While lying on my bed in my safe room under Fangtasia waiting for the sun to set, I analyze the events of the night. If anyone had told me yesterday that the Fairy Prince would appear tonight offering a marriage alliance with his Great-Granddaughter, I would have laughed in his or her face.
Even more interesting, if someone would have told me I would be seriously consider said alliance, I would have continued to laugh until I cried bloody tears.
And I had never laughed that hard before.
Nevertheless, I was thinking about Sookie’s resting period and contemplating the Prince’s offer as well as our negotiations from the last few hours.
Watching Sookie fall into her rest tonight had been strange. The suddenness of her resting coma, as Niall had aptly named it, was similar to the way a vampire dies for the day. Although all of her human bodily functions continued, her heart rate and breathing pattern were significantly slower than that of a sleeping human. Her skin paled a little as well.
Calling her resting period a coma was very accurate, as she could not be woken up once she had fallen under its spell. I had tried to gently nudge her awake to learn more about the ‘King’ she had mentioned hearing in the Werewolf’s thoughts, but she didn’t respond at all. After a couple of moments, the fairy Claudine, popped into the room and took Sookie to her safe house.
That left the Prince and I alone so that we could get back down to business.
The most important item up for discussion for me was the blood oath I had foolishly and inadvertently inherited.
Sookie had explained the basics of the blood oath, but I demanded the Prince explain it further as I had obviously underestimated part of what I heard.
After listening to Niall’s explanation, it became clear that I hadn’t created a blood oath but had, instead, inherited one that Sookie had formed under the Prince’s direction.
When Sookie had told me a blood oath applied to anyone who shared blood in the past, present, or future, with the person who pledged the oath with the ritual knife, it seems I didn’t consider her words closely enough. When we spoke of it, I thought the reference to the future applied to future children a vampire might make or, for fairies, future offspring. I didn’t consider that tasting her blood would bind me to any blood oaths she had already taken.
The Fae referred to my current predicament as an inherited oath. It occurred when the oath was passed on through blood and not formed at the time of the ritual. So, while Sookie’s family was bound during the ritual with the knife, my bloodline was bound by inheritance when I tasted her blood.
Damn. It was a huge miscalculation on my part and it pissed me off. I was over a thousand years old and I allowed myself to get lost in my desire for the fairy princess and her blood.
It confirmed what I already knew; she could easily be the death of me if I didn’t get this situation under control.
Luckily, the blood oath that transferred to myself and my bloodline was not too detrimental. Niall revealed that he instructed Sookie to take a blood oath saying she would honor the agreements of any marriage alliance above any other loyalty. Other than the safety and security of her people, of course.
It was a smart move on his part.
With that blood oath, he had successfully pre-empted any potential allies’ questions of split loyalty on Sookie’s part and betrayal on the part of the Prince, since he shared her bloodline and therefore held to the same oath. In addition, once the agreed upon spouse had tasted her blood, he too would be unable to break the alliance.
Even more impressive, Niall had used the same verbiage that was normally used in vampire monarch’s marriage ceremonies.
Luckily, however, the Prince explained that if I didn’t agree to be a party to the alliance, then the alliance blood oath held no compulsion for me or the rest of my bloodline. This saving grace was due to the honest intent of the oath applying only to the parties involved in the alliance.
If I didn’t agree to the alliance, then I would have to complete the ritual with the knife to form a blood oath requiring me to keep the Fae’s secret regarding Sookie.
Once I was satisfied with his explanation, our next order of business was to discuss the alliance.
Before I knew about Sookie’s tri-hybrid status and the dangers it would involve, we had agreed on everything in the alliance except the marriage terms.
However after I understood all the implications of her condition and the alliance, we had a lot of re-negotiating to do. After ninety minutes of debate, we had come to terms on everything and I had wrangled a few concessions out of the Prince. Fairy guards would be provided for Sookie when needed. Also, magical protection against my enemies by the Fae would be at my disposal. Finally, we redefined the terms under which I would be required to use my resources to protect the Prince’s reign.
All of our earlier agreements regarding the Fae’s assistance with ridding me of my issues with the Queen, and my yet-to-be-named other enemies, remained the same; as did the marriage agreements.
I was fairly happy with these results, but I still didn’t sign on the dotted line.
That angered the Prince considerably.
I told him I simply needed time to consider everything, and I would like him to return to Fangtasia the next night at midnight.
The truth was I didn’t do anything this important without taking some time away from the issue to think it through. More importantly, I wasn’t going to agree to an alliance that would affect my entire bloodline without talking to my Maker.
Ever since I woke this afternoon, I’ve had a never-ending barrage of visitors and endless phone calls from my family.
