Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Nautical Note: There are times in sailing when the wind is constant and the sea sets up in great, even rollers. On these days, you can set the sails and with a little attention, surf the tops of the waves, the hull of your boat almost totally exposed. It is a fast, frictionless ride, a hiss and rush that makes me laugh, and it’s called ‘planing.’
The Assizes was held in a warehouse just outside Minden. Because of the continuing problem with orphans, and now the threats the witches were making, Eric moved the location every month with notices going out by text twenty-four hours in advance. Maxwell Lee was in attendance tonight, as was Karin. Eric’s oldest daughter was being called ‘Chief,’ which Sookie knew was short for War Chief. It was an ancient title and one whose history dated back to the wars between the vampires and the Fae, which was ironic, all things considered.
There were the usual disputes to be heard and judged this evening. There were vampires who were encroaching on each other’s declared territory, a woman who was alleging that another vampire had sampled her bonded, violating blood law. Sookie had taken a place just behind Eric’s shoulder, but he pulled her to stand right beside him. Maybe it was Karin’s presence, maybe it was the news of the witches, but everyone was bowing and on their best behavior. That was, until the nest stepped forward.
They were four vampires who had moved into a little town just across the border in Arkansas. As their Sheriff, Thomas had prepared and sent along a report that was read into the proceedings. Initially, these vampires had blended well into their community, but as they became more comfortable in the town, they started pushing boundaries. At first, there were reports of mischief, but then there became more serious reports of mayhem. They had been caught with several local young people, some minors. There had always been rules about these things, but now, with all the unwanted attention vampires were getting, reminders and directives had been delivered. There was to be no molesting of minors, no playing if consent wasn’t confirmed and reconfirmed. Everyone knew that securing donors through the Federal Registry was the party line in this kingdom, not securing blood ‘free range.’ According to their Sheriff, this nest had stepped back and forth over the line many times and the implication was that it was time to make an example.
Eric questioned them, using his words to reinforce the ways these vampires had transgressed. He turned to one, a tall woman with thick, brown hair pulled back in a severe ponytail, and asked why she thought that the rules about donors didn’t apply to her. As bold as brass, she slid her eyes to Sookie and said, “I follow the examples I see.” It was disrespectful, but it also implied that Sookie was nothing more than a donor. There was no intake of breath, no hiss, but all eyes slid to Sookie, and the telepath knew this was her moment.
Sookie wasn’t sure where her anger came from. Maybe it was years of being looked down upon because she was different. Maybe it was all the times women and men had seen her standing beside a vampire and assumed she was nothing more than their feed and fuck. Maybe it was the unfairness that life could dole out, where it didn’t matter what she did, there was always someone ready to tell her that it wasn’t good enough.
Sookie could feel her face shifting. Her whole body felt as if it was stretching, getting taller. Her chin lifted and her shoulders went back. There was a gasp from her left, but Sookie ignored it. “I think you should explain that remark,” Sookie said. She could hear a slight lisp in her voice, but she refused to think too much about it. If she got distracted, she knew she would lose her resolve, and this was too important.
The vampire’s eyes went wide, and then she took a small step back. “I’m waiting,” Sookie persisted.
After another long moment, the vampire’s eyes dropped and she said, “I meant nothing by it.”
“Nothing?” There was something enticing about this, this feeling that she was winning, and Sookie leaned further forward, embracing it.
“Nothing, Mistress,” the vampire whispered, and then the woman made a stumbling bow and the other members of her nest did the same.
Sookie stepped back. She could feel she was trembling, but she held herself rigid. Eric pronounced his sentence and called for a recess. He offered Sookie his hand and waited for her, not moving until she moved, making clear to every watching eye that she had an equal place beside him. He held her together, sending her pride and courage until they got behind a door, and then he swept her into his arms. “You were magnificent!” he told her.
“I don’t know what to think,” Sookie grasped his shirt. Her emotions were in a whirl, and she knew it would take her a night and some quiet to sort it all out.
The remaining cases ran smoothly, and more than one vampire bowed first to Eric and then to Sookie. Everyone felt it. Everything had changed.
As they sat with Karin afterward, the vampire grinned, “I’ve seen it before, but I have to tell you, Sookie, that is one scary face.”
