A/N: I don’t get to too much TV, but one show I watch is Vikings and my favorite character is Lagertha (she’s fierce, she’s beautiful, and she’s the coolest grandmother/shield maiden). You’ll see why I’m telling you this in a moment.
No surprise – not seen by my beta’s eyes. I’m about five chapters behind now. . .
Three years later . . .
“We’ll be landing in twenty minutes Mr. Northman.”
“Thank you Captain.” Eric turned to Sookie. “Are you going to nurse Patrick while we land, or leave him sleep and hope for the best?”
“The sleep route. I don’t want to wake him if it’s not needed. I can always throw him on the boob if he rouses.” Sookie had grown comfortable with their guards over the past few years and her comment reflected it.
“You say the most charming things Lover.” She stuck her tongue out at him.
“Daaaadddy!” Godric yelled from the back of the plane where he and his sister Lagertha had been watching a movie with Ginger, their full-time nanny. Over the plane noise, Sookie hadn’t heard it, but Eric did.
“I’ll get the little ones from the cinema room for the landing.” He kissed Sookie and moved to the back of the plane. Sookie listened to what she could of the kids when they were close. It warmed her heart to hear Eric with their children. Eric enjoyed being with his kids whether it was play time or diaper time and it made Sookie love him even more. Right now, she chuckled as she heard them returning since it was ‘Daddy the tickle monster’ time.
Eric returned to the lounge with both Godric and Lagertha in his arms. At almost three years old, Godric was a bundle of energy and especially hated takeoff and landings since he had to sit (Mommy’s rule). For Eric and Sookie’s first born, an airplane was another place to play and sitting still didn’t factor into that as far as he was concerned. One-year-old Lagertha, Lags to family and close friends, did whatever Godric did, so sitting wasn’t going to make her happy either. Since baby Patrick was still sleeping, Sookie took Godric and distracted him with a book, leaving Eric to calm his grumpy daughter.
They were on their way to Shreveport for a long Christmas holiday; a much-needed break from traveling and working with three children. While they’d changed some of Sookie’s role, she still worked hard for the Council. For safety reasons, Sookie hadn’t operated under-cover as originally planned after they discovered she was pregnant. Rather, she traveled to each terrorist group under investigation and read humans from outside buildings or in secure interview-type environments. In the years she’d been with the Council, they made two exceptions to this tactic due to the extent of the threat. Sookie, Barry and guards infiltrated two of the more serious circumstances. Those situations had been scary; one investigation requiring Barry to teleport a pregnant Sookie out of a building before she was hurt.
Sookie had been a trooper the past four years with her Council duties using both her telepathy and in one situation, her light. The incident with her light was at a vampire summit where she’d been attacked by a much hated vampire, Victor Madden. Though obviously pregnant, Sookie had been attacked from behind by Victor while Eric attended a Council Head meeting. With Sookie’s guards, Victor wouldn’t have succeeded, but Sookie proved she could more than handle her own protection (not that Eric would allow her to go unguarded). Sookie detected the attack from the mind of a human waiter in the room and lit up her whole body. The light both wounded Victor and created a personal safety shield. Sookie maintained her shield and kept Victor pinned to the ground long enough for Eric to arrive. Remembering the ‘quality’ time he’d spent with Victor in a well-equipped dungeon at Council headquarters., Eric smirked to himself as he continued to soothe Lagertha. Curious about his smirk, Sookie gave him a questioning look. “I was thinking about Victor.”
She rolled her eyes. “Enough said.” Sookie smiled when she spoke but it didn’t hide the dark circles appearing under her eyes. Eric knew the work had been exhausting as their family grew, even with a traveling nanny. Eric knew his wife wanted to be home more and he worked with the Council to make that happen. They’d still need to spend time in Maryland for Council meetings, but the world-wide travel was over. Thalia and Barry would be the focus in the field for now. Once the children were grown, they’d revisit Sookie’s field work.
