After A Good Night’s Sleep
Thursday, September 2nd…
When my eyes opened, I could tell that I’d slept in. We’d left the bedroom doors open last night and sunlight was trickling in from the great room. I gently slid my hand up to Alcide’s arm and the shush I gave him was almost undetectable as I lifted his wrist to see what time it was. His watch read 9:02.
I thought about the possible significance of that as I pulled his hand up under my chin and snuggled into him. I woke up at 9:02 on 09/02. I couldn’t help but start thinking that today was the day.
I whispered to him. “You both slept for 11 hours without moving a muscle.”
His head shot up from behind me so that he could catch a glimpse of Pam who was still sleeping with a grin on her face. “I’m such an asshole. I’ve been sniping at her for weeks…”
I rolled over to my back (mostly) and kissed his cheek. “None of us knew. Don’t blame yourself. And it won’t be this hard for her next time because the bond won’t be as recent.”
I smiled at him. “I’ll do everything I can to make sure of it.”
He rolled over onto his back and I followed him, moving a little easier than I expected. I snuggled up to his side and we just laid there for what seemed like forever while we waited for Pam to wake up. It was nearly 10 when she searched me out and spooned in behind me and reached her arm over to rest it on Alcide’s chest.
“Mmm, what time is it?”
“10. Sleep well, Sweetie?”
She groaned again. “Like the dead.”
Alcide and I both laughed.
We could hear the back door sliding open and the kids and Eric spill into the house. I could also feel his panic when no one was in the kitchen yet at this hour. He came straight up the stairs looking for us. He tried to hide how relieved he was, or that he was concerned at all for that matter, as he came into the room.
I chuckled and put a thumb in the air. “Mission accomplished, boss. We all slept like rocks.”
I lifted my leg and carefully climbed off of the bed over Alcide, again moving easier than I had in a while, and headed for the bathroom.
“Sookie!” Eric sounded worried but terror was what he was feeling. I stopped dead in my tracks.
“What honey?” He walked over to me and put his hands on my stomach and started inspecting it, like he were looking for imperfections in a diamond. Pam looked up and immediately came over to join him. “Y’all are freaking me out and you know it. What?”
Pam was frightened now too. “You’re smaller.”
Eric nodded. “Much”
Alcide shot upright and stared at me. “They’re right, Shug. You are. Like nearly half.”
I broke away from them and went into bathroom, closing the door enough to see for myself in the mirror. “Shit. What a difference.”
Eric crept in. “Do you know why?”
“I’ve heard it called ‘dropping’. Cody did this to Holly. One morning she woke up and she felt like she was 6 months pregnant again. He’d shifted overnight and got low in her pelvis to get ready.”
He put his hands on my bump from behind me. “How much longer before he was born?”
I cleared my throat. I didn’t want to answer him. I’d heard of it happening and another month go by before labor. “Holly went into labor 3 days later.”
“How do you feel?”
I smirked at him. “You know the answer to that.”
“Well, yeah. I’ve been having such a hard time getting around. Hell, that’s been my only complaint. It’s nice to have a reprieve.”
“Sookie, why aren’t you worried?”
I narrowed my eyes at his reflection and turned around. “I guess it’s because I’m ready and I know that Ludwig will take care of things.” I wrapped my arms around his back with much less stretching than I had yesterday. “And I can hug you again. That always makes me feel better.”
“Am I allowed to worry?”
I gave him a hopeless smile. “Like I could control that.”
I took his hand and led him out to the bedroom. “It’s ok guys. The girls just scooted down lower into my pelvis. It happens all the time at the end.”
Pam and Alcide looked relieved. They had pulled all of the bedding from the bed making sure that I hadn’t lost blood and my water hadn’t broken.
Part of me wanted to slap Janice for her Discovery Channel addiction. The shows are very informative and for the most part enjoyable unless you’re watching them with two bonded vampires who are terrified of the word ‘complication’. Dr. Ludwig got so fed up, she gave Eric the number to a Doula hotline for information. She told him: “Hypothetical is for them. Reality is for me. Got it, Vampire?” Oddly enough, Eric had nodded and humbly told her ‘yes ma’am’.
