Wednesday, June 30, 2010

152 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Fifty Two

"Take that dress off," Eric said, frowning at me.

Oh great, I thought. He thinks I look chunky.

"Why?" I asked a tad defensively.

I knew, but I wanted him to tell me. I was getting too fat. I don't know why I wanted him to blurt out the truth, maybe I wanted him to be my weight monitor.

I thought if he said something hurtful maybe it would inspire me to stop eating so much. I had given myself permission to eat as much as I wanted these last weeks and it showed.

"Because I do not want to rip it when I have my way with you," he said.

Instantly his long body was wrapped around me, his searching lips kissing my neck. He smelled and felt unbelievably good. His suit was cashmere, soft and sensuous to the touch.

"You're kidding," I said in disbelief. "Haven't you noticed I've gained weight?"

"Oh yes, yes," he moaned, running his fangs down my overflowing cleavage. "I have noticed. It is wonderful, too wonderful to waste." His clever fingers found the zipper in the back of the dress and unzipped me.

We both undressed again, laying our finery neatly over the Swedish chair. Our bed room was completely back to normal and I liked the new things as well, if not better, than the old ones. I had on a blue slip because the dress was a bit see through. Eric pulled down the top of my slip and unhooked my bra and removed it.

He stood back and looked at my exposed breasts.

"Wow," he said.

Eric had never ever said 'wow' before.

"Wow?" I asked, looking down at my bosoms. I had to admit, they were impressive. But I wasn't impressed, I was the one that had to lug these girls around on her aching shoulders.

"Double wow," he enthused.

That was pretty much all we said for a while. He worshiped my new bigger bosoms, and the extra padding on my rear drove him into paroxysms of lust. He didn't know where to devote his attentions first. He was like a kid in a candy store. He liked plump, he liked jiggle, he liked things to bounce. He liked the new me.

Trying not to think of Maxine Fortenberry and her lust filled romp with the Satyr Mr. Splitfoot, I listened to Eric's flesh slap against mine. Soon I just gave in and enjoyed the experience, smiling at Eric's delight in my curves. His fingers grabbed a handful of hips on either side and he used them like handles to pull me to him. He couldn't have done that a few weeks ago.

Later I asked him, "Do you really like me this way?"

I knew we were going to be late for the cocktail date party, but I was so mellow from the after-sex glow I really didn't care. I already had a date.

"Sookie, you have no idea. It is as much as I can do not to fu... not to pursue you relentlessly every night. A woman like you is ... abundance, warmth, silky flesh to hold .... "

Here words failed him, he made round curvy motions with his hands. But his renewed interest immediately became evident. I knew if we went for round two we would never make it to Fangtasia tonight.

Reluctantly we got up and put our clothes back on. We both knew Pam would be disappointed if we didn't show up, and Eric wanted to be there in case things got out of hand again.

The night was warm enough that I just needed a wool wrap. As I bent forward to get in the car, Eric smacked me soundly on the rear end. It didn't hurt, but it surprised me.

I whirled and glared at him.

He held his arms open wide. "Go ahead. Punch me. Slap me. Stake me. Whatever you do to me, it was worth it."

We both laughed all the way to the club.

more to come .....(danimcket, Patricia, Catherine, Holly, Cindy, Lynn - Thank you for your continued interest and your very insightful and thought provoking comments. I treasure them.)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

151 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Fifty One

During the next month the excavation for the new wing on the house was completed. Jason came by a few times to see how the work was going but he never had time to stay. I think he was trying to avoid having a discussion about his plans for a child.

I had no intention of butting my nose in, but he didn't know that. I knew from past experience with my brother that he could be very touchy at times.

Even telling my brother I wasn't going to give him any advice might set him off, so I just let him set the tone of our conversations. We talked about the weather, which was now mild and springlike, his job at the research center, and my plans for the nurseries.

I discussed my Underworld experience with Angellica over lunch one afternoon. I told her she didn't need to apologize to me for the things her sister did. I realized that the two of them were as different as night and day.

I sensed there was something else on Angellica's mind, but she didn't volunteer it and I didn't ask.

There was no way I wanted to be in the middle of her relationship with Jason. They needed to work things out between them. I found out I couldn't read her mind, all I saw was clouds and blue sky when I tried. That might be because the angel part of her was so busy trying to keep up with Jason.

The research center kept making demands on Eric's time. That was understandable because he was the brains behind the construction. It was his cutting edge ideas and innovative designs that made an underground building encased in a giant safe room possible.

I learned that Eric's brilliance was the reason why the building was being constructed on the outskirts of Shreveport, as opposed to New Orleans. Eric had refused to move there and he couldn't commute without leaving me for days on end.

The downside of Eric's proximity to the construction site was that just about every single problem was something he had to see to himself. There were often several messages for him to deal with as soon as he rose.

Eric remained fascinated with the ancient Neanderthal vampire Lingza. Although Lingza continued to heal physically, his mind seemed to be shattered from the excruciating pain of starving for 30,000 years. I couldn't even fathom how he had survived. Maybe it would have been better if he hadn't. But I didn't share that thought with Eric.

I hadn't gone back to see Lingza since the one time I saw him feed. Eric had invited me a few times, but I always declined. I was still afraid the vampires in the lab would find some way of insisting I visit him often since my presence seemed to soothe him. I think Eric also wanted me to try to help Lingza, but he didn't want to ask it of me.

Being at the research center suggested an idea to me, one I passed on to Eric. Instead of another Speed Dating night, I thought that Fangtasia might do better hosting an invitation only cocktail party for educated and intelligent vampires to meet human professionals that were interested in having a date with a vampire.

These professionals were people that would not normally visit a vampire bar. Fangtasia was usually a hang out for goths, college kids, tourists and fang bangers.

Just like humans, there was riff-raff among the vampires. Avoiding those too unsophisticated to deal with a speed dating night, an invitation-only upscale "Get to Know a Vampire" cocktail party would probably not result in a fiasco. Eric liked the idea.

I let Eric handle presenting this alternative to Pam, putting it forth as his idea, not mine. If Pam took offense at having a suggestion it would be better if that offense came from Eric. They had years of working through their differences. And Eric was Vampire. A suggestion from a human might still seem insulting to Pam, no matter how much mainstreaming she had done.

To both Eric's and my surprise, Pam loved the idea. I think that once she reflected on how badly the speed dating night had gone she was sorry she had insisted on having another one. This gave her a way to back out of a bad idea gracefully.

She researched where her advertising would do the most good, and by the night the cocktail party was held, she had thirty vampires and about a hundred humans signed up. She was charging a bundle to attend. She had a caterer, a pianist, a florist, Fangtasia's best bar tender Mike Malone in a tuxedo, and a dress code.

The party night arrived and I decided I was going to the party too, just to have a fun night out with Eric. As he got into his charcoal gray suit, the one that made him look like he should be on the cover of GQ, I forced myself into my dark blue cocktail dress. It was only one size larger than I used to wear, but I felt the difference.

Maybe I would cut back on the midnight snacks.

more to come ......(Anonymous Z, Patricia, danimcket, Cindy, Catherine, Holly, Tamara - I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me.

Catherine - I haven't read the Twilight series, just the first book. I love Sookie, I wouldn't damage her. She's precious to me.

Tamara - I'm so happy you found your way here! Welcome!)


Monday, June 28, 2010

150 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Fifty

The next week an architect came to the house to measure and make plans for the addition. It would include four bedrooms, each with its own sitting area and complete bathroom, and a large basement playroom.

It also included an enclosed outdoor play yard, like a big green house, constructed of bullet proof glass and other impermeable materials. It would let in light and air, but it could only be entered from the house.

Eric and I had a disagreement about the play yard. He said the children and I could have the benefit of the outdoors without exposing us to risk. He showed me plans that included an indoor swing set, slide, and bars to climb on.

I said I wasn't going to raise the kids like they were hot house tomatoes. He looked so panic stricken about my attitude that I gave in and told him to go ahead. Just because it was there didn't mean I had to use it.

I really did feel sorry for how helpless Eric felt during the day, and I understood it frustrated him beyond to words to know that the world of daylight, with me in it, was forever closed to him. I hoped the research center was able to find a cure for this.

His daylight limitation was making Eric a little crazy, in my opinion. His fears over the safety of our children consumed his mind. Other high profile people had children. How did they keep them safe? I decided I would try to find out.

What I discovered is that not only would we need a very secure home, we were going to need body guards to accompany us if we left the house. I went back and forth between feeling it was ridiculous to live such a protected life to seeing it was the only logical answer. What if I refused to have a bodyguard and something happened to our babies?

Not only would I never forgive myself, but Eric would never forgive me. There is a time to be stubborn and hang on to an idea, and a time to let it go. I was going to need to let go of the idea of a 'normal childhood' for our kids.

Besides, 'normal' wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I knew plenty of people that had been raised in so-called 'normal' homes that ended up being abused, neglected or exposed to craziness. The important thing was that the children were loved and cared for.

A bodyguard would just be a normal feature of their life if they were raised with it. When I discussed this with Eric I could see the relief wash over him. It took a great burden off his mind to see I was going to be security conscious.

There was no way to guard against every possible contingency, but we could do our best to protect the children and ourselves. I felt much better when Eric and I were pulling together as a team than when we were at odds.

Amelia called to thank me for delivering Hecate's message and tell me she was set to begin receiving lessons from Hecate herself. She was getting them through the internet. It looked like even the ancient goddesses had signed on to the computer.

Now that Amelia had something to keep her busy while Tray built up his bike business, she had stopped complaining about his lack of time. Soon the situation might be reversed.

Her one little dark cloud was the way her mentor Octavia had taken the news that Amelia was going to be one of Hecate's Handmaidens. Although Octavia had said the right things, Amelia saw she was crushed that her protege was being taken over by the most powerful witch of all. She was also a little jealous Amelia was chosen instead of her.

