LATE Chapter 061

Baby E gets his own blood

 

“Mrs. Northman? Mrs. Northman? Sookie, can you wake up, dear?”

“Hm?”

“Sookie, you need to drink, sweetheart.”

She struggled to open her eyes. “Oh, hi, Alicia. I’m…”

“Sookie?”

“I’m having trouble waking up.”

“Mr. Northman said he gave you a Soma last night so you would sleep late. As soon as you drink this you can conk out again,” Alicia laughed and smiled. She was glad Eric had given her a stronger sedative based on what she had heard about last night. She was very worried when she heard the news this morning that Eric or Sookie or their friends might have been injured. She was glad they were all OK and agreed that it was so much excitement that it warranted having her take it easy.

Sookie managed to turn a little with Alicia’s help and drank down the RM.

“Here, sweetheart, let’s put a gown on you since you’ll have a guard up here today.” She managed to get a little knit gown with spaghetti straps on her that would at least cover her breasts, and she pulled it down under her as best she could, Sookie trying to help but not doing so very effectively. Alicia got her to roll to the side enough to pull the gown down over her hips so if she kicked her covers off nothing would be visible that shouldn’t be. She was to sleep instantly when she rolled back. Alicia was going to get her packing and Eric’s done as completely as possible today so all Sookie needed to do was to add a few items here or there as she liked. She had already made arrangements for Sookie to have a wheel chair and she had gotten some gorgeous new Louis Vuitton luggage for Sookie and Eric’s wardrobe

Around 10 o’clock the gang began to gather in the kitchen, the smell of coffee and bacon frying drawing them down the stairs. Bobbie was the first one up, and she was quickly followed by Amelia. Bjorn waited and came down the stairs with Octavia in case she needed help on the stairs. He already liked the old lady and he thought she probably had a better idea about what Sookie needed to learn than anybody around her. He had been raised to respect his elders, and in Octavia’s case she had impressed him with the things she had said to Sookie. His grandmother had been a bit of a Witch herself, though she’d never say that straight out, and he knew that older women were formidable beings when they knew their own powers. He offered her his arm and let her lean on him as they came down to the first floor and into the kitchen.

“Good morning, Octavia! This is Margaret – she keeps us all from starving.” Amelia wanted to try to put Octavia at ease since she wasn’t used to having servants around.

“Nice to meet you, Margaret.”

“Very pleased to meet you, ma’am. How do you like your eggs?”

“Over easy, if it’s not too much trouble.”

“No trouble at all.”

Octavia joined Bobbie and Amelia at the table and they exchanged pleasantries and engaged in small talk.

“Margaret,” Bjorn asked apologetically, “would it be alright if I took a plate upstairs with me? Eric wanted me to stay close to Sookie today no matter what.”

“Of course, Bjorn, I’ll fix you a tray now and then we’ll send your lunch up when we send Mrs. Northman’s breakfast. There’s a table and chairs in their room where you can eat and you’ll be right next to her.”

Alicia came in smiling, “Good morning, everyone!”

Hi, Alicia! – Hey! – good morning! All flowed from the table at once.

“Bjorn, are you heading upstairs now?”

“Yes, ma’am”

“I was just fixing him a breakfast tray to take with him.”

“Alright, good. Bjorn if you want, there’s a television in the chest at the foot of the Northmans’ bed. The control is on Mr. Northman’s nightstand. Feel free to raise it up and watch – Sookie sleeps so soundly that you won’t disturb her. She’s on Soma so she’ll be out of it until later anyway.”

“Ok, thanks, Alicia.” Bjorn smiled at her and thanked Margaret for the tray she handed him full of eggs, toast, orange juice, coffee and a pork chop, taking it back up stairs with him. Sookie didn’t stir as he entered her bedroom and put his tray on the side table. He decided to eat before he messed with the TV but the way Sookie looked lying there, he knew he’d need a distraction.

Damn! She was pregnant, had no makeup on, and she was still one of the hottest women he had ever seen. It had to be the Goddess in her, and he had no doubts about that since he saw what happened at Merlotte’s the day before. Between the kid kicking Sookie because that other man touched her, Sookie moving salt shakers and the baby shocking that religious nut’s ass across the room, there was obviously big magick around that little girl. As hard it might be for him to be in the room with her all day, he thought Eric was smart to keep him there with her, just in case. He owed it to her and to Freyja to take every precaution he could around his wife and baby and that meant having someone right in the room should trouble break out.