“Guess I won’t be asking to have it on any of our anniversary photos,” Sookie laughed, but she was already feeling some regret and not a little guilt.
“I don’t know,” Karin continued, “It was a good look on you,” and then she had moved on to give a report on her findings from Amelia Broadway’s computer. Karin found the mailing list. There were also some emails from unhappy customers who wanted replacement charms. Clearly some of the items Amelia made stopped working, but there were others who were writing that the charm they received was a gold mine and thanking Amelia for making their lives so much more lucrative.
“Can we trace those individuals? I’m assuming she shipped her charms, so there would be mailing addresses,” Eric asked.
“Mostly,” Karin nodded, “But a fair share of those charms were mailed to P.O. Boxes. The names these people use? Some of them have to be professional names. Who names their kid “Moonlight Rayqueen?”
“Old hippies?” Max shrugged.
Karin smirked and turning back to Eric, she said, “I haven’t had the opportunity to congratulate you. It is an honor that is well deserved.”
Eric nodded, and shrugged as if to say, ‘oh well, someone had to do it,’ but Sookie wasn’t fooled. When Bartlett Crowe called the Viking, asking him to accept the position of Clan Chief, Eric had expressed some reluctance. Both he and Sookie knew this meant Eric would be required to attend more meetings, be more present in the world of vampire politics. It was a title that had implications for Sookie as well. Had the title come to them even a year earlier, it might not have worked. Now, they both thought it would.
Sookie still had days when she wondered if her decision to step away from her more human sensibilities was the right one, but with each small triumph, triumphs like tonight in the Assizes Court, she became more certain. Alcee Beck had been back to the Hummingbird Road house as he’d promised. FBI agents had come as well. Each time, Sookie played her part as southern hostess. She served tea, offered cookies or cake, and repeated the story. Eric and she had been in Bon Temps at the time of the disappearance. They were motivated to be near Shreveport. While she was sorry to hear about Meg and Amelia, things had changed between them some time ago, and Sookie hadn’t seen either of the women, socially or otherwise, in close to a year in the case of Meg, and many years in the case of Amelia Broadway.
Each time she told the lie, it became easier, and she could hear how her own growing ease in telling the story was translated to greater credibility with her listener.
What was more, each time she demonstrated that her first loyalty was to Eric and their marriage, her Viking got happier. Almost overnight, the playful vampire who took things in stride had returned. When she chided him about socks on the floor, he teased her about making money selling them as souvenirs. “After all,” he’d smirked, “I am a Clan Chief!” He asked if his lovemaking had improved. She asked him how he fit his head through doors. He demonstrated his new and improved Clan Chief dance, which was more of a striptease. She demonstrated how the wives of Clan Chiefs could still make their husbands beg.
Now, as they drove home under the light of the moon and stars, music playing, and the Corvette’s engine humming, Sookie realized she was happy. It wasn’t temporary happy. It was a big life, every cell singing kind of happy. “I’m still not really sure how comfortable I am turning myself into a monster,” she told Eric.
“You can never be a monster,” he said quietly, reaching down to thread his fingers through hers. “You think of your Fae self as ugly or other. It is not, Lover. It is a strong part of you, and it is beautiful to me,” and he lifted her hand halfway to his lips, stopped, and instead settled it in his lap.
Sookie snorted, “I will be so happy when I don’t stink anymore!”
“Me, too,” her husband mumbled.
“Nice!” Sookie exclaimed, and taking her hand back, used it to swat him instead. She worried her lip a little, then asked, “You sure you want to come to the clinic all those times?” Tomorrow night, Sookie would be given the purple shot, the one that was supposed to jumpstart her ovaries. The telepath was expected to drive into Shreveport and check in at Jane’s clinic every night after for blood work and ultrasounds. Jane had assured her that within the next few days, they would be harvesting her eggs and her journey to becoming a mother would start. “Tara told me she would be happy to do it…” and Sookie trailed off at Eric’s hard look.
“I have told you that this is my place,” he said evenly. “I am your mate. I will not have you placed in any danger if I am not by your side.” He turned his head away from her, but Sookie could feel his determination as he said, “Your blood is mine, Älskade, I have told you this.”
