Chapter 4

Back To The Hospital

Sookie’s POV

Saturday, September 4th

I woke up for no reason whatsoever. My eyes just opened. Eric was still sleeping, both girls were tucked under his arm and dreaming. There was no intrusion, no phone call, no sudden angsty feeling. I stayed perfectly still so that I didn’t disturb them and just smiled while I watched them sleep.

I suppose I could have gone back to sleep, if I could have torn myself from watching them.

**

Finally, Eric’s eyes dragged open and I was hit with his brilliant blue high beams followed by his sweet smile.

“Good morning, sexy.”

“Good morning, lover.” He leaned over just enough to kiss me without disturbing the little ones.

I climbed off the bed so that I could go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. When I was done, I noticed that it was barely 6 o’clock and I could already feel Alcide and Pam getting closer. They were already addicted to the babies.

I went over to Eric’s side of the bed and bent to him and started nibbling his neck. His hand went up to the back of my head. “Sookie?” His voice was husky and almost vibrated. “Are you sure, you want to play this game with me?”

I giggled against his neck. “What game? I’m just kissing my husband.” With that having been said, I opened my mouth wide and scraped my teeth across him with as much pressure as I could, without breaking the skin.

He growled at me and without moving the bed at all, he was on his feet and looming over me. He slowly inched towards me so I played along and crept back. “That, my lover, was not just a kiss.”

With as much feigned innocence as I could muster, “What would you call it then?”

He smiled at me as I backed into the wall and ran out his fangs. “THAT would be a textbook bite.”

“Oh, then I’m sorry that I got so confused. Do you mind if I try it again?”

He stared at me for a second before he gave me a single nod, so I put my hands on his hard shoulders and pulled him to my level and started breathing warm kisses on the side of his neck. He wrapped his hands around my waist and pressed us together and my kisses became nibbles as I started to rub the front of his jeans.

He groaned against my shoulder so I nibbled and scraped a little harder and he started ruffling my nightgown under his fingers, inch by inch making it shorter. He slid his hands under my thighs and wrapped my legs around him, pinning me to the wall.

He growled into my ear. “Lover, I feel like it’s been ages.”

I was breathless. “I know the feeling. This is a great start though.”

He started teasing my neck with his fangs. “Are you sure you are up to this?”

“There’s only one way to find out, but my panties are in the way.”

He groaned and within a blink, our mouths collided for a kiss hot enough to have singed my hair.

**

“You have no self control, do you?!” We’d been too distracted to notice the doctor come in.

Eric bit a hole in his lip out of sheer frustration. “Good morning Doctor.” As soon as he was done greeting her, I darted my tongue out to catch the trickle of blood falling from his mouth then give his bottom lip a quick suckle. His eyes rolled back and he growled that I’d pay for that later. He set me down and let me get my footing and then walked to the couch as though he didn’t have an enormous bulge in the front of his jeans.

He was wearing a shit eating grin. “Doctor, I was the victim.”

The doctor looked up at me, shaking her head. “When I send your bill, I’ll send you an estimate for next June too.”

I laughed as I sat on the bed. “You might as well. I can’t keep my hands off of him.”

She chuckled. “Look, I’m not in the habit of doing this, but have you had any insight that might help us anticipate what’s going to happen with your sister in law. Triplets don’t happen often, especially with Supes.”

I smiled at her, knowing how much it hurt her to ask me. I closed my eyes and did my best to remember what I had seen in store for them. “Corbitt will be slow to breath, but he’ll be fine. Jackie and Adele will be smaller and they’ll need a mask at first. The girls will show up hypoglycemic within the first day and all three of them will jaundice.”

“That’s not as bad as I thought.”

I shook my head. “Janice is going to be the problem. You need to keep a lot of blood on hand, she’s going to have a placental abruption.”

“Will she take vampire blood?”

“The amount she’d need would turn her. I’ll need a bucket of fried chicken on standby, but I’ll take care of it.”

She patted my leg. “Thanks for the heads up. I’d hate to lose any of them.”

“Shhh. Someone might hear you and think you care.” I winked at her and she winked back. It was substantially less creepy than her ‘smile’.

“So do you have any questions about the princesses?”

Eric and I shook our heads.

“Fine, a nurse will be in to bury you in discharge papers in a few minutes. Just so you know, Were heal fast as it is, but with your blood, the cords could fall of anytime and you should go ahead and start wearing nursing pads ASAP. You’ll probably wake up with King Kongs in the morning, but the leaking could start anytime.”

I laughed. “King Kongs?”

She laughed back and held her hands out in front of her chest. “Yeah, gigantic and fascinating, most of all, untouchable.”

When I was done laughing, I hugged her again before she left and this time she hugged back.

**

I knew Alcide and Pam were really close, but I went over and slid my nightgown up my legs and straddled Eric’s lap anyway. I slowly pulled my gown over my head, leaving nothing on but a pair of white panties.  He lifted his hands and ran them along my shoulders, then down my chest, finally cupping my breasts and running his thumbs back and forth over my nipples. I leaned down to get ahold of his ear with my lips.

I whispered to him. “I know you’re hungry.”

He gave my shoulder a nibble before he answered. “In more ways than one, but I can wait until we are home.”

“We’ll be busy at home.” I started scraping my teeth along the side of his neck.

I heard his fangs run out. He dropped his hands to my thighs and clawed his way up the backs of legs to my ass, pulling us closer together. “Will you feed too?”

I put a hand into his hair to give a gentle pull, giving me more of his neck. I answered him with a bite. Not a playful one this time, I delivered a solid bite, earning a grunt from him while his chest vibrated against me. I pulled from him until his wound healed and I sat back, licking his thick blood from lips with a sly grin.

I had pushed him almost as far as a bloodlust. His pupils had nearly eclipsed his deep pools of blue and his nostrils were flared. I could feel little streams of blood flowing down the backs of my legs from his scratches as he pushed his fangs into my neck and started drawing from me greedily and I moved my hips back and forth over his lap. I felt him slow down from having had his fill and when he pulled away, he was wearing a very satisfied smile that I couldn’t help myself but kiss.

“Lover, we’ll have to pick this up later. We have company coming.”

I stretched out the mental net. “Yup, they’re in the elevator.” I climbed off of him and started for the bathroom. “You need to wash my blood out from under your nails.” I shook my butt at him to bring his attention to the red paths of blood and closed the door.

**

When I came out of the bathroom in a towel and completely refreshed, Alcide and Pam were each feeding a baby on the couch and Eric was signing discharge papers with the nurse. “Wow, the cock blocks all came out of the woodwork at the same time, huh.”

My family chuckled and I went to lean over and kiss cheeks, so they’d know there were no hard feelings.

I went over to our suitcase and started digging around, but I had packed expecting to be smaller so everything was going to make me look… too small?

Pam gave a nod towards a bag on the bed with a smile so I went over and dumped it out on the bed. She had thought ahead. She brought me an ankle length empire waisted sundress with a halter top.

I held it up with a big smile on my face. I had bought it months ago but in recent weeks, the bright colors and abstract pattern made me feel like a Jackson Pollock mural instead of ‘with child’.

“It’s perfect, Pam. Thank you.” It would push up the boobs and the busy pattern and loose skirt would hide that I didn’t have any swelling. I slipped it on over my head and went to the suitcase and fished out a pair of black boy short panties and slid them up under the dress, staying modest in front of the nurse the whole time.

**

I went and sat between Pam and Alcide on the couch, setting my hand on Pam’s knee, but looking at Alcide. “How’s Janie this morning?”

“Still asleep when we left. You were more shaken up than she was last night.”

“I was pacing a ditch in the floor the whole time. I had a sudden spike of… terror. I didn’t know if she’d seen a spider or if she’d been attacked. The not knowing was killing me.”

