Sookie smiled softly while she peered down at her resting child. Sunrise was still several hours away, but the events of the last few nights had taken their toll on Finn and finally he had succumbed to the need to rest. Sookie let out a sigh while she stroked her fingers through his brown hair. The night had been trying for her as well and while she would have loved to be able to climb in the bed beside Finn, she knew her night was still far from over. The news her child had brought had been beyond troubling, one of her grandchildren had met the True Death, and the humans behind it seemed to be under the impression they held some kind of power in the vampire world. It was a belief Sookie intended to show them was wrong. No one attacked and killed one of her Line and escaped, scot-free. Retribution would be brutal, no one or nothing would stand in her way. To hell with her earlier plans to be reborn. Finn needed her and she was going nowhere.
The Yakuza… Why in the hell would they kill Betsy? What could they hope to achieve in killing her? An extremely painful and prolonged death? Moreover, what the fuck is Nan doing with them?
The thought of Nan Flanagan caused Sookie’s anger to rise and it took more than millennia of restraint to stop her from hunting down Nan and sending her to meet the True Death. The ancient blonde-haired woman had never liked Nan, always believing her to be a phony, but Sookie never took Nan to be an idiot. Regardless of what Sookie believed, it seemed she was wrong. Nan was not only an idiot; she was also suicidal. Sookie didn’t know what Nan was planning, she didn’t care whether the frigid-looking bitch was attempting a power play or if she was just too stupid to realize what she had done, it no longer mattered. Nan attacked Sookie’s child, she played a part in the death of Sookie’s grandchild, the reasons why weren’t important; it wouldn’t alter the outcome… Nan Flanagan had signed her own death warrant.
Doesn’t mean we can’t torture her first though, Sookie thought, a vicious look entering her eyes at the mere thought. We will take our pound of flesh from Nan before sending her to her True Death. We will take that bitch first.
As she peered down at Finn again, his head nestled in her lap, Sookie wondered how the death of his child would change him. She wasn’t stupid enough to know it wouldn’t. Death always changed the ones it touched. Lilith’s death had changed her in ways she could have never predicted. It had made her grow up in the way the passing of time never had. Sookie had once been carefree and rather childish. She hadn’t wanted anything to do with running the vampire world or even looking after a single vampire, but following the death of Lilith, Sookie had to mature and had taken control of their Line. She had to cease with her childish behavior, become a leader and mother figure. She found herself drawn to Roman not long after. The one thing of which she was certain, she would be by Finn’s side every step of the way. He wouldn’t have to deal anything alone.
Speaking of Roman… Sookie let out a sigh when she felt her eldest child enter the building. She still wasn’t happy to feel his envy, but she wasn’t really expecting to feel anything else. Roman had no idea of the events that had occurred and as far as he knew, Sookie and Finn could be fucking just the same as always when they met up again.
Carefully lifting Finn’s head, Sookie slipped out from under him and rearranged it so he was lying comfortably on her bed. She knew it didn’t make any difference, he could have been lying on a pile of rocks and not known, but the need to care for him called to her and she refused to ignore it. Sookie dropped a soft kiss on his forehead before making her way out of her bedroom and toward Roman’s office. Despite his jealousy and bothersome behavior, Sookie was happy to see her eldest and she crossed the short space of his office and pressed a kiss to his forehead as well before moving back.
Roman appeared taken aback by the greeting and he arched a brow as he gazed at his Maker. He honestly wasn’t expecting to see Sookie again that night, he assumed she would be enjoying her reunion with Finn and fucking all over her room. They craved one another whenever they were in each other’s presence, their bodies always drawn to the other. He had borne witness to their passion for each other numerous times…
Paris, San Luis, Athens, London, Berlin, Roman silently listed a number of the places he had witnessed his Maker and brother fucking. Roman couldn’t honestly say what it was about Finn that made his anger spike. He had never been jealous of Ana or Molly. He had happily taken on the role of big brother for both of them. He loved both his sisters and in his own way, he did love Finn, but it wasn’t the same. It was a love overshadowed with anger, envy, jealousy, and aversion. Maybe it’s because despite her words, I know Sookie prefers Finn over me. She loves him in a way she will never love me. It was that thought that had Roman hardening his features. He was sure it wouldn’t be long before Sookie and Finn were fucking all over the building. They could never keep their hands off each other when they were together, it didn’t even matter if they were in public, more than once he had witnessed his Maker slip her hand into Finn’s pants and jerk him off while others stood close by. Their need for each other overruled any sense of propriety.
