Chapter 12 – Something you should know
Frying Pan: Hmm, Pam’s a brat. Of course.
“How did you know about Sookie?” He was fuming but he’d kept it under control while Sookie was still around. NOW? He wanted answers.
“I smelled someone in the office after you left. I was just curious.”
“DO. NOT. LIE. You knew more than just something from a smell. You were not surprised to find me with a woman at all. In fact, you registered as feeling determination and resolve – not surprise. Now I can feel you lying to me Pamela, and I do not like it! Explain.”
‘FUCK – I pissed him off, again!’ She thought. “You’re infatuation with her puts us as risk. I had to know what was going on. For your own welfare Eric, I . . . I glamoured Bobby to tell me what you’ve been having him do. She has a child. What could you possibly want with a child?”
“I have never hit you Pamela and right now, I am finding it difficult to restrain. What right did you have to spy on me?”
“I was scared for you, for us. You’ve been distracted.”
“I have been enjoying myself. Has anything happened with the bar since I have taken some nights off?”
“Are there any complaints with my Sheriff duties?”
“Ok, let us keep checking then. Do I seem physically ill, changed in any way?”
“You don’t feed.”
“I do not feed every night from live donors – but that was not the question, answer me.”
“In the years we have been together. When have I ever taken time for myself like this?”
He moved to loom over her, using his height to its full advantage. “Then what gives you the right to spy on me? YOUR. MASTER?”
In response to his words and his physical closeness, Pam tried to back up, but he’d moved forward to the point where she was at the wall. “I was only doing it out of concern.”
“Answer the question.”
She hesitated; she knew the answer but saying it would only prove she’d done something wrong. He barked again and she squeaked out, “No right.”
“You did not do this out of concern for wellbeing. You did this because I have put my foot down on your childish and selfish ways. I have news for you; I started putting my foot down before I met Sookie. So while your new restrictions and my meeting Sookie occurred close together, one did not cause the other. So get that through your head.” He moved back to sit behind his desk then waved his hand at her. “No women for sex or blood for a month Pamela.” She opened her mouth to protest but one look at Eric had her closing it again. “Go work the door; I’m staying here for the rest of the night.” He knew he needed to stay out of the bar since he was covered in Sookie’s scent and he really didn’t want to wash it off or change out of his clothes either. In fact, he planned to rest with his shirt on his pillow. His child turned to head out the door but he stopped her. “And Pamela, I better not discover that your sudden desire to step up the plate for work has been an act.” Unfortunately for her, he felt a moment of panic and he realized she probably was faking. He’d need to monitor her very closely.
Luckily, she was facing away from him before she took a swallow – an action that was entirely unnecessary for a vampire. His tone scared the shit out of her – if she could shit that is.
Sookie’s smile never left her face. Lala enjoyed it when she returned from Fangtasia, Hunter beamed at it the next morning, and it even carried through to the admittedly difficult first visit to Marjorie’s house that day. Sookie and Marjorie’s parents had spent a great deal of time preparing both kids for the visit and everyone agreed to games and a movie to distract them from the underlying reason for the visit; they knew each time together could be the last.
Sookie faltered a little seeing Marjorie already seeming smaller and greyer in her home, but she quickly steeled herself for the family, Marjorie and her son. Drawing strength from her wonderful surprise time with Eric, she focused on the plan for the day and pulled out a present from Eric for Marjorie: It was a Disney Princess edition of Candy Land and Hunter and Marjorie played 5 straight games, followed by a movie. Marjorie picked Aladdin because it was a Princess movie – but it had the Genie and Hunter liked that character. While the kids were occupied, Sookie tried to encourage Marjorie’s mother, Sandra, to nap and she simply said she didn’t want to miss a minute if she could help it. Both mothers knew they were essentially in the same situation, so they held each other for comfort at Sandra’s words.
The visit left them drained, Hunter even fell asleep on the trip back, and that was saying something since he wanted to enjoy the ride in the big wheelchair van like he did on the way over. Eric had actually bought the van and was keeping it at the hospital for Hunter’s use – with permission from the hospital administrator. The nurse who accompanied him was Theresa, Hunter’s favorite, and she refused payment from Eric. Mustapha had driven them so he helped Theresa get Hunter wheeled back in and then secured the van into its designated parking spot. He ended his duties by sending a summary of the day’s events to Eric. Truth be told, the day was draining for him as well. While he felt helping Eric to aid Sookie and Hunter was the right thing to do, with each interaction he also grew more attached and he knew the ending. He’d seen the medical reports himself.