Jason called twice. First, he called to tell me he was okay and tucked away somewhere with Claudette until we could figure out the threat from the Weres. The second time he called, he wanted me to know he was still ticked off that I didn’t let him use his silver loaded gun on one of the wolves.
In his words, “Why give me the damn thing if I can’t even use it?”
After all these years, I knew Jason felt cheated that he didn’t have any powers. So, instead of arguing with him, I just let him bitch.
Claudette took the phone from Jason, after I had listened to him complain for about fifteen minutes, in order to tell me not to worry about him because she’d keep him safe, and I had other things to worry about.
She was so good with conversation and pep talks.
Like I needed a reminder about my worries.
Claude called to tell me I owed him for cleaning up after my Were massacre last night.
He hung up almost before the sentence had completely left his mouth.
I would have been offended if he wasn’t like that with everyone.
Claudine stayed with me all day long. She talked me into going to the spa for a pedicure, brought me a book to read while I lay in the sun, and shopped with me online. All the attention made me self-conscious. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to be comforting about my plight, reassure me we were still family, or if she was making sure I didn’t get myself into any trouble.
The most annoying thing was that no one would say anything to me about the outcome of the negotiations with Eric. In fact, it was almost as if they had a collective plan to try and keep my mind off of it all.
As if that was going to happen.
About an hour before sunset, Niall joined Claudine and I for dinner in the penthouse. It was an early dinnertime for them, but it was required for me.
Like sunshine, food was a daytime treat for me.
At sunset, all I craved was blood.
It took me a couple of days in my new freaky state of being to figure out the limits for my body. Since trying to eat food at nighttime caused me to vomit profusely for hours and trying to drink blood during the day disgusted me, I was relieved when I finally figured out the rules of consumption. I was tired of throwing up.
“I’m meeting the Vampire at midnight.” Niall’s words interrupted my thoughts.
I swallowed my food and urged him to tell me more. “And?”
“I’m not certain he will agree.” My great-grandfather said evenly.
“I see.” I tried to keep my tone even to match his, but I think I probably failed because I knew this was his way of telling me he thought Eric would decline.
It wasn’t that we didn’t have other options for our alliance, but I had personally chosen the Viking above all others.
Niall had given me a list of over two hundred vampires throughout the world when this whole ordeal started, and the only one on the list I found acceptable was Eric.
He was cunning, beautiful, powerful, and cruel when needed. However, he also had a child that choose to stay by his side, a Maker who was well respected, and a history of being honorable – for a vampire.
After observing him and then meeting him last night, I was sure I’d made the right choice. He had a commanding presence and a violent edge, but there were tiny moments where I could sense something deeper.
I wanted to learn what was underneath his outer shell in both a carnal and figurative sense.
What was most disconcerting though was that I didn’t feel disappointed.
I felt horribly rejected.
How dare he make me feel this way!
“I want you to review the list again.” If the Prince noticed my dejected and then angry state, then he chose to ignore it. “I will return no later than one AM. I won’t appear to be desperate for the Viking’s agreement. If we haven’t signed an alliance by then, I will have him sworn to secrecy with the blood oath and then return for your next choice and visit them later tonight.”
At that moment, the clock struck on the hour and I immediately stiffened in my chair.
Since my birthday, we had all become very aware of the exact time the sun would set and we now only had about eight minutes to prepare.
“Cousin,” Claudine said softly. “We thought tonight that we could try chains with a combination of silver and iron. We’ve tried silver chains, iron chains, and both types at the same time, but never silver and iron combined in the same chain. Perhaps, in addition to Niall’s new wards, they will hold you long enough for us to feed you some bagged blood.”
“I’ll try anything.” I whispered softly.
It was true. I would do anything if they could stop me from needlessly hunting and killing humans.
For the past week, we had been searching for some combination of magic and restraints that would allow my family to keep me confined at sunset until my immediate onset of bloodlust could be appeased.
So far, nothing had worked.
Every night at sundown, I immediately teleported out of the penthouse and found a victim while the thirst controlled me. It wasn’t until my bloodlust was satisfied that my logic would return. Once it did, I always found Claudine waiting for me with open arms.
She was truly my savior. She would hold me while I cried, take me home to clean-up, and dispose of the remains of any humans I had drained. Then she would do her best to cheer me up.
She was an angel.
I was a monster.
As Niall watched Claudine work with gloved hands to chain my body, I tried to focus all my thoughts on control. I already knew this plan with the chains wasn’t going to work because they weren’t burning me. So, I was trying to convince myself I could mentally snap myself out of the upcoming bloodlust if I could just focus more intently, and find the right trigger to stop myself from draining anyone.
