Ch. 5: “I was born to darkness in a tree like this…”

“No.  It is out of the question,” Godrik stated calmly but with a finite sternness.

“But you said we could go to Roskilde!”

“Upon further consideration I have determined it to be unwise.”

“Why?”  I threw my hands on my hips, exasperated.

“There are many factors,” Godrik replied, toeing the ground, refusing to meet my gaze.

“Which are?” I pressed, incensed that four months later we were still roaming around the Nordic countryside, nowhere near a city.  I longed for a bit of variety.

Godrik turned and walked out, leaving me standing among the slew of small, soft bodies.  We’d dined on a whole family tonight – a mother and her children, all desperately thin and diseased in the midst of winter.  Their weak blood offered us little in the way of sustenance, forcing us to drain them dry in order to wring out the most meager of meals.  Months before, I would have been disgusted to feed upon the little ones, but Godrik had shown me what a mercy it was – their deaths would have been far slower otherwise.  They would all die eventually anyways, why not in my arms?  Already we had encountered several far flung hamlets that had resorted to eating the dogs, the hard winter grasses under the snow, and perhaps even one of their own.  This was an especially hard winter for the peasant folk.  Absentmindedly I thought of the people in Åsaviðr and wondered how my eldest, Thorson, was managing.  I looked at the corpse of the pitiable lad I’d drained and angrily discarded the useless thought.  Stooping to avoid the low lintel of the hut, I found Godrik standing in an open field some distance away from the isolated thatch roofed house.

“Godrik, I only know what you tell me.  If my ignorance annoys you than you alone are the remedy.”  I smiled inwardly, pleased that I was beginning to figure out how to deal with my oft times mysterious and unyielding maker.

He dipped down faster than I could track and in a blink I found my face smashed with a snowball.

“You forget I can feel that smug attitude of yours dripping all over our bond, Viking,” he criticized sharply, then tackled me at full force.  In a flurry of limbs and feathery white powder, an all out lethal snowball fight ensued.  He was far quicker than I and being shorter, had the advantage, but I crushed the snow in my big palms with all my strength, pressing it into nasty iceballs that were far meaner than the puffy splats he was lobbing my way.  Eventually we scraped so much snow off the field there wasn’t anything left to compact and we called a truce, laughing hard at the strange scene we’d conjured with our high jinks.

We wended our way through the forest in companionable silence.  Although the longer nights were a definite benefit, winter presented certain challenges to our kind – the malnourishment of our hosts being only one issue among several.  Frankly put, it was a pain to dig out the frozen ground and our daytime hiding places needed to be sufficiently insulated so that we didn’t freeze during the day; though the cold didn’t hurt, waking stiff as a board was uncomfortable and could present a risk if we were to be ambushed before we got ourselves limbered up.  Instead, we kept multiple safe places scattered around the land.  Presently we were headed towards an ancient burial mound.  Godrik abhorred spending the day anywhere but below ground, so our abandoned cabins and cozy caves were only for wiling away the evening hours.  We owned virtually nothing but the clothes on our backs, a few treasures kept in a small rucksack, and our swords.  I longed to sleep in a bed, but the possibility seemed less likely than getting my maker to take me to somewhere civilized.

I was mulling over Godrik’s refusal to take us to Roskilde when he stopped several paces in front of a massive oak tree.  While we spent our nights as shadows tracing back and forth across the same hills and forests over and again, we had never happened upon this particularly ancient wood.

“Wait,” he held a hand up.  I froze instinctively.

Silent as death, he slipped up to the tree, scenting the air.  He thunked it towards its base and it answered with a hollow sound.

“We’ll sleep here tonight.”  With some effort we chipped the ground down under its roots and found a spacious cavern underneath the old oak.  It was surprisingly comfortable (given some of the truly foul places we’d slept before) and pleasantly warmer.  We left the entrance unfilled for the time being, as there were still a few hours left of night.  I slipped down onto my back, resting my head in Godrik’s lap.  He ran his fingers through my hair and worked it into several thick interlocking braids that he knew I favored.

