Warnings: Angst, slash, bloodplay, violence, torture. If you're mature enough to watch True Blood, I think you'll be fine reading this.

Disclaimer: True Blood belongs to Alan Ball and the SVM books belong to Charlaine Harris. Only the original characters are mine.

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There was a rock poking him in the shoulder. It had been quite some time since he'd slept in the earth and Eric found it surprising how easily one could get use to modern comforts - such as a king size bed – despite the fact that for many years he'd made do without.

That little irritation of a rock sticking into him was enough to remind him that he had bigger problems to deal with.

He had to find out what had been discovered at Ruben's house. He needed to get more information on the movements of Sophie-Anne and the Authority to stay ahead of them to avoid prosecution. He had his sheriff duties; he needed to get updates from the other sheriffs of Louisiana. He had to check on Fangtasia. He had to find out what Pam had done about the werewolves.

It's a long list, but it's a welcome distraction, he figured, absently flexing his new fingers. Worked once, it'll work again.

Shaking dirt out of his hair as he stood up, female voices caught his attention at the far end of the park. Eric's fangs lengthened and he smiled.

A young blonde and a brunette, probably not even out of their teens, were giggling to each other, watching something on an iPhone. The blonde one had a dog, some yapping thing that resembled a mop, now straining against its leash in his direction. Blondie looked around to see what had gotten her dog's attention and saw him.

She blatantly looked him up and down, appraising him warily, and Eric wondered if the fact that he was covered in dirt would make her run. He wasn't in the mood for a chase, as fun as that could be. He cocked his head slightly, showing off his fangs. Her eyes widened when she realised what he was and she nudged her friend.

Her friend looked up from the phone. Her eyes widened too, but after a few quick whispers between them, their smiles become sexily coy. Too easy.

"You look like you just woke up," said Blondie, tossing her hair over her shoulder. The smiling girls came closer, but stopped just out of reach. The dog whined loudly.

"I think your dog wants to go play," Eric said, pitching his voice just so as he caught Blondie's eye. Blondie let go of the leash immediately and the barking dog darted away. Good. Animals could be annoying, particularly loyal animals like dogs. He glanced at the dark haired girl, and then the two girls stared at him with glazed eyes and dazed, fixed smiles.

He decided to go with the blonde first. The brunette looks a little like Yvetta. The woman's treachery still narked him, but he'd left her fate to Pam.

Smiling, he picked up her wrist, whispered an inane compliment, and sunk his fangs in. She sighed in pleasure, closing her eyes, smiling dreamily as she relaxed against him.

Her immediate attraction to him made her blood taste sweeter. Not as good as if they were having sex though. Or if she was afraid.

The brunette swayed slightly, shaking off the glamour a little now that his attention was elsewhere. It was still strong enough that she didn't notice them beside her.

Smiling vaguely, she wandered off after the mop dog. "Gaga, come here, girl."

Blondie sighed again and after a few minutes, Eric let her go. If he drank anymore she would pass out and that would just lead to hassle. He licked his lips and glanced up for her friend with the still barking dog.

He froze. The dark haired girl was pulling the dog away from someone.


"Stop it, Gaga," she scolded and looked at Godric apologetically. "I'm sorry, she's really naughty."

Godric stood up shakily. Eric was rooted to the spot, too shocked to move or say anything. He could only stare in disbelief.

The dog continued to bark unrelentingly, getting increasingly louder. Godric looked around, disconcerted. Eric could see he was blinking furiously; the fluorescent light coming from the nearby lampposts was probably hurting his sensitive eyes.

The girl dragged the dog by its pink rhinestone studded collar, but it just squirmed and kept barking. "Gaga, quit it!"

When it finally wriggled out of its collar and jumped up on Godric's leg, he jerked back and snarled, baring his fangs. The girl shrieked in fright, falling back, and the stupid dog took off, yelping shrilly in terror.

The screeching of the girl attracted Godric's attention. His Maker looked down at the girl and when she looked back at him, he held her gaze. Her eyes got wider and wider, glassier and glassier, and her face went pale. When she made a faint whimpering noise, Eric realised that Godric was destroying every nerve in her brain as he hypnotised at her.

