Chapter 31 – Busted
Uh oh – the girls got out a frying pan for you – but you won’t need it the WHOLE chapter:
Sookie woke while it was still dark out. She couldn’t identify what woke her, but she was glad something did. Eric was in the rocking chair with Celia on his chest; pretty much just as he’d planned. Her baby’s head was turned so she could see her thumb was firmly planted in her mouth and her eyes were closed: Celia was fast asleep. A mostly empty bottle was on the changing table next to the rocker, so Eric had fed her. That all was sweet but what really got her was Eric: Her fiancé was singing softly while he rocked his baby. She stayed in bed with Hunter and just watched them for a while and allowed his feelings to wash over hers in the bond: Contentment, love, hope. The odds of finding each other – and then finding Celia seemed incredible; yet here he was building this family with her. And Celia was beyond anything they could have hoped for when they first started talking about having a little girl. This tiny being could probably bring her 1000 year old Viking vampire daddy to his knees just like her older brother could; and Eric loved it.
After he finished the song he looked up at her and smiled, she figured he’d felt her wake. Moving slowly so she didn’t wake Hunter, she left the bed, grabbed another chair and placed it next to Eric so she could sit with him. He whispered to her. “You should be sleeping.”
“I’ll go back in a minute. Seeing you with her was too adorable to miss.” After adding her own hand to Celia’s back she asked him. “How long have you been sitting with her?”
“She woke about 2½ hours ago for her feeding. I changed her and she drank most of her bottle then went back out.”
“You’ve just been sitting with her while she sleeps?” He nodded. “And I’m not supposed to call you sweet?”
“Nope. Never.” He smirked.
“I love you.” She leaned over to kiss him.
“I love you more.” He glanced first at Hunter then Celia. “I can’t believe how much things have changed since October, I’ve never been happier in my life – and that’s a long time Sookie.”
“I haven’t either – and my 25 years are nothing compared to your 1000 but I still know this is true happiness.”
They sat quietly and watched Celia sleep. Every once and a while her thumb sucking would speed up for a short bit, then slow down again but otherwise she was pretty much still. At one point, her legs stretched out a bit but she pulled them back in and they looked at each other and smiled thinking it was the cutest thing they’d both seen. They were surprised by a new voice in their conversation. “Are you guys just watching her sleep again?”
Sookie woke for the day shortly after 9AM and had a chance to change out of her sleep outfit and feed Johanna breakfast before Celia woke at almost 10AM. Hoyt had arrived while Johanna was eating, so he was busy getting her ready for the day. With a soft cooing noise, Celia woke as happy as she’d been the day before and it really amazed Sookie how wonderful this little baby was after living mostly in a hospital for her short life. Her noises finally woke her son and Sookie was pleased he made it this long. She really did want to adjust them to waking later so they could stay up more with Eric.
Ludwig arrived just as Hunter finished his breakfast and informed Sookie that the fairy doctor, Rowan Dayan, had arrived and she was ready for Hunter.
“How will this work Dr. Ludwig? Can I go? Do I leave Celia here?”
“I’ve made arrangements . . . ah, here we are.” Maxine and Genny walked into the room looking like old dear friends and offered their services.
“We can stay with Celia or Hunter. Whatever you wish Sookie.”
“Perfect. I’ll go with Hunter since it’s his first day and you guys can enjoy Johanna and Celia.”
Sookie left the grandmothers to their business and followed Ludwig to the procedure room that had been set-up according to Dr. Dayan’s instructions. “Rowan, this is Sookie Stackhouse and her son, Hunter. Sookie, Hunter, this is Dr. Dayan.” They exchanged greetings and the fairy doctor got started on business. Just like her fairy cousins, Dr. Dayan was beautiful. Her hair was a deep red, deeper than Jessica’s, and her skin was pale. The most striking feature was her green eyes – they were captivating.
“Miss Stackhouse. . . “
With a nod she continued. “Sookie. We’re going to run some tests with Hunter today. I understand you were able to create fairy dust when Dr. Ludwig put lemon on your foot?”
“Yes, but it hurt, is that your plan?”
“I need to work with fresh fairy dust. We can make it and put it in stasis so it won’t spoil.”
“Use my foot to create the dust.”
“Are you planning to coddle your child the whole time? There will be procedures. . . “
“Doctor, we understand there could be discomfort at times. In this case I can spare him the discomfort. We could also minimize it by doing these tests at night when Hunter’s father can heal any wounds, but I understand that not meeting him is part of your contract and I respect that. I’m asking you to respect my need to help my son as much as I can.”
