I don’t know how long we stood there exchanging angry looks, but I was starting to wonder if Eric was considering just killing me and forgetting this whole thing.
His anger was that potent in my veins.
When the pilot’s voice came over the cabin speakers, the interruption came as a relief.
“Mr. Northman, we will begin taxiing for takeoff in five minutes. Please secure your belongings and take your seats.”
As soon as the announcement finished, a stewardess entered the cabin and I found myself embarrassed that someone may have witnessed our disagreement.
The mannerly Southern woman, taught by Gran, decided to take over for a few minutes; so I stepped back a couple of paces from Eric and took a couple of deep breaths to calm myself.
I ignored Eric’s angry glare, and turned to the woman who was cleaning up from my dinner.
“Thank you for cleaning up. The dinner was wonderful.” I said graciously.
“Your welcome Ma’am.” She replied as she started pushing her tray back towards the cabin doors. She seemed to be in a hurry to leave the room and I couldn’t blame her.
However, before she was completely out of the cabin, she turned to address Eric.
“Per your request, Mr. Northman, the pilots will be the only other people present on the plane during your flight. I will be leaving now since your dinner items have been cleared.”
Eric only nodded in response and I found myself angry with him again, but this time for his horrible manners.
“Thank you.” I called to her as she exited the plane. Then the pilot secured the exterior door before quickly going back into the cockpit, and closing the door behind him.
I turned to look back at Eric and wondered if everyone else could feel the anger flowing off him or if I was just feeling him through the bond.
I guessed it didn’t matter. He was still pissed off regardless.
And for some reason I wasn’t the least bit bothered by it anymore.
He could be angry.
I was angry too, so at least I had company.
I decided to ignore the fact that he was giving me the silent treatment and hadn’t moved a muscle since I yelled at him. As I felt the plane begin to move away from the hanger, I walked over to one of the couches in the luxurious cabin and took a seat.
I felt his anger peak even higher through our bond.
It was childish. I knew it was, but I decided to push him further.
I reached for a travel magazine to read.
I suppose that was his limit because I hadn’t finished opening my choice of reading material when it was ripped from my hands.
Yet Eric still didn’t say anything.
Instead, he walked over to the couch that sat directly across from me and leaned back in a relaxed posture.
But I could still feel his anger, and it wasn’t lessening.
Finally, he decided he was ready to talk.
“I’ll address your yelling and blatant disrespect later since I think it would impede our conversation if I addressed it now.”
“Hmph.” I exclaimed as I crossed my arms.
He ignored my reaction but leaned forward to put his elbows on his knees and clasp his hands between them, before he started speaking again.
His eyes locked with mine and I felt like his eyes were piercing the deepest recesses of my soul.
“Would you like to yell at me again or would you like to talk about who you are truly angry with?”
“I think it’s fairly obvious who I’m angry with. Don’t you?”
“Yes. I do.” He responded drily.
I tilted my head at him. I was curious regarding his meaning and, despite my anger, I wanted to know what he was thinking.
“And you don’t think it’s you I’m angry with do you, Oh Great One?”
“No.” His jaw clenched even tighter with my mocking. “I know you are annoyed with me because you do not understand my actions or reactions at times, but you are not truly angry with me.”
“I’m so happy to know that.” I responded sarcastically. “Would you like to enlighten me then and tell me who I am mad at?”
Eric’s eyes narrowed and I literally felt him fighting against his own anger as he continued to ignore my disrespect.
“You are angry at Herveaux because he gave you a taste of the hate you will be exposed to as a vampire. You are angry with your Grandmother for not telling you of your true heritage. You are angry with your Fae family because you are a target due to their politics. You are angry with the Shifter and your so-called friend because they have turned on you even though you always stood by them. You are angry with Bill for deceiving you.”
The lump in my throat started building when Eric mentioned my Grandmother, and it had continued to grow until the tears finally fell when he mentioned Bill.