Bjorn heard a sound behind him and turned to see that the door of the little refrigerator was open and a Real Meal was moving through the air toward Sookie. He was stunned – what should he do? Take it out of the air? See where it was going? It landed on Sookie’s “lap” where she was half-sitting on the wedge pillow and her tummy jumped and she moaned – he was kicking her, wanting her to wake up and drink the bottle of blood. “Ow!” He had kicked her again. Bjorn figured the best thing to do was to have her drink it so he opened the bottle and tried to wake Sookie up to drink.

“Sookie! Sookie!” He tried to shake her a little and she tried to open her eyes.

“What’s wrong, Bjorn?”

“The baby wants you to drink a blood. Can you drink this?” He sat on the side of the bed next to her.

“I need a straw.”

He looked around and saw them on top of the fridge in the little wicker basket He put a straw in it and helped her turn sideways a little and drink, trying not to notice the cleavage she was showing as she turned on her side. Her chest had really grown since he’d been working here and “voluptuous” didn’t even begin to describe them. He was utterly fascinated by the line where her tan ended and the un-tanned portion of them swelled out of the top of the little gown. While she was drinking Bobbie and Amelia came up to see if Bjorn was OK up there alone with her.

“Hey, Bjorn – was she thirsty?” Bobbie started.

“You girls won’t believe what just happened.” He was actually a little shaken.

“What? Is something wrong?”

“No, but I was sitting there eating and the door of the little fridge opened all by itself and this bottle went floating toward her and landed on her lap, then the baby was kicking her trying to wake her up.”

“Oh my Goddess!” Bobbie was shocked.

“You’re kidding?” Amelia was delighted. “Bobbie, you stay here with him, I’ve got to tell Octavia.” She went running back down to where Octavia was still drinking coffee and having a donut.

“Bjorn – you think it was the baby or Sookie?” Bobbie was excited but not quite wrapping her mind around it yet.

“It had to be the baby – Sookie was sound asleep.”

“What are you guys talking about?” Sookie was about to reach the bottom of the bottle. “Can I have another one, Bjorn?”

“Yes, of course, hold on.” Bobbie was already around the bed and opened one then handed it to him. Sookie began to drink again.

“Sookie, are you in pain, honey?” Bobbie was worried the baby might have hurt her.

“I don’t know – I don’t think so. Why are you guys so freaked out?”

“Because the baby got his own blood out of the fridge and was kicking you to try to wake you up to drink it.” Bjorn explained.

“The baby? How…?”

“We think maybe the baby has your new ability too, Sweetie. He wanted a blood and made it float over to you. He probably would have woken you up if you weren’t sedated.”

“He was kicking you pretty hard. I could see the blankets jump and you were crying out.” Bjorn was still freaked out. “Are you sure you aren’t hurt?”

“Well, yeah I guess I’m a little sore. He kicked me pretty hard last night, though.”

“He kicked you hard just now.” Bjorn repeated.

“You need to try to explain to him that he could hurt you, Sookie.”

“How do I do that?”

“Try to turn it into a feeling and see if you can project it.”

“Or have Eric do it,” Bjorn suggested. “The baby is more likely to listen to Eric. When Eric wakes up, have him tell the boy very sternly that he must not hurt his mother.”

“You think that might work?” Sookie asked.

“It’s more likely to work than anything else,” Bjorn continued, “He beats up on you pretty good – his father needs to teach him to treat you better. From what I’ve seen, Eric is the one he’ll listen to.”

“Maybe this is why they said it will take Eric to control him.” Bobbie suggested.

“He does look up to Eric a lot.” Sookie lay back, exhausted.

“Try to go back to sleep, Sookie.”

“Are you guys staying here?”

“Yes – Eric told me to stay with you, even in your room.” Bjorn reminded her.

“You don’t think that’s a bit much?” Sookie hated the idea of them just having to sit there.

“No, given the events of yesterday, I think you are not going to be out of my sight until Eric is awake and can take over.”

“Won’t you be bored?”

“I’m doing my job, Sookie, nobody said it was supposed to be fun. Besides, if I hadn’t been here, no one would have seen the bottle move and no one would have known the baby was hungry.”

“He’s got a point, Sookie. You need somebody around you to watch the baby, too.”

“Alright, I guess I’m outnumbered. At least put the TV on and Bobbie you hang out with Bjorn so he doesn’t get lonely.”

Bjorn laughed and Bobbie looked at her like she was crazy. “I think your medicine is making you a little loopy, Sook. Go to sleep. I’ll keep him company.”

