Chapter 3

Pacifying The Press

Sookie’s POV

Friday, September 3rd

We woke up to a knock at the door. The clock on the wall told me that it was too early. A 6am wakeup call on the day after a c-section is just rude.

“Ma’am, I’ve come to take your babies to see the doctor.”

I held my hand out and he shook it and he tried to release it right away. I wasn’t being friendly, I wanted to dig through his brain to make sure he wasn’t someone we needed to worry about.  I’m glad I did.

“Eric, he’s photographer for a gossip rag.”

Eric smiled his ‘you’re gonna need clean shorts’ smile and sat up slowly, gently placing the girls on the bed. “My favorite one?”

“Which one was your favorite again?”

“The one that said I had paid a man to impregnate you so that I could eat your offspring.”

“That’s the one.” The photographer wasn’t going to hurt the girls, but we had heard that there was quite a prize to fetch for the first pictures of them. Extra, if their fangs showed.

Assholes.

Eric grabbed the guy by the back of the neck. “Where is your camera?”

The guy pulled it out of his pocket. Eric took it from him politely and then gave it a squeeze, splintering it. It was like watching a muffin crumble apart. Frightening and remarkable. The message was simple: Don’t fuck with his family. Eric led the paparazzi out of the room and returned a moment later with a broom and dust pan.

I giggled at the sight of him sweeping. He’d gotten much better at common chores in recent months.

“Did you drain him?”

“Not worth it.”

“Mmm, maybe. What did you do?”

“I took a picture of him with my phone and sent it to our guards and then turned him over to the goblin guards they have here.”

“Oooh. Nice.”

He smiled up at me. “Lover, you seem very sound.”

I thought about that for a minute. “I feel great. I guess eating earlier helped.”

I grabbed diapers and bottles from the bassinet’s cabinet and started unwrapping the girls to change them… and count fingers and toes again, just for fun. When the room temperature air hit Dagny’s warm skin, she flailed her arms out. I thought she looked like a tiny cheerleader. While I was still amused, I noticed a mark on her wrist.

“Eric, did you notice a birthmark?”

“No. Who has one?”

“Dagny has one on her wrist. You need to see it to believe it.”

He came over and stood over me while I finished with the diaper change. I took her hand, with some effort since she was clutching it to her chest, and held up her wrist. “It’s shaped like a tear drop.” He smiled and lifted her, taking a bottle to start feeding her.

“Or a drop of blood since its red.”

When I changed Erika, I checked her for a birthmark too. I didn’t have to look for long before I found one on her opposite wrist.

“Eric, she’s got one too.”

He smiled as he leaned over to inspect it and we continued to feed and burp them until there was another knock on the door.

“Ma’am, I’m Doctor Jung. I’m here to take your daughters to have their hearing screening and neo natal blood work.” I put my hand out and he took it, passing my screening. Lucky for him.

Eric followed him out, explaining that we’d already had trouble this morning and then came right back. He suggested that I take that shower the doc suggested, so I got up and hopped in while he grabbed something for me to wear and my shower kit.

The bathroom was tiny. It contained a bathtub and a toilet, nothing more. The mirror and the sink were just outside in the room. I heard Eric come in while my head was under the water.
He slid the shower curtain open so that he could help and his jaw dropped.

“What? Is it bad? I don’t even want to look.”

“Why?”

“Because I saw some pictures online of women who’ve had multiples and they look horrible. How bad is it?”

“Sookie…”

“Never mind, I don’t want to know. I’ll look after I have the chance to work out a little.”

“Sookie, you don’t look like you’ve ever been pregnant.”

“What?”

“You look like you did months ago. You’re skin appears just as it was before you started showing. Just look.”

I had to believe him. He had a twisted sense of humor at times, but he wasn’t cruel, not with me. When I looked down, expecting to see the subject of a ‘before tummy tuck’ photo, I saw my old stomach. The skin was a little less tight, but less than 24 hours after twins, what idiot would complain. I ran my hand over my abs. The six pack was back and I wanted to do cart wheels! I guess it paid to be a freak of nature! I was so happy, without considering that I was wet, I leapt out of the shower and hugged my arms and legs around my husband. All he could do is laugh while I covered his face and neck with aggressive smooches. Again, I know I was too happy, but after the way I felt yesterday when I woke up more mobile, this shouldn’t be a shock.

“Lover, are you going to be able to maintain your sanity?”

“Nope. It’s gone.”

He laughed as he took a couple of steps and set me back into the tub. “Since we aren’t sure how long your energy will last, I think you should bathe now, rejoice later.”

I was all together energized at this point, but I wasn’t going to argue. “As you wish, sir.”

Eric watched me in amazement as I cleaned the stink of betadine and plastic from my hair and skin.  “Eric, I feel great. How long do you think before I can run again, or get on the pole?”

“You may not be so keen to do either once your milk comes in. As I understand it, you will be uncomfortable for a while.”

I had forgotten about that. I grunted as I stepped from the tub and Eric started toweling me dry. I quickly put on a little white cotton nightgown, panties and robe and scooted over to the bed. I had just sat down when the Doc skulked in without knocking.

**

“I’m leaving for the day, I just talked to the Pedes guy and as long as the girls blood work later looks good , we’re kicking you out in the morning. Now lay back, so I can check on things.”

She did her thing where she hovers her hands over an area, then she had me pull up my gown.

“If I thought anybody would believe me, I’d take a picture of your stomach!”

“I was freaking out, I didn’t want to look at it and when I did… Well, I thought I’d die of excitement.”

She snarled at me. This wasn’t an unpracticed smile. This was a jealousy driven feature. “How is the bleeding?”

“None.”

“None?”

“Yeah, when is it supposed to start?”

“You should’ve bled buckets by now.” She growled slightly. “I’m charging you extra for being so damn lucky. Everyday women have babies. They are forced to suffer through weeks of bleeding, miserable cramping and huge and unfortunate body changes. Here I am, family doctor for the infinite and I’m treating her for ‘post partum elation’.”

“Um, I’m sorry?”I laughed and eventually the doc chuckled. She was more feeling the shock/awe thing. I could understand. I wasn’t a stranger to that.

Eric, my worrier, needed to be the serious one in the room. “What are her limitations?”

She sniped at him. “She’s in ideal health. She can do whatever she feels like doing.”

I got excited about a few perversions I’d been missing while Eric had been… gentle. “ANYthing?”

“Sure. Knock yourself out. Be careful though. You already know how fertile you are. Unless you want me to go spelunking up to your rib cage again in 9 months.”

I laughed at the mental image of little Dr. Ludwig in a miners helmet and harness, hanging over me from the ceiling.

“Uh, now that I’m 100%, is there anything that I can do for Janice?”

“No. Nothing is broken or damaged. The cure for her condition is delivery. Are you going to continue tending to her?”

