathed, then laughed at his expression.  “Sorry.  Years of haulin’ around heavy trays of food and drinks takes a toll on a person.  But yeah, I’ll be fine with the ladies.  We got along great today.  I’ll probably go and bug them, maybe see if they want to hang out outside.  Seems like a pretty night.  Are there…um, guards out there now?”

Godric cast a kindly eye over her uncertain face.

“Yes, so you needn’t worry.  Stay aware of your surroundings, of course, and listen to the Weres.  You aren’t likely to notice the guards unless they need for you to.  Together you should be safe enough outside if you remain close to the house, perhaps on this patio.”  He gestured toward the screen door.

She scrunched her nose.

“Well, for what it’s worth I can tell you that there are three voids out there somewhere right now.”

Eric and Godric immediately focused on the hybrid in their midst.

“Three…voids?”  Godric cocked his head to the side.  Eric felt and shared an initial burst of alarm but then the old man’s rabid curiosity took over as he firmly squelched that first bout of alarm.  “Is that how you sense a vampire’s presence – as a void?”

She nodded without appearing to notice that she was the subject of the two vampires’ razor-sharp attention…something Eric knew most logical humans – and no true supe even before reaching maturity – would never be able to so blithely ignore.  Vampires were simply too predatory and only the daftest, most mentally comatose non-supe would be able to disregard being in the sights of two such experienced hunters.   Instincts simply would not allow it.

Or maybe she just knows that neither of us would harm a hair on her pretty blonde head…has to be it because while she’s naive she’s sure as hell not dumb.

“That’s what I read instead of thoughts from you guys.”

“So you can detect if a vampire is somewhere near to you even at their stealthiest?  Can you tell how close a void is to you?”

Sookie glanced at Godric then shrugged as she began collecting the scattered books.

“Kind of?  You gotta remember that, despite everything, I really don’t have all that much experience with vampires, at least not in any way where I could just sit and think about things.  But yeah, like right now I can sense in my mind that you two are really close and I can tell that one of the vampires out there is maybe a little closer than the other two.  Or something along those lines – that particular void thing seems a little smaller than the other two.  Other than that and as far as I can tell, they’re all three scattered pretty far away, I think, and kind of far apart from each other.”

She placed the books on a nearby table and turned to face the vampires.  Eric had caught and held Godric’s gaze as each considered her revelation.

With a serious expression she began, “I can’t say that I automatically notice voids, though.  I mean, they’re like the absence of thought but only a little thicker…I know that doesn’t make any sense to you guys, but that’s kind of how it seems to me.  I have to actively search to sense that peculiar feeling in my mind; it’s not like it shows up like a human’s thoughts do.”

She shrugged then admitted, “The only reason I noticed the three outside just then is because I remembered you saying that there’d be vampire guards at night and I wondered if the Were guards had switched off with them yet.”

“It would be beneficial for you to hone what could become a valuable sense,” Eric spoke at last.  He felt the need to relax his features slightly.  “It certainly can’t hurt to know as much about your surroundings as you possibly can.”

Godric nodded then seconded Eric’s opinion.  He, too, made a point to appear less serious.

“This is definitely a skill that could serve you well in the future.”

He paused as though to study some unknown spot on the wall for a moment, then nodded again before instructing thoughtfully, “See what you can discern.  Distance? Feel?  Impact if any?  Maybe the voids truly do have a difference in size that is irrespective of their distance?  The more you know about this gift the better…the more knowledge you have, the more options you’ll have for its use.”

He shrugged then grinned slyly.

“Would be handy for tag.”

He glanced back to his child.

“We leave in six,” he cheerfully announced before suddenly blurring from the room.

Eric and Sookie looked at each other and both snickered at Godric’s behavior, then she grinned.

“So you’re finally going to get your hair cut, huh?”  She wandered over to stand behind his chair as she asked her rhetorical question.  “In one way it’s about time,” she teased.