It was understandable, but Amelia didn't know how to make Octavia feel better. I didn't have any suggestions. Some things just are what they are.

A few weeks later I ran into Maxine one afternoon when I was shopping at the mall. She was buying some new clothes because she had lost a lot of weight. From the smug smile on her face I was guessing she was still going hot and heavy with Mr. Splitfoot.

Apparently the hooves didn't bother her, and the tail, well, that looked like it might just add to the experience. I didn't tell Maxine what Madam Fox had told me, that Mr. Splitfoot liked his women large and luscious.

It was better for her health if she lost weight, even if she lost Mr. Splitfoot in the bargain. Besides, how long would she want to carry on like she was?

I was at the mall for the opposite reason. I had gained a little weight and needed some bigger clothes. At first this had alarmed me and been depressing, but then I decided the heck with it. Any weight I gained due to my pregnancy I could easily lose after the babies were born. After all, I was eating for four.

I treated myself to a cheeseburger, fries, and a double hot fudge sundae for lunch before I headed home with my purchases.

more to come .....(Cindy, Anonymous Z, Kira, Patricia - Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me especially over the weekend when life can be really demanding.

Anonymous Z - Loved your ideas for a vampire comedy act! It's something that has never been done. Someone should really give it a try sometime.)


Sunday, June 27, 2010

149 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Nine

Before I went to change into my nightgown Eric told me Aleksis had actually just been taken by the nurse to be bandaged.

I was glad to hear it. Aleksis was going to be staying at the center for a while until other arrangements could be made.

I thought about what arrangements would be made to house Aleksis while Eric took Roscoe out.

Was Aleksis going to end up over at Jure's too, like Eric's prior minion Preston? If that was the case then Jure's residence could become a Rest Home for Minions. I smiled to myself as I pictured elderly retired minions sitting around in lawn chairs while nurses in white uniforms hovered nearby. What happened to minions when they got too old to be useful to the Master?

I breathed a big sigh of relief as I got out of my jeans. They were my looser ones but they still felt a little tight. Maybe the dryer had shrunk them.

When Eric got back I asked him if Aleksis was going to be safe at the center. There were a lot of folks there that Eric didn't know. Some of the foreign vampires, unfamiliar with American ways, had turned out to be loose cannons when they immigrated here.

Eric explained that Aleksis would be off limits to other vampires since he was now Eric's marked minion. It was considered a punishable crime among vampires for a vampire to harm another's minion, or even allow one to be harmed.

"His blood line is very good for vampires to feed upon. There is a special healing quality to his blood that will accelerate Lingza's recovery," Eric said. He began quickly and smoothly stripping off his clothes. He preferred being naked to wearing clothes.

"How did you know his blood would be good for Lingza?" I asked. I stopped brushing my hair to watch Eric disrobe in the mirror.

"Once I realized the Curds were descended from the famous Quark bloodline, I knew Aleksis would make an ideal donor for Lingza."

"Is he really donating his blood, or did you just glamour him out of his mind to comply?" I challenged.

The idea of enslavement just didn't set right with me, even if Eric did get Aleksis out of a stiff sentence in a Federal pen.

Eric's startled blue eyes met mine in the mirror. He looked as if I had asked a question where the answer is glaringly obvious, like, "Is water wet?"

"Sookie, he is my minion. It is his privilege and honor to do my bidding. In return I have set my mark on him. He will not be harmed because he belongs to me. This is our agreement. It is an ancient contract between his people and mine."

Since Aleksis was now marked as Eric's minion, he was about as safe as any human could be among the vampires, I guess. Aleksis was on loan, but he should be returned in the same condition he was brought there in, like a library book.

"How is he marked?" I asked.

I know Eric had never marked Preston because I had bathed Preston and saw every inch of the man.

"Each vampire has a small secret insignia that indicates he has possession of something ... or someone."

When Eric spoke with me he was always trying to remain respectful of my position that it was wrong to own people. He had told me during our many talks that throughout history slavery and other forms of human ownership was the norm. It still is in some parts of the world.

Vampires were no different than humans. They took what they needed and who they needed. Might made right. But the times had changed, and Eric had changed with them. He had never once dared to suggest I should be marked, for example. I wore his wedding ring, that was enough.

Although Aleksis was a minion, an ancient role for his blood line, Eric explained to me that the minion would be treated like a modern day employee and paid well for his services. He was strong and able bodied, he could work on Eric's construction crew when he wasn't engaged in minion stuff.

Satisfied with the condition of Aleksis, I turned the conversation to Lingza.

"Why do you think he reacted to me like that?" I asked Eric, snuggling with him in our four poster bed. I had heated the mattress and I was practically purring I was so comfortable.

"I believe he thought he knew you. He is disoriented, he does not know where he is. His painful ordeal has unhinged his mind, he might not get it back. We hoped he would be more resilient, but who can guess how his recovery will go? He is feeding, and tonight he made more progress than we had hoped. Perhaps in a few weeks or months he will find himself."

"I don't look like a Neanderthal. How could I resemble anyone he knew?"

"Do not forget, Sookie, Homo sapiens and Neanderthal existed at the same time. Perhaps he knew a Homo sapien female that resembled you."

"Do you think they were friends?" I loved the idea of that.

"More likely one tribe attacked the other to steal their women and breed," Eric said, hugging me gently against him. He knew I would find this upsetting.

"You mean rape?"

I knew he was probably right, but it was such a dismal thought.

"I do not think the concept of rape existed back then. Any unowned woman that a man could take by force would become his, to do with as he wanted."

"History sucks," I said.

I snuggled up closer to him. "I'm glad you're my man. You wouldn't let anyone take me away."

"I would defend you with my life. My weakness is my unconsciousness and my need for darkness during the day. If I could overcome that, I would not have anything to fear." He rolled over and looked in my eyes, moving a stray strand of my hair back and tucking it behind my ear. His eyes said everything.

"Could you overcome it?"

I thought of the Day Into Night pills I had gotten on my honeymoon. They were supposed to keep a vampire awake during the day, but I had never been able to confirm the pills were safe for vampires, so I never mentioned them to Eric.

"I believe it is possible," he said cautiously. "But the amount of research needed to find a cure is daunting. First our physiology must be understood scientifically. Only then can we look for ways to alter it."

"Is the research center going to be working on a cure?" I asked him, experiencing an excited feeling in the pit of my stomach.

"Of course. It is what every vampire wants. If we could function during the day, and not be so lethargic when we did sleep, we would not need the safeguards we use now."

He gave a short laugh. "Of course, that might put me out of business. No one would need safe rooms and vampire night clubs would lose their appeal."

"And what about needing blood to live?" I suddenly saw the vital importance of the research center. No wonder the vampires involved were so fired up to complete the center and gather information.

"It is not the problem our daytime hibernation is. But certainly, if a way is found to live on an alternate food source, that could be useful. It is not a priority." He nuzzled his face in my neck. "I miss feeding from you so much," he whispered.

"Maybe you could do it once in a while? I could ask Dr. Fay if it would be all right." I suggested. I missed him feeding from me too, a whole bunch. There was no ecstasy to compare to the erotic bite of a vampire.

"No, my mind is made up. Not until our children are delivered and weaned. I would feel like a parasite feeding from you now." His voice had steel in it, there would be no budging him from this stance.

I licked his neck. "I miss your blood too." I whispered to him. "We could pretend until we can do the real thing."

He took the covers off him and rolled his leg to the side so the vein on his inner thigh was exposed.

"Start here," he said hoarsely. His hands shook as he stroked my hair.

This was going to be a long nine months.

more to come .....(Catherine, danimcket, Holly, Cindy, Anonymous Z, Lynn - Guess there's not going to be a vampire stand up comic any time soon, lol. Thanks for writing!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

148 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Eight

"Do you know what he was trying to say?" I asked the little group of vampires once we were away from the bed.

Eric and four of the medical staff stood in a conversational circle with me, their backs to the bed. I peeked between them and saw Lingza, still sleeping.

I wiped the smear of bloody tears off my face with a tissue one of the doctors handed me. Several of the doctors were looking at me curiously. I didn't have anything to tell them that they didn't already know.

"Unfortunately we have been unable to decipher his language. We understood his name after several days of trying, but that is all," a distinguished looking gray haired vampire said. He stepped forward. "I am Dr. Mellen"

He didn't hold out his hand, vampires didn't do that, so I just nodded and said, "Pleased to meet you, Dr. Mellen. I'm Mrs. Stackhouse." I wanted to get my name straight, many people did not know I had kept my maiden name.

"You seemed to have a remarkable effect on Lingza," he observed.

I hoped he wasn't trying to factor me into Lingza's recovery. I felt sorry for the wounded vampire and all, but I didn't want to spend all my nights here at the research center, holding Lingza's hand. I was expecting three babies, there was a lot Eric and I would need to do to prepare for them.

"I'm glad I was able to give him a little comfort after what he's been through," I said.

Dr. Mellen spoke to Eric. "You have done well," he said.

I wasn't quite sure what he meant, but I was thinking it was along the lines of "You have done well acquiring this human woman as your property". I tried not to take offense. So many vampires were centuries behind the times in their thinking.

"We must be leaving," Eric declared. "Call if there is a problem."

I nodded a good night to all and got my jacket. I felt like Eric was rushing us out of the lab now that Lingza was done. Was he also worried I might get drafted to be Lingza's companion?

We left by the same route we had entered, nodding good night to Lars on the way through the lobby. I had seen at least two dozen new vampires tonight. These didn't look like the kind of folks that would hang around Fangtasia. Where did they get the blood they needed? Did they all live on synthetic blood?

I was almost breathless by the time we got back to the car. Eric opened the door for me and I got in. Before I could even close the door he was seated behind the wheel snapping his seat belt. I fastened my seat belt and off we went, back through the industrial park and the lot on to the thoroughfare. We were going over the speed limit.

