LATE Chapter 008

Enter Dr. Ludwig

 

“My lover?”

“Eric? What’s going on?”

“It is dark and you are still asleep. Did you sleep all day?”

“I was up for a little while, and ate a salad, but then I felt sick and came to lie down.”

“Did you fall asleep on the phone? It was in your hand.”

“Uh, no, I talked to Amelia about taking my shift at Merlotte’s tonight, but I remember saying ‘good bye’ to her. I don’t remember anything after that, though.”

“I think you will sleep a lot for a while. It’s normal.”

“I’m not sure the word normal is going to apply to much of this situation.”

“You are probably right, but I think needing more rest is common. Would you like some milk and crackers.”

‘Milk and crackers?”
“Yes, I brought you some in case you were sick to your stomach.”

“How do you know about milk and crackers?”

“Television. Women with morning sickness are supposed to eat crackers.”

“That’s right. I actually could stand to eat some crackers. I haven’t had much today.”

He was sitting on the edge of the bed next to her. He bent down to kiss her, then helped her sit up.

“You are wearing my shirt?”

“Yes. It’s a girly thing – we like to wear our guy’s clothes to feel closer to him when he’s away.”

“Yes, I know – women often steal pieces of men’s clothes to capture their scent.”

“You know about that?”

“Oh, yes. I’ve lost many scarves and favorite shirts that way. You wear anything of mine that you like, lover. It pleases me that you want to feel close to me.”

“I – I really did today. I mean, I missed you a lot.”

“You say that as if it disturbs you.”

“I’m not usually clingy am I?”

“No, but you aren’t usually pregnant, either. It’s natural to want your mate near to protect you.”

“How do you know all this stuff?”

“I know everything, Sookie, haven’t you figured that out yet? “ He laughed.

She rolled her eyes. “I must have missed that memo,” ahe said.

“You’ll learn. So you are staying with me tonight?”

“If that’s OK…”

“That’s more than OK, my lover. Do you want to go to Fangtasia with me or do you want me to stay home?”

“Is staying home an option?”

“Yes, there is nothing to do at Fangtasia tonight that Pam cannot handle. She will have to take more control of the club for at least the next year or so.”

“A year or so?”

“Six months to have the baby, six months to figure out what he needs and make necessary adjustments.”

“You’ve put a lot of thought into this already – and I found your list, by the way.”

“Good – then we should be on the same page.”

‘Not so fast – there are some details I want to talk about.”

“OK, my lover. Eat some crackers while I call Pam and tell her I won’t be in.”

“Can you call Dr. Ludwig now, too?”

“That will be my second call.”

“OK,”

He settled the tray that was on the dresser onto the nightstand on her side of the bed.

“Why is the wastebasket here?”

“In case I throw up.”

“Ah, well, better keep it near by then.”

She marveled at how he noticed little details. When she first came to his house, this nightstand had two books by her favorite author and her favorite lip balm in the drawer. He’d gotten the white tube from the lower drawer – she wondered how long it had been there.

The milk was still nice and cold and the crackers were nice and salty. She was surprised that it did seem to help settle her stomach, but she also knew she needed to eat more.

Eric had gone to his “real study” on this floor – the one on the ground floor was more for show. His books were there, but anything that related to his business was on the third floor where only he, she, and one maid, whose primary duty was the third and fourth floors, were permitted.

The fourth floor was actually a gym, a guest room, a nice bathroom with a sauna and even a meditation room with a waterfall some yoga equipment and two massage tables. Eric didn’t do anything small. She didn’t realized that Vampires worked out but he told her that it wasn’t so much for health reasons since their bodies didn’t change, it was more of a sensuality thing. They enjoyed the activity, and things like yoga and massage were very soothing to ultra sensitive vampire senses. While there was some weight equipment in the gym, the main area looked like a dance floor and Eric used the space to practice with his swords. There were about a dozen types of sword on the wall there, and he was a master with them all. He had every intention of teaching her how to use them, too.

The “Upstairs” maid came once a week on Friday, so she wouldn’t be in tomorrow. She could cocoon here in the bedroom until Friday if she wanted to, without seeing anyone but Eric. She was surprised that she even thought of that, or that it seemed like a good idea. She realized that she felt safer in Eric’s room than anywhere else on Earth and all she wanted was to feel safe.

