Chapter 41 – The Sunshine State

Chapter 41 – The Sunshine State

April 2, 2004

“So Pop-tart, when do you see that doctor to get the baby inserted?”

“Wednesday and it doesn’t work like that.  This first appointment is just a consult.”

“Will Ludwig be at your appointment?”

“Yes, since she made the referral.”

“Why did it take so long to get on his schedule?”

“This guy, Doctor Finard, is very popular.  He’s well known with humans in general, but he is one of the only fertility doctors that knows about and caters to Weres.  So he’ll be good about working with Eric and Ludwig has given him background that I’m not 100% human.  He doesn’t have all the details just that information.”

“And he practices in this state?  What are the chances of that?”

“I know.  It’s like he was meant to be – maybe even a sign.”  Sookie’s eyes were bright as she spoke.  This made Pam happy.  Sookie was often happy these days, but the excitement about seeing the fertility specialist was apparent.

“What happens next?”

“I won’t know more until after we meet with him.”  She paused seeing her friend’s face; then added.  “You’ll know everything after that Brat!”

“You’re telling him we want a girl so we can name her Pam.”

“PAM!

“When can we start on the nurseries?”

“PAM!  I know Eric spoke to you about this.  The process for having a viable pregnancy through artificial insemination can take time.  Please don’t add to the pressure by talking nurseries.”

“But Alcide needs to know how to finish the lower level on your Tara house.”

“The bedrooms on the lower level are being painted in a neutral color for now.  Drop it or I WON’T tell you about the visit.”

Pam’s eyes went wide knowing Sookie meant her words.  Her hands went up in defeat.  “I’ll behave!  I promise.”

“Hmmm, baby information makes you compliant?  I’ll need to use this.”

“Bitch!”

“Chupacabra!”  She laughed at herself dragging Pam with her.  Once she settled down Sookie left the room telling Pam, “I need to finish my paper for school.  I’ll see you later Pam.”

“Later Sookie.”

OOOoooOOOooo

The next week, Sookie and Eric headed to their first fertility appointment.  “Sookie, I think you’re walking faster than I can.”

“I’m just excited Sweetie.”

“That you are.”

They signed in at the receptionist counter and were almost immediately called by the doctor himself.  “Good evening Miss Stackhouse, Mr. Northman, Amy.  I’m excited to be working with you.”  He led them down the hall to his office.

“We’re pleased to meet you Doctor Finard.”  They exchanged handshakes while Sookie continued.  “Excited?  What did Dr. Ludwig tell you?”  She looked to Dr. Ludwig and she just shrugged her shoulders.

“Amy, er Dr. Ludwig gave me a thorough medical background, but you’re a legend with some of my other Were patients.  I have a list of Pack members from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas Packmasters.  When your name appeared on all the lists, I asked why.  They had to explain ‘Friend of the Pack’ status to me, but they all consider you as a member.”

“I don’t know what to say about that.”

“Just know I think my reputation will grow if I’m able to help you so I’m especially motivated for our success Miss Stackhouse.”

“That sounds good to me.  You can call us Sookie and Eric.”

“Thank you, I’m Harold.  I work very personally with my patients and I like being on a first name basis.”  He sat behind his desk now that the introductions are over.  Sookie noticed a picture on his credenza and asked about it.  “That’s my family:  My wife, Angie and son, Michael.”

“They’re beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

“You’ll meet them, rather my wife starting your next appointment.”  He paused.  “That is, if it’s OK with you.  My wife worked as my nurse before we had our son and since we’ll be meeting at night when my staff is gone. . .”

“Say no more that’ll be fine doctor.  We appreciate that you’re accommodating our schedule.  In fact, we can ensure one of our guards is available to stay with Michael for the appointments if you’d like.”

“That’d be one less thing to worry about since we don’t have family in the area or sitters at the ready.”

“Then it’s settled.”

“Shall we start with the visit?”  In sync, Eric and Sookie nodded.  He pulled a packet of materials and a pile of pictures out.  “I like to start with a description of the Intrauterine Insemination process, also known as IUI or artificial insemination.  Will that work for you?”

“Yes, please.  We’ve done some reading, but we want to understand your methods and how this will work for us personally.”

“Your first visits will be establishing your cycle.”   Pulling out a sheet that looked like a calendar he described it.  “I’ll need you to log certain factors on a daily basis.  You’ll use this chart for that.  To track your egg production and hormones, you’ll be here for ultrasounds and blood work frequently so we can establish a baseline.  I won’t know if you need any fertility drugs until we learn more.”

Ludwig interjected.  “I can assist with any blood draws or other tests as needed since I can pop over to your house and have the tests to the lab within minutes.”

“Thank you Dr. Ludwig.”  Eric offered.  Hearing ‘polite Eric’ still caused Ludwig to chuckle, internally of course.

Harold continued.  “After we establish a baseline we determine if medication will be used.  We can enhance your ovulation and produce multiple eggs at once via Clomid for example.  Once you’re ovulating as needed, we can have you in for the actual insemination with the donor sperm.  As you have already selected the donor, the sperm is here now and will be ready when you are.”  Harold continued outlining the process for Sookie and Eric using the stack of images.