"Is it my imagination, or are we in kind of a rush here?" I asked him, after taking a long drink from a bottle of water I kept in the car.

"Yes, I wanted to leave before the King called and insisted you stay with Lingza to soothe him every time he awakens." Eric slowed down his driving when he saw we weren't being chased by anyone.

"He wouldn't do that, would he?" My voice sounded a little squeaky.

"There is no way of knowing what notions he will entertain. Once I have you home I can say that you are in no condition to take on this project."

Eric knew that possession was nine tenths of the law. A pregnant wife was as good an excuse as any.

"Also, I did not want you to witness what happened to Aleksis," he said, looking grim.

"Why? What happened to him?" I remembered the bitten man being led away by the nurse, gauze covering the wound on his arm.

"The scientists wanted to study the bite of the Neanderthal vampire. The only way to do that accurately was to remove the arm and dissect it." Eric turned onto the road that led to our house. Now the only light was our headlights because there were no street lights on this road.

I was appalled. "That's just terrible, Eric! Couldn't you have stopped it? What good is a minion going to be if he only has one arm?"

My voice was getting loud and shrill. I toned it down. "I am very sad and upset to hear that."

"Darn," Eric said.

"Darn why?" I asked. It didn't make sense but he knew what I meant.

"I was attempting to make a joke, but somehow it fell short."

He pulled into our driveway and shut off the engine.

"Why did this attempt at humor fail?" He undid his seat belt and turned towards me.

I thought about his question. "That's a very good question, Eric. The only way this joke could have worked was if I was smart enough to realize you were kidding. Then it would have been funny. Unfortunately I took what you said seriously and it made me upset. But I appreciate your try and I hope this doesn't discourage you from trying again."

"I see," he said thoughtfully. "I myself would have found the joke hilarious, especially if it was true."

I stiffened at his callous attitude, then laughed. "You almost got me again, you rascal, but this time I got the joke. A joke takes two people, the one telling the joke and the one getting it. You keep working on telling the jokes and I'll keep working on getting them." I hugged him and we got out of the car.

As we walked into the house I asked, "You were joking just then, weren't you?"

more to come ..... (Holly, Anonymous, danimcket, Patricia, Dianna, Lynn, Cindy, Catherine - I was glad to be able to do something you all couldn't see coming a mile away. You are all so insightful I really appreciate your comments. They help me to know what you are focusing on as you read.

Dianna - As in CH's books Sookie is unable to read the minds of vampires in my stories, not even Lingza's mind.)


Friday, June 25, 2010

147 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Seven

I thought we might hear a word or two from the King on this momentous occasion, but it seemed like the transmission was only running one way. One of the white coated men standing by the bed, a doctor I was presuming, nodded at Eric.

"Come," Eric said to Aleksis, telling him to stand.

Aleksis didn't look worried, and as I watched, Eric increased the degree of glamour the wiry man was under. I hadn't realized he was under any influence it had been so subtle, but that would explain his subdued manner.

The bed was slowly raised more until Lingza was almost sitting, then the minion's forearm was placed against the fangs. It was positioned so the fang tips rested on a prominent vein in Aleksis's muscled arm.

Lingza opened one clouded eye a little more and his cracked lips drew back slightly. He tipped his head forward and the fangs broke the skin, entering the vein.

Blood welled up, then was sucked into the hollow fangs. Aleksis showed no reaction at all, he stood as still as a statue. I could see Lingza's Adam's apple working up and down as he swallowed.

A collective snicking of fangs and restless movement swept through all the vampires in the room. Eric licked his lips as if he too was tasting the blood.

"That's enough," the vampire with the clipboard said after a minute. I had come closer to see what was happening, but I tried to stay out of camera range.

Gently, Eric took Aleksis's arm away and the nurse immediately placed a large gauze pad on the bites. She led Aleksis into another room and shut the door. Aleksis moved like he was sleepwalking. He didn't look back at Eric.

I remembered how hard Aleksis had been to completely glamour when we were in his grandmother's apartment. Eric had to glamour him until he almost stopped breathing on his own. I wondered if his resistance to glamour was one of the traits of his people.

Lingza made an indistinct noise and turned his head towards the room full of onlookers. As I watched I saw the clouds lift from his eyes, which were now a warm chocolate brown. The dense eyebrows on his jutting brow ridge thickened and his reddish skin plumped out. He made another muffled noise, like someone trying to talk past a mouth full of cotton.

The dull brownish black hair on his head grew to his shoulders and became matted and woolly. His deep chest and sloping shoulders sprouted short curly hair so dense it could almost be called fur. His face had some sparse hair but he was not bearded. It didn't look like he could grow a beard like a modern man would.

Hair sprouted all over his arms and I imagined his body under the white sheet would also be quite hairy now. The transformation finished with the growth of yellowish nails on the short thick fingers of his wide hands.

This would be exactly how he looked the moment he was Turned thirty thousand years ago. This was Neanderthal man. The hair stood up on my arms seeing something recreated from the mists of time.

I understood now why Eric thought it would be a great privilege to see Lingza feed. Aside from admiring the tenacity that had kept the man alive all those bloodless agonizing centuries, he was a type of person that was now extinct.

Lingza's thick arm raised and his blunt curved fingers pointed.

"Mfffmmph mfffmmph," he said.

I looked behind me to see what he was was pointing at. Everyone was looking at me.

Eric said, "I think he wants to see you more closely. He might remember you from the cave."

I took a tiny step forward, feeling nervous about getting too close to the Neanderthal man.

"It is safe, come close to him so he may see you," Eric encouraged me.

I walked up until I was right next to the bed. I didn't think Lingza would be capable of any sudden moves, but I was wary. The Neanderthal's hand reached out to mine and without stopping to think I took it, feeling the cool calloused fingers and palm. His hand closed on mine and pulled me towards him. I resisted but, weak as he was, he was still stronger than I was.

"Eric, he's pulling on me," I said, trying to remain calm. Eric seemed undecided what to do.

The ancient man reached up and put his other hand on my hair, pulling me to his chest. My face touched the thick fur that had sprouted there. It was surprisingly soft and springy. He had no smell at all. Just as Eric stepped forward to intervene Lingza started to moan loudly.

"Mmmma ...vaaa mmmma ....vaaa," he wailed. His chest was heaving convulsively as he began sobbing.

"Mmmmaavaaa mmmmaavaaa," he cried.

I pulled myself back to look at Lingza's face. His obvious distress was heart wrenching. Tears of blood filled his almond shaped eyes and dripped down his broad cheeks.

Lingza's hands slid down my arms and he held on to my wrists, but not hard enough to hurt. He just didn't want me to go.

Eric was ready to step in and break Lingza's hold on me but I said quietly, "No, wait a minute."

I pulled my right hand free without resistance. I reached out and stroked the woolly hair, saying, "It's alright Lingza, it's alright. Everything is going to be fine. You're safe now. You're going to be taken care of. We're all here to help you."

I looked in his confused eyes as I spoke and I used my most soothing tone of voice. I gently pulled to get my other hand free.

Lingza immediately let go of me, searching my face with his deep brown eyes. His chin quivered like a child's with his sadness. I leaned forward and hugged him, my arms around his neck, my face against his wet cheek. I was running on instinct. I recalled what Eric said to me, how this poor creature had suffered and for how long.

I petted his hair and cheek, making crooning noises and saying over and over, "It's alright now, it's alright now" softly in his ear. I know he heard me.

Lingza cried and moaned his strange sounds for a few more minutes, then he quieted. I backed away, first holding his hand with both of mine, then letting it go and placing it gently on the sheet.

The Neanderthal vampire, the only one of his kind left on the planet, went quietly to sleep. He looked peaceful.

more to come .....(Holly, danimcket, Lynn, Cindy, Anonymous Z, Sally, Catherine - Can't believe another week has gone by. Thank you so much for visiting and writing a comment.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

146 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Six

The vast underground space we stepped into was a building site in full swing.

Welder's torches flared, carpenters hammered, rivets were being jack hammered into place. Cranes lifted huge metal beams to the waiting hands of vampire laborers. It was a busy construction site made otherworldly by the banks of giant halogen lights that surrounded the perimeter.

A construction worker in a yellow hard hat flew by us on a hoverboard. He was carrying blueprints. Other hoverboards in the distance were carrying profession looking men and women from place to place.

These must be the construction site personnel like safety consultants and supervisors. They floated silently and quickly from location to location using the handle bar, like one on the front of a child's scooter, to provide both support and the controls.

"You have hoverboards?" I asked in amazement. I thought they were only a gimmick from the movie "Back to the Future".

"Yes, they were invented about thirty years ago, but the International Organization of Parents wanted to keep them off the market because they were too dangerous for youngsters to play with."

Wow, I was amazed those things really existed. As kids Jason and I would have done anything to get our hands on hoverboards. But as an adult I could see that many children might have gotten hurt if they were marketed. Look at the number of accidents from just plain old skateboards. Jason must get to ride on one of these, and Hoyt too. Lucky them!

This was an entire four story building being constructed completely underground. The metal beams formed a grid work that would be filled in with floors and rooms, but right now most of it just looked like a giant erector set.

The huge stadium lights lit the enormous underground area bright as day. Trucks were being filled with dirt by backhoes. The work just to excavate an area of this size was mind boggling.

"Impressed?" Eric asked with a proud smile, seeing the wonder on my face. This was his biggest construction project so far.

"More than impressed. I'm astounded. How do you manage to keep all this a secret?"

We began walking on a makeshift wooden plank sidewalk that skirted the perimeter of the construction. I picked my way carefully in my little heels, wishing I had worn my Sketchers.

"There are numerous exit points for the trucks and workmen. We avoid a steady stream of workers or vehicles into or out of the site. We blend in with the traffic of the area. Vampires are good with camouflaging our comings and goings. It is a talent we have had much time to develop."

