Chapter 48 – At least the Pledging was fun

Chapter 48 – At least the Pledging was fun

July 10, 2004

Eric was still reeling from the news about their doctor when he rose the next night.  Sookie was still asleep so he took some time to think about the situation again.  ‘Kidnapped.  It’s just too coincidental for it to not somehow involve Sookie.  The man had worked in the supernatural world for years; his work and reputation reaching far beyond the boundaries of Louisiana.  Now, after Sookie and I signed on as patients, he’s missing.’  He recalled the conversation he had with Alcide while he stayed in bed snuggling Sookie.

“Alcide, I need you in my suite.”

“On my way.  Anyone else?”

“Just you for the moment.”

The Were’s expression changed from shocked to downright pissed as Eric explained the situation.  The nurse he’d spoken to about the kidnapping knew Eric was the Sheriff in the area.  She also knew from her pack that Alcide, her Packmaster, spent most of his time at the Sheriff’s properties, either guarding Eric’s wife or working on the extensive building project in Bon Temps.  For that reason, she shared all she knew about the kidnapping.  He in turn, filled in Alcide.

“I can’t believe my pack didn’t tell me anything.  Head’s are gonna roll for that.  For now, let’s focus on what we know.”

“Agreed on both counts.”  He switched to summarizing what he’d heard from the nurse.  “The nurses at the doctor’s office were smart enough to call a Were from their pack on the police force to investigate the doctor’s absence and they in turn called Were FBI agents. 

“That was a good start.”

“Yes, and she committed to getting me names or at least a name so you can follow-up.  She’s emailing me as soon as she has it.  If I don’t have it before I rest for the day, I’ll leave my phone out for you.”  Alcide raised a brow in question about that.  “You know I’ll kill you if anything sensitive gets leaked from my phone, and even having said that, I trust you.  I don’t want to wait the day for information.”

“I appreciate the trust.”  He paced as he thought more.  “So, once I have the contacts, I’ll get involved with the investigation.  Is there a resource that can assist me in Shreveport that you would include?”

“I have an excellent tracker, but at a week old, the scents would be a problem even for him.”  He shook his head.  “This is what you must emphasize to your pack Alcide.  If they had called you right away, you would’ve called me and the tracker might have found the doctor already.  For now, contact Mustapha to get him involved, he can deploy resources until Indira is up tonight.  She is best at working with humans if needed and I’ll send her an alert.”  He thought for a moment.  “I’ll still send the tracker, but I don’t have much hope.”

“Yeah, they will regret their decision.”  Eric agreed with a solemn nod.  “On another topic, if I may?”

“Go on.”

“Potts is prepared to stay in your common room today in case Sookie needs her.  The Dae girls will stay for your protection, but should we take her out?  Distract her?  I’m not quite sure how to respond to the horrific night she had.”

“I don’t know either.  I hope the wedding is enough of an upper to keep her going.  The Queen has requested her presence at a few meetings tonight since there are some humans involved.  Honestly though, I think she just wants to have Louisiana out in force – especially with Peter dead.  He was strong; someone who could have her back.  I’m planning to persuade Sophie-Anne to leave Sookie out of her damn meetings.  I may need you to guard tonight in addition to the Dae girls since I must attend the meetings even if Sookie skips them.”

“We’ll all do whatever it takes.  You know, she showed incredible strength tonight.”  He said that with pride in his voice at knowing the little spitfire.  “What scares me is she also showed her incredible worth.”

“Agreed Alcide.  I want to take her back to my island and hide her.”

“I don’t think that will work well for you.”

He laughed at his next thought.  “Yeah, I’d be staked by Gran before I could get on the plane.”

“You got that ri. . . “

They were interrupted by screams coming from Eric’s bedroom.  Sookie had woken in a panic or was having one hell of a nightmare.  Eric ran without another word to Alcide.  It turned out it was a nightmare, likely from the evening’s events and it took him several minutes to get her calmed down. 

He ended his memory replay when Sookie started stirring in her sleep.  “Good evening my love.”

“Ooh, English tonight ey?

“Yes English.  Why do you say that with such curiosity?”

“I’m trying to put together a pattern for when you use English versus Swedish.”

“Any ideas yet?”

“You usually use English when you are trying to be extra gentle or you are walking on eggshells.”  He chuckled and asked her to explain.  “Well, I had a pretty . . .  ah . . . challenging night last night.  So today, you’ll be in fuss and pamper mode:  Hence the use of my love.  Sometimes when I’m mad at you, you’ll do that too.  Like the days when my hormones were out of control, just after we got back from the honeymoon?  I was ‘my love’ for two days straight.”