They stared at each other for a moment before the doctor nodded and indicated that Sookie should hop up on the table and sit at the end.
Dr. Ludwig offered, “I’ll start some of the baseline testing we wanted done on Hunter’s heart and circulatory function while you collect fairy dust.”
“Very good Amy.” Dr. Dayan nodded and replied; then turned to Sookie. “I understand that when you first did this, Dr. Ludwig made a small cut and used only a few drops of lemon juice. I need to warn you that I need more than the tiny sample that produced. You’ll likely have several cuts and the amount of lemon I’ll use will be painful.”
“Thanks for the warning.” Sookie kept her face as pleasant as possible but in her head she wanted to rip the woman’s head off. ‘All the more reason for me to step in. Bitch.’
The doctor wasn’t kidding. Sookie had several cuts on her foot including her big toe, her heel and to gather even more samples, Dr. Dayan wound up cutting into Sookie’s thigh – trying to get as fleshy an area as possible. Dr. Dayan was impressed with Sookie’s tolerance; her actions WERE hurting the woman but she kept her chin up and put on a good show; likely for her son. They chatted to fill the time while the doctor worked and she was amazed with Sookie’s story. Perhaps she’d judged to harshly on the fact that she was engaged to a vampire; maybe she needed to give them a chance in general – not just ‘do her job’. She also grumbled about Sookie’s weight when she saw her legs. “You’re planning to donate a kidney? Do you even weigh 100 pounds?”
“I weigh 108 now. I’ve been steadily putting on weight.”
“I can assist with that while I’m here.”
“A special drink I can make on the days that I’m here. It uses something like the water from the Fae realm, water that’s very healing for fairies. Since I can’t get there any longer, I’ve recreated it with natural ingredients from earth, well a close approximation, and can concoct something that will work with your fairy chemistry.”
“I’d appreciate that.” Sookie smiled and wondered if she and this doctor just got off to a bad start. She’d wait and see.
“Sookie, I should probably go over some other information for fairies. For example, humans and fairies gain weight from sweets, but for humans it’s unhealthy.”
“Yes, I indulge but I try to do that in moderation.”
“This is what I mean, for a fairy sweets are NOT unhealthy. The trick for you is finding the balance between your two chemistries. I’d like to help you with that.”
“That would be great.” Smiling widely Sookie responded; then she decided to strike up more conversation. “Do you mind if I ask you what your fairy talent is? I never even knew fairies existed until a short while ago so I know . . . well nothing.”
“I can teleport and create balls of light for fighting.”
Hunter perked up at that. “COOL! Can I see one?”
“I’ll save that for an incentive. You know, maybe you’ll need to do something difficult with your treatment and I’ll make a demonstration your reward.”
“I accept that. Thank you.”
“So polite.” She’d started speaking to Hunter then turned to Sookie. “So many children are raised today without manners. I commend you.”
“I took my grandmother’s lead on that. My Gran taught me and we both started working with Hunter when he was just starting to talk.”
“This is the grandmother that was with Fintan?”
Sookie’s eyes grew wide. “How . . . how do you know that?”
“Claude. I didn’t think it would upset you.”
“I just didn’t know what’s known, not known and what can be discussed.”
“Your genetics come from a very strong family Sookie; knowing that was important, is important.”
Dr. Dayan bandaged the last of the cuts she’d made and said, “Well I think I’ve done enough damage today. I apologize for that Sookie, but we did need the samples. I also apologize for not seeing this as the better option.”
“Thank you.” The women nodded at each other, having reached an accord; then Sookie focused on Dr. Ludwig and Hunter. “Is he just about done?”
Since Dr. Ludwig was working with Hunter, she replied. “Maybe 20 minutes. Sookie, you’re going to have trouble walking until Eric heals you tonight. Why don’t you go back and rest, I’ll carry him back when I’m done.” She turned to her patient. “Is that OK with you Hunter?”
“Sure thing. Mommy, go rest. Daddy’ll take care of you tonight.”
“I’ll see you soon then.”
Sookie was surprised when Dr. Dayan offered her an arm to help her off the exam table, then grabbed a wheelchair to walk her back. Dr. Ludwig’s facility wasn’t that large, but the procedure room and Hunter’s room were on opposite sides and the wheelchair was a necessity. Hoyt happened to walk into the hallway towards the kitchen to get a snack for Johanna when he saw her being wheeled in. “SOOKIE! What happened?”