Children! Eric looked at Lags in his arms, Godric on Sookie’s lap and sleeping baby Patrick. Having children had been more fulfilling than he’d ever thought it could be. Godric was the spitting image of Eric in miniature while Lags favored Sookie. Eric loved playing with and caring for both of them and the baby; he was a hands-on father as he had promised Sookie. When Sookie was pregnant again a few after Godric was born they were both shocked and excited, never expecting the wish to work more than once. Two months after Lagertha was born, they were surprised yet again at the extent of the wish being granted. The result of that second surprise, Patrick, woke from his nap as they bounced on the tarmac and he was not happy. To soothe him, Eric moved Lags to one arm and removed the two month old from the car seat (earning a glare from Sookie) so he could stand and rock him for the last few moments they were on the plane. The movement calmed his baby boy and he looked down at his smiling face. Sookie chastised his actions. “You know I like the kids to be secured for takeoff and landing.”
“We were taxiing.” Eric didn’t look up when he answered but he appeased her somewhat by sitting down.
Eric covered Lagertha’s ears and whispered to Sookie. “You know I don’t want her learning that word. Between you and Pam, I can’t handle another female ‘whatevering’ me.”
Sookie held in the laughter that was bubbling to the surface. Laughing would only make him more upset because he was serious. She leaned in to give him a kiss. “Ok Sweetie, I’ll be good.”
“You’re always good lover.” He waggled his eyebrows at her.
“And you’re always bad.”
They moved with their guards and staff to the waiting vehicles and drove the short distance to their Shreveport home.
“How was the flight from Maryland?” Jason asked his sister as they walked in.
Sookie threw her arms around her brother. “JASON! I didn’t know you’d be here!”
“It’s been three months since I’ve seen y’all. I called Eliane for the details on your arrival and here I am!”
“Dase! Dase!” Godric started shouting when he saw his uncle.
“Hey Godric. Look how big you got!”
The group moved to the kitchen where the chewers had dinner and caught up on their lives. When Sookie began eating her meal, Patrick started fussing.
Sookie stood. “Guess I’m finished since this little man needs feeding.”
Eric handed him over, apologizing that she needed to stop eating. “Sorry Lover, I was trying to keep him distracted so you could finish.” He grabbed her plate. “I’ll warm this when you’re done.”
She shook her head. “I’m not sure I feel like my whole dinner tonight anyway. The flight made me queasy.” She headed out the doorway and called over her shoulder, “I’ll be back when he’s had his fill. We can talk about the new shelters.”
“Sure thing Sook.” Jason yelled in reply.
She returned while the group was finishing dessert with a wide awake baby. Jason was thrilled. “He’s still awake!” He put his hands out. “Gimme.”
Sookie happily turned over Patrick so she could focus on the shelter update from Hoyt, her site manager. He explained how both new locations were now up and running. With California and Oregon locations live, they now had a center in every state. The foundation, called Godric’s Hope, had grown faster than Sookie imagined due to Niall’s financial and expert resources support. He’d found fairies with various abilities that would enable locations across the US to identify at-risk children, assess the true family situation, and find safe homes as needed for placement. Her goal for the coming year was to add more awareness and training of anyone working closely with children to find as many children as possible that needed help. She now employed 500 people and had built a network of screened and trained volunteers to provide hands-on assistance for shelters as needed. Eric couldn’t be more proud of what Sookie had accomplished and he beamed as Sookie and her team discussed the details.
After a few other moments on business, they switched to their plans for the holiday and Jason gave up the now fussy Patrick to Eric. “Gramps is arriving tomorrow. When will Thalia and Barry be here?”
While Eric grabbed a toy for his baby boy, he answered for their friends. “They’re on their honeymoon. They got married legally. Roman officiated and Sookie and I were the only witnesses, but they told us we didn’t need to keep it a secret.” The rocking and patting had calmed his little one down, so Eric sat on the floor next to Lagertha to keep her occupied with some toys.
