Welcome to the Family
“OK,” he thought, “crisis averted.” He was taking a quick shower so they could head for the restaurant.
She scared him this time. He was sure she was going to have a meltdown and say he was taking over her life or trying to change her. The old Sookie would have. He was seeing some growth, and that was good. She was becoming more polished and she was more willing to talk about her feelings instead of letting them overwhelm her. That was good – this was progress.
He could tell that she enjoyed her life here. She still had the underlying feeling that she didn’t deserve nice things and that made him sad. She had grown up as “Crazy Sookie,” surrounded by rednecks who were afraid of her gifts. She was so much finer than her surroundings had been, and the ignorance of those around her had beaten her down. She actually thought of herself as disabled when he first met her. He couldn’t believe it when she told him that she considered her gift something that made her less than others – less than the trash she grew up around. It made him angry that she had been treated so badly by people so much less deserving than she.
He was drying off, combing his long hair, still lost in his thoughts.
‘Then Bill Compton had to take her virginity under false pretenses.’
He could still kill him for that… and might yet. Eric might have done a lot of bad things in his time, but he never took advantage of a naive young girl like that. Eric had a sense of honor, at least where innocents were concerned. Bill had rationalized his transgressions by telling himself that he really loved her, but if he had loved her he wouldn’t have slept with her without telling her why he had come back to Bon Temps. Now Eric had to clean up his mess, because that hurt her very badly.
He found that Sookie had laid out an outfit for him to wear. He smiled at the thought of her thinking ahead for him. She made a nice selection. She was becoming a wife.
As he was dressing, Eric reminded himself that he was only the second relationship with a man that she had ever had. Her third was Quinn and he had betrayed her, too. That boggled his mind. She was so beautiful and sweet. How could anyone, afraid of her or not, resist her? He thanked the gods for the stupidity of the dregs in Bon Temps – their stupidity is what kept Sookie untouched and unspoiled for so long. He shuddered to think of his angel losing her innocence in the back of some idiot’s pick up truck. At least Bill was vampire and had some class. No, the gods kept her relatively safe until they delivered her to him. He was grateful for that, as impossible as it seemed.
She was an angel… his angel. He was pleased to hear that she liked it when he called her that, because that’s how he saw her. She was so much more than just human, and not just because of her gifts. When he said she was unspoiled, he meant that in some ways she was untouched by the ugliness in the world, especially when you considered that she had been surrounded by so much of it. He thought he probably had her Grandmother to thank for that.
He wished he could have met her, and thanked her for taking care of Sookie when she had no one else. He thought he would have liked her, because she sounded like a solid person with a sense of honor. It seemed that she had been Sookie’s only source of love and approval from the time she lost her parents. Sookie had acquaintances, but as far as he could tell, she had never had a close friend.
That was why she didn’t know how to talk about her feelings. There were certain things a young girl would need to talk about that would be embarrassing to say to a grandmother, no matter how close they might be. He knew what it was like to be alone with no one to confide in. That’s why he made Pam.
He needed someone to share things with, and Pam turned out to be a wonderful companion for a long time. It might not have been undying romantic love, but there was a strong sense of caring and empathy between them, and their personalities suited each other very well. It pleased him to no end that Pam and Sookie cared about each other.
Neither of them had to say it – he could tell that they had a relationship based in the fact that he was central to both of their lives. He loved to see his girls with their pretty heads together, talking about him. He was proud of them both, and he thought them the two prettiest women he had ever known. The sexual component they had recently explored was a dream come true for him. He knew they would both be open to more nights in his love nest below the club, and he would make the most of that.
Thinking of them together on that bed, naked, gave him an erection that made it hard to get his pants zipped. He laughed at himself. He turned his attention to the bond for a minute, just to check in with Sookie, and he could feel contentment and happiness as she waited for him to get ready. He sent love and pride to her, and he knew she felt it. Someone else felt it, too.
He was surprised when he realized that the baby could feel what he was sending to Sookie even at this distance. He stopped and concentrated for a minute, and he realized he could feel the baby – comfort, happiness, contentment. This was interesting. As far as he knew, this was the first time he had felt the baby without actually touching Sookie’s belly. He sent love and pride to him, and he knew he responded. He also knew that when he went back downstairs, Sookie would tell him that she had felt the baby move.