Dashing forward, Eric hauled the girl to her feet and whipped her around to face him. She looked up at him blankly and he grimaced. She had the vacant look of a catatonic and she was struggling to breathe. Another few seconds and she'd have been brain-dead. He knew old vampires had the ability to permanently damage the minds of humans, but he wouldn't have thought Godric the type to hurt them like that. Maybe he didn't realise he was doing it?

"Go," he said quickly, hoping she would recover, "and forget this."

She stumbled, tripping over her own feet at first, but eventually regained her sense of balance, at least enough to rush after the dog. That was a promising sign.

Eric looked back at the blonde. Her dreamy smile had faded and she looked troubled by the noise, but was still hypnotised enough to remain unaware of the situation. "Go with your friend," he ordered and she took off as well.

He's not real, just a figment of my imagination. I'll count to three, he decided, and when I turn around, he'll be gone.

One, two, three.

Eric slowly turned and Godric was still standing there, looking in the direction of the running girls.

"Godric?" he said tentatively. He wasn't quite game to touch him. That would make him real.

Godric looked around. It took him a few seconds to zero in on the noise. He stared blankly, as if not recognising him. Eric grew increasingly anxious when his Maker looked away. He heard the soft snick of Godric's fangs retracting.

"Eric?" he said uncertainly, looking up. "Is -"

"Yes," Eric said before he could finish, though not really sure what he was answering. He moved closer, but stopped when Godric stepped back, nearly stumbling over his own feet in the process. "Do you remember the past few days?"

"Yes," Godric whispered, scratching his hand, so hard that he gouged five deep red lines in his skin. He blinked and looked down at his hand, watching as blood trickled between his fingers before the wounds healed. "I remember." He rubbed his temples. "Did I hurt her?"

It took a second for Eric to realise what Godric meant.

"Maybe," Eric said, still looking him over. He looked exactly the same, still wearing the same clothes from last night, the sweatpants and an old blue shirt, now dirtied from the dog jumping on him. "But I think she'll get over it."

Godric frowned, hearing the doubtfulness in Eric's voice. "I should check."

"No," Eric said sharply. It was not a good idea to be caught near a human that had a breakdown due to a vampire's influence. As a Sheriff, it was not something he wanted to be dealing with at the moment. "She'll be fine. Probably just a bit giddy for a few days."

Accepting the white lie, Godric looked around the park and then up at the newly darkened sky, his eyes flickering from one star to another. He looked at the moon, only slightly different from the night before. He stared at it for a long time, as if confirming that time had indeed passed, and then buried his face in his hands. It was the only movement he made.

It finally sank in. Godric was still alive – or alive yet again. How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How?

I felt him die!

Eric turned away, fumbling for an explanation. Vampires don't just come back from True Death like this. He gulped, sickened and frightened. Eric tried reaching out mentally to see if he could connect with his Maker's mind. It worked. And it was terrifying.

Every movement was an incredible effort and each thought was like torture. Being alive was a near unbearable prison for Godric. Eric could feel the agony and it was made all the worse by now knowing that for a tiny period, Godric had been somewhere that he had been at peace. Truly happy for the first time in a very long time and now that contentment had been stolen away for some unexplained reason. Eric thought of the bliss he'd felt when Godric was in his arms, what he'd seen in Godric's eyes before dawn and -

Then Godric was standing next to him, his hand touching Eric's shoulder lightly. Eric turned and saw unreadable grey eyes in an expressionless face. Godric withdrew his hand.

"You must have work to do?" Godric's voice was eerily composed. But it was the same resigned voice he'd used – had - in Dallas. The one Eric had found terrifying as it gradually dawned on him what it really meant.

Eric felt helpless, a feeling he detested. He wanted to comfort Godric, but knew there was not a single thing he could say. "Yes," he said slowly. "I need to speak to Pam and the other sheriffs."

"Then we should return to your house," Godric said. "Or do you need to go to your club?"