“You called and said ‘go check on Janice’ though. How did you know ‘who’ without knowing ‘what’?

I took a deep breath and blew it out. “Uh… I think one of the babies told me.”

He stared at me, his mouth slightly gapped like we on the verge of saying something for a while before his words untangled from themselves. “How? How would they know that she was about to fall? How could they know to call to you? How could they call you from 15 miles away?”

I shook my head slowly. “There’s no way to know that yet.”

“You’re sure it was one of them?”

“I’m sure it was one of the girls, I want to say Jackie, but I’m not sure if it was my powers or hers that were at work.”

“What do you know about them?”

“As far as?” I raised an eyebrow at him. He was the worst of any of them to want ‘spoilers’. Well, Eric was worse to be honest, but he was better at hiding it.

“Just in general.” He was wise enough to tread lightly. I picked up that it was just nerves that made him want to know. He just wanted something to focus on.

I rolled my eyes a little but I decided to stay general, like a television psychic and pacify him slightly. “Del and Jackie are gonna be built like Stackhouses, shorter with a small frame. They’ll have black hair with blue eyes and Jason’s smile. Corbitt will be built like a Herveaux. Taller and bigger than you and he’ll look a lot like your dad, but he’ll be sweeter, more docile. He’ll have the green eyes, but blond hair. He’s going to be the strongest, but Del will be the brass. Among the three of them, they’ll turn to her for leadership.”

“But you think Jackie could have been the one that got to you last night. That’s pretty strong.”

I smiled at him and patted his leg. “It won’t be a matter of physical or magical strength. It’ll come down to management.”

Alcide nodded. “Do you know about their powers?”

“Other than the fact that I think that Jackie might match me in the mental communication arena and that they’ll all be shifters, I haven’t ‘seen’ a single clue.”

“But you wouldn’t tell me anyway.”

“That’s not true. If you really want to know something, I’ll tell you, but I like surprises and my little gift robs me of a lot of them. Do you really want to know, right now, who Manen’s first serious boyfriend will be? Or what car Hunter will buy when he gets his license?”

“Well, we know you’re having more. What about Janice?”

“Nope. The 3 Stackhouses she has this time will keep her plenty busy.”

I caught him feeling relieved that she wouldn’t have to go through all of this again, but he didn’t say it.

“I thought you said you’d be back with breakfast?”

He nodded over to the counter by the sink. “I did. We’ve been busy.”

I smiled and went over to get it and sat back down with the white bakery box and two huge coffees. When I pulled open the box,  I took a big whiff. “They had them? They’re usually out.”

He smiled at me. “When you call them when they open and tell them that Queen Sookie wants chocolate orange gonoche turnovers, they tend to make sure to have them on hand.”

He was still feeding Dagny, who has turned out to prefer eating slowly, but a lot. Erika, on the other hand, ate like she was starving, grunting and squirming and always done first.

I took a bite and then fed Alcide a bite and so went the trend. We’d eat a few bites and then take a swig of our coffee.

Eric looked up from the paperwork with an amused look on his face. “Feeding time at the wolf sanctuary?”

The three of us laughed but Alcide was enjoying his pampering. “Jealous?”

“No, she fed me earlier.” Then Eric flipped him off. Pam, Alcide and I do it all the time, but I couldn’t remember ever seeing Eric do it, so I choked on my turnover a little. Laughing with a full mouth wasn’t a good idea apparently.

**

The nurse walked out and Eric went over to lie on the bed.

“Are we free to go?”

“No. The papers I just signed were for the girls. Your paperwork is on the way and I was told that the board needed me to sign something about the pledges.”

“That was a lot of paperwork for just a delivery.”

“I’d say so. I don’t think I signed that much when I became king…” He turned to Pam. “What did the parking lot look like when you arrived.”

“Like Woodstock.”

“I suppose I should call Coughlin about crowd control then.” He wasn’t talking to any of us in particular, just thinking out loud. He pulled out his phone and dialed Coughlin’s number by memory. It was a short conversation since Coughlin was fully expecting to hear from us. He told Eric that he’d have a detail in place I less than an hour.

I smiled at him, eyebrow raised. “The high price of fame?”

“Let’s move to somewhere that doesn’t watch television as much as America.”

I pouted my lip out at him. “Not in our cards. The only places we wouldn’t have this problem would be too pre industrial, Mr. Modern conveniences. I don’t really see you enjoying life in a war torn, impoverished, disease infested cesspool without a well paved road for your high performance sports cars.”

He chuckled. “We could buy an island and motorcycles.”

“Don’t try to tempt me with a tropical refuge.”

“Are you afraid you would yield?”

I giggled. “Maybe.”

**

It felt like hours before all of the paperwork was signed and we were free to leave, but at 10:00 we were walking out the door of our room to take our daughters home. Coughlin had come upstairs to discuss an exit strategy.

Alcide and Pam had parked the truck on the loading dock by the kitchen, so we decided that with the police presence out front to run interference, we could be sneaky in the backfield.

We made it. We had loaded the girls into their seats and the car was in gear before anyone noticed us and even then it was a group of orderlies on a smoke break. We had a police escort all the way home and were pulling into the gate by 11.

The kids ran out to meet us and within seconds, everyone else was outside too. Everyone, but Jason and Janice.

I smiled at their excitement and hugged everyone. “Come on guys, let’s go to the den and visit.”

Eric toted the carriers back to the den and set them on the coffee table for everyone to ogle.

I walked up to the couch and folded my arms across Janice’s shoulders. “Hello, Mrs. Stackhouse. How are you feeling today?”

“I’d feel much better if I didn’t feel like Violet Beauregard.”

I giggled. “Violet, you’re turning violet, Violet!”

She laughed too. “How are you feeling?”

“100%.”

“You’re healed?”

“Yup, I’m pretty sure, we can fix you up pretty fast too. Maybe not as fast as me, but definitely faster than you would on your own.”

She gasped. “Oh God! Can you? I was worried that it might be too much for Jason if I’m down for too long.”

“Oh, Babe! You gotta know we’ve got your back by now!” I kissed her cheek.

“Oh, I know. Thank you.”

“Where’s Jason?”

“He’s upstairs, napping. He didn’t go back to sleep last night from worrying. He stayed up until someone would be up to tend to me.”

“I’ll go give him a wake up. I missed him.” I gave Eric a nod to let him know I was going up.

**

I didn’t get a reply to my knock, so as I cracked the door I prayed that my brother went to sleep under the covers or wearing something. I felt sorry for him when I saw him. He was face down and still dressed. I slid on to the bed next to him on my knees.

“Jas, wake up. We’re home.”

His eyes flew open. “Huh? Sookie?” He sprung up onto his knees and jumped at me to hug me. “Oh, god! Thanks for calling last night.”

I chuckled at that. What was I going to do, sit on the information and not call and warn someone? “It was nothing.”

He was still holding me tight. “Jas, you’re fried. Do you want a wake up?”

“If you’re up for it, I’d love one. I hated leaving her with Tobin and Jordie but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.”

It took me a while to fix him up. I wasn’t tired or out of practice, he had just been that close to complete exhaustion.

He finally let me go and sat down. “I was worried when Alcide said that Pam was going to heal her. We’d talked about vampire blood being ok in an emergency, but when she healed with her hands like you do, we were a little freaked out.”

“Pam likes to play her powers close to the vest. I gave her that one early on. It was one of the accidents.” He actually blushed at the idea of how those accidents happened. I couldn’t hide my amusement. “Look Jason, would you like that one? The power… to heal? It can take a lot out of you to use it for big stuff, but stuff like last night…”

“Will it help Janie’s blood pressure and stuff?”

“No, I asked the doctor about that yesterday, but it will help her heal after.”