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist,” Sookie huffed, “I‘m just trying to be nice here! Who knows what night it will be and you know what they said. It’ll take an hour or two and I’ll be right back home. The only thing you’ll be able to do is sit around and wait, and we both know how good you are at that!”
“Du är en smärta i röven!” Eric growled.
”I know what that means!” Sookie sniped back, ”and you are a bigger pain in my ass!”
”Enough!” he growled, and Sookie could feel he was actually angry. ”I will not be shut out of this!” his words were clipped. ”I will be with you!”
Sookie’s breath caught, ”Is that what you think I’m doing? Shutting you out?”
”No,” he said, but he didn’t take his eyes from the road. He was quiet for a bit, then he said, ”There is little enough that I can do in this matter. To drive you, be with you at this time, it is a small thing. It is important to me,” but as he said it, Sookie felt something from him. It wasn’t the first time. It was as if she could taste his reluctance.
Sookie nodded, ”Okay. I’ll tell Tara.” It was on the tip of her tongue to ask, ‘Do you even want this?’ Eric had said he did, but that was in Nebraska. It was a heady time and they were surrounded with plenty of odd stuff. Most times now, he seemed to be going along, but not exactly leading the charge, but instead, Sookie asked, ”Do you think the witches are really going to make trouble?”
”Yes,” he growled. He tightened the grip on the steering wheel, and Sookie was sure she felt disappointment from him. He relaxed his fingers, sighed and said, ”Yes, Lover, I do. I have been summoned to a meeting of the Chiefs to be held the second night of Moshup Summit. Already there are reports that there may be witches coming here to conduct their own investigation.”
”I’m kind of surprised they haven’t already,” Sookie replied.
”Your friend was not liked, Sookie,” Eric told her. ”Even among those witches who knew her in New Orleans, she made enemies. It was known she had money, and she had some skills. She refused to share any of those things with the sisters of the City, but she was the first to demand help when things weren’t going her way.”
”Same old Amelia,” Sookie shook her head. The telepath wanted to remember Amelia a different way. She wanted to remember the laughing woman who had lived in her upstairs rooms and made the house a less lonely place, but instead, she kept thinking about the way Amelia offered a room in her house to Octavia Fant without checking with Sookie first, and how much she’d hated Eric. ”Have you heard anything about Octavia Fant?” Sookie asked, the memory jogging something.
”The other witch is living in the City again,” Eric still wasn’t looking at her and Sookie could feel there was something he wasn’t saying.
”I’d like to talk with her, if that could be arranged,” and as soon as she said it, Eric did look at her then and it wasn’t in a good way. ”I can ask her questions, Eric! She and I got along, at least we had an understanding. There were times I thought we might even be friends if things had been different.”
”I will see,” he said, but Sookie knew he was really saying ’no.’
Sookie sighed, ”Look, Eric, if I let you be the one to give me that big-ass, gonna hurt like hell, shot in my butt tomorrow night, will you just tell me what’s bothering you?”
He didn’t rise to the bait. Instead, he gave her his Mr. Superior look, and said, ”Why would you ever think I would want to hurt you?”
”You really are going to make me work for this, aren’t you?” Sookie sighed. ”Well, okay then! Eric Northman, how about this?” and she unclipped her seatbelt and slid as closely as she could. Laying her head on his shoulder, she placed her hand over the place where his heart should be beating, and she said what was in her own heart as clearly and completely as she could.
”I love you, Eric. I get up every day knowing that the best part of my day comes when you open your eyes to me. It feels like a miracle because just when I don’t think my heart could hold any more love for you, somehow you do something, or you say something, that makes me love you just a little bit more.”
“You are telling me you think I’m pushing you away, but I don’t know how you feel about having a baby with me, not really.” Sookie felt him shift a little under her hand, so she stroked his shirt. ”I know I sprang this on you, and I know Niall has done everything he can to push things along. I know there is nothing you wouldn’t do for me, and that’s both a gift and a burden. I don’t ever want to take advantage of you, Eric. I don’t want you to ever do something you don’t want just to make me happy, but I have to be honest with you too.”
