LATE Chapter 029

Pool’s Open!

 

“Ooohh” Sookie said as she woke up. Man, did she know she had had wild sex last night. Her arms and legs were a little sore, IT was throbbing, and her nipples were very, very sensitive. She couldn’t believe that the feel of the sheet on them made them tingle.

She stretched but it hurt just a little and then she rolled over into Baby Eric position and patted him… well, the bulge actually… but she intended the pat for him. “Your daddy was a wild man last night, Baby E. Are you going to be a big sexy Viking like him when you grow up? I hope so. I hope you have his blue eyes and you’re big and strong and love to fight and… other stuff he likes to do.” She giggled. It felt a little silly talking to the bump, but it was kind of nice, too.

She put both hands over it… over him… and smiled. “I love you, Baby E, and so does your daddy.” It was weird, but she was absolutely convinced that the baby knew what she meant and was happy. She didn’t know why she thought that, but she was sure he knew she was talking to him. Maybe Eric was right? The baby was magickal, so maybe in some way he did know she was talking to him? Maybe she and the baby had a bond like she and Eric did? Maybe Eric would have a bond to him, too? Dr. Ludwig had said something about raising the baby in the bond between them – did the bond go three ways?

She would ask Eric but she bet that was one thing he wouldn’t know because the baby stuff was as new to him as it was to her. Maybe newer – she had always had the expectation that she might be a mother, but Eric had spent a thousand years thinking he never could be a father. No wonder he was looking at stuff on the Internet. When he said we were in uncharted territory, he really meant it.

It occurred to her that most of what he knew about being a father was probably from his life as a Viking. She wondered how much Eric knew about Fairies, too. He said she should learn about them but he hadn’t exactly been imparting a lot of Fae wisdom. Maybe he didn’t know that much, either. She thought maybe she should have lunch with Claudine one day and have her fill her in on the Fae world.

“Good morning, Miss Sookie! You’re already up, I see!”

“Hi, Alicia, yeah I’ve been awake for a few minutes. I was having a chat with Baby Eric,” she laughed, “isn’t that silly?”

Sookie sat up so Alicia could put the tray over her lap.

“That’s not silly at all – wait until he starts rolling around so you can feel him. You’ll be telling him to stop kicking you.” She joked.

“If he’s as strong as his daddy, kicking could be a problem,” Sookie laughed.

Alicia spread a napkin over her chest.

“His daddy is very big, too. I hope he’s not a huge baby.”

“How big are babies usually?”

“Well, average is probably between 6 and 8 pounds. I’ve known of mothers having them as big as 11 or 12 pounds, though, especially if the mother has gestational diabetes. Diabetic mothers tend to have big babies.”

“Oh, I didn’t know that. What am I eating?”

“A very rare steak, two eggs, grape juice, buttered toast and and a half a grapefruit.”

“Wow – big breakfast.”

“Mr. Northman wanted me to make sure you were eating a lot of red meat. I guess your doctor is afraid you might be a bit anemic.”

“Yes, she suggested I eat a lot of rare meat.”

“I’ve never heard of that before, but Mr. Northman assured me she was a specialist in such unusual births.”

“Yes, this is a very unusual situation.”

“So I gather. You’ve got the best of everything, though, and I’m sure that includes your doctor. The way Mr. Northman fusses over you, I know he’d insist on the very best person available.”

“Yeah, he’s a little more nervous than I am, I think.”

“Lots of new fathers are nervous. All they can do is sit beside you and watch you do all the work for a while. It makes them feel a little bit helpless.”

“I guess – and Eric is used to being in control of everything.”

“Looks like he left you a note, Miss,” Alicia said, retrieving an envelope from the dresser. “I think it’s sweet that he writes to you every day.”

“Yeah, I love it. He doesn’t know it, but I keep all of them. I love to look at his handwriting.”

“He does have lovely handwriting. Very old fashioned.”

“Yeah, it’s because he’s so old.”

“He certainly doesn’t look old. He looks young and very strong.”

“He is strong – really, really strong. You’d be amazed at the stuff he can do.”

“I’m sure. Would you like the TV on, Miss?”

“No, thanks, I want to eat and make myself get up. I know I’m supposed to stay in bed but I feel restless.”

“I forgot to tell you the good news – the pool is open.”

“It is?!” Sookie was very excited at that prospect.

