Chapter Thirty-Seven: Would You?
I never in the shortened memory of my life felt so exhausted upon awaking. Although, I amend my complaint after cool arms squeeze me tightly against a cold, solid chest, I could get used to this!
“Good morning, Mila,” Godric rumbles against my throat and I tilt my hips to press my butt against his cock. He purrs against my ear, “Teasing or offering?”
“Teasing,” I yawn, “until I’ve had some breakfast.”
“Then it is in my best interest to feed you,” he teases right back, giving my throat a playful lick that makes my toes curl.
Playful Godric is hot!
“You’re in a good mood,” I giggle, stretching in our bed while my lover finds a robe to wrap me up in.
“Last night would put anyone in a good mood,” Godric points out, feeding one of my arms through a sleeve and then the other.
“I know how to dress myself, you know,” I tell him, then poke my tongue out at him. “Do I look like a Barbie Doll to you?” I feel him hesitate for the briefest second, but it’s enough for me to mentally smack myself. “Not like that,” I tell him quickly.
“I know, but that word will always hold a much darker connotation for me,” Godric reminds me, and now I feel like a jerk.
“I’m sorry, I meant it to be funny, not mean,” I pout at him with the puppy dog eyes Sookie taught me, making sure to pull my bottom lip between my teeth a little bit. She says it works on Eric all the time when she has a slip of the tongue. Sookie calls it ‘Innocently Contrite.’
Godric smiles down at me, leans over, and kisses the pouty part of my lip not captured by teeth. “I know what you meant,” Godric murmurs against my mouth before giving me another kiss. “Still, I sincerely hope you might avoid using that word as any description of yourself.”
“I will be more mindful of it,” I promise, giving him a sad smile.
Without another word on the subject, Godric pulls me to my feet and into his arms. I don’t stay on my feet for very long, though, because I jump and wrap them around his waist. He just laughs and starts walking us toward the kitchen.
Once Godric sits me on a barstool, he grabs my favorite cereal and some milk.
“May I ask you something about last night?” Godric asks while he gets my breakfast together.
My face becomes a little red, but I nod, “Sure.”
“Were you… Implying you want to Bond with me?” he asks quietly.
I force myself not to be nervous by his tone. I just wish I had as much insight into his mind as Sookie seems to. Even though she can’t hear his thoughts, she’s much better at understanding him than me. What would she make of that question?
“I…” I stare at my hands and decide it would be worse to be dishonest and start dancing around each other again. “I was. I am,” I clarify that my mind hasn’t changed.
“Even though I would turn you in the future?” Godric tests my resolve.
I roll my eyes, “Godric, if I join your Bloodline, the only thing I lose is the ability to eat food. I can’t have kids as it is, and everyone in your line is immune to everything. Vampirism, coming from your line, at least, isn’t much of a sacrifice.”
He laughs and shakes his head, “I suppose that is true.”
“Then you’ll Bond with me?” I ask, hoping he’ll answer me with what I want to hear.
His expression softens, “Yes.” I literally climb over the counter and lunge into his arms excitedly. “Your breakfast-”
“Later,” I crush my mouth against his.
It’s over an hour later that I finally get my breakfast. Godric insists on going over everything Bonding-related while I munch on my cereal. Several times I remind him that my best friend is Bonded and he gives me this sheepish grin. We don’t even need to be Bonded for me to know he’s excited, maybe a little nervous, too.
“You do not feel we are moving too fast?” Godric asks me while he pushes my robe off my shoulder and kisses there softly.
I shake my head, “Nope. It feels perfect and right. There’s just one thing I need to know before we do this.” His face tightens, waiting for my question. “This isn’t about ‘ancient Rome Camilla,’ or just wanting to be Bonded, right? It’s me? I’m who you want, not a woman two-thousand-years’ dead, not just the Bond?”
Godric’s face softens into a lazy smile, “Yes, Mila. It is you I want. I would not even offer to Bond if I did not know for certain it is you. The Camilla of Ancient Rome is just a face and a name. She was not love, but a regret. She is not you. You are sweet, mischievous, and loyal.”