He walked into the kitchen.
“Eric, you won’t believe what happened!”
“The baby moved.”
“How did you know?”
Alicia and Margaret were still there so he winked at her and said, “Lucky guess. I’ve been expecting that.”
Sookie understood that he was telling her he felt it through the bond and her eyes got big. He gave her a subtle nod to confirm it, as he could tell she was amazed. Alicia and Margaret were leaving for the evening, and Eric escorted Sookie to the corvette.
When they were in the car and out of the garage, Sookie turned to him.
“You felt it?”
“Not physically, but through the bond, I knew it happened.”
“While you were upstairs?”
‘Yes. I was checking the bond to see how you were feeling, and I sent some feelings to you, and I suddenly realized that the baby was feeling it, too. I concentrated and sent to him, and that’s when he moved.”
“That’s right – I felt that, but I didn’t think it was possible.”
“It was a surprise to me. We need to be careful to send him positive emotion if he is this aware of us.”
“Yeah, I didn’t get a chance to tell you, but I talked to him this morning. I was just waking up and I was missing you, and I swear he sent me comfort, like he knew I needed a hug. I talked to him, and I felt him respond. It was like we were talking to each other with feelings. I realized for the first time that I’m not alone during the day – there are two of us here.”
Eric looked at her and smiled. He took her hand and held it. They were quiet and there was an overwhelming sense of love and well being going in three directions that filled the car. They weren’t a couple – they were a family. They had been a little apprehensive about seeing Niall, but now a sense of peace and contentment replaced any anxiety they had been feeling.
They arrived at the restaurant and Eric helped Sookie out of the car. Niall was waiting for them, already seated at a rounded booth in the corner, and the waiter showed them the way to the table. Niall had that aura of magick all around him, so that the human staff wasn’t aware of the unusual meeting taking place in booth 7.
“Good evening, my dear,” Niall said as Sookie bent to give him a kiss on the cheek.
“Hello, Niall – I’m so glad you could see us.”
He looked at Eric.
“Northman” he nodded.
“Niall” Eric nodded back.
Sookie scooted into the booth first so she would be between Niall and Eric on the semi-circular seat. Eric and Niall faced each other. Sookie could tell they were wary of each other, but she took Eric’s hand and felt both of them relax a little.
The waiter took their orders – Niall ordered whiskey, Sookie asked for a cold True Blood Type B and Eric asked for a warm AB positive.
“Niall… grandfather,” she said hesitantly, but he smiled and she continued “I wanted to thank you for your miraculous gift.”
“Does it please you, my child?”
“Very much. It’s a dream come true.”
“And you, Northman, does it please you?”
“Yes, it pleases me very much. I will be very proud to have a son.”
“And what arrangements are to be made for the child’s support?”
“Sookie and I are to be wed on Sunday in Las Vegas…” he began.
“So I hear,” Niall interrupted.
Their drinks were served. Niall nodded approvingly at seeing Sookie drink the bottled blood.
“We asked you here to ask you if you would like to attend the ceremony,” Eric continued.
Sookie was letting the two of handle this because technically this was Supe business, but she looked at Niall hopefully when Eric invited him.
“Yes, de Castro invited me. If it is acceptable to you both, I would like to attend.”
“Oh, yes,” Sookie said enthusiastically, “it would mean so much to me if you could be there!”
Niall gave a gentle, proud smile and patted Sookie’s hand.
“Yes, my dear, I would like very much to see you take your vows. I told de Castro I would be there and the arrangements are all in place.”
“Oh, thank you!” Sookie squeezed his hand and bent over to kiss his cheek. He had to lean toward her because the bump wouldn’t let her get all the way there. Niall motioned to her stomach, and asked, “may I?”
Sookie wasn’t sure what he meant, but she nodded and scooted closer so Niall could put his hand on her tummy.
“Very nice, my dear. He’s very content.” He smiled.
Eric spoke, “the child appears to be a part of our bond. Sookie and I are able to send and feel a response from him.”
