The last couple of weeks had flown by, and Eric and I had spent more time together in these past two weeks than ever before. Eric had set up Wednesdays and Saturdays for his sheriff duties, and, with giving Pam the bar, he had significantly more free time.
We had actually been able to spend time being a real couple, something we’d never had before. Eric had taken me out to eat a few times, shopping for maternity clothes, we cuddled up on the couch and watched movies, looked at baby things on the Internet, and talked.
We were getting to know each other again and better than ever. I didn’t think it was possible, but each day I fell in love with him more and more. We’d talked about everything. All the things that we wished we had talked about when we were together before but didn’t, about my childhood, when Eric was human, and many of his adventures over his lifetime.
Tonight we had an appointment with Dr. Ludwig and we were going to find out the sex of our baby. Neither one of us cared if it was a boy or a girl, but I wanted to know so we could start deciding on a name, decorating the nursery, and buying everything the baby would need.
After the doctor’s appointment, we needed to go to Fangtasia since it was Wednesday and Eric had a few meetings scheduled. I figured with Eric busy, Pam and I could discuss decorating the nursery since we’d know if it was a boy or a girl.
I was already dressed, had eaten dinner, and was pacing the kitchen by the time Eric rose. He walked into the room already dressed and feeling disappointed.
“I don’t like waking up without you in bed,” he said, while sticking out his lower lip in a pout. There was nothing more ridiculous or cute than seeing that pout!
I giggled before replying, “I’m sorry, I’m just really anxious for this doctor appointment, and I knew if I was in bed when you woke we’d probably miss the appointment.”
Eric looked at me with a mock expression of hurt on his face. “I can be quick, Lover. We still have time,” he said while waggling his eyebrows.
“You are never quick in bed. I promise we will have plenty of time later. Would you like a TruBlood before we go?”
“No, I’ll wait until later,” he said still pouting.
We arrived at the doctor’s office a short while later. Eric had started to drive slower, still fast, but slower, while I was in the car. He thought it might be bad for the baby with how nervous I always was when he drove, which was totally fine with me.
We checked in at the front desk and were directed to a room to wait for Dr. Ludwig. I sat on the table and Eric brought over a chair, sat down, and held my hand.
Eric laced our fingers together and smiled at me. “You’re excited. I like feeling you like this,” he said.
“Are you forgetting that I can feel just how happy and excited you are?” I replied.
“I’m not,” he shook his head. “I was just thinking how happy you’ve been since you’ve been back, how happy we both are. We didn’t have enough of that before.”
“No, we didn’t,” I said while smiling at him. “We’re different now. Right? We’re going to talk to each other about everything and not hide anything.” I said with a raised eyebrow. “I know you’re keeping something from me.”
Eric sat back in his seat with his arms crossed over his chest. It was hard to be mad at him when he did this and I think he knew it too. Seeing his biceps bulge and his pecs through his shirt made me want to drool, but I was not falling prey to my hormones. We had agreed to not hide anything, and he was already hiding something from me. It had only been a couple of days, but he was worried about something.
Eric had just opened his mouth when Dr. Ludwig walked in. He had better not think that I was going to forget about this.
“How are you doing, little girl?” Dr. Ludwig asked.
“Are you sleeping alright?” I nodded. “No nausea?”
“Are you still exchanging blood at least once a week?” I nodded again.
She proceeded to check my vitals and do all her own weird hands-on testing. I’m pretty sure that if most people went to a doctor where they licked the palm of your hand and held one hand over your stomach and one on your forehead while closing their eyes, they would consider that doctor a quack, but I trusted Dr. Ludwig to know what she was doing. Although Eric didn’t seem to like it, at least this time he was keeping quiet and not acting out aggressively toward her. I could feel through the bond he was feeling possessive, but he was keeping that between us.
“Are you ready to see your baby?”
“Yes,” I said enthusiastically.
Dr. Ludwig smiled at little at me. “You need to pull your pants down to your hip bone and lift your shirt up until it’s right underneath your breasts.” I did as she told me to, excited to see our baby.