He sensed her movement as she added, “But in another way it’s a shame.  Guess I need to enjoy your pretty hair while I can.”

Eric bit back a groan when he felt her fingers sliding through his long, loose hair.  He obligingly tilted his head forward to allow her better access and wondered if his action could in any context be considered magnanimous.

He bet not.

When after a few moments she began threading her fingers through his oft-cursed bangs and stroking them back from his forehead, he had to clench his jaw to keep from groaning…maybe even purring… with pleasure.

As his eyes closed in bliss, he realized that somehow he didn’t think duct tape would help with that…or with the problem beginning to inflate in his pants.

Fuck you, Tina.  I won.

Determined to thoroughly savor this singular pleasure, he relaxed as best he could in the chair not built for persons of his frame, and held vampire still so as not to interrupt the flow of her fingers.

Although any number of the sycophants at his now former bar would have given their likely unwashed body parts to touch the sole of his dirtiest boots, their touch – the perversion and desperation behind their touch – would have urged him to shower as soon as possible.

The worst cases had him consider keeping disinfecting bleach in his shower.

That Sookie was being so casually and openly affectionate – not servile, not desperate, not laden with questionable perversions, just honestly affectionate – with him in such a simple way…and without expecting anything in return other than common civility and respect blew his mind.

“I know you can’t wait to get some of this chopped off but try not to go overboard, ok?”  Her fingers slid through the hair at his temples as she spoke.

The groan won.

“Like that do ya,” she mentioned, he thought, rather casually for someone determined to murder his sanity.

The groan may have turned a bit…growly.

Not that I would admit it…  And yes…growly…not rumbly like a feline’s purr…  I am Viking…we do not purr except under the  most extreme of stresses…oh don’t stop…

She snickered and, to his growing delight, lightly if blatantly…and all too briefly…massaged his head from pate to nape with the soft, talented pads of her fingers.

Then as if on a royal quest to ensure he turned into the vampire version of melted butter, she once again teased her long fingers through his silky blond hair, her nails lightly scratching his giddily happy scalp until he could have sworn goose bumps coated his arms.

Nope…not…going to…awww yes, right there…right there…right there…ohhhh nice…is…is this what transcendental…ahhhh, don’t stop…meditation is all about?

Once in a while one of her fingers, he assumed her littlest finger, would brush against the top or the side of his ears and if he hadn’t known it to be impossible, he would have sworn they were growing flush with heat.

He couldn’t find it in himself to care…soooo nice….

Just as he was beginning to suspect…hope…suspect the fondling was on purpose, he heard sounds of his Maker’s return.

Fucking figures.  Old man always did have the worst sense of timing…think he works to perfect it…

All too soon Sookie drew back her addictive fingers and just as Eric heard Godric jingling his car keys in the foyer, she spoke with a voice suspiciously devoid of humor given the amount he suddenly detected through their small bond.

“Have fun going with Daddy to get your hair cut.  If you’re a good boy maybe he’ll buy you a treat!”

He rose to his full height, glared as best he could down at the all-too-innocent little shit otherwise known as Sookie, and snapped at her with a small growl.  He was certain his otherwise famously furious expression was compromised by the grin tugging at the side of his mouth, but at least he tried, right?

Her happy laughter rang in his ears as he strode from the house.

Godric, however, simply shook his head and rolled his eyes at the youngsters’ antics.

Ah, young love…  Perhaps I should buy the boy a treat for good behavior…a lollipop? No, at one time the silly brat would have tried to eat it.  A sticker from one of those machines?  Maybe a small bouncy ball…yes, that would be perfect…Tina could steal it and bat it around the house…

**A/N:  (Bangs = Fringe) Annnd Eric is off with “Daddy” to get his haircut!  😀  I had to have Sookie tease him with that.  *snicker*  So…it’s been a while, but what did you think?**

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80 thoughts on “One Night – The Fourth Night – Part 2

  1. Pingback: ON – 4th Night – Pt 2 is up! | Addicted to Godric…& Eric…& Andre

  2. Still loving Eric’s rambling thoughts! And now a small obsession with her toes, lol
    Like the idea of Godric teaching her what she needs to know. I think they’ll both be able to help her so much.
    Godric taking Eric for haircut and getting him a treat cracked me up! Pretty sure Eric will leave plenty of hair to tempt Sookie to run her hands through it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love love love!!!