I looked at Eric, almost sure that he’d want more quiet around the house with the babies. I had locked down my face and thrown up my shields so that I didn’t influence his opinion. I had started doing that more and more recently so he gave me a half dirty look before he spoke. “Lover, I was going to ask Jason if they’d consider staying with us their last few weeks. The extra help might ease his mind.”

I curled my lip at him. “Did you talk to Alcide? Janice is really mean to him too.”

Ludwig argued. “Janice isn’t mean. She’s ‘hormonal’.”

I laughed. “Fine, she’s ‘hormonal’ as a snake to everyone but Saint Eric!”

He chuckled cockily. “Alcide and I talked. His worry outweighs his instinct to run and hide.”

I giggled. “If Alcide’s cool, I’m cool.”

The doctor was happy to hear it. “Don’t be too worried about it being long term. I don’t see her going longer than a week before we have to take them, but the longer she goes, the better.”

When she went to leave, I jumped out of bed and pounced on her to hug her. “Thank you. You’re the best.” She really didn’t know what to do with a hug.

**

After she left I walked over to Eric and put my arms up to rest on his shoulders.

“How do you feel about being married to a freak?”

“Anointed.” He smiled and kissed me.

“That’s a pretty strong word.”

“You’re a pretty big freak.” I couldn’t help but laugh. He scooped me up and carried me to the bed. “You are hungry, I’m going to the cafeteria. Do you need anything before I go?”

“Just a kiss.”

He smoldered and delivered a kiss that almost melted me.

**

Eric hadn’t been gone for long when I heard a clamor outside of my door. Alcide and Pam had arrived with breakfast and were excitedly chatting away when they burst through the door.
Right away Alcide was worried. “Where are they? What’s wrong?”

I sat up to sit Indian style. “Everything is great. The girls went for normal testing and Eric went to the cafeteria. We didn’t expect you so early.”

He snorted in relief. “We couldn’t sleep. We wanted to get back. Did you get any rest?” He leaned down and kissed my neck.

“A bit.  Ludwig checked on me. She says that as long as the girls stay perfect we’re going home tomorrow.”

Pam got excited instantly. “I’ll be able to hold them all day!” Alcide and I rolled our eyes at her. She was going to spoil the girls, and there didn’t seem to be anything we could do to stop her.

“Shug, how are you doing? Is the incision ok? You’re not hurting too bad are you?”

“You wanna see?”  He stared at me for a second and then nodded. I laid back and lifted my nightgown dramatically slow, stopping at the waist of my panties. Then I slid my panties down to my hips.

He squinted his eyes, not believing his perfect vision and pushed my nightgown further up my body. “No. Fucking. Way.” He ran his hand over me like he was checking wood for splinters. “You healed yourself that fast?!”

“That appears to be the case.”

“I’m going to go stay in a hotel for a while.”

“What? Why?”

“So that I don’t get messy when Janice’s head explodes.”

“You sir, are a coward… and a pervert.” The pervert part came from his thoughts. He had a guy moment.

He raised his eyebrows. “Who? Me?” He leaned over and kissed my cheek. “I’m happy for you, Shug.”

He put a bag down on the tray table. “What’d you bring me?”

He smiled at me. “Machaca con huevos y papas and chori quesadillas.”

“Oooh. You’re good. Thank you.” He had gone to the other side of Shreveport to get breakfast for us at our favorite little Mexican hole in the wall. He pulled out 4 aluminum take out containers to spread them out on the tray and sat next to me while we ate our breakfast and fought over the salsa.

**

Eric was back up in a flash after I ‘called’ him to cancel his mission.

“You have excellent timing. I was in line watching unsanitary people serve shiny food. The only thing that looked safe was the prepackaged cereal.” He kissed my cheek. “That doesn’t look much better, but it does smell good.”

I smiled up at him and pinched off a piece of quesadilla. “Presentation always suffers with take out.”

He chuckled at me. “I called Jason while I was out.”

“Ever the mulitasker. How did your convo go?”

“Our… ‘convo’ went well. He’ll be packing some things for them and heading over around noon. She wanted to use the pool today anyway. She was happy to get the invitation.”

“Promise me something.”

He rolled his eyes and Alcide found it amusing so I elbowed him. “Can I promise after I hear the request?”

“Oh Gawd! I’m the one that married a vampire! I yield to you all the time.”

The smirk on his face was wicked. “The original question still stands. Can I hear the request before promising?”

I chuckled. “All I want is for you to do as little for Janice as possible when Jason is around.”

He bowed. “That, I can do. But why?”

“Because…” I reached over and put my hands over Alcide’s ears playfully. “She’s too miserable to put out. Tending to her is the only way they can connect right now.” I pulled my hands away from Alcide and he growled at me… so I stuck my tongue out at him.

“That makes perfect sense. I promise.”

He grabbed his Kindle from our bag and sat next to a very impatient Pam to read. Vampire aren’t prone to fidgeting, but Pam was sitting with one leg crossed over the other and swinging it violently. “Eric, can we go get them or do we have to wait?”

“They haven’t been gone for long. Patience, Pamela, patience.”

**

Alcide cleaned up the breakfast mess and then settled back on the bed to find something on TV.

“Um, guys, I’m bored.”

Alcide reached over and slapped my thigh. “Ok. Now you can spend 10 minutes trying to think of ways to get me back.

I didn’t wait. I reached up and tweaked his nipple. “Now I’m bored again. I guess I could order the birth announcements.”

“Or you could go back to playing with my nipples.” I laughed at him as I got up and grabbed my laptop out of our bag. The stationary had already been picked out and all I had to do was email the calligrapher with the details.

Erika Northman
Born: September 2nd at 4:02 pm
7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 ½ inches long.

Dagny Northman
Born: September 2nd at 4:09 pm
7 pounds 2 ounces and 19 inches long

**

Alcide had watched me type up the email. “Uh… Shug, did you notice the extra 9s and 2s?”

“Yes sir, I did. You’d better bet your ass I’m gonna put Amelia on that numerology shit the second I see her.”

“Do you know anything about it?”

“I know that adding them together, you get 11, giving you a master number. I also know that in Basque, 11 and infinite are the same word: hamaika.” Eric’s eyes shot up at me without moving another muscle, but he didn’t say anything. I raised an eyebrow at him.

I had a lot of emails to go through. Tobin had been keeping up with business emails for me but the personal ones were backed up. I had personal emails from business people, business emails from friends and all of it filtered through one of the gossipingest Weres I’d ever met.

Tobin was only knee deep in a new semester and I had been taking on less and less because of the pregnancy so his load had lightened. Jordie was enjoying a bit of a reprieve as well.

I was returning an email about a house Eric and I were thinking about buying to make our trips to DC less of a hassle.

