Sookie marveled at the large white house as they drove through the gate and into the garage in back.
Eric laughed. “You look as if you’ve never seen my house before. You’ve been here nearly a hundred times.”
“It always amazes me that a real Viking lives in a 4 story Victorian with a Summer Kitchen out back and a garage door opener. Let alone the idea that you have a gardener who takes care of your roses and all those beautiful white Moon Vines all around the windows.”
“I don’t want it to look like a vampire’s nest. As far as I know, none of the neighbors knows that a vampire lives here. The trees all around the perimeter inside the iron fence keep the yard hidden from view. I like the roses because they make the summer air smell sweet, and the Moon Vines bloom at night so I can see them. Between my day man, Bobby, and the gardeners and three maids, there’s enough traffic in and out of here in the daytime to make the place look normal.”
“Nobody would expect a Viking to know about Moon Vines, or to care that his house is dusted and roses are pruned.”
“People underestimate the Swedish. We’re a very cultured people, not the barbarians you see in movies. Yes, we loved to fight and we traded in faraway lands, but we weren’t all raiders and rapists. That would be like judging all Englishmen by the Inquisitioners of the Reformation.”
“Don’t get defensive, Sweetie. I’m just teasing you!”
“I know you are… but there are other ways I’d prefer you to tease me,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows at her as he held her door open so she could get out. Before she was on her feet, he swept her up into his arms and they were in the kitchen door.
He kissed her and set her down in front of the refrigerator.
“That was sweet. Now, food first, then shower, then… “
“… and then I make mad love to the mother of my child.”
“Wow, that sounds weird.”
“Think of how I feel about it. We have entered the realm of the impossible.“
Sookie sat at the long kitchen table and began to open her salad. She was starving.
“I wonder if I’m so hungry because I’m pregnant?’
“No doubt, my lover. I understand women consume a lot of food and in very strange combinations when they are with child. My son, of course, will have a huge appetite, and of course, will demand to be breast fed often.” He laughed with that smug look on his face that made her want to slap him, then kiss him.
“This thing with “your son” is going to get out of hand, isn’t it?”
“My dear, I will be the only living vampire with a child I didn’t have to kill and transform. He will be a combination of the two of us. He will be unique and magnificent – I have no doubt of this!”
“What if he grows up to be a geeky little science nerd who wants nothing to do with vampires and fighting?”
“You are joking, of course.”
“Of course.” She laughed.
“My son… our son will be a warrior. He will be strong and powerful. Humans and Supernaturals alike will quake at his feet. I know this.”
“Oh, you know this?!”
“Absolutely. I knew it the minute I understood him to be mine and yours by magick. Trust me, my lover, the gods have a plan for such a special child. These things do not happen by chance.”
“No, they happen because my Great Grand Father is a Fairy Prince who won’t take me fishing, so he gives me a vampire baby.”
“Niall would not know what to do with a fish. I’m sure he would tell you the same thing about our son if you asked him. Finish eating – I’ll be right back.”
Eric popped into his office and came back with a pen and a steno pad.
“We will have many questions about this baby and we must make a list of them, plus a list of things you must buy for our houses. “
Sookie watched as Eric wrote a 1, a period and then ‘C-A-R’ She frowned.
“A car for a baby?”
“A car for my baby’s mother. Yours is crap and you know it. I won’t have my child endangered by riding in a useless machine like that.”
“Eric, I do NOT need a new car.”
“Whether you do or do not, my son does and so he shall have one. It will be built in Germany and will have bullet proof glass.”
“Bullet-proof…”Sookie stopped. She hadn’t thought that far ahead. She was so worried about how Eric would take the news that she hadn’t thought about the fact that Eric and Niall both had enemies. For that matter, so did she. An infant with that pedigree was practically “A target.” She said. “Our baby will be in danger his entire life.”
“Yes, my lover, I am afraid that is true. He will be vulnerable to attack until he is grown and he could be used against me by my enemies, just as you could be.”
Sookie started to cry. Eric reached out and wrapped both his hands around hers.
“Sookie, look at me. We will live our lives. You and I have stayed together in spite of our enemies. So we will also raise our child in love and safety as much as is possible. Trust the gods, Sookie and trust me. I will do everything in my power to keep you both safe. This child is a child of magick. He might be in greater danger than some babies, but he will have greater protection as well. Most children do not have an immortal Viking who will give his life for them, or a Great Grand Father who can bring the entire Fairy realm into war if he so chooses. You are protected by Were packs, Witches and every vampire in Felipe de Castro’s kingdom. You are the bravest, strongest person I have ever known. We can do this. Together, we can do this.”
“Eric, are you sure? Do you really want to deal with another person that is dependent on your protection, who can be used against you?”
“I want nothing more than I want this. I love you and I will love our son. There is no price too great to pay for that.“ Eric stood, bent and kissed her on her forehead, then gathered up the remnants of her salad container and bags. Throwing it all in the trash, he said brightly. “Time for our shower, my lover. Are you ready?”
Sookie smiled. Yes, she was more than ready. Eric carried her up the stairs to the third floor.