“Like a Siberian husky,” I tease, catching his lips with my own for a slow kiss. After the kiss ends, I turn in my seat and wrap my limbs around him. “So, are we going to Bond slowly or quickly?”
“Quickly, if you are agreeable,” he tells me with a gentle kiss at my throat. “If I could make the sun set twice more in the next five minutes, we would be Bonded before the end of the hour.”
I laugh and squeeze him tightly to me. “Oh, no!” I remember suddenly. He pulls away and looks at me in alarm. “I just remembered! I’m supposed to go dress shopping with Sookie and Pam today!”
“Why is that a problem?” he asks, running his hands all over me.
“Because I want to stay here and just have you touch me all day,” I answer him, moaning while I tilt my head back for more kisses.
He smiles against my lips and replies, “I will be here when you return… That makes me wonder…”
“What?” I close my eyes while he gives my throat a firm suckle.
“Marriage. Is that something you might want? A human wedding?” he elaborates.
“Hadn’t thought about it,” I confess.
“While you are out with Sookie, perhaps you should,” Godric tells me.
“Would I get a last name out of it?” I tease.
“I use the surname ‘Gaul,’” he says.
“Whatever,” I shrug. “I’ll take it.” He laughs at my flippant attitude about a wedding. “We have time to indulge later. Sookie’s going to wait eighteen months from the time she was Bonded to the time she gets married,” I point out.
“That is true,” he agrees. “What time are the women picking you up?”
“Pam’s picking me up at noon,” I tell him.
Godric looks at the clock and frowns, “You should start getting ready.”
“How come you guys are cool with Pam going out in the day? You and Eric don’t take those chances as much,” I realize.
“Pam is younger and her scent does not permeate as much as an ancient’s,” Godric shrugs. “She could scent a Were long before one would think to track her down. She is also the least likely to stand out on security footage.”
“I guess that makes sense,” I sigh and give a slow stretch. “I’m going to grab a quick shower to rinse off last night’s activities. Join me?”
Godric gives me another one of his playful grins. I did that! I brought happiness to a two-thousand-year-old vampire! “If I joined you,” he runs his hands up and down my sides when I stand in front of him, “you would never become clean.”
“Fair enough,” I peck his lips quickly before skipping off to the shower. I don’t let my hair get wet while I wash and shave. My hair’s been washed just the night before and doesn’t need it again.
After I emerge wrapped in a fresh towel, I find Godric laying on my bed. Wait, is it our bed now? I wonder, totally pleased with the thought. He is reading a book, looking sexy, his hand resting on the patch of exposed skin between the tail of his shirt and the button of his jeans.
“You look like you’re posing for a magazine,” I tease him while I head to our closet. This has always been ours. Ever since I came here, Godric had left his stuff in the bedroom. After I first arrived, he wore the same clothes for about three days while he tried not to invade my private space.
When I emerge from the closet, I see that Godric has stripped off his shirt and is on his knees with his hands behind his back, “How about now?” he asks, flexing his abs and making me fan myself, both out of arousal and in attempt to keep our playfulness going.
“You could be on one of those sexy calendars,” I tell him with a giggle. “Twelve months of Godric… Firefighter Godric, policeman Godric, construction worker Godric… I’ll pick out a bunch of yummy costumes,” I give him a wink and make my way to our bed. Before I can get there, I hear Pam’s car horn, so I pout, “It’s time to go.”
“Have fun, Mila,” Godric leans over and gives me a quick kiss before pulling away from temptation and flopping back down with his book. Sexy to casual. Sixty to zero in a split second. The deceleration just might kill me!
“See you in a few hours,” I tell him with that same pout on my lips. I’d rather be flopped down on the bed beside him. Or on top of him…
I can’t entertain the thought any further, though, because Pam’s honking her horn in longer blasts now. With a sigh, I resign myself and slip on my shoes. Running out the front door, I wave at Sookie and Pam sitting in the van.
“Morning!” I greet merrily, flinging open the back door and sliding into my seat.
