Pam was glancing sideways at her Maker as she drove. Part of her expected him to punch out the window and fly off into the night sky at any moment. He was fidgeting. That was never good, she decided, since she had never seen him do such a thing. His eyes were closed, and his hands were clasped as his elbows rested on his knees. Was he contemplating the shackles she insisted he wear? They were not enough to completely immobilize him, but they were forged from the same stainless steel that the aerospace industry used. They would at least slow him down.
Hazarding another glance in her Maker’s direction, she noted that his lips were moving, but his voice was not making a sound. Was he praying? The Child’s lip curved with a sneer of distaste. After two hours of this torture, Pam arrived at Godric’s royal estate and pulled up to the guards’ stand.
“Miss Ravenscroft,” The Were guard nodded to her as he glanced in the window. Seeing his boss’s Child in the passenger’s seat, tethered, set him at unease, “Mr. Northman…?” he asked carefully. Eric’s eyes opened long enough, and his head tilted far enough, to cast his hollow, dead gaze upon the guard, causing the Were to recoil, “Has he been hexed?”
“Worse,” Pam snarled and gunned the engine to get up the remainder of the driveway in a short second.
Godric was standing in the entrance of the manor and came to greet Eric at his door, “You have done well to control yourself up until now,” he murmured appraisingly, “I will take on that responsibility now,” he promised, stroking Eric’s long hair paternally.
Eric did not say a word as he rose from his seat, the clinking of his bindings singing to the night sky as he made his way into the entrance of the estate’s main building.
“This is controlled?” Pam snapped once they were inside, “He can’t even form a sentence! He was praying all the way here! For what? I’ll tell you what I’m praying for!”
“Pam,” Godric’s voice was a warning in itself.
“I’m praying Niall just kills the stupid witch so the Bond finally is severed for-!”
There was barely a sound before Eric’s bindings burst apart and he was atop his Child, striking her repeatedly with all the strength in his body. He destroyed her face with his fists, shattering the beautiful, delicate bone structure of her cheek and jaw. Once here face was unrecognizable, he grabbed Pam by her wrist and whipped her body to crash into the hard marble of the grand entrance.
By the time he was done, Pam was a whimpering, broken heap on the floor, and Eric’s needless breath was ragged to hear.
“That is your only warning, Pamela,” Godric spoke for his Child, “I will send someone to collect you once I have seen to my Child.”
A loud *POP* sounded near Eric’s side, and it took all of Godric’s strength to keep his progeny from striking the little doctor that now walked beside him.
“I will need to test to see if all of your immunities are intact,” Ludwig explained hoarsely, “Hopefully they are not, or he will be nearly impossible to restrain until his Bonded is recovered.”
“Test them on me,” Godric requested, “I do not know that I could restrain him if he feels threatened at this point. Do you know what is happening to him?”
“His Bonded has been taken to Elfyria. The time difference has caused interference with his end of the Bond. Her body is experiencing time at a much slower rate than his is, therefore, he cannot feel her. Your Child is experiencing the shocks of his Bonded’s death, though she is still quite alive. The opposite is happening for Sookie. She is feeling his emotions at several levels higher the intensity. If Niall did not find a way to restrain her before taking her, I fear that Elfyria will be in ruins shortly.”
Godric gave little care for what would happen to the Fae race, “What will Eric do?”
“Every vampire that Bonds experiences the loss of their other half differently. Some become suicidal, others become homicidal. Given Eric’s outbursts, I would say he will be a lot of both. He’s too controlled, which is frightening. If he were burning down villages and slaughtering townspeople, I might feel a little better. Even if he were trying to stake himself, I would feel better. But he just stands there in that daze, keeping it together,” Ludwig shook her head, “Your Child has much self-control.”
“He knows that she is not actually dead. I believe he is taking solace in that,” Godric smiled sadly.
“Yes, unfortunately, he will not feel when she dies if she does so in Elfyria,” The doctor grimaced. “This calm will not last, Godric. He will not be able to keep up this demeanor for long,” She looked at the Viking a moment before adding, “Every moment he stays like this is a blessing. Every hour he survives up until this point, will be his best hour.”
“Survives?” Godric gaped.
“He will try and kill himself at some point. It cannot be avoided. Not even a Maker’s Command will stop him,” Ludwig was digging into her bag and came out with a ring. She pressed it to Godric’s skin and sighed when there was no affect. “Damn it. I thought when…,” Ludwig’s eyes lit up and she stopped walking; making the vampires halt as well. “Viking,” She handed him the silver ring, “you will not feel when your Bonded has died. You know this now,” Eric nodded solemnly. “But you will lose your extra gifts if she loses her life,” She pressed the ring into Eric’s palm. “Wear this, and until it burns, do not lose hope,” The large vampire held the ring in his palm a moment before slipping the small loop around his pinkie finger. In a very un-Ludwig move, the little doctor reached up and patted the large vampire’s chest reassuringly, “Be strong, Northman, for her. She’ll come back to you.”