Bjorn got off the bed and sat back in the chair, while Bobbie went to Eric’s nightstand and put the TV up. They settled on watching Erin Brockovich and Sookie told Bobbie there was a deck of cards in Eric’s top drawer. She got them out and settled back at the table and she and Bjorn played gin and talked quietly for the next hour and a half. At just after 2 o’clock Alicia and one of Margaret’s helpers brought up two trays of food. One had large, really nice looking turkey sandwiches for Bobbie and Bjorn and the other was Sookie’s breakfast of Salmon and bagels.

The younger woman took the old tray back down to the kitchen with her and Alicia woke Sookie, set her up with breakfast and started taking clothes out of her closet, consulting with Sookie and Bobbie about what Sookie would need on the trip as Bjorn and Bobbie ate their huge sandwiches. She packed the formal dresses first since everything else was of less importance. This trip was mostly maternity sun dresses, the Indian cotton dresses Sookie got on her last trip to Vegas, plus some nicer things for nights out including at least one dinner out with the mayor and his wife that Eric had already arranged. She also put in a pair of shorts and a nursing top, plus a nursing dress, just in case Eric Alexander decided to make a surprise appearance.

“Bobbie,” Alicia just thought, “I won’t be in tomorrow until 2 pm since we’re leaving at 8. Can you take care of Sookie’s feedings from 7 am on?”

“Sure, I can.”

“Actually, Margaret might get the 7 am since she’s usually up and you could take the 9, 11, and 1 feedings then I’ll be here by 2 so I can bring her breakfast and get her ready to travel. Will you need help getting ready?”

“No, they did my laundry yesterday and I’ve got almost everything packed. Bill will be heading home tonight and leave from his house so his stuff is there.”

“It’s a shame he can’t come with us.”

“Yeah, but he’ll be there for the ball so that’s the main thing. I’ll get to dance with him – you should see him dance, Alicia.”

“Pretty good, huh?”

“Like a dream!”

Bjorn just smiled and shook his head. He thought it was funny how gaga Bobbie was over Bill. He thought Bill was a little… delicate, even for a Vampire. He knew he was probably strong, but he was more brain than brawn. He couldn’t believe how women swooned over him. He was so short!

“Bjorn, do you need any help?”

“No, ma’am, my laundry was done, too, and I had my tuxedo cleaned and made sure it fit, so I’m all set.”

“Alicia, make sure you pack Eric’s silver grey suit and the pink silk shirt and tie. I love that on him.”

“Yes, I’ve got that and his tuxedo, he wanted 2 pairs of blue jeans, two of black, his red silk shirt that he thinks is your favorite, 3 pairs of dress pants, several Fantasia t-shirts because he says they’re free advertising, especially when they’re on him…”

Everybody laughed at that, and Sookie almost choked on a bagel full of fish but it was no big deal.

“…. His black suit, his navy pinstripe, and several other silk and cotton shirts, lots of silk boxers…”

“Yay!” Sookie loved those, and Bjorn thought it was funny that she got excited about boxer shorts. Women got excited about the weirdest things. Silk underwear? Whatever.

“What are you snickering at, Bjorn?” Bobbie busted him.

“Me? Nothing.”

“Why, what did he do?” Sookie had her back to him so she didn’t see it.

“I think he’s got a problem with silk boxers.” Bobbie teased him.

“Don’t knock them ’til you’ve tried them, Bjorn, they’re crazy sexy.”

Well, he was busted anyway… “You don’t think they seem a little gay?”

Every woman in the room said NO all at once.

“Tell you what, Bjorn, why don’t you ask Eric if he thinks they’re gay?” Sookie suggested.

“Uh, no, I don’t think I’ll be doing that.” Bjorn laughed.

“Ask him what happens when he wears them.” Sookie challenged him.

“I doubt anything that wouldn’t happen if he didn’t. He doesn’t exactly need any help where you’re concerned, Sookie.” Bjorn cracked up and so did Bobbie. Alicia turned toward the closet and tried not to laugh.

“Hey!” Sookie objected.

“Aw, come on, Sookie, you guys are like rabbits and you know it.” Bobbie laughed.

“I can’t help it – it’s the pregnancy hormones…” she said, somewhat chagrined

Everybody laughed.

“… and besides, Eric is big, blonde and gorgeous – who wouldn’t want to have sex with him every chance they could?” Sookie said.

Alicia and Bobbie pretty much agreed and Bjorn just shook his head.

