I rose to feeling Sookie in pain, not something I ever wanted to feel coming from her. I opened my eyes, and she was sitting on the bed next to me with her eyes closed, taking deep breaths.
She finally opened her eyes once the pain subsided.
“I really hate that you’re a vampire right now,” she said barely above a whisper.
Not exactly what I thought she would say. It was as if the old Sookie was talking, trying to hurt me with her words without thinking.
“The sun sets way too late in August,” she sighed, and then lay her head down on my chest. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re in pain. Why are you sitting here? Are you in labor?” I couldn’t figure out why she’d be sitting here if she was.
“I’ve been in labor for the last six hours.”
Six hours! “Why didn’t you call Alcide and have him take you to the hospital? That was the plan if you were to go into labor during the day,” I replied, trying to keep my voice level and calm.
“My contractions aren’t far enough apart for me to go to the hospital. I could still be in labor when you die for the day,” she said with a tear slipping down her cheek.
“Why are you upset?” I asked her. She was confusing the shit out of me tonight!
“I want you to be there when the baby’s born. I don’t want to have her in the morning, and have to wait all day for you to see her.”
“I don’t want that either, but I need you to do what’s best for you and the baby. How far along are your contractions?”
“They’re about seven minutes apart so it shouldn’t be long until we can go to the hospital,” she said, but her voice was a little shaky.
I sat up, caressed her back and hair, hoping to help relieve some of her stress.
“I will take away as much of the pain as I can. Just let me know when you want me to start.”
Sookie nodded as a contraction started. I grabbed my phone from the charger and checked the time. I wanted to keep track of how far apart her contractions were coming. We sat in silence waiting for the contraction to stop as she gripped my hand tightly.
Once it was over, I finally spoke, “Do you want me take the pain away on your next one?”
“No. I want to try to feel this as much as possible. This is my only time giving birth and I want to have the whole experience. I’ll tell you when it becomes too much for me.”
“Just let me know,” I replied. I hated to see her in pain this way and the thought of all she was giving up to be with me.
“I will. I promise when the pain becomes too much, I’ll be happy for you to take it away as much as you can.”
“I’m going to take a quick shower and get dressed,” I said while I nodded my head. “Send a text to Pam letting her know what’s going on and that we’ll keep her informed.” I walked off into the bathroom, my mind trying to picture that I would have my daughter in my arms very soon.
I knew Sookie had said she had never planned on being a mother until she found out she was pregnant, but I couldn’t help feel a little guilty that she might one day want another child. If that was the case then we would find a way, even though it would push back our timeline for when she’d be turned. I’d give her anything she asked. She asked for so little, only for the simple, intangible things like my love or time. In all my years, every woman with whom I had an acquaintance only desired my body and money. Every one of them expected lavish gifts of designer clothes and jewelry. None really wanted me, just my money or power.
I had never mentioned it to Sookie, but I was nervous about her giving birth. I tried my hardest not to let it flow through the bond. I had already lost a wife and a child after childbirth, I didn’t even love her, but if I lost Sookie… I’d meet the sun. I would only continue to live if Ella survived.
I was brought out of my dark thoughts when I turned in the shower to rinse the shampoo from my hair and Sookie was standing at the doorway to our shower.
“I’m going to steal your line and ask you what’s got you feeling this way?” she said with a worried expression on her face. Just what I didn’t want. That’s why I’d been hiding this.
I sighed and stopped washing my body. “That I don’t want anything to happen to you. As you know when I was human, my wife died shortly after giving birth as did our child.”
Sookie reached inside the shower to grab my arm. I stepped toward her so she wouldn’t get unnecessarily wet. Any other time I would have dragged her in, but not tonight.
“Nothing bad is going to happen to me or Ella,” she said while cupping my cheek. “Medicine has advanced quite a bit since you were human,” she said and got a wide grin on her face. “Given that it was pretty much nonexistent back then.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. Only Sookie could make me laugh at a time like this. I stepped back into the shower to finish rinsing. When I was done, Sookie was standing with a towel waiting for me.
“Everything’s different than when you were human and I know that if anything happens to me or Ella, you’ll give us your blood. If I’m going to die, then you’ll turn me. I’d rather be around for Ella’s life some of the time than none at all.”