“Then yeah. I don’t want her to have to suffer, she’s done that enough already.”

I smiled at him and put my hands on his shoulders. While I was there to do what I was supposed to, I dug around to see what was in the store. He had a few talents I didn’t think he’d realized yet.

When I was done, I sat back. “Jason, did you know that you could be invisible?”

He looked at me like I had 3 heads, so I took that as a ‘no’.”

“What about banishing?”

Another look of wonder. “What is that?”

“You can say, stay off my lawn, and the person will not be able to step foot on it. Hell, for that matter, you might be able to say get out of Shreveport and be effective.”

He smiled slowly. “Dell.”

I smiled back. “Dell… Wait, wouldn’t it be more fun to beat the tar out of him every time he comes around?”

“Yeah, but not around Tommy. I was lucky when I ran into him and Tommy was down for a nap.”

I smiled at him. “Come on, let’s go check on everybody. I’m dying to make lunch we should tell Eric about your fun new powers.”

**

Downstairs the den was abuzz with activity. More specifically cooing and ridiculous baby talk. Neither one of the girls were crying, but oddly, they were unhappy and I could feel it.

I went over and put my arm around Eric’s waist. “Eric, can you feel that?”

“Feel what?”

“The girls, they’re unhappy.”

He frowned down at me. “Why?”

I shook my head unable to feel the exact trigger for their unease. I figured that I’d go for the obvious difference. “Hey guys… could everybody sit still and be quiet for a minute.”

We waited.

“Ok, it’s better now. The girls were a little on edge because it was so loud and busy.”

I smiled up at Eric and he kissed my forehead. “Lover, that is a very handy talent to have.”

I agreed with him and pulled him to the kitchen with me so that I could talk to him alone while I put together lunch.

**

I went out to the garage and grabbed a tray of steaks and took them to season and started a pot of water for corn on the cob.

“Eric, I gave Jason ‘healing’ and I think I’m going to give it to Alcide too.”

“As a just in case measure or are you thinking they’ll need it?”

“I think that it’ll come in handy for Janice’s healing to have several people to funnel it to her.”

He nodded thoughtfully. “Is that all you wanted to talk to me about?”

“No. While I was in there I saw that Jason has a couple powers that no one knew about. Banishing being one of them.”

“That’s impressive. Maybe I should hire him as a bouncer.” He chuckled. “What other power did you find?”

I smiled at him. “He can be invisible.”

He chuckled. “No shit?”

I nodded.

“Where is he? I want to see him do it.”

“He’s right behind you.”

Eric turned around and saw nothing and laughed. “Jason, this has limitless applications.”

The ‘nothing’ said, “Like what?”

“Espionage for starters, you’ll be able to follow your daughters on dates.”

We both heard laughter. It wasn’t a friendly laugh and Jason quickly materialized just as Alcide walked into the room.

“What the fuck?”

Eric, Jason and I laughed. “Sook found out I can be invisible by accident.” He phased out again. And then back. “Ain’t it fucking awesome?”

Alcide laughed. “Shit yeah. I want that one for Christmas. Maybe then I can sneak up on that mother fucker once in a while.”

Eric scoffed. “I doubt it. You breathe like a fat kid running.”

We all cracked up… well, except Alcide, until Eric blew him a kiss.

“So Shug, now that you can fit through doors, what are we doing?”

I ignored my urge to throw cutlery at him and gave him a dirty look instead. “My plan is to take a bassinet out to the pool and play, burn some cow on the grill and relax while everybody takes turns passing the girls around like a bong. We’ll have visitors today.”

“Pretty brave to put a suit on in front of Janice.”

“Don’t mistake bravery for pride. I have my abs back, I’m not really thinking about the repercussions.”

“Sook, you’re already ready for a bikini? Swimming?”

“One of the few pay offs of being a freak of nature. No scar, no bleeding, no stretch marks.”

“No way!”

I smiled at him. “I healed in my sleep. By the way, I told Niall to take a flying leap into a lemon grove. If you’re going to banish anything, you should start with him.”

“That shit about trying to breed you like a trick pony?”

“Yup, he showed up at the hospital. I told him I have a family and I didn’t want him in it.”

“Damn straight.”

Alcide, Pam and Eric had all known about Niall’s plotting, not all of the details but most of them. One night in Hawaii, we were all sitting around a bonfire and Alcide made an offhand joke about Niall being a Fae pimp and Jason was too interested in the reason for the joke. Once we explained it to him, it turned out that before the realm was sealed off, no less than half a dozen girls had come to Jason trying to ‘hook up’ with him. He was still upset about Crystal’s betrayal and turned them down. The last time he was approached by a Fae was the day before the funeral. The ‘girl’ was in his truck before he came to his senses and decided to come over to our house instead. He found what he needed when he got here and he made the connection when I showed him what the Fae scent was like.

“So you’re not mad that you won’t get to know him?”

“No, I’m mad that of all the ones we’ve lost, he’s the only one we’ve got left.”

**

Jason hijacked the steaks and hot dogs and I set out the rest before I ran to fetch Janice’s suit to shoo everyone out of the den to help her change. It was a chore, one that she detested as an affront to her humility and whoever was helping her pitied her. I called Jason to come get her while Eric pretended to be busy gathering baby needs for outdoors. “Consider that one for the bank, Min Make.”

He smiled at me over his shoulder before I disappeared up the stairs. He knew I was willing to pay for the favor of staying hands off with Janice.

I quickly put my body jewelry back in and changed into my favorite bikini. I had only worn it twice before I started showing. I bought it Greece and then found no need for it on our ‘private’ beach. Nice thinking on the Viking’s part. Eric had been the only one to see it on me, and it quickly found its way to the ground both times. It was tangerine open crochet and might as well have been nothing.  The bottoms went straight across my hips, barely covering the necessary software and the top was a halter with a wide scoop neckline that barely covered my nipples and tied behind my neck. I slipped on one of the Fangtasia t-shirts I had that said ‘bite me’ as a cover.

I galloped down the stairs and made a bee line for the yard after grabbing a case of beer and a box of juice pouches. The kids were already in the pool with Febes and Dozer; Pam was floating with Janice. Eric was standing near the shady spot the bassinet was sitting in, but there were 6 people between him and the girls. Angela, Tobin, Sara, Jeremy, Jordie and Azo were fawning over them.

When he noticed my exit from the house, it took exactly 1 second for lust to hit the bond like a mack truck and he walked right up to me.

He eyed me carefully and managed to hum and lick his lips at the same time. He reached up and fingered the orange tie of my swim suit that I had left to dangle out of my shirt collar on purpose. “Wonderful choice, if you want to find yourself broken.”

I smirked at him, taking his wrist and licking the tip of his finger slowly. “How exciting for you; to be dared to break the unbreakable.”

He narrowed his eyes at me and I could feel the vibrato in his chest from where I stood. He stepped closer and leaned into my ear, speaking softly enough another vampire might have missed it. “Just knowing it’s under your cover, makes me hard. I want to fuck you until you can’t walk.”

His tone alone caused a stir under my barely there bottoms, but I tried to keep my calm. I pressed my cheek to his and matched his hushed tone. “Then I’ll wait for you to change before I remove the shirt.”

“You aren’t punishing me for something are you?”

“What would I punish you for? You’re perfect.” I ran my fingertips down is ribs.

He stood back, obviously affected and looked me over. He seemed to be waiting for a clue to hit the bond. When he didn’t get one, he blurred his way into the house.

Alcide emerged a moment later in his trunks and walked by me, then backed up a couple of steps. He lifted the hem of my shirt an inch or two and dropped it again. “THE suit?”

I smiled and nodded.

“Humph… liked being pregnant that much, huh?” He gave my butt a hard slap before he dove into the pool.