All of Eric and Sookie’s questions were answered and she left with instructions on tracking her cycle and recommendations for nutrition and activity.  The pamphlet she laughed at was about reducing stress in her life.  When they reached the car and Eric asked what was funny and she indicated the impossibility of reducing stress he got serious.  “We’ll do it Sookie.  I don’t care if I have to lock you away somewhere.”  She started to protest and he cut her off.  “This is important Sookie.  It’s our chance for a FAMILY.  Are you going to risk that?”

Sookie was furious.  “Don’t start with that.  You will put pressure on me that not getting pregnant is MY FAULT!  Eric, we can talk about this, but you’re getting into control mode.”

“I’m not trying to control your life and I’m not trying to set you up as the bad guy if we don’t get pregnant.  I just worry that you take on too much.”

“That’s not what you said!  You threatened to . . .”

“Skirt.”

The strange word in the middle of the conversation stopped her.  “What?”

“Skirt.”

She burst out laughing.  “Oh my God – that worked.  I’m still mad at your comment, but” she giggled, “you just took the wind out of my sails.”  He laughed with her for a moment.

“We’ll figure it out.  I just mean we’ll deny requests for your services when we can.  To be sure we can do that; we’ll need to let Sophie-Anne know what’s going on.”  He backed the car from the parking spot and got on the road to Fangtasia as he had work to do for the night.

“That’s fine.  Hadley will know when I talk to her about it anyway.”

“That’s still going OK, right?  She’s not being mean on the calls?”

“She has some moments, but overall it’s good.”

“That’s good, I’m happy for you Sookie.”  They were quiet for a moment until he spoke up again.  “How are your new plants doing?”

“My little Frankenstein’s?”

“Yes.”

“Well, after speaking with my horticulture mentor, Tom, he believes they are ready to be moved into the gardens.  I’ll do that next week.”

“I wish you would let me expand the landscaper’s duties to the gardens again.  You work far too hard.”

“Gardening isn’t work.  It actually helps me relax.”

“Then the house, can I have the cleaners back?  Hire them for Gran’s?  Can you give in on something?”

“Am I going to need to call ‘skirt’ like you did?”

“No, this is us calmly talking about it.”  He reached for her hand.  “Let’s list what you do.”

“Ok.”

“Cleaning two houses, helping Gran, gardening, taking classes, preparing for the Summit, training with Potts . . .”

“We have the consulting engagement in Florida and a trip planned to do human screenings in Arkansas.”

“And planning our Pledging for June.”  He rubbed the back of her hand.  “Sookie, that’s a lot especially when you have to take care of very needy vampire at night.”

“You’re right.”  She paused.  “You ARE needy.”

He laughed at her dig.  “And you’re stubborn.  Can we take cleaning our house and Gran’s off that list for a start?”

Gritting her teeth at the idea she replied with a curt “Fine, but you tell Gran.”

“I don’t think she’ll have a problem with my hiring cleaners to take the responsibility off your plate when I tell her it’s all for the great grandbaby.”

“You’re both going to be impossible with this.”  She thought for a moment while he laughed out his agreement.  “You know, our Summit presentation is almost done, we just need to add in the ‘live Florida case study’ details after we meet with them.”

“True, but don’t tell me that presentation isn’t a stressor.  You’ve told me many times that you’re nervous about speaking in public.”

“Ok, but we can’t back out, only deal with it – which is why we planned the dry-run with Alcide’s pack and some vampires.”

“Ok, so the presentation is as handled as can be.  Gardening.”

“Tread lightly dear . . .”

“Your Frankenstein’s and new already planned plantings but the rest is the landscape company.”

“I’ll agree if we reevaluate after the Summit and our Pledging.”

“Agreed.”  He smiled as he parked the car.  “See, no ‘skirt’ needed.  This is working.”

“Yes smarty, but remember the ‘skirt word’ was my idea.”

“Yes dear.  We’ll continue this discussion with Pam in the office since I want to discuss the Pledging.”

Immediately after they walked into the office, Pam pounced on them about the doctor’s visit.  “So, what did the doctor say?”

Sookie turned to Eric so he could tell her.  “We really only covered the process of IUI . . .”

“What’s IUI?”

“The procedure we’re having:  Intrauterine Insemination.”  She nodded.  “Our first steps are for Sookie to understand her cycle then we decide on any fertility drugs and when she’s ready and ovulating, he does the procedure.”

“You make it sound easy.”

“The process itself is simple, the successes aren’t always immediate.”  He gave her a pointed look while speaking to remind her of the conversation they already had.

“I know.  I’m going to behave.”

“Well, actually, you can help.”

Pam’s whole face lit up.  “WHAT CAN I DO?  Just tell me.”

“Sookie is reducing her workload and stressors.  For example, I’m rehiring the cleaning staff for our house and hiring a team for Gran’s.”

“REALLY?!  I never thought I’d see that day.”  Sookie blew her a raspberry.  “How does that involve me?  I don’t do windows, or toilets, or dust for that matter.  Although . . . I will DO hot red heads in French Maid Uniforms.”