“You’d let me give her blood if it was needed?” I asked truly surprised.
“Of course, I would. She’s your daughter! I don’t think you’re going to give it to her unless she really needs it, but I don’t want you to worry because I know we’ll be fine.”
“Here I’m supposed to be the calm one, and you’re the one talking me down,” I said while drying off, and then getting dressed.
“I’m happy to do it. It’s keeping my mind off the fact that I’m in labor, and life as we both know it will forever be changed.”
“But changed in a good way,” I said and kissed her ever so softly on the lips. “Have you been keeping track of your contractions while I was in the shower?”
“No, but I don’t think they’ve increased. I’m going to go upstairs and eat something because once I get to the hospital, they won’t let me eat until after the baby’s born. I’m really not looking forward to staying there.”
“How about I make you a deal?”
“Let me hear it,” she said with excitement. She really didn’t want to stay at the hospital and I couldn’t blame her. I knew it was difficult for her to be around all the people in the hospital and their thoughts.
“If you have the baby tonight, and there’s enough time after you’ve both been checked out, and everything’s okay, I will give you my blood to heal you, and then bring you home.”
“Sounds great! What’s the catch?”
“Alcide or Amelia must come over for the whole day until I rise for the night. If anything even remotely goes wrong, I want you to go back and see Dr. Ludwig, or have her come here.”
“Deal,” she said while rising up on her toes to give me a kiss. That was easy. Too easy. I hoped that the rest of the night would continue for us just as easily.
While Sookie ate dinner, her contractions were getting closer and closer together. It was time to go to the hospital, but she wanted to finish eating her last meal. I didn’t find her calling it her last meal funny in the least. There were times when it’s too late to turn someone, when there was too much damage done. I wouldn’t let that happen, not to her.
When she finally finished eating and cleaning up the kitchen, she looked over at me with narrowed eyes.
“You’re really not helping me when you’re so nervous.”
“I just want to get you to the hospital. Make sure everything’s okay. Your contractions are four minutes apart. It’s time to go.”
Sookie slowly walked over to me, cupping my face in her hands. For a brief moment, I was saddened that this would be the last time she would be round with child. She was gorgeous pregnant.
“I’m fine. Yes, the contractions are getting closer together and the pain is getting more intense, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Do you feel me freaking out?”
I shook my head. I felt as if I was taking all of what could be her anxiety, leaving her calm. I would gladly take it if that were the case.
She turned around with her back pressed against my chest, and grabbed both my hands, placing them on her stomach.
“When I have a contraction you should be able to feel it. It will feel like my stomach is tightening up. Can you hear my heart rate?” I nodded in the affirmative. “Can you hear the baby’s heart?” I nodded again. “Is mine elevated? Has the baby’s changed from what it is normally?”
“No,” I said, feeling a little more calm than I did a few seconds before. “You both are fine, but I still want to get you to the hospital.”
Just as I said that, I could feel another contraction. I could feel the roundness of her belly get tight and hard just as I felt her pain.
Once the contraction was over it was time to leave, no more distractions. “It’s time to go, dear one. Do you have everything that you need?”
“My bag and the car seat are in the car. We’re ready to go. You know this worried husband and father thing is really cute on you,” she said.
“You think?” I said as I led her to the car. I was so happy when she decided that she would drive the Escalade and not some piece of junk. There was no way I was going to get her car all the way from Maine. It would have had an accident on the way here. I would have made certain of it.
We had only been in the car for only about five minutes when I felt a shift in Sookie.
“Oh, My God!” she gasped. “I think my water just broke and it’s all over the seat.”
“Are you okay?” I asked as I glanced over to see that she was gripping the door handle and the center console.
“Yeah, that means my labor will progress quickly now,” she said, taking deep, concentrated breaths. “What are we going to do about the seat?”
“Don’t worry about the seat, I’ll have Pam take care of it,” I assured her. “Did you send Pam a text telling her what’s going on?”
Sookie kept looking down at her lap and the seat for a few moments before she answered me. “I did. I let her know we’d try to keep her updated.”