“Yes, it is. I’ve got towels downstairs for you and there’s a little cover up in the bottom drawer with your swimsuits. I noticed they even had pool toys and air mattresses and such out there.”

“Oh, I can’t wait. I’ve got to finish this breakfast.”

“I’ll just gather up the laundry and put your suit out. Do you know which one you’d like to wear?”

“The smallest bikini in there. I won’t be able to wear if very long, so I want to get my tummy tanned before it gets so big.”

“There’s a simple black one, a pink one with black trim, and a little floral pattern that’s mostly blue.”

“The pink one, please.”

Alicia laid out the little pink and black bikini, a sheer black cover up, a pair of pink flip flops and a pair of sunglasses that matched the suit.

‘She thought of everything.’ Sookie thought, ‘she’s good.’

“What kind of sunscreen do you like, Miss Sookie? There’s a lotion, an oil and a powder here.” Alicia said from the bathroom.

“A powder one?”

“Yes, it’s very new.”

“Which one smells the best?” Sookie asked and she finished up her eggs.

“Well, the powder and lotion don’t really have a scent to them but the oil is a very strong coconut smell.”

“I’ll take the oil for today. That will smell most like summer.”

“Ok, here you go.” Alicia said as she sat it on the dresser. She went to the closet and pulled out a sheer pink nylon tote bag. She added the lotion, the glasses, and excused herself for a minute. She came back carrying an iPod, which she added to the bag.

“Would you like to take your book down with you, Miss?” She asked as she indicated the copy of Rebecca that Sookie got from Eric’s study.

“Yeah, thanks. Is that an iPod?”

“Yes, Mr. Northman said it was a surprise for you. He said he had all kinds of music put on it, including a playlist called Homeland that he wants you to listen to – I think it’s Swedish music.”

“Another surprise?! He’s out of control. He should never buy me anything ever again after this ring.”

“What ring, Miss?”

“See,” Sookie held her hand out, “he gave me a crazy expensive diamond ring he had made just for me.”

Alicia’s eyes were very big when she saw the ring. “Oh, my, Miss, that is a gorgeous ring. You must have been thrilled when he gave it to you.”

“I was stunned. I still can’t believe it. I knew he would spend too much, but this is really, really too much. And he had it made just for me so I can’t make him take it back.”

“Don’t you like the ring?”

“I love it! It’s the prettiest ring I’ve ever seen, but that’s a really big diamond, right? I just hate that he spent so much money on a ring.”

“You know, the ring is for him, too.”

“It is? How?”

“Well, men tend to base the size of the diamond they buy on the money they make. Usually a man spends 2 months salary on a diamond engagement ring.”

“They do?”

“Yes, and the size is sort of a… well, you know how men like to measure themselves next to other men?”

“Boy, do I, and vampires are the worst when it comes to that. They all want to show they’ve got something better than anyone else has.”

“Exactly. When people look at your ring, they’re seeing how much money he spent on it. A man like him would want his wife to wear the very best. It’s not just about how much value he places in you – it’s a way to show his own status.”

“And this makes him look good to other people?”

“It’s very impressive, Miss Sookie. He’ll be very proud to see you showing it off to others.”

“I don’t really like to show off, though.”

“Oh, I think you’ll enjoy the reactions you’ll get to that ring. It says a lot when a man goes to that expense, not to mention the trouble of having it custom made for you. Plus, you’ll be wearing that for the rest of your life – you want it to be something you’ll always like and that will remind you of how happy you are now.”

“Ok, I guess that makes sense. It really is pretty.”

“Yes, it is.”

“And it makes him look good, and I know that’s important in his world.”

“Yes, so I’d be very happy if I were you.”

“Yeah, I am. It scares me, but I am really happy.”

Alicia smiled at her and took the tray away. Sookie had practically inhaled that steak!

Sookie put her suit and cover up on, slid into the flipflops and took the tote bag and Eric’s note with her as she headed downstairs. The curtains were open in the living room and everything looked beautiful. The cleaning staff was polishing furniture and running sweepers and such. She went into the den and got a thrill when she saw the blue pool sparkling in the sun. This was awesome.

She went out the sliding door in the den and out to the pool. Wow, did it look different out here. There was gorgeous red wood furniture around the pool, and a cart that held stacks of towels. There was a barbecue – what a vamp would do with that, she didn’t know, but there was one. There was even a red wooden rack of a thing that was full of air mattresses and noodles, and rings to float on. Eric spared no expense. If he was going to have a swimming pool, it was going to rock, and it did.