“Well good on them.” He smiled. “E’rybody’s married now. You guys,” He pointed to Sookie and Eric, “Pam and Russell, Thalia and Barry, and soon: me ‘n Michelle.”
Sookie squealed. “FINALLY! You’ve only been dating since Godric was born.”
“No need to rush things.”
Sookie rolled her eyes at her brother, but stopped when she suddenly thought of something. “Oh! Pam, Russell and Talbot will be here the day before Christmas. Be sure to warn Michelle because and as soon as those three hear the word wedding, they’ll be all over her.”
Sookie looked crestfallen. “Really?”
Hoyt expressed his displeasure as well. “You’re kidding, right? I mean, all the Mrs. Stackhouse wannabes won’t believe it unless they see you get married Jase.”
“Well, I have to clear it with Michelle, but Sook just gave me plenty ta think about. I ain’t putting up with all the wedding shit. I only heard stories about Pam and Russell’s wedding and it sounded horrible.” He looked at Eric. “Didya wind up paying for that whole thing? You know, father of the bride an’all.”
“Russell footed the bill thank God.” He paused while he helped Lagertha connect her Mega Blocks and shared a smile with her when she connected two others together by herself. “I did buy Pamela’s dress though.”
“Well, that ain’t too bad.” Sookie scoffed to his side. “Wha?”
“It was half a million dollars.” Jason’s eyes bugged out of his head. He opened his mouth to say something but Godric stopped drawing with Hoyt to cuddle on Sookie’s lap. “I think it’s time I put the kids to bed.”
“I’ll help you lover, you look tired tonight.”
“The flight did me in I guess.”
The next day, Ginger entered Sookie and Eric’s bedroom to check on Sookie for the third time to find her finally waking. “Sookie, are you alright?”
“Yes Ginger, why?”
“It’s almost 1:00PM. You never sleep this late.”
“1:00PM! Why did you let me sleep so long? The kids . . .”
“Are fine. Eric took Godric and Lagertha Christmas shopping with him. I’ve been with Patrick since you nursed him first thing this morning. I fed him a bottle of pumped milk for lunch and put him down for her nap.”
“I missed the whole morning with him!” Sookie shook her head while she tried to get the sleep out of her system. “Ginger thanks for taking care of him.”
“Um, Sookie, I am the nanny; taking care of the kids is why I’m here. Anyway, you were tired yesterday too. I think you needed the sleep.” Ginger placed a large envelope on Sookie’s nightstand. “This came from Council today. Eric already reviewed it and jotted down some changes and additions. He wanted you to review it as well. Are you feeling up to that?”
“Oh, this is the annual report?” Ginger nodded. “Nice of them to let us do the corrections via mail instead of keeping us in Maryland for the work.”
“They did promise to accommodate your life with the kids. It’s nice to be in Louisiana for extra time this Christmas.”
Sookie smirked at the changed woman in front of her. Since Ginger started working at the shelters and spending time with Eliane, she was unrecognizable as the former barely dressed, skin and bones ditzy bar manager she had been. Now she was half way through her college degree, impeccably dressed, and beautiful in a more wholesome way. “You’re happy to be here for Christmas this year instead of Homer since you hate the snow.”
“True.” Ginger sat on the edge of Sookie’s bed. “So what’s up for next year for Council work?”
“Mostly monitoring. There aren’t any threats at the moment. I mean, we had the blow-ups when the Weres came out, but things have really calmed. Our new spy network around the world pinpoints issues where Barry needs to be physically present, so the field time is greatly reduced.” Sookie smiled.
“What will you do?” Ginger was shocked. “What about Eric?”
“I’ll focus on my children’s homes; Eric will have a seat on the Council. His contract is for one hundred years, Thalia’s the same. Well, I mean, not the seat on the Council, but her position with the Council.”
They both heard the front door open and seconds later, Godric came running up the stairs. “MOOOOMMMMYYY!”
“Good thing I was already awake.” Sookie giggled with Ginger.
