“It is good to hear your voice, Eric,” Godric said, his tone low and calm in a way that always soothed Eric’s frayed nerves. “But I suspect, as the humans say, that this is not a social call.”
“I am afraid not,” Eric admitted. “Sophie-Anne has…”
“Learned of your Sookie’s existence,” Godric cut him off. “I am aware of the Queen’s interest in our young Sookie.”
“How do you know?” Eric asked genuinely curious. He couldn’t believe Godric would know about Sophie-Anne’s desire for his wife and say nothing. During the times they had met, Godric and Sookie had gotten along wonderfully. Eric couldn’t think of a single reason why Godric would know and not say anything. Eric knew his role as Guardian meant he couldn’t tell him everything, but there was no way Godric would allow a threat to Eric’s wife go by without warning him.
“She saw it,” Godric said as that explained it all and to Eric it did. His eyes had widened slightly; since when did She ever see and allow intervention in the life of a random human. He glanced quickly at his wife as Godric continued. “I planned on alerting you to the threat of Sophie-Anne myself, but by the time I learned the full details, your queen had already sent the vampire Compton into your Area, and you had discovered his real reason yourself. I am impressed child; I am not sure even I would have learned his reason for being there as quickly as you have.”
“Pam can be very persuasive,” Eric replied, casting a look at his child who was sitting proudly in the chair in front of his desk. “Bill spilled the real reason for being in my Area while he was in her and Thalia’s capable hands.”
“I would almost feel sorry for Compton if I did not know what he was really like,” Godric remarked. “I cannot think of a more deserving vampire to suffer the torment of Pam and Thalia. If I had my way, he would have been staked many years ago, but he has friends in high places. Well, that is a lie; he has people who know how easy he is to manipulate in high places, and I am not just referring to Sophie-Anne. In the grand scheme of things she is unimportant, but unfortunately she does pose a threat to you and Sookie.”
“As we both know Sophie-Anne is single-minded when it comes to getting something she wants, something she believes is rightfully hers,” Eric said his tone taking on a concerned timber. He never had to hide what he really felt when he was talking to Godric. His Maker would have seen right through it anyway. “She won’t allow my marriage to Sookie detract her from her goal. She will do and say anything to claim Sookie for her own…”
“And you want to eliminate any legal roads she may have,” Godric finished, realizing where Eric was going and why he had contacted him. His role of Guardian would certainly aid Eric, even if few knew of their real relationship. The two of them had gone to great pains to hide their true relationship, not out of shame or disgust, but to protect the other. “Take anyway any legal means she might have and you will leave her with only the illegal. If she moves against you and Sookie then you will have the rights to move against your Queen without the risk of being charged with treason.”
“I do not wish to place Sookie in any danger,” Eric said as he ran his eyes over his wife who was still sitting in his chair. Her recent ingestion of vampire blood, making it possible for her to hear everything that was being said. The thought of her in any kind of danger felt like a stake to the heart, and he reached for her hand, needing to touch her in some way. He relaxed slightly as he felt Sookie slip her hand into his and squeeze it gently.
“But you know that as long as Sophie-Anne is interested in your wife, Sookie will be in danger,” Godric said after a pause. “There is no way to avoid that. You currently cannot move against Sophie-Anne, which you no doubt know. But if she makes a move against you, you can defend yourself and yours. You wish to take the fight to Sophie-Anne, but make her believe she is bringing the fight to you.”
“I do,” Eric admitted. “I can’t launch a direct assault against the Queen, but I can manipulate her.”
“Mind games with a deranged Queen,” Godric mused. “It is risky.”
“It is for Sookie,” Eric replied simply. For him, the risk was worth the reward. He would walk through the gates of hell to protect his wife. There was no price he wasn’t willing to pay for her. His thumb traced circles on the back of the hand he still held.
“The road you propose to take could prove to be dangerous,” Godric warned. “What are you prepared to do?”
“Anything it takes,” Eric answered truthfully. “There is nothing I won’t do for Sookie.”
“Good,” Godric said, and Eric could almost hear the smile in his voice. “I take it you want me to un-lose the papers you submitted when you and Sookie married?”
“I do,” Eric replied. “I don’t want Sophie-Anne to be able to legally challenge my marriage in any way. I have no doubt she will try soon, but those papers will prove I not only had permission, but it was approved and is recognized by our governing body. I don’t want her to be able to attack us that way.”
“I can see to that easily,” Godric promised. “The papers will be readily accessible to all who wish to see them. I am sure you will have to explain to Sophie-Anne how you were able to get permission to marry without her knowing, but I am sure that is something you are looking forward to. Contact the demon lawyer and inform him of what is going on. He will be able to handle things from his end.”