The grass out in the yard was freshly mown and it smelled amazing out there. She smiled to herself as she remembered the night they made love on the quilt under the stars. Maybe tonight would be a repeat performance of that. The thought of that made her shiver and her extra-sensitive nipples stood at attention. She couldn’t wait to swim in the moonlight with him. She had a feeling Eric would swim naked. He didn’t seem like a Speedo kind of guy but with some of his underwear who knows?

She picked out a chaise lounge near the shallow end of the pool, and settled in. She took off the cover up and hung it on the back of a chair. She pulled the ipod out – it was a new kind with a touch screen, but it didn’t take too long for her to figure it out and she played the playlist Eric wanted her to hear. She set it on a little side table and decided to read Eric’s note before she messed with sunscreen so she didn’t smear it. It was going to go in her bottom drawer in her nightstand with all the others.

My beautiful lover,

I hear that the pool will be opened today, so I’ll be dreaming of tonight when we can swim in the moonlight and make love under the stars. Rest well today because I’m going to keep you up late again tonight.

Mr. Burnham may be by today to drop something off. You’ll know what to do with it.

I adore you.

Eric

‘I’ll know what to do with it?’ She thought, ‘Way to be cryptic, Northman. What the hell does that mean? I wonder if I need to be dressed when he gets here?’

Alicia came out with a pitcher of grape Kool-Aid. “I thought you might like a drink – it’s very warm today.”

“Yeah, that’s great. Thanks. Alicia, do you know anything about Mr. Burnham stopping by today?”

“Yes, I was told that was a possibility.”

“Do I need to be dressed for that?”

“Oh, no, he’s just dropping something off. You don’t even have to see him if you don’t want to.”

“Do you know what it is?”

“Something Mr. Northman ordered, but that’s all I know.”

“I hope it’s not another surprise… I don’t know if I can take another one.”

Alicia laughed, left the monitor on the table beside Sookie and went back in the house.

Sookie leaned back and started reading, but she was asleep before she knew it. She heard a car door slam out front and that woke her up. She noticed someone had moved an umbrella over her so she didn’t burn in her sleep. She was trying to decide what to do when Alicia came out.

“Miss Sookie, Mr. Burnham is here. You’ll want to put your little cover up on and go out front for a minute.”

“Are you sure?”

“Very.” Alicia was smiling at her in a proud and sneaky way, if that makes any sense. Sookie put the sheer black cover up on over her suit and slid the little flip flops back on, then followed Alicia through the den to the living room and out to the front door.

“Hello, my dear” Mr. Burnham greeted Sookie. She heard him think to himself that she had nice tits. Jerk. “Well, here you go.” And he handed her a set of car keys. Oh no. She looked at the driveway – and there it was.

“That’s for me?”

“Sure is, little lady. It’s a BMW Security X5 – the whole thing is pretty much bullet proof. It’s the kind of car diplomats and heads of state would drive. It has all the trimmings. Your book is in the front passenger seat along with the insurance information. It’s all set. Enjoy your new tank. And if you need to fill it up, remember it takes diesel. Oh, and here’s a Shell card – don’t forget to sign the back.”

Burnham left, shaking his head. He couldn’t believe Eric spent that kind of money for a car for some little blonde, even if she was going to have his baby, and everyone he knew said vamps couldn’t have kids anyway. Still, he knew better than to question Northman. You just do as he says, and he pays you the big bucks. He doesn’t like a lot of argument or hassle and he always seems to know what he’s doing. He might be a little over the moon about this little blonde, though. He figured she must be a tiger in the sack because as far as he knew, Northman had seen and done pretty much everything. If he was going to settle down with one woman, she must have something going for her.

Sookie just stood there for a few minutes. It was dark blue, and it looked like it would have plenty of room for a car seat in the back. Alicia encouraged Sookie to go over and look at it. Sookie was a little afraid to touch it, then she figured she might as well because Eric said the car was non-negotiable – plus now she could give her old one to Jason.

“That’s some car, Miss Sookie.”

“Yeah, it is. I hope Eric is running out of surprises, though. I can’t believe all this.”

