“Hello, Miss. Are you feeling better today?”
Sookie stretched and yawned. “Yeah, I guess I am. Nothing hurts today – so far.”
“Well, I brought some ibuprofen with your breakfast, and the pool is warmer today, so you can try it again. Hopefully, we can head the cramps off today before they get started.” She helped Sookie get settled with her tray.
“The doctor said they’d be pretty bad from this point forward.”
“Well, we’ll try to make sure you’ve got the ibuprofen before you need it. That should help a lot. “
“This looks good…”
“It’s a western omelet and home fries. I thought we’d try some orange juice again today.”
“Hmm – doesn’t seem to be making me nauseous, so good. I like orange juice.”
“Miss James should be here shortly after you eat and shower. She’s coming at Noon today.“
Alicia retrieved the daily note from the dresser and Sookie opened it as she ate.
Please confirm the travel plans with your brother and your Witches today. Sandy will be sending their tickets via Fed Ex tonight once they are confirmed.
Take your ibuprofen, eat well and relax today – maybe we can have our swim in the moonlight tonight.
I love you
OK, breakfast, work out, phone calls and maybe taking the car out for a iittle spin? She’d like to do a little shopping. Alicia had been buying her clothes, but she wanted to look for herself and she had all those credit cards Eric had given her so why not? Ooh! Great idea – “Alicia, could you hand me the phone, please?” Alicia handed her the cordless handset from Eric’s nightstand.
Sookie called Amelia and it turned out she had nothing to do that day so they made arrangements to meet for a late lunch in Shreveport at 3:00. That would give Sookie time to visit with Amelia a little bit, show off her ring, and the best part was it solved the problem of Sookie’s luggage, which she wasn’t allowed to go to Bon Temps to get for her trip. Amelia agreed to load them up in Sookie’s old car and bring them with her and they’d load them in Sookie’s car at the restaurant parking lot.
Sookie finished her breakfast, showered, put on a one-piece swimsuit and went down to meet Bobbie. They did their work out without any cramps today, so she did more exercise and had a shorter massage. When she was done, she went up in the service elevator and changed into a little dress Alicia left out for her.
Alicia offered to drive Sookie to her luncheon, but Sookie insisted that she would be fine. She got to the restaurant, Hannigan’s, at just about the same time Amelia did.
“That was good timing,” Sookie said.
“Hey, girlfriend. Before we do anything else, let’s see the ring.”
Sookie held up her hand and Amelia whistled.
“Very nice – and you say he designed it himself?”
“Yeah – he said no one else would have one like it.”
“It’s gorgeous – and so is the new car. You’re moving up in the world. Tall, blond and dead must be loaded.”
“Apparently. It’s a good thing, but it’s a lot to get used to.”
“Relax and enjoy it, kid. People would kill to have half of what you’ve got – not to mention that little baby bump!”
Sookie turned sideways and smoothed the skirt of her dress to show the bump and introduced Baby Eric to Amelia. She could swear the baby was amused.
It took Sookie a minute to figure out how to lock her car with the remote, but Amelia helped her out. They went in and ordered, but they talked more than they ate. Amelia was enjoying filling in at Merlotte’s and looking forward to Vegas, including hanging with Pam. Unfortunately, she had news that Octavia wouldn’t be able to go.
Amelia suggested that Sookie think about taking Bobbie with her since she was having so many cramps and Sookie said she’d mention it to her and see if she was available. She thought Eric might like that idea, too.
Sookie told Amelia about her plan to rein Jason in and Amelia laughed out loud.
“That’s a fine idea – I wonder who will enjoy that more – Pam or Jason?”
“That reminds me – I should call Jason at some point today.”
“Why don’t you call him now? You’ve got your cell haven’t you?”
“Yeah, I do, but I can wait until we’re done.”
“Don’t be silly – I want to hear his reaction when he finds out he has a date.”
Sookie relented and dialed Jason’s phone.
“Jason? It’s Sookie.”
“Hey, Sis, what’s up?”
“I need to confirm that you are going to come to Las Vegas for the wedding. I wanted you to give me away, remember?”
“Oh, yeah, I talked to Catfish and scheduled the time off. Do I need to buy a ticket or something?”
“Eric is paying for all of that. All you have to do is be at the airport in time with your clothes. Do you need a tux? Eric will take care of that, too, if you’ll wear one.”