Eric came back in from his study as Sookie was finishing off the last cracker.

“Pam was a little perturbed but I told her she’d better be prepared to make some adjustments. I’m sending her on a trip to Hawaii before the baby comes, “ he laughed.

“Black mail, huh?”

“An incentive. Or a bribe. Either way, she has decided to be cooperative.”

“And…”

“And Dr. Ludwig will be here, in this room, at 10 pm. She said it might as well be here since she needed to examine you and you weren’t feeling well.”

“So she’s just going to appear here the way Claudine does when I’m in trouble?”

“Something like that.”

“What did you tell her?”

“Pretty much the whole thing – she knows Niall, she’s pretty sure she knows how he managed this and she thinks she’ll be able to give us more insight when she touches your belly.”

“Huh?”

“Sort of like the Medical Intuitives that humans are experimenting with now. She can touch you and know some things about you and the baby.”

“How reliable is that?”

“Well, it’s not 100% but it’s far more accurate than a human doctor, which is out of the question, anyway.”

“Yeah, I guess it is. Even if they knew anything about vamps, nobody knows about Fairies yet.”

“Nobody who has been to medical school, any way. I could try to find a shifter at one of the hospitals in Dallas if you wanted,” he offered as he took off the black t-shirt he was wearing.

“We’ll see what Dr. Ludwig has to say. I don’t want to leave home.”

“A trip to Dallas isn’t exactly leaving home, my lover.” He was unbuttoning his jeans.

“It’s weird, Eric, I don’t want to leave here – I don’t want to leave this house.”

“That is unusual for you – you normally go out during the day, don’t you?

“Yes. It didn’t even occur to me to go out and sunbathe in the back yard today. I just caught myself thinking a minute ago that I could stay in this room and not have to see anyone but you until Friday when the maid comes.”

“Do you have the list of questions for Dr. Ludwig?”

“Yes, it’s right here.”

“Add that to the list. Maybe she will know what is going on.”

“Is it something to be worried about?”

“I doubt it, but intuition plays a heavy part in mothering. Until she says otherwise, you should follow your instincts and stay here.”

He scooped her up in his arms, turned down the bed and put her back.

“What are you doing?”

“We’re going to bed for a while.”

“Any particular reason?”

“You need to cuddle.”

“How do you know?”

He went to the other side of the bed and got in.
“You have been screaming at me through the bond all day. I didn’t understand what was going on until just now.”

“’Screaming’ at you?”

“Not literally, of course, but I felt – yearning – all day. You missed me today, very much I feel.”

“Yes, I did – I told you that. More than ever. I almost came down to your resting space.”

“So, the doctor will be here at 10, it is 7:24, now, so I’m setting the alarm for 9:45 and we’re going to cuddle.”

“Or have sex.”

“Maybe, but the cuddling is the important thing;”

“Why do I feel like crying all of a sudden?”

“You know why,” he said as he pulled her to him and put his arm under her head. She snuggled up to him and put her arm across his chest.

He kissed the top of her head and she looked up at him.

“You’re right – this is what I’ve been needing all day.”

They both rolled toward each other so they were face to face. He stoked her cheek with the back of his index finger.

“There is nothing to be afraid of, my lover. Everything will be fine. You are with me and you are safe.”

“I know that. Right here, right now, I know I am – but I won’t feel that way anywhere else.“ She said with tears in her eyes.

“Shhh – Sookie, things will be fine.”

He reached down to the bottom of the bed where the steno pad had drifted.

“Let’s look at the list and see where we are.”

“OK, that’s a good idea.”

He opened the pad. “Number one, your BMW.”
“What?! No, Eric.”

“NON-negotiable. Sookie.”

“Well I don’t need a freaking driver!”

“We’ll see how it goes. If I did hire a driver for you, it would be a Shifter bodyguard, but we won’t do that unless it seems necessary.”

“What could make that necessary?

“A Coup. Jealousy. A Kidnapping attempt.”

“Oh, god…. Can I even do this?”

