They were in a quiet mood when they pulled into the garage. Eric insisted on carrying Sookie upstairs, and she didn’t put up much of an argument. He settled her on the bed and called Dr. Ludwig, who was there instantly.
“Well, little girl, I hear you are having cramps?”
“Yes. Just a couple but they were pretty strong.”
She motioned for Sookie to lie back and began feeling around her abdomen.
“Northman – why do you smell of fighting?”
“We were in Bon Temps and her ex attacked her outside her house.”
“No, I knocked him out and left him at his house then got her out of there.”
“That’s not the Eric Northman I know – why did you not kill him?”
“Sookie would never forgive me.”
“Her opinion has that much sway over you? I am surprised. That’s a very strong bond you’ve got there, little girl. Don’t abuse it.“
“What do you mean ‘abuse it’?”
“He’s a thousand years old, girl – he knows when someone needs killing and when they don’t. Leave those decisions to him. Don’t let your heart get in his way. He’ll keep you both alive if you let him.”
“Oh, OK, I guess.”
Ludwig lifted the skirt of Sookie’s dress and put her ear to her tummy. She atraightened back up and patted the little bulge.
“Beginning to show – that’s good. It will grow quickly now. I don’t think your little row tonight caused any damage. It was the stress of the fight combined with the baby’s growth. Your uterus is having to expand at an accelerated rate. Even in normal pregnancies women have pains. Yours will be more intense. Take ibuprofen and don’t panic if you aren’t bleeding. If you do bleed, call me immediately.”
Sookie bit her tongue so she wouldn’t laugh. Weird little Dr. Ludwig just told her to take Ibuprofen. No wormwood, or eye of toad, just Ibuprofen. She laid her head back and closed her eyes. Life was just getting too weird.
“Get her a masseuse who specializes in pregnant women, Get her to teach you massage you can use when she’s not around, too, Northman. Have lots of sex – orgasms can help if she’s not too tired, but she needs more rest than she’s getting. Were you on your feet all day today?”
“I went shopping and made dinner for my brother.”
“No, no, too much on your feet.”
Eric looked very concerned. “Are you sure sex is alright, doctor? It can be very strenuous.”
“Yes, but it gets her heart pumping and her hormones jumping, and the muscle contractions at climax are like a deep massage. She needs some exercise, just not on her feet. Get her the trainer we talked about and/or a masseuse. She’ll be getting uncomfortable this time next month. Call if you need me.”
Ludwig left, and Eric left the room and was back very quickly with a small bowl and spoon.
“Strawberry yogurt and granola. You said you were hungry earlier.”
“Yeah, now that you mention it, I am.”
Eric started to get undressed, then stopped.
“Sookie, should I go get Ibuprofen tonight before I get undressed?”
“NO, you should not. You should get your clothes off and come to bed and hold me until you have to go underground. Let Alicia get it for me tomorrow.”
He turned his back to unbutton his shirt and to keep her from seeing his smile. She just delegated a task to her maid. This was progress indeed. He got his pants off and went to help her with her dress and panties.
“Feel like fooling around?” she asked hopefully.
“No, you are going to eat, then you are going to sleep. There has been enough excitement for one night, my lover, and you must rest.”
‘And I must plan,’ he thought to himself. Bill Compton was his subordinate and he really did not want to kill him if he didn’t have to. Keeping them in separate cities for a few months should be sufficient and easy enough to arrange. There was another threat, though, walking around over whom he had no control, and he had planned on killing him anyway for touching Sookie when she was his. John Quinn was a risk he would not tolerate any longer.
Sookie fell asleep in his arms in just a few minutes. That left him a few hours to put things in motion. He called Bill Compton, who didn’t answer the phone, so he left a message saying he was not to come to Shreveport for any reason and that he would call and explain later when they could speak. He left instructions for Bobby Burnham to find a personal trainer and/or masseuse who specialized in working with pregnant women ASAP.
He had known where Quinn was for some time now because the plan had already been in the works. The trick would be slipping away from Sookie long enough to kill him and dispose of the body.
He knew that Quinn had been in New Orleans working on a benefit to raise money for reconstruction. His spies told him he would be returning to Shreveport tomorrow, and Eric would be waiting
He had a meeting with his accountant here at the house immediately after dark. That should be done by ten o’clock and then he’d have the rest of the night.
He called Pam and told her to be at his house at midnight saying that he was urgently needed at Fangtasia and she would stay with Sookie until he could return. That would give him a couple of hours to do what needed to be done.
He left instructions for Alicia to get ibuprofen for Sookie and to make sure she ate and stayed in bed. He gathered up the paperwork he would need for the meeting with his accountant and put them in a pile on his desk with a list of the items he wanted to cover. He wrote Sookie a note for her to be ready for the appointment with the accountant. She wouldn’t need to be there for the whole thing, but here would be forms she would need to sign.
The last thing he did was to call Felipe de Castro’s headquarters in Las Vegas and request to speak to him personally as soon as was convenient. Sandy would leave him a message as to when a teleconference could be arranged.
Everything was in motion.