“I’m going to squirt some gel onto your stomach and it’s going to be a little cold.”
She squirted the cold gel on me and I squeaked a little. Eric sat forward and glared at the doctor.
“I’m fine, Eric. It’s just really cold.”
“If you two are done overreacting, let’s get a look at this baby.”
Dr. Ludwig placed the wand on my belly and started moving it around. A black and white image came up on the screen. I couldn’t really see a baby, but I wasn’t going to let on if everyone else could. She clicked around for a few minutes.
“I’m all through with measuring the baby and everything looks good. Right here is the heart,” she said while pointing to the screen where it looked as if a light was flashing.
“That’s the heart?” I asked.
“It is,” she smiled and clicked a button. We could then hear the heartbeat pulsing along with the light flickering on the screen. Eric squeezed my hand and I looked over at him. He was captivated with the image on the screen.
“Are you ready to know if it’s a girl or a boy?”
“Yes,” I said while gripping Eric’s hand a little tighter.
She chuckled while she said, “You’re going to have your work cut out for you.”
I looked from the screen to her. “Why? Is something wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong. You’re having a girl,” she said with a smile.
“A girl?” I asked as tears filled my eyes. I was having a girl. A little girl.
After a few moments, I finally tore my eyes away from the screen to look at Eric. He was staring at the screen with eyes rimmed in red. I tried to understand what he was feeling, but he had way too many emotions swirling around in the bond for me to be able to tell.
Eric looked down at me and gave me a sweet smile before he leaned down and lightly kissed my lips, and then each of my eyes. He raised his head just enough to look me in the eyes.
“We’re having a girl,” he whispered. I nodded my head and wrapped my arms around him. A few more tears escaped before I let go of my hold on him. Eric wiped my tears away with the pads of his thumbs after he stood up.
“I’ll print out the pictures for you and they will have a video ready for you at the front desk when you make your next appointment. Just clean yourself up and you’ll be ready to go,” she said. “Unless you have any questions for me.”
“No, but thank you, Doctor.”
She smiled and walked out of the room leaving us alone. We both smiled at each other while I cleaned the gel off my stomach and put my clothes back in place. Before we could head out the door, Eric pulled me into his body and hugged me tightly, but with care for my growing bulge. “I love you, my wife,” he whispered from the top of my head before he placed a kiss and let me go.
Once we arrived at Fangtasia, there was already someone waiting to meet with Eric. He walked me over to our booth before going back to his office for his appointment. I still couldn’t believe that Eric had handed over Fangtasia to Pam so nonchalantly. I always thought he enjoyed being the center of attention with all the fangbangers groveling at his feet or even just looking at him.
Eric signaled for Pam to come and sit with me while he had his meetings. This might be her bar now, but he was still her Master, and he wanted to make sure nothing happened to me when he couldn’t be with me.
“I’ll be out as soon as my meetings are over,” he said, and then placed a kiss on my temple before heading to his office.
Pam had already slipped into the booth across from me with a bored expression on her face.
“So?” Pam said with the same eyebrow-like raise that Eric did. It seemed that the more one spent time with him, the more one developed this particular habit. I was even finding myself doing it more often these days.
“Don’t play games with me, Sookie. Do you know how stressed and busy I’ve been since taking over this place? So just tell me what you found out at the doctor’s office.”
“She said everything’s fine with the baby… oh, I have a picture. Video too, but if you want to see it you’ll have to wait until you come over to the house.”
I dug into my purse, pulling out first one, and then the rest of the pictures, handing them over to Pam.
“I don’t know what I’m looking at here, Sookie.”
I pointed out the spine, the heart that looked kind of like a void, the arms, leg, hands, and feet.
“That’s all very nice, but what I want to know is if that baby,” she pointed to my stomach. “Has a penis or a vagina.” She said deadpanned.
I nearly spit out my ginger ale all over the table and Pam. She definitely wouldn’t have appreciated that.
“It’s going to be a girl.”
Pam got a mischievous look on her face while looking down the hallway toward Eric’s office.
