“Good evening,” Eric said, wrapping his arms around her when he opened his eyes to find Sookie snuggled to his side watching TV.
She struggled to sit up for a few moments before Eric carefully helped her. Immediately she began chewing on her bottom lip nervously.
“Fuck, did something happen?” He asked on high alert.
“Not that I know of. I haven’t registered anyone. I kept my shields down all day, even when I slept so I’d know if anyone came near. I’ve been worried all day that we’d be found. I’m so sorry, Eric. I didn’t know.”
Sookie’s lip started to quiver and Eric quickly sat up pulling her into his lap.
“I know you didn’t. I should have explained it to you. Speaking of your phone,” he said rubbing her back. ” Do you happen to know how the GPS somehow got turned off on your phone?”
Nodding her head, Sookie leaned her head against his shoulder.
“It was Jason,” she softly laughed. “Right after Alcide died I got a new phone. He thought he was turning it on, but with what we found out last night it seems he did the opposite. He never trusted Bill, and was afraid Bill would try something crazy and with how delusional he was in the end I’m surprised he didn’t. I guess it’s a good thing Jason ended up disabling it.”
“Yes, I’ll have to thank your brother for his stupidity,” he chuckled from the top of Sookie’s head.
“You be nice,” she said swatting playfully at his arm.
“I will, however, he isn’t getting his hands on your next phone.”
“What’s wrong with the phone I have now?” Sookie huffed.
“Nothing, but it would make me feel better if you’d let me buy you a new one with more security features,” he stated, looking her in the eyes to let her know how important it was to him.
“We’ll see,” she replied not giving in right away, and laid her head on his shoulder once again.
“What time do you have to leave for work?”
“Never,” he replied simply.
This time it was Sookie who pulled back. “What are you talking about? I don’t expect you to drop everything from your life. I know you have a job to do and people who depend on you.”
“You and this baby are my everything,” he vowed, punctuating first with a kiss to her forehead, then her nose, and finally her lips. “I told Pam last night that I was done.”
“What?” She questioned while her eyes filled with tears from his sweet words. “I can’t let you do that. Pam already hates me. I don’t want to give her another reason.”
“She doesn’t hate you…” He started to say more, but Sookie’s incredulous look stopped him. “Anyway, she was expecting it. Probably even secretly happy about it now that she can replace me. According to Pam, over the last few years I’ve been bad for business.
“Sookie,” he said cupping her cheek. “I’m not about to waste any more of my time sitting on that throne at Fangtasia being miserable for one more night now that I finally have you in my life.”
“I already told you that I stayed here for you and no other reason. I’ve made enough money throughout my lifetime and with the interest it’s making, not even Pam could spend it all. I only spent my nights at Fangtasia because I had nothing better to do. Are you getting bored with me already?” He asked with mock hurt.
“I don’t think there will ever come a day where I’ll be bored with you. You, Eric Northman, are anything but boring,” Sookie spoke, looking at him with more love in her eyes than he had ever seen before.
“It makes me very happy to hear you say that because I plan to spend the rest of my nights with you.”
“Eric,” Sookie tried to interrupt.
“Let’s not discuss your mortality right now. I believe you are meant to live longer than the regular human life span and most probably will with your fairy genes. What I don’t know is how long that will give us.”
Eric saw and felt that Sookie wanted to interrupt and most probably disagree. He placed one long finger against her lips.
“It’s a discussion for another time. What I want to talk about with you is where do you see us once we are sure you’re safe from the fairies?”
“Um,” Sookie started, but then mashed her lips together while she looked at anything but him.
“Sookie?” Eric asked confused.
“I thought together. I thought that’s what you wanted,” she spoke barely above a whisper while tears formed.
“NO! I didn’t mean it like that,” Eric tightened his embrace, bringing Sookie flush against his chest. “Please don’t cry,” he said in a pained tone when he felt her tears splash against his arm. “We are together for the end of days. I will never let you go now that I finally have you. What I meant is where do you want to live? Do you want to stay here, be in Bon Temps, or someplace new?”