I smiled at everyone and projected cheer into the room. “I’m gonna go make breakfast!” I sang it. I know it’s hokey, but you try waking up almost half the size you were the day before and see how you feel. Like singing. That’s how. I’ll put money on it.
I got to the kitchen and started dancing around, still in my PJs. Frying and scrambling eggs, searing steaks and brewing coffee. I decided to go ahead and season some chicken breasts so that I could grill some for lunch sandwiches and while I had the other stuff cooking, I seeded some cucumbers to make some yiahtzki dressing and made a spinach dip for some chips.
I was elated. I knew that I was probably going to go into labor any minute, but I’ll be damned if I was going to waste the sudden energy spike. I’d spent the last 2 months feeling like I had heavy weights around my wrists and ankles. It was party time. I tracked down my purse to grab my iPod and by the time Eric, Pam and Alcide were done with whatever they were worrying about, I was dancing and dealing out plates to Why Can’t I Be You by the Cure. I had Alcide’s coffee out for him when the three of them came around the corner and as soon as they saw that I wasn’t faking anything, they all chilled out.
It was just the 6 of us in the kitchen, everyone else had slept out in the bunk house last night, except Dozer, who was from time to time spending his time with my cousin. Ew. It had to be for the sex. Claude’s personality could scare milk back into a cow.
My bottom half had a mind of its own. I hadn’t felt well enough to dance in a long time, so while the bottom half of me danced, the top half of me ate breakfast and lots of it. The adults watched, Eric was leaning against the counter. I was dancing to Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger when I went to get the coffee and I danced back up against his legs.
He laughed. “Lover, what are you planning on doing with your new energy?”
“After I clean up from breakfast, I’m going to swim until it’s time for me to make lunch, which I already preset; all I need to do is throw it on the grill.”
My improved spirit seemed to be contagious. Everyone helped with the kitchen and by 11:00 Eric and I were in our bedroom grabbing our bathing suits. He went into his closet and I followed him. When he turned around to ask why, I surprised him by pulling him down for a kiss.
Eric wrapped his arms around me, returning the kiss like he’d wanted to do it all morning. I ran my fingers through his hair and used my grip to steer his head back to give me access to his delicious neck and he slid his hand into my shorts, finding exactly what he was looking for. I moaned into his neck while I nibbled and sucked. I let go of his hair with one hand and used it to yank his belt and pants open before reaching in and grabbing him and if I didn’t know better, I’d swear that he gasped. I stroked him until he started trying to get his pants off.
I let go long enough to shove them down his thighs and went back to kissing like we hadn’t seen one another in forever. His hand finally found its way into my hair and took a firm grip. I pulled out of our kiss long enough to turnaround and press myself against him, his hand never letting go of my hair. His mouth instantly went to my neck while I leaned forward, bracing myself against the jamb. Eric’s mouth trailed down my spine, giving me chills and throbs in all the right places. I was already breathless when he lined himself up and when he slowly pushed into me I thought I was going to go through the roof. I was already at the brink and as he settled into his smooth, expert rhythm, he grabbed my hips and squeezed. I hummed with my enjoyment as I felt myself topple over the edge, tightening down with brute force and reaching back to dig my nails into his thighs. My legs weakened by my sudden release, I started to stand and Eric reached his arm around my shoulders, hugging me to him and biting my shoulder, taking but a taste. By the time he was done, I was thoroughly spent, having ridden the waves several times. We had to lean against each other to keep vertical for a bit while I caught my breath.
I was still waiting for my breathing to catch when I realized how angry I was that my ‘second wind’ was more than likely going to be short lived. The Dr. had told me that I was a wild card. That I could heal freakishly and instantly, running laps around the operating room before the babies were even weighed or, I could heal at a more normal rate. Even though she doubted either, both were still a possibility.
“Lover, what are you thinking about? You’re frustrated.”