“I don’t even think I knew that.”

“It’s probably an unconscious thing.”

“How are you feeling this evening?”

“I’m good.  I can’t say I’m eager to leave the room.  Potts stayed with me this afternoon and brought in food.  I didn’t even want to risk room service.  I remember the nightmare, so telling you I can ignore the attempt on my life last night would be futile.”  She sighed and turned to lie on her back.  “I’m also pretty sure that my display will only make more covet my talents.  At the moment, I can’t be sure freeing Sophie-Anne was worth that.  Why did Amma display me like that?  I would never have defied her, she knows that, but certainly there was another way?”

“I don’t know that there was.  My only explanation for her Grace’s actions is that she knows what she’s doing.  We may not always see it, but she literally does, so we must trust in her.”

“I guess so.  Hey – I saw Dario last night, but he was part of the Vegas contingent.”

Eric debated telling Sookie about Dario and that he was actually a spy he sent to Felipe’s territory shortly after Dario broke up with Portia.  He’d only known Dario for a short while, but he knew his maker years ago and the maker vouched for his progeny.  Sookie might not like that a vampire was knowingly sent into enemy territory and was at risk, but he promised they were a team and she had sacrificed much at this conference so far.  To answer her question, he repositioned himself to move down a bit to meet her face to face.

“He’s still with Louisiana; he’s a spy for me.”

“WHAT?”

“It’s common.  He’s only been here a few months so it will take time for him to make inroads into court, but the seed is planted.  I needed to stay on top of Felipe – besides – Lorena is in Vegas, remember?”

“AH Lorena.  I believe that a spy here is warranted then.  Can’t have her traipsing wherever and causing problems for us.”

“I’m glad you agree.”  Their agreement was sealed with a quick kiss before he started on the next topic.  “Now, for this evening.  I called Sophie-Anne last night.  At first she was not pleased at being interrupted since she was celebrating her victory but she did get on the phone with me.  She has released you from needing to attend her meetings.  You can stay here, soak in the tub, relax . . . do whatever you need to get ready for the wedding instead of being around a bunch of vampires again.”

“Where will you be?”

“I can leave Thalia here, but Pam and I must attend the same meetings with Sophie-Anne.”

“Then I’m going with you.”  He shook his head but she put up her hands to stop him.  “We will be done with time to get ready for the Pledging, right?”

“Yes, we will have plenty of time.  Your hair stylist is schedule for 11:30, right?”

“Yes 11:30 but at our old suite in Torre Agbar.”

“You kept it there for security?”  She nodded.  “You are brilliant my little strategist.”  He kissed her forehead.  “Well, I will be back by 11.  The meetings for Sophie-Anne start at 8PM, not at 9PM like the Summit sessions.”

“I think it will be harder for me to be here without you, then to attend the stupid meetings with you.”

“Sookie.  Dr. Ludwig wants you to rest.  I spoke to her after I put you to bed last night.  She is concerned about the stress of Vegas on the baby.”

“First, I was in bed until 1PM today, left the bed to stay with Potts for all of 2 hours, and then returned.  I’m rested.  Second, why did you call Ludwig and not Harold?”

SHIT,’ he cursed to himself.  He didn’t even want to get into the doctor’s situation with Sookie.  She would only be concerned for the doctor, actually mostly concerned for their son Michael, only 3 years old.  Now that HE opened the door, he knew he couldn’t lie.  He positioned himself to hold her more tightly as lamented.  “Sookie.”  That’s all he got out before sighing.  “The doctor and his family have been kidnapped.  Alcide should have an update for us tonight so I don’t know much more right now.”

“KIDNAPPED?!  Oh my God!  Little Michael too?”

“Yes.  I need you to stay calm.  We’re doing everything we can.”

“Have you sent Thomas?  He’s your tracker, right?”

Gods, even Sookie knows how this should have gone.  I want to be there when Alcide speaks to his pack.  Their neglecting to contact him was so very wrong.’  Trying to keep his anger contained, he answered Sookie truthfully.  “Sookie, that’s exactly what I would have done if we were notified last Wednesday when the doctor went missing.  Instead, the Were police and FBI did not notify Alcide as their Packmaster, and now a week has gone by.  Thomas is good, but not that good.  I sent him to the doctor’s house anyway and we’ll see what he says tonight.”