“Sure, if he wants to pay – what do I do?”
“I’ll ask him tonight and let you know.”
“Sookie, are you sure you want me there? I won’t know anybody and I don’t know if I’ll fit in there.”
“Actually, Jason, I had an idea about that. Do you know Pam? She’s Eric’s partner at Fangtasia?”
“Yeah – she’s pretty hot, is she going, too?”
“Yes, she is, and I thought maybe you might want to sort of consider her your date for the week end. Then you’ll have somebody to talk to, and you won’t be lonely.”
“Can I sleep with her?”
“Probably – I’ll leave that up to you two. She was OK with the idea of hanging with you, if it’s Ok with you.”
“Hey, free trip to Vegas and a hot date – sounds like a great weekend to me!”
“Good. I’ll talk to Eric about your suit- you’ll need one for the wedding and one for the cocktail party Saturday night.”
“Yeah, it’s sort of a business-slash-political thing, but you’ll be with Pam and you guys can sneak out early if you want to.”
“That’s cool. Call me about the suits and I’ll talk to you then. Hey wait!”
“How are you feelin’? People are asking about you.”
“Oh, I’m fine. A few cramps but that’s normal. The doctor says I’m strong and healthy. She still doesn’t want me on my feet though.”
“OK, good to know. When can I tell people about the baby?”
“There’s going to be an announcement at the party Saturday night, then when you get home you can tell people.”
“OK, cool. Did you get the BMW yet?”
“Yeah, I got it yesterday. It’s dark blue and it’s some kind of bullet proof, security thing.”
“For real? I can’t wait to see it. OK, Bye sis!”
“Well,” Amelia asked, “was he OK with the idea?”
“Yeah – he said Pam’s hot and it was a free trip to Vegas, so he’s in. I didn’t even think about suits, though.”
“Eric will probably know what to do about that. What is he wearing?”
“I have no idea. I’ve been so busy thinking about my dress and the baby and stuff, it never occurred to me that he and Jason needed clothes. Speaking of which, do I need to buy you some things to take on the trip? I’ve got Eric’s cards – we could go shopping.”
“No, I’m all set, but we could run over here to the mall and look around before you have to take off.”
Sookie and Amelia looked around a bit and bought a few things, so it was approaching dark when Sookie got home. She was still in the downstairs kitchen showing Margaret and Alicia what she bought when Eric got up.
“Hello, dear one – did you go out today?” He was looking at the bags she had on the table.
“Yeah, I drove the new car – is that OK?
He laughed “It is your car, Sookie. You may do as you like, though I’m not crazy about you being alone right now.”
“I met Amelia for lunch and we shopped a little so I wasn’t alone very long. I spent a little money. You said it was OK, right? I used the Visa card and I paid for lunch, too.”
“That is fine, my lover, I want you to have fun. Is your W… ah, friend looking forward to our trip?”
“Yeah, but Octavia can’t make it. Amelia had an idea, though – she thought maybe you should ask Bobbie James to go so she can keep up with my exercise and massage.”
Eric looked at Alicia, who nodded approvingly.
“Alicia, will you see if she is available for that? Tell her she will be paid for her time and there are already travel arrangements in place if she is willing to go. Now that I think about it, I would feel better if she was there to help Sookie. It might reduce her stress level.”
“Would you like me to call her now, sir?”
“Yes, please – I need to confirm the travel arrangements tonight.”
Alicia went into Eric’s study to call Bobbie. Margaret was making something for Sookie to eat later in the evening, and Sookie remembered about Jason’s suit.
“Eric, we never talked about what you are going to wear at the wedding. I know Jason will need a new suit for the wedding and one for the cocktail party.”
“Let me call my tailor and see when he is available.” Eric pulled out his cell phone and hit a button. He had his tailor on speed dial, apparently. No wonder those expensive shirts looked so amazing on him. When Eric cleaned up, as with everything else, he spared no expense.
They determined that the tailor was available on Tuesday night, and Sookie confirmed that with Jason. The tailor would come to Fangtasia as he usually did for Eric and Sookie gave him some approximate sizes so he knew what Jason might need. Eric had a tuxedo he’d wear to the cocktail party but he wanted something new for the wedding. Apparently this tailor was able to do alterations and stuff in just a day or so – he went out of his way because Eric paid so well. Eric was right. You get speed and quality when you pay for it.
“Are you hungry, Miss Sookie?” Margaret asked.