I knew I had to feed, but I didn’t have to kill.
Suddenly, I felt a rush of power and I knew sunset was upon me. I stiffened my muscles and tried to focus on anything but the hunger now burning in my stomach.
What I found inside me made it worse.
I felt a second thirst. It wasn’t as strong as mine but it combined with my own to make my hunger unbearable.
Before Claudine could come near me with the bagged blood, before I could try to re-center myself, and before another thought came into my mind, I popped out of my penthouse and followed my thirst.
My eyes opened fully as the sun set for the day, and I was out of bed and dressed in the blink of an eye. My Maker should have arrived today via Anubis Airlines and my day man should have delivered his coffin to the other safe room in the bar. I was anxious to see Godric, as it had been over a century since the last time we had been in each other’s presence.
As I started to leave my safe room, however, I found myself pausing with my hand on the door.
Something felt off.
I felt hungrier than normal.
I searched myself for a moment until I found the cause and I groaned when I figured it out.
I had her blood.
And she was part vampire.
Since I was focusing on my weak connection with her at the time, I easily noticed when she was suddenly very close to my room.
Not expecting her in my bar and pissed off that I had to feel her hunger, I left my room in a rage and followed our weak bond to her location.
Only to find myself shocked still as a statue by what I found.
Sookie was standing in the middle of my bar wearing a light blue sundress with little yellow flowers stitched into the hem. The dress accentuated her breasts with a low neckline and her tan legs shown beautifully beneath the skirt. Her hair was swept up into high ponytail and she was wearing yellow high heels.
She was also draining our waitress, Ginger.
Seeing her in all her vampire glory made me want to fuck her.
I didn’t know why Sookie came here to feed but I knew Ginger was here because it was time for her to start re-stocking the bar, like she did every night.
I didn’t really care personally if Sookie drained her. Ginger was a good employee but she was dumb as a rock and tasted like shit.
But it would be too much paperwork.
“Sookie!” I growled menacingly.
She ignored me and continued feeding. She didn’t even flinch.
That pissed me off.
I started striding towards her as I spoke again, “Stop now!”
“You won’t be able to touch her or get her to listen.” I whipped my head around to find Claudine standing in the shadows.
“We do this every night.” The fairy continued softly. “Until her bloodlust is satisfied, her shield stays up and she doesn’t seem to hear us or notice our presence.”
“Interesting company you keep, my child.” Godric had entered while I was listening to the Fairy and I had somehow missed it.
“Master.” I kneeled before him as he cocked his head and studied the fairies in the room.
Well, fairy and fairy-human-vampire hybrid.
I didn’t get a chance to say anything as Godric quickly assessed the scene and calmly offered an intriguing solution.
“It seems you’ve had her blood, yes?” He asked me and I knew he could smell it in me regardless of the small amount. He was over two thousand years old.
“A drop.” I confirmed.
“Try calling her.”
He was referring to the magical pull or call that vampires could use on their vampire children or bonded humans. There was also a similar magic involved when a vampire shared their blood with another of our kind.
“With only a drop?” I raised my eyebrows in surprise.
“You just need to get her attention to pull her back from the edge.” He said evenly. “She may stop on her own if you can break into her concentration.”
I was shocked by Godric’s suggestion but I thought it might work.
Vampires very rarely exchanged blood with anyone other than their Maker and children because it gave them some control over each other. Sharing any blood between vampires formed a slight bond that allowed each vampire involved to slightly feel the others emotions and ‘call’ the other vampire to them if they needed assistance.
Sharing wasn’t as powerful as an exchange because sharing was one sided. Both vampires shared blood in an exchange and it made the bond between two vampires much stronger and difficult to ignore. Also, if two vampires completed three exchanges, an unbreakable blood bond is formed.
But I didn’t need a blood bond for this task. I just needed enough magic to get her attention, as Godric suggested. I had learned a lot about Sookie last night and I knew she despised herself for killing what she considered to be innocent humans.
Focusing internally, I found the slight tie I had to Sookie and called to her as I would if I needed Pam.
I saw Sookie flinch and she lost the rhythm of her feeding for a moment before she started again.
“Try again.” Claudine ordered excitedly.
I growled at the Fairy with my fangs descended for trying to command me but Godric drew my attention back to the situation at hand.
“Eric, you only have another minute or two before the human is drained.” Godric’s voice was even, calm, and neutral.
I moved closer to Sookie until I was only a couple of steps in front of her and I called to her again.
When she blinked, I saw the bloodlust clear for a moment and I caught her gaze as I said sternly.
“Stop or you will murder the human.”
She dropped the waitress to the floor and popped away.