“Good. Think of all the things I can buy for a girl. You’re going to let me decorate the nursery. I already have ideas,” Pam said, looking excited.
“Do I get any say in the nursery?”
“No,” she said. “Let me handle it. You’ll love it. You should be resting.”
“I’m not that pregnant. Just don’t let it be overrun with pink. If it’s too pink, Eric may never go into the room.”
“How much do you think he’s going to be around the baby?” she said, looking at me critically.
“If he wants to be around me …” I started to say, but then I paused wondering. “Did he say something to you? Does he not want to be around the baby?”
I think Pam could hear the slight panic in my voice so she tried to correct herself.
“He hasn’t said anything to me. I’ve barely spoken with him since you’ve been back. I just can’t see anyone wanting to be around a smelly baby.”
“Babies don’t smell bad. They actually smell good. You’ll see. Are you sure he hasn’t said anything?”
“I’m sure. I’ve never felt him happier in all of my existence. You must be doing something right with all the time you’ve been spending together.”
“We are both very happy,” I said with a smile. “We never really got to spend this much time together except when Eric couldn’t even remember himself. Can you tell me anything about what you have planned for the nursery now that you know it’s going to be a girl?”
For the next thirty minutes Pam told me some of the ideas she had and even let me put my two cents in every once in a while. I knew she’d do a great job because she lived to shop, and it made me happy that she was at least excited about the baby in one aspect.
“Have you talked to Amelia about the baby shower?” I asked her. I felt Eric’s rage through the bond for a few moments, and then it quickly went to worry and fear. He closed the off bond to me when he felt my own fear and worry.
“Pam, what’s going on?”
“I don’t know,” she said, looking down the hallway.
“Go find out. He’s closed off the bond from me. He never does that.”
“I cannot leave you. We will just have to wait until his meeting is over. I’ll know if he is in any danger.”
I was just getting ready to argue with Pam that I would be fine for a few minutes when I noticed Bill walking in. I hadn’t seen Bill since I left the hospital after the fairy war. He was still a little gray, but he looked much better.
I had been meaning to go see him, but I hadn’t been back to Bon Temps since my first lunch with Amelia. I had called Sam a few times to meet with him so we could talk, but he always gave me excuses about being too busy with work or his girlfriend. Amelia had told me that the bar wasn’t any busier than it usually was, so we decided that he just didn’t want to see me. I left him a message telling him to call me when he wanted to see me and I hadn’t heard back from him. Ever since then Amelia, Jason, and I had been meeting in Shreveport and Monroe to go out to eat. I had totally forgotten about going to see Bill and I felt a little bad about it.
I watched Bill order a TruBlood at the bar, and, when he spotted me, he walked over to the booth.
“Pam,” he nodded to her. “Sookie,” he nodded at me then. “I had heard you were back, but I haven’t seen you at your house or at Merlotte’s. I thought it was just a rumor, but I see it is not.” I could see that it had hurt Bill that I hadn’t made any effort to see or talk to him.
“I’m sorry, Bill. I haven’t been back long, but I should’ve at least called you,” I looked over at Pam. “I’m sure Bill will be happy to sit with me and catch up while you go check on Eric.”
“You’re always trouble, my dear friend,” Pam said with a smirk. “Bill, don’t let anything happen to her or my Master will end you.”
“I would never let anything happen to Sookie,” Bill said, giving us his most boring look. I had forgotten how boring Bill was. Eric and Pam were always so full of life.
Bill watched Pam until she had disappeared down the hallway to talk.
“How long have you been back? Why haven’t I seen you at your house in Bon Temps?”
I knew that he also meant that my scent was not there, but he knew I found it creepy when vampires talked about smelling people, and I hated it when he creeped around my house.
“I’ve been back a little over two weeks. Again, I’m sorry I haven’t contacted you. I really should have, but I’ve been busy. How’d you hear I was back?”
“Merlotte’s. I heard people saying that you had come into have lunch one day with Amelia. There was very little talk, and as I said, I hadn’t seen you so I thought it was rumor. You haven’t been back to your house,” he noted. “Are you going back to wherever it is you’ve been hiding?”