Sookie cranes her head to look back at me, “Have a good night?” she asks knowingly.
“Best of my life!” I assure her with a huge grin.
“Your life consists of roughly four months,” Pam points out.
“Okay, how about this?” I offer slowly. “Such a good night that losing twenty years of my life is not only acceptable, but greatly appreciated?”
Pam lets out an amused snort, “Am I to guess another shall share our Bloodline soon?”
I nod excitedly, “Godric already agreed to Bond!”
Sookie squeals excitedly and shimmies from the front seat to hug me. “This is so great! Are you two going to have a wedding, too?” she asks.
Frowning, I give a small shrug, “Maybe? I don’t know how long I’ll stay human. The risks of accidents and such are too great for me, you know?”
Now it’s Sookie’s turn to frown, “I guess that’s true…”
“I’ll miss being able to ask you questions in my head, though,” I confess to my living friend.
“It really is convenient,” Sookie laughs while Pam swerves in and out of traffic.
We arrive at the first shop on our agenda. It’s a dress shop and Pam’s excited to help Sookie pick out a wedding dress. The vampire pouts when a sales associate meets us at the door and automatically takes the wind out of Pam’s sails. Maggie, our assistant on the sales floor, takes the reins and barely listens to Pam’s suggestions while we are led to a private dressing room. Sookie finds herself thrust into a world of terms and questions for which she has no definitions. Lost, Sookie turns to Pam, and I giggle into my hands.
“Listen, Maggie,” Pam snaps as our poor bride is overwhelmed by choices that need decisions, “while you find yourself searching your store, I want you to think very hard about these three words. Timeless, elegant, understated. This bride does not need bells or whistles to be any of those things, neither should her dress. She does not need layers upon layers to hide thick thighs or belly rolls. She does not need plummeting necklines to amplify her bosom, and if I see a fucking empire waist, I will murder you. Do you understand?”
Maggie’s jaw has slowly been working its way toward the floor and it takes a moment of her gawking at Pam before she nods frantically and runs away.
“I’m surprised you’re even lettin’ me shop for my dress locally,” Sookie lets out an uncomfortable laugh, still a bit shook up from Maggie’s hounding questions. “I thought you were gonna sweep me off to Paris or somethin’.”
Pam scowls at Sookie’s comment. To be fair, I was thinking the same. “Eric has forbidden it.” Sookie and I exchange an exasperated, though, not a surprised glance. “He said unless you wanted a Parisian wedding dress, I was to stick to the States for choosing your dress… I suppose we could go to New York?” she eyes Sookie with what appears to be hope.
Our youngest friend giggles while she responds, “Let’s see what they have ’round these parts first!”
Letting out a suffering sigh, Pam relents, “Very well.”
It’s then Maggie returns with a half-dozen dresses, and hangs up all of them for us to start looking through. Pam is too quick for us, though, and she’s flipped rapidly through the garments. Stepping back, Pam frowns while her head tilts back and forth contemplatively. Finally, she grabs one of the dresses and hands it to Sookie.
“It has your approval?” Sookie teases when she slowly starts toward the changing screen once Maggie leaves.
“It is the only one I will not shoot myself in the head seeing you wear,” Pam offers, making both me and Sookie roll our eyes.
Sookie disappears behind the screen and, an eternity later, she steps out with a grimace-like smile on her face. She doesn’t like the dress and I can’t understand why! She looks like a beautiful princess!
“Yes! That is an excellent dress!” Pam grins happily and comes over to Sookie, ignoring her strained smile. “It looks just the way I thought it might fit you,” Pam is folding fabric and nodding appraisingly. “Camilla, help her change out of this. I am going to search the rest of the floor to see if that saleswoman overlooked anything.”
Our vampire friend is gone in an instant and I look at Sookie worriedly, “You don’t like it at all.”
Sookie’s smile gets tighter, “It’s beautiful.”
“But it’s not what you want,” I press.
“No,” she confesses timidly.