“Yes, that is a part of the magick. The three of you will always have a psychic link of sorts, even when he is older. That’s the mixture of your bloods in him. That’s part of the reason for the regular blood exchanges. Dr. Ludwig told you about those, I assume?”
“Yes, and we have been faithful in the exchange.”
“Good. He’ll have a taste for blood and milk, you know.”
“Yes, the doctor told Sookie that would be necessary in breast feeding him.”
“Very good. Your blood will keep Sookie strong enough to handle the pregnancy and nursing, too. I can see she is well. Very well appointed, too. That is a lovely dress, my dear.”
“Is there a ring of engagement?”
“There is” Eric said and nodded to Sookie so that she held her left hand toward Niall.
He took her hand and looked closely. She got an overwhelming sense that he knew a lot about diamonds and was doing a thorough appraisal of Eric’s wealth.
“Most agreeable. I see you have a diamond around your neck, too, my child?”
“Yes, it was a gift from Eric. There are matching earrings, too,” and she moved her hair so he could see her ear lobes.
“The first of many, I trust.” He said, looking directly at Eric.
“Yes, of course, she will have everything she wants and more.”
“When you return, I will receive an invitation to dinner in your home?”
“Of course,” Eric responded, “We would like very much for you to visit us.”
“Very good. And your estate, Northman?”
Sookie didn’t like the sound of that.
“Sookie and the child will be well provided for – my accountant and attorney are putting everything in place. As soon as the child is born, everything will be set.”
“Very good. I don’t anticipate any problems for you, Northman, especially not from my realm, but you understand I must see to the care of my grandchild.”
“Heard from Victor Madden lately, Northman?”
“No, I have not.”
“It would behoove you to know what Madden is up to. I don’t expect you to leave my granddaughter a widow. I expect her to live a long life in your finest care.”
“Yes, of course, Niall. I will be vigilant.”
“You might have to be more than that. Sookie is a very regal young woman, don’t you agree?”
“Absolutely.” Eric understood exactly what Niall was telling him. Sookie didn’t.
Niall and Sookie both ordered lobster and Eric ordered a second blood. Their business concluded, the rest of the dinner was relaxed conversation, with Sookie doing most of the talking, telling Niall about her new life – the pool, the house, the servants, her new car, which Niall was pleased to know was bullet-proof – and the wedding dress as he asked her questions. Eric could tell that Niall approved of her lifestyle. She bragged about finding such a perfect trainer and masseuse who knew all about vampires and even fairies and Niall looked at Eric in a way that let him know Bobbie was no accident.
He didn’t know if there was spellwork involved but he knew Niall had a hand in Bobbie finding her way to provide Sookie’s care. That was both good and bad to Eric’s way of thinking. On one hand, Niall would always make sure Sookie and the child were cared for and that meant there would be no threat to the family from the Fae. On the other hand, Niall would watch Eric like a hawk from this point forward and Eric knew he damned well better be happy with what he saw.
At least he could be sure that Niall knew Sookie would be richer with him alive than dead – you couldn’t get insurance for a vampire, so Eric needed to be alive and earning a living to keep Sookie in diamonds as Niall expected, and he’d made it clear he expected a lot. Eric didn’t mind – he intended to pamper her anyway for his own enjoyment.
From Niall’s perspective, Eric realized he was a good choice for Sookie – he wouldn’t die, he would extend her life beyond its human limits and the child would inherit rights within all of Eric’s businesses. He knew the blood bond would never let Eric cheat on Sookie and that Eric would be miserable without her so he would never abandon her.
Eric could offer Sookie the kind of protection she needed once the Supe community had learned of her gift, and no one would challenge his ownership of her if it were known that she was his wife and not just his lover. Once Niall realized that Sookie could be happy with Eric, it became Niall’s best move to see them wed and Sookie bearing his child. She would be loved, healthy, wealthy, pampered and protected.
‘Well played,‘ Eric thought, ‘he’s a master of the game.’