“You can do anything, my lover. I have watched you hold bombs in your hand until help came, I have seen you ride a coffin down the side of an exploding building, You saved many people from the bombing in Rhodes, you have lived through Were and Witch wars. You are constantly doing the impossible. This is just one more challenge, and a pleasant one at that.” He kissed her forehead again and squeezed her a little tighter.

“OK, next on the list. I only need ONE special mirror in this room above this bed.”

“Not in your house?”

“No”

“Or my other houses?”

“No”

“Or Fangtasia?”

“You don’t really want people at Fangtasia knowing about that, do you?”

“Who would know? Workmen would install it in the daytime, and only one maid goes down to my love nest under the club. “

“Lucky her – how do you get maids to do all the weird things you have them do?”

“The things I have them do are not weird – you just aren’t used to having unlimited amounts of money. I pay them very well, I make reasonable requests, and, unlike most domestics, I also provide them with health insurance and scholarships for their children.”

“YOU DO?!”

“Yes, my lover, I do. My superiors think I am too generous with my subordinates, but I believe in paying well for good service. They know they have it well, so they work hard to keep their positions with me. If you put quality ahead of quantity, you end up with both. Bean counters rarely look at the big picture.”

“Ok, I give up – one mirror here and one in the “Love nest” under Fangtasia”

“Now, nurseries…”

“Why on earth would you want to put nurseries in Pam’s house, let alone Bill Compton’s house? They’re both loyal to you but do we really want them babysitting?”

“Those would not be babysitting situations. They would be safe houses. Should you and the baby have to seek refuge, they would have all the amenities you and my son need already in place.”

“Does Pam have room for that?”

“She does if I say she does.”

“Eric…”

“Sookie… we have an understanding that matters of safety are my responsibility.”

“I don’t want to alienate Pam.”

“She is my child. That cannot happen.”

“Isn’t it kind of mean to expect Bill to accommodate your family in an emergency?”

“Mean? I don’t know why you would say that. His house is the first, most logical place for you to seek refuge if you are at the Bon Temps house.”

“Am I really going to be there that much?”
“Are you thinking of moving here permanently, lover? You know I would like that very much.”

“Well, I won’t be able to work for a while, and dragging baby stuff back and forth is a lot of hassle. Maybe it would be better to let Amelia stay at the Bon Temps house and me to stay here most of the time. Then we only need one nursery here.”

“And one at Pam’s, just in case.”

“As long as she doesn’t hate me for it.”

“She cannot hate you, but I will take pains to see that she is not inconvenienced more than necessary.”

“Ok, I can live with that.”

“Next up, Nannies.”

“Do we really need a nanny? That seems excessive to me.”

“Nanny might be the wrong word. Do you know what a Doula is?”

“No, I never heard of it.”

“A Doula is a sort of mother’s helper. She helps a woman prepare for birth, learn to care for the child after, and then some stay with the family to help with child care.”

“Is it like a midwife?”
“A midwife only tends to the birth. A Doula is a before, during and after helper for the mother.”

“If Gran were still alive, she could do that for me.”

“Yes, my lover, she could. I am sorry that you mourn for her.”

“Why did you list Fae, daemon etc. under Nanny?”

“Our choice will most likely be dictated by the needs of the child. My first instinct was that a Witch like your friend Amelia would be a good choice, but then it occurred to me that it needs to be someone experienced with raising children with powers.”

“Powers?”

“Yes, like your telepathy, or even Dr. Ludwig’s ability to teleport.”

“Is our baby going to be like that?”

“We’ll know more about that at 10 pm, so let’s come back to this later.”

“OK – I talked to Alicia today and she said she can expand her duties to include a baby.”

“Did she say how much her salary will need to expand to do that?”

“She said she’d work the details out with you when she gets her pay check.”

“That’s fine.”

“Now lets’ talk about numbers 7 – 10. I don’t need any of those things Eric.”

“I disagree.”

“What a surprise.”

“Sookie, you will need maternity clothes, will you not?”

“Yes, I guess I will.”

“That takes care of seven.”

“I do not need a personal trainer.”

“Were you not worried about getting fat less than 24 hours ago in this very bed?”

