“Excuse me, your highness. You have spoken to Freyja?” I interrupted. I did not dare voice my one true desire, not until I had some answers.
“It is very difficult for me to speak to the gods,” Niall said, straightening in his chair. “I do, however, communicate often with their messengers. Eír did me the favor of explaining Freyja’s wishes, and she will help when the time comes. She usually helps our family,” he added. I should have known Eír would help the royals of Fairy.
Eír was a lesser goddess of healing and medicine and one of Freyja’s sisters. I was just as surprised at her mention as I was at the mention that Sookie had chosen me as her mate. Even more reason for my one true desire to come true, if only to do right by her. I could feel her inner turmoil, and so could her grandfather sitting next to her. He put his arm over her shoulder and her feelings began to settle.
Sookie turned to look at me with a bewildered look. How many nights had I wished to make our love complete? She had given me so much already. Could I ask this of her? I felt a sudden fear. I wasn’t human.
“I am not human,” I repeated my worry aloud for all to hear.
“You don’t suppose your goddess would have overlooked that small fact, do you?” Niall asked. His face broke into a smile as he looked at Sookie, who was still looking at me. “Sookie,” he said her name to get her attention, and waited until she turned her eyes to him. “You should know that your family approves of your choice of mate.”
“Are we going to have a baby?” Sookie blurted out. I could hear her heart hammering wildly inside her chest and her hand in mine began to sweat. I couldn’t tell if she was scared or nervous. She wasn’t happy and it broke my heart.
Fintan spoke to answer her question. “You now have the ability to conceive a child with your husband. I know you fear that your child will be telepathic like you, but your fear is unfounded. I will help you, if that were to happen. I would like nothing more than to see my family expand,” he smiled, but I don’t think Sookie saw it.
She looked back at me. I saw tears brimming in her eyes. “You don’t want this,” I said. Sookie shook her head, then nodded, then threw her arms around me and began sobbing on my shoulder. I was confused, so I looked up at the other men.
“She’s scared but happy,” Fintan said in a soft voice, reading his granddaughter’s thoughts and rubbing her back.
“Use the necklace on nights you want to try to conceive,” Niall said matter-of-factly. “We will leave you now. Call if you need anything,” he said standing up. The two fairies showed themselves out.
I rearranged Sookie and had her lie on top of me on the sofa. I closed my eyes and indulged in thoughts of Sookie and our children. I could barely believe my luck. After a thousand years I’d found the one woman I wanted to love above all else, and wonder of wonders she loved me back. She turned out to be much more remarkable and special than I ever dared to hope, and now my love for her would be rewarded with a miracle. My non-beating heart soared, and I wished Sookie could feel the same. She had good reason to be scared, but I hoped she could get over it and trust that all would be well.
“Eric?” she spoke first and started to get up. I let her. We were on her time now. “Eric, I know you want this, and I want to give you this more than anything,” she wiped her tears with her hands before I had a chance to reach her with my handkerchief. “I’m scared,” she whispered looking down. She was ashamed of her fear.
I wanted to understand. “Are you scared of being pregnant, or of having a telepathic child?”
She smiled through her tears. “I’m sure I can take a pregnancy or two,” her face turned back to sad, “but I wouldn’t be able to take my children’s minds being assaulted the way mine was. Still is.”
I pulled her back to me. I didn’t know what to say other than to point out that now she had her family to help if she needed it, but she knew that already. I wouldn’t insult her intelligence by repeating it. She had given me so much. Would she give me this too? How I wished she would. Nevertheless, I was nothing if not patient.
“Let’s take it slow. We have time to think about it,” I said, hoping that time was all she would need to be certain.
Pam was taking this Super Bowl mania a step too far. Sookie had supervised the installation of the TV’s during the day because she had been adamant that Bruce wouldn’t do the proper job and Pam would later be furious. I met up with both my women as they were arguing over what to do during half-time.
“I thought this was settled,” I said as I entered my office, where Pam and Sookie were at a stand-off. Sookie’s face was flushed from her neck up, and Pam was using her usual stoicism to try to win the upper hand.
“Karaoke during half-time doesn’t make sense. People want to watch the show,” Sookie said, explaining her point of view.
“Not our patrons. I cannot imagine any of them wanting to watch the Black Eyed Peas,” Pam said, waving her hand with an indifferent air.
“Do whatever you want, Pam! I’m going to get dinner,” and with that Sookie left. I’d never seen her that mad with Pam.
“What did you do to her?” I asked my infuriating child. I didn’t raise my voice. She knew I was mad. Now Sookie was upset too.