I laughed and started making plates for the kids to set them out.

**

Once the grownups were done eating and everyone climbed back in the pool, Eric and I changed and fed the girls and then put the little angels in the shade to rest.

Janice had been giving me a hairy eyeball since before lunch and the second she saw me set Dagny in the bassinet, she barked at me. “Ok. Let’s see.”

“What?”

“I’m sure I will turn as green as a leprechaun and hate you a lot. Get it over with. Take the cover off.”

I pouted my lip at her, and turned to start pulling my shirt up over my head facing Eric. He savored the show for all it was worth and kept his mouth closed in spite of his fangs running out.

I turned around slowly, expecting Janice to be shooting daggers at me. As I turned around, I realized that everyone was staring at me. I was right about Janice, but it was nice to see that Alcide’s eyes were shimmering and Pam’s fangs were out too.

“Go ahead, Janice. Get it off your chest.”

“Oh, you are so lucky that I love you. If anyone else had done that, I’d be looking for a place to hide their body by now.”

I smiled with my relief. “I love you too.”

I turned back to Eric and put my arms up on his shoulders, inviting him down for a kiss. When he leaned down, I arched my back and rubbed myself against him. He wasn’t at all shy about kissing me in front of everyone. I reached into the front pocket of his trunks and he stiffened as I fished out his cell phone to put it safely on the table.

When I took my first step backwards, he smiled into our kiss and went along with me. We backed up to the pool and I fell backwards holding onto him, sinking to the bottom of the pool. I wrapped my legs around him so that we wouldn’t drift apart and I reached into the front of his trunks to grab him. He, of course, returned the favor. His hand went right to work and I clamped my mouth around his nipple, flicking it with my tongue between nibbles and in time with the pulsing squeezes my hands were delivering.

I finally started feeling the urge to surface.

“I hate being a breather sometimes.”

Eric smiled at me and kissed me as we went up for air.

As soon as we broke the surface, our family applauded. It took me a minute to catch my breath.

“What’s the clapping for?”

“Shug, you were under for a while when Jordie started timing you. 4:41.”

Eric chuckled. “I wonder how long you’d be able to be under if you weren’t moving so much?” I gave him a wink.

**

Janice was lounging on a float but the rest of the adults were just treading water and enjoying themselves. The kids had gotten out to go play on the play set with the water features, leaving the adults some time to be immature. We played around and water wrestled and shoved each other under, you know… rough horseplay that would have earned the children a scolding.

We’d been at play for a while when we saw Sam, Arlene and her kids come to the kitchen door and peek out at the ruckus in the pool.

“Hey guys! Come on out.” I swam to the ladder to climb out and grabbed a towel. “You kids hungry or thirsty? I have juice pouches and Jason made some hot dogs.”

They looked at Arlene pleadingly, but she was (just like Sam was) very focused on my body. So I led them over to the summer kitchen and started helping them make plates while my friends watched me.

Eric had climbed out and started drying off too.

Once I sent the kids to the table to eat, I went over and hugged them both. “How’ve y’all been?”

Sam cleared his throat a couple of times to get his voice back. “Well, we were worried for ya… uh… what’s up?”

I smiled at him. I thought it’d be fun to play with his head, but decided against it. “I heal like a vampire. I had my body back in 12 hours.” I grabbed a beer for the three of us and took them over to see the girls. We sat and talked while the 5 kids played together for over an hour. Arlene held both of them. I heard her thinking that she wished her life had worked out differently because if she could afford them she’d have had another baby every couple of years. She enjoyed newborns THAT much.

**

After they left, I strutted out onto the diving board and dove down to the bottom of the pool and snuck up on Alcide. I secretly untied his trunk laces and then in one swift tug had his trunks before he knew what hit him. I came up for air a few feet from him holding them up.

“Nanny nanny boo boo!”

“Sookie! You’re gonna pay for that!” He dolphin dived into the water and came after me with a vengeance and he grabbed me around my waist and we fought underwater in a ‘death roll’ over his trunks for a while.

We came out of the water at the same time and he started jerking his suit back on underwater.

He growled at me and I stuck my tongue out at him. “You’re not funny.”

I laughed at him. “Try saying that without a smile on your face.”

I swam up to him and got right in his face and raised my eyebrows, inviting a comeback. He took the bait. “Payback is a bitch.”

I swam the extra foot towards him, wrapping my legs around his waist and burying my mouth against his ear. “Yes it is. Which is why you should never call a pregnant woman ‘lunchbox’.”

He laughed. “Is that my payback?”

“Nuh uh. Everyone here has seen your pretty ass naked. That was just my way of letting you know it’s game on.”

He wrapped an arm around my back and eyed me carefully. “I’m in trouble, aren’t I?”

I smiled at him and gave him a smooch, but didn’t answer him.

My plan for payback was simple. There was no payback. Waiting for payback that wasn’t going to happen was the payback. Besides, how could I really be upset about being called ‘lunchbox’? I thought it was funny.

**

I climbed out of the pool around 5 and went inside to put dinner in the oven. Last week I’d filled the freezer in the garage with casseroles to make life easy on the gang at the house while I was down. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

Jordie and Tobin followed me in and sat at the bar, waiting expectantly.

Tobin took the lead. “Boss, whatcha got for us?”

I thought about that for a minute. “I want a cleaning service sent to Jason and Janice’s house this week. Get Manny and Curtis over to put the nursery furniture together. Since they’re staying here, Jas won’t have the chance before they get home, then it’ll be too late. I don’t want Janie worrying about what isn’t done. We can wait on groceries until we know when she’s going home. Chris and Lisa need to rework our case load to Baltimore. Alcide and I aren’t going to Seattle. We don’t want to leave the babies. Call Cumberland and see if he’s free to come out on Thursday for pictures for the announcements. Call the pilot about a day trip on Friday to DC. There and back same day. I want to leave at 9. We’ll be looking at the house for a couple of hours and be home by dinner.”

“You know something… About Janice?”

I nodded. “The doctor said that we’d be lucky to get her through the week. I have a feeling she’s right.”

He nodded and wrote on his list then Jordie started. “Sookie, we’ve had a few deliveries. The office is actually quite full of packages.”

I waited for more, but didn’t get it. “Where are they from? Did Eric go shopping?”

He giggled. Yup, a Semi Daemon who giggles, go figure. He actually reminded me of a cheerleader trapped in the body of a brunette fireplug of a man with hazel eyes. “They’re from regents all over, and addressed to the princesses and some for the older children as well. We’ve had the guards go over them. And the garage is full of flowers.”

I smiled up at him. “Take notes on the containers and what type of flower each person sent and then have the boys take them to the hospital and commit random acts of sunshine. Have them start in geriatrics with the nonspecific arrangements. Those poor souls never get any attention.”

Tobin laughed. “You jump right back in the saddle, huh.”

I chuckled. “I had twins and was gone for 2 days. I wasn’t in a coma, Kiddo.”

He smiled and got up with his list. “We’ll go get started.”

“If you do, you’re fired. Today is a holiday at the Pound. You can do it tomorrow. Go have fun.”

**

Once I had put the salad together and the casserole was in the oven, I made a couple of bottles and went out to grab the girls to tend to them.

When I stepped outside, Eric was already heading inside with them, so we took them up to their room.

When we undressed them, their cords had fallen off in their diapers already.

I smiled at Eric. “First bath.”

He smiled and followed me to our bathroom and held both girls while I grabbed their baby bath and filled the tub and laid out towels with their sleepers and diapers and lotion. I sent for Pam and Alcide since they would need to see how it’s done.