“Shit.  Those Weres should be beaten for keeping this from Alcide.”  She looked around the bedroom.  “Where’s your phone, what’s the update?”

“I left my phone with Alcide in case I got an email from the nurse at Harold’s office during the day.”  With the way Sookie looked at Eric, he knew she was spending too much time with Pam:  She’d perfected Pam’s ‘you’re retarded’ look.  “I didn’t want to lose the day so I gave him my phone.  He knows I’ll kill him if anything happens with other data in there.”

“I . . . You trust him don’t you?”  She sat up really surprised by this information.  “I don’t mean in a regular trust kind of way.  You . . . He’s your friend; you like him.”

“I don’t have friends.”  He felt a bit like someone trapped in a corner at the topic and Sookie could feel it.

“I won’t say anymore.  You just might want to think about it.”  She stood from the bed.  “Now, am I going with you or not?”

“This is really what you want?”

“Want, no.  I just will sit here and fret unless I go with you.”

“How about renting a movie?  Can I hire a masseuse for you?”

“That’s tempting.”

“Oh really?  Should I order you a fancy filet dinner too?  Is this working?”

“Yeah, you got me.  I give in . . . BUT only if you find a masseuse who will come here and be glamoured about her client.”

He nodded reveling in her calculated thinking even if it meant something she hated:  In this case, glamour.  “Let me get my phone and make arrangements.  You get the restaurant menu and pick something.  Potts or Alcide can pick it up; you don’t need to use room service.  That was also a good thought on your part.”

“Come back with news about The Finard’s.”

With a serious nod to her, he left the room to fetch his phone.  He found Alcide on his laptop in his and Potts’ suite, directly across the hall from Eric and Sookie.  After booking the masseuse he turned to Alcide for an update.  “Any news?”

“Your tracker, Thomas, was able to identify vampire scent, but nothing more specific.  The FBI team is meeting him tonight to share the evidence they gathered and bagged.  They are hoping to give him something more powerful to smell.”  He shook his head.  “I don’t have much hope though.  Usually something in a bag smells mostly of the bag.”

“Agreed, but a something rolled up or folded tightly could release a scent when Thomas unrolls it.”  He thought for a moment.  “He said it was a vampire, but he didn’t recognize it?”

“Correct, though he didn’t recognize it, he couldn’t confirm if that meant it wasn’t someone from your retinue or if it was just too old to get that accurate of a reading.”

“I don’t think this is the reason for the kidnapping . . . but have any Packmasters been approached for ransom?  Are there any ‘important’ Weres who were working with Finard?  Any vendettas or more specifically failures in producing children?”

“I had calls with all the Packmasters that use Finard to check on those exact possibilities.  There are none.  Well, there are a few couples that didn’t get pregnant, but they were all checked out today.  There is no reason to think they are behind this.”

“I can’t help but think the only connection is Sookie and me, and now we know that vampires were involved I’m even more convinced.  Vampires would have no reason to kidnap a doctor, unless they were hired.”  He ran his hands through his hair worried about Sookie’s reaction to the lack of update.  “I need to get to the meetings.  Sookie is having a massage at 10:00PM.  Thalia will return the girl to the spa and glamour a different customer into her memory.  She will need to eat before then, and she does not want room service.  Please distract her as much as possible.”

“We’ll handle it.  Just knock here before you head out.”  He walked towards the door with Eric then stopped him.  “Look, one more thing.  I hate to bring this up but Potts thought . . . well . . .”

“Spit it out.”

“Potts can see the baby.  Something she said was like an aura or hell, I don’t understand it.  But daemons can see it.  She thought you should know that the news is out to any daemon Sookie encounters.”  Eric’s mouth went grim and Alcide was afraid he was angry at them for discussing it so he continued to babble.  “She didn’t want to tell me.  We do keep work secrets from each other for work, she just thought this was a vulnera. . .”

Eric was impressed the wolf took the risk to tell him this information.  “I’m not concerned that you know.  I appreciate that your fear of my wrath didn’t prevent you from speaking.  I’ll discuss this with Sookie since she deserves to know.  Keep in mind that she’s adamant about telling Gran first.  So even though you know and she knows you know, pretend you don’t.”

“That was a hell of a sentence but I understood.  Can I say congrats to you?”  He offered his hand and Eric took it with a smile.  “Congrats old man.”

“Just don’t hug me.”

Alcide put his hands up in front of his chest

“No worries about that.”