“I want you to know that the thought of growing a little bit of you inside of me? Of waking up in the morning to a new person who was made from us? It feels like a gift that I just can’t describe. It’s everything I ever wanted, growing up. A man I adore beside me and the family we made together all around us.” Sookie sniffed a little, ”Of course, we won’t grow old together, holding hands on the porch, but that’s okay. I get forever with you and that’s better than anything I ever could have imagined.”
Eric turned toward her, and kissing the top of her head said, ”Jag älskar dig, Sookie.”
”I love you, too,” she said. As Eric brought his hand to cover hers, Sookie felt Eric’s love for her. It wasn’t the words she wanted to hear, but in this moment, it felt like enough.
”Almost ready,” Jane announced, removing the ultrasound wand and handing Sookie some towelettes.
Eric stood near the head of the examination bed, ”Then you believe tomorrow?” he asked. They had been at the clinic for three nights in a row. It was four nights since the shot and Sookie was beginning to wonder if something wasn’t working. She spent her days cleaning and fretting, and her nights practicing and fretting some more.
”Yup, tomorrow it is!” Jane chirped. ”My nurse will give you a pamphlet explaining what I need you to do. No eating anything after noon, and I’m going to send you home with a mild sedative.” She looked at Eric, ”I would suggest you abstain from feeding from your mate when you rise tomorrow. I will expect to see you both here by 6:30.”
Sookie sighed as she rubbed goo from between her legs. Jane’s approach to this smacked of mad scientist glee and Sookie was having a hard time warming up to her. She knew that doctors sometimes struggled with bedside manner, look at Amy Ludwig, but Jane made Amy look like Wanda Warmth.
”Are you in distress?” Eric asked.
”Nope, not at all,” Sookie sighed again. Jane bowed to Eric and practically bounced out of the room. ”I should call her Doctor Frankenstein,” Sookie grumbled. When Eric raised his eyebrow, she just shrugged again, ”I can’t explain it. I guess I just thought I’d be more… excited.” Eric nodded, but Sookie could see that he didn’t understand.
As they had done the other nights they were sent home from the clinic, Eric drove them to Fangtasia. The crowds were larger. Word traveled that the King was appearing nightly and it drew interest. Sookie could hear the speculation as they walked in the door past the line of those waiting for entrance and the bowing bouncers. She scanned the crowd, screening for dangers. She heard two thinking about drug transactions. She heard the underage boys who hoped the rumors were true and that vampires were gay. She heard the police detective who was looking for clues. All these things she whispered to Indira when the small vampire embraced her.
Mustapha was waiting in the corner booth. He greeted Eric, then smirked at Sookie, ”Hey, Baby Fangs! I heard you gave quite the performance in Minden. Vampires here are saying when you get your mad on you look like Jaws on steroids.”
”It’s nice to see you, too, Mustapha,” Sookie said sweetly, then more quietly, ”By the way, the guards you sent over are working out fine. They’re nice folks. Thank you.”
”Why?” and he looked curious, ”Did you really think I’d send over people that would be hard to like? I’m not some folks. I don’t go out of my way to hire assholes.” Sookie laughed. She knew Mustapha was poking fun at Eric. Over the years, Eric had a tendency to hire day people who were efficient, but whose social graces could be lacking, including Mustapha.
”No, I didn’t expect a bunch of Bobby Burnhams, but they could have been different, so thank you!”
”You’re welcome,” the Packmaster answered sincerely. They watched as Indira’s people worked the floor, cleaning out each of the potential problems Sookie had identified. ”So,” and Mustapha looked at Eric, ”you all ready for Moshup?”
Eric nodded, ”Yes. I leave late next week. There was some thought that I should be there for the movie event, but I am reluctant to be away from my mate for too many nights. I am sending Thierry. He has business the first night, and Stan will be there. I will be in Boston for the talks the second night, and then I will come home.” He glanced at Sookie. They would be waiting by then, waiting to see if things were settled and she was with child.
”Don’t you worry none,” Mustapha grinned broadly. ”I got you covered during the day, and Indira arranged some extra folks at night. You remember Heidi, the tracker? Well, she volunteered to be around. And, of course, you got your own special watchdog.”
”Bubba is the best,” Sookie nodded. ”And funny! I had no idea he knew so many stories!”
”He is welcome everywhere,” Eric replied, but his eyes were scanning the crowd.