Eric was eagerly waiting for the sun to set. He had the entire night open so he could spend it at the hospital and Sookie had texted him to simply say she’d had a long nap when they returned from Marjorie’s so she could even stay up late. He smiled at her plan as he reviewed his surprises for the evening. Given the somber tone of Mustapha’s note, he was sure it would be a difficult discussion at times – he was just going to try to minimize the pain as much as possible with some of his treats. One gift had been delivered to the hospital while they were visiting Marjorie. Another treat he had in his hands already; it was an arrangement of Alstroemeria he’d been trying to give her since his first attempt to meet her.
When he arrived at the hospital he got the big smiles he’d come to count on and it even looked better since they were both in the bed, with plenty of room. The oversized hospital bed he’d ordered (and then had to bribe the hospital administrator to approve) had been delivered and set up. He had a new movie and it looked like the three of them could all fit on the bed to watch it. Even if it would be tight, it would still be better than the really uncomfortable hospital chairs.
“ERIC!” Hunter squealed from the bed. “I missed you!”
“I missed you too Fidget.” He moved over to the bed and after putting his bags and the flowers down, reached for a hug.
“I love this new bed. I think the three of us can fit.”
“I’m pretty sure we can, which is good news since I brought a movie to watch after we catch up.”
“What is it?”
The boy stuck his tongue out while Eric leaned over Sookie. “Good evening Röðull.” He lingered for a moment, bent over Hunter to reach Sookie’s face and instead of just a quick peck on the lips; he spent a moment kissing her nose and eyes too. “I missed you.”
“Same here.” She reached up and touched his face and he turned and kissed her fingers.
“These are for you.” He pulled back slowly and handed her the flowers.
“These are my favorite flowers. How did you know?”
“I saw them drying from the attic in your house, I guessed.”
“Good guess. And they’re already in a vase – good thinking.”
“Yes, better than a beaker.”
“The beaker will always be special to me. My first flowers from you.”
“Well then next time I’ll skip the vase.” After moving the flowers to the shelf near the window he informed her. “I have dinner for you. Actually, I made the nurses working tonight very happy. It’s all in their lounge. I thought Hunter and I could catch up while you eat.”
“I’ll pick, but I had dinner.”
“NA UH!” Hunter yelled out. “You only grabbed a yogurt and you didn’t even finish that.”
While Eric ‘gave’ Sookie the raised eyebrow he heard her grumble “Traitor” under her breath.
“Hunter, let me escort Mommy to the lounge. When I return, I want to check out the Nintendo. Can we do that?”
“You bet!” His smile was wide to match his excited voice.
Before they left the room, he saw Sookie hook Hunter to something. “What’s that?”
Hunter beamed. “I get to spend a good part of the day unhooked from my monitors. As long as Mommy or someone is awake in here, I can go without wires. Well, I still have the wires attached to me, they just get unhooked from the machine.”
“What brought this about?”
Sookie spoke up. “I had a bit of a fight about it with the Rats, that’s what we call the Rattrays – you know, when they were here for a doctor meeting last week. Anyway, when I asked to have the monitors removed, they continued to insist on them – I’ll explain that later – but anyway, when I described how the days go and that I’m here most of the time, the doctor agreed with me. Giving Hunter the freedom to move more easily is better for his overall health.”
“That’s just great news.” He paused and really enjoyed the news. “I’m really thrilled. Why didn’t you tell me?”
Hunter got a mischievous look on his face but Sookie answered. “My sweet little baby wanted to see how long it would take you to notice. He asked Mustapha not to tell you.” Hunter giggled at his idea while Eric faked his annoyance.
They left for the nurses’ lounge after Sookie explained how Eric could unhook Hunter while she was away. They were only in the corridor for a moment when she smelled something heavenly. “I smell Italian.”
“Good nose. I got several different trays of food since I didn’t know what you like. I expect you to fill a plate.” He’d done some research: The pasta and cheese concoctions were considered fattening – perfect for his mission.