“Where is Finn?” Roman asked once the silence had stretched too long between them. He tried to keep the bitterness out of his tone with moderate success. As jealous as he was, he knew better than to test his Maker. Sookie wouldn’t tolerate any of his bullshit.
“Resting,” Sookie replied, ignoring his curt tone. She was in no mood to fight with her child. Regardless of what he may have been thinking and feeling at that moment, she did love him. He was her first child, her eldest, and he would always own a special place in her heart. “He has gone down for the day already.” For some strange reason whenever it came to her children, she hated using the phrase ‘dead for the day,’ so she rarely said it. She preferred to say they were resting or sleeping.
Looking at the clock on his desk, Roman snorted when he realized it was still several hours until sunrise. “You must have really worn him out if he’s gone down so soon,” he said before he could stop himself. “I thought baby brother had stronger stamina.”
Though right now I’m wondering why I love him, Sookie thought, shooting her eldest a look of disappointment. Okay, Roman, if you want to act like a child… “He does. Finn’s stamina is legendary,” she replied, not bothering to hold anything back. If Roman wanted to try to be a smartass, then he would have to suffer the consequences. “He can go from sundown to sunrise… Well actually, he can go past sunrise. Finn has the gift to stay awake for hours after sunrise. He’s fucked me when the sun was high in the sky outside, dragging one orgasm after another out of me, and giving me the kind of pleasure that has left me a boneless heap in his bed. Finn is a fucking God when it comes to sex, but none of that has anything to do with why he’s gone to rest already. If you would get your head out of your ass, you would see that!” Her tone rose in pitch as she spoke, venting her frustration on her child. “Open your fucking eyes, Roman, and tell me what you see!”
Roman clenched his jaw and balled up his hands into fists while he listened to his Maker rip into him. It wasn’t the first time he had been on the receiving end of her anger, but she had never before snapped at him for mocking Finn. She usually ignored it whenever they got into it unless it turned violent. For Roman it was just another reason to dislike Finn, he had only been there a few hours and was already causing trouble. “My Lady, I…”
“What do you see, Roman?” Sookie asked, stopping him cold. She didn’t want to hear weak or insincere excuses, nor did she want to hear him blame Finn for his own obnoxious behavior. Moving to stand in the middle of his office, Sookie faced her child and stretched out her arms. “What do you see?”
For the first time since she had entered his office, Roman took a real, hard look at his Maker. He could see fatigue in her stance and for one bitter moment, he wondered what trouble Finn had brought to her door this time, but before he allowed his bitterness to overtake him, he ran his eyes over the rest of her. His brow rose in surprise while he took her in and noticed the dirt that clung to her clothes and skin. He was just about to mention it when his eyes dropped to her stomach and he noticed the blood that stained her simple, white, peasant-style blouse. “My Lady?” He questioned, taking a step toward her while his eyes sought out an injury.
“It’s not my blood, Roman,” Sookie replied, her tone softening slightly in the face of his concern. “It’s your brother’s. The blood, the dirt, it all comes from Finn…”
“What happened?” Roman asked, setting aside all jealousy and anger. Finn may not have been his favorite vampire, but he was his brother and he didn’t want him hurting… Well, not unless he was the one causing the pain, but that was just sibling shit.
Sookie blew out an unnecessary breath and dropped her shoulders as her anger leaked out. She couldn’t stay mad at Roman, not when it wasn’t him with whom she truly angry. Sure, she was pissed at him due to his jealousy and bitterness, but that had pissed her off for nine hundred years. “Elizabeth is dead,” she answered in a whisper, afraid to speak the words aloud in case Finn overheard and it sent him spiralling back into that dark place. Sookie knew there was no chance of him hearing her; he was very much out of it, but she couldn’t help it. She needed to protect him.
Any anger or jealousy that remained washed away in a sea of sorrow when Roman heard that his brother’s only child had met the True Death. His heart ached for his brother, unable to begin to imagine what he was going through. It was a Maker’s worst fear. “How?” He questioned, not quite believing what he heard. It seemed incomprehensible that one of their Line was gone. Roman knew it was always a possibility, but knowing and believing were two different things.