”What is it, Eric?” and Sookie squeezed his thigh under the table, a move that earned her an interested stare.
”It could be a trip to the office if you don’t move your hand,” he smiled. When she did, he looked disappointed, ”I can hear people talking about witches.”
”You think they’d come here?” Sookie scanned again, looking for the static signature she’d come to associate with magic minds.
”No, but I think we must be ready when they do present themselves,” and then he gave her his smirk, ”but that is not tonight, Lover. Are you feeling up to dancing with me?”
”I could take a turn or two,” Sookie smirked back and they slid from the booth. Sookie figured out the comment about the office wasn’t entirely in jest when the Viking’s hands firmly brought her hips back and she felt him, hard against her back. ”You need to take care of something first?” she whispered.
”It won’t take long,” he rumbled and they continued down the hallway and into his old office. He didn’t turn the lights on, but then again, he didn’t really need light to see. Sookie found herself herded forward and then bent over the desk. Eric pulled her skirt up and her panties were gone in a flash.
”You a little anxious, Cowboy?” she giggled, and then groaned as his head eased into her, gliding easily in the lubrication Jane had applied earlier. He groaned behind her, his hand smoothing over her bare cheeks, and then he slapped her right cheek just enough to have her clench down on him.
”I will miss this,” he growled. ”A month. A month without you holding me like this.”
Sookie had a moment when she wondered if she should be worried, but that moment flew away as he shifted one hand beneath to rub her clit and another above to massage her rear entrance, and she found her hands scrabbling to find something to hold on to as her blood roared in her ears and her walls contracted so hard around him he could barely move. She was calling out, but she wasn’t sure if she was saying words or just making incoherent noises as she felt him twisting and then twitching within her. He groaned, collapsing over her back, taking her hand in his, his weight pressing all around her, making her feel safe. The quick sheen of sweat that had formed on her skin started to evaporate and she felt the chill of the desk surface, ”Eric? We should go,” she breathed.
He flexed his hips, still semi-hard within her, ”We could just head home,” he purred, then lifted himself, kissing her neck in the process. He slipped from her then, and headed into the small bathroom to get some hand towels.
”Good thing I wore a skirt,” she sighed, lifting it to keep it from getting stained and accepting the towels he offered. He had a wet spot on his shirt and she knew she looked fucked out, so she shrugged and shot him a grin, ”Tell the fellas to get the car started, ‘cause I think we’re just warming up!”
Sookie couldn’t help thinking how handsome Eric looked, his head thrown back, laughing.
”If you don’t leave, we will call the police!” It was everything Bill could do not to growl and confirm what these humans thought of him.
Bill had walked into the Silent Witness office just after sundown. He tried explaining that he was Bill Compton, the famous author. He brought a copy of his book, a hardcover one so he could show the people in the office his picture.
The minute he walked in, he knew it would be an uphill battle. Two older women who were at desks near the front door of the little storefront had made ’eep’ noises and hustled their solid, sweatered bodies out the back door. A younger, unattractive woman stood up and crossed her arms while a middle-aged man with a balding head gave Bill a fierce look before demanding, ”What do you want here?”
Bill tried to explain his sincere interest in joining the group. He held up his book, pointing to his picture, ”I think you are right!” he said more than once, ”I want to help. I want to show that I do not agree with what vampires have done. Having me with you would be a powerful message.”
”You are a monster! You offend me just by standing there!” the younger women shrilled, ”If you had any decency, you’d just lay out and let the sun take you! You were meant to be dead, not walking around!”
The man’s face was equally closed, and Bill came to the conclusion that these humans would never be able to hear his words. He considered trying to glamour them, but just as quickly saw the camera, so he made a courtly bow, apologized for interrupting their evening, and left.
He turned on his Michael Bolton CD as he drove back to the palace. The plan had seemed so perfect. He’d drive into town, walk into the office, and they’d welcome him, the answer to their prayers, a vampire who hated being a vampire. ’This could still work,’ Bill thought, ’I just need someone who can make the introduction and who won’t take no for an answer,’ and he immediately thought of the offensive woman who was arranging the Moshup Summit, the one who had badgered him into coming out a week in advance. Turning down the music, he pushed the buttons that would dial the number and allow him to talk hands free.