“Sookie, it’s your wedding,” I tell her. “Pam will understand… Er… Maybe…” I realize her problem. The bride worries her lip between her teeth, so I pull her into a gentle hug.
“I just care about marrying Eric,” Sookie whispers. “It’s just…a dress.”
Sookie pushes me away suddenly, and before I can ask what I did, Pam comes barreling in. “You are still in the first dress? Honestly, must I do everything?” she grumbles while she hangs an armful of new dresses across a chair and comes to help Sookie out of the first gown.
“Sorry, we got to talkin’,” Sookie mumbles when she is released from the dress and quickly starts peeling it off while Pam tries to shove another over her head.
I watch sadly as dress after dress comes on and off. With each one, I feel my heart break a little more while Sookie’s pained smile grows more and more into a grimace. I actually leave the floor for a second to wipe my eyes. I don’t know how Sookie holds in so much… It’s just killing me to watch and Pam’s acting like it’s all no big deal! I know she’s a vamp, but could she really not tell this is killing Sookie?!
Just when I storm back in to the dressing room to give the vampire a piece of my mind, Sookie’s getting yet another dress pulled over her head, and my hands ball up into fists. Before I can holler at our friend, Sookie gasps, then lets out a large sob. I freeze at the dress she’s wearing. It’s old.
I don’t mean vintage, it’s old.
“Where? How? When!?” Sookie scrambles while she looks down at the dress, back at the mirror, then at the dress again. Her hands are gently running over the fabric almost as though she believes it might disintegrate if she touches it too firmly.
Pam’s face transforms into a mischievous grin, “After Eric bought your old home, he had all of the boxes and trunks placed in a storage locker. Since the house was so old and had been an ancestral home, he figured there might be antiques he could sell or donate. Of course, he was taking his time with it, and then he met you and your brother. Ever since he proposed, he has been looking for as much memorabilia of your family to bring out for the wedding.”
Sookie’s managed to stumble to the sitting area of the large dressing room and is still sobbing while running her hands over and over the material. She looks at me, filled with emotion, and weeps, “This is my Momma’s dress. Gran gave it to her to wear for her weddin’. It’d been hers and was s-s’pose to be m-mine n-next!”
Great, now I’m crying! I reach for my best friend and hold her tightly while my tears drip into her hair. “C’mon, Pam, get in on some of this estrogen!” I sniffle and beckon our vampire friend with a wave of my hand. Pam rolls her eyes, but takes a step over to pat Sookie’s head.
“You are just lucky that your grandmother had good taste,” Pam grumbles.
Eric doesn’t seem at all surprised when I come crashin’ through our front door and leap into his arms. Actually, he’s lookin’ mighty prepared for it since his arms are open and he’s laughin’ into my hair as my face buries its sobs in to his shoulder. My arms and legs are wrapped around his body while I cry and his hands are holdin’ me by my butt as he just sways back and forth while I sniffle and thank him over and over again.
“You act so surprised,” Eric laughs softly into my hair when one of his hands leaves my bottom to stroke the back of my head soothingly.
“I didn’t know you kept everythin’ from the house!” I wail, clutching at him tighter.
I feel his confusion, “Pam did not explain why I still had it?”
“She did, I just didn’t think you’d have cared to hold onto it before you knew me,” I confess as my arms and legs loosen around him and I slide back to the ground.
Eric gives me a wry shake of his head, “I was not in any sort of a hurry after I bought this house. Since I appreciated the peacefulness, I considered the possibility there would be furniture pieces I might want to include in the final design. I had Adriana Metcalf put everything into storage lockers and she pulled furniture when it was appropriate. Then, after I met you, I knew I would not be able to throw out anything until after you and Jason had an opportunity to go through it all. However, once we began talking marriage…” He tapers off with an embarrassed shrug. I think that’s the closest I’ve ever heard Eric come to babblin’!
“I love you so much,” I tell him while I pull my fiancé into a tight hug.
“Where is your dress?” Eric asks curiously.
“Oh, Pam has it. She pinned it to me and is gonna get it ready for me for the weddin’,” I tell him with a big grin.