“She was murdered!” Sookie replied, the anger that had diminished flaming back to life. “She was targeted and killed. Why, I don’t know, but I will find out!” She clenched and unclenched her fists as she began to pace around his office. “It wasn’t an accident, Roman, or a mistake. The bastards that killed her did this on purpose!” Stopping in front of a teak cabinet, Sookie rested her hands atop of it and let her head drop forward. “Finn saw it all,” she added, revealing the small bit she knew. “He tried to get to her, but he was outnumbered and they had silver…” Sookie slammed her hands onto the top of the cabinet violently, cracking the wood. “They took silver to My Child!” She screamed, no longer trying to control her anger. Gripping the cabinet, Sookie picked it up, threw it across the room, and watched as it crashed into the opposite wall and broke apart.
A look of pure hatred entered Sookie’s eyes scaring Roman even and he took a step back. He had never before seen his Maker look so enraged, not even during the war with the Fae where so many of their kind had died. Roman had little pity for the fools who killed Elizabeth. They had unleashed a monster they could never have imagined, not even in their worst of nightmares. They wouldn’t be able to handle what they had set free, nor could they dream of defeating it.
“They wrapped My Child in silver and made him watch while they killed his child,” Sookie continued, her fangs snapping down in her anger. “They put their hands on my blood… On Finn, on Elizabeth! They hurt them… They hurt me!” Sookie combed her hands through her hair, tugging on her blonde locks, and then turned her gaze back to her eldest. “Nan fucking Flanagan was involved…”
“Nan?” Roman questioned in disbelief. Why in the hell would Nan target Finn and Elizabeth? As far as Roman knew, Nan didn’t even know them. Finn and Elizabeth stayed out of vampire politics, and he couldn’t think of one reason for their paths to cross. Nan was definitely not Finn’s type; besides Finn was older than she was by two hundred years so he would have had no trouble taking her out if she did attack. “Are you sure? Nan wouldn’t have…”
“She introduced herself to Finn,” Sookie said stiffly, interrupting him and not appreciating his questioning. “He told me what she looked like, described her perfectly, right down to the stick up her ass. It was Nan; apparently she’s hooked up with The Yakuza…”
As much as he didn’t want to believe it, Roman knew his Maker and brother wouldn’t lie about something like that. Finn’s need for revenge meant he committed to memory the faces of everyone involved. He wouldn’t make mistakes. Still, Roman wished he was wrong; he had always had a soft spot for Nan. Their paths had crossed numerous times over the centuries, and he always enjoyed falling into bed with her. She was always so eager to please. Nonetheless, no matter what their past relationship, he would show her no mercy for her crimes against his Bloodline. She had committed the ultimate sin. “Nan and The Yakuza? What the fuck is she doing?”
“I don’t know and I don’t much care,” Sookie replied with a shrug. “The moment she put her hands on my child, she signed her own death warrant. That bitch is dead!”
“And The Yakuza?” Roman asked, curious about the Japanese group that had interfered in their world. They’d had numerous dealings with the family over the centuries, but never before had The Yakuza stepped into their world in such a way. It was obviously a power play on their behalf, but to what end remained a mystery.
“They’ll die as well,” Sookie replied deathly serious. There would no leniency, mercy, or absolution for those who had attacked Finn and killed Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s death demanded retribution and Sookie would not rest until her Line delivered it. “No one will walk away from this, Roman. Finn wants revenge and as you always claim; I give my boy anything he wants.”
Roman couldn’t help but chuckle at her words. He had accused Sookie of giving Finn anything he wanted more than once, and every time he said it, he hadn’t meant it in a positive way, but for once in their long feud, Roman was happy for his Maker to spoil his brother. Finn deserved his revenge. Blood needed spilling and lives lost in return. It was their way. “How is Finn?” He asked, genuinely concerned for once.
“Broken,” Sookie answered without thought. She sniffed back tears at the thought of the pain her child felt. “He’s hurting, Roman, he blames himself, wishes he could take her place, and wants to hold her in his arms one last time. It’s pain you can’t imagine, and I hope you never feel…”
Any other time, Roman would have resented her telling him that he couldn’t imagine what Finn was feeling, but he knew Sookie was right. He couldn’t imagine it, never wanted to feel it. He never wanted to lose one of his children; he never wanted to feel that kind of pain.