“I’m fine. Just a few cuts.”
“Why are you cut? Was there an accident?”
“Dr. Dayan,” she gestured over her shoulder to the wheelchair driver, “needed some samples of Hunter’s unique chemistry and I volunteered since we’re a match.”
“So now you have to wait until the sun sets for Eric to heal you? He’s going to be mad Sookie.”
“He’ll understand that . . .”
Hoyt focused his now anger on the doctor. “You couldn’t wait to grab samples tonight? What is wrong with you?”
“HOYT, it’s OK. Eric will understand. Dr. Dayan and Eric aren’t to meet while she’s here.”
“So, she’ll take his $50 grand a week payment but won’t lower herself to meet him?”
Sookie was concerned about offending the doctor or having the whole fairy secret come out in front of Genny, who with Maxine, was now standing in the hall observing the not so quiet conversation. “HOYT! I’ll talk to you later. I really want to hold my baby and relax.”
“No Sookie,” Rowan interjected. “He’s right. I’ll stay and meet Eric tonight. I’ve let my general prejudice guide my decision to not meet Eric. I can see that a vampire with such a loving family and loyal friends must be different. I apologize for that.”
Everyone was quiet while they waited for Sookie to respond. “I look forward to introducing you tonight then. Right now though, I REALLY want my baby.” She put her arms out and Maxine walked Celia over. Watching Celia get excited to see her made Sookie’s pain fall away and she pulled her close. “Hi baby girl. Did you have fun with Mima and Gramma?”
Celia blew bubbles and made noises while her arms flailed around as if she was telling Sookie the most interesting story ever. Sookie responded in kind and had the conversation right back. Hoyt got her wheeled into the room and asked where she wanted to be. “Honestly, I’m so tired; I want to get in bed for a bit. Hoyt, I know you probably already fed Johanna, can you get Hunter lunch?”
“It’s all ready for him. I guess we’re going to be off a bit now – so I just made up his plate. Got one for you too.”
“Thank you. I’m not feeling up to eating at the moment.”
“I figured but it was worth a try.”
“Sookie, I’ll get you some of the drink I’d mentioned before. That will help you today.”
“Thank you Doctor. Hoyt, can you help me into bed?”
“How ‘bout Genny holds Celia while I do that?”
As requested, Sookie handed Celia to Genny and Hoyt wound up lifting her into Hunter’s bed; it was just easier. Tony offered to assist since he was there as their guard but Hoyt was fine. Seeing Sookie wince in pain several time only increased Hoyt’s concern about Eric’s reaction. He didn’t care what Sookie said, Eric was going to be pissed. He put Celia in bed with Sookie and grabbed some toys so Sookie could keep her occupied. Luckily, the beds had the sides that flipped up so she couldn’t fall out if Sookie fell asleep. He and the grandmothers were all staying in the room, but this layer of safety would allow them to back off and give Sookie some space. By the time Ludwig delivered Hunter, Sookie was already cooing and using a toy to play with Celia.
Several hours later, Sookie was napping with Hunter and Celia in bed when Eric arrived (the baby was in the middle and Genny played eagle eye to ensure they were all OK in the smaller bed). Just as Hoyt predicted, Eric was pissed. “Hoyt, what happened today? I smell blood.”
Before he answered, Hoyt blew out a big breath and put both of his hands behind his head, trying to prepare for his reaction. “Sookie was part of some testing they did for Hunter’s treatment. She’s pretty cut up, had lots of lemon poured on her and lost some blood.”
Eric seethed and gritted out. “How did this happen?”
A strange voice had Eric on alert. “It was my fault Mr. Northman.”
As soon as he scented the air he knew who she was. “Dr. Dayan. Explain.”
“You are aware I was only planning to be here during the day – that obviously changed after Mr. Fortenberry talked quite a bit of sense into me today. Anyway, I needed some genetic ah . . . samples,” She darted her eyes to Genny and Maxine, both in the room and Eric understood her vague words. “Since I didn’t plan to see you, having you present for the sample collection wasn’t considered and for that I apologize.”
“Eric, please don’t be upset, you can heal me now.” Sookie had woken up while Eric and the doctor spoke.