“I wish I didn’t work for him so I could ask him what his secret is.”

“1000 years of practice – he’s really, really good at EVERYTHING…” Sookie said proudly. “… including things most people never dream of. Want me to have him give you some pointers, Bjorn?”

“Only if you have a sister – no one else would be able to keep up with me.”

The women groaned and laughed.

“Bjorn, you’re dating Felicia – I’m pretty sure a female Vampire can take anything you can dish out.” Sookie reminded him.

“Yeah, she’s… agreeable.”

Women all laughed again.

“Just agreeable? You spend an awful lot of time over there for just “agreeable.” Bobbie teased him.

“Yeah, but she’s like… a romantic type. It kind of takes a lot of work to get her going. She’s not always primed and ready like some little blondes I know.”

“I told you, it’s the pregnancy hormones.” Now Sookie was getting indignant.

“So you think you’re going to calm down after you have the baby?” Bobbie asked.

“No, actually, the doctor said it would probably last until the baby is weaned, so like, 2 more years at least because I have to breast feed him.”

“Wow.” Bjorn was in awe. Eric was one lucky bastard. Everything worked out for that guy like magick. ‘Even his kid is lucky, getting to suck on those… oh, man! Freyja must really favor him,’ he thought. ‘How do you get in with a Goddess like that?’ “That is going to be one happy Vampire.” Bjorn declared. Everybody laughed at that.

Sookie stuck her tongue out at him. ‘Jealous?”

“Any man would be jealous of what he has.”

“Aw – thank you!” Sookie was actually touched and Bobbie and Alicia were cracking up. Bjorn winked at Sookie and she felt a little throb. Shit. She promised to tell Eric if that happened. But they were just kidding around – there wasn’t any real flirting or sex going on. Bjorn didn’t mean anything. Shit. She promised him. She begged him to train her and the first thing he tells her to do, she’s not sure she can do. She doesn’t want him to get mad at Bjorn, or at her, or to think there’s anything going on. What if he….

“Sookie, you OK?” Bobbie noticed she had gotten quiet all of a sudden.

“Huh? Oh, yeah I just got distracted. Hey, let’s go down to the pool.”

Everyone in the room objected.

“Sookie, Eric wants you to stay in bed.” Bjorn was being stern now. “You overdid it yesterday and with all the excitement, you need to rest. With those fanatics after you, being outside is not a good idea. You can swim Tuesday at the residence. There will be major security there and the perimeter of the property is a long way from the pool. It’s just too easy to get to you here.”

“I’m going to go batshit in this room. How about we go down to the den and then we can at least visit with Amelia and Octavia?”

“Bobbie, you’re the doula – what do you think?” Bjorn was willing to consider that.

“Well, if you carry her down, and put her in the recliner and she actually stays put, that probably wouldn’t be too much for her.”

“I can walk down the stairs myself.”

“No, Sookie, I think he should carry you. The number one thing Dr. Ludwig has been telling you is that you have to have to stay off your feet. And I’m still not convinced the baby hasn’t injured you with his kicking. I’m really worried about that, Sookie. ”

“OK, then you make sure you explain to Eric why I have Bjorn’s scent on me, Bobbie.”

Alicia, who was filling Sookie’s jewelry case from the cache behind the mirror, turned around. “Has the kicking been that severe?”

‘Yes.” Bobbie and Bjorn spoke in unison. Bobbie continued, “he kicked her like crazy last night and then a little bit ago he was kicking her so hard Bjorn could see it through the covers.”

Alicia looked at Bjorn and he nodded. “Yes, you should have seen it. She was crying out in her sleep but she didn’t wake up, probably from the Soma.”

“You know, they tend to kick more at night when you are lying down. Movement usually settles them. Take her down to the recliner and let her rock for a little while. That might calm him down.”

“OK, let me go to the bathroom and put some panties on…” Sookie said as she got up but she fell and Bjorn caught her as Bobbie jumped up toward her. “I’m sorry – I guess I’m a little dizzy.”

“Here, Sweetie, let me help you,” Bobbie took her arm and helped her toward the bathroom but about half way there Sookie cried “Ow!” and almost doubled over. Bobbie helped her on into the bathroom and came back for a pair of panties Alicia got out of the drawer for her. Alicia reached into another drawer and got a little knit robe with snaps up the front that matched the little gown Sookie was wearing in a slightly darker shade of pink. She and Bobbie helped Sookie into it and Bjorn carried Sookie down to the den.

