44 BC – Wraith Lair
“To thy East lays thy Sigil. Thee Jewel,” Alia said, enunciating each word carefully.
“Cheese and rice, Alia. Did you just speak English?” Sookie beamed with astonishment.
“I have been practicing”, she smiled as she spoke Latin.
“How were you able to know the meaning of my words without anyone teaching you?”
Alia quirked a confused eyebrow and looked over at me to translate. I was trying to be patient, but we needed to continue with haste if we were to find the Jewel and destroy it before Titus rose. Once he awakens from his slumber, he will immediately know that Alia and I are in the Wraith Lair from the blood tie that we share with him. It will take him mere seconds to find us. I translated Sookie’s question in my native language for my sister.
“Ah,” Alia said turning back to Sookie after I spoke. “I listen carefully to your words for many nights now. I listen when you and my brother speak and try to figure out what the words mean.”
“My sister has always been very adept at language.” I explained to Sookie. “It is something the druids study extensively. She knows many tongues and also speaks Old English from the British Isles. Our people used to trade with the Briton tribes across the English Channel before the Roman Legions came, and while the language is very different from modern English, the syntax is very similar. It has no doubt aided her in her translations.”
“Yeah, I can tell she is inserting a bit of Old English into her speaking,” Sookie said staring at Alia with wide eyes.
“According to Alia, the Jewel is just down this Eastern tunnel,” I said, nodding my head to indicate. “They brought her to the Jewel after they captured her in an attempt to activate it.”
“Right,” Sookie said closing her eyes and reaching out with her mind. “There’s no one there.”
“No guards? That is odd.”
Something was amiss if the guards were absent from their posts. The sentries should be guarding the Jewel with nearly their full force.
“Not as strange as you think,” Sookie whispered, looking over at me. “It’s almost sunset and most of the humans have gone to prepare for the Wraith and vampires to awaken. The vampires will be hungry when they wake up. We have to move quickly.”
“Little One, wait.” I stepped towards her and took her hand in mine, pulling her towards me I spoke softly. “If something should happen… If something should happen I want you to know.”
I wrapped my arms around her and pressed my forehead to hers. She put her hands on my shoulders and sighed heavily at my touch.
“I want you to know that I love you. You have saved me, Sookie; not just my life but my soul. I am not sure how much I can convey to you how deeply I feel for you. I am grateful for everything that has happened.”
“Do you mean to say you are actually happy we came to the past?” She giggled.
“I would not change a thing,” I whispered as I kissed her forehead.
“Me either,” she sighed and laid her head on my shoulder. “I love you too, Godric. We’ll survive this.”
I turned to see Alia was already creeping down the tunnel cautiously. “We better go and see this task to its completion.”
2009 – Hotel Carmilla Rooftop
”It will not take long, not at my age,” I said looking at the horizon wondrously as the first rays of the sun shined in the distance. My shirt fell away from me, and I stepped closer towards the horizon, spreading my arms. Finally, it was ending. My emotions were conflicted, but I also felt tremendous joy that I was about to shed myself of all my worldly burdens.
I closed my eyes to bear the pain as the burning sensation engulfed my shoulders. It was more painful then I thought it would be, but yet it was a small penance to pay for my atrocities.
I heard a scream behind me. “NO!” I turned to see the girl on her knees with her hands over her mouth and tears streaming down her face. Here I was at the end with a human, who was shedding human tears. I did not deserve her pity and yet I wanted to step to her and comfort her. I faced her in hesitation, and that is when she reached her arms out to me. That is when the flames on my shoulders began to subside.
My brow creased in concern. What was this creature doing? A series of light flashes burst from her palms and hit me in the chest. I have never seen such things in my long life and I was truly shocked. What sort of mysterious magic was she wielding to stop the power of the sun from destroying me? As much as I sympathized with her turmoil, I could not allow her to stop me. It was my decision to make. She had no right. On pure reflex, I rushed at her to put a stop to this nonsense.