”Don’t tell me you aren’t coming!” the snarly voice snapped, ”I’ll come down there and get you myself!”
”I am coming,” Bill quickly replied, then felt sour that he had so quickly come to heel for her. ”I’m calling because you told me you are a genius at arranging things, and I need something arranged.”
”It depends,” she now sounded cautious, and then she exclaimed, ”What is that sound? It sounds like cats humping!”
Bill hit the button that turned off the radio, ”I want to offer my services to the Silent Witnesses,” he told her. ”I tried to talk with the people here in Jackson but they refused to listen.”
”I’m surprised they didn’t just stake you!” Twy snorted, ”Not the most forward-thinking group. Is that all you want?”
”Well… yes,” Bill wondered what else she thought he wanted.
”As it turns out, this is my last gig for the events people,” Twy drawled. ”I have another gig that is going to have me traveling as soon as I’m done with your part, and it involves the Witnesses. Small world!”
”Are you going to represent them?” Bill wasn’t sure why that thought should concern him, other than he’d come to fear this woman’s abilities.
”Hell, no!” she snorted, ”Those people have chump change. Vampires are where the money is! I’m going to be working for your main squeezes, the Kings!”
”I don’t sleep with them,” Bill huffed, ”I watch over their house…”
”Potato, Po-tah-to,” he could see her finger-flipping in his mind’s eye, ”Anyway, the job involves getting conversations going with Witnesses, so you’re in luck. I can make some inquiries up here and I should be able to get you in to see them once you reach Boston.”
Bill turned it over more than once. She seemed so confident, he wondered what the angle would be, but when he realized she was waiting for an answer, he said, ”That would be great. I’ll see you next week.”
”I’ll have a car waiting for you at Logan. Look for the driver this time. The sign will say, ’Compton,’ and before Bill could snarl, she had terminated the call. Bill turned the volume back up. It was his favorite passage, the clarinet playing over the sound of the orchestra. ’It’s all coming together,’ he thought, ’I’ll be standing with them, accepted as being more human. I’ll be on the right side of the barricade and once Northman is gone, she’ll understand.’
”She’s fine,” and Amy Ludwig placed her hand on Eric Northman’s arm, a rare show of affection. ”She tolerated the anesthesia well and we were able to harvest a…well, a really amazing number of eggs. That place of yours in Bon Temps must be fertility central. I don’t think you have a thing to worry about!”
Eric wanted to thank her, but he wasn’t sure he could get the words past the lump in his throat. He was surprised, and then angry when they told him he couldn’t stay with her. It had taken Sookie backing him up and practically ordering him to pull his shit together to get him to stay in the waiting area. ”You can sit with her while she comes out of the anesthesia, if you want.”
Dr. Ludwig didn’t need his answer. She walked, knowing he followed. When she opened the door to the room, he was beside her, holding her hand, his eyes on her face. Amy smiled and turned to leave, but stopped when he said, ”I have questions.”
”You could ask Jane,” she shrugged. It seemed logical to the Doctor that Northman should ask Jane. After all, Jane had been his Sheriff.
”She is too pleased at the possibility of earning her Nobel Prize,” he snarled, ”I’d rather ask you.”
Amy walked back to stand next to the Viking. He looked more stable now that he was in physical contact with his woman. ”You have two minutes, Deader, ask away.”
”How is it that this baby is truly a part of me? I have never heard of a tooth making a child.” He didn’t look at her, but he didn’t need to. Amy wondered how long he had been trying to figure this out.
”It’s not your tooth anymore,” she told him. ”They have a way to extract the cells, the building blocks from your tooth. That’s what will be used.”
”Will it be me?” He squinted, and then said, ”Me as I am now?”
”Vampire?” Amy asked. When he nodded, she said, ”No. Those cells from your tooth were you in your human life. Becoming vampire doesn’t change your DNA, those building blocks, it covers them up with a blanket of magic that reanimates them.”
”Then why do some of us have gifts?” Eric asked, ”Gifts we did not have as humans?”
