“Welcome to Norse Enterprises.” Eric stated as his guests joined him in his large conference room. “It is a pleasure to host our second Reveal Conference here in Louisiana.” The group that met seven years ago had re-grouped to continue their work.
Fons addressed the group informally, “I never imagined it would take so long to meet again. Then again, I was surprised by the delays in the completion of synthetic blood.”
Godric addressed the comment on the blood: “It is the testing cycles and approvals from organizations such as the FDA in the US and the MHRA in the UK have slowed the progress. The requirements for clinical trials are onerous, and the liaisons from these organizations seem resistant to the whole concept of a synthetic blood substitute and they challenge the scientists at every opportunity. While the scientists believe the testing is adequate, they require trials that track the impact and reactions over years, not days, weeks or even months. This has required our revised timeline. In fact, what is hoped to be the final trial recently started, and it will be a 10 year time period.”
While the room grimaced at the ten-year timeline Fons turned to Godric with a curious look on his face. “Yes Godric, thank you for that summary.” Fons concurred, though he wondered how Godric knew the details of that update when he had only been made privy to that information last month.
Wanting to keep his financial interests in the company creating the substitute quiet, Godric explained his answer to Fons, “I am one of the oldest vampires in the world; I have connections to many, including our Japanese counterparts who work with the human scientists.” Fons nodded his understanding.
As the host, Eric moved the group to the table to begin the meeting. He introduced Indira, a vampire who would be serving as scribe. Thomas looked at her equipment curiously, “What kind of stenographer equipment is that?” He asked as he pointed to the large white box with keyboard.
“That was just released by IBM. It’s called an IBM Convertible PC. It’s a portable PC and Indira’s typing speed allows her to take our conversation down directly, no translation required, and she can print out the notes before we leave in the morning. We can move it as needed throughout the meeting rooms.” Thomas continued to gape at the white box. “Really Thomas, the technology strides by humans is the reason for our reveal, we should take advantage where we can.”
“Forgive my staring Eric, but at our last meeting, you seemed reluctant to change with the times.”
“Nonsense. I may want to continue my vampire habits, but I have always taken advantage of new technology.” He turned to the vampires gathered around the table. “Shall we begin?”
The group met for about 5 hours and broke for the night; each member taking an hour to present a summary that represented their region’s opinions, feedback and expectations for the reveal. Once Fons felt they had made enough progress for the night, he dismissed the group to a local hotel owned by Eric for their safe daydeath. Eric welcomed Godric into his home for the duration of the conference. He was quite excited to spend time with Godric for the rest of the night since Godric arrived just before dawn and they had no time to connect. ‘I cannot wait for him to meet Theresa. He will see her love, and his threat to meet the sun will be over.‘
Godric could sense Eric’s feelings as he drove him home. “What has you so excited my son?”
“I am eager for you to meet someone.”
“You have someone at your home?”
“I do. Her name is Theresa. I think you will like her very much.”
“Well, if you are so excited, I am as well. Why did I not meet her this morning?”
“She was already asleep when you arrived.”
They pulled up and passed through the security gates and wards for Eric’s property. Godric commented on the wards he felt. “You have found a powerful witch to create protection wards; I don’t recall them at my last visit.”
“Yes, I added them about 4 years ago. I met and hired a witch at Queen Sophie-Anne’s palace, Octavia Fant.”
“I have heard of Ms. Fant. She is reputed to be one of the most powerful witches in the states.”
“And, here we are.”
Eric and Godric made their way from the garage into the house, specifically, the kitchen. Godric saw a lovely, curvy blond standing, ready to greet them both. She bowed and simply said, “Master” to Eric; then turned and said, “Master Godric” to him.”
Eric beamed. “Is she not beautiful?”
“Yes Eric she is. Perhaps I can get to know her better, let’s visit in the den.”
Eric backed off and pointed to the den with his arm, suggesting the way for Godric. Theresa interpreted Eric’s motions incorrectly and moved to walk in front of Eric. After her first step, Eric roughly grabbed her arm, and pulled her behind him while saying “you don’t walk in front of me, you know this.” At this, Theresa bowed and asked for forgiveness. Eric raised her chin to meet her eyes and grimaced out, “You have embarrassed me in front of my maker; we will deal with this later.” Tears formed in Theresa’s eyes but she nodded; then fell in line after Eric. Once in the den, she promptly knelt at Eric’s feet, her eyes glued to the floor.
Inwardly, Godric groaned. ‘I was afraid of this, he created a slave. I am certain he is about to have her profess her love for Eric, even right after that incident.”
