Author's Note: This story takes place directly after the final episode of True Blood season 3, 'Evil is Going On'.
Eric washed his hair for the second time, trying to get all the cement out. He wanted to feel satisfaction at knowing Russell was buried in the cement, left there to suffer over the years. But he could only picture his Maker's face right before it had dissipated. Disappointing his Maker made his stomach churn. Not wanting to think about it, he tried to focus his thoughts on Sookie. He tried telling himself that she would forgive him. He tried telling himself that a part of her would always lust after him, even if she didn't love him. But the words sounded false in his mind.
Once his hair was rinsed, Eric turned off the water, and got out. Minutes later he stood naked by his coffin. He needed sleep. The dawn was breaking. But he couldn't talk himself into getting in. He grabbed a pair of boxers, and pulled them on before walking over to his progeny's coffin.
The coffin opened. Pam's eyes were sympathetic. Eric wanted to snarl at her for it, but didn't. Instead, he climbed in with her, and closed the lid. They hadn't done this in years, decades maybe, but it was as if no time had passed. She lay her head on his chest, and they held each other in comfort as they drifted off to sleep.
# # #
Eric opened his eyes. Startled by his surroundings, he jerked up into a sitting position. He was in Sookie's house, on the couch, in his boxers. Godric sat in an armchair a few feet away watching him intently.
Shaking his head to clear it, Eric looked into his Maker's eyes and said in Swedish, "I'm dreaming."
Responding in kind, Godric said, "Yes."
"A figment of my imagination then." Eric scowled. "How desperate I must be for you, to concoct this meeting in my mind."
"No, my child. This is just as real as our earlier conversations. I've come to speak with you about Russell."
Eric wasn't sure if he believed this was real or not, but he couldn't stop himself from glaring at that statement. "We're done discussing Russell. You asked me not to kill him, and I didn't."
"You will turn Russell over to the human authorities."
That went against every instinct Eric had. The mere thought of it made his skin crawl. He stood and loomed over Godric. He hissed, "I'll do no such thing."
"You forget your place, my child. As your Maker, I comma…"
"No!" Eric yelled. "You left me for the true death, though I begged you to stay. You can't command me any more!"
Godric had remained sitting in a relaxed position so far, but with those words from his child, he sat up straight.
Eric shuddered at the expression on his Maker's face. He hadn't seen that look in many, many years. He struggled not to get on his knees and apologize profusely.
Godric said, "I have never released you, Eric, and I never will. You are mine to command for eternity. The true death doesn't change that."
Tears welled up in his eyes, and Eric shook his head. He didn't know if he was more desperate for it to be true, or for it not to be true. Godric snapped his fingers, and pointed to a spot in front of him. Eric couldn't hold back any longer. He took the step that separated them, and sank to his knees in front of his Maker. He longed to rest his head on Godric's thigh, but was terrified of touching the man, and having him dissipate the instant they touched.
Godric reached out and put a hand on the side of Eric's face. He whispered, "I'm sorry you felt abandoned, my child."
Leaning into the gentle touch, Eric gave up any pretense of composure. He lay his head on Godric's thigh, wrapped his arms around his waist, and wept. He felt Godric's hand petting his head while he cried, and found immense comfort in the gesture. Many minutes later, when he was able, Eric said, "I miss you."
"I am with you always." Godric felt Eric relax completely on him. Softly, he said, "I know it will be difficult, but you must move past your desire for revenge. From this day forward, love will be your guiding force, not revenge."
Eric's muscles tensed, and he lifted his head. "I don't understand. You aided me in my search for revenge for so many years. We were brothers in bloodshed for centuries. Now you want me to change?"
"Because I love you." Petting his child, Godric said, "As your Maker, I command you to give Russell over to the human authorities."
Torn between enjoying the touch, and disagreeing with the command, Eric said, "You can't ask that of me. It's too much."
Godric turned to the kitchen and said in English, "Miss Stackhouse, will you bring me a wet washcloth please."
The instant Eric heard her name; he let go of Godric completely, but stayed on his knees. With wide eyes he whispered, "Sookie?"
"Be right there," Sookie's voice said.
Godric saw the worry in his child's expression, but didn't answer. A few seconds later, she came in holding a washcloth. Eric kept his head bowed, and his face turned towards Godric, trying to hide his bloody tears from her.