I turned around with a chuckle. “I was wondering how soon, you’d be able to slam me up against the wall and fuck a hole into me again.”
He licked his lips and smoothed my hair out of my face. “Soon enough.”
“Now isn’t soon enough.”
His eyebrows went up. “You are voracious.”
I giggled. “Isn’t that on your list of reasons to keep me around?”
“Hmmm, I suppose it is, but the list is quite long.”
“What? Willing to put up with you and up for anything in the sack aren’t enough?”
“Put up with me?” He laughed. “You, my dear, are the pill.”
I laughed. “Maybe, but I am a pill that you chose to swallow. Just like I chose you. I suppose we deserve each other.”
“We do. Perhaps we should get married?”
“Ooh!… maybe even have some kids?” I stretched up to give him a big kiss.
I dropped a long sundress on the bathroom counter with shoes and underthings on my way outside in my black string bikini with cherry ties. I still had all of my energy and was excited that someone had thought to bring my iPod out to the system for the patio.
I walked right over to the edge of the deep end and stepped in. When I came up, I felt even better than I did before. I actually went straight to swimming laps for a while before I calmed down enough to play red light/green light with the kids. Followed by Marco Polo. Followed by volleyball. It made me sad to see the kids so anxious to play with me. I had barely played with them since June and this was our first summer together. They had missed ‘me’. It almost made me cry to get out of the pool so that I could start lunch. Alcide caught me on the way out and hugged me.
He whispered into my ear. “They’re smart kids, Shug. They understand.”
Ok. Thanks for the support and all… “Alcide, did you just read my mind?”
He loosened his arms enough to pull back and eye me carefully. “I don’t… know… Did I?”
“I think you did.”
“I don’t know. Unless you got it while we were crashed out.” I put my hands on him to search for the ability. “No. I didn’t give it to you. It’s not something I did.”
He followed me out of the pool, perplexed- no, confused as a cow on Astroturf. I fired up the grill then wrapped in a towel and sat down to dry a bit before going in. I realized that I hadn’t called Jason so I grabbed my phone. It went to voice mail so I left a message that everything was fine and that I felt wonderful.
I went to the kitchen after drying off a bit more and loaded up mine and Alcide’s arms with lunch stuff. Pasta and fruit salad, spinach dip, chips, dressing, buns, and chicken breasts… all the fixins. Alcide and I worked quickly dishing everything out and serving everything and Pam and Eric sat with us while we ate, sipping from true bloods.
I looked up at the thermometer hanging on the back wall and giggled.
“What’s so amusing, Sookie?”
“I don’t know what, but something is going to happen today, Pam.”
“What makes you say that?”
“I woke up at 9:02 this morning, September 2nd, and look at the temperature.”
Eric chuckled. “92 degrees. What do you think might happen?” He was being coy.
I laughed. “I dunno, but I suppose we should keep our eyes open.”
We did our best to not think about it and went back to eating until 92 by Avail started playing from my iPod. It was a song Eric knew because he had loaded it for me when I got it. The lyrics reminded me of my telepathy. That’s why I kept it, and I’m sure why he added it.
“Ok, now I’m starting to get freaked out!”
“Lover, it’s just a coincidence. Your iPod is set to shuffle, is it not?”
“Eric, when have we ever fell victim to coincidence?” That shut him up.
I picked the rest of the way through my lunch, trying not to worry. This morning, the 2 things seemed ‘cute’, but the combination of the date, time, temperature and the song playing while we talked about it seemed ominous somehow.
With a frustrated huff, I stood up and started clearing dishes and on my way to the door, my water broke. I stopped dead in my tracks for the second time today.
“COINCEDENCE?” No one had noticed. “What time is it?”
“It’s just after 2. Why, Shug?”
“Two oh nine… Oh shit.” Alcide was the first one over to me. I think Pam and Eric were still trying to wrap their heads around the concept of broken water as they came over.
“Coincidence, my ass.” I thumped Eric’s chest with a smile.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine. I feel fine. I handed Pam the dishes. I’m going to go clean up and get dressed. Alcide grab a moto on your way and call Angela in the bunk house. Eric, you call Dr. Ludwig on your way upstairs to change and grab our bag. K?”