“What’ll I get for cleaning my plate?” She looked at him with a coy expression.
The teasing she could give with her facial expressions and just a sentence had him growing hard. “Careful, you’ll put me in no condition to return to your sweet little baby.”
“I’ll be good ‘til Hunter goes to bed, then we’ll talk more.”
Deciding he couldn’t wait any longer, he pulled her into an empty patient room as they were about to pass it, kicked the door closed and had her pressed to the wall so quickly, she lost her breath. “I’m giving you a down payment on your clean plate reward.”
“Make it good, I need lots of incentive.” With no further permission needed, his mouth descended to hers while she looked up to meet him. It was a wild kiss, full of tongue and teeth and he kept at it until she needed to breathe. While she took a moment for air, he kissed anywhere he could reach with his mouth while his hands traveled her body. Since they hadn’t planned to go anywhere, Sookie was already in a tee shirt and yoga pants so he easily moved his hands up under her shirt in search of those luscious breasts. At his contact, she moaned out loud and he smirked at her reaction. It was nice to know he wasn’t the only one that felt on fire. Once he believed she caught her breath, he went back for another kiss and this time, he moved the bra cups out of the way and caresses her nipples while he attacked her mouth. When she pulled back for air she begged him, “Eric, we have to stop or I won’t be able to focus on anything.”
“I know.” He said but he continued to stroke her breasts and kiss her jaw and chin and a spot he found behind her ear that she especially enjoyed.
“You aren’t stopping.”
“I know.” She just laughed at him.
He finally moved away and even took a full step back to try and compose himself. He knew he simply had to get them out of this hospital. Ludwig had to find a way. To calm himself, he closed his eyes for a moment and thought about the fangbangers, and as simple as that, his erection faded. “Let’s get you fed.”
“Jesus, what did you do to calm down so quickly?”
“I thought about fangbangers.”
“That bad ey?” He just nodded and guided her to the nurses’ lounge.
After Sookie was situated with a full plate of food he returned to Hunter. He disconnected the monitor wires and Hunter asked if he could get out of bed for a just a short walk. “Mommy panics when I walk, it kills the joy. Can I just go ‘round once with you here?”
“Sure.” They completed his walk quickly and Eric noticed he seemed stronger than the last time he’d seen him walk. When he commented, Hunter told him that, “Me and Mommy do my exercises every day.”
“That’s great Hunter.” With the walk over, Eric helped Hunter settle into the bed. “Can we check out the DS games?” They sat together while Hunter showed Eric his favorites. When they finished playing a third game, Eric thought they would continue with another game. Instead, Hunter turned to him with a very serious look on his face. “Can I talk to you ‘bout something?”
“Of course.” He turned so they were both lying down but facing each other.
“Do you believe in God?”
Well if THAT wasn’t a pickle. He thought for a moment and finally started his response. “I believe there is some type of higher being or beings. I don’t know what his or her name is and I don’t believe anyone can claim to know. I believe in well . . . simply believing in something. I pray to many different Gods, have you ever learned about that?”
“I know other religions have used different Gods to represent different things instead of say, Christ anity with one God. I don’t know the details.”
“That’s Christianity,” he corrected the boy’s pronunciation first, “and someday, if Mommy permits it, I’d be happy to share the details of my Gods with you.” He fixed the collar of Hunter’s shirt while he formulated his next comments. “Does this have to do with Marjorie?” Hunter nodded. “And where she’s going?” Wetness formed in Hunter’s eyes as he nodded again. Eric placed a hand on Hunter’s face and used his thumb to stroke his cheek. The action comforted the boy immediately. “Hunter, I also believe that no matter to what God you prayed, we all wind up in the same place – no matter what we all called it while we were alive. I’ve been around too long and have seen too many religions to believe that there is ONE true religion.”
“What about bad people?”
“Tough one, but I also think everyone gets one last chance to repent and make it into the big place with everyone else.”
“So you think when I die, I’ll find Marjorie?”
The boy clearly wanted reassurances about his death, not someone telling him not to talk about it or crying so he dug deep and continued the discussion. After all, he had promised Hunter he would help him through his Marjorie feelings when he came back. “I do believe that whenever you do die, you will be able to find Marjorie. Have you spoken to Marjorie about this?”