”You really have been giving this some thought,” the doctor chuckled. ”Nearest I can figure, the magic gets its own set of building blocks. Some of you get a little extra, but it doesn’t change the fundamentals, what’s down below. Now, you will need to exchange during the pregnancy. You both need it, and that blood exchange may have some effect on the baby, but as far as I can tell, this will be a mostly human child.” When the vampire didn’t ask more, the Doctor thought to give him one more piece of information. ”You know Phoebe Golden?” Eric glanced at her, ”She’s doing her own research and sharing the results. Your father-in-law is involved. He is letting her use Fae.”
Eric almost asked why the Doctor considered that important enough to tell him, but Sookie chose that moment to make a noise. She groaned a little, then groaned more. ”Oops!” the Doctor smiled, ”You’re going to need this!” and handing Eric a basin, she left the room. Sookie started to make a sound that Eric recognized and he helped his wife roll on to her side so she could be sick in the basin. She smelled terrible, and her nausea made it worse. Eric wished he had chosen to hold his breath, but now it was too late and all he could do was stop breathing to minimize the effects. A nurse bustled in. She left, but returned shortly with a clean basin. She swapped it out and handed Eric a covered cup of water with a straw.
”She’ll be out of it for a little while longer,” The nurse announced. She checked Sookie’s vitals and said, ”She’s fine. Jane will be here in just a minute.”
Eric watched the nurse’s retreating back, and when he turned his eyes back, it was to find Sookie looking at him. ”Hi,” she said weakly.
“Lover,” he purred, and stroked her face. He smoothed her sweaty hair from her forehead. She looked pale.
”I bet I look like a car wreck on a Saturday afternoon,” his wife mumbled, her words slightly slurring.
”Why not Saturday night?” he asked. These descriptive flourishes of her usually had a point.
”Because if it was night, you couldn’t see just how bad it looks,” she chuckled.
”Are you in pain?” he asked. He couldn’t feel discomfort from her, but, then again, the sedative worked to suppress their bond.
”Nope,” she shook her head, then drew her eyebrows together, ”Nope, no pain. Just woozy.”
”There she is!” Jane said brightly as she walked through the door, ”You feel up to talking?”
”Sure!” Sookie drawled. Eric didn’t think Sookie looked ready for any kind of conversation, but Jane didn’t ask him. When his wife tried to sit up, he put his arm under her shoulders and gently lifted, careful not to disturb the needle and line that ran from her arm. He positioned himself on the edge of the bed and pulled her to rest against him, protecting her from the metal headboard.
”Everything went really well,” Jane enthused, ”I sure wasn’t expecting this many eggs, so we have plenty for this try and we’ll freeze the rest. That way next time we can try right away.”
”I’m a good egg maker!” Sookie giggled at Eric, sounding more drunk than sleepy.
”You sure are,” Jane was sounding giddy, too. ”And we should be ready to get this started the night after tomorrow. You’ll come back, and we can have you in and out in under an hour. No anesthesia next time, and you don’t have to starve yourself.’
”Good!” his wife giggled some more, ”Because right now, I could use a big steak!” and then she jerked a little, and Eric had just enough time to tip her over the basin again.
”Guess she doesn’t do well with anesthesia,” Jane sniffed. ”She should be over that in the next half hour or so. Feed her anything she wants. Oh, and you should have sex, as much as possible over the next two nights. It will prepare her for implantation. Nothing too crazy of course, and if she had some residual tenderness from today, avoid whatever activity hurts, but it does help.”
Eric was confused. They had been told different things at different times. He had thought their sex life would be cut off earlier, once the purple shot was administered. When that turned out not to be accurate, he was told sex needed to end once the harvesting was done. Now he was being told to have sex often. “You are sure?” He asked.
“Orgasm brings on a thickening of her inner walls. It will make implantation easier, so, the more she reaches completion, the better your chances,” and Jane winked.
Eric anticipated Sookie’s furious blush. She was bold in bed, but she held that Southern sensibility that prevented her from talking about those things in public. He felt her shake and turning her, realized she wasn’t embarrassed, she was laughing. ”Guess I’ll get to fill that ol’ jar to overflowing!” she chortled.
”Jar?” Jane asked.
”It’s a private joke,” Eric smiled, but Sookie threw her head back, smacking the back of her skull against his shoulder blade.
”My orgasm jar!” she announced. ”I fill it up so when he’s not around I have some for later,” and she rolled her head so she could see him. ”Right, sweetie?” Sookie’s eyes were a little glassy and her breath smelled like a refuse can.