They all nodded and scattered.
“Hunter, Manen, I’m sorry to be a party pooper, but you need to go in and get dressed. I’m going to go to the hospital to have the babies. Angela and Doug will bring you up to meet them when the hard part is over. K?”
The two of them shared a look before they ran past me, all smiles.
I tried to walk as gently as I could to the bathroom, afraid that contractions would come at me with a vengeance now that my water had broken and not wanting to do anything to aggravate things. I made it to the tub with no problems and took a quick shower. I felt strangely ok. When I opened the shower door, Pam was standing there with a towel and she patted me dry and quietly held my panties out for me to step into and then fastened my bra and zipped my dress. She set my sandals down in front of me and after I slid my feet in, I wrapped my arms around her.
“Are you ready for this?”
Her chin puckered a little. “I hope so.”
Alcide and Eric were waiting when we opened the bathroom door. Angela was on the porch clearing the rest of the dishes from lunch. I felt really bad about leaving them for someone else to do.
“Don’t worry about the dishes, Shug. You’ve got other things to do. You ready?”
“Yeah, I’m ready. And you just did it again.”
He gave me a look as we headed to the garage after yelling our goodbyes with the kids.
Alcide drove and Eric rode in the back with me. We were about half way to the hospital when the first contraction hit me. Eric looked at me as he went sheet white. It was a hard one and there wasn’t anything he could do for me and he hated it. Eric didn’t do helpless well, at all.
Eric seemed to be doing better than Pam. I’m going to assume that bond or not, he could only feel so much since he didn’t have the right plumbing. Pam, on the other hand, had the plumbing, but it had been dead for more than 200 years. I couldn’t imagine going from not even PMS cramps in 2 centuries to feeling like she was in labor. I felt more sorry for her than I did for me at the moment.
I needed a distraction from my pity party of 3. “Did anyone think to call Jason?”
“Shug, I tried but I got his voice mail. I left a message.”
Well that conversation didn’t last nearly as long as I hoped. I went back to the worrying.
By the time we reached the hospital, I had only had one more contraction. It took my breath away, but I managed. When we pulled up, to the front door there was a Were doctor waiting at the entrance with a wheel chair.
He handed Alcide a parking pass so that he could leave the truck where it was and he started carting me through the hospital down a long corridor and into an elevator in the back. We were in a corporate hospital but something told me that they had a ‘special’ wing for unusual patients. When the elevator doors shut, the Were slid a card into a scanner and hit the button to take us to the 9th floor.
“Guys, they’re here. Janice and Jason are in the hospital.”
Alcide stared at me with a panicked look and the doctor was very matter of fact. “Oh, do you know the Stackhouses?”
I looked back at him. “My brother, his sister. Is she ok?”
“I’m not at liberty.” Alcide growled at him. “Sir, you can talk to Ludwig when you see her.”
I started digging into the doctor’s head out of impatience and the need to distract myself. “Her blood pressure spiked so Dr. Ludwig is medicating her to bring it down and it’s working.” The answer didn’t seem to help Alcide much.
“How did you…?” I put my hand up to stop Dr. Were from annoying me with questions. It worked. He didn’t say another word.
The doors opened just as another contraction grabbed me. I took Pam’s hand and we waited it out together. She was being a real trooper.
The bubbly front desk nurse greeted us with a smile. “Welcome to ‘Area 51’. It’s the silly nickname we use for the Supe wing here. Dr. Ludwig is waiting for you all in OR-2.”
Yup. 9th floor. 2nd operating room. I was still waiting for those funny little coink-i-dinks to stop. I got the damn message already.
Dr. Were wheeled the four of us back to the operating room, a holding type of area. He handed me a gown and everyone else scrubs. I laughed when Pam cringed at the idea of removing her diesel jeans, D&G blouse and Betsey Johnson pumps in favor of disposable scrubs and paper booties. Alcide and Eric were given ‘one size fits all’ just like Pam. The pants were inches too short and the tops were stretched across their chests tighter than the gut in a tennis racket. I giggled and told them they should pose for a calendar.