While petting Theresa’s head, he asked her, “Theresa, tell Godric about yourself, about our relationship. I give you permission to look up as you speak.”
“Thank you Master…..Master Godric….” She began, but Godric interrupted her.
“You may call me just Godric my dear.”
“Thank you Godric.” She looked at Eric and he nodded is approval, so she continued with the speech they rehearsed. “I am twenty two years old. I came to live with Master about a year ago after we met at his night club. I am very lucky that Master chose me as his companion and I love him with all my heart. I live only to please Master.”
‘A year, I doubt we can undo the damage from Eric easily.’ He pondered, but asked. “Tell me of your days, what do you do when Eric is resting?”
“I am mostly on his schedule, I go to sleep about an hour before he does, and wake in the early afternoon. I prepare my meals, tend to his gardens, and read the books chosen by Master. I am working to improve my conversational skills for his pleasure by reading classic literature.”
“Yes, the classics always a time worthy endeavor. So you have an interest in gardening?”
“Master has asked me to learn about gardening so I have an activity that takes me outdoors at least once a day. I was new to gardening when I moved here, so he hired a tutor.”
“So, you were not interested in gardening or fine literature before Eric?”
“No, Master has provided me with pastimes that fit into his life so I can pleasure him even more.”
“What did you do before you moved here?”
“I was in college, studying to be a nurse.”
With that, Godric glared angrily at his son, but said nothing. He wanted to learn more about this relationship. Eric was shocked at the anger he felt from Godric, and he blamed Theresa. They had not rehearsed some of these answers, so she should have turned to Eric rather than blurting them out. Something she said obviously upset Godric and she would be punished. He asked Godric, “What has upset you?”
“We can discuss it later, but essentially, she was planning on a career….” Godric stopped when his phone rang. “I am sorry, this is Isabel and she would only call if something was urgent. I will be back in a moment.”
Godric left the room and Eric glared at Theresa. She cowered away, not understanding what had happened. “You upset him,” Eric started and then stood. “Come.”
Theresa obediently stood and followed Eric out of the den. She knew where they were going. It was where they went anytime she needed to be punished, though she did not know why he was upset now. Sure she stepped in front of him, and she knew he would punish her for that. It had been so long since she made such a mistake, but that usually was only a spanking in her bedroom just before she went to bed. ‘He is truly angry and I don’t know why. What is he going to do? I have not needed a severe punishment in a few months.’
Eric opened the door to the guest room he used to dole out punishments and Theresa entered. “I will be back in 5 minutes; prepare yourself.”
“Master, I…” WHACK! He backhanded her across the face. “Do not make me repeat myself, do not make this any worse than it already is.” She bowed and moved into the room. Remembering the rules, even though it has been a while, she stripped and kneeled in the center of the room, waiting for Eric’s return. A combination of fear of the punishment and sadness at disappointing her Master created a flood of tears she could not control.
Eric returned as promised and moved to a case on the wall. “You took liberties answering questions we had not rehearsed. You know better, you should have turned to me for guidance. My maker is upset and that cannot go unpunished.” He chose a whip from his collection, one he knew she hated above the others. Then he grabbed her hair, yanking her to stand and guided her to a bar along the wall. Knowing what to do, she bent to hold onto the bar and waited. Eric always made her wait once in position, knowing the fear was a huge part of the punishment.
After 5 minutes, Eric raised the whip, preparing to tear into her backside when Godric walked into the room. “Stop.” Godric commanded quietly, but effectively.
Eric turned to him and offered the whip. “Of course Master, she upset you; therefore you should deliver the punishment. Forgive me.”
Normally in control of his facial expressions, Godric again glared angrily at Eric, took the whip and threw it to the ground. “Eric, please heal Theresa from what you did to her face.”
Eric stared at his maker while Theresa asked, “heal me?”
Godric’s eyes grew wide as he took in their reactions. “Eric, you have never healed her in this past year? Never after a punishment?”
Eric shook his head and replied, “Why would I heal her after a punishment? Isn’t the pain the point?”
“Theresa, perhaps you should go rest. I am sure this has been a trying experience for you, and I believe it is close to your bedtime anyway. I will see that Eric heals you tomorrow evening before we leave for the meeting.”
Now Eric was confused, so was Theresa to tell the truth, but she did not hesitate to grab her clothes and run to her bedroom.
“Godric, I don’t understand.”
“You will. Can we go back to your den to talk?”