He walked back into his own suite still smiling and he realized.  ‘Shit, Sookie was right.  I don’t just trust him, I like the damn wolf.’

OOOoooOOOooo

Shortly before 11, Eric returned to his suite and called out to Sookie.  “Are you ready min älsk. . .”  There, in their bedroom, Sookie was asleep on the massage table so he cut off his words.  Pam was right behind him coming from the common room.

“She’s part of the ceremony Eric, we have to wake her.”

“Is her dress in the other suite, do we need anything from here?”

“Everything we need is in the other suite.”

“Give me a minute to wake her.”  Pam nodded and left to wait for him.  “Sookie.  Honey.”  He spoke softly while he stroked her back.  “I need you to wake up.”

“No.”

It was her usual answer when she didn’t want to wake up but it still made him laugh every time.  “Oh my ‘sleepy Sookie’, I’m going to dress you for your hair appointment now.”  The towel that was draped over her bottom slipped off when he started moving her and he took the opportunity to bite her behind.

Mumbling from sleep, she admonished him.  “Don’t start something we don’t have time to finish.”

“I just thought it would wake you faster dear.”  At this point, he carefully flipped her over.

“Liar.  You’re being ‘bad Eric’ tonight and you know it.”

“You are too tempting, even more now that I’ve I rolled you over.”  To her tummy he whispered a very quiet good evening to his baby before going back to teasing her.  “Sookie, look at those nipples calling to me.”  As he could feel her desire and amusement even though she put on a show of being put out by his actions, he continued.

“I mean it, don’t you dare put your mouth. . . mmmmhhh“  The sensation of his cool mouth on her hot nipples caused her to moan but she snapped out of it.  “I’ll dress myself if you don’t stop.  I know you like to dress me when I’m sleepy and all compliant but I can get up and do it myself if I need too.”

Running his fingers from her breasts to her mons he countered “Then you should also know that dressing you comes with a healthy dose of teasing.”  In response to his actions, she bit her lip when the fingers played with her folds.  “Oops, a finger slipped in.  Must be because you are so wet my little vixen.”  Unconsciously, her legs spread to give him room to work.  “What’s this?  An open invitation?”

“Resistance is futile.”

Just as he bent over and spread her lower lips to get started, Pam started loudly knocking on the door forcing him to stop his actions.  “ENOUGH!  The privacy spell doesn’t work from your bedroom to the common room – I can hear you and she needs to be in the other suite for her hair appointment in 30 minutes.  Get her dressed now, or I’ll do it.”

His attention turned to the door so he could yell at his child.  “PAMELA!  I can fly her over there in 2 minutes!”  He barked back.  When he turned to finish with Sookie, she was already off the massage table and was quickly washing the massage oil off her skin.  The frustration at ending his game was directed at his progeny.  “That shoe order you’ve been working on is CANCELED PAMELA!”

After Sookie was done getting primped and prettied for the Pledging, they had a few minutes before needing to head down.  “Shall we stay in the suite or do you want to grab a drink or something.”

“Let’s just stay here.  I hate walking around this place.”

“You look ravishing.  Too bad I can’t take advantage of you with the time we have.”

“Russell would kill us!  Besides, I have a question for you.”

“Go on.”

“What’s the deal with the Great Lakes Territory?  Why is Kat only temporary or interim – whatever you guys said?”

“She’s ACTING as the Queen now because she is not the one who killed the Santhi, the former Queen.”

“Well who did?”

“Her companion, Odair.”

“HE KILLED A VAMPIRE QUEEN?”

“Yes, Kat’s life was threatened by the Queen, and not over a justifiable punishment.  Santhi wanted Odair to be treated as a slave, but he is also a Packmaster.  The ensuing discussion turned into a fight and since Odair had never spoken out, or behaved inappropriately in the presence of vampires, Queen Santhi’s actions were not justified.  When Santhi was about to stake Kat, Odair shifted, stepped in and ripped her head off.”

“So who should rule?”

“Technically Odair.  It’s never happened before – or at least it’s never been recorded that a non-vampire has killed a monarch.”

“WOW!”

“Indeed.  It was supposed to be decided at Court last night, but Sophie-Anne’s trial took up most of the time so it will be held over for another Summit I guess.”  He rose and put his hand out for her.  “And now my beautiful wife, it’s time to get to our duties for the Pledging of our friends.”

OOOoooOOOooo

“Russell!  Stop pacing.  You’re more nervous than I was.”