“I did nothing other than voice my opinion on the subject. I don’t understand it. She was letting me take over this whole night but she took offense when I mentioned the karaoke. And what did you do to her?” Pam asked me.
She caught me off guard with her question. Normally I told her everything, but I couldn’t tell her now that the reason Sookie was acting so stressed was because she was stressed. I hadn’t asked her anymore about us trying to conceive a child, but Sookie (being Sookie) had taken it upon herself to think about it nonstop. I knew she wasn’t sleeping well, and she had turned away from my attentions. Eventually she would tire herself out and reach her own conclusions. In the meantime I had to be patient. I hadn’t reached my age by pushing people around.
I didn’t answer Pam, so she left to tend to business. Sookie returned with a grocery bag a short time later. Sometimes she stopped at the grocery store nearby and got a frozen dinner to heat up in the microwave in my office. Tonight she’d returned with a frozen dinner and three apples.
She held up the clear plastic bag containing the apples with a triumphant smile on her face. “They had these on sale! I can never find this kind. They’re Pink Lady apples, and they’re delicious,” she said, and took the bag with her to the ladies’ room, from the sound of it. She returned patting the apples dry.
I eyed her curiously. Her previous bad humor with Pam seemed to have vanished. “Are you still mad at Pam?” I asked, trying to gauge her mood.
“Um, no. I called her from the grocery store to apologize. I was being stupid. This was her thing, and she has more experience running the bar than me. I don’t know what came over me,” she said, sitting across from me, eating an apple and looking ashamed.
“You’ve had a lot to think about lately,” I said, trying to make my voice tender. I wished I could read her mind to know exactly what to say to make her feel better.
She was harsher on herself than anybody else would ever dare be. “That’s no excuse. It’s not Pam’s fault I’m a lunatic,” she looked up, serious. “And it’s not your fault either. Can you forgive me? I’m so sorry, Eric.”
“There’s nothing to forgive, Sookie. I should be the one who’s sorry to put you in such a situation,” I said to her. She’d never imagined children with a vampire, and now she had to weigh in my wishes with hers. I could understand it wasn’t fair to her.
She stood up and came around the desk, tossing the apple core in the trash can before pushing me back and sitting on my lap. I loved it when she did this. My little Sookie needed a cuddle, and I was only too happy to provide. Paired with the fact that she hadn’t sought me in a few days, it made this particular embrace into a reunion.
Sookie put one arm around my shoulder and with her free hand she caressed my neck. She settled her head against my chest and I held her tight against me, caressing her thigh and feeling the first stirrings of lust. I couldn’t help but feel this way when she was so close, smelled so good, and I hadn’t had her in days. To my amazement she pulled me to her to claim my mouth with hers.
The kiss started tender, a simple enjoyment of her taste and the taste of apple in her mouth. Soon her fire ignited and she was holding onto me like a drowning victim. I returned the kiss with the same kind of frenzy, enjoying her sudden passion and wanting nothing more than to do as she wished. I found the naked skin under her sweater, feeling how warm she had become with desire. I’d never taken her in my office, but I knew I was about to. Before I could fully form the thought she got off me and knelt before me, unzipping my pants and reaching for my cock. She immediately wrapped her lips around it and sucked hungrily. I held her hair out of the way and watched her bring me exquisite pleasure. A few more pumps from her hungry mouth and I spilled everything I had down her throat. She took it all, swallowing my cock and its offering.
My mind was sharp. I knew what I wanted, but I couldn’t form the words. Only growls issued forth from my mouth. I watched as she stood and undid the button and zipper of her jeans, and pushed them down past her knees. The heady scent of her arousal was like a drug. I couldn’t stand not being inside her one more second. Quicker than she expected I bent her over my desk, finding her slick opening and gliding easily inside. Her tight sheath tightened around me, much as her mouth had done. I reached down to find the little pearl of her pleasure and massaged around it, at the same time that I pumped greedily inside her. I wanted more. I always wanted more.
Sookie was trying her best to be quiet, but her heavy breathing was enough to tell me she was enjoying this. She whimpered, putting her head down on the desk and shutting her eyes tightly. She closed around me like a vise and milked another orgasm from me. I didn’t care who heard me. My wife had given herself to me and I wanted everyone to know. My final groan came out loud and desperate until I had nothing left. I had given it all to Sookie.
It took us a few minutes to gather our bearings. Sookie cleaned up in the ladies’ room and returned feeling happy and looking tired. She grabbed another apple and sat on the couch. As soon as she had taken the last bite her body gave up and she fell asleep.