“He needs me,” Sookie continued, looking over her shoulder at the door, wanting to go to him even though he was down for the day. The events of the night were beginning to weigh her down as well and she was ready to call it a night. “Roman, I need you to get us some blood for tomorrow,” she said, turning to face him again. “Finn hasn’t fed in days and with what he’s lost…” she gestured to her blouse while she spoke, “he’s running on empty. He needs to feed. Humans are preferable if they’re available, if not, get bagged from one of the local blood banks or hospitals.”
“I’ll see to it,” Roman replied, already making his plans on how to obtain the necessary blood for his brother. “I can have a room made up for Finn as well…”
“Not needed,” Sookie said, interrupting his offer. “He’ll be staying in my room for the time being. He needs the comfort and bond of his Maker.”
“Understood,” replied Roman with a nod, for once not feeling any jealousy. “I will have everything ready by sunset.”
“Thank you,” Sookie said with a small smile, proud of her child. He may have been a pain in the ass with his usual envy and jealousy, but he knew how to put all aside when it mattered. “I hope you never have to go through this, Roman,” she added out of the blue. She didn’t say another word as she turned around, headed out of his office, and returned to her room.
She wasn’t surprised to see Finn in the same position where she had left him. Sunrise may have still been hours away, but Sookie doubted her child would rise until well after the sunset in the sky. For the first time since Elizabeth died, Finn would rest easily, knowing his Maker was close by and ready to protect him.
Moving toward the other side of the bed, Sookie quickly stripped off her clothes and tossed them in a small laundry basket before climbing into the bed behind Finn. She wrapped her arms around him, molded herself to his back, and gave him all the comfort she could. She wasn’t lying when she said Finn needed her, and she swore she would give him anything he needed. There was nothing he could want that she wouldn’t give. “Once you have healed, darling, we will hunt down all those involved and tear them apart,” she promised her resting child. She pressed a soft kiss to Finn’s shoulder before closing her eyes and going into downtime.
“I hope you never have to go through this, Roman…”
The words repeated in his head while he tried to imagine what his brother was enduring. Still, nothing he imagined even came close to what he knew Finn was going through. Roman thought of his own children, Dieter, Neith, Godric… He could see their faces in his mind, hear their voices, and feel their blood. Thoughts of ever losing any one of them nearly paralyzed him in fear and grief. He never wanted to feel that kind of pain, but he knew if he didn’t do something soon he would. Dieter and Neith were still full of life and happy, but Godric was slowly falling into a depression, and he could feel it through their bond. His feelings were a stark difference to the exhilaration that once hummed through the bond he shared with his youngest. There was once a time when Godric was full of life, their bond practically thrummed with it…
Edessa, Greece 1691
Roman threw his arm over his youngest child’s, Godric, shoulders as the two of them stumbled along the stone paths toward the house located at the far end of the city. To anyone watching, the two of them gave off the appearance of having enjoyed too much wine at one of the city taverns. No one on the streets that night knew their drink of choice was blood; they looked the same as every drunk in the city.
Roman had thoroughly enjoyed himself in Edessa that night. He loved spending time with his children, and the fact that his Maker was also in the city just made everything better. For the first time in what felt like centuries, Roman had dropped his guard and embraced his vampire nature. He had been discreet like his Maker taught him, but he had gotten his fill of blood and sex. The five-thousand-year old vampire laughed heartedly while he remembered how he and Godric had enjoyed a comely young woman in one of the brothels together.
“Master?” Godric questioned, grinning brightly at enjoying seeing his Maker so happy. He didn’t get to see his Maker as often those days, his own responsibility as a Maker took up much of his time. His youngest child had just recently gone off on her own, having felt the urge to explore the world. Godric had tailed Nora for the first few years, keeping out of sight and making sure she couldn’t feel him, but he wanted to make sure she was safe and well prepared to go off on her own before he pulled back. He didn’t want anything to happen to his Little Dove, something for which his Maker had applauded him. Everyone in their Line knew what it meant to be a Maker, it was a lifelong commitment and not something forgotten once the child thought they were ready to go off on their own. Still, he missed his Maker and siblings. Seeing the way Eric and Nora behaved around each other had Godric longing for his own siblings, Dieter and Neith. The three of them had caused all kinds of trouble over the years, fucking their way around the world and killing those who dared to get in their way. The life of a vampire wasn’t an easy life, but it was a full one, and one he loved. He couldn’t ever imagine growing tired of it. His life meant to be that of vampire and Maker, just as his own children were born to be vampires.