Alicia laughed and encouraged her to start it up. It was powerful, you could tell that right away. The inside of it looked like the cockpit of an airplane. She picked up the book and glanced through it– it was big and had a lot of information. She could also see from the paperwork there was a lot of extra stuff – satellite radio and iPod docks and stuff like that that she had no idea how to use. Eric would have to teach her. It had six speeds – how the hell do you shift for six speeds?

They were still checking it out when Bobbie James arrived. Sookie figured she better take her training and get back to the car later. Alicia checked the garage and said there was a space clear for the car, so Sookie drove it in next to Eric’s corvette before she and Bobbie went back to the pool.

Sookie offered to change her suit, but Bobbie said the one she was wearing would be fine and it would be easy to take off for her massage. They got into the water and Bobbie started taking Sookie through a series of exercises. As they were working, one of the servants carried a portable massage table out and set it up, and Alicia covered it with sheets and towels.

The exercises were going fine and it was kind of fun, but then one of the moves that involved tilting her pelvis started a sort of spasm in Sookie’s – uterus, maybe? She wasn’t sure – but it hurt. A lot. Alicia had been keeping an eye on them and came out pretty quickly with some ibuprofen and handed Sookie a glass of grape drink to wash it down.

Bobbie helped Sookie walk out of the pool and she and Alicia helped Sookie get up on the massage table, which was harder than it sounds because she couldn’t really straighten out for a few minutes. Bobbie had her lie on her side with her knees bent for a few minutes to give the ibuprofen time to kick in and in the mean time she rubbed Sookie’s back gently with some rose scented oil that was very soothing.

Since this had happened 2 days in a row, Bobbie and Alicia decided Sookie, who had dozed off for a minute, should take ibuprofen a half hour or so before Bobbie was scheduled to arrive so that it might head the cramps off before they got started.

Alicia and Bobbie gently helped Sookie lie on her stomach and Bobbie continued with massage for quite a while. Later, they helped her turn over and slowly lean back, and she was able to straighten her legs. Bobbie spent a lot of time working on Sookie’s tummy and hips and stretched and rubbed her legs a lot.

Bobbie and Alicia decided the pool might have been a little too cold and Alicia saw that the temperature was adjusted. Of course, Sookie thought, Eric’s pool would be heated. When Bobbie was done with the massage, Sookie said she just wanted to lie down but she decided to lie in the den on the big soft couch and watch TV. She leaned back and asked Alicia to get the quilt out of the closet. Alicia had no idea what the quilt meant to Sookie, of course, but she did admire the pattern and workmanship and Sookie bragged that Eric had it made for her. Alicia spread the quilt over Sookie, and she settled down into the couch and went to sleep very quickly.

When she woke, she heard Alicia and Eric talking very softly, obviously consulting about her situation. Eric saw her look up and joined her on the couch while Alicia went to get her dinner tray.

“You had a rough afternoon, my lover?” Eric said as she sat up and he wrapped his arms around her.

“Just cramps, but it was pretty bad this time. Bobbie massaged me a long time and I fell asleep, so I’m better now.”

“Well, we’re going to give you ibuprofen again with your dinner so you don’t have a recurrence. We’ll have a quiet evening tonight.”

“Don’t you even think about not having sex with me, Eric Northman” Sookie whispered, looking around to make sure Alicia wasn’t in hearing distance yet.

Eric just laughed and hugged her, and whispered in her ear. “Don’t worry, dear one. You’ll have my undivided attention all night, we’ll just take it slowly and make sure you are comfortable.”

“I wanted to swim in the moonlight and lie on our quilt.”

“We might still do that later and if not, there is always tomorrow night. I see you’re already snuggling in the quilt.”

“Yeah, it reminded me of you and made me feel better. I pretended you were hugging me.”

“Well, my lover, you don’t have to pretend now.” He squeezed her a little and kissed her forehead.

Alicia came back then with a tuna steak and salad and some baked French fries.

She set a folding table in front of Sookie and put her food where she could reach it from the couch. Eric thanked her and let her go for the evening. Then he sat with Sookie while she ate, and when she was done, he lay down on the big soft couch with her and covered them both with the quilt. He stroked her hair, and whispered to her for a long time, and she fell back to sleep.

Eric went into his study and checked his email. Burnham had confirmed delivery of the car, and Pam had a couple of questions to which he responded. There was a receipt for Sookie’s ring that he wanted to save, and there were some other business matters to take care of, and he did everything he needed to do before he went back in the den to check on Sookie. She was awake when he came back.