I ignored the snide tone in his question and replied, “I’m living here in Shreveport now.”
“Why not Bon Temps?”
“I gave the house to Amelia,” I explained. “It’s hers and has been for a while now.”
“Why would you do that? You love that house. It always meant so much to you. Did you need the money or something? I would gladly help you.”
“I don’t need the money. I gave it to her because she wanted to stay in Bon Temps and I knew she would take care of the house.”
“Will you tell me where you’ve been?”
“No,” I said curtly, hoping to cut his questions off there, but of course Bill took no notice.
“Will you tell me why you left?”
“I left because I couldn’t use my shields after I went home from the hospital. Everyone’s thoughts were driving me crazy. I wasn’t planning to be gone as long as I was, but circumstances changed, and then I wasn’t going to come back.”
We sat there looking at each other for a few minutes. When Bill realized that I was done he looked at me, exasperated. “That’s it?” I nodded. “Can you at least tell me why you chose to live in Shreveport of all places?”
“Because my husband lives here.”
“You got married?” He asked with narrowed eyes and a disapproving tone. “Who’s your husband?”
“I am,” Eric said. I scowled at him. He still had the bond silenced. He put his arm around my shoulders and kissed my temple.
“Be serious, Eric. Has she told you where she was?”
“I know where she was,” Eric said in a nonchalant tone.
“Who are you married to, Sookie?”
“She’s married to me, Bill, I already told you,” Eric said, waving his left hand in the air showing off his wedding band.
Bill looked more shocked than I had ever seen him and actually gasped. “Sookie, you didn’t have to marry him! I would have protected you!”
“Bill,” I said, shaking my head. “Eric and I have been married for over a year. You know that.”
“But you’ve never acknowledged him as your husband before, and he hasn’t ever worn a wedding band.” Bill sat puzzled for a minute before muttering. “I feel like I’m in the ‘Twilight Zone.’”
Eric chuckled and pulled me closer to him.
“Not that it’s any of your business, but we talked over some misunderstandings. We are married and I acknowledge it,” I said, hoping that Bill would finally understand that we were never going to be together.
I could tell Bill was disappointed that he didn’t stand a shot, but he should have known that for quite some time. If Bill was the last man on the face of the planet, I would be single. Not. Happening.
I looked over at Eric, “Is everything okay?”
He gave a solemn nod, “We will talk about it when we get home.”
“You bet we will,” I said, staring him down.
Bill scoffed at us, “This is unbelievable!”
“We can leave in a little bit. I’m expecting someone, and then we’ll leave. He should be here soon.”
We sat quietly, waiting. I watched the door waiting for someone to walk in. I could almost feel the tension radiating from Eric. He still had the bond closed off, and he was definitely going to hear about it later.
After twenty minutes or so, I saw someone I recognized walk in. Alcide. Why was he here? Surely, Eric wouldn’t call him to meet with him. Us? I knew that was the case. Alcide wouldn’t show up to a vampire bar unless he’d been called, plus he was walking straight toward us.
“Hey, little mama. How are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling good. A little confused right now. How are you?”
“I’d be better if I knew why I was ordered to come here,” Alcide said while looking at Eric.
“We need to talk somewhere privately and it can’t be here. It will be hours before Fangtasia closes. Will you follow us?”
“Are you asking?” Alcide asked. Eric looked annoyed, but nodded. “Wow! Sookie, you’re really rubbing off on him! Keep it up. He’s actually becoming tolerable.”
I scowled at Alcide, “He’s already more than tolerable.”
“To you maybe, but nobody else.” I continued to scowl at him. “I’ll follow,” Alcide replied back at Eric.
Eric looked over at Bill for a moment, looking him over. “You may also follow if you would like.”
“Does this have anything to do with Sookie?” Bill asked. Of course, always trying to be the hero. Never happening, Bill, I thought as I did an internal eye roll.
“It does,” Eric said, giving Bill his own scowl.