That’s why he didn’t ask before he made it happen – he didn’t give Eric a chance to say ‘no,’ and he knew Eric’s sense of honor and Sookie’s upbringing would drive them to marry, if only for the sake of the child. That in turn would assure Sookie’s and the child’s futures as Eric’s legal heirs. Eric could feel trapped in a web if he chose to, but he was so happy about being a father to a magickal child that he was happy that he hadn’t had a chance to say no. Logic might have driven him to reject the opportunity, and he loved his life with Sookie now.
If it was a trap he was happy to be snared. He had never known such happiness. He suspected that was part of Niall’s calculations, too. You didn’t have to spend much time around the two of them to know that Eric adored Sookie. He couldn’t hide it, and he knew his regard for her was already widely known in the Supe community. Niall had probably realized pretty quickly that a little push, a little magick, the added incentive of siring an exceptional son and he’d secure himself a wealthy grandson-in-law that would kill to protect his offspring. Vampire or not, Eric was powerful and respected. He was also feared, and that would carry great stock with Niall as well. Eric realized that he’d have done the same thing in Niall’s position. It was the logical move.
Eric suddenly realized why Niall was going to attend the wedding. He and de Castro were looking at it as an arranged marriage between rival factions. De Castro had no idea that Eric was part Fae, and he was sure Niall hadn’t told him. By allowing Eric to marry Sookie, de Castro was securing her talent for his use – he was sure Niall would have claimed control of her gifts once her connection was known. Eric wondered what Niall had bargained Sookie for. He had no doubt Niall had extracted some form of bride price from de Castro, and Eric had better find out what it was sooner rather than later. It might not impact them directly, but then again, it might dictate their future.
Eric would have to do this on his own – Sookie would be crushed if she realized she had been sold into marriage by her great grandfather as part of a political maneuver even if it would never affect them and that is pretty much what was happening between Niall and Felipe. At some point he’d have to get Niall alone and find out what the real deal was, though it was entirely possible de Castro would tell him what he had paid so that Eric would feel beholden to him.
He should have known – nothing in the Supe world is ever what it seems. There are always multiple layers and agendas. He’d do everything he could to protect Sookie from knowing what was going on between Niall and Felipe as long as he could. At least being wed to Eric would protect her personally from Felipe. The only thing at issue should be domain over use of her talent. Niall was a clever old bastard. Not only had he managed to secure Sookie’s future since she and Eric would marry anyway, he had found a way to sell it to de Castro as some sort of contract. Fae were tricky that way. You never wanted to turn your back on them.
Toward the end of the meal, Sookie excused herself to go to the ladies’ room. When she left the table, Eric saw an opportunity and confronted Niall.
“What did de Castro pay and what does he expect?”
“Do not worry, Sheriff, your position is safe and she will never be touched by our negotiations.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“We have reached a form of détente between the vampire and the Fae. You might call it a peace treaty. There are also some matters of commerce involved, but as I said, it will never touch you or your family … as long as you do your part.”
“And how do you see my part?”
“Well, there’s no hurry, of course, you’ll have a decade or so to accomplish it, but I think I made it clear earlier that my granddaughter will be Queen.”
“You expect me to overthrow de Castro?”
“No, I expect you to expel him from the Louisiana territories. There are those who are unhappy with his coup against Sophie Ann, who think he aspires to too much. I am putting you in position to oust him, and you will be regent at the end of the process.”
“And if I don’t want to be king?”
“I don’t remember asking you what you wanted. You want my granddaughter – these are my terms. Do you accept?”
“Do I have an actual choice?”
“Not if you want a wife… and a son.”
“Then I accept.”
“I was sure you would. You’re a good man, Northman, for a vampire. Welcome to the family.”
Sookie came back to the table as Niall was standing up.
“Are you leaving?” she was disappointed.
“Yes, my dear, but I will see you in Las Vegas and we have an evening at your new home to look forward to. You have my phone number – call whenever you want. I have your cell number and Northman’s home and business numbers if I need to contact you. Make me proud and be a good wife to this man and good mother to his fine son.”
“I will, I’ll do my very best.”
“I know you will, child. Goodbye.” He kissed her cheek, nodded to Eric and walked out the front door… then he vanished.