“I’m having bride jitters.”  She laughed out loud at his statement.  “You are so mean to me Sookie.”

“You have to get a grip.”  Taking a quick glance of his shoulder, she saw Bart on the way towards them at a very quick pace and Toni with her shorter legs was struggling to keep up.  “Here comes your beloved now.  Will you please relax?”

“Yes, now I can relax.  Let me see my bridesmaids next to each other.”  He positioned them shoulder to shoulder and stood back to take them in.  “I knew the black and white theme would be perfect.  Yes, we all look perfect together.  And you both will look stunning with your dates.”  Sookie’s eyes grew wide at Russell then Toni as she questioned his comment.  “Sookie my dear, surely you are aware that your Papa has taken a shine to Toni?”

“No, I’m sorry.  My time at this Summit has not been easy and I’ve been too preoccupied and selfish to notice that.”

“STOP THAT!  Your time here has been horrible, we all know that.  I was just teasing you about your Papa.  Now give me a hug for luck.”  She reached into him for the hug (all this contact had been Eric approved the first time they met).  “You girls, get ready to walk in.  You first then Bart and I will make our grand entrance.”  To listen for the music, he stopped talking and moving.  “I hear the conductor at the ready.  Quinn will open the door for us shortly.”

Sure enough, the doors opened and they were greeted by Quinn.  “Hey Babe, you doing better?”

“Thank you for asking Mr. Quinn, I am.  Please remember though, I prefer that you call me Mrs. Northman.”

“Certainly.  I apologize.”  He motioned with his arm.  “All ready for you ladies to enter first.  After you are in position on the stage with Eric, I’ll come back for Russell.”

The ceremony went well.  Russell had selected many more flamboyant options for his celebration, but it really suited his personality and Sookie liked that.  She was surprised by the very ‘fangy’ and ‘tounguey’ kiss the two men shared after Eric proclaimed them married.  Given Russell’s personality, she really shouldn’t have been shocked.  After the actual wedding, the rest of the evening was nothing but a big party.  She did notice, however, that several contingents were missing:  Nevada and their group and New England.  Sookie was happy they were all missing from the party but suspicious that they were scheming.

Her glee at having a ‘safe’ crowd at the wedding was over when the door flew open with a bang and Felipe, Freyda and their entourage entered the room.  “My apologies for missing the ceremony.  We had territory business tonight.”  Practically dragging Freyda with him, he approached Russell and Bart.  “We wish you well on your marriage.  Don’t we my dear?”

“Yes of course.  If you will excuse me.”

As Freyda opened the door to the donor room, several of the girls scrambled to get towards the back out of fear.  Sookie watched in revulsion as Freyda made a selection and all but attacked her catch.  Seeing her horrified expression, Eric approached her trying to sooth her with words.  “That is not something for you to have seen.  Since we are leaving for our next trip tonight, perhaps you would like to say your goodbyes and we can finalize our packing.  There really is nothing left of the Summit for us.”

“Yes, that’s a good idea.  Still not telling me where we are going?”

“Nope.  I will tell you though; this is more like a family vacation not a honeymoon.  We will have just about everyone with us.”

“Really, like who?”

“Thalia, Chow and Eamon will run my area and Fangtasia, but Glad, Diantha, Pam, Amelia, Potts, and Alcide are all flying with us where we will meet up with Jason, Gran, Remy and Hunter.  We will have our own room at the far end of the hotel so I can make love to you frequently, but I will share you with the family as well.

“Make love?  Isn’t that sweet Northman?”

Eric hissed quietly but quickly righted his facial expression to bow to King Felipe.  “Your majesty.  Your Casino is quite impressive.  The Summit was well suited to this venue.”

“And your pet is quite interesting.  I understand you do not share?”

“As I have mentioned several times during the Summit, Sookie is my bonded wife and no, I do not share.”

“Pity.  And what of her Grace presiding at your ceremony?”

“That is true,” is all Eric said.

When there was a moment of silence, Felipe asked, “Was there a reason she was there?”

“You will need to discuss that with her.  I was told to contact her when we were ready to schedule our date.”

“So you actually went through with it; you pledged to a human.”  The unwelcome voice from the Queen’s Pledging came from Felipe’s side.

Sookie stiffened seeing good old Olga standing with Felipe.  Eric continued to talk for them as was necessary given Felipe’s standing.  “Ah Olga, I heard you found a place in Felipe’s territory after you . . . left California.”  Not wanting to inflame the situation, he kept the fact that Olga was exiled from California as punishment out of the conversation.