“She’s not allowed to talk about her death. That’s hard for her.” He whispered the rest. “We sometimes talk in secret though.” And right there was the confirmation he needed; he’d done the right thing by having the frank discussion with the boy.
“I’m glad she has you.”
“She had me, now we’re apart.”
“You got to visit though, right?”
“Yeah, but we’re used to seeing each other every day – we do talk on the phone though.”
“Well that’s good.”
“Yeah, but her Mom is right there, so she can’t talk about stuff that we would normally talk about.”
Taking advantage of his lack of connection to the monitors, Eric moved to sit up in bed a bit and pulled Hunter to his lap. With his arms around him, Eric felt this was a better way to comfort him. “I’m sorry Hunter.” Just like his mother, Hunter enjoyed the embrace that came without needing to use his shields or hearing thoughts. He loved hugging Mommy, but this was very special too. Hunter put his arms around Eric and returned the hug.
After a few minutes, he spoke “Eric?”
“Thanks for talking to me, you know, not telling me to be quiet about death. Mommy does let me talk about it but she also gets too upset – she can’t help it I know – but it makes it hard to keep talking.”
“It’s something that is hard to talk about, but I promised you I would be here for you, so I am.”
“We should start this secret movie before it’s too late – otherwise I’ll just fall asleep.”
“I’ll get Mommy.”
“No need, I’m here.” Sookie had started walking back to the room when she heard their serious conversation. She couldn’t help herself: She stopped and listened. It may have been 1000 years since Eric had a child, but he hadn’t lost his touch. Their conversation was admittedly a horrible topic for a four year old, but given the circumstances, it was beautiful and just what Hunter needed. She still had some tears in her eyes as she walked in and they spilled over when she saw them snuggled together on the bed. “I’m pretty sure that image would have more women then you could ever want fawning over you.”
He chuckled. “What do you mean?”
“Big strong tough guy snuggling with a kid. It just does things to women.”
“Does it do things to you?” He waggled his eyebrows since he knew Hunter couldn’t see his face.
“Behave. So what movie do you have for us?”
“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, it’s one I hadn’t purchased before.”
“Well I want to grab a really quick shower and change for bed, Eric can you help Hunter change into PJ’s and brush his teeth in case he falls asleep?”
While Eric was helping Hunter, he took the opportunity to get his input on their date. “Where should I take your mother for our date?”
Hunter continued to brush his teeth while thought. An idea came to him and without thinking he tried to speak only he discovered that was hard with a mouthful of toothpaste.
Eric couldn’t resist his laughter. “Hunter, I’m sure your idea can wait until you rinse and spit.” He was wiping the boy’s shirt since he’d made quite a mess in his excitement. One of the nurses came in to offer her assistance. “Thanks Nancy,” Eric addressed her personally, “I think I can handle this mess.”
“Well, here’s an extra towel.” Hunter grabbed it to wipe his face.
“Dancing” Hunter blurted out after he’d taken care of his toothpaste problem. “Take her dancing.”
Eric confirmed the water was still running in the shower. “Does she like that?”
Nancy cut in; she hadn’t made it out of the room. “Oh yeah Eric. Dancing is perfect.”
“You’re saying that because women in general like that or. . . .”
Nancy answered him before he even finished his thought. “Sookie loves dancing. We haven’t done it for a while because Sir Hunter here has been too sleepy lately, but Sookie has even taught the staff here some moves – secretly on the night shift – ‘cause holding dance lessons in the playroom is a no-no.” Since Eric was helping Hunter change while they spoke, Nancy grabbed his basin to take care of it. “Anyway, the kids and some of the parents would watch and try some of the moves. She’s really good; I know she was in a ballroom dance group while she was in school. Good idea Hunt.”
Shortly after Nancy walked out, Sookie emerged from the shower and Eric was impressed with her speed, he said as much. “Yeah, well I don’t need to wash this hair every day – so I didn’t have that to deal with.”
Eric commented. “You do have quite a bit of hair.”
“I haven’t had it cut since before I became a mother and it was already long.”
“I love it.” His look was a bit lustful so Sookie changed the topic and moved off looking at Eric and instead turned to her boy.
“You all ready for our movie?” Hunter nodded.