When the tub was full, I climbed in and sat down. I took a baby from Eric and sat down. Eric looked nervous but he followed me in. He had Erika clutched to his chest and I smiled at him, telling him to relax. I laid Dagny back in the water and put my hand behind her tiny shoulders to hold her head up and watched Eric’s eyes nearly pop out of his head when I let go of her body with my other hand and let her little body drift freely in the water.

She kicked happily and stretched her arms out and smiled. Eric did as I had done. Erika seemed to enjoy the weightless feeling just as much as her sister and we let them float for a few minutes.

Pam and Alcide smiled while they watched before Pam started to wonder how to wash them one handed. I took a wash rag from the side of the tub and laid it flat on the surface of the water and grabbed the bottle of lavender baby wash and put a squirt in the center of it. I wrung some of the extra water out of it and started rubbing Dagny down. She seemed to relax even more with the soapy massage. Erika on the other hand put up a bit of a fight. It appears that she’s really ticklish.

When the girls were all clean, I told Alcide and Pam to grab towels and I started their ‘on the job training’.

This was the easy part. Drying them off and rubbing lotion on them, diapering them and dressing them. Both girls dozed off while they were rubbed with lotion. The guys went to get dressed while Pam and I took the girls to the nursery to feed them. Pam and I wore identical goofy smiles while we watched the girls fight the urge to sleep while they drank their formula. They didn’t even stir when we put them in the crib. Pam put her arm over my shoulder and kissed my cheek while we paused to watch the angels smile as they dreamt.

**

When I got to my closet, I was faced with a dilemma. Since I started showing in the late spring, I didn’t buy any cute summer clothes, but I had a rack full of maternity clothes.

I happily settled on a much missed pair of no rise jeans and a white tube top and some sexy white lace cheekies and a strapless bra.

When I got to the bathroom, Eric was still under the water but I pulled my swim suit off and stepped in with him.

I was greeted with a wide smile and a hug. “Hello min make. What’s got you in such a mood?”

“You, them, everything.”

I smiled up at him just in time to get a long romantic kiss. “I’m happy that you’re happy.”

“I’ve never been so happy. And I was wrong.”

“About what?”

“When I walked away from my life, I did it thinking I would never have love or a family. I took pretty drastic measures to not care… But then you came along.”

I giggled. “What am I being accused of?”

“Inflicting numerous blows and shattering my long standing belief in no one.”

“Hmmm. You’re welcome.”

He gave me another long kiss, putting his hands on my shoulders and stroking my throat with his thumbs. He didn’t break our long kiss at all the entire time he made love to me under the waterfall of our shower. He washed every inch of me and my hair lovingly.

While he worked, I caught myself thinking about what Niall had said… “Vampires know no such feeling.”

Even if I had never known the love Eric is capable of, I would still doubt those words. What is love, if not respect, care, concern, commonality and friendship? In general vampire don’t show an extreme capacity for these feelings but they still feel them. As a maker, or child or a sworn ally. So wouldn’t it be logical to assume that if each ingredient of love is present then the product of them must be possible too. I knew for sure that Niall’s blanket claim that vampires are loveless is a poorly researched premise. I had 3 proof positive cases living under one roof. I had presided over dozens of cases and seen the hurt left behind, scars of love’s amputation. I felt sorry for the loveless Faerie but I still wasn’t hanging a stocking for the asshole without an apology and a huge tribute to Eric. After the shit he tried to pull, Niall owed him that much.

Eric chuckled at my back as he rinsed me off, having heard my inner ramblings. “Lover, I expect no tribute. I just want him to accept your choice of being mine.”

We stepped out to dry off and get dressed.

“I expect one. He disrespected you by trying to lure your bonded away with a substitution. I would order it in court for anyone else in the same shoes. In fact I have.”

“You’ve met another couple in similar circumstances?”

“Male vampire, female Were. Her father wanted her to breed and found willing ‘donors’. He went to his daughter over her vampires head and he paid the price. Alcide got mad because I went to Damon on the matter instead of him.”

“Why would you go to another justice?”

“I went to him because I was concerned about staying impartial. The situation hit home for me and knew it would with Alcide too. Damon agreed with the ruling but not the sentence. So I amended it.”

“So that’s what you two argued about in Atlanta.”

I nodded. “That, and we both really just wanted to be home. The traveling was getting to us. We were sick of being gone so much and playing catch up. But he saw my point, I saw his and we made up.”

“What was his point about not wanting you to go to Stillings?”

“That it looked like I didn’t take stock in his opinion.”

“What was your ruling?”

“Steep tribute and no further unsolicited contact. The sad part is that the daughter and her vampire were going to wait a few years and then look into donors after they marry.”

“Medaling.” He shook his head, frowning.

“Memories?”

He nodded.

I smiled up at him and put my arms around his ribs. “Well, hopefully Niall won’t have to wait a thousand years to get what he wants like your father, but he is going to have to find a different grandchild to do it with.”

**

I pulled him out of his melancholy and we went down to feed the family. We all stood around and joked and laughed. Janice sat on the couch in the lounge to eat with her feet up and after the kids were done eating, I told them to start getting the packages from the office so that they could help open them. They happily complied.

Alcide and I were loading the dishwasher when the doorbell rang.

Eric was enjoying the children’s business so Pam went to answer it. When she came around the corner, Clancy was with her. He smiled at me and sheepishly held out a bundle of pink roses. I took them and buried my face in the pretty blooms before thanking him with a hug. “Thank you, Clancy. This is very sweet.”

He might have blushed. Eric came over to him. “Flirting with my woman, Clancy?”

The poor man took Eric seriously. “No sire. I saw on television that you had escaped the press and checked out of the hospital. I came to congratulate you all and of course for the birth as well.”

I got a kick out of his priorities, since he listed our escape before the girls. “Would you like to meet them?”

He stammered but I took his hand and Eric and I led him up to the nursery where they were still tuckered out from their day in the fresh air and bath time. He stared into the crib with a lock on his expressionless face.

Finally, I saw a single tear roll over his cheek. “They really are quite lovely, you must be very proud.”

Eric patted him on the back. “To the contrary, I’m feeling very humble.”

Clancy tried to secretly clear the tear away. We let him think we didn’t notice. “Yes, sire. I imagine such a blessing would inspire such a perspective.”

I touched his arm gently. “Clancy, would you like to hold one?”

“No ma’am. I wouldn’t dream of disturbing them. They’re so peaceful when they sleep. Perhaps another time.”

I rested my head against his shoulder. “How many did you leave behind, sweetie?”

My question shocked Eric. He didn’t expect that Clancy would answer. The only thing anyone knew about Clancy was that he is private, loyal and determined as a worker.

“2 boys. 9 and 3. I didn’t know them very well. I worked a lot.” His words were laced with desolation.

Eric eyed me as I ran my hand across the shoulders of his underling. “Knowing and loving aren’t the same thing, though are they?”

He looked at me with sad eyes. “No ma’am, you are right about that.” The corners of his mouth turned up slightly.

“Come on, let me buy you a blood.”

**

While Clancy enjoyed his AB-, the kids started ripping open the gifts that had been sent from some of our friends and allies.

Nicki sent Tiffany Limoges alphabet boxes that spelled out the girls’ names and gold Rolexes for Manen and Hunter too. Seriously?

Maddie sent some seriously swanky baby bath and body type stuff from Neiman Marcus for the twins and monogrammed towels and robes that were thick enough to be bedding for the big kids. We all had an ‘I *heart* Maddie’ moment when we noticed that the embroidery had ‘HN’ in the middle. She’d considered their pending adoption when she ordered. Aww, I *heart* Maddie.

Margaux sent a bottle of wine from her vineyards in Napa for each girl made with a special label naming the wine after them. Her note said that there are five cases of each one on the way for us to toast with at their weddings and the vintage will be perfectly mature in 25 -30 years. Eric joked that the wine would be ruined before they’d be allowed to date.