Eric paid the bill and walked Sookie to the car. Sookie could feel something strange in the bond – a kind of determination mixed with a little anger. When they were both in the car he kissed her deeply for a long time. She could tell he was taking in the smell of fairy all over her. “When I get you home, I’m going to fuck you like you’ve never been fucked before.”
Sookie didn’t know what to say, but it sounded good to her. He didn’t say much after that and she still couldn’t identify what she was feeling in the bond.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“I was just thinking about something Niall said to me.”
“He said something I was thinking about, too.”
“What was that, my angel?” He smiled softly at her.
“He said I was regal – what did he mean by that?”
“I’m going to be honest with you, Sookie, because we are bonded and that is what bonded couples do….”
“Your great grandfather just ordered me to make you Queen, and I agreed to do it.”
“You are going to be Queen of the Louisiana Territories.”
“Does that mean…”
“Yes, my lover, that means I will be leading a revolution.”
“Do we have a choice in this?”
“No, my angel, we do not.”
“I don’t know what to say about that.”
“Say that you love me, and will be my queen if you must.”
“I love you. I will always love you.”
“I’ll be your queen if that’s what I have to do to have a family with you.”
“Thank you, Sookie.” He took her hand and kissed it.
“Yes, my lover?”
“Are you scared?”
“I told you, Sookie, I will pay any price to have you and my son with me. As it turns out, the price is to do something I had considered doing, anyway.”
“The only thing… the only thing that stopped me was you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I knew you would not want to be queen, and I wanted you, so I did nothing.”
“If I want you and our son, I must seize power.”
“And you’re willing to do that?”
“What if you said no?”
“Do not think about that, my angel. It is done.”
“Eric, I am so sorry…”
“Do not be sorry, my angel. Life is full of choices and conflict. I have been offered my dreams. I have made my choice. You have made yours.”
“Now we live our lives, and I make a plan.”
“Can I help?”
“I hoped you would, but I do not expect you to.”
“Of course, I want to help you! It’s my fault.”
“It is not your fault, my lover – our destiny is what it is.”
“Why are you so calm about this?”
“I saw it coming.”
“I did not know how it would come about, but I knew it would happen sooner or later.”
“When did you know?”
“When you told me about the baby and I knew it was mine. I told you I saw him.”
“I saw him as king. The most logical way for him to become King is for me to make it happen.”
“Do you still want to marry me?”
“Yes, my angel, more than anything,” he said softly with a smile.
“I’ve told you many times, Sookie. The only happiness for me is to be with you.”
“How long do you have to do this?”
“A decade or so.”
They didn’t say much for the rest of the ride. When they got home, Eric carried her upstairs, put her down gently on the bed, and kissed her as hard as he ever had. Sookie was unbuttoning his shirt as he was pulling up her skirt.
She unbuckled his belt and opened his pants as he destroyed another black thong and he was in her. Sookie had never seen him this wild without being either starved or high on fairy blood. She knew he was angry and she decided to make sure he had all the release she could give him, so she was loud, knowing that it spurred him on when he heard her cry out.
She dug her nails into his back, she bit his shoulder, she begged him to fuck her – anything she could think of to get him to let it all out and he did. It didn’t take long for him to reach his first (but nowhere near his last) release of the night. He rolled off of her and she sat up and pulled her dress over her head. He was lying sideways on the bed, on his back, and she pulled his boots and pants off of him.
He pushed himself more to the center of the bed and she climbed on top of him, taking him inside her, riding him as he rubbed her clit. She could feel him focus on her through the bond, and he began to run his hands all over her. He was exploring her so intently it was almost like he had never seen her before,. She was grinding as hard as she could, and he sat up and wrapped his arms around her. She threw her arms around his neck and they both concentrated on her moving up and down on him, and they were grunting in unison as she came down each time.
He was gripping her bottom cheeks and she leaned back so he could take her nipple in his mouth. He drew hard and bit down, and she came and nearly fell backwards but he caught her with one arm as he leaned forward and reached into the top drawer of his nightstand. She was focusing on holding onto him, so it was a minute before she realized he had pulled out a dagger. He leaned back and she watched in horror and in hunger and he cut an artery in his throat. She latched onto the wound and drew as hard as she could and he threw the knife on the floor. The wound stayed open long enough for her to drink more than she ever had at one time before and the effect it had on her was similar to what fairy blood did to him.