“Eric, the Clark’s finally got back to me. They said that the first floor has three bathrooms. 1 guest bathroom and the other two are shared by the 4 bedrooms. The whole 3rd floor is the two masters and every bedroom on the second floor has its own bath.”

“I’ll call them tomorrow and set a meeting with them for a walk through.”

I instantly got excited. We had taken no less than half a dozen trips to DC. The hotel we’d been using was very nice, but it was always swarming with press because the other guests were almost always dignitaries of some kind. So even when we managed to sneak into town, we were spotted quickly.

The online pictures of this house were beautiful and I was in love as soon as Eric showed them to me. The building was almost 200 years old and started as a catholic church. It was in the neighborhood between Dupont and Logan Circles and less than 10 blocks from the White House. Nothing better than being able to walk to work or being able to take my morning run around the National Mall. There are worse views.

**

I had finally had enough of waiting for the babies to be brought back, so I eagerly called for a nurse to bring them to us. Pam threw an appreciative smile in my direction.

I hadn’t been expecting company, I would have been fine with some, but I was in no mood for who decided to visit. And with a pop, no less.

“Niall, what are you doing here?”

“Good morning, dear child. We have family business to discuss.” He had a grin on his lips just like the one he wore when he brought me ‘suitable mates’. He eyed my company one at a time as a hint for me to ‘excuse’ them.

“Then it’s a good thing that my family is here. What do you want?”

He glared at me. He was obviously angry with me for shooting him down, but I wasn’t in the mood for Faerie shit today, maybe not ever. “I have opened the realm to bring my grandchildren a gift.”

“What would that be?”

“Their father.”

Eric had been pretending to ignore Niall’s presence by continuing to read. But the ‘father’ comment spun him up. “You need to explain that.”

“I need explain nothing to you, vampire. My granddaughter is none of your concern in matters of family.”

“My wife, most certainly, is my concern.”

“Wife?”

I huffed. “Yes, wife. I married him months ago and he’s right. You DO need to explain what you meant.”

“I brought suitors for you to choose from and you refused. Then, I brought mates for you to breed with and you, again, refused. So I made one last attempt by sending Preston to you. I was very pleased when you accepted him. He is just outside and anxious to meet his daughters.”

Eric was furious, I knew it was directed at Niall, but he was questioning me and he was ashamed of himself for it. “Those are MY daughters, old man. Who is Preston?”

Niall looked over at me, ignoring Eric. “Child, Preston found himself enamored with you after your coupling. He wishes to become your permanent mate and I grant him my blessing.”

“How nice for Preston, but I don’t want any more to do with him than I did the night he pretended to be a wounded Were to get into my house and bed.”

He let out an amused huff. “You must have wanted something to do with him.”

I got up and went over to stand my ground. “You don’t get it do you?… Niall, why aren’t I surprised to hear YOU mention Preston? My ‘dirty little secret’. Why didn’t I go through the roof or get upset when you ‘dropped the bomb’?”

He looked thoughtful and then I saw the light come on behind his eyes.

“That’s right, you foolish ass. I was smart enough to figure out you were behind his visit. The only thing he ACTUALLY tasted last Christmas Eve was soup. Everything else was a glamour.”

“How dare you call me a fool! I am a prince!”

“Uh huh… blah, blah, blah. I am a queen, Eric is a King and if you aren’t going to keep up, you should stay in your little realm and leave everyone alone.” Alcide and Eric both snickered.

“How did you know he wasn’t a Were? I don’t believe you!”

“Right… because I’m the one that’s been a sneaky, lying prick. I can see why you wouldn’t trust me. And Preston’s performance would have been more impressive if my best friend isn’t a Were. I know what color they think in and I know what a shift sounds like. I know that a Were wouldn’t have been confused to be asked about needing a toilet and I know that Weres heal quickly, but not that damned quickly. You really are daft for someone so old.” That earned more laughing from the peanut gallery.

“But you did conceive.”

“Very good. Now can you name all of your colors?” He didn’t appreciate the sarcasm, at all. Pam did.

“You will show me some respect. I am your grandfather.”

“No, you are my great grandfather, thankfully making us slightly less related. You are the guy who fucked with my powers blindly without asking and then hatched a plan to knock me up against my will just so your clan would increase in numbers. You have done nothing to earn my respect. Respect isn’t handed out on the dole; you have to do more than just show up.”

Niall clenched his jaw. “And now you consider… this your family?”

“Yes. I do.”

“Why?” He seemed to actually want an answer.

“Because we love each other.”

“Vampires know no such feeling. I am your blood. I should be more important to you than them.”

I huffed and growled at the infuriating man. “Even now, you didn’t say that you love me. If you loved me, it would have hurt you to hear me say that I didn’t love you. If I were to say ‘I don’t love you’ to any other person in this room, they would be pained. Yet you stand there and throw biased misconceptions at me. That’s what makes them more important to me than you.”

He looked angry and disappointed. “Am I to understand that you are rejecting me as your family?”

“That depends. Do you want to show up from time to time and visit, behaving normally by catching up and telling the children Faerie tales? Or do you want to show up every time I ovulate like a deranged semen broker?”

He lifted his chin and stared down his nose at me. “I am unhappy with the vampire as your mate.”

“Noted and disregarded.”

“Sookie?” Niall is obviously not used to being argued with. Maybe if he’d seen me since my powers kicked in, he’d know not to get on my bad side.

“Like it or not, he is the father of your great, great grandchildren. He is my legal and bonded husband. Nothing but MY death will ever change that. How do you choose to behave?”

Just then, the door opened and a nurse pushed the babies into the room and left them next to me.

Niall looked down into the bassinet and almost spat his words. “They aren’t FAE.”

“I thought we covered that.”

“I suppose, I will leave you in peace with your new ‘family’.” He said family like he had just thrown up.

“Excellent. Goodbye.”

He popped away. I caught myself hoping he accidently landed in an industrial vat of lemon juice. Eric and Pam got up. Pam made a bee line to the bassinet and picked both girls up to hog them.

**

I laughed at her. “Pammy! Don’t Bogart the babies.” She smiled at me with every intention of ignoring me.

Eric on the other hand put his hands on my shoulders and bore into me with his gaze. “I’m sorry that you had to choose.”

“I didn’t. I never liked him anyway.”

“Lover?”

“I liked the idea of him, sure, but when you said that you didn’t trust Faeries, I kept my eyes open in spite of wanting a ‘family’ connection.”

Eric clenched his jaw. “You didn’t trust him based on something I said?”

“Yes.”

“Sookie, I never meant for you to ignore your family.”