As soon as my hands made contact with her wrists I was hurtled backwards until I lay flat on the concrete of the rooftop. That is the moment that every memory from the last 2000 years poured back into my soul, as if a locked door had opened and revealed all to me.
“Sookie, NO!” I was paralyzed and could not move my body, and I realized that I was engulfed in flames. I looked over at Sookie and was shocked to see her inside some sort of bubble of light, with… with me…
“By the gods, please do not let this be happening!” I groaned. “My Sookie!”
I reached out to her but she seemed to be completely unaware of me as she held on to the other version of myself… the younger version, the human version that I had originally melded with all those centuries ago when Sookie hurtled us to the past. The one who had only 2000 years of memories. The wrong memories… the memories of my former life, of my first 2000 years. Everything was happening as it happened before, and only now did I realize all those centuries ago when I was hurtled to the past there must have been an older Godric laying where I lay watching these very events unfold, feeling as I feel, as if I was losing Sookie all over again. After 2000 years of waiting I was losing my mate again.
Still on fire, I turned and began crawling towards Sookie. I used every last bit of strength and determination I had left. The light that engulfed Sookie and my younger self dissipated and she was gone, leaving a cold lonely space where she had stood. I rolled on my back and screamed. I screamed into the morning dawn with a cry that I barely recognized as my own voice; a long drawn out wail that echoed high above the city. I would be ash in mere seconds and it would be over. I closed my eyes and became one with the pain. In truth, I think my eyes were gone.
I felt something covering me before my mangled and scorched body was lifted in the air. Moments later, I felt a plastic bag being shoved to my mouth and a cool liquid glided down my throat. There was a muffled noise that became clearer and clearer.
“Godric! You must drink, Fader!”
Slowly opening my eyes, I saw the face of my child as he looked down at me with wide blue eyes. He was clad in a heavy black cloak and wisps of smoke were rising from the cloth at his shoulders. He looked like a black angel as he loomed over me, determined to save me, but I did not want to be saved.
“No,” I shook my head weakly. “Take me back to the roof. I do not wish to live.”
I felt the bag of blood back at my lips and more liquid poured down my throat. I tried to cough it up but my body and instincts betrayed me as I drank.
“Shhh, my child,” I heard my maker’s voice above me, the voice of the Ancient Pythia. “All will be well.”
My blood boiled with anger and I opened my eyes wide to stare at her, hate emanating from them. “You,” I croaked bitterly. “You did this!”
I lay there for minutes as my strength returned to me. Finally, when I was able to stand, I got up and walked back towards the door that led to the roof.
“Fader!” Eric screamed as he grabbed my arm to stop me. “Godric, you must stop. It is past dawn.”
Wrapping his arms around me from behind, he pulled me back to the ground and held me in a tight embrace, holding on for all his life. “Let me go, Eric. I have lost her yet again! She did not return to this time!”
“I will stop you!” He yelled angrily.
“Let me go. I command it.” I wrenched myself from his grasp with an angry heave and staggered backwards. Eric reached for me again, trying to fight my command, but he was unable to defy me.
“And I command you, Godric, to stop where you are. You will not go back out on the roof.” The Pythia said sternly.
I collapsed and pressed my forehead to the ground. “Why must you be so cruel?”
“You do not know that she has not returned. Your senses are weak during the day. She could be out on that roof as we speak. Do you wish to walk out in the sun and die the true death before her very eyes?”
I lifted my head with hope and blinked out the blood tears to look at my maker. “Why? Why did you take my memories?”
“You know why, my child.”
“You have forsaken me. If she has not returned I will kill you myself.” I turned and looked at my child, Eric. “And you. You knew of this and yet you let it continue. It would seem that I was wrong when I offered you the gift of immortal life. You have betrayed me just as she has.” I gritted my teeth and spat out the last words. “My Child.”
Eric looked at the ground and I turned away from him with a growl. “I will always protect you, Godric, even if it is from yourself.”
I put my face in my hands. I cannot believe after everything… after everything events have still unfolded the same as before. My heart cannot bear it if she does not return.
“My maker,” Eric said putting his hand on my shoulder. “Please forgive me. Have hope, Godric. She may yet come through those doors.”