    Eric’s wandering thoughts are everything! Why a baby goat though?? Lol

    Loved lesson time and the head rubbing was perfect. Can’t wait to see what you have planned next!

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  4. First off welcome back, glad you feel like writing again. Now loved the chapter so funny about Godric buy a treat for Eric just do Tina would steal it. Looking forward to more chapters.

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  5. So I got to read this in tidbits, and absolutely loved it!!!!! Especially loved how gentle Godric was with her, teaching her but not overwhelming her. You handled this so well it makes my attempt in Edge seem very choppy!!

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  6. Oh! Such a treat to get another chapter of this story. Absolutely delightful by the way. The inner musings on toes and goats, the running of the fingers through Eric’s hair (!), the adorable way both Maker and Child are so completely fascinated by Sookie… Just perfect. Love this! Thanks, Mer. Cheers and coffee to you. 🙂

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  7. Eric is definitely going to be jealous every time Tina is caressed by Sookie after having tried those caresses on his own scalp. Hahaha. It will be a laughing situation when Sookie realizes through the feelings that come from him.
    Perhaps without realizing it, Godric has laid the foundations for Sookie to better train her telepathy and make it truly useful for her own survival. It’s an amazing situation in itself as we all know the rejection Sookie feels for her own telepathy. I love.

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  8. I can’t get enough of this. I didn’t want this chapter to end. I absolutely love Eric’s inner dialogue, it always has be laughing. The purring is do cute. I like the teacher and student exchange .

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  9. What an adorable chapter! There is nothing like a good head rub. Having the insides of your arms lightly scratched feels delicious, too. And foot massages. Love Eric’s thoughts during her ministrations, and everything else.

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  10. So glad he’s getting his hair cut. He looks so much better with short hair. Loved the hair massage and scalp scratching. Can’t wait for more. Hope you are all better from your illness.

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  11. it was a great chapter.. starting on her training of the Supe world is much needed and Godric is so patient. i wonder when Godric will think Gran is needed at his home as well? i guess after an update from Pam about the twin guards of the queen and what they might be up to. for whatever reason i feel them more on Sookie’s side than the Queen’s. looking forward to what reward Godric buys for Eric, it is a must to include in a future chapter. KY

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  12. How does that saying go? “Still waters run deep”.. the idea of Eric sitting there appearing to be so in control while internally he is basically running amuck is too funny. Her toes? And purring like Tina (admit it, that is what he was doing while Sookie was running her fingers through his hair)….delightful

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  13. Feels like it’s been so long! Sorry that you’ve been sicky! Love the chapter and Eric’s jealousy over Tina getting more scratches that he. Love everyone’s interactions with each other. Can’t wait for more!

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  14. desireecarbenell: Wow – you made me tear up a bit there. It’s my aim to write stories and books where “decent characters act decently” – not perfect, of course, and hopefully it doesn’t come off too cheesy (a little cheese is always fine, right?). In real life people truly should self-aware enough to at least try to be polite, considerate, patient, and “easy going” whenever realistically possible – it should be the norm. The vampires will still be their other selves when they need to be, but I figured while they’re hanging out at home they can be more their true selves. Sookie’s presence helps them, too; she softens the atmosphere so that they can allow themselves to be more who they really are.
    (In Andre the namesake vampire was characteristically rude and impatient, but as time went on he unwound enough to be, well…less so, at least with his Emma and somewhat with his inner Eric-Sookie-Rasul-Tracy(OC) circle – hope it came off realistic.) Thanks! ♥