Eric helped me get out of my dress and into my standard issue hospital sack. Not that fashion matters in this case, but I still didn’t have to be happy about the open back in a room full of… 8 strangers. We were led into the main area of the operating room after another unpleasant visit from the cramp fairy.
Ludwig was there to greet us. “And how are you all? Any contractions yet?”
I smiled at her. “We’re good. We’ve only had 4.”
“Ok. Hop on up. I have a plan little girl. Wanna hear it?”
I smirked at her. “Yeah, sure.”
“I know that you’ve got 2 really strong vampires who are going to feel most of this, through your bond. I know that you don’t want to just be knocked out. I know that most medicine won’t work on you. But I want to try giving you a local, it’ll take the edge off. I just don’t like the idea of cutting anyone without anesthesia. Are you game?”
I was still smiling. “You’re the doctor. If you think it’ll work…”
She sneered; I was starting to understand that her smile was just creepy, probably from lack of practice. She told me to lie back and then the flurry of activity started around me. Three chairs were dragged over and put by the head of the table. Within 10 minutes, and only one contraction later Dr. Ludwig announced that she was ready to start.
Eric sat directly over my head and kissed my forehead while Alcide and Pam flanked me, each holding a hand.
I felt something cold and wet as they covered the underside of my bump with a wash of some kind.
“Sookie you’re going to feel a little prick. I guess you’ve heard that before though.”
I laughed. “Not since Bill and I broke up!” Eric laughed and kissed my forehead again. He was happy that I wasn’t too scared to make a joke, even if it was a raunchy jab at a dead man.
All three of us bonded ones winced when the first needle went in. She stuck me several more times and then told me we were going to wait for a few minutes to let it work.
After a while, she asked me if I felt ‘that’.
“How about now?”
I watched Alcide stand up to look over the drape and I saw Pam and Eric’s nostrils flare. So I guess I had been cut.
“Alright, little girl. We know what we’re doing. You’re going to feel a lot of pressure, but this should all be over in less than 10 minutes.”
“Aye aye captain.”
A moment later Pam laid down in her own lap, doubled over.
“Um, when are you going to get started?”
Alcide squeezed my hand and looked down at me. “Shh, they have… Eric? You alright to stand up?”
Eric looked down at me. “Sookie, are you alright?”
I smiled at his curiosity. “Yeah. Go watch.”
He stood up just in time for me to feel my hand get a squeeze from Alcide and feel like someone grabbed my bump and shook it.
I squeezed Pam’s hand and looked over at her. “Pam, how are you doing?”
She lifted her head, her fangs out and her face was covered in bloody tears. “I’m fine. I didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed.”
“Can you stand up to watch?”
She seemed to be thinking about that for a minute then she slowly shook her head.
Dr Ludwig peeked over the drape. “Sookie, do we have names?”
“Erika is the one that’s breech. Dagny is the one that wanted to cooperate.”
She chuckled and disappeared again.
I laughed. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
Everyone in the room laughed.
Eric looked down at me, then bent to give me a peck. “You’re being very brave.” He stood back up to watch. I was proud of how calm he was being. I could tell that he was suffering and that he was more scared than he had been the last time he was in this hospital with me.
Ludwig squawked at me again. “How are you doing down there?”
“I’m just wondering what the hold up is? You sure aren’t breaking any land speed records.”
I heard her laughing. “You trying to goad me girl?”
“Maybe. Will it work?”
Just then I felt a warm rush, like someone had just spilled bathwater on my lap. “We have the first one!”
I looked up at Eric. He was watching carefully and as soon as I heard a cry, he sat back onto his chair and mashed his lips against my head. “She’s beautiful. Sookie, she’s amazing.”
I smiled up at him. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I was hypnotized by the sound of my baby crying. MY baby.
I was starting to feel a lot more pain all of a sudden. Eric and Pam both felt it.