Having none of that, Godric said, "Please clean Eric's face."
Eric glared at his Maker. Surely Godric knew he didn't want Sookie to see he'd been crying. Purposely keeping it English, Godric said, "You are long overdue for a lesson in humility and obedience, my son."
Hearing those words from his Maker made his stomach lurch with shock and dread. Godric hadn't called him son in many centuries, but he hadn't forgotten what it meant. He whispered, "Please," but Godric's only response was a regretful shake of his head.
Sookie got down on her knees next to Eric and started washing the blood off his face. He remained still, but couldn't make eye contact. Sookie's gentle touch made him long for her. She said softly, "You'll feel better inside if you let go of your anger at Russell."
He turned his face away from her, refusing to acknowledge what she'd said.
Godric said, "Thank you. Please have a seat on the couch." Once she was seated, his focus turned to Eric. "Boxers off and over my lap."
Eric closed his eyes, and willed himself to wake up. This couldn't be happening again after so many centuries had passed. It simply couldn't. Silence stretched between them. Eric knew that if it came down to a battle of wills, he would lose, but the thought of submitting to this in front of the woman he had feelings for was appalling.
"I grow weary of your stubbornness. Would you like Miss Stackhouse to watch me toss you across my lap? You haven't forced my hand in that way for…" he paused to think, "…over eight hundred years."
Eric opened his eyes, switched to Swedish, and said in the most humble tone he could muster, "Please, Godric. He killed my family. He deserves to suffer. If I give him to the humans, he'll simply escape, and we'll all be in danger again."
In one swift move, Godric had Eric's long body draped across his thighs. Eric's hands balled into fists in an effort to remain still instead of fighting back, knowing it would be useless. He rested his forehead on the floor, hoping to block out Sookie's presence.
With a sad sigh, Godric ripped the boxers off Eric's body, and started smacking his behind.
Eric loathed this, and Godric knew it. It wasn't painful enough to do anything other than annoy him, but that just made the humiliation worse. But he knew from experience that the pain could quickly become intolerable if his Maker used his full strength. Eric tried telling himself that this was only a dream, but it didn't help him feel better.
For the next ten minutes the only sound in the room was Godric's hand coming into contact with Eric's skin. While Godric's hand was landing like a metronome, he turned to Sookie and said, "Sorry, this may take a while."
Eric glared at the floor directly in front of his face. This dream just kept getting worse and worse. He'd forgotten Godric's fondness for holding a civilized conversation with someone else while spanking him, as if it were a daily chore, like milking the goats.
Sookie said, "It's okay. Take all the time you need."
Eric imagined a smile on her face as she said that. He was positive that she would enjoy watching him being punished.
Godric said, "You should have seen him struggle the first time I spanked him."
Eric stifled a groan.
"He didn't take to kindly to it I gather," Sookie said.
"You have to understand that he'd been a man for quite some time before he was turned. He was a Viking warier, and the king's son. He wasn't used to anyone telling him what to do."
"I can imagine that would be a difficult adjustment."
"And, to make things worse, I turned him while he was at war. The first night he awoke, he was desperate to continue fighting the enemy. I told him he had to leave his human life behind, but he didn't agree."
"Did you spank him to keep him away from the fight?"
"No. He was new and beautiful to me, and I couldn't deny him. I let him fight." Godric turned his attention to the back of Eric's head. "Would you like to tell Miss Stackhouse how that turned out?"
The continued slaps were wearing Eric down. He felt more like his Maker's child than he had in years. "No, Father," he whispered. He'd rather not think of that night ever again.
Turning back to Sookie, Godric said, "He massacred the enemy. It was magnificent to watch. But then his men, all those who had sworn allegiance to him, saw what he'd become, and turned against him."
"Oh, Eric." Sookie said with sympathy.
Fresh tears spilled from Eric's eyes.
"It was my fault." Godric said sadly. "I should have never let him go back to the fight. After seeing and feeling his grief, I swore to be a better Maker to my new child.
"He wanted to kill himself the next morning. He refused to get into the shallow grave I'd dug in the floor of our cave, and when the dawn was breaking, he tried to walk outside. He wasn't expecting me to be so much stronger than him, and he certainly wasn't expecting me to treat him as a child instead of as a man."