“I cannot smell her scent on the rooftop,” I said in panic. “I cannot hear her heart beating. I cannot taste her aroma in the air. My senses are too weak once the sun rises.”
“We will wait together,” Eric said wrapping his arms around me. I lay my head against his shoulder and wept. I felt his fingers run through my hair as he tried to sooth me, but nothing could sooth my aching heart except for Sookie’s face, and I feared I would never see her again. She was within my grasp, so close I could touch her, and yet I knew not who she was. I let go of my reserve and sobbed. I let the tears flow and did not care that my emotions were so blatantly on display for my maker and child to see. I rocked against Eric as he held me tightly and whispered words of comfort in my ear. My maker was there too, putting her hands on my arms. I could feel her tears falling on my face, mingling with my own. I was painfully aware of the Pythia’s words from so long ago as they echoed in my mind. She had once told me that there was equal chance that Sookie may not return to this rooftop on this day.
44 BC – Wraith Lair
“I can feel a vampire mind approaching quickly! I think that it is Titus!” Sookie whispered loudly as we rushed towards the Jewel.
There it hovered above a pedestal, bathed in white light. It was spectacular, yet menacing. The Jewel sparkled with a rose colored glitter and it was about the size of my fist. It was incredible to think such a beautiful object had the power to open the gates of hell. Within the Jewel of the Underworld lies all the power of every fallen fae since the beginning of time. Such a powerful object could not be allowed to exist. It had already fallen into evil hands and been wielded to do unspeakable magic.
I rushed towards it and reached my hand to it. I could hear Sookie and Alia screaming behind me. Hesitating, I turned around to see Titus walking through the door. His gait was wide, but he moved at a leisurely pace as he came towards me.
I could hear my heart beating in my ears, and their screams seemed a hundred miles away as my eyes locked with the demon eyes of my dominus. He looked at me with a glower of triumph as he glided in my direction. It became painfully aware to me that Sookie and Alia were standing between Titus and I.
“Godric,” Sookie screamed. She seemed to move in a dreamy crawl as the air vibrated around us. “Destroy the Jewel!”
Titus smiled and not taking his eyes off of me he reached out, wrapping his long fingers around Sookie’s throat.
My eyes widened as I faced him, and I rushed towards him with a rage I did not know I possessed. He could snap her neck with the twitch of his hand if he so desired, and he merely enjoyed toying with me as he began to laugh. I let out a roar as I jumped on him. He on the other hand was barely flinched by my onslaught as I began to pummel him. He did however, release his hold on Sookie’s neck.
I was vaguely aware of Alia pulling Sookie away from the fight and toward the Jewel as Titus struck my neck with his fangs.
“Sookie, you will be killed,” Alia screamed. “We must destroy the Jewel.”
I pushed at him with all my strength but it was of no use. The monster had me within his grasp. I realized if I did not free myself soon we would all die this night.
I looked over to see both Alia and Sookie reaching for the Jewel. Sookie had tears in her eyes as she looked over at me. Then they both picked it up together and threw it to the ground where it shattered into a million tiny shards. Time slowed and warped as the shards bounced back up in the air and a huge explosion emanated from the fractured Jewel.
Sookie and Alia disappeared before my very eyes, their painful screams echoing off the rocky walls of the chamber. They had been incinerated in the explosion! For the love of gods, no! They had been wiped from existence. My rage doubled, and I lost my mind in that moment. I reached into my pocket as Titus hovered over me, draining me, and I retrieved the stake I had already used many times this night. I thrust it through his back with satisfaction and he burst above me.
I stood there panting heavily for a second. Regaining my senses, I ran to the fractured Jewel and fell to my knees.
“Sookie!” I screamed. Tears were streaming down my face as it registered in my mind what had just happened. Sookie was gone. I picked up a fractured piece of the Jewel and threw it across the room. “Sookie!”