“Then I’m in,” Bill said.
We all stood to head out the back door, but Alcide’s comment made us all stop.
“You’re a lot bigger than the last time I saw you.”
“Thanks, Alcide. I really appreciate you commenting on how fat I’m getting.”
“How many times do I have to tell you, you’re not getting fat,” Eric said, now giving me the scowl that belonged directed at Bill.
“No, just big,” I mumbled.
Bill turned around and looked me over. When his eyes reached my swollen belly, they looked as if they were going to pop out of his head.
“You’re pregnant? How far along are you? Who’s the father?”
“Can we just go? I’ll answer your questions when we get wherever we’re going.”
“We’re going home. As they don’t know where we live, they are following us.”
“You’re letting them come to our house?”
Eric nodded, but didn’t say anything else. He helped me get into the car, walked to his side, and got in. The ride was silent for a few minutes. Eric looked to be deep in thought. The bond was closed, and he had invited Alcide and Bill over to our house. Something was wrong.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I turned my body toward him and finally broke the silence. “I’m really trying to be calm here, but you’re really starting to worry me. Why do you still have the bond closed off?”
Eric reached over and lightly ran his knuckles over my cheek. He gave me a small smile, and then I slowly started feeling the bond come back.
“I didn’t realize that I still had it silenced. I’m sorry.”
“An apology from Eric Northman, something must be wrong!”
I felt Eric’s irritation through the bond. “Why did you do it?”
“I felt you fear and worry. I thought it would help.”
“You thought it would help to cut yourself off from me so I wouldn’t worry? It did the opposite,” he gave me a knowing look. “I know. I know. I did the same thing to you when I left, but I didn’t like it either. The second it went away, I felt the void in my chest and I hated it,” I whispered as my eyes filled with tears. “I’m sorry, but please don’t block me. It only makes me worry.”
“I will try not to block it unless it is absolutely necessary. If I am in pain, I will block it from you so you will not feel it,” he hesitated for a moment. “I promise to not silence it unless it’s needed.
“Thank you,” I said and he nodded. We were quiet the rest of the way home. I knew he wouldn’t tell me what was going on until we were with Alcide and Bill. I did wonder where Pam was, but I figured she needed to stay at Fangtasia, and he must have already told her what was happening.
We parked in the garage, and Alcide and Bill parked in the driveway. I invited Bill into our house given that the day after I had signed papers where Eric shared his fortune with me, he had papers drawn up that put the house in my name. That way no vampires could come into our house unless they were invited.
They followed us in through the garage door where Eric made them take off their shoes. We went into the living room to sit down and have our little powwow.
“Can I get anyone anything to drink?” I asked.
“No, thank you,” Bill and Alcide replied in unison.
“Sit, Lover. I will get you a drink.”
I sat down on the couch across from Bill and Alcide. It was a little uncomfortable with Bill staring at my pregnant belly. I knew he would stop as soon Eric returned to the room. I was hoping Eric wouldn’t take too long.
“How far along are you now?” Alcide asked.
“Around five and a half months.”
“You should be able to find out the sex soon,” he said.
“We have. We just found out earlier tonight,” I said with a smile. I was so excited that we were having a girl.
“What are you having?”
I thought about it for a minute. I wasn’t sure if Eric wanted people to know, but soon everyone would know I was pregnant.
“Eric, do you care if I tell them what we’re having?”
“Go ahead,” he called from the kitchen.
Bill raised his eyebrows at this. “It’s a girl,” I said with a big smile. I could feel a rush of overwhelming happiness coming from Eric when I said this.
Alcide whistled, “Do you know what he’s going to be like when she turns into a teenager?” He said, pointing into the kitchen. “I think I’ll be out of state for those years.”
“Pfft. He won’t be so bad. What are you talking about?”
“If he’s half as possessive of her as he is over you, I fear for any boy that comes within a mile of her,” I rolled my eyes and decided to change the subject.
“Did you ever find out anything about the vampire who was hanging around my house?” I asked Alcide.