“I did not know you were such an optimist,” Godric’s eyebrows rose as he murmured to the doctor once Eric was, again, ahead of them.
“One does not hand a loaded gun to a suicidal person,” Ludwig sighed, “He will be more difficult to contain in the next few days.”
“Days? You think he will go days without searching for her?” Godric asked in disbelief.
“He has no choice but to wait. Without Empyrodite, he cannot breach the portal to Elfyria, and that mineral no longer exists in this realm. No, if his Bonded returns, she will have to find her own way back,” Ludwig shook her head.
“You can get to Elfyria,” Godric pressed.
“No,” The doctor scowled, “It would conflict with the sanctity of my oath to treat all creatures as equals, and to take no personal or political preferences. The Pantheon has ladened you with this strife. If you wish to beseech a Deity for relief, then do so, but do not ask it of me,” She glanced at Eric’s back with consideration. “When he begins to resist your commands, you will be forced to secure him. The only thing that will immobilize him at this point is being driven into the ground,” She gave a long stare at the giant of a vampire, assessing him. “Four foot re-barb might do the trick so long as it is curved at the ends that he cannot easily bring his wounds through. Palms, elbows, shoulders, torso- take care to stay far from his heart… Two in each thigh, and one in each ankle. You might need to call some assistance of some older vampires than him to manage such a feat. It will take no less than three of you when the bloodlust begins to drive him,” And with another *POP* Ludwig was gone.
Godric’s face was grim as he regained his pace with Eric. His Child was suffering immensely, and it weighed heavily on the ancient vampire. What frightened Godric the most was the realization that Eric’s agony was only a fraction of the actual experience. It had to be, for Godric was managing, where his Child was not. He did not understand why his tie to Eric’s emotions was being diluted, normally he felt exactly what his Child felt, and Eric could not cut that bond. Then, he remembered what Sookie had said about “cutting the pain in half” when she had been parted from Eric all those months ago so that he could meet with Sophie-Anne. Had Godric done just that? Had he cut the pain of Eric’s agony in half to cope?
With a somber gaze, Godric brought Eric to the room in which he would be staying. That stare stayed trained on the giant of a vampire as he crumbled to the floor, resting his cold cheek to the cool wood.
“Eric,” Godric began gently, “I am going to tend to Pamela. I will be back shortly. Do not leave this room. Do not stake yourself, or make any attempts on your existence in my absence,” He breathed an unneeded sigh of relief when he felt his command take root in their connection.
At vampire speed, Godric was back in the entry hall. Pam had not yet moved, but he could see the damage her Maker had done slowly reversing, “Pam, can you rise?”
“Yes,” she whispered, gritting her teeth when bones began to grind as she moved.
“Get yourself to your old room. Stay there until I call for you. Perhaps you should take that time to consider what your Master is going through,” Godric told her sternly.
“Yes, Master Godric,” Pam limped to her room, internally groaning at the stairs.
Godric was back to Eric in a flash, his cell phone in hand as he called in a favor, “Russell,” he breathed, “I am in a situation, and only one as old as you can assist me.”
“Oooh, I have waited so long to redeem myself of the last favor you performed for me. Tell me, Dear Godric, what can I do for a fellow King?” Russell Edgington’s silky voice flowed over the line.
“My Child is Bonded.”
“The Viking bonded to a human?” His surprise was not unwarranted, “I had heard through the grapevine that your dear Child had taken on a captivating pet, but I did not think he would Bond.”
“It is more complicated than that. His Bonded is not entirely human, and she has many gifts. His Bonded is part fae,” Godric hesitated to admit this, but it was necessary, and Russell had proven his loyalty to the Ghal line for many centuries.
“Really? Now that is interesting! And how might I assist the happy couple?” he asked sweetly.
“His Bonded has been abducted by the Fae and taken to Elfyria. In respect to the Bond, Eric is going through the situation as if she has died. I have consulted Ludwig, and have been instructed to spike him to the ground to prevent him from taking his life, or going on a rampage,” Godric told him quickly. “He is still obeying his Maker’s Command, but I have been warned that as the days pass, this will not last. I will need at least three older than him to subdue him.”
“Is there no one that can retrieve her?” Russell sounded shocked.