“Doctor, something is wrong, She’s in a lot of pain.” Pam crashed into her seat after having stood just long enough to lay eyes on Erika.
“I’m working as fast as I can. We’ll be out of here in a minute.”
I felt like I was being pulled apart. This was the most pain I could ever remember being in. I was breathing heavy and the tears were falling into my hair when I looked over at Pam.
“Pam… Pam! Look at me.” She did, finally. “Just a few more minutes. Close your eyes and listen to that cry. Do you hear how strong she is? She’s going to make sure she always gets the last word. I wonder where she gets that from.”
Dr. Ludwig was laughing. “I’m up to my elbows in you and you’re worried about the vampire? You are entertaining.”
Pam wasn’t buying it. She couldn’t feel anything but the pain. And for a moment, neither could I.
I started to tremble uncontrollably. I felt like I had gotten a rough shake, and then another, then another warm rush. The only thing left was pressure, like I was laying something hard. When I heard the crying again, my eyes leaked like someone had turned on a spigot.
Eric’s hands were on either side of my head, shaking and his eyes hadn’t left mine since the pain started washing over me. “Eric, go see the baby.”
“I won’t leave you.”
“I’m fine. The hard part is over.”
“I won’t leave you.”
There wasn’t any point in arguing with him. All I could do is smile at him and listen to our daughters make their presence known.
I laid there for a while, God only knows how long, while the doctors worked on me, doing God only knows what. The girls had both calmed down and Pam’s color had improved. I sent her to go check on our girls, hoping that she might brighten now. Alcide helped her since she still seemed unsteady.
Eric took my hands and laced our fingers together. “Lover?”
I grinned. “Eric, how are you doing?”
He snorted. “Since I don’t have a hole in my abdomen, I think I should be asking you that question.”
I giggled. “I’m fine. I want to hold the babies.”
“Alcide and Pam are watching over them. I’m sure you can soon.”
“Is Pam alright?”
“She’s fine. Lover, you did very well. You surprise me every day.”
Dr. Ludwig yelled. “You really are a trooper little girl! That threshold of yours is pretty impressive.”
She was telling me like I gave a shit.
“I just want to see my babies.”
A few minutes later, Alcide and Pam came over with very snuggly swaddled bundles. My tears started all over again.
I tried sitting up so I could hold them but the doctor fussed at me. “You can hold them when you get settled in your room. Just hang in there a few more minutes while we put you back together.”
I laid there and studied them instead. They were beautiful. I knew they would be, but seeing them like a photo in an album isn’t the same as meeting them. Their eyes were closed, but I knew the color wouldn’t be true for a while anyway. I saw white blonde peach fuzz around the crown of their heads and little wisps peeking out from under their beanies. They definitely had their father’s nose and mouth. I was in awe. There was nothing I had ever felt that could hold a candle to this.
When they were finally done checking the oil, or whatever they’d been doing, and put me in my room, it was almost an hour later. Alcide and Pam had handed the girls to Eric to go make phone calls and check on Janice. He walked just behind the gurney carrying them the whole way. The second my back hit the hospital bed, my arms went out to take one. Eric leaned over and handed one to me. It was Dagny. I don’t know how, but I could tell.
I scooted over and pat the bed for Eric to come sit next to me. We sat together and stared at them, side by side.
“Lover, how do we tell them apart?”
I smiled at him. “Well, Erika is boisterous, unabashed and outspoken… Dagny is friendly, amiable and passive. Erika will like soccer and baseball and Dagny will like gymnastics and dancing.”
He chuckled. “Well then, how will we do it until they start hugging vampires and challenging the guards?”
“I don’t know. I can just feel it.”
We traded babies and he felt it right away. We smiled at each other and he leaned over to kiss me. “Thank you.”
He grinned and kissed my cheek again. “My life.”
We didn’t have to wait long for company. If I hadn’t known better, I’d have sworn that Angela had been waiting in the lobby with the kids and the camera. Manen and Hunter could feel the difference too. They sat on the couch for much longer than I thought they would, holding their new little sisters. Comparing them and smelling them and going gaga in general.