”When can we head home?” Eric asked.
”As soon as she stops taking her clothes off,” Jane laughed. Sookie was, indeed, trying to strip the johnny from her shoulder. Jane stepped forward, expertly removing the needle, and holding up Sookie’s forearm for Eric’s lick.
”I would like the room,” Eric told Jane, and the Viking wrapped his protesting wife up in his arms, preventing her from disrobing further. It took a combination of substituting clothes, promises about things he would do to her, and her re-emergence from her anesthesia-induced wantonness to get Sookie ready for the drive back home. There had been talk of getting a hotel room in Shreveport, but, in the end, they decided Sookie would be more comfortable resting between procedures in her own bed. One concession they had made was to use a town car instead of Eric’s Corvette.
Once they were underway, Eric helped Sookie bring her legs up on the bench seat and he drew her into his lap. ”You are sure you are well, Älskade?” he asked.
“Damn, why’d I have to be such a hussy in front of Jane?” Sookie groaned.
“Why would you treat her any differently than you treat everyone else, Lover?” Eric chuckled and was rewarded by hearing Owen, who was driving them, chuckle, too.
“You’re an asshole!” Sookie grumbled. “I should throw up on you again for that!”
“I can think of different ways to get dirty,” Eric replied.
“Well, apparently so can I and I’m willing to tell everyone and their brother about it!” Sookie rolled her eyes, and then cuddled her face into his shirt, “Just tell me when we’re home. I don’t think I can take any more self-humiliation in one night.” Being Sookie, she made good on her promise. Her breathing evened out and her mouth fell a little open.
“Everything go okay?” Owen asked, glancing in the rearview.
“She did well,” Eric nodded, hugging his wife a little closer.
When they arrived at the house, Bubba came down the stairs to open the car door. Eric was out of the car with Sookie in his arms and he carried her into the house. He set her down on a chair in their suite, one that was close to the bathroom, and then he rushed to start the bath water. The plan was to undress his wife and bathe her before taking her to bed. He had not anticipated they would be able to have sex, but since having a great deal of sex was now the doctor’s orders, he thought he’d be up for the challenge.
Eric glanced to make certain the oils and soaps his wife preferred were nearby. They would not entirely cover the smell the hormone injections created, but they did make a temporary difference. Eric remembered not to add oils to the water itself. He didn’t wish to risk any infection, although he would exchange as soon as Sookie was able. That would prevent any complications. He disrobed and headed back into the bedroom to find the chair empty.
It only took a moment to locate her, her heartbeat drawing him to the office on the other side of their fireplace. She was standing there, leaning against the doorframe. “I was thinking bunnies,” she said.
“Bunnies?” He thought she must be talking about getting a pet, although rabbits seemed an odd choice.
“For decorating his room,” she smiled in a way that let him know she was still half intoxicated, “Little bunnies, hopping across the walls and over the floor. There are all kinds of sweet bed sets. Not Disney bunnies, though. More Beatrix Potter bunnies, like Peter Rabbit.”
“You think a boy should be surrounded by bunnies?” he asked, realizing that Sookie was serious about converting his office into a baby’s room.
“Why? What do you think would be better? Super heroes?” and she scrunched her face up until she resembled a bunny, and then her eyes opened and her mouth became an ‘o.’ Eric knew this face. She’d thought of something she thought would needle him, and she exclaimed ‘Thor! We can do the whole room in Norse God!”
Eric growled playfully, “Now, Sookie, you know there is only one blond boy toy allowed in this house, and it’s not Thor!” He scooped her up in his arms, not sure if she was up to being tossed over his shoulder as she deserved. “So, let’s get you into your own personal fjord, and we can play find the longboat until you remember who that is.” Eric tossed her in his arms once, and when she shrieked with laughter, did it again, before standing her up beside the tub and helping her out of her clothes.
As he settled her back against his chest in the warm water, pressing her head to rest against his shoulder, she giggled, hiccupped, and then giggled again. “What, Lover?” he asked, amused by her amusement.
“Bunny boy!” she snorted. He wasn’t sure why she found it so funny, but she was laughing, so Eric shifted forward, and together they found something that amused them both.