“Empyrodite is non-existent in this realm. Unless you know a creature that can walk through realms and is not wary of taking on the Fae, it is pointless. There is hope that, because of the time differences between our worlds, Sookie will not have succumbed to the severing of the Bond, and might be able to come back of her own power,” Godric had a hard time believing this, but he prayed. Gods, how hard he prayed!
“Of her own power? You said she was gifted, but do you honestly believe that a part fairy can overcome her abductors, obtain a fragment of Empyrodite, and find the portal back to our world?” Russell sounded more than a little doubtful, “If that child can accomplish that, then even I will fear your bloodline,” He laughed mirthlessly.
“We are trying to keep hope,” Godric could not bring his voice to match that optimism. “I would appreciate if you could send three others that are between mine and Eric’s age. I would prefer that none be older than I, so that if they think they might try their own hand at running a Kingdom, they will know better than to try me. I warn you. Right now, my instincts to protect my bloodline are fierce. If I have any suspicions, I will end them.”
“I know just the three for you,” Russell assured, “They are entirely loyal to me, and will follow my command.”
“My greatest thanks. I will be indebted to you for a long time to come,” Godric sighed appreciatively.
“We will consider ourselves even. That spot you got me out of during the incident in Greece was more than you should have had to shoulder,” Russell’s voice was smiling.
“Thank you, Russell.”
Pam cringed on her bed as another bone in her face began to reset. She was not used to broken bones. She could only remember once that one had been broken, and that too had been by Eric. However, that incident was part of her training as a vampire. Eric had broken her arm to teach her how to continue fighting through pain if they were ever in battle and she sustained such an injury. Thankfully, her Maker had always watched out for her in such situations, and she left most with hardly a blemish on her cheek.
It was killing her to feel so out of touch with Eric. He was blocking her from their connection, and in his time of despair, it gave her great unease to be so detached from him. Could he not see how unequipped she was to deal with him? Did he not understand that keeping his agony from her, made it more difficult to help him?
Once more, Sookie had made her Bonded suffer. Just being born the way that she was should have placed her name on Eric’s “avoid” list. Instead, he had given the ratty little thing shelter, education, and, despicably, love! Now, he was paying for it with his own sanity. How could love be so moving that her Maker- HER MAKER! The VIKING. The broadsword wielding demon! Eric Northman, succumbed to the scourge of LOVE, and paid for it with all of his strength and reputation!
The little fairy might be nice to look at. She might have a moment or two that amused Pam. Sookie might have even felt an eerie fondness for her, though she blamed that on the weak link she had to her from Eric’s Bond.
However, Pam admitted sourly, she too had cried for the little creature. She had heard the runaway’s sorry tale, and even felt the crimson tears in her eyes form at the damnation of the hybrid’s entire existence. The girl had survived agonizing years, and with much disinterested coaxing, Pam had pressed her Maker’s Bonded to telepathically share the experience. Pam had seen much, though she knew that Sookie held some of the darker torments in the deep recesses of her damaged soul. Locked in shadows that her mind could not bare to dig back up and expose to the light of her new, hopeful life.
Hope, Pam thought as she stared dazedly at the ceiling, not even flinching as her cheekbone puffed and snapped back into place. Maybe that was what Eric saw in her; in Pam. Hope in something he found worth existing.
The vampiress knew that Eric had created her a few more than two hundred years ago, with the attempt at placating the darkness of his journey through immortality. They had enjoyed the centuries together sharing in carnage and carnal pleasures. They had explored the world together, Eric delighting in how she was swept up in the big, wide world she never dreamed of beholding in the dowry purchasing, child bearing existence she had been destined for as a mortal. Eric had been given the opportunity to relive that fresh excitement through her.
Now, he was not just reliving a life he had walked through several times already. Eric was LIVING again. Sookie had given him a gift, given all of them a gift. She had returned the light to their lives, both literally and metaphorically. She had stood by them in battle, grown up and back down. Pam realized, as her jaw reset, that even the concrete façade of her own exterior had begun to crack, and she had learned to relish the day with new enthusiasm.
So quick to blame…, Pam thought sadly. She had been so quick to thrust all of Eric’s problems on Sookie’s shoulders. It was not the forsaken fairy that deserved her hatred. It was Niall, André, Compton, and Bartlett. They were the demons that stalked and threatened them. They were the ones that put Sookie through agony, and in turn destroyed her Maker.
With a long sigh, Pam curled onto her side and stared now at the wall. She closed her eyes after a moment and prayed aloud, “Please, let us have one more shot at dawn.”