I stared at the shards in denial as they lay strewn out on the ground before me. They began bouncing and vibrating softly on the ground then I heard a great noise. The entire chamber began to shake and rattle and dust started falling from the ceiling. The labyrinth was on the verge of collapsing within itself. This lair after all was a mystical place that lay between this world and the next, only held in place by the Jewel. Now that the Jewel was destroyed it could not exist. It would soon be annihilated, taking me with it.
“There has to be some explanation. Sookie, you cannot be gone! I will not lose you!”
The Pythia! I must return to the Pythia. She will know what befell Sookie and my sister. She will have some piece of wisdom or vision to tell of this catastrophe. She will have some quest that I can journey on to retrieve them. She will give me hope!
Getting up, I staggered across the shaking ground that lurched and rumbled with the force of a thousand earthquakes. I turned back to see a rock slab from the ceiling fall on the pedestal where the Jewel had previously sat, crushing it with a thunderous noise.
Grabbing the rocky door frame I thrust myself out of the room and into the tunnel, barely able to stand from the shaking ground. I could hardly breathe from the mixture of my own sobs and dust in the air from falling debris, but the Pythia would shed light on this. She would make all well! She had mysterious ways of knowing and she was my hope.
I passed by a dead human in the tunnel, crushed by fallen rubble. Rocks were hitting me in the head and shoulders as I ran down the passageways and the dust was making me cough.
I turned a corner to see two Wraith on the ground, reaching out for me. Their skin was melting away as they lay there, the bones of their skulls becoming visible as their flesh disintegrated away to ash.
My mission had been a bittersweet victory. The lair was destroyed, the Jewel was destroyed, Titus was dead, but Sookie and Alia were gone. I was aware of my human fragility and slowness as I made my way through the tunnels of the shaking lair. A large rock fell on my shoulder and knocked me to the ground. A biting pain nearly brought me to my knees when my shoulder became dislocated, but I did not stop. I got back up and ran. I ran and ran and ran. Not for myself, but for Sookie, for Alia, for the meaning of my existence. I had to get them back.
Finally, making it out of the lair I fell down on the parched and scorched ground of the barren lands outside the labyrinth. Holding my broken arm and leaning up, I watched as the entrance collapsed and sunk into the ground, the dirt and sand filling the space where it had once been, as if it was never there. The only indication that it had existed was the great billowing of dust and ash that rose from the Earth where it once was.
I laid on my back and stared up at the expanse of stars in the night sky. It looked so peaceful and welcoming as they twinkled above me, like all was well in the universe. I breathed heavily as I caught my breath and coughed to clear the dust from my lungs. Trying to move, I realized my leg was also broken. I sat up and looked down, to see the bone at my shin jutting out of my skin and my blood pouring onto the ground.
I would never make it to Rome, to the Great Hall in this state. I would bleed to death before I made it out of the wastelands. I laid back down on my back and closed my eyes. I am not sure how long I lay there like that, bleeding to death. My mind drifted as Sookie and Alia’s screams danced in my head, as if to torture me, to remind me of my failures and of all that I had lost.
I felt my face tense as I tried to hold back the tears, but hold them back I could not. I let them flow and I drowned myself in my misery. Many hours must have passed as I lay there in pain and anguish, unable to walk. But it was the neigh of a horse in the distance that roused me from my despair. I opened my wet and blurry eyes as I listened. The noise came closer and closer, from across the east.
“Take my blood, child,” I soon heard the voice of the Pythia above me, her assistant at her side as she looked down at me with eyes of wonder.
“Sookie,” I coughed. “Sookie and Alia are gone.”
“I know, child. Drink. If you ever want to see my daughter again you must live.”
I stared up at her with hope and relief as her blood glided down my throat and worked it’s magic. Still unhealed, I stopped drinking and asked her, “I will see her again?”
“This I know not, Godric.” She said cradling me in her arms. “It is possible she was returned from whence she came, but we will not learn of this for 2000 years. There is much we must discuss.”
I clenched my eyes shut and let hope fill my heart at the thought that Sookie was waiting for me on the rooftop in Dallas, but the Pythia was unsure of her fate. Her and Alia could have very well died in the explosion, not only destroying them, but also destroying my heart.