Damon sent a pair of Waterford crystal picture frames for the twins and the big brother and sister both got a new camera.

Russell and Bart had seen the babies’ round crib and sent them a custom made Swarovski chandelier wired with tiny little twinkling pearl lights. That was Eric’s favorite and he and Alcide were disappointed that the girls were in their crib and they couldn’t hang it right away.

My favorite gift? Stan, obviously very much back to himself now that things are going so well with Rochelle, had a sense of humor about his gift. The twins were sent woven reed basket style bassinets shaped like Viking longships. They had blue and yellow striped liners with matching handles that looked like the Swedish flag. He even sent faux fur Swedish flag blankets. And my favorite part: Little gray knit beanies that look like Viking helmets, horns and all.

I wasn’t as crazy about the fact that Manen and Hunter both got honest to god Viking swords, but I decided not to yell at Stan since neither of them could lift them without nearly falling over. It hurt Eric not to show off with them but he did promise to teach the kids to use them once they could lift them.

It seemed like it took forever for them to open everything. There were dozens more photo albums and frames, gold rattles, monogrammed blankies, platinum bracelets and charms. Not that I didn’t appreciate it, but some of the gifts were lavish just for the sake of being lavish. I don’t really care how much money I have in the bank, when am I really going to put a diamond tiara on an infant and have her drink from a crystal baby bottle, really?

**

It was after 8 when we were done and Tommy had long since passed out from his day hard at play, so we kissed Manen and Hunter good night and sent them to bed with their new treasures. Except for the swords.

Clancy took his leave so that he could tend to Fangtasia and let me hug him on his way out.

It took us a long while to finally clean up all of the packaging, and Pam and I had just gotten back from the nursery with the girls after putting the last of the gifts away when we got a call from the front gate.

“Chip.”

Alcide answered it. “Yeah.”

“Visitors. Fae.”

“Names?”

“Claude Crane and Preston Pardloe.”

“Purpose?” All 6 of us in the room tensed.

There was a pause. “Political.”

I thought about that for a minute and was intrigued with the ‘political’ reason for a visit from 2 people who I would assume say private. For that matter, since Claude and Dozer were seeing each other, he could have just said that he was here to see him to get on the property.

I gave Alcide a nod and he told Chip to let them in.

**

Jason moved Janice up to bed because she was tuckered out from her fresh air and didn’t want to be moved to the den and fall asleep, but he came right back. She had made the conscious decision to stay out of politics a while back. She announced that ignorance is bliss around the same time Eric’s former ‘day guy’ was found.

Alcide went to the door to let them in and show them to the lounge.

We were all sitting, pretending to be relaxed when we were anything but and I was cloaking the scent of Faerie even if I didn’t want to.

I smiled at them with my big fake smile. “What can I do for you two?”

“Hello cousin. It’s nice to see you looking so well.”

I took a minute to introduce Jason to Claude, since they’re related and all. Claude’s eyes grew in response to Jason’s hand shake. “You’re almost as powerful as Sookie!”

Jason laughed a little and patted his chest. “Yeah, well vampire blood gives me heartburn.” That made us all chuckle.

Claude actually cracked a smile and continued with small talk while Preston took in his surroundings. “So where’s your wife? I hear you’re expecting too.”

“We spent the day in the pool and she’s worn out. She turned in early.”

I was almost bitter that Claude and Jason were getting along so well, until it occurred to me that Jason is a very good looking guy… yup, Claude was flirting, so I laughed to myself.

When there was a lull in the flow of chit chat, Claude came over and looked down at Erika as I fed her. “They look so much like the vampire, it almost bothers me to tell you how gorgeous they are, but they’re perfect. Really. Congratulations, all of you.” Nice from Claude? I felt like I was in the twilight zone.

I looked up at him and smiled again. “Thank you. That’s really nice of you, Claude. Uncharacteristically nice. Are you feeling well?”

He smiled his broad stripper grin. “I’m great. It’s always nice to find likeminded folk. I heard you told Grandfather to go fuck himself yesterday.”

My family chuckled with me. “In so many words, yes. Why?”

“Did you ever wonder why I didn’t go hide in the realm with the others?”

“You’re too conceded to give up your popularity here?”

His eyebrows went up with enjoyment of the insult. “Maybe. The two big reasons that I stayed put were because of the breeding issues and Grandfather’s politics drive me up the wall. You may not like him, but I hate him. He actually bartered me off into marriage a while ago. The woman already had a lover and I obviously had a complete distaste for her, but our families arranged it as a maneuver. I spent one night with her and then bought a house in Shreveport.”

“Ok. So what does this have to do with your visit? Why’d you bring Preston?”

Preston stepped forward, still terrified of the vampires in the room. “Your grandfather banished me for failing him so I turned to the only Fae I knew of on this plane. Sookie, I’m very sorry for deceiving you.” He bowed to Eric. “And you, King Northman. I was told that she was lonely and told to keep her company for the evening. I was told to bed her, yes. I wasn’t told that she was bonded or that I was expected to help her conceive. I would have accepted punishment for refusing. He was still lying to me when we left the realm yesterday. He told me that Sookie was only protected by you as an asset for her telepathy. He told me that he would negotiate with you for her services so that we could raise the children together.”

Eric’s eyes were locked on his, no doubt rooting around in his brain. “Oh, I have no doubt that Niall thought that was the case. The look on his face when he heard of our marriage and then when he realized the twins weren’t Fae gave it away.”

I thought it was pretty damn brave of him to come here just to say he was sorry. “Apology accepted, Preston. I still wonder what the theme of this little party is. I hate not being in the loop.” Erika had passed out so I set her in her Viking bed (Eric shook his head and chuckled) and I offered out drinks, resisting the urge to offer lemonade.

“Sookie, we came to warn you. I might have slipped when I was acting like a Were, but I can do vampire and human. I’m not the only Faerie with the gift. Niall, if willing to pay, could hire someone to come to you as Northman. Then it’s entirely possible for him to break you two apart.”

“How would he do that?”

“Are you strong enough to cloak the scent of Fae 24/7 so that you could stay together? Or would you be willing to give the baby up to stay with him? Either way, Niall wins. He’s already ruined Claudine.”

I felt panic for my own situation and pain for hers. “What has he done to Claudine?”

Claude stepped forward with his head hung. “Claudine was always the good one who wanted to please Grandfather. In trying to please him, she’s lost several pregnancies. She’s nearly mad with grief.”

“First of all, someone needs to let him know that if he has me raped by deception, I will abort and be sterilized. End of story.”

Claude proudly smiled at my declaration while my family tensed at it. “Secondly?”

“Who takes over if something unfortunate happens to him?”

Claude’s smile became sinister. “That would be me.”

“You?”

“If I wanted it. I don’t. Dermot can’t be found. Claudine would be next, but she wants to ascend. The next in line, would be him.” He jerked his head back at Jason. “But that would cause a huge war because…”

“He’s a Faerie Shifter Witch Daemon with a Semi Were wife and Shifter mutt kids.”

“Exactly. Then it would be you.”

“Great. So Niall has to live. Is there any way to bind him from us?”

“No. Unless there is an order from the Mystical Council, but he may even ignore that since he has no respect for the other clans.”

“So the only way to get him to leave us alone to be fixed.”

“Basically.”

“What do you plan to do?”

“Hope the realm stays closed. He’s pushed me, but since I’m ‘wrong’ he can’t trick me.” He said ‘wrong’ with a heaping scoop of bitterness. I’m going to guess that there aren’t any Gay Pride Parades in ‘the realm’. “Jason is safer because if he gets ‘tricked’ he’d never know. The female would return to the realm and raise the baby there.