Ignoring the uniform comment, Eric continued.  “Well ladies, how about we have Sookie in charge of the Pledging Ceremony decisions, but Pam will be executing.”

Pam gasped in excitement.  Sookie gasped as well, but for another reason.  “WE.  DID.  NOT.  AGREE.  TO.  THAT!”

“I didn’t say you did.  I’m suggesting it and you can make me an alternate proposal.”  Sookie calmed down first realizing his words were true, he was just suggesting it – not ordering it.  To be fair, she thought hard about his idea.  Taking Eric’s words literally, the decisions were still hers, and much of the work was already done.  Did it matter if she tracked the incoming RSVPs or worked with the caterer directly?  Not really.  She huffed but agreed.  “I thought so.”  He got the raspberry that time.

OOOoooOOOooo

Later in April Eric and Sookie traveled to Florida for their consulting engagement.  To make the most out of the trip, they added a few days of fun by hosting Remy and Hunter in Disneyworld.

“I’m glad you talked me into this Sookie.  I never thought Hunter would get to enjoy Disney like other kids.”

“I am too Remy.  Look at how much fun he’s having.”  The two were talking while they waited for Eric and Hunter to exit a ride.  Sookie had selected to sit under a tree, away from any crowds so they could have a talk.  “And having Hunter’s guards, hasn’t been a problem.  They’ve been really good about staying vigilant but out of sight.  Are the day guys good too?”

“Yep, same for the day guards.  You were right; we really don’t know they are around anymore.”  He was quiet for a moment before he spoke again.  “You know, it’ll be hard to get him back on normal hours next week though.  All these late nights.”

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your adjusting his sleep so Eric and I could both enjoy Hunter’s first trip to Disney.”  She waved in front of her.

“It’s been a great trip for us.  Hunter has really enjoyed this and Eric being able to help him with quiet even around all these people made it all possible.  It’s been something I never could have done even if I could afford the trip.  The silence Sookie, it’s something I can never give him.  And when I think about what I’ve thought about him?”  He lowered his head and shook it in shame.

“Remy, I won’t lie.  Your thoughts at our first meeting made me cringe.  But look how far you’ve come.  Hunter sees that.  He knows you’re working real hard to make a better life for him now that you’ve started learning more about his telepathy.”

“He really does see me trying?”

“He does.”  She paused.  “Remy, what if there was a way for you to be silent to Hunter?”

“Are you serious?”

“There is a possible way.”

“Tell me.”

Eric, her Uncle Des and Sookie had spoken at length about Remy taking some daemon blood in the hopes it would create a buffer to telepathy much like Gran had.  There was no guarantee it would work since so many circumstances were different, but she felt she owed it to Hunter and Remy to explore it.  The other concern was explaining it since Remy had NOT been told about the source of the telepathy.  Sookie carefully offered the potential remedy as the three of them had discussed.  “My Gran was able to block her thoughts from me.  It was a . . . a tonic she took before she gave birth to my father.  So it’s a bit different seeing that Hunter is already born.  My grandfather knew telepathy was a potential family trait, and he knew of this tonic.”

“What tonic?  What you’re talking about sounds like folklore, not science.”

Ok, here goes.’  “It IS more like folklore Remy; it’s not a prescription you can get from your doctor.  This is something that goes along with the discussions about the supernatural word we’ve been discussing and I can’t really explain all of it.  Heck I can’t say that I understand how it works, but I wanted you to know there was an option, or at least a potential.”

“What will it do, are there side effects?”

Again, she, Eric and Uncle Des discussed this.  Unless Remy had a baby with another fairy hybrid, there were no side effects.  So she felt confident telling him, “no, no side effects.  It will either work, or won’t for you to block from Hunter.”

“I don’t know.  I need to think on it.”

“Sure.  I know I’m asking you to make a leap of faith with me.  You can talk to Gran about it.”

“That’s a good idea.  Thanks for bringing it up Sookie.”

“I just want the best for Hunter.”  She heard the little man calling to them from the ride’s exit.  “Here they come now.”  Sookie’s tummy flip-flopped seeing Eric and Hunter walking up while holding hands.

“Daddy Daddy!  Did you see me and Uncle Eric in our teacup?”

“I did, Aunt Sookie and I got a picture too.”

“Wow.  I can’t believe you didn’t want to go on that one Aunt Sookie.”

“Yeah, uh that much spinning is not good for me.”

“Your loss then.  Hey!  Let’s go.  It’s a Small World ride is next, right?  You guys promised we’re all going.”

“Yes Hunter.”

Eric leaned over and whispered to Sookie, “You know, I’ve used the song It’s a Small World as a torture method.  You just need to play it repeatedly.”

She giggled.  “I think you’ll survive it.”

He did survive it and when they exited, Remy told Hunter he could pick one more activity to do at the Magic Kingdom.  “Carousel!”  He said without hesitation.  “Pick me up Uncle Eric.”

“Please,” Reminded Remy.