“No, when I went back the scent was long gone. Whoever it was probably caught your scent and was curious about you. Your neighbor’s fine and knew nothing about a vampire being around. I’m sorry I couldn’t find out more.”
“You did the best you could. Thanks for making the trip when you didn’t have to. I’m sure Eric could have found someone else to go.”
“You don’t need to thank me. I’d do anything to help you, you know that, Sookie.”
Eric walked into the room and handed me a glass of milk. He had a bottle of TruBlood for himself. Anytime Eric thought I needed something to drink, he brought me a glass of milk. He read that it would help make the baby stronger. I didn’t really see how that was an issue with our blood exchanges, but it made him feel better, and I thought it was sweet.
“She’s not dating until she’s at least thirty,” he said once he sat down.
I just looked over at Eric. He couldn’t be serious. Was he?
“I told you he would be trouble,” Alcide said while snickering.
“Who’s the father?” Bill asked. We all looked at him with a scowl.
“I’m the father,” Eric answered.
“I must truly be in the ‘Twilight Zone.’ There’s no possible way for you to be the father,” Bill said while shaking his head.
“I’m the father in the only way that will matter. Drop it, Bill,” Eric growled.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but how can you have her in your house while she’s carrying another man’s child? If she’s as far along as she says she is, then she cheated on you. How can you accept that?”
Alcide looked at Bill as if he was about to lose his head, and Eric stood up growling at him with his fangs longer than I’d ever seen. I, on the other hand, had the opposite reaction. I burst into tears. It was just as I thought. Everyone was going to think I cheated on him. How could he stand for anyone to think that? I didn’t want him to look weak because of me.
Eric turned around and scooped me into his arms. He sat down and rocked back and forth to calm me down.
“Hush, dear one. Pay no mind to Bill. I’ve told you for years not to listen to him,” I continued to cry and not respond as Eric tried to make me feel better. “Please, stop crying. You know how much I hate it when you cry. Please, tell me what to do.”
“How can you stand this?” I asked him, pulling back to look him in the eye. “Everyone thinking that I cheated on you? How do you explain? I don’t want to have to explain to everyone I see or meet. Should I just have a tattoo on my forehead that says I didn’t cheat on you! I was raped!”
I sobbed even harder into Eric’s neck. I didn’t want this life for him. He always had so much pride and for everyone to think that I cheated…
“No one will question us! I’m the father of our baby and the next person who questions it, I will rip off their head.”
“You can’t rip off everyone’s head who asks,” I said from the crook of his neck.
“I can and I will. Eventually they will figure out to stop asking. I will not have anyone upsetting you like this,” Eric said while glaring at Bill.
“Any more questions, Bill?” he growled at him.
“No. No more questions,” Bill said, and then looked down at the floor.
“How ‘bout you tell us why we’re here?” Alcide said, trying to break the tension in the room.
“When I got back from visiting Sookie and before she came to live here, I was in negotiations with a few monarchs to take out DeCastro. I was hoping to have everything worked out before our King discovered that Sookie was back.
“I found out tonight that word has spread and he knows of Sookie’s return. I don’t know if he knows she’s pregnant or not. If or when he finds out, he will stop at nothing until he has her.”
Eric picked up my hand and began rubbing soothing circles onto the top of it while looking at me. He had a strange look on his face, but I didn’t know what it meant. After a moment, I realized that he was waiting for me to freak out or act out irrationally.
“Is this the secret meeting you had a couple of days ago?” I asked. I felt a small bit of relief through the bond. I didn’t think that I normally reacted too badly to these situations, but as I looked around the room at the puzzled looks on everyone’s faces, that certainly seemed to be the case.
“Yes, dear one. The meeting was to negotiate with the other monarchs and so was the phone meeting tonight, but instead I was informed that DeCastro knows that you’re back.”
“Who do you think told him?” I asked. Not many knew that I was back. Well, all of Bon Temps, Amelia, Alcide, now Bill, but the vampires of Eric’s Area knew not to say anything.
“I don’t know, but I will find out and when I do, I’ll kill him.”