“Your lack of trust didn’t cause me to shut him out. It kept me from closing my eyes on his faults. So I picked up on things I probably would have missed otherwise. I knew right away that my power surge involved him because it started happening within a few days of our meeting. I knew there was more to his constant offer of favors and material things. He had an angle the whole time. I’ll trust a vampire over a Faerie anytime. I hope you like the smell of lemons.”

“Why?”

“Because, I plan on making citrus a mainstay around the house, just in case.”

“Sookie, are you sure that you don’t blame me for your estrangement?”

I stood on my toes and kissed his cool lips. “I’m positive. He cut his own throat. Unbinding my powers gave me a new temperance somehow and not only did it help me to realize that he wanted to use me, it also helped me to realize that you wouldn’t. Without realizing it, he gave me a push towards you.”

He gave me his evil smirk. “You should call him back so I can thank him.”

I laughed. “As much fun as that would be, I’m quite happy to be done with him.”

**

I sat back down on the bed next to Alcide and watched a little ESPN. They were rerunning an old Super Bowl game.

I put my fingers to my head like Kreskin. “Hmmm, I see the Raiders winning 38 to 9.”

Alcide looked at me shocked. “If you’re going to be a party pooper, I can change it.”

I wrestled the controller away from him. “Don’t! I want to see Allen’s 74 yard run! Besides, my boy was with the Raiders then.”

“Let me guess… Big, blond and pretty… Howie Long?”

“Nope, Lyle Alzado.”

“Really?”

“Yup, I’ve got a thing for violent bad asses. Now shut up so we can make fun of Madden.”

He chuckled. “You know that’s the worst part of you not getting drunk anymore.”

“Drunk Madden? I know.”

“What are the odds that the Ravens are playing the Monday night we’re in town?”

“100%. Oakland. 2 tickets on the visitor’s 50 in the low 100s.”

Alcide grabbed my face and kissed me. Well, mashed our faces together really. “That’s my girl!”

Eric and Pam had been watching us like we were a zoo exhibit: Homo Sportsfanicous. Pam looked over at Eric. “I’m so glad they have each other. I can’t stand modern sports.”

He laughed at her. “But without sports, all of the rubes and hayseeds would be trying to make an honest living. It would be absolute lunacy.”

Alcide and I glowered at his estimation of sports and I blew him a raspberry before I went back to watching the game.

We watched it like we didn’t know how it would end, yelling and cheering until a nurse came in and fussed at us for our volume.

**

When the game was over, we switched it to the news to avoid being lulled to sleep by a golf tournament and started brainstorming about lunch.

“What do you like today?”

I thought about that for a minute. “Are you going to go get something?”

“Yup, anything you want.”

“Hmmm, Tandori chicken… lamb korma… lots of naan… kheer for dessert?”

“That sounds really good.”

Pam made a joke about the two of us sharing a brain and we didn’t help our case by flipping her the bird at the same time. Eric laughed and then took the girls from her and brought Erika to me so that we could change and feed them.

“…Hospital administrators have refused to comment but a reliable source has stated that the Northman baby has been born…” All four of us nearly got whiplash turning to look at the TV.

The reporter was standing at the main entrance to the hospital. LIVE.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I think there should be a law giving us permission to shoot paparazzi. It could be fun. Really. I’d buy a license for ‘paparazzi season’.

“…The royal couple rushed to the hospital yesterday morning because of complications and we understand that Sookie Northman is in critical condition as we speak. No word yet on the health of Baby Northman…”

The reporter and the anchorman starting going back and forth. “Any word on whether it’s a boy or girl?”

“We’ve heard that it’s a boy, but the name reports are conflicting. The majority of reports do state though, that they planned to name the baby after a long time friend of the family, William.” Ok, that was laughable. All of us enjoyed chuckle over that nonsense. Someone must have sat down for hours to come up with that.

“And what is the news of the baby’s condition? Is he a vampire?”

“We have been provided with a photo of the baby. He does have fangs, but we are having the photo authenticated.”

“Has the Northman camp made any public statement?”

“No. The King and Queen are both quite unreachable at the moment. We are hoping that when Sookie’s health has improved, the king will issue a statement.”

“Thank you, Laura. More on this story as it develops…”

“Of course, we’re unreachable… I’m in a coma!”

Eric actually laughed. “Lover, we will leave from the back in the morning. Everything will be fine.”

“I hate that they haven’t got the sense… SHIT! I need a phone.”

Alcide quickly handed my phone to me and I started dialing.

“Merlotte’s.”

“Hi Sam.”

“Sookie? God, we just saw the news.”

“We did too. I didn’t want y’all to worry.”

“So? Did you have ‘em?”

“Yeah. They’re great. Both of them are perfect.”

“When are you going home? We want to come visit.”

“Tomorrow. We’ll be home by lunch time.”

“Great. I’ll see you then. Sookie, thanks for calling me to let me know you’re ok.”

“See ya then, Sam.”

**

I hung up and everyone was staring at me. “What?”

Pam was the voice for the group this time. “You called him first?” She said it like I ran into a burning house to save the garbage can.

“I called him first because he’s the hub. Everyone in Bon Temps would call him for news or go into the bar for the gossip. Calling him saved me 20 phone calls.”

“And what of the justices and regents.”

I smiled at her. “You act like I’m new at this… I texted everyone early this morning: The twins have arrived. They are perfect. All of us are doing very well. More info later.”

Alcide leaned over and kissed my cheek. “As usual, you’ve covered the bases.”

He got up and went to go fetch lunch ‘before the fangophiles swarm’ and Pam jumped into his spot. She sat and pet Erika’s head and smoothed her wavy locks while I fed her.

I watched Eric pace the floor with Dagny. I couldn’t help but smile like a goon as I watched my mountain of a man slowly sway while he wore a grove in the floor.

**

I sniffed the air as soon as Alcide walked in. “Are you going to share?”

He tried to look innocent. “Share what?”

“Your vindaloo.”

He chuckled on his way over. “No. Lunchbox gets her own.”

I handed Erika to her Mummy while Alcide covered the tray with our lunch and we watched Van Wilder on my laptop while Alcide and I ate like starved refugees. Pam complained about the smell, of course.

**

The four of us spent a fair amount of time discussing what to do about the security and privacy issues at hand. We knocked around several ideas about escaping unnoticed and wondered how the girls would react to popping home. Eric halted that line of thinking with the idea that if we show the girls how to pop, they could start doing it on their own. He made a very good point. How far could they get if they didn’t want a bath or their carrots? Or worse, really wanted to swim… Better to not find that out the hard way.

After a while there was a knock on the door. Not that we weren’t expecting someone to poke their head in; doctor, nurse, orderly… just not someone from the board of directors.