They all got tucked into bed; it was a snug fit and Eric couldn’t be happier about that. During the movie, Hunter fell asleep as they expected but they stayed together until the end. As the credits for the moving started, Sookie grew nervous as she’d planned to tell Eric about her telepathy tonight. She whispered for Eric to move the chairs together and she got Hunter tucked under the covers.
After Sookie closed the door, they settled into the chairs and she started, “You still have the whole night, right? I need to talk to you about something.”
He grabbed her hands in his. “You have me worried, your something to discuss is going to take all night?”
“Yes, well maybe.” If Eric ran from the room not wanting to have anything to do with the two of them, it could be pretty quick.
“Except for ensuring that you get some rest, I have the whole night.” She took a few minutes to prepare herself for the conversation, focusing on her feet. “Sookie, if telling me whatever you’re thinking about is that difficult, we don’t need to discuss it.”
“It’s something you should know before we spend any more time together. Knowing I need to tell you doesn’t make it easy.”
Her words gave him a prickly feeling and he hated it. ‘What could she possibly tell me that seems this important?’ He questioned to himself.
‘Quick, like ripping off a band-aid she told herself.’ A final breath, then she looked at him and blurted it out. “Eric, Hunter and I are telepaths.”
Silence. A slightly long and uncomfortable one; the beeping of patient monitors, the din of talking in the hall and Sookie’s slightly panicked breathing were the only sounds that could be heard. She was sure he’d bolt out the door any second and her heart hurt. As she stared, his face was locked down; she couldn’t read anything from the expression.
“Does anyone else know?” His head was swirling. This had to be kept secret. Monarchs would kill for a telepath, and here were two – his claimed family – sitting unprotected 24X7. Another thought suddenly dawned on him – the fairy connection at the auction. Fairies were telepathic. ‘Could my little Röðull be part fairy? SHIT, she’ll be hunted for her blood if that’s the case.’
“My family, some folks in Bon Temps, one of the doctors from Good Sheppard.”
“Alcide thinks I’m the only telepath – he doesn’t know about Hunter.”
The wolf knowing was not good. ‘Godsdammit! I can’t glamour a wolf; I can glamour the whole town of Bon Temps if I need to, but not the wolf – and he’s the one connected to the supernatural world. I may have to kill him.’ He kept his thoughts to himself and his tone even. “Will he keep it quiet?”
“Yes. It was a long discussion and I read his thoughts during the talk. Even though we’re through and he wasn’t happy about breaking up – he won’t divulge this to anyone. Of course he also thinks I can’t read Weres which was true at first. That changed. I was able to be close to him because his thoughts when we touched,” Eric growled and she rolled her eyes but continued. “His thoughts were of desperate need for physical release from the stress of his mother’s situation. After she died, slowly he turned more ‘normal’ and his thoughts strayed and invaded our . . . ah private moments. It was partly why I ended it.”
“And you never told him about Weres?” She shook her head no. “You know about Sam?”
“Yes, I confronted him and he told me. He won’t say anything about me. He knows too.”
“We’ve got to keep this contained.” His face grew almost dangerous and he put his hands on her shoulders for emphasis. “Promise me Sookie; don’t discuss this further with anyone unless we’ve spoken about it first.”
“You’re scaring me.”
“We should be scared Sookie. If news of this gift got into the wrong hands, you could be taken.”
“TAKEN? Who would take me, what right would anyone have?”
“I know of several vampires that would probably snatch you from your life for your gift. Please, promise me you won’t speak of this.” The dangerous look changed to something akin to pain.
“And it’s even more important that you remember you are mine in my world.” He glanced at Hunter with a frightened look on his face. “Both of you.” The strategist was hard at work in his head. He needed to bond to her as soon as possible. He needed to figure out if that would cover Hunter. He needed the wolf to know if he breathed a word – he’d be dead.
“Are you mad at me? You seem so angry. I was afraid of your rejection, not anger.”
“Why would I reject you?”
“I had trouble when I was young and people would steer clear of me. That didn’t last long before I got help, but I still remember it. I just never expected you to be so angry.”
“I’m sorry. Come here.” He put his arms out and she moved to his lap. “I’m not angry at you, I’m angry at the situation. I don’t want anything to happen to you so we must keep this as quiet as possible.”
“Alright.” She leaned into the embrace for a few minutes before speaking again. “Why would anyone care about telepathy? You have glamour.”