“That was to be my next call,” Eric admitted.
“I would not be surprised if you receive some flowers soon,” Godric said with a small laugh. “They will prove to be better security than the Weres that I am sure you have or are arranging for Sookie.”
“Vampires at night, Weres during the day,” Eric informed him.
“Good; protect our girl, Eric,” Godric said, his voice taking on a serious tone. “The more time that passes, the more desperate Sophie-Anne will become. She will become reckless and more dangerous. Do not ever leave Sookie unprotected. You know who you can trust, so use them. They are loyal to you and Sookie, and they will not betray you.”
“I will protect her, you know I will,” Eric replied, not taking any umbrage at Godric referring to Sookie as ‘our girl.’ Eric knew Godric wasn’t trying to claim her as his own; the relationship between the two was almost that of father and daughter, full of paternal care. In many ways it reminded Eric of the relationship Sookie had with her Gran before she died. Godric adored Sookie. He thought of her as the daughter he never had, and to Sookie, Godric was like the father she couldn’t remember. There was and never had been anything sexual between them. They were family.
“I have a message for you from Her,” Godric said suddenly. “She says the girl cannot be saved. She is too lost. Sophie-Anne’s hold on her is too great to break. If she is given the chance, she will continue to betray Sookie. Sophie-Anne will try to use her against Sookie. You must be prepared for that.”
“We suspected as such,” Eric admitted, wishing it was different. Sookie had already lost so much of her family, and he didn’t want to tell her that her cousin was beyond saving. But knowing his wife like he did, he was sure she already knew as much.
“She did give me a piece of advice to pass onto you,” Godric said, and Eric could hear clearly the amusement in his voice. “She said, if Compton proves to be a bigger nuisance than he is worth, remind him there is someone higher than his Queen he is forced to answer to.”
Eric furrowed his brow as he pondered Her advice. Surely she couldn’t mean what he thought she did. “She means for me to contact…”
“If needs be,” Godric replied. “She can control Compton, and we control her now. She knows the price if she disobeys us. Despite her many problems, stupidity is not one. It is not something She suggests you do now. She says you will know when the time is right.”
“She knows what I am going to do before even I do, doesn’t she?” Eric asked with exasperation.
“She knows what we are all going to do before we do it,” Godric replied with a chuckle. “Now let me talk to my datter.”
Eric chuckled as he handed the phone to Sookie. “He wishes to speak to his datter.”
“Hej, Godric,” Sookie greeted, a smile spreading across her face as she spoke to her husband’s Maker.
“Hej, my datter,” Godric replied. “It seems you are in trouble again.”
“What do you mean again?” Sookie huffed in mock exasperation. “It isn’t my fault if some crazy ass Queen has her fangs set on me. I was minding my own business this time,” she added quite haughtily making Godric laugh.
“You are fully aware of what is going on?” Godric asked.
“I am,” Sookie replied scooting the chair closer to Eric, who had relaxed back against his desk, seeking his comfort. “Eric has told me everything. I know it was Hadley who told the Queen about me…” She trailed off and let out a breath. “She can’t be saved can she?” She felt Eric squeeze her hand supportively, and she smiled up at him.
“No child she can’t,” Godric admitted softly. “She will continue to betray you if she is given the chance. I know this must be hard for you to hear; she is your family after all…”
“She stopped being my family a long time ago,” Sookie cut in rather roughly. Her anger at every slight Hadley had ever put against her and their family bubbling to the surface. “She stopped being my family when she robbed her dying mother just so she could get her next fix, and that was before she stole from Gran. The drugs never made Hadley do the things she did; they were just an excuse for her. My family is Eric, Pam, you, Jason, and the vampires of Area Five.”
“I am happy you think of me as family,” Godric said, her words warming his dead heart.
“Of course I do, oh wise and powerful Guardian,” Sookie replied, a mischievous look entering her eyes as her voice took on a playful tone. “I mean you’re practically my father-in-law.”
Pam’s laughter filled the office at Sookie’s words, and the somber mood that was settling over them with Sookie’s angry outburst was washing away with her gentle humor.
“Does that mean you’re my mummy?” Pam asked, her eyes sparkling with humor as she rose from her chair and moved closer to her family.
“Only if I can send you to bed with no supper,” Sookie retorted with a tinkling laugh.
“You’re no fun, Mummy,” Pam pouted playfully.
“I assure you, Pam. Mummy is extremely fun,” Eric said while leering at his wife and making her blush.
“You hush,” Sookie chided wagging a finger at Eric playfully, listening to Godric snicker quietly on his end. “Will we be seeing you soon, Godric?” she added, asking the question she knew Eric wanted to know the answer for, but wouldn’t voice himself.
“That just depends on whose definition of soon you use,” Godric answered cryptically.