He was short and quite round in the middle, his ashy brown hair had a crisp part on the side and his dull brown eyes were wide and bulging. When he walked in, he only took a few short steps. His suit was faultless but his forehead was beaded with sweat and he was wringing his hands so hard, I thought he’d drag the skin from them. Alcide went over to him and took his ID from him and tossed it to Eric. He loomed over the man, completely eclipsing the businessman from my view. I always got a kick out of ‘security Alcide’ since his seriousness when he was ‘on’, was so contrary to the real him.

Eric spoke in full authority. “Mr… Honeycutt, what can we do for the board?”

“I was nominated to come speak to you about the crowd gathering outside. I’ve been told to offer you the use of a conference room if you’d like to pacify the media.”

Eric snorted. “You say that as though you believe it will make them go away.”

“I don’t believe so at all, sir. The other board members were insistent.”

Eric smiled at his honesty. “I’m not fond of press conferences.”

“No sir, I wouldn’t imagine you or the missus would be.”

“That would explain your trepidation.”

He nodded stiffly.

I smiled at Eric. “We could do one interview.”

Eric locked down his face and resisted the urge to tell me ‘hell no’. “How would we do a single interview? There is a madhouse out there.”

I started trying to think of a way to choose. Honestly, it would have been much easier if Anderson Cooper were outside. I wouldn’t mind seeing if he was that pretty up close. It took me a minute, but I finally thought of something. “Mr. Honeycutt, is the hospital raising money for anything at the moment?”

“Always. At the moment, we are fundraising for a wing of family oncology suites. The wing would include rooms with extra amenities to make the family members more comfortable while they stay with ill loved ones.”

My group all smiled at me as I looked at Eric. “There we go, we can sell an exclusive interview to the highest bidder and donate the purse to the new family wing.”

Eric didn’t seem upset about the idea. The interview would improve his image and the donation would make him look more magnanimous than ever. “Mr. Honeycutt, would that pacify the rest of the board?”

He chuckled. “Money never upsets them. That would be very generous.”

**

After we went a few more rounds of discussions, we came up with a game plan and Pam followed Mr. Honeycutt out to address the press.

It was the first time all day that Alcide got to hold a baby. He joked that they wouldn’t learn to walk until they were in braces considering how much we held them.  He had a point since hours had been by since the doctor brought them back and the little angels hadn’t touched the bassinet since then.

We watched on the news as Pam got crowded the moment she stepped outside. Her face was just as well known as the rest of ours, being the lieutenant and second in command to the most well known, respected and adored vampire in the country.

“…The king and queen are flattered with your concern for the family, but do not wish to have a press conference. They do want to invite the interested media to make donations for the new family oncology wing here at the hospital. The network to make the largest contribution will receive an exclusive interview with the Northmans. Access to the new addition to the family will not be provided. You have less than 2 hours. Your deadline will be 6pm and the interview will take place at 7pm. Thank you.”

She turned things over to Mr. Honeycutt who provided the donation specifics and then the two of them walked back into the hospital.

**

When Pam got back into the room, she let the door swing shut behind her. “I never had to deal with the press when you were sheriff.”

He chuckled. “You also never made the best dressed list in Vanity Fair.”

She smiled at him even though she knew he was handling her. “Sookie, do you have something you can wear, or should I go home to get something?”

“I was thinking I’d just wear a nightgown and robe. Anything else would advertise that I healed freakishly fast.”

They all agreed and I was thankful that I had brought a long navy blue nightgown and a white plush robe that would hide my lack of swelling.

Alcide laughed at me. “You are probably the first woman ever to try to look fat after she’s had a baby.”

“That’s me. Sookie the Paradox.”

We all took turns playing with the babies, as much as we could at their age. During the next changing, I showed Alcide and Pam their birthmarks, leaving both of them impressed with how apropos a blood drop was for the daughters of a vampire. They were all curious as to what their powers would be as they got older. They knew that I knew a lot, but had decided to stop asking me about them months ago. They acted like my inflexible nature was a new thing.

I found myself really bored again. I wanted to go home. I wanted to be in my house, making dinner for my family right now. Doing laundry and sweeping, mopping up tracked in pool water from the kitchen floor. I hated wondering how the kids were feeling, even though Hunter had sent me a few mental hugs today, I still hated that they couldn’t come to hospital with all of the craziness outside.

**

Hunter had taught himself a new trick in the past couple of months. He had been inspired by all of the traveling the adults had been doing for work and with policy changes. Eric and Pam had even been leaving for a couple days at a time to meet with the other kings and queens to standardize the laws for all of the territories. We all knew that his mental hug was a huge leap towards projection or telekinesis but since sweet little Hunter didn’t have a mean bone in his body, we knew that he would do just fine. Not to mention, none of us had the heart to tell him to stop hugging us. It really did feel like his tiny arms were wrapped around our necks. When he’d done it today, we each got one in turn and shared looks. Every time he did it, I wished we could go home and give him the real thing.

Power wise, Manen had been playing with her abilities. She’d been really impressed with Angela’s ‘faux finish’ and tried to mirror Nadine. She did a good enough job that Tobin was floored, unable to pick the right one until Manen spoke. She hadn’t managed to get the voice right yet, but we all figured that it was only a matter of time.

**

Between my boredom and the anxiety of the impending interview, the 103 minutes between Pam’s announcement and the deadline might as well have been years. At 6:00, Pam offered to help me get ready so I went ahead and took another shower. Lying around always made me feel gross. I guess that’s why I’ve always been pretty restless.

She had watched me shower like Eric had, completely unbelieving of my body’s recovery. She didn’t have lusty intentions with her gaze; it was more like she was looking at a unicorn. She did mention my tan lines though. I had been too humble to sun bathe topless with the kids around so I was the not-so-proud owner of 4 very white triangles of skin.

As I stepped out of the bathroom, she mentioned that my skin looked even better than it did this morning, so I went to the mirror.

“This sucks!”

Pam had explained what I was looking at, so they were puzzled by my outburst.

“I want to go home and put on the sexiest thing I own and go to Fangtasia to dance!” I turned around with the towel still open. “But I have to stay here and pretend to be fat.”

The guys laughed at me so I threw my towel at Eric and started getting dressed. I had brought a white tank top with a shelf bra sewn in so I wore that and a pair of plain white panties while I brushed the curry from my teeth and pulled my hair back. When I turned around all three of them were staring at me.

When I asked them what they were staring at accusingly, they all looked at something else and acted like they didn’t even realize I was in the room. It didn’t keep Alcide from having another guy moment that I could ‘hear’ though.

“Keep it up, roux-ga-roux.”

“Who me?” He was doing a really bad job of faking virtue.

**

I slid my nightgown on and snuggled with Eric on the couch for a few minutes before Mr. Honeycutt joined us. He had the look of someone who’d just won the lottery.

I smiled at him. “How did the hospital do?”

“The board has told me to ask you what you’d like us to call the wing?”

Eric laughed. “How much did the takings grow to?”