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  15. bbrock525: Thanks! Eric’s mind goes a mile a minute. I’m trying to hold back from overloading the chapters with every…single…thought, but it’s hard. In my mind, he’s hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. mom2goalies: Heh, I could just see his eyes catching her little painted toenails and his brain keeping thinking about them, lol. With his extreme age and all his experience, I figure Godric would be a fantastic teacher, and that he would talk to her rather than “at”, too. Glad you liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. thenakedpears: Heh, Eric’s a blast to write! There’s never any telling where his mind is gonna go next. (Boy ain’t right…and Godric would totally second that.) Glad you like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. bashfyl: Heh, baby goats are cute!! All jumpy and goat-y all over the place! 😀 I see Godric as the type to talk someone through a lesson, very conversational, not lecture-y at all (unless he’s pissed off). And I totally had to have Sook take that last opportunity to run her fingers through Eric’s hair while it was still long. *sigh*

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  19. tleel: Thank you! Heh, I can totally see Godric being devious like that – getting to needle Eric *and* provide (yet another) toy for Tina? SCORE! 😀

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  20. missingjasamalways: Heh, Hurricane Pam will arrive sooner or later…and Eric’s not entirely sure if that’s a good thing or not… And ohh, Thalia…do love me some Thalia and her bloody ways… 😀

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  21. treewitch703: At this point Godric is content to let Eric handle things on his end in his own way, but he’s also not exactly “hands off”, either. More will come up, and while Thalia’s role in this story is mostly minor, she’s a long-term presence. Thalia…in my mind she’s a truly interesting and useful character with both visible and hidden depths.

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  22. Kittyinaz: I don’t think Godric’s interaction in Edge was choppy – the circumstances were different so they couldn’t relax all that much. I see teaching, educating, sharing knowledge as being inherent in this version of Godric’s character, and he’s been depressingly bored. It’s a natural thing for him to want to educate those willing to learn, and his way of doing so is through “simple” conversation, at least for the most part (and…he’s been bored…). Some things will take rote. Plus at this point they have the luxury of time and a contract on their side, plus they’re living now in a friendly state (more on that later), so he’s enjoying taking the slow and easy route. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  23. teachert99: Oh – coffee! *sips away happily* I’ll admit it – I’m having a blast showing how easily Sookie is worming her way into their little family…and showing how welcoming they’re being with her, too. It doesn’t hurt that this Sookie has enough common sense to realize that she needs to know everything either of them is willing to share with her about her new circumstances. Now, that’s not to say that she’s perfect, or that they are, either, but she’s putting for the right effort on her own behalf so that helps encourage Eric and Godric to do their parts, too. 😀 Glad you liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Jackie69: …with Sookie’s teasing words ringing in his ears… Ha! Thanks! I do feel kind of bad for him…a little…but he’s not going to get it cut too short…there’ll be some left…

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  25. cari1973: *snicker* He’ll be glaring holes at the cat now that he knows what he’s missing. And…at some point, she just might catch on, too!

    Exactly! As a truly good-hearted person “cursed” with the burden of untrained telepathic powers, I can honestly see why she had never really been able to see how to actually use her gift for what it is. But, now that she has the time and the quietude and the support from Eric and Godric, she might be able to see this ‘curse’ for the gift it really is and discover new advantages to it. 😀

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  26. fffbone: Baby goats are adorable – all scampery and frollicky and jumpy and…and…noisy. And I’m betting they’d smell like goats, too…

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  27. mindyb781: Hey thanks! It just feels natural (to me, at least) for Godric to teach someone via conversations – guided or natural. It allows a natural question/answer exchange with no pressures at all. And Eric? Heh, dude ain’t right (Godric would agree…)! Glad you liked it!

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  28. murgatroid98: Thank you! Heh, take that, TINA…! He was really into it, lol. And Go Sook for getting in that one session of running her fingers through his hair before it was chopped off, too! 😀 Glad you liked it!