“You said it wouldn’t happen.”

“It won’t if you have a personal trainer. There are special treatments to support pregnancies that some personal trainers can provide, then after the birth they can help you return to your former self.”

“What if I don’t?”

“If you don’t, I won’t care, but you will care very much, so why not do what you can to keep it from happening.”

“So it’s not because you’d be ashamed of me if I got fat?”

“I could never be ashamed of you, Sookie. I just want you to be happy with yourself.”

“Is it really expensive to hire a personal trainer?”

“No, it is not, many people, even those of modest means, hire personal trainers.”

“Alright, we’ll try it. I hate feeling like it makes me look vain, but I am sort of vain so I guess I might as well deal with it.”

“I could not have said it better myself, lover.”

“Ok, why on earth would I need a masseuse?”

“You’ll need one who specializes in pregnant women. Actually, it’s possible the personal trainer and masseuse might be the same person. We’ll have to see who is available.”

“Why do I need one?”

“To help your body adjust to the extreme changes it will go through, to make you feel more comfortable and to make you feel good.”

“Extreme changes.”

“Yes, lover, in some ways very extreme.”

“OK, but I don’t need an astha… aythsta…”

“Aesthetician?”

“Yeah – I can’t even say it and I don’t know what it is, so how could I possibly need one?”

“Actually, my lover, if you were not so stubborn, you would have had one before now.”

“What do they do?”

“Well, it varies, but they can usually do facial and body treatments, apply cosmetics for special events, some do hair, some massages.”

“Are you afraid I’m going to get ugly?”

“Never, lover. It is not unusual for ladies of means to hire a make up artist for a special event, or to indulge in spa treatments and massages.”

“Why can’t I just go to a beauty shop?”

“You could but wouldn’t you rather have someone on retainer that you could call any time of the day or night for any occasion?”

“Nobody has that, Eric – what are you, made of money?”

“I have a good deal more money than you can imagine, my lover.”

“Are we rich… I mean, are YOU rich?”

“You were right the first time – WE are rich.”

“Like well-off or really, really rich?”

“Wealthy. Quite.”

“So when I complain about you spending money on me….”

“It’s a waste of my time and your energy and my time is worth far more than I would spend on a masseuse, a nanny or an aesthetician.”

“But it makes me feel like a kept woman. I am not a whore.”

“First, I’d prefer you didn’t use that kind of language. It’s unbecoming for a sweet Southern Belle to use words like “whore.” Second, would it make you feel better if you were a wife instead of a lover?”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve told you that I’d be very happy to marry you. We are going to have a baby now, so it would be appropriate for us to marry, would it not?”

“Yes, it would.”
“Is that a yes, my lover?”

“If that was a request, then yes, that was a yes.”

He was kissing her before she realized he had moved. What a kiss! It seemed to go on forever, his lips so soft, his fangs down –

“Hey, have you eaten?
“What?”

“Eric, don’t you need to feed?”

“I’m waiting until you see the doctor. I forgot myself last night and bit you because I wasn’t thinking clearly, but I need to ask the doctor if it’s safe for me to feed from you or for you to take my blood.”

“Why?”

“Blood loss can cause some human women to miscarry. I don’t know if that includes you or not.”

“I never heard of that.”

“I have, and I’ve seen it happen, so we are going to be cautious until we are told otherwise. “

“What time is it?”

“It is almost 9, my lover.”

“We still have 45 minutes to kill. You know what I was thinking…?”

“What were you thinking, dear one?”

“I’ve never asked you this before, but I would really, really like if you” She closed her eyes tight because she couldn’t believe what she was about to say “… went down on me.”

The sheets and comforter were on the floor before the last word was out of her mouth and Eric was between her legs in a heartbeat. Eric had been doing this for a thousand years, too, and he was good at it. He had the most amazing tongue. Her experience was limited, but the little she did have taught her that Eric was master of technique. He put each of her legs over his shoulders. Lips, Tongue, Fingers. How is it possible for anything to feel that good?