“Yes, I am much happier with a likeminded monarch.”  Being under Felipe’s rule gave Olga a bit of bravery to attack Eric and his human so she continued.  “What happened to you Eric?  When did you become so weak?  Just a few years ago you and I wanted vampires to rule humans.  Now you are ‘married’ to one.”  She used her fingers to make air quotes as she spoke.  Mostly though, she was surprised to not get a reaction from her words out of Eric’s pet.  She’d heard about her control during Samuel’s taunts, but couldn’t believe it.  “If Felipe had his way, your human would be in the donor room for all of us to share.”  Still no reaction.  “And her display at her presentation would have ended in her punishment, not praise.  I’d watch my back Northman.  Many were upset by your pet at this Summit.  Many still demand she be taken down a peg for her arrogance around vampires.”

Eric could feel anger from Sookie, but nothing extreme.  He hated this situation, but he was in Felipe’s state and he was a monarch.  They stayed firm and sent love back and forth in the bond while Olga attempted to goad Sookie into a reaction.  Just as Samuel learned on the first night, Sookie was not easy to provoke.

“Well Olga, as entertaining as this discussion is, I fear Sookie and I must depart since we are leaving the Summit tonight.”

It wasn’t hard to miss that Eric’s news impacted Felipe.  His eyes grew wide for a moment and he snarled before morphing into a fake smile.  “Tonight?  But the closing ceremony promise to be very entertaining.”

“I’m sure that it will be.  Sookie and I had travel planned before the date of the Summit was moved,” he lied.  “We simply can’t stay for the final night.”

“Yes, so you can make-love.”  He spoke with disdain and dismissed them summarily.  “Well good evening then Northman, human.”

They quickly said their goodbyes, collected Pam and Thalia and left for their suite.  Not a word was said about Felipe’s reaction to their departure until they were safely within Amelia’s privacy wards.  “He had quite a reaction to our departure.”

“Yes min kära, he did.”

“Who, what reaction?”  Pam asked.

“Felipe.  No talking now though; get your bags packed.  No more than 20 minutes.  Inform the Dae girls, Potts and Alcide.”  He turned to Thalia.  “You will get to Shreveport – leave tonight and take Peter with you.”

Pam had heard that voice before and you didn’t argue with it, ever.  “Come Amelia, let’s get moving.”

“But . . .”

“No buts, we do as Eric says.  He hasn’t survived this long without being smart.”

“Sookie, please get our bags packed quickly.  I’m arranging for a new flight time.  I want to be out of this state as soon as possible.”

By the time Sookie had packed their things, they had a new and earlier take-off time, a different private airfield and a new pilot.  Eric didn’t want to leave anything to chance.  Only 2 hours after their chat with Felipe, they were in the air headed towards their vacation destination.  Since they were flying into the sun, the vampires would be getting into coffins soon so Eric pulled Sookie aside for a chat.  “I’m sorry we rushed out of Vegas and I know I was barking orders. . .”

“Stop.  This is security and we have an agreement that you can go into command mode and explain later.  In this case, I already knew the problem was Felipe’s reaction to our departure.  So you were free to command away.”

“I think I have that leeway for the whole day.  Strip and take care of me in the airplane restroom.”

“Get over yourself Viking and get in your coffin before I need Alcide to pick your heavy ass up off the floor.”

“Yes dear.”

OOOoooOOOooo

“Victor, this Summit did NOT go as planned.”

“No your majesty, it did not.  I did gather a bit of information that should help our cause.”   Felipe motioned for him to go on.  “The telepath is pregnant.”

“How can you be sure and more importantly, how does that help?”

“Apparently daemons can see pregnancy and your half daemon witch who was working as a spy during the Summit picked up on this.”

“That’s the ONLY thing our spies discovered.”

“Yes, well, we didn’t anticipate that she would be in all the Summit events or staying at another hotel.  The AP had her at court for Fucks’s sake.  She was never separated from Northman.  We do have pictures and some video of their interactions that we can study and use against them later.”

“Enough excuses.  Tell me how does the knowledge that she’s pregnant help us?  I don’t want her pregnant when she arrives.”

“It’s a distraction for Northman.  He’ll do anything to keep her and that baby safe.”

“Very well Victor.  Leave now and send in my donors for the evening.  My Master is joining me and I’m feeling particularly cruel tonight since we missed so many opportunities to learn about the telepath.  Have a clean-up crew ready to come through this room in two hours.”