“Certainly.” Eric motioned for Godric to go first; then he followed him out the door. ‘Something important must have happened in his area and he decided we could not waste time with Theresa. I will deal with her tomorrow after I help Godric.’
They resumed their seats in the den and Eric started. “Has something happened in your area requiring our focus?”
“What? … No, no, that’s not what happened.”
“Then why are you so angry? And what were you starting to say about Theresa?”
Godric put a finger up indicating he needed a moment; then closed his eyes and tried to determine the best approach to this conversation. ‘A slave. He took a young woman with a promising career in an admirable profession and created a slave. I am certain she believes she loves him. How we get her out of this mess, I do not know. I must try.‘ Finally ready to start, he opened his eyes and asked Eric a question. “Eric, are you and Theresa in love?”
“She loves me, she told you herself.”
“Did you train her to love you?”
“What does it matter the method? She loves me. She can’t live without me now.”
“Yes, I am afraid of that.”
“Why are you afraid? She is an efficient slave, pleasing to the eyes. She is having some trouble with the books I have selected for her, but she is trying. We often spend time when we are not fucking talking about the latest book she read. If she worked on a new part of the garden, we explore it at night. I am not planning to be rid of her anytime soon.”
“And what of 20 years from now? When her looks wane? What happens when she has read the classics and she has no further conversation because you keep her locked here away from the world? Away from new experiences?”
“There are always new writers, some are quite worthy of my time. I allow her to watch movies and the news. She is not away from everything.”
“And her looks?”
“I agree; that is a tricky one, and I will deal with that when the time comes. She may need to be put down at some point.”
Godric sighed, and in a move uncharacteristic of a vampire, he lowered his head into his hands and rubbed his face, almost as if he had a headache. “Master, what is the problem, you seem so troubled.”
Trying another tactic, Godric asked. “Eric, what have you learned from having this relationship with Theresa?”
“I learned that I can enjoy the same human’s company for more than one night. You wanted me to learn more about humans, so I’ve done that. I ordered Theresa to take on some human activities that also please me.”
“Ok, that’s a start, though I wish you hadn’t ordered her to start reading literature or gardening. You like coming home to Theresa every night?”
“Not every night. There are plenty of nights that I find an alternative I cannot resist at the club, so I stay there, or some nights I still come home but I don’t want that company, Theresa is told to go to bed, and she leaves me alone. She does not whine or cling like I see some human woman do. It’s a pleasing relationship.”
“You respect her?”
“No, I could never respect a human. Wait, that’s not entirely true, there are some worthy exceptions.”
“So with that attitude, how will you find a way to co-exist with them peacefully after the reveal?”
“Godric. You heard me tonight. I agreed to live by and enforce all the rules we are planning to put into place.”
“You agreed to follow the rules, but you still don’t understand the benefits of the rules, you don’t believe in the value of humans.”
“Beyond food and a few specific examples, I never will.”
“Eric, dawn approaches and I need you to understand what will happen over the next two nights I am here and also when I leave.”
“We will work with Theresa to undo your damage as much as possible. You will start by healing her tomorrow evening, and explaining what you are doing, you will not just order her to drink your blood. You will dismantle your punishment room. You will back off on your rules.” Godric looked at his son while he spoke and took in the look of horror on Eric’s face. “I fear we will not be successful, so the back-up plan is that you will tell her to make you happy, you are giving her to me. I will, in turn work to restore the woman you stole, return her to college, encourage her to work and maybe at some point, she can be released to live her life normally.”
“GODRIC! What are you saying?”
“You have failed Eric. I still give you the years I promised; you have until September of 2004 before I meet the sun. You will NOT, however, create a slave to do it. If I find you have, I will meet the sun that very day.”
“We’ve had slaves before. What is the problem?”
“We had slaves for SURVIVAL, and we used glamour to reduce the amount of physical punishment to train slaves to be loyal. What you were about to do to her when she’d done NOTHING wrong makes me shudder to think about her year here.” When Eric started to speak again, Godric simply said, “Quiet. We will move to your bed chamber to rest. I am so angry with you right now that I do not want to speak to you anymore tonight. You will remain silent until we rise in the evening.”