“But because I got blessed with a uterus, I get screwed.” Yes, I know poor choice of words, we were all distracted by the accidental word play for a minute before we could collect ourselves back to being angry.

“You would be forced to make an ugly choice between abandon and kill; baby or husband. There’s no way you could even be around a vampire while you’re pregnant with a baby that has ¾  Fae blood.”

“If I were to wear lemon juice or an iron pendant?”

“The lemon juice would have to be fresh and the iron would only kill him if it penetrated the skin. I doubt anyone would get used to stabbing as part of foreplay.”

I laughed as Eric and Alcide both shook their heads at the idea, making Jason blush.

We discussed different options until we were blue in the face. But decided that nothing was going to work to keep him out of our lives. Preston and Claude left with a sincere thank you from all of us and a hug from me. I wasn’t just being friendly, I was checking to see if there was any reason I should have Eric impale them on our iron gate.  Fortunately for them, they had been completely honest. Unfortunately for me, they’d been completely honest.

**

I knew what the future had in store for me to an extent. And obviously, to me anyway, the large family we have doesn’t include any Fae. The problem was that I’m not sure how we manage to avoid the scenario of me accidently getting in bed with a decoy.

Dr. Ludwig and I had talked about different birth controls and we had come to the conclusion that my ability to heal would undo getting my tubes tied and the ‘liquid alchemy’ would keep my body from taking to any form of birth control as much as it prevents me from getting drunk… anyway, science was never my thing, especially when the topic was so frustrating, not to mention insane.

I stood in the quiet foyer for a bit, trying to think of something, anything to buy us some time until we were done having kids and I could just get surgery that may not work because whatever gets removed could regenerate. I finally had an idea.

I walked back into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of scotch, three glasses and a couple of true bloods.

Everyone seemed deep in thought as I poured. “Word association.”

“What about it lover?”

“As a password. If we were to set a password, we’d have to change it often so we could trust it. But if we just leave it as word association, then we’d know whether or not we’re with a decoy. As long as we stick to things only we’d really know, we’d be safer.”

Alcide was looking at me with a little confusion. “So if I say… tattoo, what would you say?”

“Medland or jeans. You try. Scrabble.”

He laughed. “Shower curtain.”

I laughed at the connection he made. “See, who else would put those two things together?”

Pam jumped in. “Genie.”

I giggled. “Making me think of Bill won’t keep you safe.”

She cackled.

“Lover, why would ‘genie’ make you think of Bill?”

“The getup she was wearing in Rhodes, helping him push the program.”

He smirked. “Dallas.”

“That’s easy. Bullet, Leif, California, werewolf, green suit, appropriate punishment , fungus, first kiss, blindfold, torn thong, That enough?”

He nodded with a big smile. “This is fun.”

I smiled back. “Duplex.”

And there was the sexy smile. His wicked, irresistible bedroom naughty smile. “Mickey, Tara, shot, rock, wrist, amnesia talk, Salome, window, sweep…‘cock-off’.”

I gasped. “Cock…!? You shit!” I slapped him on his arm as he laughed. I turned beet read and he basked in my mortified glow!

Pam and Alcide looked back and forth between us until Alcide picked a stray thought out of my brain. “You two and Bill? Together? Fuck, tell me you cleaned those sheets before I touched them!” He was jokingly disgusted.

Jason looked like he was on the verge of gagging.

I tried to gather my thoughts. “I was on pain killers…” Their eyes got big and Eric was laughing even harder as I stumbled my way around my explanation. “It was when I got grazed and I had just come home from the hospital and Eric came over because I needed a favor.”

Alcide was laughing. “A third isn’t a ‘favor’!”

“Shut up!” I flipped him off, but I was still laughing. “There was a scuffle and a window got broken. And Eric called Bill to bring stuff over to fix it and to rub it in that he’d been invited over. The two of them started posturing over me, big surprise. And in my drug and adrenaline induced stupor, I laughed and called it a cock of.”

“No she didn’t! In her ‘drug and adrenaline induced stupor’ she started entertaining the idea of a cock off. I hadn’t told her that I was hearing her thoughts. She has a very vivid imagination… I almost blushed.”

I reached over and punched his thigh. He had the decency to pretend it hurt, but I was still laughing.

“I should have spilled your beans then. It would have been priceless to see the look on his face.”

“Are you kidding me? When you kissed me goodbye, he tried to top it. He’d have pretended to be up for it, just to keep up appearances.”

Eric shuddered and faked a wretch.

I slapped the coffee table a few times and then put my hands up. “Ok, ok, ok. Hello my name is Sookie and I’m a pervert. Now that we have that settled… everyone ok with word association as a security measure?”

Pam smiled at me. “I think that it’s the most fun security measure I’ve ever heard of.”

Jason nodded his agreement. “Um… I gotta ask. If Eric was doing Sookie a favor, and Bill was doing Eric a favor, what the hell were you doing there?”

Alcide laughed. “I was trying to get into her pants, but it wasn’t the same night.”

I shook my head at the floor. “I swear to God! I’d spent plenty of time quiet and alone. No drama. Just waiting tables. Then when it rained, it poured. That was another stellar week. I really racked up the attention.”

Jason furrowed his eyebrows together. “How much attention did you get?”

“Eric, Alcide, Bill, Sam, Quinn, Calvin and Mickey. I got shot, Sam got shot, Tray got shot, Calvin got shot, there was a dead guy in my yard, Charles got staked, my house burned down and my friend got a serious whooping.” I eye Alcide for a moment, quietly giving Jackson the notice he deserved. “It was a really big shit sandwich.”

Alcide nodded silently, but then snapped himself out of it. “It wasn’t all bad, you got Quinn out of it.”

“VD woulda been easier to get rid of.”

He laughed. “You’re lucky you didn’t get fleas.”

“He had his uses.”

“Being a pervert again?”

“No. Pussy boy chewed through the duct tape on my wrist when the Pelts nabbed me.”

Eric chuckled. “You did most of the work in that escape.”

“Not really.”

“He chewed through your binding, but then you freed him, you stabbed your kidnapper in the face, you electrocuted the little man in the house, you subdued the teen bitch.”

“Sook! You stabbed someone in the face?”

I smiled. “With a screwdriver!… Good times.” Sarcasm, of course. I’m not jaded enough to remember that fondly.

Jason snorted. “You? When we were in high school and I got road rash from skate boarding, you wouldn’t be in the same room as me because it was too gross.”

Eric and I shared a smile. “You shoulda seen us the next night. We were dodging disembodied heads and covered in blood.”

“Sookie, you ever kill anybody?”

Alcide, Pam and Eric all laughed as I nodded slowly.

“Shit! What’s your body count?”

“More than one, less than a hundred.”

Pam jokingly put her hand in the air and snapped in a sweeping motion. “Fierce bitch!” She held her hand out and slapped me 5 as the rest of us laughed.

**

We laughed and enjoyed our drinks for a long while. It was almost 1am when the girls woke up to get their needs met. Once they were tended to, Pam and Alcide volunteered to take the girls to their room. It wasn’t entirely altruistic of them, but Eric and I weren’t going to say no to the offer.

When we got to our room, I watched Eric shut the door as I slowly unbuttoned my jeans and pushed them down my legs. I slowly pealed my clothes off and flung it all at him one piece at a time.

I was standing in front of Eric completely nude as he stared at me. “Are you planning on staying dressed?”

Whatever I said or did, earned a smirk. He dropped my clothes by the door and pealed his clothes off little by little and stood in front of me naked. I walked over to him and lifted his hand to my mouth to kiss his palm.

“What sport entertains the King tonight?”

I watched his interest in the game take over his face. “Sport? What are my choices?”