But I tried to ignore it all because – even if what he said was true – it didn’t mean I wasn’t angry with him.
“That doesn’t mean . . .” I said before I saw that he had started walking towards me. When he sat beside me, the rest of my words died in my throat as he continued speaking in a softer tone.
“Most of all you are angry with yourself. You are angry with yourself for trusting Bill. You are angry that you misjudged the Shifter and that useless drunk human. You are angry that you felt guilt over the death of a man that abused you as a child. You are angry that you are upset with your beloved Gran for not telling you the truth. You are angry that you are different than everyone else. You are angry that you are not strong enough to survive on your own, because someone stronger than you will always try to take advantage of you and your talents. However, more than all of these reasons, you are angry that you can never have a normal life. Even if you chose to run, you would always be looking over your shoulder and hiding. You are angry that your life is not your own.”
I was holding my head in my hands and sobbing by the time Eric finished speaking some of my deepest thoughts. He had started softly running his fingers through my hair mid-way through his speech, and it was now helping me to calm down.
When I could speak, I quietly asked, “How did you do it?”
I turned my head to look at him sadly. “I’m guessing you didn’t know you were being turned.”
He shook his head.
“How did you accept it? How long did it take?”
“Sookie, it was a different time and I was a very different person from who you are now.”
“How long?” I pressed.
He sighed. “Not long.” He shook his head. “I wasn’t married and my entire family had been killed so I was alone. I was the ruler of my clan but I had never wanted to rule.”
“Did. . .” I trailed off thinking the question was too personal for us at this point.
“Ask me.” He pushed me to continue.
“Did you want children? Did you miss the sun? Or food?” I hiccupped as I asked the question.
“I didn’t want any responsibilities so I didn’t want children.” He paused as if to consider the rest of my questions.
“The smell of human food was repellant for a while so I didn’t miss it. However, I did miss the sun. My people were often in the sun to work or fight so I found that adjustment to be more difficult than food or family.”
“And now?” I asked.
Eric gave me a half smile. “Now I rarely think about it and I love to look at the moon and stars on a clear night.”
I nodded softly and sat back into the seat feeling exhausted from my emotions.
After a few moments, I decided to get back to the original subject.
“I’m still mad at you.”
Eric actually laughed a large, stress-free laugh.
“And why is that?” He finally asked through his amusement.
“I’m tired of you being right.” I mumbled.
That earned me another round of laughter.
“Wouldn’t you call that annoyance and not anger though, my dear Ms. Stackhouse?”
I turned my head away from him and grumbled, “Asshole.” under my breath.
We sat in silence for a few more minutes before I decided to start working through the list of questions I wanted to ask Eric. I started writing them down on the first day after this whole mess started, but I’ve added to it over the last couple days.
I needed answers.
With my head still resting on the back of the seat and my eyes closed, I asked Eric one of the questions from the list.
“What about your Maker?”
Unexpectedly, I feel a sudden rush of overwhelming pride, adoration, respect, and gratitude. Before I could even fully comprehend that the feelings were coming from Eric, they were all gone and replaced with hesitation.
“What do you want to know?” He asked stiffly.
I opened my eyes and turned my head to look at him and sighed.
“Normal stuff, Eric. He, I’m assuming it’s a he, would be the vampire equivalent of your family. What’s his name? Is he still undead? Was he good to you?” I huffed in annoyance. “I thought we were suppose to be getting to know each other tonight. How does that work if you shut down when I ask you questions?”
Eric’s eyes became fierce as he moved so close our faces were only inches apart.
“Vampires do not freely give information about their Makers because a vampire’s Maker is the only one who has complete control over them. If you were not my bonded, asking such a question would be considered insolence and have dire consequences. You will never ask another vampire about their Maker, do you understand?”
As my Gran would say, I was catching flies. “You mean vampires never talk about the one who made them. It’s always kept a secret?”
“Older vampires like myself, may know a younger vampire’s Maker because we were around when they were made. So, we saw the younger vampire at the Maker’s side. Thus, vampires older than Pam may know I am her Maker.”