Godric stood and yanked a stunned Eric up from the couch and dragged him to his bed chamber, almost as if he was putting a young child to bed after a scolding. Eric was reeling from Godric’s words. He wanted to clarify what this meant, ‘he is still planning to meet the sun? I did what he asked, a human loves me; she and I have a relationship. I need to ask him so much, but not after his last words. I will wait until this evening.‘
As he stated, Godric simply got into bed with Eric and they remained quiet. At their age, they could stay up a while past sunrise, but Godric’s command of quiet prevented them from using the time to talk. Instead, Godric used the time to blame himself for Theresa’s situation. ‘I knew he would do this and yet I did not spend enough time closely monitoring him these past few years. When nothing happened after 5 years, I thought he was ignoring the ultimatum I made and I planned to remind him at this conference. He found her about a year ago when we had some political problems in Texas and I was not staying in close contact. This is all my fault and I have to fix her. Though, I cannot see how we can find the woman Theresa was in just two days. Leaving Eric will actually be painful for her, so I will need to command him to provide comfort and encouragement. He won’t like that. Tough shit though.’ He turned to look at Eric while he continued his thoughts. ‘I could barely restrain myself from taking the whip to his backside when I walked into the room. Gods, what she must have endured from him over the past year, and he never healed her. I will make this right somehow.’ Those words were his repeated thoughts up until he fell into his daydeath.
Upon rising, Godric showered and prepared himself for the night while he waited for Eric to rise. Finally, about an hour later, Eric stirred and Godric wasted no time. “Eric, call Theresa down here. I want to start healing her while we wait for the sun to set.”
“She has never been down here, I don’t want….”
Godric cut him off with a look. “Call her to the door, I will open it for her, it’s not in direct sunlight, I will be fine.”
Eric phoned Theresa and explained where to find the door to the bedchamber. He was pissed at Godric. He had kept his concealed door panel a secret from Theresa, ‘NOBODY but a few chosen vampires know where I rest!’ Now a fucking human will know!‘ He knew better than to challenge Godric tonight though.
He left the bedroom to shower, not even wanting to see Theresa. Godric held her hand as he walked her into the room. She was obviously puzzled at being in the room, but she saw the bed and figured they were looking for sex so she immediately started to strip. “Theresa, stop.” Godric said. “You are not here for that. …. Come, sit with me on the sofa.
“Theresa.” She gave no response. “Theresa, look at me.” She waited a few minutes then finally looked up. “Theresa, things are going to be different for you from now on.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I know you don’t understand. This,” he sighed, “this is a difficult situation. You see, Theresa, you had a life before Eric, and that life stopped. You need to get back to that life now.”
“Eric doesn’t want me anymore?” She questioned and started to tear up.
“My dear, it’s not much that he does not want you, he should not have you.”
“But he got me for you.” She started crying at this point and spoke through sobs. “I he .. heard him on the phone to P…Pam.”
Godric handed her a handkerchief and she stopped to blow her nose. “What did you hear Theresa?”
She took a moment to take a few deep breaths; then continued. “It was the night I told him I loved him. He got up and called Pam right away. Saying he’d done it. That I loved him and you would be so proud when you met me.”
Standing under the shower spray, Eric listened to Theresa and Godric and grimaced. ‘I did what he wanted; she just admitted again that she loves me. Why is he being so stubborn about this? She is pleasant company too. If he wants to undo what I have done with Theresa, that’s his own problem. I’m going to get ready and head to the conference.’
“ERIC!” Godric bellowed as he walked into the bathroom. “Stop hiding in the shower, you must help me with Theresa.”
“I’m not hid….” He started to respond but was cut off by glare from his maker. He bowed his head and replied “Yes Godric.”
Once Eric was dressed from his shower, he joined Theresa and Godric in the bedroom. Godric ordered, “Eric, explain healing to Theresa.”
Eric turned to Theresa and said. “My blood has healing properties. I am going to prick my finger and you will need to suck the blood from the wound. This will heal your face from last night.”
“Will I become a vampire?”
“No, you have to be drained and then drink a significant amount of vampire blood to change. This amount will only heal you. I will also be able to sense your feelings after you have ingested the blood.”
“So you can really know how much I love you then, if you can feel me, huh?”
“Yes, now be ready, my finger will heal quickly so you can’t hesitate.”
Eric used his fang to cut himself; then placed his finger in Theresa’s mouth. Godric watched them closely knowing that with the right person; a vampire sharing blood like this could be a very erotic experience, at least for the vampire. When there was no reaction from either of them, he was both relieved and frustrated: relieved because he did not want to deal with a sudden, uncontrollable desire for Theresa on Eric’s part; frustrated because it really proved that Eric had no feelings for the girl at all. He sighed to himself and decided to just move the rest of their work along.
Eric and Godric continued to work with Theresa until they left for the conference, both acknowledging they had not made progress with turning her around. Godric was left believing he would be traveling home with Theresa.