“Hey, stranger!” Amelia was glad to see Sookie up and about, even if she didn’t stay up long. Bjorn got her settled in the recliner and Alicia brought her a glass of milk and one of the weaker sedatives. Alicia got one of the smaller quilts out of the closet to put over Sookie – even though it was warm outside, she didn’t want her to get a chill from the air conditioning and it needed to stay on with this many people in the house. She took two folding chairs out of the closet for Bobbie and Bjorn since Amelia and Octavia were on the couch, and went back to finish Sookie’s packing.

As everyone was getting settled, Margaret brought in some snacks and she and another girl came back with sweet tea for everybody, plus an RM for Sookie since it was almost 5:00.

“Ooh.” Sookie let out a little cry.

Octavia walked over and put her hand on Sookie’s tummy where the baby was kicking. “That baby’s all riled up today. Trying to protect his mama.”

“He’s the one I need protection from at the moment.”

“What are you gonna do about it?”

“Bjorn thinks Eric should talk to him.”

Octavia looked at Bjorn and nodded. “Yep – time for Daddy to lay down the law. He’s just a baby – he only knows what you teach him. Daddy has to tell him not to hurt his wife. You won’t be able to be much of a disciplinarian, I don’t think. He’ll need lots of affection, though, and you can handle that better than anybody.”

“Thanks, Octavia. At least I’ll be good for something,” she said weakly.

Bobbie got up and let Octavia move the folding chair next to Sookie’s recliner. She held her hand and looked straight in her eyes.

“You’re gonna be good for more than “something,” child. My guess is that baby needs nourishment he can only get from you. You make sure you keep drinking those bottles of blood for as long as he feeds from you. Between him and Daddy, you could run a little low without some extra help.”

“Yeah, plus we’re going to try giving him some directly.”

“That’s an alternative, but I’ll bet he won’t want it, at least not at first. He’s gonna want Mama because of that special taste you have that the Vamps love so much.”

“You think he’s going to be a Vampire, then?”

“Yes, but I think he’ll be a Vampire plus… something. He’ll have some sort of ability a Vampire wouldn’t have. I’d bet he can go out in the sun, but he won’t like to.”

“Dr. Ludwig said something about that, too.”

“If it turns out to be true, you might not want to let that be known. It will be a huge advantage to him if it’s true. People will naturally assume he’s a Vampire and all that entails. A Vampire that can walk in the sun will be powerful in any world.”

Sookie looked to see if any of the maids were around, and saw that they weren’t, but spoke softly just in case: “Did Amelia tell you what happened earlier?”

“Oh, yes. I told you that baby had powers.”

“It never occurred to me he could do something like that from the womb. Is he that advanced?”

“Well, all he really had to do was want it and expect it. He has no concept of what a person is and isn’t supposed to be able to do. He won’t have to unlearn his human inhibitions the way you will to do magick. All he knows is he wants it and to get it, it’s got to come to Mama, so he made it come to Mama. Then he did the best he could to tell Mama to drink it. He doesn’t understand that it hurts you when he kicks. He’s just reacting to what’s going on, what he feels. He knows Mama but he doesn’t really know he’s inside Mama. Mama’s just there to him – always been there and as far as he knows, always will be. Being born is a shock to the system for any baby. That’s why they tend to come out crying. All at once everything they’ve ever known is taken away from them. That’s why it’s good to put ’em straight to the breast, so they know Mama’s still there. The way they do in hospitals, where they take the baby away and put them in a different room – that’s not good for the little ones or the mamas, either. He needs to be where you can talk to him and soothe him. Don’t go sticking him in another room, at least not right off. Ease him into the world.”

“I got a co-sleeper – do you know what that is?”

“No, never heard of it.”

“It’s like a little crib that attaches to the side of the bed so he’s right next to me and it’s easy to breast feed him. It’s like keeping him in bed with me but he can’t get crushed or suffocated.”

“Huh – that’s a good idea. Does Daddy know the baby will be in the bedroom for a while?”

“Oh, yeah, Eric is from a culture where families all lived in one room together, so he has no problems with it. He wants me to be able to do that feed on demand thing.”

“Feeding him when he’s hungry, instead of by the clock?”

“Yeah.”

“Good. Babies need what they need when they need it.”

Sookie laughed. “Yeah, I guess they do.”

“Excuse me, Mrs. Northman, I just wanted to make sure shrimp is alright for everyone for dinner?” Margaret was standing in the kitchen doorway.

“Can you eat shrimp, Octavia? Do you like it?”