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  29. nedbella: Ugh, that wig! Ew! If he’d been given a much better, more natural, wig, I think he’d have looked great. But as it was? Yeah, that mess gotta go… Glad Sookie ws able to run her fingers through his hair first, though…and he totally loved it! 😀

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  30. kleannhouse: There’s so much she needs to know or at least have a clue about but at least they do (sort of) have time on their side so they can ease her into the supe world a bit more gently. Gran, Jason, and possibly (probably) a spider will resurface eventually… Thanks!

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  31. shoegirl01: Awww, thank you! Heh, I have fun with the intermissions – they’re never planned, either – I have no idea what they’re going to be until I do the insertion symbols, then BAM! Whatever falls out, stays. (That should give you a clue as to how my poor brain works…)

    Liked by 1 person

  32. valady1: Exactly! I have this image in my mind of Eric sitting on his “throne” all stone faced and still yet in his mind he’s imagining all the patrons dressed in poodle skirts and zoot suits with sparkling blue and purple hair while playing jacks on the floor while people dressed in frog and gorilla suits playing leapfrog over them or some such. In my mind, his mind is a fun and strange place… 😀 I could totally see him spotting Sookie’s toes and becoming fascinated by them, and then “nanner nanner’ing” Tina when Sookie starts ‘petting’ him! Ha! Glad you liked it!

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  33. redequus: Thank you! Sookie does sort of have a way of softening the atmosphere… 😉 And poor Eric, so jealous of Tina…and then he got his own headrub! 😀 He was in heaven! Glad you liked it 😀

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  34. Mer, I think one of the reasons I enjoy this story so much is this Sookie. Like you said she has such common sense and, I don’t know, there was just something about about how the story began with Eric pondering things and making decisions right in the very beginning that have led us here. Just 4 nights after meeting these characters we have a family together. And we have Eric and Godric together wanting to help and to protect Sookie. It’s such a different and such an interesting take on this story. He continues to fascinate me – well all the interior monologue stuff is great, all of it, but wondering the meandering thoughts, the spider and even the toes- love it. ❤️ you definitely keep me entertained. Pots and pots of hot coffee to you. Truly, I cannot wait for more.

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  35. teachert99: Hey thanks! I try to make all my Sookies more what I consider realistic – not perfect, but not too stupid to live, either. I figure anyone finding themselves in her situation would automatically know that they’re out of their depth. Some would stick their head in the sand but I like to think that the human/hybrid race is smart enough to eventually pull their heads out of their, um…sand, right – sand…and get on with learning how to deal from the people who know…how to deal.

    I do admit to being a bit baffled by this story’s popularity. I mean, it’s almost a minute-by-minute journal of Eric’s life so I’d have expected readers to fall away pretty quickly out of pure boredom! I mean, Eric’s funny in his mind – it really is a trip writing “his” thoughts! – but there’s been no sex at all and won’t be for a while yet (if things go as sorta-planned, but then again, the characters are the ones guiding this plot, so…) and the course of each Part is, pretty much, a moment-by-moment record of pretty much every…single…thing… But it’s fun (to me, at least)! 😀

    But yeah, the entire premise of the story is based on how very differently things would have turned out if Eric had taken that needed initiative and gone with his gut. Because he did, he’s free, Sookie’s free-ish, Godric will live…and he has the chance for a beautiful romance. It’s not going to be all smooth sailing, but at least he’s in a hella better ship for the journey. It makes me wonder how many things each day – each hour – we change by following or not following our own gut. That we’ll never know is beautifully sad.