Eric came into the room with Lags in his arms. “I knew you were awake Lover. I wouldn’t have let him do that otherwise.” He leaned over to kiss her. “How are you?”
“Fine. I was about to read the Council report so we could finish that and be done with work until after Christmas.” After being helped onto the bed, Godric jumped into Sookie’s arms. “But now that my little man,” She tickled the toddler’s tummy, “has arrived, that plan is on hold.”
Godric cackled out loud and Eric joined in on the fun by attacking Lags. The family didn’t notice that Ginger quietly stepped out of the room. “What did you get at the mall Godric?”
He whisper yelled as children often do, “Cwistmas pwesent for Ginger. An iPod for sool.”
Eric amended. “It’s an iPad, the full-size with a keyboard for classes.”
“Well she’ll love it, I’m sure.” She started to move from the bed. “I’m taking a really quick shower; then we can have something to eat.”
Sookie started to stand and Eric could feel her dizziness so he called for help. “Ginger! Can you come back and take the kids?”
She appeared in the room immediately. “Sure, everything alright?”
Sookie was planning to hide it but Eric blurted the problem out. “Sookie isn’t feeling well. We’ll be down shortly.”
“Of course.” After picking up Lagertha in one arm, she put her other one out. “Come on baby boy. Ginger missed you this morning.” Godric smiled and hugged his arms around Ginger’s neck.
While Eric and Ginger chatted about feeding Godric lunch, Sookie came to a realization: a frightening realization. Knowing the possible problem wasn’t Eric’s fault – specifically – she kept her voice calm while she spoke. “I think we need to talk to Niall as soon as he arrives.”
Eric wasn’t expecting that comment. “You think you’re not feeling well because of a fairy power?” He was baffled. If anything, he thought she was pregnant again since exhaustion and dizziness were the early signs the last two pregnancies.
“Not a fairy power exactly, as much as fairy magic.”
He sat next to her on the bed. “I’m completely confused.”
“Eric. About two or three months after Godric is born, we discover I’m six weeks pregnant; then it happened again after Lags was born.”
“Okay. Where is this going?”
“Well sweetie, it’s about three months since we had Lags, and I feel pregnant.”
He paused for a moment to check out the feelings in the bond. “Why are you not thrilled about this? I am.”
“Eric, I would love another child. I would also love some more time between kids. I guess my concern is; how long will I keep pushing them out at this rate? I mean, how does this cluviel dor work? Will a condom work?”
Eric looked horrified at the idea of using a condom and appeased her first request. “We’ll ask Niall before we resort to drastic measures – like a condom.” He looked like he had eaten something rotten when he spoke. “Niall’s in town at Jason’s. I’ll call him to come over right away.”
When Niall arrived shortly after, Eric was beaming as he stood next to Sookie. They greeted each other quickly and Sookie got down to business. “Gramps, Eric and I have a question about his . . . ah wish.”
Niall smiled. “You’re pregnant again, right?”
“Maybe.” She used her thumb to point towards Eric. “That’s why this one looks like the Cheshire Cat.”
Leaning down to his great-granddaughter for a hug, he offered, “First Jason tells me he’s finally settling down and now another great-great-great grandbaby! This is a Christmas for celebrating indeed!” She accepted the hug he’d offered, knowing it was genuine
Eric took on the next part of the discussion, since he’d made the wish. “Niall, while we are both happy about another child, Sookie is concerned that there is no ‘off’ switch for pregnancy with the wish in play. Can you help us understand more how this has worked and if it will continue to work?”
“You asked before how it works, and the answer is the same: magic. However, to ease your concerns I’ll tell you that you will receive exactly what you wished for.”
Sookie had been looking at Niall while he was speaking but his words had her turning to Eric. “Did you think of a number?” She put her hands to her mouth in panic. “Oh God! What number? Nine is big in Norse Mythology; please tell me you didn’t think the number nine. My boobs will never be the same.”
Eric shook his head. “I didn’t think of a number.” He closed his eyes to focus on his recollection. “No, I replayed the whole thing in my head now. No number.”