Eric struggled with what had occurred today. When he rose he immediately felt Sookie’s exhaustion and some pain. With his superior sense of smell, he could detect that Sookie had bled as soon as he walked in the room and his ire grew – as did his desire to kill the guilty party. Now that he’d heard the reason he tried to back down a bit – with difficulty. Sookie knew what to do though; she could feel all his emotions after all. “Eric, come say hello to your children. They’ve been waiting for you all day.”
“You’re a cruel woman Sookie, using my children like that.”
She got a squiggly feeling inside hearing him say ‘my children’ and they both smiled at each other since he felt it as well. “Is it working?”
“I’ll tell you after I have all my kisses.” As soon as she felt him calm a bit; she knew it worked. “Let me heal you.”
“I can wait 10 minutes for you to greet your kids, gimme a kiss for my trouble first.”
Rowan, meanwhile, was shocked to stillness witnessing this vampire. Hearing that he was like any other daddy just had not prepared her for seeing it. She watched as the vampire kissed Sookie as she requested and greeted his son first, embracing the boy in a big hug and giving him kisses. One of the older women in the room, she recalled from earlier that her name was Maxine, called for Hunter telling him his dinner was ready. Eric carried him to the small table and got him seated after whispering a few words in his ear; whatever he’d said had Hunter grinning and nodding at him. After Hunter was settled, he returned and picked up his baby girl. The baby smiled and waved her arms immediately, indicating she was happy to be with this person, even if she didn’t understand yet what it meant to have a daddy. Eric kissed her face all over and tolerated – no almost welcomed – when Celia placed her slobber coated hand into his mouth. Even in her shock, Rowan laughed out loud when he made noises and pretended to eat her hand causing another bout of giggles from the baby.
Catching the fairy doctor’s eye, Eric commented. “I’m sure Claude didn’t tell you any of this; but then again Claude didn’t really give getting to know us a chance.”
“I’m shocked to say the least; though pleasantly surprised. If we can put all this behind us, I’d like to be part of the new healing phase of Hunter’s life – working with you, not without you.”
Eric moved forward and put out his hand. Dr. Dayan readily accepted it and their new agreement.
“Why don’t you give Celia to me Eric? That way you can heal Sookie.”
“Thank you Genny.” He handed her the baby and moved to Sookie since she was still resting in the bed. His anger flared a bit when he saw all the cuts but Sookie caressed his cheek and sent him some love, making him refocus on the healing, not the cause.
“What are we doing about the payroll for Fangtasia? I need to get it in tonight.”
“It’s handled since I didn’t have the timecards. I just overpaid everyone for the trouble and as many as possible were transferred to my other businesses and they’ll just start receiving their pay under those divisions going forward.”
“You are too kind hearted and it bled into me. She’s working at Viking until Pam is released then she’ll serve as her day person. She’s covered.”
“Thank you sweetie.” She sat up since she was feeling better. “Celia needs a bottle daddy.”
“I need to know what’s happening with Johanna, if Ludwig needs blood. I don’t want to start feeding her then need to leave.”
“I’m afraid we don’t need blood tonight, Eric.” Ludwig entered the room just as he’d started talking about Johanna.
“Your comment doesn’t sound like good news.”
“I have bad news and good news. First, the blood therapy didn’t have any healing impact so I’m not sure it’s the way to go. I do have an alternative. It’s experimental but I basically re-grow the parts I need using stem cells; I engineer it. I’ll take a sample of her heart, remove the cells using detergents; then seed the remaining protein with human heart precursor cells. These precursor cells will be produced by adding a combination of chemicals to human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). Growth factors are then added to encourage the heart precursor cells to differentiate into specialised heart cells such as cardiomyocytes and smooth muscle cells. From there, I can transplant what Johanna needs.”
“Why was this not brought up before?”
“Hoyt, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the Parish Hospital, the foster parents and the system in general didn’t go out of their way with these kids. Many doctors only look at meds for valve problems. Meds deal with the symptoms but don’t cure the problem. Without any advocates, nobody bothered to do anything different with Johanna or likely Celia. I can still do a transplant, but growing her own cells means no rejection, no rejection drugs. I can also try vampire blood for a week and check the progress.”
“Can you take the sample of her heart AND try vampire blood?”
“That’s brilliant Hoyt. I can get a sample and she’ll be healed right away. I’ll schedule that surgery for day after tomorrow. Eric will that work? You can’t be here early evening tomorrow if I remember correctly.”
“Yes, I’ll be here to take the blood from Liam the day after tomorrow. I’ll be here later – after midnight – tomorrow if anything is needed. I have a business meeting at Viking to introduce my new COO.”