Manen coached Eric through a double diaper change and the new big siblings had the honor of the first feeding.
Manen had been quietly impressed, but Hunter gets chatty when he’s excited. “Momma, when will you have more babies?”
I laughed suddenly, hurting myself a little. “I don’t know Sweetie. It might take a while for everybody to get over this time. Why?”
“I love them, but I’m really outnumbered. Next time you need to have boys.”
We all thought it was cute, so I just went with it. “I’ll see what I can do. Anything else?”
“Nope. Just boys.”
“But you know that you’ll have 2 boy cousins, right?”
“It’s not the same.” It made me misty that he really did consider himself ours. That he really did feel the distinction between cousins and siblings. If he ‘felt’ adopted, wouldn’t it all feel the same to him? “I want little brothers.”
Manen looked annoyed. “Hunter, she can’t help it. It’s not like ordering fries or onion rings.”
Hunter stuck his tongue out at her but she seemed unaffected.
Manen grumbled about having to turn Erika over to Angela. I thought it was funny how she preferred the baby who would be more like Eric. Hunter on the other hand, had fun supervising Doug while he met Dagny.
Jason stopped in to meet his new nieces before Janice was discharged; the medication worked for her for the time being. He cried when he held them, the mixture of nerves and anticipation and everything else going on for our family was just too much for him to be man-ish about it.
Visiting hours were over at 7 in this wing, but Eric played the royalty card to buy us a little extra time with Manen and Hunter. After they left, I handed Dagny to Alcide and patted the bed for Pam to join me. Alcide took the hint and went and sat with Eric and talked.
When she sat down, I put my hands on her shoulders and pulled her to me for a hug. “I love you, Pam. Thank you for staying with me.”
“I love you too, Sookie. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t any help.”
I giggled, trying to lighten the mood a little. “I think the Doc had things covered.” I gave her shoulders a squeeze.
“You were amazing. I can’t believe you can talk about doing that all over again and so soon. You’re either the epitome of bravery or feeble mindedness.”
“Holding them made it all worth it, didn’t it?”
She smiled at me. “For me it was, but you are the one with 19 staples. How are you?”
“I feel fine. Just sore. We’ll be dancing again in no time.”
She smiled at me and we kept talking for a while before Alcide came over with Erika and Pam went over to sit with Eric and Dagny. Alcide sat on the side of the bed and leaned over to kiss my cheek. “Not bad.”
He got right in my ear. “That you managed to hold back so much.”
I gave him a dirty look. “Don’t you dare tell.” I hadn’t blocked as much from the bond as I had hoped, but I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like otherwise.
“We should talk about why I can read your mind all of a sudden.”
“Hey, I’m new at the maker biz.”
He chuckled. “Wanna hear something weird?”
I nodded wearily. Honestly, if Alcide thought it was weird, I wasn’t sure if I did want to hear it.
“It doesn’t bother me. I expected to start feeling weird about it, but I still haven’t had any second thoughts. And I don’t mind when they call you my maker.”
Okay, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. He was right, I expected him to have second thoughts about immortality too. And I kinda thought it was funny to be a ‘maker’, even if that wasn’t exactly true.
I smiled at him in understanding and we fussed over Erika for a while before something occurred to us at nearly the same time. Seattle.
He had a solution before I formed the question. “I’ll have Chris and Lisa rearrange our docket. We can handle regional cases locally. They knew this could happen. The council will be fine with it.”
“They’d better be. I won’t leave my babies so soon.” That would be worth quitting over, in a heartbeat.
After a little more talking and planning our schedule, Alcide looked over at Pam. “Woman, you ready to go? We need to get some rest and come back refreshed with rations for lunch box.”
She smiled at him. “Can I take a baby with me?”
“We have two waiting at home.”
“But they like you more. I need to get a gain on you with these.”
He looked at her over his shoulder and laughed. “Come on. They aren’t set up for a family our size. We’ll be back first thing.” She frowned and handed Dagny back to Far and Alcide handed Erika to me and got up. He went over to the door and turned, waiting for Pam who had forgotten why she stood up apparently.