“What have you been negotiating?” I asked. Alcide and Bill both leaned forward waiting to see if Eric would answer me.
“Our freedom,” he replied. “I have no desire to be king nor do I wish to continue on with the way things have been with DeCastro. You may also have to occasionally work for whoever gains control of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Nevada,” I began to interrupt, but he raised his hand to stop me. “It will be with advance notice and you may decline any job. I promise they do not want you for themselves,” In true Eric fashion, he waggled his eyebrows at me and whispered, “That pleasure is for me and me alone.”
I slapped his arm playfully. “Will you tell us with whom you’ve been negotiating? For whom I’ll have to work?” I definitely wasn’t happy that I would have to work for someone else or multiple someone’s, but if he thought it was better than dealing with DeCastro, I would trust him.
“Russell, Stan, and Bart. Stan already has his own telepath, and you know Russell and Bart. They are only interested in you working for them, but they consider you a friend and will not ask you to work for them over frivolous things.”
“I feel better knowing it’s them. You really feel it’s necessary to take out DeCastro?”
“If you want to remain here, I do. He will not let you stay here after I could not deliver you to him when you were gone. It’s the only way for you to stay, for us to be free, and for me to not have to be king.”
I hated thinking about what Eric went through while I was gone. Now I knew what DeCastro was truly capable of, I would do almost anything to not become his sex and blood slave. I couldn’t imagine what he would do if my baby had telepathy. To have my baby raised in Nevada while I was a slave to DeCastro? The thought made me shiver. I didn’t care how many times Russell, Stan, or Bart asked me to work for them, I knew it will be better than with DeCastro. I only wanted to keep Eric safe and to be with him.
I nodded my head at him, “That seems very reasonable. I’ll do whatever you need me to do, but why’s Alcide here?” I asked him and moved to curl my body against his side. Eric wrapped his arm around my shoulders and rubbed his hand up and down my arm.
“If DeCastro knows you’re back, it’s possible he could send Weres to take you during the day. Very few know of our location, and it’s going to stay that way,” he growled menacingly at both Alcide and Bill. They both nodded in agreement. “If you go out during the day, have any problems, or if you feel as though something is not right, I want you to call Alcide. He will protect you until sunset. Will you do that for me?” he asked, looking down at me.
“I will,” I answered him. I looked over at Alcide. “I hardly go out any more during the day since my schedule is close to vampire hours, but sometimes I go to the grocery store, shopping, lunch, or dinner with Amelia or Jason. I won’t inconvenience you too much, I promise, Alcide.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll take you wherever you need to go. No problem. We just got you back and I’ll do my part to keep you here,” I could read from Alcide’s thoughts that he was being truthful. He had missed me when I was gone. He was also noticing how well Eric was treating me and that he wasn’t being such a hard ass toward him. He could really see a change in Eric. It made me smile knowing Alcide saw that Eric wasn’t as bad as he made himself out to be.
“The further along Sookie gets, the slower and harder it will be for her to get around. I only want her safe. It shouldn’t be too long before the takeover. I’ll inform you when I know I’ll be away and I’d like you to stay with Sookie.”
Alcide agreed, but I didn’t understand why Eric would have to be away. “Why will you be away?”
“Russell, Bart, and Stan want me to take out DeCastro. That’s my part in the takeover,” he said and began rubbing his hand up and down my arm again.
“I don’t want you to. It’s not safe. What if something happens to you?”
Eric chuckled before he responded to me, which only irritated me more. “Do you have so little faith in my skills as a warrior? You’ve seen me fight before, Sookie, and you know how I love a good fight.”
“I know, but if something happens to you …” I couldn’t continue. Tears welled up in my eyes and started trickling down my cheeks. “Nothing can happen to you,” I sobbed out.
Eric picked me up and placed me back on his lap, cradling me close to him. He placed his chin on the top of my head and looked at our guests.
“I will let you know when I know more. Alcide, does she have your phone number if she needs to get ahold of you?”