“Is she okay?” Pam asked, spying Sookie’s sleeping figure curled up on the couch under a blanket I’d put over her. I’d worked all night inside the office and once in a while ended up staring at her. She finally looked peaceful.
“She hasn’t slept well these past few nights and exhaustion finally caught up to her,” I explained.
“What has upset her?” Pam asked. She was obviously worried.
“I’m sure she will tell you when she’s ready,” I said, without looking up from the papers in front of me. I knew Pam was waiting for further explanation, but I was unwilling to give it and she desisted.
Sookie barely woke when I carried her to the car, and once home she simply continued sleeping after I helped her undress. She did not even make the attempt to brush her teeth, as she usually did. I was glad that she was finally tired enough to sleep, and hoped she would have pleasant dreams.
The next night I awoke to sounds of Sookie humming downstairs in the kitchen. I explored our bond and found her peaceful and happy. I got dressed quickly, feeling as peaceful and happy as she. I found the kitchen full of apples.
“Did you buy the grocery store, my love?” I asked, picking one up.
“I need them. I’m baking apple pies with those,” she pointed at several bowls where she had apples already cut into thick slices, “and those are for me, ‘cause I like them,” she said pointing at the one I was holding.
I frowned. “Did you eat?”
“Oh, yeah! I had pancakes for breakfast, with honey. Then I went and picked up the apples and everything I needed for the pies, and then I had pizza for lunch. I don’t know what to have for dinner. I’ve eaten three apples since lunch, so I’m not really hungry.” She was moving in a flurry of flour, kneading and rolling. I watched as she made her pies.
“Who are you giving these pies to?” I asked, still a little confused about her sudden love of apples.
“I’m keeping one for me, one is for Jason, one for Sam, and I’m sending two to Claudine’s house so my cousins can share,” she said, topping off all the cut apples with cup after cup of brown sugar.
Sometimes having a better retention of memories served me well. For instance, I knew exactly when Sookie last had her monthly period. It had started the day after I’d recovered my memories. It was too much to hope that she would have become pregnant after only two sessions with the necklace, and there was no way to know if she was pregnant yet. She wasn’t due for her next monthly cycle for another five days. I would watch her for now and try not to get my hopes up.
All the pies were in the oven when she walked to me and leaned against me. She took the apple from my hand and bit into it, putting her head on my chest. I hugged her waist, wondering what had changed.
“I was thinking,” she started, swallowed and continued, “that I am being scared for nothing.”
“How so?” I asked slowly. It seemed like she was ready to talk.
“What are the odds that I’ll have a child with my quirk? My dad wasn’t telepathic, and neither is Jason, so it’s obviously a recessive gene,” she looked up at me, to get some sort of agreement. I nodded and she felt safe to keep going, “And even if our child turns out to be telepathic, I’ll know it right away and can call anyone in my family to help me out.”
“What are you saying Sookie?”
“I’m saying that this is a miracle. We can’t pass this up. I can’t be dragging my feet about this. What in the world was I thinking? How many times in my life will I witness a miracle of such proportions? A vampire given the gift of children because he had enough faith in his goddess… I can’t keep holding this pity party to try to figure out how I feel about this. How do you feel about this?” Sookie looked at me expectant, her face open and loving.
“I feel like someone has handed me the world on a platter,” I answered.
“Eric! Eric!” I heard my name being yelled as if from far away. I could feel Sookie’s distress and woke up enough to shake the stupor of sleep.
“Sookie!” I called to her and got up from bed. It wasn’t the middle of the day, but it was still daylight, perhaps close to sunset. I got up and followed her scent. Everything in the bedroom looked dark and blurry, as if I were wading in the murky waters of a swamp. I knew this was because I should have still been asleep, and not because that’s how our room looked. I reached Sookie in the bathroom. Was she hurt? Had she fallen?
“Eric! Eric, look! Honey, honey!” I couldn’t make sense of the words. I only knew that her heart was beating too fast and too hard, so she must have been in trouble. I grabbed her face, trying to focus on her features. She was crying. She was smiling. She took her face from my hands and replaced it with something small, like a flat cylinder. I couldn’t focus enough on what she was trying to show me.
“You’re gonna be a daddy! You’re gonna be a daddy!”
My world tilted and my knees gave. Sookie tried to catch me but only fell on the floor with me. She was laughing and kissing me, and I was too stunned to do anything but stare at the small thing she’d placed in my hands. I now understood it had been a pregnancy test. My Sookie was pregnant. My Sookie was pregnant with my baby.