“I was born to darkness in a tree like this,” he said, out of the blue.  I twisted around to see him, brow furrowed.

“Really?”

Suddenly the warm, sweet earthy notes in his scent made complete sense to me.  They were not dissimilar from the ones perfuming the air around us now.

He grunted and went back to fiddling with my hair.  I held the piece I felt him fussing at so he could secure the end with a bit of dried sinew.

“You’ve seen him in my blood.  He was beautiful, with long silky black hair like wisps of smoke and green eyes like jewels.  I accidently disturbed him during his rest.”

I didn’t dare speak, knowing how precious admissions such as these were.  He’d never spoken to me of his maker.  I couldn’t make head nor tails or the bizarre snippets I knew of his life before me.  Nothing pieced together and it didn’t help that the few glimpses I’d gleaned were spread across 1500 years of history.  Godrik was a puzzle that didn’t want – or need – to be solved.  It was positively maddening at times, but the most I could do was stay silent and mine his every word for understanding.

Was beautiful.  Meaning he was no more.  I focused on the sad affection I felt in his end of the bond and wondered yet again how he claimed to have a master that was not his maker.

“Let’s play a game,” he suggested, breaking me away from my thoughts.

“Sure.”

“I want you to have sex with me.”

I snickered.  “Was I not already planning on doing that?”

“Not like this.  I want you to take me like I take you.  Take me like you’re my maker.”  This caught my attention.  I would readily admit that where I tended to be prolific in my conquests, he was a far more creative lover.  I swear on Odin’s beard, it’s like his mind was never quite tamed.  He was my kinky, weird boy and he always would be.

In the past few months I’d managed to master feeding and coupling with humans without killing them, but this was only because Godrik demanded it of me.  He had insisted it would teach me independence, but I rather suspected he had other motivations.  My interest in sex with humans at this point was something akin to wishing to drink wine with one’s meal or pairing bread with a hearty stew; they went together instinctively but only because it was what was on the table at the time.  What I desired – what truly fulfilled me – was my maker and he alone.  I think he took perverse enjoyment watching me from the shadows, knowing that the course and fleeting pleasures of mortals only served to elevate him higher in my regard – only served, in truth, to inflame my need of him.  Whenever I got particularly stubborn about meeting some challenge of his, rather than inflict pain on me as other makers would, he knew he could always withhold himself to get me to cave to his wishes.  Through it, I would later realize, he’d instilled in me a level of self-control and restraint almost unheard of for one so young.  I could not begrudge his need to control his sexuality, especially when he came up with such mad ideas to allow me to explore my own.

“It’s role play, Eirikr.  Just channel how you perceive me and I’ll be your good little Godrik.”

“You…want to submit to me,” I asked cautiously.

“Yes, maker,” he replied obediently, initiating the game.  I hitched up between his legs where I had lain, already throbbing with excitement.

He had never allowed this.  He was offering himself up to me; giving me free rein to discover how to pleasure him.  How I longed to see him ride astride me, to set the pace of his release, to reduce him to a quivering, boneless mass.

“I am the one with dominion over you,” I confirmed warily.

“Yes,” he gasped breathlessly.  He unfastened his cloak and shrugged out of his fur vest in invitation.  Not wasting a second, I hastily pulled him out of his tunic.

Now exposed to me, I caressed his cheek and neck, running a hand over his blue tattooed collar.

“You are mine.  All mine.  My beautiful boy,” I whispered as I ghosted open mouthed kisses along his shoulders and across his chest.  I sucked and nipped bluntly at his flesh.  He arched his back in a moan and I circled my arm around his narrow, tight little waist.  I loved the taper of his torso, so lean and muscular.  I pulled him to me and fastened my mouth over the dusty pink peak of a hardened nipple, rolling the tender bud between my lips and tongue.  His eyes fluttered and I worked a trail of kisses and licks down his taught stomach, nibbling at his sweet little belly button – the only proof he had ever really been human.