“This is the most excited I have seen you about the wedding,” he tells me happily. His hands are on me, running up and down my sides, and we’re rockin’ back and forth almost like we’re dancin’.
“I’m real excited now,” I confess. “I think my heart was a little broken at first, and I just didn’t know why till I had that dress on… It was like my brain went, ‘this is what you were missin’.’ Now I’m just so excited and happy, and I wish it was December already!”
“Why did your Aunt not have the dress?” Eric asks me curiously.
“Linda didn’t want to wear it,” I shrug. “She wanted her own dress, not Gran’s hand-me-down. My Momma told us she sobbed after Gran asked if she would wear it for her weddin’. Momma’s parents were dead and Gran made her feel like she had a family again when she offered her own weddin’ dress.”
“Have you thought of what song you would like us to dance to?” Eric asks me next as we continue to rock back and forth. I shake my head and lean my temple against his chest while we just stand and sway.
“I gotta figure out what I’m dancin’ to with Jason, too,” I realize with a grimace. “I just realized, I got no idea what all I’m supposed to do…”
“Well, we need to know where we are getting married. We will need food for the human guests, tables, chairs, music, invitations will need to go out shortly-”
“Uh,” I stop our music-less dance and lean back to look at my future husband. “Help?”
Eric grins down at me, “How about I order you a pizza, and then we start figuring out this wedding together?”
And that is why I am marrying this man!
“And then!” I swoon, “Pam starts putting another dress over Sookie’s head, and it’s her mother’s wedding dress! Godric, it was so beautiful and sweet!”
Godric laughs while he runs his fingers through my hair, “It sounds like it was an exciting day.”
“Did you know?” I ask in surprise.
“Of course, I knew,” Godric frowns at me. “I have been helping Eric go through storage containers for the last two weeks while you were at work. Even Pam has been helping.”
“You didn’t say anything,” I pout. His answer to my half-hearted accusation is to tap my head. “Oh, yeah. I can’t keep secrets from Sookie,” I realize and, for a moment, that makes my heart ache.
“What is it, Mila?” Godric asks, and I assume it’s because of my little disappointment.
“How soon after we’re Bonded… Do you think you’ll turn me?” I begin tentatively.
“Whenever you wish, Mila. It could be the evening after or years down the road,” he tells me sincerely.
“And will having both Jason and me as fledglings at the same time be hard on you?” I press.
Godric shakes his head, “Pam and Eric will be here to help Jason along, so I may remain focused on you. Honestly, with yours and Jason’s temperaments, I am not concerned in the least. You two would make poor vampires, but whatever it is you would call us now… You will be excellent.”
My brow scrunches as I admit, “I have no idea what you mean…”
With a gentle smile, Godric tells me, “Eric and I are prepared to retain some of our darkness… To keep a foot in the shadows… We were born from worlds of violence and war and it is second nature for us to fight. You, Jason, and Sookie are innocents compared to the worlds Eric and I have known and we will protect that innocence at any cost.”
I give my lover a wry smile, “I’d be far less innocent if I remembered what happened to me back in December.”
“I am grateful that you never will, though saddened over what you have lost-”
“I’m not,” I assure him firmly. “Whatever life I had prior to this one means nothing. You and the last four months mean more to me than anything or anyone of the last twenty years. If sacrificing twenty years gives me an eternity of your love, I won’t just accept it; I will grasp it gratefully.”
Godric strokes my hair thoughtfully before he speaks again, “Sometimes I wonder if you would feel that way if you had any memories of the last twenty years.”
“I don’t care to live in the world of ‘what if’ anymore. I have amazing brothers and sisters because of your Bloodline. I have a man who loves me desperately and an eternity to love him back. Now, the sun has set and I am one day closer of having that life forever.”
Godric’s hand stops tangling in my hair and I smile as he covers my body with his own. Wrapping my arms and legs around him, I pull Godric closer as his mouth finds mine and our tongues lance against his distended fangs. As our blood mingles and trickles down our throats, all I can think is, One more night, and I’m part of this family forever!