“I’ll carry you.”
She flipped him the middle finger and bent to take another smell of Erika’s head.
He calmly strolled across the room with a smirk screwed on tight and hugged her around the waist, lifting her onto his shoulder. I laughed as he walked away because Pam was playfully putting up a fight and looked like a flipped beetle.
They had ignored the visiting hours until almost 10, but then it was just the 4 of us.
I hadn’t left the bed since they put me in it, but I had no reason to leave it. I used the controls to lay the bed down flat, then called my husband over to join me and I snuggled into the crook of Eric’s arm and stared into the faces of our little girls where they were perched on Eric’s chest until I fell asleep.
“OH I DON’T THINK SO!” I don’t think I had been asleep for long when I heard the God-awful noise. Eric and I were both awake instantly. It was our favorite bucket of bedside manner. I had just started to like her too.
“What do you think the bassinet is for, Vampire? That’s not safe no matter how light you sleep. Now get off the bed so I can check on your wife.”
When he did, I laid flat and watched him set both of them in the basinet while the ‘good’ doctor folded the sheet back and lifted my gown.
“You responsible for this?” She was accusing him of something, of what I had no idea.
It seems that, neither did he. “Responsible for what?”
“Look for yourself.”
Eric came over and towered over her, even on her step. “What am I looking at?”
“Her incision. Is your blood responsible?”
“She hasn’t taken my blood since early Wednesday morning.”
“She couldn’t have done that all by herself in 8 hours!” Ok, I’d been asleep longer than I thought.
“She’s made a habit of amazing people, Dr. Ludwig. It’s something I’ve gotten accustomed to.” He beamed at me. “Lover, you have no scar. Only staples.”
Dr. Ludwig went back to work, looking me over and moving on to pull the staples out- in her oh so friendly way. When she was done, she ordered me out of the bed to see how moving around would feel. I wouldn’t call what I’d done a step as much as the first movement in a trust exercise. Eric didn’t let me hit the floor when my knees gave out. I obviously wasn’t ready for that. I was feeling really week.
“Lover, you need to eat something.”
I nodded at him, so Eric got directions to a bank of vending machines and set off on his mission while Ludwig stood at the foot of the bed and went over things. It was just an excuse to stay with me while he was gone. She took the information for the birth certificates, letting me know that she was going to have a hell of a time convincing people (actual humans) that ‘vampire’ being in the race box for the father wasn’t ‘bullshit’.
While we waited, and talked, both girls needed a diaper and a bottle and I made short work of both tasks as the doctor watched me. I felt like was being supervised, but I couldn’t think of a reason to care.
“The Were Pedes doc will be here in a couple of hours. A nurse will come down to get them and they’ll do all of the neonatal screenings. It’ll take a couple of hours. You should take the opportunity to eat and shower and get some rest. The Vampire staying with you?”
“He never leaves me.”
“Never? The nurses complained when you were shot, but…”
“Not since we met. He’s always tended to me.” I stated it as firmly as I could without sounding defensive and then Eric walked in with an armload of juices and an assortment of items.
“Lover, the Automat was quite meager. I can make a call and have something brought to you.”
“No, don’t wake anyone up. The cafeteria will open soon and Alcide and Pam will be here early. This will do for a couple of hours.” He had grabbed a burrito, a couple of hot pockets, cashews, cookies, 3 different Sobes, a coffee and a true blood.
“There were sandwiches, but I didn’t trust them. They could be as old as me.”
He smiled when I laughed at his joke, Ludwig even laughed. She took her leave, saying she’d be back ‘shortly’ to check on me before she left for the day.
I relayed the information from the doctor while I ate and drank everything but the burrito and the true blood. I was hungry enough to have eaten the burrito too, but Eric took it from me, claiming it smelled ‘bad, even for a burrito’.
I finally felt like I could go to the bathroom and stiffness was my only complaint. When I got back from the bathroom, we ignored Ludwig and rebelliously went back to sleep the same way she found us.