Eric reached up and pushed the t-shirt she was wearing up to her breasts, pinching her nipples lightly as he lapped at her lap. This was not going to take long. She felt as if she was on fire, and she was already trembling. What the hell?! If there had been a knob marked “Sookie’s Libido” that normally had settings one through ten, then tonight it was on eleven.

Suddenly, she couldn’t be still. She reached down and got a handful of his long blond hair, urging him on and in no time, she was yelling his name and bucking like a bronc. His long fingers were in her and he looked up at her – predatory, eyes glittering, – and then he was over her, on her, fucking her. His fingers were laced in her hair, massaging her scalp, he was kissing her, his mouth still carrying her own taste. He was pumping her faster now, his weight on his hands, his blond hair falling around her face and head like a veil, shining golden as it filtered the light from the lamp. Nothing felt as good as this.

His weight was on her and she was covered by his body, surrounded by his hair, and she never felt so safe or so …owned. That smacked up against her modern, very human sensibilities and she let it go. She didn’t care. She was his and he was hers and that was exactly the way it was supposed to be. She nearly laughed as he was kissing her so well and she decided she was as bad as he was, with his suspicions of destiny – wait wasn’t that a line from the Omen II? She hoped that wasn’t prescient, but then she stopped thinking as she felt the pressure building again. Eric was growling, hard, deliberate strokes filling her up and pushing her over the edge. She was yelling his name again, digging her nails into his shoulders and he was saying her name with every thrust. Then it was over, he was lying on top of her and they were both shaking.

She noticed she had cut him with her nails, though the gouges were already healing up. “Eric, I’m sorry I scratched you so hard!”

“Sookie don’t you ever apologize for making me feel like you just did. That was amazing. It’s like you were on fire. I’ve never felt so much heat in such a short span of time.”

“I felt like something sort of … turned up the volume. Does that make any sense?”

“Oh, yes, and if it’s a sign of what’s to come, I am going to be a very happy vampire for the next six months or so…”

“You don’t think it’s because I’m pregnant…”

“That’s exactly what I think. You have strong drives normally, but I can tell from the way you smell and taste that you are on a whole different level right now.”

“I can tell you anything, right?”

“Of course my lover”

“I want to do everything.”

“What do you mean?”
“I mean, before I have the baby, I want to do every crazy, kinky sex thing possible. Is that crazy?”

Eric was laughing.

“Are you laughing at me now?”

“No, Sookie, my queen, I am not laughing at you. I was just imagining the possibilities…”

“Could we…”

BZZZZZZZZZZZ the alarm on Eric’s night stand went off. “9:45, my lover – we have 15 minutes to put this room back together.”

“I just realized I haven’t even had a shower today!”

“Don’t worry about that now, just freshen up a little and I’ll make the bed.

She went into the bathroom and wet a washcloth with warm water to clean up a little. Why did that feel so good? Just washing, the warm, wet cloth touching her, felt amazing. If she had more time, she had now doubt that the washcloth… whoa, Sookie, what the hell? Why are you having impure thoughts about a washcloth?

“I’ll think about that later.”

She went back out to the bedroom. “What should I wear for this?”

“What you’re wearing is fine.” He was pulling on his jeans. Commando. How was she going to concentrate on the doctor with that in her head?

“I’m wearing one of your shirts and no underwear.”

“That’s fine. She’s going to examine you. You’re in your own home. Why put on clothes you’ll just have to take back off? You know our kind doesn’t care about nudity anyway.”

“Right, so ten minutes to kill,” she said as she sat on the bed. “Did we go through the whole list?”

“Here.” He handed her the steno pad, “See if you have any other questions for the doctor before she gets here.” He pulled his t-shirt back on.

“Number 16,” she said ‘Why doesn’t Sookie want to leave the house? Number 17, why is Sookie so horny?”

Eric laughed out loud again. “When did you start using words like that?”

“I don’t know. I’m saying and feeling things that I would normally find inappropriate.”

“I’ve noticed you using a bit of common language – what are you feeling that is inappropriate?”

“Well, it seems like as soon as I wasn’t nauseous any more, I wanted to fuck.”

His mouth dropped open.

“And I want to keep on fucking. I feel like I’d rather do that than eat.”