“Sure, I’ll eat shrimp about any way I can get it.”

“Amelia?”

“Sure, that’s fine.”

“What are we having, Margaret?”

“Shrimp etouffee – it’s been a little while and I thought you’d like some good cooking your last night home for a while.”

“Oh, thank you! I’d love that! Etouffee good with everybody?”

Everyone agreed enthusiastically.

“Been a while since I had good etouffee!” Octavia said.

“She makes it really well – you’ll like it. You might need to spice if up if you like really spicy, though. She makes it sort of medium spicy for me.”

“Medium will be fine with me. I’m gettin’ on in years to be eatin’ all that hot stuff.”

“Oops – Baby E is doing the happy dance. He loves shrimp.” Sookie laughed and Octavia put her hand where she could feel him kicking. “He’s not kicking hard this time.”

“He’s an active little thing. He’ll be up and running before you know it.”

“Yeah, I think you’re right.”

Alicia came in with some forms for Sookie to sign and a package she said had been cleared by he guards. Bjorn took the package to open it.

“Bjorn, the guards outside checked it.”

“Yes, but I’m here so it’s better if I do it. It’s awfully strange you’d get a package on Sunday, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, now that you mention it, it is.”

Bjorn cut the package open and checked through it. It was a couple of maternity dresses and a maternity bathing suit Sookie had ordered.

“Alicia?” Sookie thought she was still in the kitchen.

“Yes, Miss?”

“How did we get a package on Sunday?”

“There’s a new UPS guy and he got behind in his deliveries yesterday, so he brought it today and he apologized for any delay while he gets used to his new route.”

“OK, thanks. Can you add these to my luggage, please?” She handed the box to Alicia and looked at Bjorn. “Happy now?”

“Happy now. Get used to it, your majesty, you’re about to enter an intensely secure zone as we travel.”

“Yeah, so I hear.

“Be ready to just relax and let us do our jobs.”

“Alright.” She was half joking and half resigned to the fact that it was necessary.

Everyone was milling around, washing up and getting ready for dinner. By the time they were all settled into the kitchen, Margaret was getting ready to serve them.

“Ow!”

FIGHT! FIGHT!

“Eric must be up. He’s going nuts.”

“Who is going nuts?” Eric asked as he walked into the room.

“Your son, that’s who. He’s kicking like crazy because you are here.”

Eric walked to Sookie and kissed her, then knelt down beside her, kissing her tummy. “I love you, Eric Alexander,” he said.

“You might want to talk to him about that,” Octavia spoke up.

“About what?” Eric asked.

“About kicking his mama so hard. He doesn’t know any better so he needs to be taught.”

“Taught?”

“Think, your majesty,” Bjorn chimed in, “he’s your son – who else would he listen to?”

“You have a point.” He put his hand on Sookie’s belly. “Eric Alexander, you must be careful not to hurt your mother. Women are to be protected, my son. You must protect Mommy, and do not kick too hard. Treat her gently and soon you can kick all you want.”

The baby kicked a little and sent LOVE and COMFORT to Sookie. She and Eric smiled at each other. “That’s my good boy. Daddy is proud of you.”

Alicia came in and said good night, reminding everyone she wouldn’t be in until 2 pm the next day since they were leaving that night. She told Eric she had put paperwork addressed to him and to Bill on his desk and that there were phone messages for him. She asked that Eric and Sookie make one last check to be sure everything they wanted was packed and went home for the evening. Margaret showed everyone where the cake she had made for dessert was and headed home just as Bill came down the stairs. Bobbie agreed to serve dessert and fill the dishwasher as she kissed Bill hello.

“I’ll get you and Eric an RM.”

“Thank you, darlin’.” Bill said sweetly as Bobbie beamed at him.

“So,” Sookie said, “now that all the innocent humans are gone, guess what your son did today, Eric?”

“Aside from kicking too hard?”

“Bjorn –you saw it – tell him.”

“I was watching Sookie while she slept, as you ordered, when I heard a sound that turned out to be the mini-fridge opening itself, and saw a bottle of RM float through the air and land in her lap, then your son kicked her like hell trying to wake her up.”

“Sookie was able to get an RM in her sleep?” Eric wasn’t getting it yet.

“No, Eric, the BABY was able to get an RM while I was asleep and then tried to wake me to drink it.”

“You are telling me…”

“…that your son has telekinetic powers,” Octavia finished his sentence.

“Are you sure it was not Sookie?” Eric was incredulous.