“Where did you go?”

“I was in my study checking my email. If you had called me, I’d have been right here instantly.”

“Oh, OK. I guess I’m being a little clingy again, huh?”

“You are not clingy. It’s natural to feel a little vulnerable in your condition.”

“Baby Eric is doing OK, though. I talked to him today and I could swear he heard me and was happy.”

“Really, my lover? How did you know that?”

“I don’t know – it was almost how I know how you feel through the bond. Is there a bond from me to the baby? Is the baby tapped into our bond or something?”

“Good question. Let me talk to him and see if I feel anything.” Sookie stretched a bit so Eric could reach her belly. He stroked it, kissed it and laid his head on it for a minute. “My son, are you well? Are you happy in your wonderful nest in your mother’s womb?”

“Eric, did you feel that?”

“Yes, I did – a feeling of happiness. Surely he’s too small to understand us?”

“That’s what I thought, but he’s definitely responding. He might not know what we are saying, but he can feel our attention or our voices or something.”

“Interesting. He does seem to be a part of our bond. We will be very conscious to send him love from now on, and let him know how much he is wanted. Of course, it makes perfect sense that my son would be advanced in his development.”

Sookie laughed and stroked Eric’s hair as he laid his head back on the little bulge, that wasn’t as little as it was the day before. Baby Eric was beginning to really make his presence known.

“I hope I’m able to wear that dress next week.” Sookie said.

“Did you have the seamstress make allowances?”

“Yes and the dress is a size larger than I would normally wear, but Little E is growing fast and I couldn’t really explain to them that he’s growing faster than a human baby.”

“True. I didn’t think of that.”

“I told them to act like I might gain a lot of weight because I’ve been eating so much. I ate a ton of that smoked salmon yesterday, and three bagels and a ton of cream cheese with it.”

“You liked the salmon then?”

“I loved it. I hope it’s not expensive because I ate a bunch of it.”

“Do not worry about expense, my lover. I like that you enjoyed something that is so common in Sweden. I’m sure my son liked it, too.” He kissed the bulge again and they both felt a sense of happiness that didn’t seem to be coming from either one of them.

“I’m glad you feel that too, Eric. I thought this morning I might be imagining it, but it’s definitely there.”

“Yes, it is definitely there. I am so pleased he responds to my voice.”

“He knows his daddy when he hears him.” Sookie beamed at him and he planted a couple more playful kisses on her tummy then moved up so he could kiss her on the lips.”

“Hey, do we need to worry about… you know… when we…”

“Have sex?” he finished her sentence.

“Yeah. Does he know what we are doing?”

“I doubt that. I think we will know if something disturbs him and you’ve had no indication of that so far. It has to be good for him to feel his parents express their desire for each other. I’m sure my son will have a positive response to sexual activity – he is my son, after all.”

He was stroking her tummy with the backs of his fingers. Sookie couldn’t tell if Eric was serious or joking but she figured either way he was probably right. She liked thinking that Little Eric would be just like Big Eric in every way possible. Eric was lying in front of her and pulled her close, kissing her shoulders as he unhooked the top of her bikini. He pulled her top off, then gently kissed her breasts as he pulled the bottom of the suit down. She lifted up a little so he could slip it on off.

“Are you feeling better, my lover?” He asked as he stroked and looked at her body all over.

“Yeah, I’m not having cramps anymore. The doctor said orgasms were good for cramps, anyway.”

“Mmmm – that she did.” He said as Sookie pushed his t-shirt up toward his shoulders, and he pulled it over his head. He wiggled out of his jeans and he was going commando, so the two of them were naked on the big soft brown couch and he pulled the quilt back over them.

Eric was taking things very slowly, and she liked it. They were very relaxed and he gently kissed her over and over as his hands roamed tenderly over her body. At one point, he was kissing her very deeply and he pinched her nipple which made her gasp a little into his mouth. He smiled at that, but continued to kiss her. He whispered in her ear, “Are they sensitive, dear one?”

“Very – they were very… aware today and a bit tingly.”

“Good. I have read that women are advised to work their nipples with a towel to make them ready for breastfeeding a child. Apparently, that can be very painful if the mother is not prepared. I intend to see that you are quite prepared for my son. I’m sure he will have a healthy appetite and suckle aggressively.” He laughed.