“Well, lover, you have to eat to keep your strength up. Speaking of which, you need to eat very soon, don’t you?”

“Probably. I can wait until after the doctor goes.”

And at that moment, Dr. Ludwig was in the room with them, carrying an enormous carpetbag.

“Northman” she nodded her head.

“Doctor” He nodded. “You remember my fiancé, Sookie?”

Sookie smiled at him. He had never called her that before since they had just talked about it.

“Yes, yes. The little girl who was attacked by Calysto. So you are engaged now? Wonders never cease. I never took you for the romantic type, Northman.”

“Neither did I until I met Sookie.” He smiled at her and she beamed at him.

“All right, young lady, lie down on the bed and let’s see what’s happening with you.”

Dr. Ludwig looked in Sookie’s eyes, placed her hand on her breastbone for a minute as if that was telling her something. She raised the t-shirt and Sookie was a little embarrassed she had nothing on. Dr. Ludwig placed both hands directly over Sookie’s uterus.

“Hmm. Interesting,” she said. ”You already know it’s a boy?”

“Yes”

“You’re about 5-6 weeks from the feel of it.” She reached into the bag and took out of box of plastic gloves. Uh Oh.

“Alright, my dear, we’ll make this as painless as possible Pull your knees up and spread your legs.”

Sookie looked nervously at Eric and he sat beside her on the bed. He took her hand, “Look at me, Sookie. Don’t be embarrassed, just look at me and relax.”

She could feel herself flushing as the doctor put two fingers into her and then used the other hand to press on her lower abdomen. She remembered that her gynecologist had done something similar to her when she’d gone to get help with her cramps, so she figured this wasn’t too out of line.

The doctor moved away from her and took the gloves off. Thank heaven it was over!

“Alright then, I’m going to say you’re 6 weeks into what will be a 5 and a half month pregnancy. Your due date would be about 4 months from now.”

“What? So soon?”

“Yes, dear, so soon. I’m surprised you haven’t called me before now.”

“I kept thinking I was just late and it would go away. I hadn’t been with anyone but Eric and I knew vampires couldn’t impregnate a woman.”

“No, vampires can’t, but Fairies can. This might have happened with or without Niall’s intervention.”

“Eric was shocked “You’re kidding – how can that be?”

“You were never brought up by Fae, were you Northman?”

“No, I knew there were rumors about my mother but I knew nothing concrete.”

“Well, now you do. What we have here is a Fairy baby with some vampiric qualities. Not unusual for fairies, but it will affect what Sookie needs to eat and how you feed the little one later.

“So the baby is Fae?” Sookie asked.

“For the most part, yes. What Niall essentially did was invoke the fairy qualities in you both. He’ll probably appear human, and be very large like his father.”

Now Eric was beaming.

“He’ll more than likely have Northman’s intuition, and his ability to fly. He’ll have his mother’s telepathy, though that’s not from your Fae blood. He’ll be able to eat food, but he’ll have a strong preference for blood or raw meat. When you breastfeed him, expect him to take blood and milk both. Breastfeeding will not be an option, it will be a necessity. He’s going to need the nutrition only his mother’s body can provide.”

Sookie looked at her list. “Do I need to take special vitamins or need a special diet?”

‘The most important thing will be his Father’s blood. I want you to take a small quantity of Northman’s blood every day, and of course he’ll continue to feed on you on a semi-daily basis. The mutual exchanges will be important, so don’t neglect them. Sookie, you need a lot of red meat, and you might want to develop a taste for True Blood if you can. If you can’t, Northman’s blood will have to give you all the support you need, and you’ll have to take a little more each day to make up for it.

“Will the baby sleep in the day or the night?”

“He’ll most likely sleep at the same time as the father. We’ll test him for sensitivity to iron and silver when he’s a couple of weeks old. I expect he’ll be able to go out in sunlight, but he won’t like to – he’s a moonchild, and he’ll prefer the nights.”

“Where should I have him?”