“We’re sure,” Amelia agreed. “it’s the baby.”

“Sookie’s new ability…”

“…is similar, and they may be connected in some way, but for now, you need to watch the baby even when she’s asleep.” Octavia said.

Bjorn continued. “If I had not been sitting there, there is no telling what he would have done to wake her. She was zoned out on the Soma you gave her and could not awake. He might have injured her.”

Eric was stunned. “So he is not Vampire?” He was disappointed.

“I’m pretty sure he’s Vampire,” Octavia assured him, “but an improved Vampire with extra abilities. He’ll be powerful, even among older Vampires.”

Eric swelled with pride and Sookie laughed and shook her head.

“Eric, how are you going to keep that quiet?” Bill asked him.

“Good question. I do think we should try to keep this among us if at all possible.”

“Octavia thinks he’ll be able to walk in sunlight, too,” Sookie told him.

“That must absolutely be secret if it’s true, Eric.”

“Yes, it must. I had not even thought of him having powers we might need to conceal. I had thought his powers would develop as he grew.”

“Oh, they’ll get stronger,” Octavia assured him,” but you’re looking at some unique needs with this child. What are you gonna do with a toddler that can call things to him? Putting things on high shelves won’t work, he’ll need close watching so he doesn’t hurt himself or someone else.”

“We haven’t talked about it since, but Dr. Ludwig mentioned a daemon nanny that was able to appear human as necessary. Maybe we should consider her. She never called but I didn’t follow up. What do you think, Sookie?”

“If you don’t mind, Sweetie, I’d like to keep that as a last resort. Let me see how it goes with just us, OK? I’ll have you, and Bobbie, to help me and there will be security guards all around and Alicia and Margaret…”

“Sookie, how are you going to explain telekinesis in an infant to Alicia, let alone Margaret?” Bobbie pointed out.

Sookie looked at Eric with big eyes. There was no way to hide this from them if the baby was awake while they were there. Eric took her hand and looked her straight in the eye. “We take it one day at a time, and we deal with problems as they occur. Look around this table Sookie – there are five people here along with you and me who can run interference for us. We will all watch him, and we will conceal as much as we are able. You are not alone in this.”

“Right…”

“Sookie, Alicia knows you’re Queen now, right?” Amelia asked.

“Yeah, she’s been a lot of help.”

“If she adapted to that, I’ll bet she could adapt to being around a baby with powers. She already knows there are odd things around the pregnancy, right?”

“Yeah, she doesn’t know exactly what, but she knows it’s an unusual case.”

“I think she’d take it in stride the same way she did when she found out about Eric’s ascension. And honestly, Hon, from what I’ve seen, Margaret just lets the weirdness wash over her. She’s got a good job, she likes you and Eric and she just doesn’t absorb the weirdness.”

“That’s a good point, Amelia. She does just sort of ignore it,” Bjorn agreed.

“That’s a Southern thing,” Sookie said, “we always turn a blind eye to anything unseemly or unexpected and pretend it’s not there,” she laughed.

“Well, in this case, that’s useful. I don’t think you need to worry about either one of them, and the helpers aren’t here that much any way.” Amelia assured her. “Eric is right, Sookie, we’ve all got your back. Nobody is going to let anything bad happen around that baby, and that includes Alicia and Margaret, I guarantee,” Amelia insisted.

Bobbie cleared everyone’s dishes and served up the cake, bringing a carton of milk and glasses for the humans.

“Mmm – I never had strawberry cake before!” Sookie took a huge piece of cake and started wolfing it down while Eric watched her adoringly.

“Margaret told me it’s Roslyn Carter’s recipe. She’s had it since Jimmy was in office.” Bobbie said as she was filling glasses.

“Oh, cool!” Sookie said, “I love the Carters, especially Mrs. Carter because she’s so soft spoken and classy. She’s a real Southern Lady.”

“So are you,” Eric said as he bent over to kiss her and Sookie beamed at him.

“Awww.” Amelia and Bobbie said in unison as Bjorn and Bill just shook their heads.

Bobbie was loading the dishwasher as Amelia cleaned the table and the others wandered into the living room, which was no longer piled up with packages and looked really nice.

Bill and Eric were standing toward the front of the room talking about having work up on Eric’s desk and Octavia was sitting as Sookie walked over to Eric. He pulled her in front of him, holding her from the back as he talked to Bill about the travel itineraries he had in his hand when the window cracked and a bullet hit Eric in the shoulder. Sookie screamed as Eric pulled her down and Octavia and Bill hit the floor as Bill yelled for Bobbie and Amelia to get down and the guards out front went crazy. Lights were turned on all around the property as three more quick shots tore into the living room.