“Strip for me,” I ordered, testing the waters.  Godrik knew me well enough to know that if he was going to give me an inch, I’d try to take a mile.

He obeyed, wriggling out of his leggings until he was nude, splayed between my legs where I knelt.  I continued my trail of kisses, nuzzling his sexy thatch of curls and nibbling the sensitive skin of his inner thighs.

“Touch yourself, lover.  Show me how you like to pleasure yourself.”  He bit his lower lip as he ran his hands down his body, taking his hardened length in hand.  He tugged gently at himself and stroked with the lightest, teasing touch, using only a thumb and two forefingers.   I could have died all over again seeing him perform for me, his breathless panting growing by the minute.  He palmed himself overhand several times and then switched to his awkward right hand, getting closer by the second.

I pulled him up by his hips and took him into my mouth, deeply as he’d shown me.  He moaned and his eyes rolled back.  I sucked him hungrily, keeping my fangs tucked carefully away.  The taste of him tested my determination to emulate his usual brand of restraint.  As I worked his body mercilessly, he began to lose that fine control he exercised over himself so thoroughly and started thrusting wildly in my hands, barking out something incomprehensible in his native tongue.  Suddenly he wretched upright and grabbed my hair.  With a sharp thrust into my mouth and a cry he exploded, contracting over and over in thick jets.  He collapsed back to the ground and shivered, still riding out the last of his orgasm.  In that moment, he appeared so absurdly young and vulnerable.  I felt fiercely possessive.  Gathering him up into my arms, I pulled him onto my lap, holding him close.

“My lover, my boy.  I will always protect you, always give you what you need,” I whispered into his hair.  I may have still been playing his game, but I meant every solemn word.

He clung to me and nodded against my chest.  I stroked his back softly with my fingertips until he began to move against me.  I felt him grab me, placing me at his entrance.

“Is that what you need?”  He ground against me.  I took that as a ‘yes’.  In a single, slow movement I pushed into him, feeling his impossibly tight body accept me to the hilt.  He let out a long, haunting moan and collapsed against me, arms wrapped around my neck.  I do not know how long we sat like that, still and connected.  I was ablaze and overloaded with sensations, analyzing and committing each to memory.  Feeling my maker give himself fully to me, to have his all-powerful body relax and melt under my touch, to see his eyes widely innocent and needy…needy only for me.  There is little that can be said to capture it, so I will simply say only this: there are thirsts that rise and burn in demanding need, then fall away forgotten once sated.  With Godrik, that pressing desire and ever-rushing ache for more would never be relieved.  Obsession, addiction…The words do not matter.

Finally, I heard him mewl and begin to squirm atop me and it drew me back into this realm.  I took him firmly and carefully and he accepted my ministrations, grunting and crying out my name.  I focused intensely on his reactions to each thrust and caress.  Determined to undo him entirely, I flipped him under me and used my supernatural speed to pound into him at an angle I hoped would thoroughly destroy his control.  Godrik started to unravel and I watched as he lost himself in my arms, hissing and screaming as we came in unison.  I fed him my blood, letting him drink deeply.  Long after, I held him tightly, protectively, whispering promises of how I would care for him through our eternal nights.  When it was finally time to seal over the entrance to the tree and bed ourselves for the day, he cuddled back into my arms and thanked me.  I had a sneaking suspicion I’d just helped fulfill some deeply buried fantasy of his.

“I wish you had made me,” he confessed quietly in the pitch black.

“Maybe we’ve made each other, Godrik.”

I could see nothing, but I felt his emotions contort in the bond with boyish joy and sadness all at once.  I smelled his blood then and searching blindly, licked up the single crimson tear that had slid off his cheek.

“Don’t be sad, maker.”

“I am not.  These are new days.  I may have saved you from death, but you are healing me from so much life.”

I wanted to ask, but I knew I’d not get any answers.  Not tonight at least.

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