“You don’t dare go to a human hospital. Some compounds they use could be fatal to a fairy. They also tend to give women iron, and that could be fatal for the infant. I know a Doula who needs employment. She’s very good, she’s got lots of experience and she’s half-daemon, half-fairy. She doesn’t mind Vampires, and that’s hard to find. She can maintain a very human appearance, which would help you a great deal since you live among humans. Her name is Diana. I’ll have her call your cell, Northman, and you can arrange to meet her. If she and the mother can be friends, so much the better. If it’s not a good fit, let me know, but I think she’s just what you need.”

“Is there anything about the child’s gifts or vulnerabilities we need to know?” Eric asked – it was obvious he was apprehensive.

“Again, we won’t know about the iron or silver until he’s a couple of weeks old. He’ll need a governess at a young age – about three – because there’s no way he’ll survive a human school without detection. He’s going to be a born Witch, Northman, so prepare accordingly. Make sure he’s dedicated to your personal deity….

“Freyia…”

“Good choice for a Witch baby.”

“Wait,” Sookie interrupted “Can he be a Fairy and a Witch at the same time?”

“Yes, and he’ll be a handful. He’s already playing havoc with your hormones, isn’t he?’”

“Something’s going on.”

“My guess is your libido is raging, you are moody, clingy and afraid to go outside.”

“Exactly.”

“The increased libido will last until the baby is weaned, which could be as long as two years from now.”

“Two years?!”

“Yes. You’ll get over the fear of going out in about 2 weeks. It’s an instinctive behavior to keep the baby safe. Stick close to Northman, and take it easy. You’ll need a lot of rest. This baby will draw a lot of your energy. Do you smoke?”

“No.”

“A glass of red wine now and then will be good for you and the baby, but no hard liquor. He’ll like that a little too much as it is.”

“His protections…” Eric spoke up “will he need a cloaking spell or talisman to protect him?”

“I don’t think a cloaking spell will help. He’s going to stand out. As a talisman, take a lock of your hair and a lock of the mothers and braid them together, then keep it with him. Get a Witch to help you dedicate it.”

“What about his nests?”

“Cloaking spells will work in those cases. Have at least three at all times. How many people know about this baby?”

“So far about 6.”

“Put off the news as long as you can. The older he is, the stronger. The only exception, and this must be in person, and to him alone, is Felipe de Castro.”

“Why is he an exception?” Eric asked.

“You need it established that he is under his protection right away, before he’s born if possible. Castro’s underlings don’t need to know about it until the birth or they see Sookie pregnant, but de Castro needs to know now.

I mean what I said about rest, young lady. Sex play is fine, but I don’t want you on your feet. Do I remember you being a barmaid?”

“Yes. I’m supposed to be there now, but I didn’t feel like going in.”

“Quit. You’re about to give birth to an immortal. Your job is to raise him in the bond you have with Northman. That’s more than two women should have to handle. If you could stay in bed for the next two weeks, that would be best, but I know you won’t do it. These next two weeks are crucial, little girl. He’s in danger until he’s about 2 months in the womb.”

‘I’ll be very careful.”

“I know you have a tendency to draw troubles to you – that’s out of the question right now. Do you have former lovers who are our kind?”

“Bill Compton is a vampire and Quinn was a Were-tiger.”

“Stay far away from both of them, even if they aren’t jealous of Northman.”

“But they are, “ Eric said.

“Then stay completely away from them. This child will have powerful effects on your hormones, including those of attraction. If you go near any Supernatural who has been with you before, he’ll have an instinctive drive to kill your child, and that might include killing you if necessary. I don’t care how much you trust them, don’t go around them.”

“One of them is her next door neighbor. Only a cemetery separates the houses.”

“No, that’s no good. He’ll smell the baby from there. Can you stay somewhere else for the duration of your pregnancy?”

“She’ll stay here. I’ll make sure she’s with me all the time.”

“That would be best. Now, little girl, I want you to trust your instincts. I’ve seen enough of you to know they’re good. If you want to stay home, do. If you feel the need to be protected or protective, then do. You’re about to give birth to a god. Let Northman support you and spoil you. The bastard has more money than Croesus – no offense.”

“None taken.”

“Now – put my number in your cell phone. Call if you need me, Sookie. Northman has me on retainer so I’m always available. Diana will be in touch. Good luck to you both.”

And she was gone.

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