“Oh yeah, Please pick me up?”  He said with his arms raised.  Eric looked to Sookie for reassurance.  Hunter constantly asked for Eric and he was concerned about Remy’s reaction.  She simply nodded so he picked the boy up and put him on his shoulders.  “WOW, now I’m higher than everybody!”  The adults laughed at his wonder.

After Hunter’s final spin on the carousel, they headed back to the hotel.  Since they were staying at the Boardwalk that was part of Epcot, they had a bit of a trip back.  Eric spoiled them by hiring a driver to shuttle them everywhere during the trip.  He simply called and a limo was waiting for them at the park exit.  Just like the other days, Remy commented on the spoiling.  “You guys are too much.  Even if I return here with Hunter it won’t be the same since we’d be stuck on the Disney busses.”

Sookie grinned.  “Welcome to the world of spoiling by Eric Northman.”

Once in their room, Sookie changed into a nightshirt and thick socks.  Eric raised his eyebrows.  “Ok, I get that you wear them in the winter,” he pointed to her feet “but it’s pretty hot.  It hit 90 today.”

“Yeah, so hot that the air conditioning is cranked and the bath and kitchen in this suite have tile floors.  My toes get too cold.”

“I’m calling Alcide.  I want radiant heat installed in every floor at the new house.”

“They aren’t that ugly.”

“It’s what they’re hiding that I don’t like.”

“I’m changing the subject.  . . .  Did you have fun?”

“I did.  But as I mentioned last night, I was concerned at the number of rides where Hunter wanted to sit with me and not his father, or when he constantly asked me to carry him.”

“And I told you last night that Remy and I spoke about it.  He can’t deny his son would have a better time if he could relax his shields.  He just can’t spend the day at a theme park having them up the whole time.  You give Hunter that opportunity.  I also spoke with Remy about the potential ‘fix’ for him.”  Eric raised an eyebrow urging her to continue.  “He’s going to talk to Gran about it.  That’s the best I could ask for.”  She could see he was still unsure of Hunter’s actions.  “Eric, he’s fine with Hunter being so attached to you, I promise.  You just provide the quiet he needs.”  She jumped on his back as he headed to the bedroom in their suite.  “You’re a telepath magnet.”

“I might be the magnet, but you’re the one that attracted me.”

“OOOh, that’s a good line.  We should write that one down.”

OOOoooOOOooo

The next night, they explored Epcot starting on the World Showcase side.  After visiting all the countries, they were headed to the future world side.  Sookie knew that Hunter loved Nemo so she saved that section of the theme park for last.  He made it to The Seas quickly and dragged them all through the aquarium features followed by a visit to Turtle Time with Crush.  After that he kept calling everyone dude as they stood in line for the Nemo ride.  When they got to front of the line, as he’d been doing he asked, “Uncle Eric, you’re riding in the clam with me, right dude?”

He chuckled as he answered the toddler.  “Of course Hunter.”

Remy and Sookie talked in their ‘clamobile’ as they rode.  “So, your plane leaves tomorrow?”

“Yes, I’m back to work on Tuesday, and Hunter has daycare.  He’s going to be so excited to tell everyone about his trip.”  He took Sookie’s hand.  “I can’t thank you enough.  The change is remarkable.  He has friends, play dates even, well ones with other kids his age, not just play dates at Aunt Sookie.”  They both laughed.  “He doesn’t come home with a headache and the adults have commented that he is much calmer and happier.”  He sighed and brought up the topic from last night.  “I guess that’s why I’m seriously considering the tonic you mentioned, though it scares me and I’m pretty sure there’s stuff you aren’t telling me.”  He looked at Sookie and she gave nothing away so he continued.  “I guess I’ll just respect the need to keep some things secret and hope that if it impacts Hunter you’ll tell me.”

For that, she gave a tiny nod of acknowledgement.  “I was serious about talking to Gran though Remy.  If you choose to try this, you only need to tell me that and I’ll get the tonic.”

“Thanks, not just for the tonic, but for everything.”

“I’m just happy I could help.  Preventing him from growing up with the prejudice and loneliness that I had is all the thanks I need.”  She pointed to the end.  “We’d better get ready to hop off this clam.”  She giggled.

Hunter and Eric stepped off the Nemo ride and waited for Remy and Sookie to exit their own ‘clamobile’.  “Daddy Daddy, didya see the jellyfish?”

“I did Hunter.”

“Can we do this ride again?”

“We have time for one more thing before fireworks, and since it’s your last night here, pick a good one.”

“We’re still here tomorrow!”

“We’re sleeping here and taking a flight out before lunch Hunter.  This is your last time in one of the parks.”

Hunter scrunched up his face as he thought about it.  Then he knew.  “Turtle Talk with Crush, dudes!”

They all laughed as Remy answered.  “Ok son, lead the way.”

They enjoyed the attraction one last time and parted ways after the fireworks.  Remy would be taking Hunter home in the morning, so they said their goodbyes to their hosts.  Sookie and Eric had already checked out for the day and walked to their rental cal for the drive north to Ocala, the location of the planned Vampire and Were meetings.

“Do you want the top down?”  The rental he selected was a Porsche Boxster in a deep wine color and Sookie jumped up and down when she first saw it.  He considered purchasing her one, but a convertible was just too much of a security risk for her when he wasn’t around.  He could fly her out of a convertible if they were being chased or attacked; the Were guards during the day obviously could not.