“Yes your majesty.”

OOOoooOOOooo

Eric and his group arrived at a small airfield; well Sookie thought it was more like a farm field, in the Falkland Islands.  The plane landed right next to the Sea Lion Island Lodge and Eric explained he’d booked the entire lodge.  From what she saw out the window with the outdoor lights shining in the dark, the location was not luxurious, but she couldn’t wait to just relax.   As soon as Sookie saw Gran coming out of the front door, she was off running and enveloped her in a huge hug.  Hunter came running out next, being held up by his father to add a hat since it was chilly.  “Come here little man!”  She shouted as she dropped to her knees on the cold ground to greet him.  “Give me some love.”

“Aunt Sookie!  Wait til you see the penguins and the seals!  OH and yesterday we saw killer whales!”  Scrunching his face up first, a sign Sookie recognized as his curious look, Hunter dove into his questions.  “How was Vegas?  Why did we come here when it’s so cold?  How was the wedding?  Didya bring pictures?”

“Slow down Smurf.”  Pam chimed in.  “Sookie needs a snack; maybe you can grill her with your questions while she eats.”  He started to shake his head no, but Pam got another idea to save Sookie since she could tell she needed to get in the house and warm up.  “Besides, I see Uncle Eric over there is done with loading luggage onto the trailer.”

That was all she needed to say and he was off running while Pam gave Sookie a hand to help her up from the ground.  “Thanks Pam.  It’s freezing on the ground.”

“I could see that and besides, the Smurf lurves his Uncle Eric.”

“That he does.”  Taking Pam’s hand in her own, she walked into the lodge while Eric walked in with Hunter.  In a confirmation, he nodded to her and smiled.  She dropped Pam’s hand and approached Gran who had returned indoors to the lounge area.  “Gran, I know it’s late for you but are you awake enough for some news?”

“Sure baby girl.  Is this about Vegas?”

“No.”  She reached for Eric and they sat on the couch across from Gran, Hunter was still attached to him.  Hearing the shuffling of more feet, she looked up and saw that everyone in their group was now standing in the living room.  Since they had spoken about sharing the news early given that so many people already knew she nudged Eric to start as they had planned.

“Gran . . . Sookie and I are having a baby.”

The group may not have been large, but that did nothing to keep the noise down from the ‘woo-hoos’ to the tears from Gran.  Eric and Sookie sat proudly and took in each congratulation, hand shake, hug and pat on to the back.  When the noise died down Gran started with the questions but Sookie stopped her.  “Gran, we don’t know much cause we found out right before we left for Vegas.  Honestly, we weren’t planning to tell anyone yet, but secrets don’t keep well in the supernatural world and since I wanted to tell you before you heard it elsewhere, we’re blurting it out now.”

“Well little Mommy, Pam said something about you being hungry.  Let’s get you fed.”  Gran pulled Sookie with her into the dining room where Michelle, Gran’s nurse, was putting out some late night food.

Curious as to why Michelle was preparing the food, Sookie asked, “Where are the lodge owners or workers or whatever?”

Jason explained.  “Well, it’s off season.  And in a BIG way.  It’s cold, and there ain’t no open tours but Eric wanted to extend his waking hours and we all wanted time together since you’ve been going at 150 percent for months.  This is fam’ly time.  We got supplies and we’ll take turns cookin and just ‘njoying the time.  We’ll get to celebrate your birthday while we’re here too.”

Seeing Eric had walked in with Hunter in his arms she turned and smiled.  “This is perfect.”

So of course, something had to ruin the perfection.  The next morning Eric’s phone rang after he died for the day.  Though she was concerned because she was sure nobody was calling for a social chat; she ignored it.

In the early afternoon that day, Eric rose to Sookie attached to his side.  Both the stress of Vegas, the work they’d been doing and now the baby had really been sucking the energy out of his little fairy.  He wondered if Ludwig was right in telling him it was OK to exchange blood.  Perhaps he would start supplementing with bagged blood.  As was his new tradition in the evening, he skooched down to her tummy to talk to Roo.  Since Sookie was asleep, tonight he spoke in a whisper.  “Hello my baby.  Were you good for Mommy today?”  After he greeted Roo, he would turn his head and listen for the heartbeat.  He was sure it was stronger every day.

“Are you trying to get the baby to side with your desire that he share his breast milk with you again?”