“Good. We’re almost there, just a few more minutes,” I reached over and picked up her hand bringing it to my mouth and placing a kiss on each finger.
Once we got inside, Sookie was placed into a wheelchair and we were taken down a long corridor to the room where she would be giving birth. They gave her a gown to change into, and then she got into bed so they could start strapping her down with different machines and IV fluids.
When the nurse left, Sookie tried to explain just what all the equipment they had hooked up to her did. There was a white pulse ox meter on her finger for her pulse and oxygen levels. A blood pressure cuff on her arm would automatically check her blood pressure every ten minutes. The two bands placed around her stomach monitored the baby.
It wasn’t too long before Dr. Ludwig came in to check on Sookie. I was happy that Sookie had agreed to have the baby here instead of a regular hospital. Here it would be no problem for me to give Sookie my blood, and take her home when this was all over with if she and the baby were in good health.
“How far apart are your contractions?” she asked Sookie.
“About four minutes, and my water broke on the way here.”
“When did your labor start?”
“I’d say almost eight hours ago.”
Doctor Ludwig went to the machines to look over the printouts before sitting down in front of the bed.
“I’m going to check to see how far you’re dilated.” I watched her put on the latex gloves and snake her hand underneath the sheet.
Watching someone else touch Sookie this way brought out every possessive instinct in me. I wanted to rip off the arm she was using to touch her. I was told and I knew that this was all standard procedure, but that didn’t mean I had to like it.
“Your water has definitely broken and you’re already dilated to seven, almost eight. Since your water broke, labor should move along rather quickly now. I want you to rest as much as possible so you will have plenty of strength when it’s time to push. Are you planning on wanting any drugs?”
“Not if I can help it. I would like to do this as naturally as possible. Eric said when I asked he would take as much of the pain away as he can. I’m hoping that will be enough.” I hoped so too. I hated seeing Sookie in pain, and this place reminded me of a time when she was in more pain than I could take into myself. I was hoping that having the baby wouldn’t be as much pain as when she was tortured.
Dr. Ludwig looked over at me. “Do you think you will be able to control yourself with all the blood?”
My temper was rising. How dare she insult me? I would never hurt Sookie and I had unfortunately been around her plenty when she was bleeding. That would have strained most vampires’ control, but I had never once lost my control and never would.
I felt Sookie send me reassurance and calmness. I felt ashamed that I was making this experience more stressful on her.
“I’ll be fine. I have never lost control around Sookie,” I replied, trying to calm myself for Sookie.
“Good. You should be able to take most of the pain away for her. I want her to be able to feel some, so she will know what’s going on with her body.” I nodded my head. “It shouldn’t take any longer than three or four more hours. The baby should be born before sunrise,” the doctor stated.
“Afterward I would like to give Sookie some of my blood to heal her, and if she and the baby are stable, I’d like to take them home,” I saw the small doctor raise an eyebrow at me. “I will have someone with her the entire day until I rise for the night. If there’s any problem, big or small, she has promised to return or call you. Sookie doesn’t do well in hospitals, feeling everyone’s pain and thoughts.”
“We should be able to work that out. If they are stable, then they can go home with you before sunrise. Make sure you’ve arranged for someone to be with her.”
“I will,” I wouldn’t let anything happen to my family.
“I’ll be back in a little while to check your progress. Rest while you can, little girl.”
It never ceased to amaze me how Sookie could charm anyone, including the small doctor who seemed to dislike everyone.
Once the doctor left, Sookie tried to get comfortable by laying on her side facing me.
“Is there anything I can do or get for you?” I asked her. I wanted and needed to start making this as easy as possible for her.
“I’m fine for right now. Why don’t you call Pam and update her as well as Alcide to let him know we will need him in the morning, bright and early.”
I placed a kiss on the top of her head before making my way out into the hall to make my calls. I was only gone for a total of three minutes when I felt another one of Sookie’s contractions hit her. This one was stronger than all the others had been so far. I quickly got off the phone so I could get into the room to be with her.
“I think on the next contraction I’d like you take away the pain,” she said immediately after her contraction had passed. A slight sheen of sweat was covering her forehead. “That one was much stronger, and I’m so tired right now.”