“Oh, is that the reason you’re roughing them up?”

“Exactly.”

“I thought you just really liked them.”

“Oh, but I do, dear one. This will be a great deal of fun for both of us,” he said as he moved down to take a nipple in his mouth. She stroked his hair and caressed his shoulders as he sucked and nipped at her nipples and she moaned and whimpered softly when it hurt just a little in that good way she never knew about before she met Eric.

His hand went around from stroking her hip and squeezing her bottom to exploring between her legs. She was very wet and unusually warm, and he slowly probed and explored her for what seemed like a long, long time to her. She was vaguely aware that he intended to bring her to orgasm with his fingers to give her the release that would relax her internally without risking making her cramps worse.

He was very gentle, and she was in the mood to take it slowly so she just enjoyed his touch and didn’t push him the way she normally might. She knew this was a way for him to take care of her and she could feel in the bond that he was sending relaxation, comfort and love to her. When he could tell she was getting close, he said “look at me, lover” and their eyes met. He held her gaze and watched her face closely as she finished, enjoying the sensations her release transmitted to his fingers.

“Your face is so beautiful when you climax – I have never seen anything so lovely,” he said as he bent to kiss her neck. He whispered, “My lover, I am hungry” and he kissed a trail down her body to settle between her legs. He explored her with his tongue, and nuzzled her thigh before he bit. The bite made her spend again gently and he fought not to drink too much. He didn’t want to go crazy with the fairy blood, so he took just enough to sustain himself, and she heard him talking to himself, trying to stay in control.

“Eric, come here,” she said, and he came back up to embrace her. She guided him into her and she could feel his fight not to lose control. “It’s OK,” she whispered, “you won’t hurt me. I want this.” He was still fighting with himself to go slowly, and she knew what would allow him to let go.

“Eric, feed me your blood.”

He bit his wrist and pressed it to her lips, and she drew deep, triggering his release. Vampires didn’t often get tired, but she could tell he needed to rest because of the amount of effort it took to hold himself back. She dozed off again, and was drifting in and out of sleep as he folded the quilt and carried her up to their bed. He sat on the bed next to her and said “Can you drink, my lover?” and held a can with a straw in it up to her lips. She didn’t really wake up enough to see what it was but it tasted like a strawberry milkshake and it didn’t take her long to drink it down. She settled back down to sleep, and Eric went to make business calls.

As he checked his messages, he listened to the first, from Bill Compton, wanting to know why the hell he was banned from going to Shreveport. Might as well get this out of the way. He picked up his secure line.

“Hello?”

“Compton – this is Eric.”

“Would you like to explain why I was passed out in my living room and I had a message forbidding me to go into Shreveport? I kept expecting you to call and explain, but you never called.”

“Yes, well, I’ve been occupied with other things. I have some news, Compton, that will explain the situation.”

“Alright – let’s hear it.”

“This is to be kept in the strictest confidence. It’s a matter of keeping Sookie safe, so I expect that you will share this information with no one.”

“Of course – I wouldn’t do anything to endanger her.”

“That’s good. You are familiar with Niall Brigant?”

“Yes, but what does that…”

“Bill, he is Sookie’s great grand father.”

“What – you can’t be serious?”

“I am quite serious. She has only known for a short while.”

“And you are afraid his enemies might seek to use her against him?”

“Among other things.”

“What has that to do with me?”

“Niall decided to give Sookie a gift no one else could give her. He worked magick that allowed me to impregnate Sookie. She is carrying my child.”

Bill was speechless. Sookie was pregnant – with Eric’s baby. This was a nightmare.

“Compton, are you still there?”

“Yes, I’m here” he was trying to sound unphased by this news but he failed.

“Yes, well, Sookie and I were at her house recently and you attacked her. I nearly had to kill you to save her.”

“In her front yard…”

“Yes”

“I thought that was a dream – are you saying that really happened?”

“Yes, it did. I finally knocked you out and took you back to your house, then got her as far away from there as possible.”

“Oh my god.”

“I don’t hold it against you, Compton – Dr. Ludwig said it’s a natural instinct. You had a reaction created by the change in her hormones. Your nature was telling you to kill the child, but you would have killed Sookie to do it.”

