Since it’s been a while, here’s the ending of Ch. 7:
…Sookie popped herself to the other side of the Portal near her…the Bon Temps house.
It had gone full dark already, and within two paces she found herself grabbed up in another pair of strong vampire arms.
“Sookie,” the deep voice rasped in a verbal caress as the tall vampire buried his nose in her hair and then into the crook of her neck. “You smell of sunlight and fairies and grass and…”
Eric suddenly leaned back to glare down at the fairy hybrid now held firmly in his hard grasp. He demanded, “Why the hell do you smell of Godric?”
Eric caught the scent of his beloved Maker and all rational thought threatened to leave. Sookie smelled of Godric – his dead Maker!
My Maker… But my Maker is…is dead! How…
Suddenly finding herself caught in Eric’s strong and desperate grasp, his fangs descended and his words falling into snarls, Sookie felt she had two logical options. Her first was to immediately and permanently put him out of his misery, and she was sure she might live to regret that choice at some point in the far, far future no matter how badly his hard hands were bruising her at the moment.
Her second choice very quickly landed him on his mighty fine backside a hundred yards and four broken trees away. She rubbed her arms as the feeling slowly came back into them as she warily eyed the furiously dazed vampire.
When Eric finally skidded to a stop, she immediately immobilized him from the neck down with her light, and silently thanked Niall for teaching her that trick. She would also have to thank Godric for teaching her that particular “get out of an Eric hold” maneuver, although he had certainly not called it that. However, it was indeed thanks to the Maker that the Fairy could get away from the Son so that the Fairy could tell the Son that the Maker yet lived.
She stifled a near-hysterical giggle at that, then focused her thoughts on the stunned Viking. After grabbing the envelope from the basket she’d dropped, she slowly approached him as one would a wild animal.
“You’re right,” she said, her voice soft as she spoke to the enraged vampire held motionless now at her feet. If blue blazing eyes could kill with questions and curses, she would be sparkling fairy dust by now, but she couldn’t blame him. “I do smell like Godric and there’s a damn good reason why, too, if you would just let me speak.”
His only reply was a fangy snarl.
Godric…Godric…Godric…, his mind chanted even as his body fought to free itself from her magical bindings.
Why does she smell of my Maker? MY Maker… Where is he? Where is my Maker? He felt his eyes fill with tears. It’s been so long…so long…
Sookie’s heart broke a bit when a lone red tear slowly trailed down his white cheek. Ignoring the pricks and pulses of feelings that seemed to be coming from him, she knelt by his side and nodded to the letter in her hand.
“He asked me to give you this, and to tell you that he said, “In ainm an Athar, agus an Mhic, agus an Deartháir,”” she whispered, pronouncing the unknown words slowly and carefully.
She stared in awe as Eric’s face completely transformed. She had no idea what the words meant, but they obviously held great meaning as the impotent fury was quickly replaced with beatific joy, amazement, and a desperate hope that warred with valid disbelief.
Another bloody tear slid down his cheek as Eric whispered, his voice both broken and hopeful, “Is this true? Can it be…true?”
Not entirely convinced of her own safety yet but knowing she could easily pop away if she needed to, Sookie rose and took a few paces backward before cautiously releasing his bindings.
Instead of rising immediately, Eric simply sat on the ground and gazed up at her.
“I think he wrote about that in his letter to you.” She held out the letter to him, and watched as he gazed at it as if it were a miracle too overwhelming to accept.
A long moment passed.
“Tell me again,” he intoned, his gaze still fixated on the letter he seemed too stunned to grasp.
Dare he reach for the miracle?
“In ainm an Athar, agus an Mhic, agus an Deartháir,” she softly repeated. She took a step closer, then said once again with a slightly stronger voice, unaccountably honored to be able to give this to him, “In ainm an Athar, agus an Mhic, agus an Deartháir.”
He closed his eyes for a moment and, with a burst of inhuman grace, rose and held out his hand for the letter. He lifted the thick envelope to his face, inhaled deeply, then clutched it to his chest. Eric bowed his head as great sobs suddenly shook his large frame.
Although she would strongly berate herself for it later, Sookie was unable to stop herself from gathering the emotionally overcharged Viking into her arms, his cries so powerful they shuddered through her own body.
Her hand in the silky hair at the nape of his neck immediately guided his head to rest on her shoulder. She slid her arm around his waist and held him as securely as she could, and she comforted him while he poured out his grief, remembered misery, and desperate hope.
Neither noticed the pretty fairy with the short black hair who peeped her head out of the Portal for a long moment before quickly disappearing.
Godric paced at normal speed along the sides of the Palace’s large interior courtyard.
Sookie, with her basket and his letter, had returned to the human realm several hours ago, but something felt…off. Something was niggling at the back of his mind and it irritated him worse than even shoes did.
Godric did not like when things…niggled. Niggling was not good.
Sure, the fairy hybrid had a good head on her lovely shoulders, and she did, indeed, know how to protect herself. Between her fairy powers and her so-called “combat training” – some of which he had taught her himself – he was certain that she could handle most anything that came her way.