At the far side of the construction the building looked complete, with opaque black glass walls and doors. Eric opened a door marked '1A' and we entered a small green carpeted lobby.

There was a curved blond oak reception desk staffed with an imposing vampire. He had a shiny bald head, a bushy red beard and he was wearing a nicely tailored gray three piece suit. The suit couldn't disguise the fact that the security guard was bulky with muscle. The nameplate in front of him said 'Lars'. Nobody was going to get past Lars.

Cameras covered the lobby and desk, so there must be a security office somewhere.

Lars and Eric nodded at each other as Eric and I walked past the desk towards a glass enclosed suite of offices. These looked like normal cubicle offices until we turned left. The entire left hand section was set up as a glass walled science lab.

We entered the lab through glass and chrome doors and walked past a dozen tables containing state of the art computers, fancy equipment I couldn't guess the use of, and a few pieces I did recognize like microscopes and beakers.

The back area where Lingza was staying was dimly lit by a low watt table lamp on a nightstand. It had a long white cloth curtain on a track that could enclose the corner if the curtain was pulled shut, but the curtain was open now.

The rescued vampire was lying in a half raised hospital bed. His short arms were being gently wiped down by a pretty young vampire in a nurse's outfit. A sheet covered him from the ribs down.

Several vampires in white coats stood around watching, one had a clipboard and was taking notes. I could hear ventilation fans humming in the ceiling vents and the quiet murmur of several discussions throughout the room.

I remembered that Eric told me Lingza needed air. Air for modern day vampires was optional, as far as I knew.

I had pictured Lingza being kept in a cage or cell, confined in some way, but he wasn't. I could see why. Lingza looked better than when I had last seen him in the cave, but he still didn't look good.

The transparent leathery brown skin that had been sticking to his skeleton when I had seen him inching forward in the cave had filled out and expanded, becoming withered looking light mahogany flesh. It reminded me of the faces of the dried apple dolls I had seen at the fair.

This flesh gave him facial features like a low sloped brow, broad nose, heavy pronounced lower jaw and wide flat cheeks. Sparse hair was beginning to grow on his jutting brows and small looking cranium. It didn't look like his brain could be as large as a modern person's brain.

This was definitely the face of a Neanderthal. I wondered if it would be politically correct to say that, or if he would take offense, like those cave men from the insurance ads. Right now he looked so out of it I doubted if he would even hear me or understand the words I said.

His eyes were sunken and clouded over, not focused on anything. His thick lips were cracked and slightly parted. I could see his swollen tongue and the large hollow fangs. They were the only thing about him that hadn't changed. I wondered if his fangs retracted like modern vampires, or if they were permanently stuck in the "on" position.

I noticed the water he was being sponged with was pink. It probably contained blood. Maybe he could absorb a little nourishment through his skin. He seemed very broad and short limbed. I remembered the unusually thick bones in his skeleton. Standing, he would only be a few inches taller than I was, but he would look twice as dense.

Off to one side Aleksis Curd was sitting on a wooden desk chair, his hands folded quietly in his lap. His head was down and for a moment I thought he might be praying. He looked up when he saw Eric, his hard lined face breaking into a radiant smile.

He was going to stand up but Eric made a "stay" motion with his hand. Eric had a stern expression on his face. Aleksis sat back down, but his adoring gaze never left Eric after that. It reminded me of the way Roscoe looked at Eric.

As an aside to me Eric said quietly, "I do not wish to encourage him. He is overly demonstrative in his affection for me."

Obviously Aleksis had become Eric's minion. Eric had a minion once before, a slaveling named Preston that had been forced upon him by the King.

Preston lived at Jure's house now, as far as I knew. Eric had turned the semi-vampire slaveling over to Jure since he seemed to enjoy the slaveling's company.

Preston lived on insects, he would never be vampire enough to drink blood. Over time Preston had regained a lot of his faculties and could now speak, bathe, and even play intricate games of chance with Jure.

Aleksis didn't seem to have been Turned to any degree, so his devotion was just something he was genetically or culturally primed to feel towards a vampire. Eric would never make a slaveling.

Like most vampires Eric was icked out by the partially Turned. Eric didn't seem too keen on having a minion, but he had obviously found some use for Aleksis besides letting him rot in a Federal penitentiary.

It was warm in the lab so I took my jacket off and hung it on the back of the chair next to Aleksis. Eric went over to one of the vampires in a white coat standing near Lingza's bed. They spoke briefly, then he returned to me.

"It will not be long now. As soon as the web cam connects to the palace we will begin." Eric looked excited, his fangs showing a little.

A camera on a tripod was placed near the bed, a wire running to the computer. We stood there waiting until a vampire in jeans and a striped polo shirt looked up from the computer he was using and said, "All right everybody, we're live to the palace."

more to come .....(Patricia, Anonymous Z, Dianna, Holly, danimcket, Cindy, Sally, Gjers-1, Lynn - Your comments, as always, are the wind beneath my typing fingers! Thanks!

Sally - So sorry about your accident. Hope you are unscathed, but even so, the shock of it takes a while to recover from. Good thing you can take a mini-vacation in Shreveport to relax!)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

145 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Five

I briefly wondered if Eric was going to blindfold me when I got in the Subaru before I dismissed the idea as too too melodramatic.

Vampires liked to keep their secrets and this research center, dedicated to discover the true nature of Vampire physiology, was one of the biggest secrets they had.

There was no length a vampire wouldn't go to if something threatened their survival, or their wealth. The two things were basically synonymous.

Without wealth a vampire would live the life of a scavenger. It wasn't a safe life for someone that had to guarantee their daytime hiding place would remain undisturbed. With wealth came safe rooms, day walking minions, and donor blood if needed.

With great wealth, the wealth of a King, a state-of-the-art research center could be constructed deep under the earth. The King Felipe de Castro Research Center, reinforced from all forms of attack, was basically a huge safe room, housing the doctors and scientists from all over the world that would finally understand, in scientific terms, what made a vampire tick.

The biggest secret of all was who was housed in that research center - a reviving 30,000 year old vampire Neanderthal mummy.

Lingza might hold the key to the origins of vampires, the missing link, a bridge between the modern vampire and the earliest one. This secret had the potential to change everything known about both vampires and humans.

Eric started the car and I smiled a little to myself. He wasn't going to hide the location from me.

"What?" he asked, seeing my expression. He could see in the dark like I could see in broad daylight.

"For a second I thought you might have to blindfold me," I said, laughing at how ludicrous that seemed.

"Oh, yes. Thank you for reminding me. I almost forgot." He reached his hand into his leather jacket's inner pocket.

"What?" I spluttered, shocked he was really going to blindfold me.

His hand came out empty. "Just kidding." He put the car in gear and we drove off.

His sense of humor was growing by leaps and bounds.

"Ha! You had me going there for a moment," I told him.

"I know," he replied, glancing over at me. "I can hear every quickened beat of your heart. It talks to me even when you are silent."

"And what does my heartbeat tell you?" I asked flirtatiously.

"Everything," he said, seriously.

I thought about that for a while as we passed homes and then small businesses, getting closer to downtown Shreveport.

The overcast day had become a cloudy and chilly night. I guess spring wasn't as close as I thought. Eric turned the heat up and I held my hands in front of the flow of hot air to warm them.

After five minutes of driving Eric got on East Texas Street. "The King trusts you and he is grateful to you for your continued help and input. He is glad to share the moment of Lingza's first real feeding with you."

Eric drove through the city like a pro, not taking any chances. He obeyed the speed limits and rules of traffic, his seat belt fastened securely across his broad chest. His sense of humor wasn't the only thing that had improved.

"Is the King going to be there tonight?" I asked, suddenly worried I might be under dressed. I had followed Eric's lead and worn jeans. I had on a pretty blouse, but it wasn't good enough to be in the King's presence.

"No, he will view the feeding via computer camera. It is amazing how easy it is for information to be transmitted these days."

"It's easy for someone to hack into a computer and get their hands on the broadcast too. Are there safeguards in place to protect the web cam transmission from being intercepted?"

"Yes, we have several of the top names in the computer world, now Vampire of course, working for us. This is not just a center to study vampires, this is a brain trust for several projects important to vampires. That is why the building must be completed on time."

I knew the responsibility for such a huge construction project weighed heavily on Eric's mind. He needed my brother to keep up his end of the job and oversee the work during the daylight hours. Again I hoped Jason could put aside his personal issues long enough to accomplish what needed to be done.

Eric turned onto Mansfield Road, then into a sprawling industrial park. A half dozen wide low buildings were just visible in the lights from the large paved central parking area and the ambient light from the city. This must be a common parking area for the closest buildings to use.

He drove all the way through the brightly lit parking lot and got on a small black top road that exited the back of the lot and went between two identical brick buildings. They might have been warehouses because they lacked windows or doors, though there must have been some sort of entry point on another side of the buildings.

We pulled up to a dark tan building that looked like it was made from overlapping sheets of corrugated metal. It was huge, maybe as big as half a football field and two stories high. We parked in a small black-topped lot to the side of the building and got out of the car.

I needed a jacket, and if I had been out for very long tonight I would have needed a hat too, but we only had a short walk to a white metal door. The sign on the door read 'Acme Development and ReDesign'.

It had a logo of three arrows fanned out in three different directions. The name 'Acme' made me think of the hilarious Roadrunner cartoons Jason and I watched as children. I repressed the urge to say "Meep Meep".

Eric opened the door and motioned for me to precede him. I walked in, aware of the sound my low heeled dress shoes made on the concrete floor in the vast empty space.

Lights hung from metal beams high above, and row after row of unoccupied work stations seemed to stretch into the far distance. A low hum filled the air. I hoped it was from heaters. Right now the temperature in here seemed only a few degrees warmer than outside.