“unh, Eric, bite me, please, bite me!”
Before she knew what was happening, she was on her back under him, and he slammed into her several times before he pulled back and pushed her legs apart. She bit her leg hard, the artery spurting and he sucked hard, which made her come again. Then he was back on top of her, speaking very fast, only half of it in English, but she did make out that he loved her and wanted to fuck her so hard it made her scream and it occurred to her that he pretty much was so she didn’t try not to cry out, and punctuated his every stroke with a loud “Ah!” that drove him mad.
He took a few really deep strokes and finished, but immediately put her on her knees and put her hands on the headboard and said, “hold on” as he took her from behind so hard that she was glad he hit the right entrance. She stretched her arms out, trying to arch her back as he held her hips and pumped her fast in a way he’d never done before, at vampire speed, and she screamed, not in pain but in… something… there were no words, she was just gone and so was he, and it went on for something that felt like hours to both of them.
She was losing the struggle to hold onto the head board and at one point he pulled back on her legs so she fell on the pillows, grabbing at the edge of the mattress as he held her hips high and finally reached another release. She was trying to catch her breath as he reached for her nightstand and she knew what was coming, so she tried to breathe and calm herself down so she could relax.
In a familiar move, he put a pillow under her hips and she felt the cold gel followed by the pressure, and she panted and tried as hard as she could not to tense up. At least he had slowed down, and was taking very deliberate but deep strokes. She was shaking, and she liked what she felt but it wouldn’t take much for her to pass out.
She could tell that part of what she was feeling was his intensity flooding the bond, and it was overwhelming.
He pushed in deep and stretched out over her body, half of his weight on her back and half on his hands on each side of her. He kissed her shoulder, and she could tell he was shaking, as he kissed her ear and whispered,
“Who do you belong to?’
“You, Eric, I belong to you.”
He pulled back then went deep again.
“Say it again.”
“I’m yours, Eric, I’ll always be yours.”
He did it again.
“You’re never going to leave me.”
“No, I’m never going to leave you.”
He took another deep stroke.
“Do you love me, Sookie?”
“Yes, Eric, ah, ah I love you.”
He was starting to speed up again and she knew he was close.
“Eric, oh, god, I love you Eric, I’m yours, I promise, forever.” She was talking fast trying to get him off and it worked. He left out a loud growl and lowered the rest of his weight onto her.
She was still panting a little, and she could feel in the bond that he was concentrating on the feel of her under him.
“Shhhh, Sookie. If you’re not in pain, be quiet for a few minutes.”
She was as quiet as she could be until he licked her shoulders.
He whispered “there is no price too high to pay for you.”
And rolled off of her, then went into the bathroom to clean up.
She was feeling so many things her head was spinning – she was turned on, satisfied, horrified, exhausted, scared, in love, conflicted, angry … or was that him? She couldn’t tell where she ended and he began, bond-wise.
She heard him starting the tub, and she was glad, because they needed the closeness they felt when they soaked and washed each other. He came back with a washcloth, and cleaned her, then put it back in the bathroom and came back for her. She started to get up but he scooped her up, tickling her and she laughed as he settled her into the tub and climbed in behind her.
“That was intense,” she said.
“Yes it was. Was it too much?”
“No, but… it was a lot.”
“Yes. It was. Thank you.”
“Why are you thanking me – I had fun, too.”
“You are not angry?”
“No, Eric- I like it when you fuck me.”
“Hey – I’m NOT most women, pal, I’m your bonded.”
“Yes, you are.”
“Alright then. Wash my hair.”
“You know I love you?”
“I got that impression,” she laughed.
He was laughing and nuzzling her ear, playing with her breasts, and tickling her. She leaned back into him and turned back a little so she could kiss him.
He wet her hair down and squirted a little strawberry shampoo in it.
When her hair was done, she did his, then they dried, went to bed, and both lay in the dark with their hands on the bump. Sookie smiled to herself, knowing he thought she was worth the trouble.