Eric was thought for a moment before he added more. “Also, vampires are required to report the name of their Maker to their Sheriff and Monarch so that he or she can be contacted if the child is punished or needs to be controlled. However, other than mandatory reporting, the oldest vampires do not reveal their Makers.”
I took a few minutes to consider everything that Eric had revealed. Everything he said about keeping the identity of your Maker hidden made sense, but it seemed to be another way of isolating oneself. If you couldn’t talk about your Maker, then did a vampire never talk about their past?
“I’m starting to get the picture that a vampire’s survival and existence is always about keeping isolated, watching your back, and hiding everything about yourself.” I said glumly.
What kind of existence is that?
“Yes. There is always the need for secrets and personal vigilance, but there are also many positive and wondrous sides that I will share with you over the years.”
I sighed quietly and returned my head to its former position – resting on the back of the couch.
After several moments, Eric broke the silence.
“His name is Godric.”
I held my breath and didn’t push him for more information. I understood that Eric was sharing something with me that he didn’t normally share. I would let him do this at his own pace.
“He gave me leave to travel on my own after a couple of centuries but I stayed at his side for over four hundred years. We’ve traveled together a few times since I left his side, but never for more than a couple of decades.”
I finally turned my head to look at Eric but he wasn’t looking at me. His eyes seemed to be glazed over as he thought about the past.
“He protected me and was patient with me. He taught me how to fight and protect what is mine. He is my father, my brother, and my son. He is twice the vampire I could ever hope to be.”
I could sense that as much as Eric obviously revered his Maker, he was uncomfortable talking about him because it involved talking about someone whom he obviously cared for.
And Eric didn’t do feelings.
At least he didn’t think he did.
I decided to give him a break and try to move the conversation along.
“I hope I get to meet him one day.”
Eric’s eyes refocused on me and he smirked. “When Godric heard about Pam, he surprised me with a visit. In almost eight hundred years, I had never made a child. He was eager to meet my first.”
Suddenly, I was nervous. I did want to meet Godric, but now I was anxious as to how soon that may be. What if he didn’t approve of me?
“I’m sure he will be even more interested to meet my bonded child.”
Was he trying to make my anxiety worse?
I swallowed audibly before asking, “How soon do you think he will come?”
He shrugged and smiled knowingly, “Maybe a decade or two.”
I threw a pillow from the couch at him. “You did that on purpose! You knew I was nervous he was going to show up and you made it worse. You big jerk!”
Of course, Eric found my outburst to be hilarious and he enjoyed his laugh before talking to me again.
“We may go visit him before long. He is the Sheriff in Dallas.”
I just nodded in agreement. I was too annoyed at Eric for small talk.
“Back to the original subject.” Eric returned to his authoritative voice. “Did you learn anything about the powers of a fairy-witch-human hybrid turned vampire today? Or did Fintan only use his time alone with you to convince you to run away?” Eric asked stiffly.
Annoyed at Eric’s demeanor, I returned his stiff tone. “He said he didn’t really know if I would retain the light from my hands or any other powers I might have. Fintan was only certain that I could be turned. He said he’d heard very few tales of Fae-human hybrids that had been turned. Of those, he only knew that one was a daywalker and another was said to have telekinesis. However, others were turned and had no special powers. It’s a crap shoot.”
I glared at him when I added, “Also, he didn’t try to convince me, Eric. He only offered.” I thought for a second before adding. “Actually, I accused him of lying to you when he offered to hide me away.”
“He didn’t lie.” Eric said wryly. “Fintan only gave his word that he wouldn’t force you to break your agreement. He said nothing about helping you leave of your own free will”
I looked at Eric skeptically. “Yes. That’s what he said too.”
We entered what felt like stare down number one million and two before everything clicked together in my mind and I shot up from my seat.
“YOU KNEW HE WAS GOING TO OFFER TO TAKE ME AWAY!”