I only nodded since her eyes were already slowly closing. I moved my chair closer to her bed, took one of her tiny hands in mine, and ran my other hand through her hair.
When I saw Sookie’s next contraction starting on the machine, I took the pain away before she ever woke up or started to feel it. She slept until the doctor came back in an hour later to check on her when she had to roll onto her back.
It was another two hours before Sookie was ready to have the baby. I’d been in downtime, only coming out when the doctor or nurse would come in. Sookie had gotten some much-needed rest before they told her it was time to push.
The nurse adjusted Sookie’s bed so she would be in a position that was close to sitting. As Sookie began to push, she lifted her back off the bed and squeezed my hand while a nurse counted to ten for her. If I had been human, I think she would have broken my hand. She was definitely stronger than most humans since she’d been taking my blood.
It seemed to help with her pushing because it only took five pushes before the doctor told her to stop.
Sookie fell back onto the bed trying to catch her breath. I swept all her damp hair off her forehead before placing a kiss there, reassuring her that she was doing a great job and was almost done.
“All right, give me one last, strong push and the baby’s head will be out.”
Sookie sat up and squeezed my hand tighter than ever while pushing. I placed my other hand and arm around her back helping her stay in position.
All of a sudden, I could smell blood, but before I had a chance to worry about it, I heard Ella cry.
My world stopped in that moment.
“One more push, Sookie, and then you’ll be done,” Dr. Ludwig told her.
Sookie was tired like any woman who had just pushed a baby out, so I sent my strength to her while she pushed with all her might.
Once the Ella was finally out, Sookie was exhausted, but smiling as she collapsed back onto the bed. Dr. Ludwig placed our baby on her chest. I had never seen a more perfect baby or mother in all of my days.
I watched as Sookie gazed lovingly down at our daughter. She was perfect. She already had a little tuft of blonde hair, and pink, pursed lips. Her eyes were closed so I couldn’t tell the color, but I knew they were beautiful. I couldn’t see much else because she was wrapped tightly in a blanket, except that she was perfect.
After a few moments, Sookie looked up at me. She had tears in her eyes, but I knew they were tears of joy. She was beaming, she was so happy.
“You did so well. I’m so proud of you,” I told her before I placed a small, soft kiss on her lips.
“Do you want to hold her?” she asked me.
I nodded my head as I carefully took our daughter from her arms and cradled her closely to me. I was right, she was the perfect baby.
“We need to take her to get cleaned up and run a few tests if you want to go home tonight,” Dr. Ludwig said.
A nurse came over to take Ella from me. I leaned down and placed a kiss on her forehead, and then Sookie did the same before the nurse took her away.
I watched as Sookie fell asleep with a peaceful smile on her face while I thought about how amazing it was to see Sookie give birth. During my human days, men were never allowed to be with the women while they gave birth. Not that we wanted to, but this was different. Everything was different. Better.
I got to see the miracle of birth of my own daughter. To experience the pregnancy and birth in a way no other father had. I never realized just how painful labor could be until I was taking away the pain for Sookie. Something I was happy to do. I would make sure that she never experienced pain ever again if it was in my power.
It was a couple of hours before we as a family, were leaving for home. After taking my blood, Sookie was feeling energized once again and was walking around as if she hadn’t just given birth.
“Every new mother should get some vampire blood after they give birth. It would make it so much easier for them to take care of their children if they did!” she exclaimed.
I chuckled, “I’m sure they would like the effects of vampire blood, but I don’t think any vampires are going to be giving out their blood for all the new mothers out there.”
“I know, but I’m grateful that you gave me yours, and for how wonderful I feel.”
“You never have to ask. It’s yours for the taking. Although you may be a little high on vampire blood,” I chuckled. “I want you to be careful today. It will take some time for my blood to heal you completely and I don’t want you to over-exert yourself.”
“I promise,” she said with a big smile on her face. She was beyond happy. She was sending so much love, contentment, and happiness through the bond that I almost felt drunk from her!
I died for the day that morning with my family lying in bed with me, feeling more at peace than I had in a thousand years.
One week later: September – SPOV
I woke and sat straight up. Something woke me, but all was quiet in the house. I looked over into the cradle that was by the bed and it was empty.