“41 million dollars. It exceeded our goals. MSNBC is sending a correspondent who was in the area for a trial. Their bid was 8 million. The board wants to know if ‘The Northman Family Health Cooperative’ is acceptable.”

Eric smiled at me. “What do you think, Lover?”

I giggled. “I think Ludwig will cringe every time she sees it. It’s perfect.”

Eric laughed as I got up and put my robe and slippers on.

**

Alcide and Pam stayed behind with the girls and Eric and I followed Mr. Honeycutt to the opposite end of the hospital and into a large bland conference room where the camera crew was setting up and a very wiry woman in her mid-40s was flipping through the pages of a legal pad. Her shoulder length poof of hair didn’t budge when her head jerked in our direction. She covered the length of the room in what seemed like just a few strides of her spidery legs.

Her hand was out and her big reporter grin was screwed on tight. “Farah Tomlin-Debussy. Wonderful to meet you.”

I took her hand and shook it, scanning her for warning signs. “Nice to meet you too.”

“Do you have any preferences on how we do this?”

Eric stared at her stoically. “We’ll let you know what we are comfortable with and what we aren’t.”

She blanched slightly at his serious tone and showed us over to the head of the table. She had intended to sit catty corner from us and have 3 cameras going; one filming her, one filming us and the 3rd was across the table to catch all three of us. I did a read on the 3 camera men and the sound guy and everyone just seemed excited to get the scoop. We had invited Mr. Honeycutt to stay during the interview so he sat at the other end of the room.

She leaned forward a little bit. “Uh, I was given a list of questions that the network wants me to ask. I would be offended by some of them. I’m going to ask them anyway so that I have the uncut tape to show my bosses of you refusing to answer, if that’s ok.”

I understood, but Eric wasn’t as happy about it. “How offensive are the questions?”

“One of them questions the paternity of the baby, since vampire aren’t supposed to be able to… you know. The rest of them might just be outside of normal etiquette. I’ve never had children so I don’t know about what new mom’s are ok talking about.”

He seemed a bit relieved. I took his hand and he gave me a little squeeze. “We expected as much.”

After a few minutes, the camera guys had set up and run nearly a mile of cable around the room, so we got started.

**

“Farah Tomlin-Debussy at All Saints Hospital with the exclusive post partum interview with King Eric and Queen Sookie Northman. First things first, how are you feeling? You look wonderful.”

“I feel great all things considered. I look great because I have a friend who works magic with concealer.”

She fake laughed a little. “We had all heard that your due date is still weeks away, can you tell us how you came to find yourself in labor yesterday?”

“I woke up yesterday morning with a second wind so we were spending the day at the pool with our older two kids. Just after lunch, my water broke.”

“And how was labor?”

“There wasn’t any labor to speak of. I’d been scheduled for a c-section for a while now. Breech. The doctor was waiting for us when we got here.”

She looked up at Eric. “And what about you, Daddy? Did you manage to stay calm?”

“Far. My children call me ‘Far’. And I’m pretty sure that I managed to pretend being calm.” I smiled at him.

“My apologies. Why don’t they call you Daddy?”

“Far is Swedish for father, and they have a Daddy.”

“Who is their Daddy?”

“Alcide Herveaux, they have a Mummy too. Pamela Ravenscroft. We co-parent.”

“That’s very interesting. How does that work?”

“Very well. Instead of having 2 parents, the children have 4 parents. When Sookie and Alcide are out of town on business, Pam and I care for them and vice versa. They are rarely left in the care of anyone but us. Our governess is their tutor and only provides childcare for a few hours each week while we do business.”

I ‘heard’ her think about asking if we were swingers and then thought better of it. “Your older children are adopted. Will your newborns call Mr. Herveaux ‘daddy’ as well?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t they?”

She was visibly surprised by the answer. That amused him. “Now, the public at large is wondering about the paternity of the baby. It’s pretty commonly believed that Vampires can’t conceive.”

He thought about that for a second. I thought he was about to refuse to answer. “Under normal circumstances vampire can’t. I was lucky.”

“But you know how it happened?”

“Yes. We figured it out.” He raised his eyebrow.

“Will you share that with us?”

“No.”

She smiled and nodded at him, pointing to the paper in front of her. “And you’re sure that the child is yours? How did you react to finding out Mrs. Northman was pregnant?”

He clenched his jaw hard enough that I heard it. “I had what Sookie calls a ‘guy moment’. I questioned the possibility, but I quickly found myself more excited than anything else. Sookie and I can’t lie to each other. I knew better than to think she had been untrue.” I liked the way he worded that, considering our special family arrangement.

“So, tell us. What name did you pick?”

I smiled at her. “Erika and Dagny.”

“A girl? Congratulations! And how big is Erika?” She hadn’t caught that I told her two names.

“Erika weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and Dagny weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces.”

“Twins!? Not only did you manage to conceive, but you have twins?”

Eric chuckled. “Apparently, multiples run in Sookie’s family. Her brother is currently expecting triplets.”

“With a vampire?”

“No. His wife is perfectly human.”

I mentally called him a liar and he laughed.

“So who else in your family is a multiple?”

“My grandfather was a twin and I have cousins who are triplets.”

It took her a few minutes to recover from our dropping the ‘twin bomb’. “So what are your daughters? Human? Vampire?”

I giggled. “They’re just like me.” Eric gave my hand a squeeze and mentally called me a liar.

“And how do your older children like them? Have they been able to meet them yet?”

“They came to visit last night before things had the chance to get crazy outside. Our son has already asked that we have a boy next. He feels a little outnumbered. They are both very excited. They’ve been included on things from the get go.”

“How did you keep them included?”

“Well, of course there were many nights on the couch where they’d lay with their ears to the bump, Eric and the kids made a points game out of sneaking shoes that didn’t match onto my feet.” Eric started laughing. “I had been running errands for 2 hours before I realized I was wearing a green and a purple flip flop once. A few weeks ago, we had casts made of my belly and the kids painted them. They helped decorate the nursery. They even got their own shower. That sort of thing.”

She was smiling from ear to ear. She was thinking that she was the luckiest reporter since Barbara Walters.

“Who is tending to the children at moment?”

Eric was suspicious of the question. “Family.”

“Would you ever leave your children with a vampire?”

“At the moment, all of my children are in the care of a vampire.”

“And you consider them safe?”

“Of course we do. Just like any parent, we only leave our children with someone we trust.”

“So you have a vampire nanny?”

Eric nodded. “Our governess is a vampire, yes. That isn’t a secret.”

“And what of the rumors that you turned your governess so that you would have someone to help with your children.”

“Those rumors are completely false.” His humor had drained from him. He understood that the network had paid well for the interview, but was getting more and more aggravated, so I finished answering.