Godric sat staring at Eric. His Child had not moved for what felt like an eternity. Eric continued to stare at the wall, lying on the floor. Every so often his hand would reach out to stroke the wooden floorboards, engraining the texture of the smooth surface into his memory. Godric wondered if he was considering if it would make a sturdy stake.
Clasping his hands in front of his face, Godric brought his fists to his lips as he considered the possibility of ending his Child’s existence. He could not let HIS Child commit his own final death. It was unacceptable, but he knew that Eric would detest an act of pity being taken upon him. Even into the afterlife. But a part of Godric feared for Eric’s soul. Would Eric’s spirit be permitted to be with Sookie’s in the afterlife if the Viking fell by his own hand? Perhaps Godric could hire an assassin or a warrior of old to do the deed if it came to that.
A glimmer of light flashed from Eric’s hand and Godric’s eyes snapped to the silver ring upon the larger vampire’s pinkie finger. He let out a sigh of relief when he saw that the flesh was not smoldering. The light above them was merely shining off of the smooth, cool metal.
After that moment of fear, Godric went back to thinking about how and when he should put his Child out of his misery. The ancient vampire had known of a few others that had been Bonded, and what had become of them when their mate was lost. It was a hopeless cause trying to prolong their existence much further past their other half’s demise. They became shells of the formidable creatures they had once been; a true walking corpse. They had all fallen upon their own swords shortly after, sometimes within the hour of the loss.
An ache. A deep pang of worry and despair rang through Godric’s body. The world without his Child did not feel like a world at all. It felt of mockery and dominance. As if the world decided that happiness was undeserved by them, the living dead….
It was the third day since Sookie had been taken that Eric began to rebel against his Maker’s command. All through the morning, Godric had strained and struggled with his Child to keep him from plunging a stake into his chest.
A fully healed Pam had taken it upon herself to clear a room in the estate free of any wooden objects, and even replaced the door with a thick steel one usually used in industrial warehouses. Eric was forcefully moved into that room, with its concrete floor, and cinderblock walls.
That very evening, Russell’s subordinates arrived to witness the Viking snarling and squirming on the ground where Godric had him pinned, but could do little more than keep him from leaving the room. Pam stood in the corner holding several steel rods in her tightly fisted hands.
As Godric restrained his Child, the other three vampires went to work using the rods to pierce Eric’s body and drive the bolts into the floor beneath him. Three feet into the ground, leaving enough metal free to curl around itself, even the other ancients in the room had difficulty stomaching the task they were performing.
One of their own, revered and respected Eric Northman was being crucified. His snarls and spitting made the dealings even worse as he cursed at them in his Nordic tongue, vowing their death and dismemberment once he was free.
Pam remained in her corner, face turned away from the scene before her. She could not bear to watch what was being done to her proud and beloved Maker. She feared each day as it passed, not wanting to see him become worse. Soon, she began to fear the passing hours, for they became as terrible as the days had once been.
By the seventh day, Eric had seemed to breach the point of despair. His only movement consisted of rubbing his silver ring against its neighboring finger, as if anticipating a burning that never came. She knew now, that he prayed that some sign of his Bonded’s death would finally let him have reason for his agony. To give him just cause for his decline. All he wanted anymore was a reason, a reason to stop fighting.
Every fiber of Eric’s being was straining against his bindings on the eighth day. He needed to be freed. He needed to be with Sookie. In the afterlife, in Elfyria, anywhere. He needed his blood, the blood that still ran. He needed the other part of his soul, the part that sang. He needed the other half of his heart, the half that could still beat.
Eyes snapping open, Eric strained against the posts that skewered him to the floor. He felt the tearing of his flesh, felt his hand release, but not the pain. Pain did not exist anywhere but in his broken spirit now.
When that part of his appendage was free, he rotated his wrist sharply, snapping the bone like a toothpick before ripping it from its station as well. Now he could bend his elbow, and it was little work pulling the barb from his shoulder and then all of the others in quick succession.
Blood flowed across the floor to the center drain of the room as he managed to crawl to his feet. Going towards the east facing wall, Eric placed his crimson flowing hand against the wall. Making broad, circular strokes, he painted the area red; his lips trembling in a low staccato:
“My blood, my soul, my heart. My blood, my soul, my heart. My blood, my soul, my heart. My blood, my soul, my heart,” Over and over as his eyes began to shimmer. As his blood continued to paint and drip, coat and stream away from his body, he continued, “My blood, my soul, my heart. My blood, my soul, my heart. My blood, my soul, my heart,” Until those shimmering eyes turned phosphorescent, and glowed with a cyan hue that illuminated his dark prison.