Panic shot through me. Where was Ella? I looked to my left and Eric’s side of the bed was empty too. I checked the time on the alarm clock and it read 4:30 am.
I made my way upstairs to see if I could find Eric and Ella. They weren’t in the living room or kitchen so I walked toward the nursery. I stopped in the doorway when I caught sight of them.
Eric was rocking Ella who was bundled up in a blanket to keep her warm with her head lying against his chest. He was lightly humming, but I couldn’t make out what it was.
My heart soared at the sight in front of me. Seeing Eric being so loving with our daughter, I had seen other displays, but this one was so sweet and not something I thought I would ever see.
Eric’s eyes opened, and he turned his head my way while holding out his arm. I quietly padded over to him, not wanting to wake Ella. He rose from the rocking chair and put Ella in her crib. We both stood there watching her sleep for a few minutes. Eric was behind me with his arms around my middle and his chin on the top of my head.
“I didn’t hear her wake,” I whispered.
“She didn’t cry, she was just restless. I brought her up here so we wouldn’t wake you. I guess I wasn’t successful.”
“I don’t know what woke me. I only know that I woke and you were both gone, so I came to find you. I’m glad I did,” I said as I smiled up at him. “What were you humming to her?”
“A lullaby from my human days. I don’t remember the words, only the tune. I read it’s very soothing for a baby to listen to their parent’s heartbeat, but since my heart doesn’t beat, I thought if I hummed it might work.”
I turned around in his arms so I could wrap my own around him and lay my own head against his chest.
“It looks like it worked. She’s out.”
“I’m sorry if I woke you. I wanted you to be able to get some rest before I died for the day and she woke again.”
“Thank you. I appreciate it. I’ve been pretty tired.” I looked up at him. “Will you come and lay down with me or do you have some work to do?”
“I would love nothing more than to lay with my wife,” he said while ushering me out of the room.
“Are you flirting with me?”
“Always,” he responded with a smirk.
We lay down in bed, cuddled up together with me in Eric’s arms and my head on his chest.
“I’m sorry I’ve been so tired. It’s going to take me a while to get a better schedule for Ella.”
“Don’t worry. I understand,” he replied while rubbing his hand along my back, pulling me deeper into a sleepy trance. “Sleep now. I’ll see you when I rise. I love you, my wife.”
“I love you,” I said and kissed his chest. Eric’s heart might be silent, but it was full of love.
Four years later- SPOV-June
Ella and I had just finished breakfast even though it was almost one in the afternoon. If we decided to send her to school next year, then our hours were going to have to change dramatically.
I wanted Eric and Ella to be able to spend as much time together as they could and during the summer, there were definitely more daylight hours than not. I felt like Eric and I hardly had any alone time during the summer months. No, definitely not enough. I once loved the sun, but during the summer months, I longed for lengthier nights with my husband.
I would hate to think of what would happen if any Supes knew that Ella was going to school and planned an attack during the day. We could always hire a bodyguard, but no child should have to go to school with protection like that. It would be hard enough for her to try to explain that her Daddy’s a vampire. Fortunately, Ella didn’t get the telepathy gene from me. She was just an average four-year-old girl with a little bit of fairy in her.
Ella loves her Daddy so much it’s beyond words, and he treats her like a little princess. She has him wrapped around her little finger and it warms my heart every time I see them together.
She sees nothing wrong with her Daddy and her Aunt Pam being vampires. For the most part, Ella isn’t around many normal humans. We see Tara and her twins occasionally, but not very often. About three years ago, Amelia and Alcide started dating, and got married after only dating for three months. Seven months later, they had a little girl named Lucy. Even with the age difference, Ella enjoys playing with Lucy and spending time with Amelia and Alcide.
A year ago, Jason married Michelle and she’s expecting their first child. We tried to spend a good amount of time with other people so she wasn’t only around her parents. We wanted her to be social and, boy, was she! She loved attention!
Our circle of friends may be small, but they all loved Ella, especially Pam. It didn’t take Pam long to warm up to her. I think it was dressing her up in insanely priced designer outfits and her looking so damn cute in them. Now, once a month Pam takes Ella shopping at the mall for a girl’s night out. Eric and I get to be a real couple, and go out on a date while they’re away.