“Glamour is powerful Sookie, but imagine if you had a room of humans and you wanted to scan for threats – you can read every thought – that’s how your gift works, right?” She nodded. “With glamour, you’d have to ask the right questions of every individual. That’s just the icing on the benefits.” He wasn’t about to get into the taste of her blood now, he’d scared her enough for one night. It did occur to him that she’d heard his lewd thoughts – or even his thoughts about loving her – but she hadn’t reacted. It didn’t matter to him but reading vampires could get her killed so it would be better if she couldn’t. Maybe, just maybe . . . “You can’t hear me?”
“No, I can’t. It’s heaven. I can feel where you are, I mean I can feel a void where your brain would be but no thoughts.” Honestly, she thought he was angry because he believed she could read his thoughts – funny that it wasn’t his first comment. It sure as hell was Alcide’s. He actually started hurting her by grabbing her too forcefully thinking she had that power. Little did he know that as they spent more time together her ability did change to the point that she could read him as clearly as a human. She stopped her memory of that and focused on Eric. “Are you worried about something you thought?”
Putting aside his falling in love mental discussion, he focused on his more untoward thoughts. In his head, he replayed some of his fantasies from prior visits with Sookie and his face even turned lustful as he answered. “Well, I may be acting like a gentleman but in my head I could be undressing you or doing some other very pleasurable things.”
“I don’t think I’d mind that, they would likely match my own.”
With that very adorable eyebrow pitched up, he commented, “Oh really?”
“Yes really. You have to be one of the sexiest men I’ve ever met. I had to control my drool the first time you arrived here and took off your jacket.”
He laughed out loud. “I noticed.”
She planted her face into her hands at that embarrassment and he laughed even harder at her until Sookie shushed him. “You don’t want him up now.”
“And why not?”
“Cause I want a kiss, and as long as he’s asleep – and he is very asleep, I can feel that – we can just stay right here.”
“You sure?” She nodded. “Well far be it from me to deny you.” He pulled her close and tightened his hold around her waist while she moved her head towards his. Their lips and tongues touched and he moved his free hand up her shirt as he’d done earlier. While he liked how she looked in dresses, these tee-shirts were convenient – especially as she was now ready for bed and braless. As soon as his thumb grazed a pebbled nipple she groaned but she didn’t tell him to stop. In fact, her own hands made their way up the back of his shirt and she scratched her nails down his back lightly. Before they were too far gone, he pulled back and removed his hand from her shirt. “I want you so badly Sookie; I’ve never wanted a woman like I want you.” He emphasized his declaration with little pecks to her face.
“I want you to, but it’s not exactly easy to make that a reality our opportunities aren’t that plentiful. I also don’t want to sneak off and have sex in a closet or something.”
“We won’t be having sex in a closet – ever. It won’t even be sex Sookie. I want to make love with you.”
He needed to change the subject before he flew her out of there to satisfy his need. A slight adjustment in position was required to give them each some space, so he shifted her and started with a new topic. “So our first date Sookie?”
She was still in a daze so it took her a moment to catch up. “I have no idea. Someplace where I can wear a simple dress, that’s all I have.”
“I hung an outfit in your closet for our date. It’s a cocktail dress . . .” She looked to argue with him and he stopped her. “The dress is part of the date – something to which you’ve already agreed – so you’ll be accepting it my sweet. I want to take you out to dinner and then dancing.”
“I’m not sure about your logic, but I know as soon as you get your little buddy on board, I’ll be outnumbered anyway so I’ll just say thank you for the dress and I’d love to go dancing with you.”
“At least you know you’re outnumbered.” She stuck her tongue out at him. “Now you’re just teasing.”
“I can’t behave around you. Can’t you tell?” He pushed his hips up to emphasize his current condition. That didn’t help either of them, so he moved her back to her chair, explaining he needed the space so he could at least attempt to behave.
“How did you know what size clothes to get?”
“The dress and shoes were easy; Maxine needed to help with the foundations.”
“You bought me delicates?” He just shrugged and refrained from laughing at her shocked face.
Then he moved back to the more serious subject from before to save himself from her anger because he had the audacity to pick out a bra; he was pleased that he’d refrained from the garters – she’d probably stake him if he’d gone that far. “So you were going to explain about the fight with the Rats over the monitors.”