…if it were a fair fight.
The problem, however, was in making sure that the other fighters fought fairly.
He rolled his eyes and resumed his pacing, and for the moment he chose to ignore the worried yet curious eyes of Sookie’s cousin Claudia. Apparently he still wasn’t supposed to be able to tell that she was silently watching him from the partially concealed alcove she seemed to prefer.
The beautiful but skittish fairy with the sometimes blonde hair was a bit shorter and of a slighter build than Sookie. Sweetly sassy (from what he’d over-heard before she would detect his presence and from what Sookie had said at other times) and with a fairer heart than most of her kin, the woman had always treated him as politely as she could given her unnecessary but ingrained semi-terror of him and his kind.
He understood her reasoning, however, and quickly gave her credit for trying. At least her “shrieking and disappearing” phase hadn’t lasted more than a day or two.
That had gotten old fast.
Now, when his appearance was expected, she would simply glide on silent feet to the other side of the room as rapidly as possible without popping, and could even manage to exchange a few pleasantries before coming up with some excuse or other to graciously leave the vicinity. He suspected she was right in remaining so wary of his presence. After all, he was vampire, and she would be a tasty, tasty treat had he any less self-control.
But, as she and her innate distrust for his kind were learning, he did have tremendous self-control.
His thoughts returned to that nagging, niggling feeling, and he wished once again that he knew what in seven hells was bugging him.
“You worry for Sookie?”
Hearing the unexpected voice, quiet and softly lilting, and apparently closer than he would ever have expected, immediately halted him in his tracks. Very, very slowly he turned to face the fairy.
“Yes, Claudia, I think I must be.”
Her lovely hair, mutable with the vagaries of fairy thought and, perhaps, emotion, was now short, wavy, and black. The worry in her eyes tugged at his heart as did the fear she resolutely attempted to suppress in order to have this highly unusual exchange.
Granted she was more than thirty feet away, but this was the first time she had ever initiated a conversation with him, and his concerned gray eyes softened into blue at the thought. For one as faint of heart as she considered herself to be, her bouts of bravery spoke all the louder.
“Why, child? Do you worry as well? I cannot think of what she would have to fear, but if we are both worried…” He allowed his calm, relaxed voice to trail off to encourage her to speak her mind.
“I…,” her voice faltered, then with a strong breath she began again. “I could pop in and…and ch…check on her if…if you would like?”
Claudia could not believe that she was standing there, out in the open, so near to…to Godric! Her stomach clenched and her hands trembled even though they were hidden under her elbows as her arms were wrapped around her waist. But, after having watched the faepire’s preoccupied pacing for the better part of an hour, she was determined to speak to him. Something was bothering the normally composed vampire, and she wondered if it had anything to do with her dear cousin. This had to be the single-most terrifying thing she had ever done, but she could always pop away if he came closer, right?
Determined to ease her fear, Godric stepped back from her another five feet, then bestowed his gentlest smile upon her. He wasn’t sure if it was the smile or the increased distance that helped, but she seemed less nervous afterward. He secretly suspected it was the increased distance…
“Yes, yes that is an excellent idea.” He tried not to show too much enthusiasm for her inspired idea and thus risk scaring her away, but he would love for her to know how much he appreciated the thought…and how very much he respected the courage she was showing by speaking with him on her own.
With a nod, and a very slight smile in return, Claudia disappeared.
Ten minutes and a dozen yards of pacing later, she reappeared…less than a foot away from his person.
His fangs dropped from the surprise.
Both froze in shock for a moment until Godric regained his senses. He deliberately resheathed his fangs with a click, then took several slow, purposeful steps backward while maintaining eye contact with the absolutely terrified fairy.
It was only after he was more than twenty feet away that Claudia finally managed to move, her whole body trembling in reaction. She popped over to an intricately carved bench many more feet away, and seemed to brace herself for a very long minute before speaking in a whisper.
“You may come…a little clo…closer if…if you…if you want.”
His pride in the little still dark-haired fairy growing by leaps and bounds, Godric slowly closed half the distance between them and paused.
“What did you learn, ma petite?” As thrilled as he was to see, nay, to experience the beautiful fairy overcoming her fears, he needed to know what was happening on the other side of that damn Portal.
Her wide eyes, which had been watching his feet and his core for any sign of attack, flew to his face at the endearment, and he could have sworn that she blushed. Well, he amended to himself, her face suddenly seemed less blanched from shock at any rate.
“I saw them…Sookie, and a vampire I know from her mind to be Eric, just beyond the Portal. She he…held him in her arms as he wept.”
**A/N: *sniff* Our little Claudia is growing…up? Out? Something… (I call it falling prey to Godric’s innate charm and magnetism! Oh, wait, that’s what I’d do… Carry on!) Annnnd wait…was that a…a hint of MATURITY flowing from our Sookie, too? Could it be?? Ok, folks, what’d ja think?**