“Glima.” I slowly walked around behind him, taking his hand and folding his arm behind him. I nibbled a path from his side up to his shoulder blade and reached around, running my fingernails down his side onto his length as soft as a whisper.

Eric’s chest was already alive with expatiation. “Hmmm, and my other options?”

“Greco-Roman.” I lifted his arm, holding his wrist and hugging his waist. I kicked my leg forward to sweep his leg out from under him. Putting us both on our knees with a grunt, we were knelt together on our hands and knees and I reached up to grab his hair to direct his face to give his mouth a long measure of consideration. His fangs slipped out and scraped my lip and he shuddered from the taste of me on his lips.

He growled with a smile as I pulled away from the kiss. “Is there a third option?”

I pulled his hand from the floor and tucked into it, rolling us onto our backs with a thud. “Melee.” I quickly moved onto my knees, and put my lips around him and began to consume him. His hand went to the back of my head as a reflex and a low moan quickly grew into a guttural roar, constant and escalating.

He made a brief effort to distract himself. Pungent and edgy, “Lover, can you explain my options again?”  His attempt failed.

He’d made me laugh and in our position, the vibration in my throat gave him a shock that made his back arch away from the floor and the way he said my name made the mirror rattle on the wall.

He was more unhinged than I seen him in a while. Over the past few months, he’d been the embodiment of self control. That was over now. He’d scratched deep gouges across my back while he enjoyed my oral entertainment and after he came, I made no motion to stop. I pushed him, keeping my tongue in constant motion and driving him to yell and even gasp.

He couldn’t stand it anymore. He sat up so quickly I hadn’t seen it before my body hit the carpet flat. He’d pulled my ankle out from under me in rebound. He folded me over, shoving my knees to the floor under me and serving my center to himself. He artfully went to task and quickly had me begging and screaming his name. Touché. An epic and outstanding touché.

In spite of my begging, he didn’t stop. I was breathless and seeing spots, caught in the mental tug of war; paradise or torment.  It was only fair.

He kept his eyes locked on mine as he lifted his smile from me and crawled up my body. His mouth dove onto mine as he lined himself up and teased my entrance. He leaned into me slowly and then backed almost completely away. I whimpered.

When he pushed back, he slammed into me so hard that the force slid my back along the floor a ways and I yelped into his mouth. He stopped and looked at me, worried that I was hurt.

“Don’t you dare stop!”

He pondered my face briefly before he smiled and shoved back into me, getting rewarded with another loud yelp. His smile faded over time and became more feral and barbaric as he released months of pent up alpha behavior en masse. I met every thrust with my best pitch, sanctioning every exploit; inviting the pillaging.

Neither of us had ever been so vocal, but at the time there was no way for either of us to contain it and as we both felt ourselves careening out of control, on a collision course with a resounding finish, we tore at each other’s shoulders and fed until we healed.

Eric crashed to the floor beside me with a peaceful smile on his face and rested his hand on my chest to feel my racing heart.

I let my head flop clumsily to the side so I could look at him. “I told you so. Make, you are perfect.”

He chuckled. “You are completely responsible for my ego being so enflamed, min allt.”

“Then we’re perpetual in more ways than one.” Being ‘perpetual’ was mentioned in our wedding vows.

“Forever?”

“Absolutely, min skapare.”

**

We held each other peacefully on the floor, tangled together and feeling no inclination to stumble with words.

His fingers were teasing through my hair and I was unsure if I wanted to drift off or demand a rematch, but something tugged at my senses.

“Eric, do you smell that?”

He took a deep draw of air. “I only smell sex.”

“I smell blood.”

“Of course you do. We…”

“Not ours. Human… Eric, call the doctor.”

I bounced to my feet and I grabbed my robe but I was moving too fast to get it over my body before I was out the bedroom doors. As I ran down the cat walk, I confirmed my worries as the odor got stronger as I got closer to Jason and Janice’s door.

I ran past it, going to wake up Alcide so that he could dress.

When I barged in, I sped around to his side of the bed.

“Beb… Beb. Wake up. Get dressed. Now.”

He didn’t speak. It only took only a fraction of a second and then sprung from the bed. He’d sensed my panic and ‘heard’ it was for Janice.

I ran out of the room to let him explain to Pam and practically flew over to Janice’s room.

**

I knocked softly and got no answer. I cracked the door slowly and saw Jason and Janice both sleeping.  He was sweetly spooned up behind her with his hand on her hip. I went to him.

I calmed my voice even if my panic was clawing at my heart. I whispered into his ear. “Jason. I need to talk to you.”

He grunted and rolled over. “What’s up, Sook?”

“We need to wake Janice up nicely and get her to the hospital.”

“What? Why? She’s fine.”

The smell of blood had filled my sinuses and was getting stronger. It occurred to me that it could just be a ‘preview’, as Alcide had started calling them so I walked to her side of the bed. I gently pulled the sheets back and unfortunately, it wasn’t just a preview. On the mattress and coming from between her legs was about a pint of blood. I felt Jason’s fear explode from him like a supernova and tried to calm him but it wasn’t going to work. This was primal. This was the base fear of a man watching the woman he loves bleed. I’d seen that look from Eric and Alcide and I knew there was no magic strong enough to help him.

Eric and Alcide both got to the room at the same moment. I’d been trying to wake Janice up with no luck. Her pulse was weak, and her response to the old fashioned knuckle drag on the rib breast plate was limited.

Eric held the phone out to me. “She wants you.”

“Her pulse is weak. 50.”

“What do you remember about the classes you took?”

“Eidetic.”

“Right. Blood? Water? Contractions?”

I put my hand on Janice’s side and held it there. I didn’t have to wait long before I felt the muscles tensing.

“About a pint. No water. Affirmative on the contractions.”

“Could you check for dilating since we shouldn’t wait to time the contractions?”

“Wait one.” I made Alcide turn around and gave him the phone. I asked Eric to go get me something to wear while I did it. I knew she’d be embarrassed if I didn’t respect her modesty. I knew that being helpless was killing Jason, so I had him take her underwear off carefully while I ran to wash my hands.

“Jason, I don’t want to move her so I need you to lift her leg. I’m going to see if she’s been having contractions.”

He nodded and lovingly put one hand behind her knee and the other under her ankle. When he lifted, her leg a gush of blood escaped and Jason yelped.

“Don’t you dare turn around, Alcide. Tell the doc: make that almost 3 pints.”

I was biting back my terror as best I could and waiting for my favorite daemon ability to kick in. Being frighteningly calm would help a lot right now.

I carefully slid my fingers into her, as I’d seen done on hundreds of her ‘scarebirth’ shows and as small as my hands were, I was stopped.

“Jason, cover her up and get dressed.”

I took my clean hand and yanked the phone from Alcide.

“Go get Eric. Get her into the truck as gently as you can. Now.”

I wedged the phone between my ear and my shoulder on my way to wash my hands again.

“We’re on the way. Her water hasn’t broken, but my fingers were barely in and I felt Adele’s leg.”

“I’ll be waiting in the Emergency Room.”

“Gotcha.” I hung up the phone and I ran to my room while Alcide and Eric were lifting her.

“Jason, run down and put the seats down in the back of the Suburban. Take a pillow and the blanket.”

**

I was dressed in seconds because Eric had blurred his way through my closet and grabbed jeans and a t-shirt underthings and slip on shoes for me.

When I popped down to the garage, I popped in just enough time to see Eric levitate backwards into the back of the truck and gently set her head on the pillow, then pop into the driver’s seat. Alcide closed Jason and I into the back and ran to jump into the seat next to Eric.

The truck was already moving when Alcide’s door shut.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 4

  1. Kristie Yamber says:

    again this is a well written family unit i wish my family was as close thank you my best Kristie

  2. loveallsvmtb says:

    love it.their family closeness is to be envied.

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