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  36. Goodness, with that last bit about wondering what if… I could sit here all night pondering all of my choices, all of my decisions, all the roads not taken. But, at least tonight, I’m opening a good Cab and gonna watch a movie. 🙂
    You said you were baffled by the popularity of this story- especially since there hasn’t been any sex yet (though that right there makes me hopeful!!!). Allow me the opportunity to act like a fangirl for a moment as I share my personal reasons for falling for this story and not dropping away. As if. Alright, this story is amazingly creative. First, it is precisely because you start at the very beginning and make that small yet significant change (Eric going with his gut) which then allows you to go off into brand new territory, that captured me and sucked me in to the possibilities of what could have been. And when I say could have been, I mean for both Eric and Sookie’s relationship as well as for Sookie’s plot. Sometimes, she is on the receiving end of so much shit thrown her way. This plot has allowed for the possibility of strategic planning that could lead to a new future for our heroine. Second, your use of interior monologue. This is so refreshing for someone who reads a lot of ff, which includes so much dialogue (and it ties into my last reason). Next, you brought Godric back! I could go on and on about his character and the gorgeous hunk of a guy who plays him (and who I picture in my head as I read- whoo hoo!), but I think you understand me so won’t. But most of all, it’s your sense of humor. Darlin’ Mer, you are a wonderfully hilarious writer and I always enjoy the experience of reading. It’s a treat to settle in, grab a cup of my favorite tea, and read a chapter of your work.
    Hope you don’t mind the share- now off to make a quick dinner…need something to go with the Cab!
    Terryl

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  37. I love this and missed it . Love the jovial mood of this chapter all three characters easing into each others company. Ok all caught up on to the next hehe

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  38. teachert99: *super-blush* Thank you! Your kind words really do make me wish I had more time to dedicate to the story. I do have a blast with it, and with mainly Eric’s “unspoken” thoughts. I’m actually trying to bring a bit more dialogue into the story – between the three mains at least – but at heart, it’s about Eric and how his world view is slowly changing. It’s also about how he’s now more able to be more himself – his ‘rescue’ of Sookie has freed him from quite a few binds, too.

    Plus…………….Godric. 😉

    I’m with you – so much shit was thrown at Sookie – too much, too fast – it’s no wonder she was *almost* emotionally stunted (in a very vague way). While it’s a side-effect of Eric’s decision to act when and how he did, I love being able to give Sookie a chance to breathe, a chance to absorb Godric and Eric’s vast amounts of combined knowledge gained oftimes the hard way, and a chance to better craft her own future. Because of her cousin Hadley’s humongo-mouth and the Queen’s greed – and Bill’s perversions and greed – Sookie’s choices are fairly limited, but thanks to Eric and then Godric, at least she does have some.

    Thank you for your kind words – I definitely cherish them! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  39. lorip100: Glad you like it! I love writing “happy-homey-emotional if not physical cuddlefest” type scenes. There’ll be more after I get a bit caught up with the WIPS that came before this. Eric and his thoughts are a hoot!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I just had to re-read this again. It is my second most re-read fic (First being EIM’s Multiverse). I love this Eric, this Sookie, and this Godric. The differences such a small decision made possible are simply astounding. The humor comes out in so many precious ways. You astound me. I’d send you an ever refilling coffee and grilled cheese buffet if i had the magic to do so. 😉

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  41. What a fun chapter! I love how well Sookie and Godric are getting on, and the fact that Eric thinks Sookie’s toenails are cute is adorable.

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  42. bashfyl: Awww, thank you!! I’m working (still…) on Part 3 of the 4th night, but it’s getting there (the parts are sometimes over 10,000 words…sometimes they take a while to type out, lol, and then there’s editing and such, yadda). But yeah, that is exactly the point of this whole fic and what started it in the first place: ONE small decision can make a world’s worth of difference in the lives of so many. We’ve seen (in TB) how things went when that one small decision wasn’t made; now let’s see what could have happened.
    Now, to invent that ever-refilling coffee cup and that grilled cheese buffet…anything’s possible… *manic gleam*

    Liked by 1 person

  43. georgiasuzy: Lol, poor Eric, he’s got it bad and, well, he’s figuring it out but hey, he’s gotta at least try, right? *snicker* Glad you liked the chapter!

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