Godric stopped spanking for the first time since starting the conversation. He ran a hand up Eric's spine, leaned down, and kissed the middle of Eric's back. "I pulled him back from the sunlight, and tossed him over my lap, much like tonight. He struggled and tried to get away from the spanking for what seemed like hours. When he finally wore himself out, I told him I was acting as his new father, not realizing how recently he'd lost his human one."
Eric moved for the first time since being put over Godric's lap. He put a hand back, wrapped it around Godric's ankle, and gave it a gentle squeeze.
Godric patted Eric's lower back. "We stayed up long into the day and discussed his old family, and our new one."
Sookie said, "I remember clinging to my Grandmother after my parents died. I don't know how I would have made it through that first week without her love and support."
Eric loved her in that moment.
Godric took note of Eric's bruised flesh and asked, "Are you ready to do as I say, my son, or do I need to put more force behind my swing?"
Eric shuddered. "That won't be necessary."
Godric helped him slide down to his knees. Eric put his head on Godric's thigh again, and wrapped his arms around his waist. Godric pet his head, and let him relax.
After a few moments, Eric muttered, "I'd forgotten how awful it is to be spanked. I much prefer it when our roles are reversed."
Godric smiled fondly. "As do I, my father, but we both know that's because I don't find it awful to be spanked."
They both heard Sookie's intake of breath at that statement. Godric smiled at her and said, "I don't want to mislead you Miss Stackhouse. Ninety percent of the time Eric and I are brothers. But it's a memorable ten percent when we aren't."
She mumbled, "It's really none of my business."
"But it is," Godric said, "because it's time for Eric to move forward. And he can only do that by protecting you."
Eric lifted his head, "What do you mean?"
Godric switched to Swedish, "She loves you, and she needs your protection."
Eric switched as well, "She lusts for me, that's not love. And unless she's going to somehow remember my dream, she'll never forgive me for eating from her yesterday."
Godric shook his head. "She could not have joined us tonight if she wasn't willing to forgive you. I don't know how much of this she'll remember, but she'll remember some of it. Though she may brush it off as an erotic dream."
"Erotic?" Eric asked, and turned to scrutinize her.
Godric said, "Can't you smell her arousal? Her heart rate spiked when you said you preferred the roles to be reversed."
Keeping eye contact with Sookie, and using English, Eric said, "I guess if she won't accept my protection, I can always pull her across my lap until she agrees to it."
Both men watched her blush, and heard her heart rate increase. Looking at her lap, she said, "That's a horrible thing to say Eric Northman."
Godric and Eric shared a look.
Turning to Sookie, Godric said, "You couldn't ask for a better protector. I advise you to accept his help." Turning back to Eric, he said, "I advise you to listen closely to her advice when it comes to dealing with other humans. The relationship between humans and vampires is tentative right now. Humans outnumber vampires by the millions. No matter how strong we are, the numbers are against us. If humans around the globe see you, a vampire, turning in Russell to the authorities, then maybe we can avoid bloodshed. Giving up Russell will also scare away the werewolves that follow him."
Still not liking it, Eric said, "What if he escapes?"
"Teach the humans how to make sure that doesn't happen."
"I don't want him to find peace."
"But you need to find peace. You've accomplished your revenge. Your human parents were avenged the instant you killed Talbot. But at this point, what you want doesn't matter that much to me. I just want your obedience. As your Maker, I command you to give Russell to the human authorities."
Eric bowed his head. "It will be done."
Godric looked out the window. "The night has come."
Eric's fingers dug into Godric's skin, wanting to keep him there. "When will I see you again?"
"I don't know. But for now you must go."
Eric opened his eyes to the dark confines of the coffin. He could feel Pam pressed up against him. She said quietly, "Thank you for not leaving me."
He kissed her head, and hugged her close. "Thank you for putting up with me."
"You may change your mind after today."
"I'm giving Russell to the human authorities."
She propped herself up on one elbow. "Why in God's name would you do that?"
He didn't want to go into details. "I have my reasons. You'll just have to trust me."
She didn't push the issue and lay back down on his chest.
Not wanting to face the night yet, Eric lay there and thought about Sookie.