“That’s what you meant?” She asked with a sniff against his chest. Sookie felt him nod against the top of her head. “I’m not sure. I always thought that I’d live in Bon Temps all my life and although it holds some good memories, there are many, many bad ones too. I lived with Dirk in my house, the house that you bought and fixed up for me, and it feels so wrong. Would we live together?” She asked, almost afraid of his answer. What if he didn’t want to live with her?
“I will be wherever you are, live wherever you are. Sookie, I know I haven’t explained about bonding, but if you choose to, it will bind us together forever. It is unbreakable and a stronger commitment than marriage. I know marriage is or was important to you and I’m not trying to trivialize human marriage. I will bind myself to you in any and all ceremonies to show the world that you are mine. I want you to understand the importance and symbolization of what bonding means to me and the supernatural world. It’s more than marriage. It’s truly becoming one.”
“When are you going to tell me all about this bonding business if it’s so important to you?” Sookie asked curiously. She couldn’t understand why he hadn’t told her about it. Did he really think she would say no?
“We are in no hurry, min älskade. This is something that will have to wait until after the baby is born. It is important, but it is not something to be rushed. Besides we have other decisions we need to make about our lives, like, where we are going to live.”
Sookie nodded her head in agreement. “What are my options?”
“Options? You can live wherever you want,” Eric answered.
“That’s too much. I’ve hardly been out of Louisiana. I’m not the right person to make the call on where to live.”
“So you’re thinking you want to live outside of Louisiana?” Eric couldn’t tell which way Sookie was leaning. All he knew through their tie was that she was uncertain.
“I don’t know,” she said frustrated. “Shouldn’t this be a decision for the both of us, not just me? Where do you want to live? Give me some options. Don’t tell me anywhere.”
“Alright,” he replied and started to rub his thumb over the top of her hand. “Beside the safe houses throughout Louisiana, I have houses in New York, Los Angeles, a farm in Öland, Sweden, an apartment in Paris, a vineyard in Rhone Valley, and a plantation in Barbados. You can choose any one of those or …”
“Don’t say it,” Sookie interrupted, putting her index finger against his cool, pink lips. “That’s plenty to choose from.” She couldn’t help but notice how his eyes lit up when he mentioned Sweden.
“I’ve always loved the sun,” she said with a grin. “I think I’d like Barbados.” She watched as he nodded his head slightly and the light in his eyes died a little. “Does that sound good to you?”
“If that’s where you want to go.”
“Eric,” Sookie sighed as she grabbed his hand in both of hers. “Why do you have a house in Barbados if you don’t like it there?”
“I like it just fine, but to answer your question, the reason I own that particular property is that it was given to me to pay a debt. I’ve used it a few times over the last two hundred years when I needed a place to hide out. No one expects a vampire to be hiding on an island in the Caribbean.”
“And you’d be fine living there?” She asked skeptically.
“Yes,” he answered tilting his head to the side, his hair falling into his eyes.
Removing one of her hands from the hand she was holding, Sookie removed the hair from his eyes and smiled up at him.
“I don’t want for us to live in Barbados and I know that you don’t either. If we lived there I imagine we’d have less time together because of the sunlight. We’ve been apart for too long and I want to spend as much time with you as possible.”
“I want that too,” he replied quietly before leaning down and kissing her lightly on the lips.
Sookie’s face lit up as she smiled at him.
“I want to say Sweden because I’d love to know the area that you come from, and there is no hiding that it’s where you truly want to live out of all the places you mentioned, but I’ve lived in Louisiana my whole life and I’m not sure that I would be able to stand the cold winters there. ”
“I’ll buy you the warmest clothes that are out there for the cold months and promise to keep you warm. It isn’t cold there year round but the winters will be cold. I don’t think children should grow up without seeing and playing in snow,” he replied, spreading his hand across her pregnant belly.