We walked to a door marked "Office" and entered.

The smallish room was windowless, with pegboard walls, cottage cheese textured drop ceiling, and chipped gray metal trim around the door. It looked like a typical office in a factory or plant.

I saw a no-frills gray metal filing cabinet and desk, both covered in paperwork and thick three ring notebooks, clunky older beige computer with grimy keyboard, worn out looking desk chair with cracked green pleather upholstery. The office was lit by harsh overhead florescent lights.

Eric shut the door and took me to the huge framed map on the far wall. It was a map of Louisiana with distributing centers noted with red stars. I looked at Eric, wondering if I was supposed to figure something out from the map.

He stood behind me and then, quietly and quickly, the map swung back, revealing an opening into a dimly lit hall. We walked into the hall and the map door closed just as quickly behind us.

At the end of the short hall was an elevator, the doors open. We got in and Eric got out a key, put it in the bottom keyhole and turned. The elevator doors shut and we began to descend.

For some reason this reminded me of my recent trip to the Underworld and I began to feel a little panicky.

"Do not worry, this is safe. Now you will be able to see the project your brother has been working on for me," Eric reassured me.

He had probably heard the slight increase in my heartbeat. He was a like a walking stethoscope or a lie detector.

The elevator stopped with a little jolt, then the doors opened. I was looking at a scene that seemed to be from a science fiction movie, a movie that took place on a whole different world.

more to come .....(Patricia, Anonymous Z, Sally, danimcket, Holly, Cindy, Dianna, Lynn - It is a joy to read what you have to say and your speculations are wonderful! Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts.)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

144 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Four

The man Eric brought back to his office to feed from was a spectacularly handsome and muscled man with long black hair named Vito.

After Vito was glamoured, Eric had him strip to the waist, revealing the kind of lean but defined physique some men work so hard in a gym to maintain.

Then he leaned the man's head to the side, pulling back the smooth black hair to reveal a thick muscular neck with a pulsing vein.

Eric's eyes never left mine as he fed. He was watching to see if this was turning me on. It was, and he was pleased to see it.

He held out his hand and I took it, holding it while he fed. It was intense and exciting for me, and for Eric. He fed slower this time now that he saw I was interested in watching. He kissed me when he finished for a long time while Vito stayed in that no-mans-land of glamour.

I saw how centuries of trying out new things could cause someone to lose their inhibitions and go for anything that took their fancy. It was liberating and frightening at the same time.

What was in the murky depths of my hidden libido? Could I bear to know what perverse thoughts might be hiding? What if Eric thought I was sick or twisted? Or maybe that was just my fear about my judgments on myself. How far would I go?

After freeing Vito from his spell and sending him on his merry way, I got the full benefit of Eric's sexual high from his feeding, and he got the benefit of mine from watching. I remembered to lock the office door this time.

Then we straightened our clothes and went out to sit around looking menacing and remote. It was hard for me not to grin and wave to the folks I knew. I kept an impassive face and nodded slightly to Pam, Clancy, and Mike the bartender as they passed by. It was like being an actress.

Eric was usually bored and remote when he was on the dais, but with him it wasn't an act. He saw many of the inebriated humans that fawned and flirted as vermin he had to tolerate. Once in a while a human would appeal to him for some reason and he would grace them with a nod.

One group of Gothed-out tourist fangirls actually shrieked and jumped up and down when Eric nodded at them, like he was a rock star. As his reputation grew, more people than ever wanted to get a look at the vampire owner of Fangtasia.

I suppressed a desire to roll my eyes at their fangirl enthusiasm. This meant money for the bar and good publicity for vampires.

"They are young and want adventure," Eric said, leaning to the side to speak to me.

He held his hand up so no lip readers could see what he was saying to me. "It is not me they want, it is the excitement and the bragging rights. I am not so vain to think they would actually want me as a full time feature in their lives."

"Eric, they would leave everything to sit at your feet. They adore you," I replied, holding my hand up to shield my mouth from view too. When you were a vampire you had to think of everything, even lip readers.

"Only you have that privilege, you lucky woman," he said, a twinkle in his bluer than blue eyes.

"Yes Master. I am honored to wax your coffin." I reverentially bowed my head and kissed his hand, the one with the Dracula ring. The girls shrieked and gasped. Oh brother!

"I love the way you wax my coffin," he leered.

He kissed the palm of my hand, rubbing the tip of his tongue over the sensitive nerve endings there. I squirmed in my seat, suddenly wishing we were alone. Eric smiled, this time showing fangs.

The girls squealed again at the sight of his fangs.

"We have to get out of here," he whispered to me, "before I kill them."

I felt the same way. We made our brief good byes and swept majestically out of the club, the mysterious Master Vampire and his hapless Enthralled.

Then we went home to fool around, take the dog out, and change into our jeans before heading over to the research center.

more to come .... ( danimcket, Cindy, Patricia, Holly, Catherine, Anonymous Z, Gjers-1, Sally, Lynn - I love that you took the time to let me know what you're thinking. I'll see you all tomorrow bright and early.

Gjers-1 - Tornadoes! Yikes! I'm so glad your power was finally restored. Hope you didn't suffer too much without it. Glad you're back. I'll go back and check on the past few postings for your comments. Thanks for the heads up.

Rambo - Thanks for the info. I wrote back to you.)


Monday, June 21, 2010

143 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Three

The sun was just going down when I got up. I brushed my teeth and fixed my make up to wait for Eric. After our usual warm and wonderful greeting I got ready to hang out in Fangtasia tonight.

I had a stab of guilt that I hadn't ever done much work there tending bar, but now that I was expecting Eric wouldn't hear of it. He said he had plenty of help to tend bar, but only one wife to carry his babies. I saw his point.

While Eric walked Roscoe out at the tree line, Angellica called to see if I knew where Jason was. I told her the same thing I told Hoyt earlier, what time Jason had been here and when he left.

Jason did this sometimes, I told her, when he was working something out in his mind. She was going to visit her mother tonight. She asked me if I talked to Jason before she did could I tell him where she was. I told her no problem.

Eric caught the tail end of the conversation. "Is there a problem with Jason?" he asked.

"Yes and no," I told him. "He just has some personal issues he needs to iron out."

Eric said, "He is needed to oversee the construction at the research center. If he can not do that I must replace him. Nothing can delay the construction, it is vital that the facility be open on time."

He went to go get dressed up in his black leathers. We were being vampires tonight. Eric was the real deal, but I was just a poseur.

I hoped Jason wouldn't screw up his job working for Eric. He would never get another chance like this to earn so much and have this kind of job security and benefits.

Vampires, who seemed to have all the time in the world, were always in a big rush when it came to getting things done. The King's pet project had a deadline, and in the vampire world that meant a drop dead line.

When Eric came out of the bedroom I told him about the visit from Madam Fox and the buried treasure of gold. Eric was very interested in this.

He said, "I will move the gold to a more hidden location. You may tell Madam Fox the matter has been taken care of."

I said, "I guess you could move the gold and bury it again, but why not just cash it in and put the money in the bank?"

"We may need that gold for insurance," he said.

Before I could ask him about what he meant his cell phone rang. He listened, then he said, "If it is the right type then I agree. Do you need me to transport him?"

He agreed with something again, then he shut the phone with a thoughtful look on his face.

He said, "That human, Aleksis Curd, has volunteered to be the first human for Lingza to feed from. The Curd gypsy bloodline is most attractive to Lingza."

"How do you know?" I asked. I had thought Aleksis was on his way to prison for what he did.

Eric invited me to sit down at the kitchen table with him.

"I have known men like Aleksis before. He is a hard man, but once he declares his allegiance to a vampire, he is the loyalest of humans. Throughout the centuries vampires have trusted certain gypsies to be their minions. Aleksis is a descendant of that tribe. His grandmother was a vampir zauberweihen from Olmütz, do not forget."

I had forgotten. Eric had to remind me it meant she had been a practitioner of a type of magic that could control vampires, like a specialized witch.

I got up and heated a cup of left over decaf in the microwave.

Eric continued, talking over the sound of the microwave. "He would be too good to waste in a prison. I have gotten him freed and hired him to help out in the research facility. He does not know where he is, but he knows he is working for me. He is embarrassingly grateful to me."

The coffee was done warming so I sat down and sipped it while Eric talked.

"Aleksis gave a small sample of his blood to be tasted by Lingza. It had a remarkable effect on him. Lingza wants more of his blood, he wants to feed from a warm human. Tonight when we leave Fangtasia I will take you to the facility to see Lingza feed from a human for the first time in thirty thousand years."

Eric's voice turned thick and hoarse, he turned his face away so I wouldn't see the powerful emotions there. Eric was comfortable with me, but so many years of hiding his feelings, appearing neutral and without reaction to other vampires, made it hard for him to not automatically react as if his feelings were weakness.

I put my cup down on the table and walked over to him, sitting in his lap.

"Why does this affect you so?" I asked gently, placing my hand on his cheek turning his face towards mine. I wanted to understand why Eric got choked up when he spoke of this feeding. His blue eyes brimmed with bloody tears.

"Sookie, for a vampire to miss a feeding is painful, but to be deprived of food for so long, while being completely aware every second of the hunger, the need ... this kind of torture can not even be imagined."

He paused, thinking, trying to think of some way to explain this degree of suffering to a human woman. He rubbed at his eyes with the back of his hands, smearing the bloody tears across his cheeks.

"It would be like having a plastic bag over your head, struggling for just one more breath of air, the panic, the agony, and having that moment last for three hundred centuries. This vampire has suffered more than any of our kind. To see him feed will be glorious."

Eric's face had a look of intense devotion, he obviously cared deeply about Lingza's recovery.

"Are you sure he isn't going to drain Aleksis dry? After all, he must be mighty hungry after all this time," I asked.