“Our governess was a teacher before she became vampire. She is a member of our family as well as a paid employee, even though she spends more on spoiling the children than she does on herself.”

She cringed apologetically and tapped the legal pad again.

“How many people have you turned?”

He stared at her, unblinking and locked down. That was his refusal to answer and she nervously moved on.

“Do you have plans on having more children?”

I smiled at her. “Possibly. Like I said, our son’s special request is on backorder.”

She laughed, still nervous about Eric’s stare. I gave his hand a little squeeze as she continued. “We hear that you’ve been spending a lot of time in DC. Is there a higher station that you are considering?”

He huffed. “Is that the end of the family related questions?”

She nodded.

“I won’t be answering business or political questions today.”

She smiled and looked satisfied and relieved. “Ok. Guys wrap it up.”

Her crew started pulling wires out of sockets and various electronics. The sound guy came over and took our microphones from us. When we stood up to leave, she thanked us and apologized again for the rude questions she’d been forced to ask, then told us that the interview would be aired at 9:00.

**

While we walked back to our room, Eric fumed. “Honey?”

“I don’t think I want to talk about it.”

“The maker question?”

He nodded.

“I figured.” I didn’t make a push. I’d learned a while back that when Eric gets like this, it’s because he needs the time to shove whatever is swirling around in his head back into its box to lock it away. I took his hand in both of mine as we finished our long walk.

When we got to the double doors leading to ‘Area 51’ I stopped us. “Eric, do you want to deal with Pam right now?” I knew she was going to pounce on him and tease him for his popularity.

He studied my face for a minute. “Not really.”

“Then you should go on a search for drinks.”

He half smiled at me. “You’re thirsty?”

“Not yet. Take as much time as you need trying to find something. Go get some air.”

He bent and kissed me gently. “Thank you.”

I started walking towards our room and left him to take a breather.

**

When I got back to our room, Alcide and Pam were reclining in the bed with their shoes off and knees pulled up. Each of them had a baby on their laps.

Pam looked worried, no doubt feeling that Eric was upset. “How did it go?”

“It went pretty well. The reporter warned us that some of the questions the network wanted her to ask were shitty. If it hadn’t been for them, it actually would have been fun.”

“And Eric?”

“I sent him out.”

I went and sat down on the couch after I pealed out of the robe that I was nearly overheating in.

“Shug, what was so bad about the questions? They ask who your ‘baby daddy’ is?”

“Well yeah, but we expected that. What got him was that he was accused of turning Angela so that we’d have a babysitter and then they asked how many people he’d turned.”

Pam was so angry her fangs ran out. “What did he say?”

“He didn’t answer. He locked down and didn’t want to talk about it after so I sent him out for some fresh air.”

“He doesn’t seem really upset.”

“He’s blocking it. Leave it to a stupid human to take the wind out of his sails.”

Alcide grumbled. “Fuck them. Ignorance will always show up. There’s always going to be some asshole out there that wants to believe the nightmares. Even being an icon, he’s going to find some.”

“We know that, but there is just some shit that is beyond gall. They had her ask point blank.”

Pam was giving me a look. I knew what the look meant. I knew that she wanted to tell me what had really upset Eric.  “Sookie…”

“Pam don’t, whatever it is, he’ll tell me in his time.”

Her look changed. She still got a little surprised once in a while. She had gotten used to my acceptance of politics and on more than one occasion tipped her hat to my plotting, but my acceptance of their lives is what usually shocked her. The old me would have thrown a hissy fit about him keeping secrets, but for the most part I knew that he was keeping things from me because he was afraid of my reaction and I felt guilty for my part in his hesitance. When he came around, he’d tell me. If I never found out, it meant that it didn’t matter. I’m not even 30 yet and I have baggage. Imagine how much I’d have if I multiplied that by 30, give or take.

**

I had barely spoken the words when he came back into the room with an armload of assorted drinks. He set them down and came to sit by me. I was surprised to see him so quickly.

“That was fast.”

“It didn’t take me long to realize that I don’t care about what some ill-mannered asshole at a network thinks about me. Our family is what matters.”

I smiled up at him and kissed him as he tucked me under his big arm. “Welcome back.”

We sat and hung around for a little bit longer while we anxiously awaited the broadcast. Eric called to talk to the kids, telling them about the interview and that we should be home by lunch tomorrow. I think he just needed to talk to them. I could feel his mood lighten while he listened to Hunter recount his day of riding Torch and playing with Spark. He got a chuckle or two when Manen complained that he needed to come home to deal with Aunt Janice before the dogs run away. It made Pam and Alcide want to just sleep on the floor in the room with us rather than go home to Draco-Janice.

Alcide went out to grab dinner for everyone. True bloods and grease burgers with super sized orders of cholesterol fries. I laughed at him and told him he was going to make himself sick. He was very used to my cooking and I only made one heavy meal per day. Today he’d had Mexican, Indian and the worst of American cuisine. I wonder if immortals get indigestion.

**

It was nearly 9 o’clock when there was a knock on the door. We had been expecting Dr. Jung to be coming back for the girls second run of blood work. Pam started pouting as soon as he walked in. She showed remarkable self control when the girls were wheeled out of the room by not going after them as an escort. She did give him a half hour time limit before she went after him.

At 9 on the nose, the network started the interview. I swear, I thought I was watching an E! True Hollywood Story.

A slideshow of pictures of him and us played while Farah Tomlin-Debussy’s voiceover played.

“…More than a thousand years ago, near what is now Oslo, Eric Northman began his long life. He has reportedly been a sailor, a merchant, a farmer, a businessman, and a politician of which the world has rarely seen his match. He has made great successes of his many endeavors and has forged great friendships both private and political. He is among the oldest of the reigning vamp-ocracy and yet the most recent crowned. Surprisingly with his crown, came the election as the head of vampire government, having already earned the respect of all of his American peers. This may be due in part to his adorable and charismatic wife Sookie. The two of them have been side by side to help each other through several vicious attacks most recently, and hopefully the last time when she was shot in the back in an assassination attempt only moments after they made a national plea to end the violence between vampires and humans. Now, King Eric Northman has become more than just a statesman and businessman. He is a family man…

…During our interview, he spoke candidly about being a father and his reaction to the news. Sookie provided us with some insight as to how special their relationship to their children is to both of them…”

They ran a rearranged version of the interview, but they weren’t ‘creative’ and the questions that he didn’t answer were cut out entirely.

“…Once again, they found a way to help someone else. I was told by hospital administration that the media’s want for the interview raised more than 40 million dollars for the hospital. I personally, along with the rest of us here at MSNBC want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Northman for their time and honesty. Congratulations, majesties. Good luck with your happy family. Good night.”

**

When it was all over, I laughed. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that you glamoured her. That was a very friendly commentary.”