“You bet.  I love riding in a convertible and it’s such a nice night.”  The roof was lowered and they got in the car to pull out.  Sookie turned to Eric as he drove out of the parking lot and rubbed her hand over his thigh affectionately.  “Sweetie, you were wonderful with Hunter.  It made me want to speed up this fertility process.”

“I know, but it will take as long as it takes min älskade.  We must have patience.”

“I know.”

They were quiet for a while as he drove.  “Our drive is only about 2 hours so we should be there by midnight.  Any ideas on what you want to do when we arrive?”

“You said the hotel has an indoor pool?”

“Yes, we can go swimming if you’d like.”

“That’s why I packed my suit.”

“I like it at home when you don’t need one.”

“You hush.”  She thought for a while.  “You know, I would like to review our meeting plans first; then swim.  I don’t want it hanging over my head.”

“Sookie, we’ve planned this for a while now.  Why are you nervous?”

“I’m a barmaid and someone is paying me to be a consultant.  Do you know how daunting that is?”

“Ok, we can do the review while we drive.  How’s that?”

“Sure, sure.”

“So, first, what was our plan to get them to care?”

“Our example, the witch war at home and what happened in Arkansas to the supes there before we were able to take her down by working together.”

“Do you know that story?  You can tell it?”

“Ah, backwards and forwards.”

“Ok, so that’s our first meeting, done.”

“Right, yes, you’re right.”

“The next night, we agreed to split up.  Alcide is meeting us in Ocala tomorrow, so he will already be introduced the first night.  You will both host the Weres to discuss cooperation, good faith, and honestly, common courtesy.  I’ll be with the vampire sheriffs.”

“Right.  Alcide and I have a presentation.  Or actually, he says,” she cleared her throat to impersonate Alcide.  “‘I’ll sit there and dare them to not listen while you give your presentation’.”

“Don’t try to impersonate the wolf again, it actually hurt my ears.”  She giggled.  “But that’s the gist and I give the same presentation to the vampires discussing the same topics.”

“We meet together the final night to write out the actual accords, collect their signatures and leave.”

“Well, we don’t leave; you booked the extra day, right?”

“Yes, I meant we leave the meetings, I booked the plane to depart the next night so we have time for your surprise.”

“Yeppers.”  She smirked but kept her mouth shut about anything more on the surprise.

They arrived at Ocala and checked in quickly.  Since they already covered business during the drive, they changed into suits and headed to the pool.  Eric pouted that Sookie wasn’t in a bikini but she explained.  “Eric, we’re staying at the hotel where other vampire sheriffs are booked for the meeting.  They could also go to the pool.  Did you want me in one of my bikinis?”

He grumbled out a no and before she could say anything else, he tossed her into the water then followed.  They played and swam and got away with as much groping as they could in the public but empty pool until they retired for the night.

Starting the next night, they held the meetings with the vampires and Weres.  As expected, the initial meeting was tense.  Some participants had clearly been ordered to attend and there was snarling and hissing between some of the Weres and vampires.  Luckily, the recently promoted Queen Antonia of Florida stepped into the room about 20 minutes after the meeting started and reminded the vampires to shut up and listen.  “A few months ago, while I was still a Sheriff, Sookie helped us with the Soldiers of the Light situation.  You may recall that she was held by Steve Newlin in Dallas and that incident has practically disbanded the Fellowship of the Sun.  I know we have some pockets of issues remaining, but that’s not her problem.  She’s human; we are the supernaturals, both vampire and Were, who have benefited from her actions.  This woman has my respect and gratitude.  I suggest you take advantage of the time you have with both the Northman and his bonded.”

While the Were’s didn’t need to follow her rule, the fact that the vampire queen of their state was taking the meetings so seriously, not to mention paying for them, had a side benefit of stopping the Were’s griping as well.  From there, Eric and Sookie were able to move through their agenda for all three nights, including the signing of a mutual working relationship contract for Weres and vampires in the state.  Alcide accepted the invitation to celebrate with the Weres at a local bar while Sookie and Eric declined.

While taking the elevator down, Eric pushed Sookie against the wall for a searing kiss.  “I can’t wait to get back to the room and celebrate.”

“I agree.  Should we swim, drink champagne and blood, go dancing?”

“Ooh, you think you’re cute, don’t you.”  Another kiss was delivered leaving Sookie breathless for a moment.

The scent of her arousal filled the elevator as she spoke, “I am cute.  But back to our celebrations.  What did you have in mind?”

“You’re going to be fucked senseless min älskade.”

“Exactly.”

Before they left the building, Eric’s phone was ringing; it was Sophie-Anne.  “I hear congratulations are in order for you and your bonded.”

“Yes your majesty.  The details of their working relationship have been spelled out in a contract that covers each vampire territory and each Were pack.”

“Good work.  You’ll be flying home now?”

“We are staying one more night and will fly home during the night tomorrow for arrival before dawn.”