I dampened a paper towel and handed it to Eric to wipe the blood off his face. If I had been a vampire I would have licked his tears off.

Speaking of mighty hungry I realized I needed a bite to eat before I went to the club. I made a ham sandwich and had a pickle with it.

While I made the sandwich Eric answered my question.

"No, that is not possible. Lingza can eat very little so far. If he overfeeds he regurgitates and has to start again. Aleksis is safe. What a privilege he will have tonight."

Leave it to a vampire to think that being fed on by a vampire mummy is a great privilege. I'm sure Eric thought that the sight of Lingza feeding on Aleksis would be as rewarding to me as it was to him.

I suppose Lingza was like Eric's baby. He had delivered him up from the bowels of the earth, now he was seeing him feed and grow a little every day. I hoped the whole thing wouldn't be too gross.

Before we left, the phone rang again. This time the caller I.D. showed it was Jason.

"Hi Sis," he said, sounding much more relaxed and happy than he had earlier.

"I'm home here with Angellica and we're talking things out. I needed a little time to calm down and think. I feel like I cornered the market on stupid today. I'm really sorry for the way I acted. Tell Eric I'll be back to work tomorrow."

I told him I understood and would pass on the message. I understood this was a lot for him to accept and deal with. I told him Hoyt was looking for him. He thanked me, apologized again, and we ended the call. I was glad to know he was all right.

Then I got my coat on and went to Fangtasia with Eric. On the way I told him about Jason's visit today after a minor blow up with Angellica, leaving out the details about Jason's medical condition. I told him that they had worked things out and Jason was back on track.

We laughed about Maxine and the Satyr, then we talked about our plans for the nursery wing and decor. Our comfortable chat continued all the way to Fangtasia.

more to come .....(Anonymous Z, Pat, danimcket, Sally, Lynn, Catherine, Cindy, Lynn, Holly - Hope you enjoy the longest day of the year. Then there will be more time for vampires after that! Thanks for comments.

Catherine - Happy Birthday!

Lynn - I don't even think of the books when I watch True Blood. It's much easier that way.)


Sunday, June 20, 2010

142 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Two

After the Nash Rambler drove off I remembered the dinner in the microwave. First I let my little dog out of the bedroom and took him to his enclosed super safe dog run. While he sniffed around, I thought about Madam Fox and her information.

Obviously she knew I was telepathic. Was this something she learned from Maxine or Hoyt, or had she discerned my powers on her own?

I knew she was a spiritualist, not a psychic. There is a wide variety of special talents in the community of those that advised based on their abilities. Madam Fox spoke with the departed but she could not read my mind or predict the future.

She had done me an unexpected favor telling me about the gold buried in Maxine's yard, gold bought with the stolen proceeds from my father's investment. I would talk to Eric about it tonight and get his opinion.

My instinct was to go get it. Eric could unearth it in the dead of night, no one the wiser. I wondered exactly how much gold we were talking about. Gold had gone up in value tremendously.

We might be talking about a sizable fortune waiting under the earth. Of course I would split it with Jason, that was only fair. It was as much his inheritance as mine.

I finally convinced Roscoe to finish up. Spring must be just around the corner. When Roscoe raised his head and sniffed the fresh outside air circulating through the run it meant he's enjoying the scents from the outdoors, something he doesn't do in the winter.

It didn't feel like spring today to me, though. The overcast day, seen through the sky lights, had a gray feeling that went through me. I was glad to get in from the run.

Along with my meatloaf dinner I had a cup of cocoa to warm me up. There were a few chores I wanted to do, but I felt a nap calling me. I wanted to be fresh when Eric rose. I decided to sleep in the guest room because I would just obsess about all the things I wanted to do to fix up our bedroom if I tried to nap in there.

My foot was touching the bottom step when the phone rang. I was tempted to let the machine pick it up, but curiosity got the better of me and I went to see who it was.

It was Hoyt. I hoped he wasn't calling to get me to drive off Madam Fox or expose her as a fraud. I wasn't prepared to do either of those things, and I couldn't tell him the reason for my refusal. He wouldn't want to hear anything like that about his daddy.

"Hi Hoyt, what's up?" I answered the phone, sounding more energetic than I felt.

"Hey there Sookie, how are you doing?" Hoyt sounded as tired as I felt.

"I'm fine Hoyt, but I was just about to ..."

He cut in, "I don't mean to keep you, I can't talk either. I was wondering if Jason was still there."

"No, he's not. He left hours ago."

"Oh, Okay then. He was supposed to show up here on a big job we're doing and he hasn't come in or called. I knew he planned on stopping there and I thought he might have stayed for lunch."

"No, and he didn't say where he was going when he left."

"Okay then, I'll check around. Maybe he's here and I missed him. By the way, Sookie?"

His tone had changed to more quiet voice, like he didn't want to be overheard.


"You know that matter I asked you about, the one concerning my ..," and here he whispered into the phone, "..... mother?"

"I know which matter you mean."

"Well, you can drop that. She's broken off with that psychic woman and now she has a new hobby. It's making her really happy and she hardly has a minute to pass the time of day, let alone stick her nose into my business. It's nice to see her looking so cheerful now."

I heard the sound of drills or some kind of equipment in the background. Something made a big bang and a man yelled. I figured this was the construction on the research center.

"That's good to hear. What's her new hobby?" I had to ask.

"Yoga. She has the instructor over every day for hours of lessons. Done wonders, it's like she's ten years younger already."

"That's wonderful, Hoyt. If I hear from Jason I'll let him know you're looking for him."

"Thanks a lot Sookie. You have a good day, ya hear?"

"You too Hoyt."

I hung up and laughed to myself. Yoga, yeah sure.

I could just picture the rotund and past middle-age Maxine twisting herself into those pretzel shapes. On the other hand, Mr. Splitfoot had her bent over, then lifted her legs way up and probably every position in the Kama Sutra based on the little bit I saw from Madam Fox's mind.

Maybe it was like yoga. In fact, if yoga was combined with mind blowing sex like that I bet more women would take it up. Limber and looser, that's the way to go.

I lay down in bed for my nap wondering where Jason had gone to. I hoped he wasn't going to do anything rash.

more to come ...... (Sally, Holly, Patricia, Cindy, Anonymous Z, Lynn, Rambo, Anonymous - I really appreciate you following along all the twists and turns this story is taking.

I especially appreciate you taking the time to comment since I know the process can be frustrating at times. It's good of you to make the effort.)


Saturday, June 19, 2010

141 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty One

"That isn't possible," I told her, "My parents weren't wealthy. They pretty much struggled their whole lives to make ends meet." I had a cookie too.

"True, but your parents struck oil on your property. The well was quite profitable in the beginning, and your parents made a good sum. Hoyt Fortenberry Senior had some serious financial problems he didn't want Maxine to know about. He convinced your father to go in on a deal buying stock in a company that he said was guaranteed to double in a year or so."

She took a drink of her water and continued.

"Your father and Hoyt Senior were buddies, so your dad turned over a lot of the oil well money for this investment. The stock did actually go through the roof in a year, but Hoyt Senior lied and told your dad the company tanked and their investment money was lost."

I was shocked. I realized my folks had made some money from the well, which they invested, but I didn't know about this other deal. My poor father must have been horrified to learn he had been so foolish with his money.

I knew how hard he worked to earn what he did. I felt sad for him and angry at Hoyt's dad, even though the man had been dead for more than thirty years now.

"And the money is still buried?" I asked.

"Yes, and I know where it is. It is buried under the big rock that looks like a bear in the woods behind their house. It isn't Maxine's money, it's yours. I don't know how you're going to go about getting it, or even proving that it's yours if you need to, but I didn't want anyone else knowing about it until I told the rightful owner, which would be you. If you don't want it I'll go ahead and tell Maxine where it is, otherwise I'll tell her I just couldn't find any money."

Another cookie went in her mouth.

"Why are you telling me this?"

"Because Hoyt, that would be Hoyt Senior, is ashamed and can not find peace because of his crime. He wants you to have what is rightfully yours. He is in the ... I guess you would call it the resting place for those who are not ready to move on yet ..."

"Do you mean the Underworld?" I asked her.

She smiled broadly, her red lipstick was smeared on her front teeth, but still it was a pretty smile, with dimples in her cheeks.

"So, you know about the Underworld. Very interesting. Yes, Hoyt Senior is stuck there, waiting for the day you can let him off the hook. He betrayed his friend, your dad, and he never even profited from his crime."

She shook her head at such a sorry tale.

"He killed himself in a fit of depression because he couldn't face using that money to bail himself out of his debts. Maxine cleverly made his death look like a murder during a robbery attempt so she could collect his insurance money. She used that money to pay off the debts, and she still had some left over to put away. She doesn't need your money. She has delusions of grandeur. Your father's money would only feed those delusions."

"I see," I said, and I did.

Maxine would only end up unhappy because that was how she ended up with everything. And she would use the money to try and control Hoyt Junior. Besides, she had no right to it. It was taken from my father by fraud.

"Don't feel bad about Maxine. She has what she really wants. I introduced her to Mr. Splitfoot. She has never been so happy in her life."

I remembered Hoyt mentioning Mr. Splitfoot.

"Who is Mr. Splitfoot?" I had meant to look it up, but I forgot.

"Here, I'll show you."

She held out her nicely manicured pudgy hand. She had on several costume jewelry rings and bracelets. Slowly I took her hand and closed my eyes. It was like a silent movie. I saw the face of a handsome man.

He looked kind of like those pictures some people have on the wall of what they think Jesus looked like - penetrating blue eyes, long brown wavy hair, sensitive mouth, fine features.

Then I saw the whole man, only he wasn't a man at all.