Niall laughed. “No, you didn’t think of any number. What did you think?”
“I wished for children; strong sons and beautiful daughters.”
“There you have it Sookie. When you have both sons and daughters – plural – the wish will be fulfilled.”
“So two of each; four.”
Niall shrugged. “You might have ten boys in a row before you have another girl.” To prevent Sookie’s ire, Niall had to work hard to suppress his smile.
She turned to Eric. “Shit, nine would have been better than that.”
With a knowing smile, Niall pushed Sookie in the direction of the master bedroom. “I’m going to find my grandbabies and play. You take a pregnancy test to be sure before you get any more upset.”
Sookie and Eric retreated to their room while Niall did in fact; go off in search of the kids to play. He’d become a wonderful addition to their lives even if he didn’t provide straight answers most of the time.
Eric turned to Sookie with a grin as he followed her into the bathroom. “Lover, no matter what, we’ll get through this. You know your body is as perfect as the day we met and we can hire a legion of nannies to help.”
“I know. I’m fretting over nothing.” She sighed as she ripped into the packaging for the pregnancy test. “Really though, is getting one out of diapers before we’re pregnant again too much to ask?”
He kissed her softly. “No it’s not. Maybe we should have Niall move in and handle diaper duty.”
“Diaper doody or diaper duty?”
He laughed. “We hang around with a three year old too much if we’re making diaper jokes.”
“I’m happy to be hanging around a three year old, a one year old and a three month old. I love having a family, and you’re right. More is better even if some days I want to pull my hair out.”
“So we’re agreed. We accept the pregnancies as gifts.”
“Yes, I needed some time to calm down.” Holding the test, she pointed to the door with her free hand. “Now get out of here so I can pee on a stick.”
He leaned against the bathroom counter. “It’s not like I haven’t seen everything there is to see about you by now.”
She stomped her foot and pointed to the door. “OUT!”
He walked out; Sookie could be scary when she was angry.
Moments later she emerged from the bathroom with the stick in her hand and Eric asked her something right away. “If this one is a girl, can I finally buy you that Pink Graff diamond?”
Her expression conveyed her annoyance at the question. “Really? My boobs are going to droop to my waist before we’re done having children and you’re thinking about that ring?”
“I’ve been thinking about that ring since Russell mentioned it to me years ago.”
She put her hands up. “FINE! If this is a girl, you can get me that ring. It’ll distract people from my saggy boobs and wide child bearing hips.”
“Lover, I told you before that your body is and always will be perfect.” His smile was triumphant as he nodded to the pregnancy stick. “Well?”
“It’s not a surprise – I’m pregnant.” Eric enveloped her in a hug and she could feel his joy. “You’re really happy.”
“And you are more worried but not sad.” He pulled back and held her face tenderly in his hands. “Don’t worry. I love you Sookie. All will be fine.”
“Sookie!” She heard Niall call from downstairs. “Can you come down?”
“Be right there.”
They met Niall in the playroom with the kids and Ginger. Godric had a wrapped package in his hands where he stood next to his Gramps. He held it to Sookie. “For you from Gwamps.”
Sookie looked at Niall in confusion. “What’s going on?”
“When I found that,” He pointed to the gift in her hands, “I couldn’t resist.”
“I’m scared.” She sat on the bench next to Eric and Godric and Lags came over to see what was in the box. Sookie pulled it out at laughed.
Eric smiled and exclaimed, “I have a Pink Graff diamond to procure!”
“OY! You and that jewel.” She leaned into her husband and pointed to her great-grandfather. “You know Eric; he was teasing us the whole time. He knew.”
He gave Niall a fake glare. “We’ll get him back Lover. We have a thousand years to take revenge.”
“Yes we do sweetie, more than enough time.”
YEP! I ended with a tee-shirt. I swear, shopping for shirts was a huge part of the fun in this story. Hope you liked them.
Until my next posting ~ mags