“Very well.  In addition to recognizing your success, I called to inform you that Nevada has been calling to inquire about Sookie’s work.  I don’t need to get into the particulars, but I won’t approve her to work in Nevada.  I’ve told him that since his state does not recognize Sookie as anything but a pet, I won’t put her in the position to work there.”

“Thank you your majesty.  I had an voice-mail from his assistant Sandy.  I guess I know why she called now.  Honestly, you saved me from having to deny him directly for the exact same reason.”

“Well, he was quite put out and then questioned Sookie’s attendance at the Summit.  I simply said his state happened to be the host and that she was not there for him or his state in particular.  He was not pleased and this concerns me.  Sookie would be quite a prize.  I want a full layout of your plans for her protection at the Summit by the weekend.  I don’t want her at risk.”

“I’ve got my plans ready, I will forward to you as soon as I have a moment at my laptop.  We are just leaving the meeting rooms now and I will be at the hotel within the hour.”

“Excellent, thank you Eric.”

“You are welcome my Queen.”

After ending the call he turned to Sookie, “the Queen is very pleased with us.”

“How did she find out already?  Did Queen Antonia call her before the ink was dry?”

“I believe that is the case.”  Guiding her with his hand on her back, they exited the office building where the meetings were held to walk to their hotel.  “I need to get an email out to the Queen when we get back to our room.”

“I think I’ll soak in our tub.”

“Tease.”

“I’m not planning to sit there watching you type.”

“Don’t you have homework?”

“Finished it while you were lying around all day.”

“How about your book?”

“Meh, my head hurts, I don’t want to read.”

“You’re teasing is going to get you in trouble.”  Without warning, he grabbed her, throwing her over his shoulder.  She squealed loudly.  “I’ve got you now, my pretty and I’m keeping you on my lap while I type.”

He ran through the lobby, to the elevator and their room before he put her down.  All the moving while she was upside down made her dizzy so he held her until she had her footing; then he grabbed her and sat at the desk.  “You were serious?”

“Sookie, you were going to take a bath without me, drastic measures had to be taken.”

“Oh let me go you big baby, I’ll wait on the couch while you email the queen.”

Once situated on the couch Sookie decided to toy with Eric.  Starting with her suit jacket, she slowly stripped down to her underwear.  Occasionally, Eric glanced her way to see what she was doing; he would just smirk and continue working on his email to Sophie-Anne.  To get his work done quickly he decided he would NOT turn around again.  Next, she started moaning.  THAT was hard to ignore; but he adjusted his pants and kept writing.  A bra flew over and landed on his keyboard and he groaned out “Sookie, you’re being bad over there.”

“You should turn around and see how bad.”

“I’m finishing.”

Her panties flew over next, landing on his head.  “Ok, I’ll just get started over here.  Are you started over there?”

To keep his keyboard intact, he needed to concentrate on his reactions.  She was really having an effect on him.  “You’re gonna get it when I’m done.”

“Exactly.”

He chuckled as he continued work.  The e-mail to the Queen had been sent and now he was just checking on some other business emails.  It was torture to ignore her, but he wanted to tease her back for her actions.  A moment later the scent of her arousal became stronger and he could hear her touching herself.  Refraining was hard, literally.  It was painful to smell her arousal and hear the noises from her touch and her moans.  “Jesus Eric, how long is that email going to take?”

“I’m done the email to the Queen.”

“Then get your ass over here.”

“No.”

“NO?!  I can’t believe you don’t want watch what I’m doing.”

“You’ve been so naughty Sookie.  I can’t just reward you now.  I have to take measures.”  He could feel a rush of lust in the bond.

She whined back, “Erriicc.  Please.  I can’t believe you don’t even want to watch me.”

He couldn’t believe he wasn’t turning around and filming the show but he held strong.  “Can’t take the teasing Sookie?”  Truth was, he could hardly take it either, but this would be so good when he finally gave in.

“What can I do to persuade you to leave that desk?”

“I need a few minutes of peace to finish and I don’t think I can trust you.  You simply can’t be permitted to cum right now since you’ve been distracting me.”  He could feel her amusement in addition to lust so he knew she was aware this was all in good fun.  “I also didn’t pack the turkey ties to keep those hands from my pussy.”  After spinning his chair to face her, he really pulled out the acting by scratching his chin like he was thinking hard.  “I’ll need to be creative, you just wait here – and no cumming for you.”  He waggled his finger in front of her.  When he returned he had one of her scarves and one of his ties.  Positioning her with her arms above her head and over an arm of the couch, he tied her to an end table.  “Now, you stay there until I finish.”

“Erriic, hurry.”

“As quickly as I can min kära.”  Inwardly he groaned, he wanted to pounce but the anticipation would build and make their endings even better.  He had to fake through work for a few minutes before he couldn’t take it anymore himself.  “Are you ready for me?”

“Good Lord Eric I’m on fire!  Get over here and fuck me.”

“Language Sookie.  A proper southern lady shouldn’t speak like that.”  To move the game along, he started untying her from the table.

“A proper southern woman wouldn’t be tied to a table waiting for her fiancé to take care of her.”

After untying her he lifted her from the couch.  “You’re right.  I’ll take this proper southern woman to the bedroom.”