“Telepathy is why I needed to wait to tell you. I read from the Rats that they wanted him on monitors since they believed it leant credibility to Hunter’s needing to stay in the hospital. They don’t want him home now since they have Johanna staying with them. She’s their other foster child, also very ill and waiting on a heart donor. Well, they don’t like having either of the kids at home – but two would be too much. I feel so bad for Johanna, but at least she has in-home nurses that go out once a day to check on her. I just can’t do anything for her myself. Hoyt is absolutely in love with her too. He goes out on Saturdays to visit after his morning music lessons.”
“Mustapha has evidence against the Rats and the case worker. We’re just trying to decide what to do. If you haven’t adopted Hunter before we strike, he could be moved under another family’s care.”
“And that’s why I’ve kept my mouth shut about their fraud.”
“Where are you on the adoption?”
“Stalled. I don’t know how to get out of this mess. I don’t have an address. I could use Maxine’s but in the beginning I was too honest with the case worker – so they would know that was fabricated. Plus, Maxine’s place is small – two bedrooms. Per the regs, Hunter needs his own room so unless they believe Maxine and I share a room; we won’t pass a home inspection. I don’t earn enough money to adopt. You need an address to foster – it kinda goes around in a circle like that.”
His mind was pulling all the pieces together. In a few short weeks, her house would be done and that came with a full-time job. Oh, she was going to pitch a fit, but this was more than just her – it was for Hunter. Since she’d confirmed what he and Mustapha believed were the stumbling blocks for the adoption, he changed back to her telepathy. “Do you know how you’re a telepath?”
“I know some of it. It’s kind of a bit of a family secret and not even Jason knows. I only know because of my telepathy – Gran needed to tell me the whole story to help me. You see, my Gran’s marriage was arranged and while she liked and respected the man everyone believes is my actual grandfather, she didn’t love him – nor could he have children, well they found out after they were married that he couldn’t father children. My Gran loved someone else but his family didn’t approve and my Gran’s family – obviously wouldn’t hear of anything other than the already planned marriage. So she married Mitchell and gave up Fintan.” Sookie paused when she noticed Eric almost flinch at hearing the name, but he said nothing so she continued. “As I said, they discovered after they were married for a while that Grandpa couldn’t father children so he agreed to her ah . . . reuniting with Finny, that’s what she called him, and she had two children. Fintan pretty much stayed away except to see his children and grandchildren once after they were born – that was the agreement. That agreement changed after I arrived. Apparently Fintan was a telepath and he recognized that I had that gene or whatever as well. He helped my Gran to help me – though he remained hidden from us. I learned about shields and focusing my telepathy – all from Gran via Fintan. Once Jason and I moved in with Gran, after my folks died, she was able to help me fulltime and my ability to control the telepathy was strong enough that I could attend regular school – and by the time I was 10, I wasn’t blurting answers to thoughts – things that were unspoken – anymore. Folks sorta wrote it off as a quirk from my youth. I mean, a few folks know I’m a telepath – but most don’t. This is also more at the root of Jason’s problems with me. He was jealous of the attention I had from Gran – though she also showered him with love. But even before that, my mother was furious that my quirk caused my Dad to pay extra attention to me. My mother was obsessed with my father and furious that I stole some of that affection. She hated me and that’s what gave Jason the idea that it was my fault that they were killed the night they went to marriage counseling.”
Sookie took a breath before continuing. “Fintan was killed shortly after I moved in with Gran. I remember that – even though I didn’t know him – because it was right after my Uncle died.” Eric registered some discomfort from her expression and she clarified. “No, that’s not exactly right. Fintan killed my Uncle – but in any case I heard from Gran’s thoughts that Fintan died shortly after, though the events aren’t related.”
“Why did Fintan kill your Uncle?”
“He was a bit affectionate on a visit and I read from his thoughts that he wanted to do more. I told Gran and she told Fintan. Fintan killed him before he ever got near me again.” She stated the facts just as blandly as she could, for her it was too many years ago to bother her anymore.
He squeezed her tightly at that memory. “I’m sorry you were just reminded of it.”
“He barely touched me, it was his thoughts that were worse and I’m long over it Eric.”
“So, what do you know about Fintan?”