“Yes,” he said as he stood from his seat. “I’ll talk to you later, Sookie. Take care of her, Northman.”
“I will,” he was quiet for a minute, rocking me back and forth before he looked up again. “Goodbye, Bill. See yourself out.”
Once we heard the front door close, Eric stood, walked around the house with me still in his arms locking all the doors, and then set the alarm before taking me downstairs to our bedroom. He went straight into the bathroom and started the water for the bathtub.
He sat me down, first undressing himself, and then me. Eric held onto me trying to hush me while the tub filled. After a few minutes the tub was full, and Eric picked me up and sat us both into the warm water. Once I had calmed down some, he got us situated with my back to his chest and his arms wrapped around me.
“Sookie, if I thought there was any way that something bad could happen to me, then I wouldn’t go. I finally have you. You’re giving me a family again after a thousand years, and letting me become your Maker one day. Those are all things that I don’t want to give up. I will be safe and come back to you. I promise you, my love. I promise,” he said while he squeezed me tight and placed kisses all over my neck and shoulders.
I nodded. “I love you so much, Eric, and I feel the same way. We’re finally happy and we’re having a baby together. A little girl. Now that we finally know what we’re having we need to come up with a name for her. I want you to start thinking of names you like.”
I felt Eric nod against my head before he licked and nibbled a trail from my shoulder to my ear. He placed a kiss behind my ear in the spot that always made me ache for him. I turned around to straddle his waist, some water splashed out of the tub, but it was quickly forgotten when Eric leaned forward and started to gently nip and tease the flesh of my breast.
I closed my eyes as my fingers threaded through his long, wet hair and I enjoyed the sensation of his tongue, teeth, and lips teasing my hardened nipple.
“Eric,” I moaned when I felt his hand dip underneath the warm water and slide through my folds. He smiled against my breast before he grabbed my hair and pulled my head back. I snapped my eyes open to find Eric looking hungrily down at me with the tips of his sharp, white fangs peeking out from under his lip.
“Everything you are,” Eric growled, leaning just inches away from my face. “Everything inside you…” He slid a long, thick finger inside of me causing me to gasp and grind my hips into his hand.
He smirked and purred with satisfaction.
“Yours,” I whispered weakly.
Eric bared his fangs, and I watched his beautiful, blue eyes dilate into perfect, black orbs.
“Mine,” he said hoarsely while he thrust another finger in me and stroked the throbbing walls of my sex while he rubbed tight, hard circles on my swollen clit.
“Eric!” I cried out and gasped. His fingers moved in and out of me faster and faster, going deeper and hitting the place that made my body burn from the inside out. My walls began to flutter around his fingers and moments before I felt my orgasm take over, he removed his fingers and quickly replaced them with his long, thick erection.
A guttural groan rumbled in his chest and left his perfect mouth as I cried out his name. He still had one hand gripping my hair, forcing me to look at him as he claimed me, and his other hand on my hip, steadying and controlling my motions.
“You are mine, Sookie. You and our baby girl,” his voice was rough and full of love. “Mine.”
“Yes, yes, yes,” I chanted, loving every thrust, every grunt and groan from my husband. I adored the way our bodies moved against and with each other. I rocked my hips faster against him as his thrusts quickened and deepened. His eyes never left mine and it was more than I could take. I screamed out my release and I felt Eric swell and shoot his cool seed inside me, groaning loudly as he came.
“I love you,” Eric whispered as he placed sweet kisses along my neck to my jaw and a final deep kiss on my lips.
“I love you too, Eric. More than you could ever know,” I shivered in the now cold water. Eric flipped the switch against the wall with his foot, releasing the plug from the tub and letting the water drain.
In one swift motion, Eric gathered me in his arms and stepped out of the tub. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he walked us to our bed. He laid me down and crawled on top of me, placing a lingering kiss on my belly.
His still hard arousal rested between my legs and his wet, swollen tip rubbed and teased the entrance of my wanton sex.
“It’s time to warm you up, my wife,” He thrust fiercely into me and it didn’t take long before I was on fire again.