“I already agreed,” Sookie said with a laugh. “You don’t need to guilt trip me into going. I do have one question though.”
“I’ll answer anything you only have to ask.”
“I know the vampire hierarchy is still a mess here, but I know nothing of Sweden or any other countries. Will we be safe there?”
Feeling her concern and fear, Eric explained as he rubbed Sookie’s lower back. “Sweden was probably one of the countries that was least affected by Hep V. They have clubs that cater specifically for vampires to feed. The king, who’s a friend of mine, pays anyone who’s a donor quite well and it is mandatory for their blood to be tested weekly for them to continue working. Also, the countries in the Old World are quite progressive and are much more accepting toward vampires. It’s one of the safest places we could possibly live. No one will bother us there.”
“If that’s the case then why didn’t you go there when you left there?” Sookie asked after a low moan escaped her lips when Eric hit a particularly sore spot.
“I was there for a while. That’s where I was when I caused the avalanche I told you about. Not where we are going, but in Northern Sweden and after I was finally healed enough, I set out to be even more reckless with my life. There was no way I was going to stay in Sweden where Gedeon would try to set me straight.”
“I wish I had been there for you after Nora had died,” Sookie said quietly. “I didn’t know until it was too late that it was your sister who was sick. Bill never mentioned it was her. If I had known, I wouldn’t have hidden Warlow in that weird fairy, in-between portal place.”
Eric growled at the mention of Warlow’s name and his hand stopped massaging her lower back. Sookie struggled to turn around, and finally succeeded only to see Eric’s face taut with a tick in his jaw.
“Hey,” she said caressing his face. “I’m sorry to bring up these sensitive subjects. I wasn’t thinking and I shouldn’t have.”
“You don’t need to censor yourself. Yes, it’s hard to remember that time in my undead life and I don’t like thinking about you with…”
“Don’t,” Sookie leaned up and stopped him with a kiss. “Let’s talk about something else. Something happy.”
“What would you like to talk about?” He asked, relaxing a little bit more.
“When can we move?” Sookie asked with a bubbly excitement.
A slow grin curled at Eric’s lip at seeing and feeling Sookie so happy.
“I missed feeling you,” he said as he ran his knuckles across her cheek. “I’m not sure when we can move. We need this business with the fairies taken care of first. I don’t want them coming after you while we are on a farm where there’s no one around for miles and miles, and possibly during the day. I don’t know anything about pregnancy, but I do know that long flights over the Atlantic are stressful on the human body and that can’t be good with the baby. When’s your next doctor appointment? We can ask the doctor when the latest you can travel during your pregnancy is or after the baby is born.”
“You plan on being there for the doctor appointment?”
It was obvious to Eric that Sookie was surprised by his statement, but why would she be?
“Unless you don’t want me to be. Is that what you want?”
“No,” Sookie shook her head. “No. I’d love for you to be there. I was just surprised that you’d want to be, that you were planning on being there. It makes me happy.”
“Why would you be surprised?” Eric asked looking down at her confused.
“Dirk never went to any of my appointments or even seemed minutely interested in going. He never cared.” Her eyes filled with tears and she cradled her stomach, stroking it as if she was protecting it from the knowledge that his father never cared.
“I care, Sookie. I want to be at every appointment. I want to be a part of this baby’s life. If you will let me, I want to be your son’s father.”
“Eric,” Sookie sobbed out.
“You don’t want me to be,” he stated, bringing his hand up to touch her pregnant belly, but pulled back just before touching her.
Sookie grabbed his hand, placing it on her stomach. “I want you to be his father. I just…”
Taking in a deep breath, Sookie looked down. “I didn’t think you’d want to be his father.”
“Hey,” Eric said as he lifted her chin with his finger. “I love you and I will love this baby. I already love him. He’s a part of you.”
“You love him?” she whispered as a tear fell.
“I do. I love him and I love you, but I’m going to need your help to do this.”