“I’m guessing you know him from your reaction. I don’t know much more than his name: Fintan Brigant.”
“That’s what I was afraid of.” He drew a deep breath and rubbed his hands up and down her arms for a moment. “Do you want to know more?”
“I’m guessing it’s not good news from your hesitancy.”
“It’s not good or bad but it’s big.”
“Give it to me. I’m well rested from napping with your little Fidget today so we have time to talk through it.”
“Fintan wasn’t human. So you aren’t totally human.” Her eyes widened. “I can stop.”
“No – no. I mean, I’ve always suspected something like this.”
“You’re part fairy, a branch of the Fae. Most Fae only visit earth, your ancestors come from a different realm Sookie.”
“Fairies are telepathic?”
“Fairies can be. Not all branches of Fae and actually not all Fairies are telepathic. It’s just one of the many talents a Fairy can have. And you my dear have a very powerful gene pool. I know your Great-Grandfather; Niall Brigant. He’s Fintan’s father. He’s the reigning Prince of Fae and he’s quite the bastard.” Internally he added, ‘another being I need to keep away from Sookie. If he wants her . . . he’ll take her to another realm and there isn’t anything I can do to get her back. FUCK! ‘
They were quiet for a while, each considering the information. Eric was trying to figure out if he should have Sookie guarded 24X7 and how that conversation would play out. Of course, guards could actually CAUSE others to wonder about her where anonymity might be the better way to go. ‘Gods was there an easy way to protect her?’
“Reigning Prince of Fae? What the hell.’ Clearly shocked by this information, Sookie chose denial. “There must be another Fintan Eric.”
“Well, Princess – I don’t think that’s the case.” He smirked at her frown.
“Don’t start with that.”
“Yes your majesty.”
“I’ll hurt you.”
“Threats! I’m telling Hunter on you.” She gasped at his comment and he just laughed. “I’ll stop . . . for now. You know that desk from your attic had letters in it. I didn’t see them but maybe there’s more information there.”
“Ohh, can we go there soon? I’ll check with Maxine on her availability.”
“Sure. I set up an account for her with a limo service. She can call and have a car in Bon Temps in a half hour anytime now.”
“She’s my ally; I’m just keeping her happy.”
“You’re still a spoiler and you know it.”
“How about tending to those I care about?” Before she could answer, he just kept talking. “That leads me to something else to discuss with you.”
“It is. I want to do more for Hunter. I want him to have a better chance.”
“How, who, what?”
“I already spoke to someone, Dr. Ludwig, and now that I know you’re both at least part Fae, we really need her involved since she works with supernatural clients. If you’ll let me help you, I want to see if there is any more that can be done for him, please?”
Wetness pooled in her eyes. “I can’t ever repay you for your gifts Eric. My mind is saying not to keep taking charity, but my heart wants to save my boy. The problem is, in the eyes of the law he’s not mine. It’s literally not my decision.”
“Then let’s work on that too.”
That comment forced the tears to spill over from her eyes. “Really?”
“I don’t know what we can do about it. I’ve been denied the adoption before.”
“Can I at least have my lawyer look over the situation?”
She was torn. Adopting Hunter was something she and Hunter wanted – but could she really let him do this? She’d denied money from Sam and Alcide that could’ve helped. Was this any different? “I want to say yes, I just don’t know what it means to us.” Taking a breath she considered Sam and Alcide’s offers – those offers came with the ‘condition’ of marriage. She knew her feelings were different for Eric, but she was concerned about where she and Eric were headed. She just needed time and for the legal part they could wait. For his health? That she would accept right away. “I’d like to meet the doctor, maybe I can convince the Rats to approve of some additional care or something. Can we hold off on the lawyer part?”
“I need time for something anyway, so we’ll start with the doctor. Until we have the right legal requirements in place, I can glamour as needed to give Dr. Ludwig the access she needs.”
“OK. And now, I think we should watch a movie or something. I’ve had just about enough heavy conversation.”
“A good idea, I packed some porn to watch – we’ll need to borrow an empty hospital room.”
She laughed as he hoped she would but still admonished him. “Behave!”
“I already told you, I don’t know how to behave around you.”
“Are you even trying?”
“What would be the fun in that?”
A/N: Check out the updated Secrets page – I added a blurb about this chapter.