From the tops of his thighs down he was covered in thick dark fur, his legs bent in a more animal than human way. His feet were hooves, probably the reason for his name. The most remarkable thing about him was his enormous erection. His hand rubbed his large member then his eyes lit up. I saw Maxine, fat and naked, come in to her fussy granny bedroom and lay down on a bed strewn with flowers.

Mr. Splitfoot clomped awkwardly over to the bed and got in. I saw he had a tail with a tip that looked like another penis. In seconds he was giving her the pounding of her life, turning her in one direction then another. Her flushed face was contorted in a continuous climax.

Her ample flesh rippled and jiggled with the impact of his thrusts. I flung loose of Madam Fox's hand and broke the connection. Then I sat there, flabbergasted.

I had seen the thoughts of others all my life, but it was still shocking to see someone I've known all my life engaged in wild wanton sex.

Madame Fox chuckled at my reaction.

"He's a Satyr. That's what he lives for. Maxine is like the nymphs he used to love to ravish. Satyrs looove big women. He wants nothing more than to ball her until her teeth rattle. Fortunately that's what Maxine wants too. Like the song goes, 'Money can't buy me love'. All the gold in the world isn't going to make her as happy as Mr. Splitfoot. He'll chase her and screw her for as long as she wants. And she has a lifetime of wanting."

Madam Fox ate one more cookie for the road, then she stood.

"I won't take up any more of your time, my dear. It was good of you to see me without an appointment. I won't press you for a decision, but I hope you know that you will be freeing a tortured soul from the Underworld if you retrieve the gold. Let me know when you decide."

I stood up too, sort of sorry to see Madam Fox go. She was one of the most interesting and candid people I had ever met.

"Thanks for coming by, Madam Fox. I'm glad I met you, and I'm grateful you told me about the gold. I hope we can get together again some time."

I walked her to the door, helped her into her faux fur coat, said good bye and watched her make her way carefully down the porch steps and over the gravel drive to her car, a Nash Rambler. I hadn't seen one of those in a good long while. It started right up and drove sedately out of the yard.

I wondered how long it would be before I got the image of Maxine being ravished by a Satyr out of my mind.

more to come .....(Sally, danimcket, Patricia, Rambo, Anonymous Z, Catherine - I hope you all are going to have an excellent weekend. I am humbly flattered by the attention you pay to my story. Thank you.

ps. About the phrase "sidhe moitac teitíne" - I'm not a linguist so I have gone by what I read about the definitions of these words.

Assembling them into a "diagnosis" was my own idea, lol.

The definition would be:

sidhe - fairies (or similar supernatural beings)
moitac - pregnant
teitine - condition

I believe it is Old Irish.)


Friday, June 18, 2010

140 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Forty

Jason made nice for a while longer, then he left, resigned to whatever decision he was going to make.

I had a piece of Sarah Lee coffee cake I thawed in the microwave to calm down. How typical of Jason to think of himself and tell me some gruesome birth story without thinking about how it might effect me.

I had seen a birth movie when I was in high school. It was supposed to scare us girls into not getting pregnant before marriage, but it didn't work. Many of the girls in that class went on to have babies, some while in school, some right afterwards.

I might have some fears, but I knew I could talk to Dr. Fay about them. In the meantime I could Google having triplets to see what I could find out.

I was hoping to have a natural birth without drugs. Women all over the world had babies that way, I could too. The main thing was for me to prepare. I knew there was special breathing that would help, and learning how to relax.

I wanted to learn all the tricks for a drug free delivery. I had dealt with pain before, I wasn't afraid of it.

As I searched the internet I began to get concerned. There were few triplets born naturally. It was a highly individual situation and each mother had to be assessed for the position of her babies in order to come up with a birth plan.

It looked like I might need a Cesarean, something I hadn't considered. The thought of being cut open made me feel weak in the knees. I shut down the computer, deciding I had learned enough for one day.

But my day was a little less rosy because of what I had learned and because of my brother's self centered visit.

I decided the solution for my unsettled state of mind was work. I dragged the rug in from the garage and began to unroll it in the bedroom until I realized there was no way I could budge the four poster bed. This was going to have to wait until Eric and maybe someone else could lift the bed so the bed could be placed on top of it.

The same went for the big pieces of furniture, though I was able to bring in the Swedish chair, the night stands and the lamps. I waxed and dusted the bedroom furniture stored in the garage, then I did the same for the furniture in the house. At least that part of it would be done.

I was just heating up a microwave dinner when the front doorbell rang. I paused the microwave and answered the door.

Though I had never laid eyes on this woman, I immediately knew who she was thanks to my telepathic ability. She was a short plump woman with permanent waved dull brown hair.

She looked around as she stood on the porch like she was assessing the property. Or maybe she was just uneasy because she knew a vampire lived here. Even now, after mainstreaming was going so well, plenty of people were nervous to visit the residence of a vampire.

She was wearing a reddish colored fur coat and she had a used looking leather pocketbook over her arm. Her shoes looked like something women wore in the 1940's with thick heels and round toes. Her plump feet were swollen and puffed out of the tops of her shoes, reminding me of rising bread dough. She pushed her gold framed glasses up her nose and pushed the door bell again.

"Yes?" I said into the intercom.

I could see her but she couldn't see me. Roscoe was standing right next to me, barking like crazy. I couldn't hear or think.

"Just a minute 'til I get the dog settled," I said, and took Roscoe to the bedroom and shut him in.

Then I came back to the intercom. Before I spoke again I scanned her mind. I got her desire to speak with me and nothing at all sinister in her thoughts.

There was also a background cacophony of dozens of voices, male and female, all talking in her head at once, asking for help. Each one had a request for Madam Fox to resolve some issue they hadn't finished before shedding their mortal coil.

These must be the departed still in the Underworld, trying to get Madam Fox to intervene with the living and do what they needed to bring closure to their lives.

The angry words that could never be taken back, the bad decisions, the wicked acts, the declaration of love that was never spoken, all these and more would weigh heavily on the heart of the deceased.

To have one final chance to fix these things must be like a beacon of hope in their darkness. How did Madam Fox stand it? I would be driven to distraction if I had all these desperate voices clamoring away inside my head day and night. Their pleadings were heart rending.

"I'm back. Sorry about the dog." I finally said into the intercom.

"Hi there. I'm Madam Fox. I stopped by recently and left a card. I hope I'm not calling at a bad time. If I am, I apologize. I can come back at your convenience."

She had a pleasant voice and her enunciation was excellent. I got the impression of someone that was trained in speaking, perhaps a lecturer or actress.

"I was going out later on, but I can spare a few minutes right now," I said, then I opened the door.

I wasn't really going out, but I wanted to leave my options open in case I wanted to get rid of her right away. I didn't want to be sold anything. I wasn't in the market for any kind of woo woo psychic rigmarole.

I invited her in and took her to the living room after taking her coat. On closer inspection I saw it was fake fur and quite worn. Underneath she had on a plain dark gray dress with a square neckline that did nothing to flatter her short thick neck.

I noticed she had a heck of a mole under her chin. Her green rhinestone clip on earrings matched a broach she had pinned to one corner of her neckline. Lipstick, and lots of it, was the only make up she wore.

I directed her to the floral sofa. She sat down, setting her pocketbook by her feet and smoothing her skirt. After she declined tea, coffee, soda and juice she finally accepted a glass of water. I brought in a tray of cookies and set them down on the coffee table.

"What can I do for you?" I asked, rather rudely.

My patience was worn thin by my visit with Jason and what I had learned on the internet about having triplets and Cesareans. I guess I shouldn't take it out on this woman.

"Right to the point. I like plain speaking too. The answer is that I can do something for you. As you know I have been visiting with Maxine Fortenberry and she has been asking me about a specific hidden item, a cache of gold she is convinced her husband buried in her yard. I have been stalling about giving her the answer because I needed to speak with you first." She took a sip of water and chomped down a chocolate cookie in two big bites.

"What do you need to speak to me about?"

I was sure the sales pitch was coming up, the information she could sell me if I wanted to know more.

"Maxine is right, there is gold buried on her property, a great whopping sum of it, but it didn't belong to her husband. It was money embezzled from your father and converted into gold. That's why Maxine's husband had to hide the money, he had gotten it illegally by stealing it from your father."

She helped herself to another cookie.

more to come .....(Sally, Patricia, danimcket, Dianna, Marlene, Anonymous Z, Gjers-1, Holly, Cindy, Lynn, Rambo - I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, especially because I know it is hard to get a message through sometimes. It is very inspiring, reading what you write.

p.s. Jure has not gone away. He never goes away. He waits his chance.)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

139 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Nine

"Last night Angellica was on line, looking over information about the available sperm donors," he began. I nodded to show I got what he was talking about.

"She was saying 'Oh look, this one is a college professor' and 'This one is an Olympic athlete' and she was getting kind of happy and worked up, like she was shopping or something." Jason sounded and looked angry.

"Anyway, it just pissed me off, the idea of her getting all excited about these other guy's jizz, you know?" He realized he had just used a shocking term with me.

He held up both his hands and apologized, "Sorry, sorry."

Jason had one way he talked with his buddies and a much more toned down way he talked with me, but he had slipped.

"Go on," I said, not wanting to get sidetracked on proper speech.

"Well, I told her those guys were no better than me, and she got all nice and sweet and said 'of course they aren't darling' and that just got me madder because she was thinking that they were fertile and I was just shooting blanks, like she pitied me or something."

I knew the folly of getting mad at someone for what you thought they might be thinking, but I held my tongue, wanting to hear the rest of what Jason had to say.

"So I threw the computer across the room, and that's when I did something really stupid," he said.

I would have thought throwing a computer worth thousands of dollars across the room might be considered stupid, but I just said, "And what was that?"

"I told her that I was fertile, that I could have a baby, but because of my fairy blood I would need to be the one to carry baby inside my body." He sank back in his chair, staring at his coffee cup.

"What did she say?" I asked.