Eric raked a hand through his hair, shaking more dirt free. I need to have a shower – if Pam sees my hair like this, she'll want to fix it up, and I'm not in the mood for her to be playing around with it. Wait, hair? Of all the ridiculous things to be worried about!

"No, I can work from home." Something he tried to avoid doing because he didn't like bringing work home, but he could certainly make an exception for tonight.

"Very well," Godric said. He strode past purposefully, heading back to Eric's house. Eric stood there, dumbstruck. If Russell knew this spell, then how has he kept it a secret? Does he use it too? Is that the secret to his great age? Has he died before and this spell has brought him back?


Eric jumped, looking up. Godric was at the far end of the park, visibly annoyed. "Hurry up," he said sternly. He remained where he was until Eric was at his side. The annoyed look melted into nothingness again when he began walking.

He's too calm, Eric thought, keeping pace with him. Godric was without a doubt the strongest, most controlled person he knew, but still... God, how can anyone endure that pain?

He glanced sideways at his Maker, but Godric just looked straight ahead. He couldn't help it - Eric stopped walking.

"This is crazy. Godric, what the fuck happened?"

Now a few steps ahead, Godric paused, but didn't turn around. He just looked forward, silent. Eric grabbed his upper arm, meaning to turn him around to look into his face, but suddenly Godric's hand was around his throat and he'd been forced to his knees. Eric was too shocked to struggle, not that he could have moved in this grip.

"Do not touch me," Godric snarled softly, squeezing tightly enough to crush his throat. Eric couldn't even move his head to nod that he understood, so he just blinked. After a minute, Godric appeared satisfied with Eric's frightened response and let him go. He turned around and began walking again.

Eric stumbled to his feet as his throat healed and followed his Maker, remaining at cautious distance. He scowled at Godric's back, furious at being incapacitated in such a degrading manner.

As he put the keys in the front door, Eric stubbornly tried his question again.


"Please don't, my Child." Godric gazed impassively at the road. Eric sighed and opened the door.

Once inside, Eric began rummaging through the back of a linen closet. After a few seconds of flinging sheets and blankets out of the way, he found the box he was looking for and a garbage bag of old clothes.

Godric was sitting on the sofa, his hands resting on his knees, staring into space when Eric dropped the box of clothes in front of him. Prototypes of the tourist shirts for Fangtasia, mostly red and black ones with the logo on the front and back. Pam had given them to him to decide upon, but of course, he'd just left it up to her. He'd meant to get rid of them, but just hadn't gotten around to it.

"One of these should fit," Eric said, painfully aware of how strained his voice sounded. "At least until I can get you some decent clothes. That stupid dog slobbered all over what you're wearing."

At least until... Eric stepped back, not sure if what he'd just said was actual thoughtlessness or if he meant something else. Godric stared at him for a minute and then bent down, picking up a black shirt from the box and finding a pair of jeans in the bag.

"It doesn't matter," he said softly. Eric stiffened. Godric noticed Eric's reaction to the echo of their conversation two nights ago, adding, "They're only clothes, Eric."

Eric went back downstairs to shower. Ten minutes later, with water dripping down his face, he looked at his reflection, trying to get control of himself. What the fuck has happened?

He suddenly heard Russell's taunting laughter.

You will regret this.

Just... how?

He closed his eyes. Pam was nearby, he could sense it. She was anxious, very anxious. He could guess why. She has news and it isn't good.

The Authority and Sophie-Anne were finally circling like buzzards, waiting for the right opportunity to strike. Spies had given him updates on their movements, but their lack of action concerned him. The waiting was infuriating, but he did not want to act prematurely - to do so would be suicide. Guess the wait is over, he thought grimly.

Godric was nowhere to be seen, but he was still in the house. Eric listened for a few seconds and heard movement in the other bathroom. The box of clothes had been put neatly on the kitchen countertop, the bag beside it.

He pulled open the front door before Pam had even lifted a hand to press the doorbell. He looked down at her and waited.

"The Authority has selected a new Magister," she said unhappily.