“There’s a different definition of soon?” Sookie replied before she understood. “Of course,” she shook her head as what he meant hit her. “Vampires’ and humans’ version. How about by the family version? Will your datter be seeing you soon?”
“Very sly, Sookie. Appealing to my fondness for you, ” Godric said, his voice filled with pride. “You really are the perfect match to my child. I couldn’t have picked a better mate for him myself. I will see you all before the final act has played out. For now my true connection to Eric must remain unknown, but I will stand with you all soon; I promise.”
“I look forward to seeing you again,” Sookie replied, not bothering to hide the happiness in her voice.
“And I all of you,” Godric said. “But for now keep safe, and do not hesitate to contact me if you need me in any way.”
“We will,” Sookie promised as she stood up from the chair and stepped closer to Eric, leaning her side gently against him.
“I will be seeing you soon enough,” Godric said, knowing Eric could hear him.
“Goodbye,” Sookie whispered as Godric ended the call. “One of these days I’m gonna teach him proper phone etiquette.”
Handing the phone back to Eric, Sookie smiled at him as she pressed her lips to his in a soft kiss. “The family will be all together soon.”
“Only you could make a family out of vampires,” Eric said as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his embrace. The warmth of her body soothed him like only she could.
“Haven’t you got to ring Desmond?” Sookie asked even as she burrowed her face into his shoulder.
“I have, Lover,” Eric replied, but made no move to let her go to do so. He was quite content just to hold her and pretend the rest of the world and the threats they faced didn’t exist.
“You two are disgusting,” Pam jested, lightening the mood once again.
“Right, that’s it. No new shoes for a month for you young lady,” Sookie said sternly, the small quiver of her lip the only sign of her amusement.
“Very funny, Mummy,” Pam snarked.
“And while we are at it, you’re grounded as well,” Sookie added barely able to hold back her laughter as she felt Eric’s amusement through their bond.
“Pam, go and open up the bar before Sookie bans you from seeing any of your girlfriends as well,” Eric said thoroughly enjoying the banter between his wife and child. He was happy to see their earlier disagreement had been put behind them and they were back to normal.
“Yes, Daddy,” Pam groused playfully as she made her way to the door.
“Maybe we should make her wear a pink tracksuit from Wal-Mart every night for a month,” Eric mused. “What do you think, Lover?”
“Ooh,” Sookie purred, her eyes dancing with happiness.
“You wouldn’t dare,” Pam said aghast.
“Wouldn’t we?” Eric replied.
“Okay, okay; I’m going,” Pam grumbled, seeing the threat for what it really was, just a bit of playful banter.
Kissing Eric quickly on the lips, Sookie jumped out his arms and followed Pam to the door. “Don’t worry, Pam. If Eric buys you one, I’ll buy him a matching tracksuit.”
“Where are you going, Sookie?” Eric asked.
“To help Pam make sure everything is ready for opening,” Sookie answered.
“But I wanted you to stay in here we me tonight,” Eric pouted sticking his bottom lip out in a pitiful manner.
“You, my darling, have work to do, and me being in here with you will only mean you won’t get it done,” Sookie returned, not letting his pout affect her. “Call Desmond and get everything sorted.”
“And then will you come and sit with me?”
“If you’re good,” Sookie promised.
“Lover, I am always good,” Eric replied, grinning wolfishly.
“You’re terrible,” Sookie said with a giggle.
“But you still love me.”
“Forever,” Sookie said softly.
“It will never be long enough for us, Lover.”
“But it’s a start,” Sookie replied as she noticed Pam quietly slip out the door and give them their privacy. “Once you’ve got everything sorted with Desmond, come and get me. I’ll be in the bar.”
“I’ll be waiting,” Sookie swore. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“You promise?” Eric asked, even though he knew the answer. He just needed her reassurance.
“I promise,” Sookie whispered with a small tugging on her lips as she understood what he was really asking. He wasn’t asking if she would be waiting for him in an hour, but if she would stay with him forever. “I gave you my word, Eric, and I will never break it. But more importantly, I gave you my heart. You own my very soul.”
“As you own mine,” Eric replied, his eyes rimming with red as he stared at the woman who owned him completely. He couldn’t survive without her. It was how he knew they would survive anything Sophie-Anne threw at them. Because the alternative meant living without Sookie, and that wasn’t an option.
“Jag älskar dig,” Sookie said, staring into his eyes as she flooded the bond with her love.
“Jag älskar dig,” Eric repeated, meaning the words every bit as much as she did. Hearing her say those words in his language was one of the greatest feelings he had ever felt. “One hour.”
“I’ll be waiting,” Sookie said with a smile before opening the door and chasing after Pam.
Datter = daughter.