So there we were, Ella and I, enjoying swimming in the pool. She loved swimming. I think it was because her biological father was a water fairy. Luckily, that seemed to be the only trait she had received from him. She enjoyed swimming so much that Eric was building us a new house between Shreveport and Bon Temps where there would be an indoor as well as an outdoor pool, and a stable for our little girl who loved horses. Did I mention that she had him wrapped around her little finger?
The house we were building would have more light tight spaces, an entire floor to be exact. We planned to live there for a very long time. I think Eric was preparing it for when he turned me. I knew he was anxious to finally make me a vampire. I was only hoping that his blood would keep me looking young until that time. Right then, I looked a little younger than when we first met, but we still had another fourteen years until Ella was eighteen.
“Momma,” I heard Ella call out; bringing me out of my musings. “Watch how far I can swim underwater!”
“Show me, my little mermaid, how far you can swim,” I said back to her.
She drove underwater and almost made it the entire length of the pool before she came up for air. She took a deep breath and swam back to me.
“Did I do good, Momma?”
I picked her up and threw her up in the air, catching her as she hit the water. “You did great! I bet by the end of the summer you’ll be able to make it to the end of the pool!”
She got a big smile on her face, “Really?” she asked.
“Really. You’re almost there now! I know you can.”
She looked up to the sun squinting her eyes for a moment. “I wish Daddy was out here to see me swim in the sun,” she said with sadness in her voice.
“Me too, baby. You know that if he could, Daddy would be out here. He would love to see you in the sun and swimming.” He would give anything to be able to see just that in person, but he had seen it plenty of times when we had recorded it for him.
“Tonight when Daddy gets up you can show him. He’ll be surprised at how far you can swim!”
Ella lay her head down on my shoulder, wrapping her tiny arms around my neck.
“I love you, Momma.”
“I love you too, baby.”
We stayed out in the pool for another couple of hours trying to enjoy the sun and water. It was early in the summer, and we were both happy for the warm weather. Although my mood was dampened by Ella’s earlier claim of wishing Eric could be outside with us, I worked to put it behind me. I didn’t want Eric to notice it when he rose for the night. I didn’t want to make him feel guilty for missing out and making us sad that he couldn’t join us when it was physically impossible.
We had just finished dinner and cleaned up the kitchen when Eric appeared. The second Ella saw him, she went running to jump into his arms. Eric scooped her up and placed a kiss on her cheek.
“Good morning, Daddy,” Ella said while she hugged herself to him.
“Good morning, princess,” he replied back. “What have my two favorite girls been up to today?”
“Swimming!” Ella exclaimed loudly. “I want to show you how good I can swim. Will you come watch?”
“Of course, I wouldn’t miss it. Go change into your swimsuit, and then you can show me after I say hello to your mother.”
Ella squirmed as Eric sat her down on her feet, and then she took off as fast as her little legs could carry her, excited to show her Daddy how well she could swim.
Eric sauntered over to where I was standing.
“Hello, my beautiful wife,” he said before he planted a toe-curling kiss on me.
I once read that love is not enough to make a person significant in your life. It is what they did that changed you.
Life has a funny way of working out. For a long time I couldn’t see what was right in front of me, and it took me stepping away to realize that love isn’t enough to make a person significant in your life. It’s what they did that changed you and that is what you’ll remember throughout the years.
I never would have thought that in my darkest hour true love would save me, but having Eric in my arms, I knew it did. Eric has never given up on me and has made so many sacrifices for me and our daughter that I wouldn’t even know where to begin to thank him. For everything that I’ve lost, everything that I’ve thrown away, I was somehow given another chance at happiness. I was given my love, my husband, my Eric. In him, I have found redemption.
~ The End ~
This is the end of Redemption. I’m sad to see the end, but I’m currently working on a new story and once I get some more chapters written I will start posting. Thank you for reading!
Thank you Virala for all your help! xo
The birth experience is from my own experiences and made up since obviously none of us get our own Eric to take away the pain. Every birth is different and I’m sure some things have changed since I last gave birth over thirteen years ago.
Click to download Redemption PDF