From the first night he mentioned it, he knew Sookie was a bit opposed, but already he could feel her softening to the idea.  Nine months was plenty of time to convince her.  She simply didn’t understand that while he enjoyed blood, 1000 years without variety could get boring.  “I haven’t gotten that far tonight.  You woke up too quickly.”

“Hmph!  I thought you liked sharing your early rising with me.”

“Of course I do Sookie.”  His hand was rubbing circles over Roo as he spoke.  “I just like alone time with Roo as well.  So you said ‘he’ for Roo, are you settling on a boy?”

“It doesn’t work like that; I don’t settle on something and make it so.  I have no idea what’s baking in there, I just don’t like calling him ‘it’.  Are you hung up on a boy?”

“Not at all.  I want a healthy baby and Mommy when the 9 months are up.”  He sat up a bit to continue their conversation.  “What happened while I was out?”

“Well, I wanted to throw your phone in the ocean, but I thought I would be a good girl and refrain.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You got a call after you died for the day.  I figure it’s not good news since the folks who call you know you’re on vacation.”

His grumbling was loud as he reached for the phone.  Sookie didn’t like the scowl on his face as he listened to messages then made what she guessed was a return call.  Deciding ignorance is bliss, she didn’t try to listen.

He’d barely hit the end button when she asked, “What is it?”

“Andre and Sigebert are dead.”

“WHAT?”

“They were checking out the Queen’s plane before she boarded with Wybert and your Uncle Des.  It exploded.”

“That’s horrible.  I hate Andre, but I didn’t wish him dead.  How is Sophie-Anne?”

“Vulnerable.  I just spoke to Desmond.  I’ve been called back to New Orleans.”

“You mean Shreveport.”

“No Sookie, I mean New Orleans.  I’ve been called to stay at the palace until further notice.  She needs someone to protect her and help run the kingdom while she is weakened from grief and the loss of her protectors.”  Running his fingers through his hair at the stress, he continued.  “She’s actually in hiding at the moment since she is so vulnerable.”

For comfort, she started playing with his fingers.  “When can we get there?”

“Sookie, my love.”  He grasped her arms.  “This isn’t a ‘we’.  Someone planted the bomb to take over our state.  This is too dangerous for you.”

He head was shaking and tears streaked down her face.  “No no no no no.  Not now. Not with Roo.  I can’t be separated from you.”

“I don’t like it either we must look longer term.  Sookie, if someone like Felipe is behind this, we CAN’T allow him to take over.”

“Oh GOD!  We’d have to leave the state.”

“If we could get out quickly enough or if I survive a takeover.”

“You’re scaring me.”

“I’m not trying to but this is scary.  I need you to prepare and be strong.  Until we reinforce our position, the next few months could be very difficult.  We may need to proactively leave the state, I’ll assess that when I get to New Orleans.”

“What could someone like Felipe do if he takes over?  He doesn’t recognize our marriage or companion contract in his state.”

“Those contracts would become null, I’m sure.  The asset contract – he would probably use to his advantage.  It offers you protection – as does our bond . . .“

“But?”

“He could want the assets with him – to use any talents himself.  The reasoning would be that assets would provide services for the good of the kingdom during a crisis – in this case a takeover.  As bondeds he can’t keep us separated for too long, I would fight him with a trial if he did, but he could want you in Vegas.”

“Then should we destroy that contract?”

“NO, that would leave you as only a pet and pets can be taken.  The protection of the bond would be there but I would be the only one that would protect you contractually.  The asset contract protects you using all the resources in the state.  We can’t have the risk.”

“You know, we never should have gone to Vegas.  Things have pretty much sucked since we set foot in that town.”

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10 thoughts on “Chapter 48 – At least the Pledging was fun

  1. Pingback: Hey everyone! | magsmacdonald

  2. I’m very nervous about Eric going to NOLA without Sookie…something’s gonna happen!
    I usually read this on fanfiction but noticed it was updated on here first. I always comment on there as MsNorthman. Glad to find your updates on here too!

  3. oooooh I’m not liking this. At least the family is out of state at the moment. Lemme guess Appius the pervert is Creepy Felipe’s maker? I’m really nervous reading this next chapter. Something really bad is going to happen with them separated and I can’t help but think the fairies will be involved.

  4. It was so nice that Eric got all the family to enjoy a vacation together… Shame about the attempt on New Orleans… WOW Andrea and Sigebert being dead… Sophie-Anne truly under siege…

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