“Actually, I am, even though I just ate less than two hours ago. What do you have?”
“Baked Cornish hen, dressing, mashed potatoes and broccoli.”
“Wow, that’s a lot, but it sounds good. I can definitely get into some of that.” Sookie said playfully. Eric just beamed at her, knowing the hunger was coming from the baby.
“Would you like to eat in here or out by the pool?”
“Oh, in here at the table is good. Eric, can you sit with me or do you need to do something else?”
“I’ll sit with you while you and the little one eat. Margaret, is there a True Blood in the refrigerator?”
“Yes sir, what type would you like?”
“AB if you’ve got it.”
She heated that up in the microwave while she assembled Sookie’s dinner, and served them together.
“Wow – look at that. A tiny chicken! You know, we don’t get to eat together very often. This is kind of nice.”
“Everything I do with you is nice, my lover.” He leaned over and kissed her hand.
“Could we do this every day?”
“Do what, my lover?”
“Have dinner together. I could wait until you get up and you could have a blood and I’d eat my dinner just like this.” Eric was smiling at the way she was tearing the little roasted bird apart. You’d think she hadn’t eaten in a week.
“It’s a small thing, Sookie – we can do it every day if you want.”
“I know it seems small, but it’s what families do. When the baby is here, he’ll be here in his high chair with us.”
“Well, my lover, if this is what families do, then we will do it. Margaret, did you hear that? Sookie would like us to eat here together every evening like a family. Can you and Alicia work that out for us?”
“Of course, Mr. Northman, anything you want.”
“Oh, good – thank you Margaret. Thank you especially Eric. It means a lot to me.”
Alicia came back in “Did I miss something?”
“Yes, Alicia, I want to start having dinner here at the table every night and Eric will have a True Blood and it will be like family dinner, and then when the baby comes…”
“That sounds very nice, Miss. That shouldn’t be a problem at all.” Alicia smiled at her. Sookie never listened to Alicia’s thoughts – she was easy not to read – but she got the impression that she liked her. She was definitely a lot of help.
“What did Ms. James have to say, Alicia?” Eric asked.
“She said she’d be happy to go along. She was concerned about Miss Sookie going so long without a session, and she thinks this is a very good solution. Here is the salary she requested.” Alicia handed a notepad to Eric with a number on it.
“This is perfectly acceptable. Very good, then. I like the idea that someone will be there to care for Sookie during the days, so she won’t be wandering around the estate alone.”
“Yes, we are to be married at the estate of a wealthy business associate of mine in Las Vegas. He owns a very popular hotel and casino and has invited us to have our wedding there;”
“That sounds lovely.” Alicia smiled at Sookie.
“Yeah – he’s a little…. something” Sookie made a face.
“He’s likes Sookie, maybe a little too much, so I’ll be very happy to have another pair of eyes to look out for her” Eric said.
“Is he a creepy old man?” Alicia asked
“No, actually, he’s gorgeous,” Sookie said, “he’s just really hands-y with me and I hate it.”
Eric raised an eyebrow when Sookie referred to Felipe in that way. She could feel through the bond that he was jealous, and she cringed a little and gave him an apologetic look, mouthing the words “I’m sorry.” He was still not thrilled, but he’d get over it.
As they finished their dinners, Alicia and Margaret cleaned a few things up and excused themselves for the evening. Sookie set her plate in the sink, and Eric went into the den. Sookie followed him in there, and found that he was taking the quilt out of the closet.
“That looks promising” Sookie laughed.
“Come, my lover, let’s swim and cuddle and pleasure each other,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. That sounded fine to Sookie!
“Can we take the elevator up to change?” she asked
“No, come with me,” he said as he opened the back door. He threw the quilt on a chaise, shucked his shirt and jeans, and dove into the pool. He came up glistening like marble and she couldn’t believe how beautiful he looked.
“You are over dressed, my lover” he teased.
“Are you sure no one can see back here?”
“My lover, I would have to kill anyone who saw you naked, so you may be sure that no eyes but mine will see you here.”
She walked over where his clothes were laying on the ground and took her dress off. She was wearing nothing but a thong underneath, and she peeled it off quickly as he whistled at her, then went over and dipped her toe in the water. It wasn’t cold at all, so she walked on in and he swam toward her. They met in the middle and he wrapped his arms around her.
“You are magnificent, my lover. You look like a Goddess in the water.”