This was amazing. I had hoped he would tell her the truth, this was too big a deal to keep secret in a relationship like theirs. Finally he had, maybe not the best way, but it was out in the open now.

"She was delirious with happiness. She cried and hugged me and said all she wanted was to have a baby with me, that I was the love of her life, and she had been trying to make the best of not having my baby, but now she had everything. She was so happy, Sooks, you should have seen her, crying and laughing at the same time...." he stopped.

Then he went on, "I don't know what the hell I was thinking, but I guess I got carried away with the moment and I.... I agreed to have the baby with her," he finished miserably.

"I agreed to get pregnant," he added, in case I hadn't gotten it the first time around.

"Now I have to figure out some way out of this mess and that's where you come in. I want you to talk to her. Explain that I can't have a baby, that it's not natural. You two are women. You could tell her in a way that won't set her off." He tried to smile to make the request seem more palatable to me.

"I don't know what's natural anymore, Jason." I said mildly. "Back when you and I were kids the world was one way, now we both know it's not that way at all. I learn new things all the time. And there are cases of the male carrying the babies in nature. The seahorse does it, remember? We learned about that in science class."

I vividly recalled an educational science film that showed a male seahorse releasing a cloud of baby seahorses from his swollen belly.

"God damn it Sookie!" Jason yelled, the veins standing out in his head.

He rose to his feet so rapidly his chair fell over backwards, "I ain't no fuckin' seahorse!"

I flinched at his sudden outburst, but refused to rise to his level of anger. I just looked at him, feeling kind of sorry for him. Most men escaped the burden of pregnancy, but not my brother. If he wanted a baby with his beloved then he would have to man up and get knocked up. Welcome to the club, I thought.

He righted his chair and sat back down.

"Look," he said, his tone reasonable and wheedling, "I'm sorry, but this whole thing is making me crazy. My life isn't going to be worth living no matter what I do now. If I don't go through with it Angellica's going to know I'm too chicken. She'll be nice about it, but deep down she'll know I was too much of a wussy to deal with the same thing every woman does."

I still didn't say anything, sensing he wasn't finished.

"God," he put his head in his hands, "I remember Nadine Lang that summer I was a volunteer fire fighter. We got to her farmhouse and she was in labor. Sookie, you never saw anything like it. She was laying on the living room floor, naked from the waist down. Me and Sam Goodwell were in the room but she didn't even know or care we were there."

He took a drink of his cold coffee. I offered to get him some hot coffee.

He shrugged and said, "Sure".

"It was like a horror movie," he said, after taking a swallow of the hot coffee.

"There she was, covered in sweat, screaming her head off in pain. Her legs were spread and I could see everything. Every minute or so she would scream, then grunt and holler, and scream some more. The opening between her legs had blood coming out and gushes of bloody water."

He stopped for more coffee. "We got a blanket under her head and Sam Goodwell helped her sit up when she needed to push. Sookie, it must have hurt worse than anything, the way she sounded. Then she looked at me and said, 'Jason, help me. Knock me out or something, help me.' but I couldn't help her, nobody could. Sam told me to hold up her legs wide apart and I did. Every time she pushed I could see the top of the baby's head. It looked huge. I didn't know how was she was going to push out that big head."

I didn't answer because I was thinking about my own upcoming birth. Would I have to do that three times in a row? Would I even have the strength?

"It just went on and on. It never let up. The head came out a little more each time and then went back in. Her butt hole was sticking out, like it had turned inside out she was pushing so hard. I couldn't believe a woman could stretch so much down there. The head finally came through and she tore. She let out a scream I hope to never hear again. Then she pushed some more until the body was out. That hurt too."

More coffee, then, "Sam had gotten some clean towels and he wrapped the baby in the towels to keep it warm. It was a girl, and she started crying as soon as Sam cleaned out her mouth with a corner of the towel. Then the ambulance guys arrived and took over. They said Sam and I did a good job, but we really didn't do anything. Nadine did it all. I had nightmares for months. I couldn't even, you know, do it with a woman for weeks after that." He sat staring, remembering his harrowing experience.

I lifted my cup to my mouth, my hands shaking.

Jason must have noticed how I looked because he said, "I didn't mean to scare you none, Sookie. You'll have the babies in a hospital where they can just knock you out cold and when you wake there you'll be with your three little babies. The hospital will make it painless."

He realized he had made a tactless error telling me this birth horror story. His crooked smile was meant to be encouraging.

I replied, "I know, and your birth will be in a hospital too, Jason. It's just something that has to be gotten through if you want a baby. There's no other way. Somebody has to be the one. If it wasn't you then it would be Angellica."

After a moment I added, "You didn't get to see the part where they put the baby in Nadine's arms. It was a miracle, Jason, and I bet Nadine wouldn't let go of one second of that pain if it meant not having her baby. I want these babies and I'm willing to do what it takes to have them. Are you willing? If not, you need to tell Angellica the truth. I'm not going to get in the middle of this. This is between you two."

more to come .......(danimcket, Anonymous, Holly, Cindy, Patricia, Dianna, Anonymous Z, Sally, Lynn - Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know what you're thinking, your feedback is invaluable!)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

138 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Eight

We never did get to the PBS mystery. We sat and talked until I was suddenly hungry. We went to the kitchen where I made some toaster waffles and cut up an apple. I washed it down with a glass of milk.

"You eat like farm woman," Eric said approvingly, reverting briefly to his thick Nordic accent.

In recounting tales from his past I knew he admired the hearty buxom women that churned butter, plowed fields, and butchered animals. Their earthy connection to the basic things of life, their healthy outdoor life style and strong bodies turned him on.

He loved to feed from them, though he tried to disguise this part of his story so as not to make me jealous. Maybe that was one reason he found me attractive. I was always too full figured to be a fashion model, and too much a farm girl to totter around in high heels and fancy clothes for very long.

"Thanks. I must need more fuel. I am eating for four now, don't forget," I said after swallowing my mouth full of buttery waffle. They were better with lots of butter and syrup, I discovered.

"I had not forgotten that, not for a moment," Eric said with a wink.

As soon as I ate I felt that overwhelming tiredness that swept over me sometimes, like I had breathed in an anesthetic gas. I yawned and told Eric I had to get horizontal. He was all for that. He wanted to carry me but I insisted on walking. I wanted the food I had eaten to work its way down my digestive track.

I went to the bedroom, happy to see the progress we made tonight on getting the room in order. Tomorrow night we were going to Fangtasia to sit around and so Eric could feed again. He didn't need to feed, but we both found it exciting for him to bring someone into his office and then see what happened.

We would have time after we got home from Fangtasia tomorrow to do a few more things. Little by little the room would get back to the cozy love nest we had before.

When I came out of the bathroom Eric had gotten a few votive candles and placed them on the floor around the bed. With the glaring overhead light off the bed looked romantic and inviting, more so because Eric was laying there naked in all his glory.

We didn't have the heated mattress pad plugged in, so I did that and turned it on low, just enough to keep me toasty while I rolled in my sweet baby's arms, communicating without words our love and bond.

After we were done he kissed my stomach three times, once for each baby I was carrying. He would do this every night until I delivered.

Drowsiness started to creep up on me until I was nodding off mid-kiss. I apologized for my sleepiness but Eric wouldn't hear it. He tucked me in and kissed my brow, wishing me sweet dreams.

I dreamed I was working in an office as a receptionist. My job was to answer the phones, but there were dozens of them on my huge desk and I couldn't tell which one was ringing. I answered phone after phone hoping to pick up the right one, but all I ever heard was a dial tone.

On and on the phone rang as I put receiver after receiver to my ear and said "Hello?"

"Oh for heaven's sake," I said out loud, and woke myself up with the sound of my own voice.

I sat up in the four poster bed in the middle of the otherwise empty room, the sun streaming in the windows. As my feet hit the floor the phone started ringing. Had it been ringing before, giving me the dream? Probably. But I had to visit the newly renovated master bath first and brush my teeth before I could speak on the phone.

That done, and the phone remaining quiet, I showered, got dressed and made a pot of decaf. I checked for messages but there weren't any. If someone was that eager to speak to me they could have left a message, I thought grumpily.

My stomach growled and I decided to have an old fashioned breakfast, the kind Gran used to make most mornings with scrambled eggs, toast, jam, bacon and juice. I used the instant microwave bacon because I didn't like to get the kitchen all greasy with frying.

I was just forking in the last golden mouthful of scrambled egg when there was a frantic pounding on my kitchen door. I looked out the monitor and saw Jason practically hopping up and down with impatience. I opened the door and invited him in.

He accepted a cup of coffee even after I warned him it was decaf. I thought that was a good thing considering how agitated he looked. I asked him if he wanted me to make him some breakfast but he said no, practically a first. He usually never turned down a home cooked meal.

"I need to talk to you. I have a problem and I'm hoping you can help," he said, after I sat down with a cup of coffee too.

"Was that you calling this morning?" I asked.

"Yeah, that was me. Sorry if it was too early. I just didn't know who else to turn to. This has been driving me crazy since last night."

"All right, let's hear what the problem is. I'm sure I can help," I said to reassure him and calm him down.

His cheeks and ears were flushed with what might be high blood pressure. I knew anyone could have a heart attack, even a young man like Jason. It wasn't good to get so riled up.

"I did something stupid, something really really stupid. Now I don't know how to fix it," he said miserably.

This was unusual, not for Jason to do something boneheaded, he had a history of that, but for him to admit it. It had to be something really bad, like driving drunk and killing somebody.

"What did you do?" I asked him.

more to come ..... (Dianna, Anonymous Z, Holly, Anonymous, Sally, Jo, Pat, danimcket, Catherine - I really value the things you write. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

danimcket - Welcome here to my blog. I'm so happy you're reading my story!

p.s. According to CH Eric is so old he predates last names, he just uses the name "Northman" for convenience. )