“And this is why…”

“Yes – it’s why I haven’t allowed her to return to her house in Bon Temps and why I insisted you stay out of Shreveport. Complete separation was the only way to keep you both alive. “

“I am… so sorry. I don’t know what to say.”

“Don’t grieve over it, Compton, just stay out of Shreveport until mid-August.”

“Is that when the child is due?”

“Yes, he should be born shortly after the first of August.”

“He?”

“Yes – she will bear my son.”

Bill was heart-broken. He would never have her back now. She would never leave the father of her child, even if he was a bastard like Eric.

“I suppose I should congratulate you,” he said softly.

“Thank you, Bill. I should also tell you that we are to be married in Las Vegas next Sunday.”

“Las Vegas?”

“Yes – Felipe de Castro is hosting the wedding at his estate. He is very fond of Sookie and seems to be quite taken with the idea of one of his Sheriff’s having such a unique nest.”

“Yes, I suppose it will be unique, won’t it.” Bill was practically talking to himself.

“Possibly the only one of its kind. The child will be unique, too.”

“Will he be vampire?”

“No, he will have more characteristics of the Fae, though he’ll manifest qualities of both Sookie and myself.”

“And how is Sookie – is she well?”

“She’s very well. A little normal discomfort, but she’s healthy and strong, and her staff is taking good care of her.”

“May I speak to her?”

“She’s asleep at the moment. If you’d like, I’ll give her a message to call you back when she can.”

“I’d like that. I would appreciate it if you would do that so I can apologize to her.”

“Yes, of course – I don’t see any harm in that. I will write her a note and she’ll get back to you in the next night or two.

“Thank you. I will be sure not to go to Shreveport. I wish you both the best.”

“Thank you, Bill. I’ll talk to you soon.”

“Good bye.”

That was a most satisfying conversation as far as Eric was concerned. He got to hear the defeat in Compton’s voice when he realized she was carrying his son. It was sweeter than he had imagined.

‘My son’ he thought, ‘my seed growing in her body. A miracle.’ He was more grateful than he could ever have imagined. He decided he should make an offering to the gods to thank them for this gift.

He also decided to call Niall and make arrangements for he and Sookie to meet him at the same restaurant where he introduced himself to her. He wanted to do this before the wedding – Niall might be angered if they married without telling him. Once that was set up for Monday evening, he returned a call to Sandy. She confirmed some information about the ceremony, and made arrangements to have their travel arrangements delivered via Fed Ex early Tuesday morning as long as Eric confirmed their plans the next night.

Everything was in place. He went back into the bedroom and slipped into bed next to Sookie. He spooned her from the back so he could hold her and place his hand on the little bulge. A feeling of overwhelming peace and comfort enveloped them. He had never felt such peace or such bliss. If he breathed, he wouldn’t be able to right now.

He hugged her tightly to him, trying hard to memorize this moment – how she felt in his arms, against his body, the scent of her hair and her skin, this feeling of happiness and contentment. He prayed to Freyja that he would never forget the joy of this moment. He had thought that joy of any kind had waned from his long life forever. No wonder he needed her so badly, loved her so fiercely.

There were other things he could be doing but he had no desire to move so he went into down time. At one point, she woke up and turned to face him, kissing him though she didn’t open her eyes.

“Make love to me” she said.

“You are asleep, my lover,” he laughed gently as he brushed her hair from her face.

“I don’t care. Do it really gently the way you do sometimes. I want you in me.”

“If you insist, dear one.”

Slowly and gently, he took her twice at her insistence. He didn’t think she really reached release but she seemed to enjoy just the sensation of him entering her slowly and repeatedly. He was more than happy to oblige his warm angel, and that’s exactly what he considered her.

How could she be so sweet and so sensuous? He had known so many women, but never had he known one with this combination of innocence and sexuality. Even before the baby she was enthusiastic about sex but still had a sense of being unspoiled.

He thought about the night before when he had dominated her, tied her down, explored and pushed her very far, yet she wanted more tonight. The two nights could not be more different, yet she had enjoyed both immensely – he could feel her enjoyment and satisfaction through the bond on both nights. Most people tended to lean one way or the other, but she enjoyed a wide range of activities and approaches. He would never be bored with such a woman, and he knew and hated boredom more than anyone.

When dawn approached, he kissed her. “Have a good day, my lover. I will see you at dark,” he whispered as he tucked the covers in around her.

 

 

 

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