“You look pretty amazing, yourself,” she said as he lifted her and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He lifted her just a little and she felt him inside her.
“Oh, god,” she said and nuzzled his neck. “Eric?”
“I always heard having sex in the water didn’t work. This feels so good.”
“It doesn’t work for humans, my lover. It works fine for vampires. We never have trouble in the bath, do we?“
“One more advantage of sleeping with vampires,” she laughed. “If people only knew!”
“Are you glad I am vampire, Sookie?”
“Yeah, now that you mention it, I am. I would never have the kind of life I have with you with a human guy. You’re more exciting and beautiful in every way, and the sex is amazing – not that I ever had sex with a human guy, but I hear stories.”
He laughed at that.
“Eric, I love our blood bond. I love our baby.” She suddenly became very serious and put her hands on both sides of his face. “I love every part of you and everything about you. I told you, I want to be with you forever, Eric. I really mean that.”
“I promise you, Sookie, we will be together forever. I will be yours, always, my lover.” He kissed her so long and hard that she gasped for breath when it was done.
“Hold on to me tight, dear one.” He said as he walked out of the pool with her wrapped around him. He picked up the quilt and carried her to the back of the yard. He managed to get it mostly spread out, then went down on one knee, leaning forward to let how down gently to the ground, then he covered her with his own body and pulled the quilt up around them.
“How did you know I was cold?”
“You know how, Sookie.”
She stroked his cheek. “Yeah, I guess I do, don’t I? Eric?”
“Are you ever afraid of snakes out here?”
He laughed. “I actually thought of that and have had the groundskeepers working very hard to ensure there are no snakes in my yard, even to the point of having exterminators bring other animals in to search for them.”
“Seriously. You don’t know how much I wanted this, Sookie. I would have given anything to have you here under me this way. When I met you, I was so tired. I saw you in that little red and white dress and life had color again. I cared about something besides feeding and running my businesses. I hadn’t been happy in centuries. I have never had the kind of happiness I have right now, in this moment. I would have done anything to have this and I’ll do anything to keep it. I cannot think of words to tell you how much it means to me to know that you are mine forever.”
He punctuated “forever” with a strong, deep stroke that left no room for doubt that she was HIS and it made her cry out in a most satisfying way. He wanted to hear her scream.
He became very focused on fucking her now. He got this way when he needed to reassure himself that he owned her. She knew that, but instead of hating it, she was starting to understand it. She was beginning to need it, too. She needed to be in his thrall as much as he needed her. She found a way to give him what he needed.
“Eric, bite my neck, mark me” and she stretched her throat in invitation. He bit her savagely, making sure to leave a mark that would last for a week or longer if it scarred. She cried out and she was talking to him softly and very quickly, telling him she was his and she would do anything for him as he fed deeply from her, losing himself in the thrall of her fairy essence.
She had never spoken those words to him before and they echoed in his mind – “mark me.” He would dream of her saying those words for weeks and months to come. He couldn’t think of a more perfect submission to him than asking him to leave physical, visible evidence of his tasting and taking her. He had bitten her there before, but the words, “mark me” took it to a different level. She wasn’t just offering a meal or a fuck. She wanted him to brand her in a way that left no doubt of his possession of her, especially to other vampires.
He came in her but he wasn’t done. He turned her over and forced her head down as he pulled her hips up to him. It flashed in her mind that this was called “doggie style” but it was only a flash. She was at that point where he was so wild that all she could do was hang on. Thinking was not an option. There was no way for her to be quiet, even though she knew that the noises she made were spurring him on. At least she wasn’t cold. Then she was on her back again, her legs on his shoulders, and she was loud, but he was louder. As he roared she begged – yes, begged – him to feed her. She didn’t know how he did it, but suddenly, his throat was bleeding and he pulled her mouth to the wound. She had never taken blood from his neck before so she bit down hard and he howled as he came. He let her go and she fell back and he barely managed not to fall on her.
They were both shaking, and he tried to pull the quilt back around them. When they were both considerably calmer and colder, he picked her up and she grabbed the quilt as he stood. They managed to get back in the house, dropped the quilt, and he flew her up to their room. Before she knew it, they were in their bed, and she was falling asleep even though he was up on his elbow and looking down at her while he petted her between her legs. It occurred to her that he knew she was tired, and he wasn’t trying to “get her off” – he was doing it because he could.