Eric sighed; the conference was more of the same boring talk and discussions. As representatives, they had some influence over the minor details of life preparing for and after the reveal, but the monarchs had already made most of the broad sweeping decisions, so he felt like a simple paper pusher. Still, they concluded all their business as planned over the next two nights, and now, Godric and he were returning to his house to inform Theresa she would be leaving with Godric for Texas. As if the past two nights and near-dawns had not already been filled with enough of Theresa’s tears, telling her would surely initiate the worst bout yet.
Theresa greeted them brightly when they entered the den. “Master, Godric, I missed both of you while you were out tonight. What will we be doing now until dawn?”
Godric nodded to Eric and he moved to talk to Theresa, choosing to sit next to her on the couch. Godric had coached him specifically on what to do. Taking her hands, he started to speak “Theresa, look at me.” She looked up. “Theresa, Godric and I have spoken about your future. We would very much like you to return to college and finish your nursing studies.”
Godric became hopeful when he saw Theresa smile at this news. ‘There is something left; the girl in front of us still wants college.’
“Of course Master, whatever you want.”
“Theresa,” Eric clarified, “We want you to finish college because we hope it is what YOU still want.”
“Only if you want it, Master.”
Godric’s hope left with her statements and he stepped in to help Eric. “Theresa, eventually, you will realize that you can have your own wants and desires. For now, we will make this decision for you based on what you wanted before Eric took you from that life.” He could not resist a nasty look in Eric’s direction at that last statement.
“Ok. So I will go back to college. How will I do that if I can’t leave this property without Eric?”
“Theresa, you will be going to Texas with Godric. We are providing a guard to attend school with you, not to keep you there, but to keep you safe as you assimilate back into society. You will live in Godric’s house, but you have no rules as you did here. The only stipulation is that you will be glamoured to ensure you don’t discuss the existence of vampire until our reveal.”
“Yo….you’re breaking up with me?” She spoke through tears.
“Theresa, I am having Godric care for you because I want you to be more than just my pet.”
Godric nodded, pleased at Eric. Then he made a motion with his arms. At his Maker’s nudging, he embraced Theresa in a hug while she cried, knowing his silk shirt was going to be ruined. Finally, she calmed down enough to speak again. “O o K. When I finish my degree I can come back?”
Eric sidestepped the question a bit and told her he was sure she would want to focus on her career and that they would cross that bridge when they came to it. She seemed to accept that answer and at Godric’s request, she went to start packing for their trip.
Godric changed his plans to fly at nightfall to stay with Theresa in the passenger area of the plane so he went to his daydeath with Eric one last time before he left. In the hour before sunset, Godric sat with Eric to talk. “Min Son, we need to clear the air.” Eric nodded. “I have been upset with you this week, but I realize this was my fault as well as yours. I asked you to build a relationship with a human and then left you to your own devices. What you did to Theresa is NOT what I meant when I told you to love. As we are both busy with our areas and preparing them for the great reveal, I know I cannot guide you directly, so I am sending a trusted part Daemon/part human to stay with you. Her name is Cara and she is a trained guard, so if you do find another companion, you have a live-in guard.” Eric nodded and smiled at this idea. “While not guarding, she excels in cooking, so she can cook for your partner as well. Finally, to ensure we don’t have any situations like Theresa, she is my eyes.” With that, Eric’s eyes went wide, his jaw clenched and his nostrils flared in anger. Godric pressed on. “Stop it Eric. I know you will do ANYTHING now to prevent me from meeting the sun, and she will be here to guard the safety of your potential mate. Do not pick a fight with me right before I leave. This is my decision and you will abide by it. Do you understand?”
“Yes Godric. We should go and check on Theresa’s preparation for departure.”
“Yes, and she will be upset to leave you, I expect you to assure her that this is your wish. You must be caring.”
He sighed but acknowledged his maker. “I understand. Let’s go upstairs.”
After collecting Teresa and her bags, Godric hugged Eric as he left and reminded him to please, find love.
As soon as the car pulled out of the driveway, Eric called Pam to his house. She had barely settled into the den when Eric started ranting about Godric and Theresa. Normally composed, Eric’s emotional explosion shocked Pam, but she just let him continue. He had held his tongue for days, taking Godric’s criticism, panicking about Godric meeting the sun, and following his orders. He needed to unload.
When he finished, Pam turned to him, and challenged him. “So Master, what do we do next?”
“I don’t know Pam, I. Just. Don’t. Know. I want to forget this for a little bit. Let’s go to the club and find some women. I’ll think about all this love shit tomorrow.”