Eric was writhing in agony and steam and the smell of burnt flesh was coming from the wound in his upper arm.

“Eric! What is it?’ Sookie knew something was terribly wrong.

“I don’t know, ahhh!” Eric screamed from the searing pain.

“Amelia, get me a sharp knife now!” Octavia yelled as she crawled over on her knees to rip Eric’s shirt and expose the wound.

“What is it, what’s happening?” Sookie was scared to death and the baby was kicking like crazy. Eric was howling and actually looked like he would faint. Bill was running out front with the guards and Bjorn was securing the house.

“Silver bullet. It’s burning him inside and weakening him. We gotta get it out of him before it gets into his blood.”

“Aw, shit!” Bjorn reacted and went out to warn the guards that their sniper was armed with silver bullets.

Amelia came in ducking down and handed Octavia the sharpest knife she could find. Bobbie crawled out of the kitchen behind her

“Hold on, now, Vampire, this is going to hurt.” Octavia cut into his arm and blood spurted everywhere. Eric was growling and his fangs were down, so Octavia was scared, but she dug in and managed to pull the bullet out. Eric fell back and even seemed to be out of breath though Vampires don’t breath. He was shaking all over as he lay on the floor looking sick and even more pale than usual. Sookie was smoothing his long hair and talking to him as Octavia tore part of his shirt off and made a tourniquet, tying it above the bullet hole in his upper arm, The stench of his burnt flesh hung heavily in the room.

Bobbie handed Sookie a pillow and she put it under Eric’s head. He was beginning to calm down now, and the arm, which had turned a bit green, was returning to its normal color and the wound finally beginning to heal.

Bill came back in. “It was silver?”

“Yes, and I’ll be you aren’t going to find much sign of that shooter, unless it’s something to make you think it’s the FOTS trying again,” Octavia said confidently.

“You don’t think it was?” Bill asked.

“No, I don’t think it was. I think what we got here is a Vampire assassin that will try to blame this on the FOTS.”

“Why would they do that?”

“To throw you off their trail,” Octavia explained, “No bunch of red necks around here is going to lay hands on silver bullets in just 48 hours, which is what they’d have to do to pull this off. Besides, that shooter wasn’t really aiming at Eric or that bullet would have hit him in the head. That shot was aimed at Sookie’s head and just happened to hit Eric by mistake. You’re looking for someone with a grudge against your Queen.”

“Sabrina.” Eric said, his voice a little shaky though he was clearly regaining strength.

Bobbie and Amelia were madly trying to get Eric’s blood out of the rug as Sookie held onto him, afraid to let him go. This was way too close.

“She’s supposed to be out of your territories now,” Bill reminded him.

“Sabrina never did a damned thing she was supposed to do, and she’s the only Vampire I know that would go after Sookie instead of me.”

Bill thought about it for a minute and nodded. “We’d better notify the guards at all the properties to be on the lookout for her. If it was she, this won’t be the only attempt. She’s relentless when she wants something.”

“Yes, she is.” Eric said as he tried to sit up with Sookie’s help. He kissed her forehead then let his forehead rest against hers. “I’m alright, Lover, the crisis has passed.”

“I want to rest with you today.”

“What?”

“I want to stay with you in your resting spot today.”

“That is not necessary, my Angel. No one but you knows where it is.”

“If anything happened to you, I’d die.” Sookie said, completely serious.

“You wouldn’t, but if I lost you… it would be the end of me if anything happened to you or the baby.”

“You two don’t get maudlin. You had a close call but the three of you are fine.” Octavia said. “You need to get Sookie to bed. Your little Viking was kicking her pretty good for a few minutes.

“Thank you for your help, Octavia.” Eric was very sincere.

“That’s OK, I’m glad I was here. I don’t know how long it would have taken the others to figure out what was going on with you. I don’t know if it would have killed you, but you’d have been one sick Vampire at the very least.”

Sookie helped Eric stand and Bjorn consulted with the guards outside.

“I’ll take care of this down here, Eric. Take Sookie to bed and both of you rest a while. You don’t want to move around too much until your system fights off the silver.” Bill said.

“Alright, Bill, thank you.”

Eric had Sookie get a hold around his neck and he picked her up with his left arm. They headed upstairs, a little slower than usual but Eric was getting stronger every minute.

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