Alcide and Pam were still sitting together on the bed. I could ‘hear’ that Alcide was reeling that Eric announced that his children would call him daddy on national TV. Knowing that things around the house would be as they always had was one thing, but having Eric say it publicly that he was sharing his children with someone else, well, it touched him. He saw the way I was looking at him and sent me a ‘don’t you dare’. Damn men. Feelings bad. Grunt.

Alcide and Pam only stayed long enough to kiss the babies goodnight once they came back and told us they’d see us in the morning with breakfast.

Eric and I each took a baby and changed diapers and fed them. Eric and I hadn’t held them much during the day. I laughed when I thought about it.

“It’s a good thing we had twins. Otherwise we might never get to hold them.”

He snorted. “You’re right. Pam will need to be put on a timer when we get home.”

I thought about having heard of parents doing that with their kids, limiting video games and television watching. He must’ve been on the internet again.

**

When the girls were clean and fed and sleeping soundly we put them in the bassinet next to the bed and Eric and I laid down together.

He kissed my forehead and gave me a serious look that might have a little sadness in it. “Sookie, you know that Pam isn’t the only one I’ve turned, right.”

“Yes.”

“How much do you know?”

“I know that I’ve met 2 of your children. I had figured that there were more.”

“Who did you meet?” His face stayed still but there was flash behind his eyes.

“Charles and Lizbeth Proctor.”

He smiled. “Did they tell you why I turned them?”

I kissed him. “Yes, Sweetie. I know that you did it because they asked.”

Charles and Lizbeth had come to meet me when they heard I’d be in Kingston for court. They had flown from The Bahamas just to see what all the fuss was about. The two of them were Eric’s servants when he first lived in Virginia about 100 years before Pam. They were a married couple and she came down with Tuberculosis and started to deteriorate quickly. Charles came to him, knowing that Eric was a vampire and begged him to ‘save’ her and to turn him too so that they could be together forever. Eric turned them, and they rose as vampires together. They spent the next few years in Virginia with Eric and then Eric set them free after they learned their way.

They hadn’t planned on revealing anything, but when they introduced themselves, I saw that they had a history with Eric.

“They weren’t the only ones I’ve turned though.”

I looked into his eyes, slightly clouded by worry. “Do you want to tell me about them?”

“I’m not proud of some.”

“I love who you are, Eric. Your past is behind you. If you turned every person you came across for years, that obviously isn’t who you are now or you wouldn’t have had to put up with my shit for so long.” He almost smiled.

“When I was young, I turned dozens. I’d panic after a blood lust. I’d only learn their names after they’d rise and I’d spend a few days with them to tell them the ins and outs and then cut them loose.”

“Can you tell if any of them are still around?”

“There could be a few. But most of them were executed.” I had figured as much.

“Why didn’t Sophie-Anne shorten your leash? Shouldn’t she have been there to help control that?”

“She punished me several times for it. I had almost no control. I was already savage as a hunter, the urge became stronger when I was turned.”

I rested my hand on his neck. “That must have been hard for you.”

He looked surprised. “Sookie, I just told you that I was a serial killer.”

“You were.”

“It doesn’t bother you?”

“It worries me that there could be an angry child or two out there that would want revenge. But I know you well enough to understand that you were already powerful when you were turned, that you were in a bad place emotionally, that she employed you as an assassin for years. She was more cruel in her early years than you ever were. Blaming the man in front of me for the crimes of a man a thousand years ago would be a crime in itself.”

He stared at me. “You forgive me?”

“You’ve done nothing that it’s my place to forgive, Eric. You need to forgive yourself. I love you. I always will. So will your children.”

He smiled at me and we stared at each other for a long while laying on the tiny bed that was too short for him.

**

Eventually, Erika started to wiggle and grunt, waking up her sister and we got up to tend to them.

We had them back to sleep before midnight and we laid on our sides with them between us and fell to sleep.

After a few hours, they were both awake again. Not crying. Wiggling and grunting. Eric and I tended to them and then laid back down for a few more hours of rest.

I don’t think that I ever went back to sleep before I had a horrible feeling. I sat up and reached for my phone.

I dialed Alcide.

He was grunting when he picked up the phone. “Shug, what’s wrong?”

“Go check on Janice.”

He knew better than to ask why, he hung up the phone.

I paced the floor in the room, I drank one of the snapples Eric had bought earlier. “Lover, come back to bed. We can’t do anything from here. Alcide will call back.”

I was terrified for her. I didn’t know what could be wrong, just that something was very wrong with her. “I couldn’t sleep even if I laid down.”

“Do you want me to pop home to check on things?”

I thought about it. I did want him to go check on things, maybe even be the calm in the storm, but I had asked him not to go to the rescue for a good reason so I just shook my head. I made a few more laps around the room before my phone rang.

“Alcide?”

“It’s Janice.”

“Oh my god! Are you ok? What happened?”

“I couldn’t get comfortable so I went to your bathroom to soak in the tub ‘cause I didn’t want to wake Jason. It’s been helping me relax. But I slipped trying to get out. I cut my arm pretty bad, but Pam already took care of the gash.”

I started crying out of relief. My voice was shaky. “Oh. Ok. I’m glad you’re ok.”

“Sookie, thanks. I could have been there until morning if you hadn’t called.”

“I love you Janie. Get some rest.”

She handed the phone to Alcide. “Shug, you ok?”

I laughed through my tears, still blubbering. “I am now.”

“It hadn’t happened yet when you called.”

“What?”

“I heard her fall when I was looking for her. Ya did good Puddin’.”

I breathed out a big breath. All I knew was that my sister in law is 34 weeks and 5 days pregnant with triplets and I just had a blind stab of fear for her take me over. “Did you call Ludwig?”

“She said to keep an eye on her, but Pam healed her before she lost much blood. Coming to the hospital would just add to her stress. We’re supposed to keep her calm.”

“Ok, I’m going to get someone to give me CPR. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

**

I climbed back into bed.

“Sookie, are you alright?”

“I think so. I was so scared for her.”

“I could feel it. Did you get a flash?”

“No… It might sound crazy, but I think one of the babies called me.”

“It would sound crazy if it was anyone else. How do you think it did it?”

“I don’t know. Maybe because we’re blood and that baby has my gift. She couldn’t have done it on purpose.”

“So it was one of the girls?”

I thought about it. “Yeah… yeah I’m pretty sure it was.”

Eric just smiled at me. “You always thought you were alone.”

I smiled back. “An affliction that we have both found a cure for.”

He took my hand and kissed my fingers. “In spades.”

**

…We fell asleep holding hands, watching our daughters smile in their sleep.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 3

  1. Kristie Yamber says:

    ahhh i love this part of the story my best Kristie

  2. loveallsvmtb says:

    i loved it.

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