“I was just recalling the sight of the last whore on all fours, my cock in her cunt while yours was in her mouth,” Roman said, smiling devilishly. It had been far too long since he enjoyed a good meal and good fuck with his youngest. He had seen Dieter recently; the two of them enjoyed a number of beauties before they went their separate ways, but Roman had to admit he always enjoyed sharing women or men with Godric most. They had similar tastes and their time together was always pleasurable. Roman thought it a shame his Maker hadn’t joined them. He would have loved to share a meal and a fuck with her as well. Too much time had passed since he last lay with his Maker, even longer since he had lain with his Maker and child at the same time. Perhaps tonight will be the night all that changes, he thought wistfully. They were altogether again; the three of them could enjoy a nightcap, so to speak. Roman felt his cock harden at the thought of being one with his Maker again. He wanted desperately to feel her cool, tight cunt wrapped around his cock, to hear her cries of pleasure as he drove her to one release after another.
“She was certainly gifted,” Godric replied, breaking into his Maker’s musings. “I am tempted to seek her out again tomorrow. She had lips like my Little Dove, and I always love feeling hers around my cock.” He actually missed his youngest, not that he didn’t miss Eric, but he never worried about Eric as he did Nora. Nora was his baby, his little girl, and he wanted her by his side, but knew he had to let her go.
“Nora?” Roman questioned, thinking about his youngest grandchild. He hadn’t met the woman his child had deemed worthy of the gift of immortality, but then he hadn’t met Godric’s eldest either yet. Still, from the way Godric talked about them he knew they had to both been special.
“My Little Dove,” Godric said with a small smile. “Ah, Master, you should see her. She has long dark hair, green eyes, plump lips, and a willowy figure. She came from fine breeding and was a courtesan to the King of England. An intelligent, beautiful young woman. The second I set eyes on her, I knew I had to steal her away and make her mine. She was meant to be my child.”
“You stole her away from the King of England?” Roman replied with an amused laugh. “You always did have an eye for the ladies.” It was something that had gotten him into trouble numerous times.
“I did, and Nora was eager to be stolen away,” Godric confessed without shame. He rarely let anyone or anything stop him from taking what he wanted, and he had most certainly wanted Nora. “My Little Dove was bored being nothing more than the King’s plaything, she wanted to explore the world outside England’s borders, she wanted to learn and grow, and that is exactly what she has done as a vampire. She took to her new life like a duck to water, Master, eager to experience all.”
Roman grinned as he listened to his child talk about Nora. It was obvious to the elder vampire that Godric loved his child a great deal, and it pleased him. Too many Makers’ were indifferent to their children those days, seeing them as nothing but a tool to use. No one in their Line would ever get away with treating their child in such a way. “I believe I would like to meet your Little Dove,” Roman said. “She sounds like a lovely young woman.”
“She is, Master,” Godric replied proudly. “She will be a fine leader one night, she has the mind of a general, and a body made for sin. I predict right now that many men and women will fall before her due to one or the other.”
“Our Lady will be pleased to hear that,” Roman said, thinking about his Maker. “She is always happy to see our Line grow and prosper.”
“Nora will do us all proud,” Godric said with certainty…
Roman shook his head as the old memory played, he wasn’t sure why he had remembered it right at that moment, but the memory had certainly shown him how different his child was now. It had been nearly forty years since he had last felt anything positive from Godric. He was ashamed of himself for not going to Godric the moment he began to feel his child’s downward spiral, but negative feelings weren’t something new in their bond. He had felt them from all his children at one point or another although never for as long, nor as deeply as he had been feeling them through Godric.
His child was in pain and instead of doing anything about it; he had foolishly hoped things would get better on their own. I’m an idiot. Godric has not been the same for years and rather than go to him, I have been pretending as if everything was fine and hoping it will be.
Roman remembered how happy his child once was, how his face would light up when he talked about his children, and the trouble he would get into when he was with his siblings. Family, that was what Godric needed. He needed to know that Roman still wanted and loved him. It was time Roman started to help Godric to heal.
With his mind made up, Roman reached for the phone on his desk and dialed the number he knew by heart. He waited impatiently while the phone rang and rang, and just as he was starting to think there would be no answer, he heard the click indicating that it had.
Roman smiled at the familiar voice. “Hello, Godric…”