“So you can pound me into the mattress until dawn.”

“Exactly.”

OOOoooOOOooo

“Min kära, why does it seem like you never left the bed?  I don’t smell food, a shower or any other parts of the hotel on you.”

“You fucked me unconscious last night; I’m only just now getting up with you.  In fact, when you just woke in the bond it woke me.”

He laughed, “are you kidding me?”

“Nope, now I need to eat and get ready so we can leave at first dark for your surprise.”

By first dark, they were both ready and in the convertible.  “Are you going to tell me where we’re going yet?”

“Nope.  It’s only a 10 minute drive, you’ll make it.”

As she said, they pulled up to their destination in just 10 minutes and Eric beamed.  “A drive in and it’s playing Kill Bill: Volume 2?  Sookie, this is perfect.  Maybe we should put the top up so we can, you know” He waggled his eyebrows, “add to the experience.”

“I packed a blanket to cover us; we’ll need to be creative.”

“Are you going to get some popcorn?  That’s traditional, right?”

“It may be traditional but I never understood that.  I mean, you go on a date to the movies, eat popcorn and then kiss?”

“I don’t understand.”

“Popcorn bits – all stick in your mouth when you eat it.  THAT would be especially bad for us.”

“Um, yuck?”

She giggled at his reply.  “Yeah, yuck.”

“So the first movie is called Walking Tall.  That sounds like a decent action flick, but I’m more interested in Killing Bill.”

“Oh.  Well, what are we going to do until the second film starts?”

“I’ve never made out in a car.”

“Fancy that, me neither.”

They arrived back at their hotel after the drive in and were surprised by some extra guests in their room.  Godric met them at the door to their suite.  “Godric?”

“My maker wished to meet Sookie.”

Eric’s eyes went wide as he looked past the door to the sitting area.  When he dropped to his knees Sookie went with him, mostly because he had her hand in his.  “Your Grace, you honor us with your presence.”

From her seat on the couch, the Ancient Pythoness acknowledged both of them.  “Rise my grandchild, rise my dear.”

Eric stood taking Sookie with him and he nodded to Godric to handle the introductions.  “Sookie, may I introduce my maker, the Ancient Pythoness.”  He turned to his maker.  “Pythia, may I present Miss Sookie Stackhouse, Eric’s bonded and betrothed.”

Sookie was amazed to be in the presence of this very powerful and wise woman.  She was dressed in a flowing white gown that practically matched her long white hair.  While her eyes appeared glazed indicating she was blind, she certainly appeared to be seeing everyone in the room.  Though her appearance surprised Sookie, it was her greeting that really took her aback.  “I am pleased to finally meet you Miss Stackhouse.  I am especially pleased that my grandchild took his head out of his ass and was able to woo you back.”

A chuckle bubbled out of Sookie before she could stop it.  “I’m pretty pleased about that myself, your Grace.”

“Come, sit with me, we will talk.”  Sookie moved to sit next to her on the couch while Godric and Eric stayed standing.  “You two, go to the lounge or something.  I cannot talk with Sookie while you stand there staring.”  They stayed still for a moment until she finally waved her hands in a shooing motion and they acquiesced walking out the door.  “So tell me about your pledging plans.”

“I’m still making decisions, but once we coordinated the date with your schedule, I was able to book this gorgeous estate outside Shreveport.  It has a light tight level for many of our guests, though we have several safehouses in the area if you’re interested.”

“My dear, I appreciate the offer, but I will travel in for the wedding and will be gone before dawn.  It is a security requirement for me.”  She patted Sookie’s hand.  “Tell me more about the estate.”

“While the ceremony will be inside, we have plans for part of our reception to be out in the gardens with the summer flowers in full bloom.”

“That will be lovely dear.  Have you selected a color for your dress?”

“I have, but I’m not vain enough to announce it and require that all the other women avoid the whole palette.”

“Yes, I would image you would not fall into some of the more narcissistic behaviors of vampire monarchs.”  She leaned into Sookie a bit.  “Will you tell me, just between us girls?”

Sookie wore her crazy smile not quite believing she was having a girl chat with the oldest vampire on the planet.  “It’s a very pale pink.”

“That sounds lovely my dear.”

“Thank you, your Grace.”

The Ancient Pythoness stopped for a moment and looked at Sookie with her milky eyes.  “You need a name to call me.  You don’t need to call me your Grace when we are just talking.”

“Whatever you decide.  What does Godric call you?”

“When we are being casual, he calls me Pythia.  I find I want something more familial for you.”

“Famililal?”

“Eric is my Grandchild, you will be as well once you are pledged.”

“I don’t think we can get away with my calling you Gammy or something like that though.”

“No, I agree.  Yai-Yai would be known to too many vampires with all the languages they speak.”

“You are Greek?”

“I had been told you have unexpected depths, I should not be surprised you put that together.”

“It was in a book.  We could use Old Norse; Eric has told me there are very few who speak it.”

“Amma it is then.”  Sookie smiled at her.  “You can tell Eric he may use this name as well when we are in personal situation.”

“Amma?”  Sookie tried the name out.  “Do you know my Great Grandfather?”

“You are a bold one as I’ve also been told.”

“I apolo. . .”

“No need.  We are having a family chat.  I am not in public, and I know you know the difference.”

“I do.”

“Well, Niall.”  She paused to think on her response.  “I’ve known him for many years.  Before you ask, he has become aware of you, though he is keeping it to himself.  The threat of Breandan IS real my dear.”  She sighed unnecessarily.  “I have filled Godric in so he and Eric can work to ensure your safety.”

“Thank you.”

“So, I understand you have been preparing for the upcoming Summit?”

“I have.  Both for the presentation Eric and I are giving, but also to perform as the perfect pet.”  A scowl formed on her face as she spoke the last part.

“Ah yes, Felipe and some others would be a problem otherwise.  It is good for you to be prepared.”  She cocked her head as if curious about something and asked, “My dear, tell me how you feel about vampires such as Felipe and his brother King Carlos Huerta of New England.”

“Oh, so they are related?”  The Ancient Pythoness nodded in confirmation.  “Well . . .”  She started then stopped.

“Please, speak freely.  I am very curious on your reaction.”

“I think they are wrong, and not just because I would feel oppressed by their attitudes as a human.  I think they are missing an opportunity.  Actually, not just those vampires you just named, but any species that ignores the value of other races, species, religions or any other group, however they are labeled – is missing an opportunity.  They are also hypocrites.”

“What opportunity is being missed?”

“What others bring ‘to the table’ if you will.  It’s also why they are hypocrites.  They use phones, cars, computers?”  The Ancient Pythoness smiled and nodded.  “Were any of those invented by vampires?  In fact” she rose, getting a little fired up, “can you tell me what vampires have contributed to the inventions of the past few centuries?”

“No, I cannot.”  The Ancient Pythoness’ smile grew.  Sookie was truly everything she had hoped she would be.  “We have some that were notable scholars, philosophers, even writers.”

“And that’s great – I’m not saying vampires don’t also contribute, but if they herded the humans as cows as Felipe and family would want, they’d be using carrier pigeons to communicate.”

“You know Sookie; I do not use a phone.”’

“Wow, I can’t imagine.  Do you use carrier pigeons?”  She chuckled at her own joke.

Her Amma laughed with her.  “No, I travel or send scrolls.  My son has been trying to convince me for about 30 years to get a phone.  So far, I have managed to resist.”

Seeing that the Ancient Pythoness was allowing a very casual conversation, Sookie sat back down and took advantage.  “So, you also don’t use a PC?”

“No.”

“Well, what are you going to do when Eric and I have our babies?  How will I send you pictures of your Great Grandbabies?  Oh I’m sorry, can you see pictures?”

A knowing smile formed on the Ancient Pythoness’ face:  She’d seen the babies already in her visions.  Still she had to admit that viewing them in a vision WAS different than getting updates and maybe actually meeting them.  “I have to admit you have me intrigued.  I do not see myself sitting and singing lullabies, but an e-mail written by you that a handmaiden can read would be nice.  As for what I can see, I cannot explain my sight that easily.  I can see you now in a vision, not you personally sitting next to me.  Pictures work somewhat since I can see a handmaiden looking at them.  I will consider your words, especially since I cannot just give you an address for mailing photos.”

“Well, I would be especially excited to tell Godric that something I suggested would move you into the technology world.”

“You just won me over.  I will tell him tonight that I am getting a PC and an email address at YOUR request.”  The Ancient Pythoness clapped her hands together once, as if to finalize her plans.  “I suppose I should call the boys back, I need to head out as I believe you do as well.”

“Thank you for your time.  I enjoyed our chat.”

“As did I child.”

The ‘boys’ walked in shortly after and Pythia dropped her bomb.  “Godric, I will need your email address so when I get my PC, I can contact you when I set up my own account.”

Godric’s eyes grew wide.  “Pythia?  You are willingly getting a PC?  How did this finally come about?”

“Yes, my soon to be Great Granddaughter talked me into it.”

Still dazed, Godric looked at Sookie.  “Is there anything you cannot do?”

She shrugged her shoulders.  “I can’t sing.”

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7 thoughts on “Chapter 41 – The Sunshine State

  1. Pingback: MANY THANKS!!! | magsmacdonald

  2. Wow another packed chapter. The baby thing is cool Love Pammy’s excitment. Hunter at Disney was so nice to see. The florida thing was good as well as her talk with Pythia.

  3. Hey Crumbcake~
    Luvin the story. LoL…Rednecks and Good Ole Boys with a side of Southern Baptistism, run this little town of Ocala, so to have Vamps in town is exciting. Keep up the good works cause, I needz me some more please!!!!(This import needs some excitement!)

  4. This was a fantastic chapter! It’s been so long since I read this that I forgot about the goodness!

    Loved this especially! You read my mind! “, I called to inform you that Nevada has been calling to inquire about Sookie’s work. I don’t need to get into the particulars, but I won’t approve her to work in Nevada. I’ve told him that since his state does not recognize Sookie as anything but a pet, I won’t put her in the position to work there.”

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