Ludwig smiled widely at Hoyt again. “Really, brilliant Hoyt. I was so focused on the cell re-growth I hadn’t considered both avenues. Northman, we’ll start the same process with Celia after Johanna. I need to focus on Johanna after her surgery.” Eric nodded his understanding. Johanna was struggling with her weakening heart.
Just as they finished the conversation, Jessica came in and greeted her daughter. “Hi baby.”
“Mommy! How was youar tay?”
“Good little girl. How is everyone here?”
Hoyt hugged Jessica to his chest and told her, “encouraged.” Hoyt, Johanna and Jessica moved to the common room to catch up before Hoyt needed to leave.
Meanwhile, Eric heated a bottle and sat with Celia while Sookie joined Hunter at the table for some dinner. Taking advantage of the alone time he had with Celia since Sookie and Hunter were eating, he focused only on her; talking to her; smiling at her and ‘munching’ on her fingers when she put them in his mouth. Sometimes that backfired and she’d smile too widely or even giggle and her formula would dribble out; he’d just clean her up and keep going. Several times he caught Sookie gazing at him with a look of adoration and he sent back love.
Once dinner was done, Eric gave Sookie a knowing glance. They’d planned to tell the family about the move to Pennsylvania tonight. Sookie was not looking forward to it, but she nodded for him to begin. “Let me go get Hoyt and family.”
“Sookie what’s going on? You and Eric look very serious suddenly.”
“Eric and I want to discuss something with all of you.” She nodded to him when he returned. “Ok, we’re ready Sweetie.”
“There is no easy way to say this so I’ll just tell you. Sookie and I are planning to raise Hunter and Celia in Pennsylvania.”
“NO!” Maxine started sobbing started immediately. “No Eric, please don’t.” Genny moved to hug Maxine but it didn’t help. “Why are you taking them from me?”
Eric got on his knees in front of Maxine where she was seated on the couch. “Maxine, I’m taking them to keep them safe. I can’t keep them safe here where I’m a Vampire Sheriff.”
“I don’t understand. Why would anyone want to hurt them?”
“Not hurt them, more like take them.”
“Take them, but why would . . . “ The question died on her lips. “Eric shut the door, please. I believe Genny is part of the family now, isn’t she?”
With a nod from Sookie, Eric did as she requested and returned to the floor in front of both grandmothers. He took Genny’s hands in his. “Genny.” He removed one hand and grabbed Maxine’s as well. “Actually both of you should know everything. This is going to be a lot of information at once and I will need to glamour you so you can know the story but you can’t speak of it ever. Will you agree to that?” Both women nodded. “Sookie and Hunter aren’t entirely human. Sookie is part fairy. I’ll leave it to Sookie to tell you the whole story if she wants. Genny, Sookie and Hunter are telepaths; and this fairy heritage is the source of that talent.”
He paused, giving them both a moment. Genny spoke first. “There are other things out there, correct? Some in this very hospital?”
“You are correct. Werewolves – well humans that can shift into animals – are real. Mustapha, Tony, Bob and Andy are wolves.”
“I suspected something, not this.” Genny was putting the pieces together quickly. “Hunter’s illness and that special doctor?”
“Dr. Dayan is a fairy and Hunter’s illness is due to his fairy genetics.” He took an unnecessary breath before continuing. “Telepathy would be a much sought after talent in the vampire world. In addition, their fairy blood would also attract many. It is for this reason that I’m taking them away and basically hiding until they are raised and I can more easily protect them.”
“You’ll turn Sookie before you return, won’t you?” He simply nodded at Maxine. “What about the kids?” She wasn’t showing any signs of being upset – just curious.
“To be decided.”
“The vampires are politically organized by state. The leader of Pennsylvania, the vampire king . . . well it’s a long story but he owes me. He’s agreed to asylum and protection if you will while we are there. We will be safe to raise the kids.”
“Eric, I get it. It hurts though.”
“Maxine, don’t ever repeat what I’m about to say outside this room, but it hurts me too. I’ve become quite attached to all of you.” He leaned over and wiped a tear away from the older woman’s face and smiled.
“I won’t tell a soul Eric. ‘Sides, I already knew that.”
“I know Sookie will talk more about it in the coming weeks, but as you can see,” Sookie was crying and holding Celia desperately for comfort, “It wasn’t an easy decision for her either. So let’s just take it slowly?”
“Agreed Eric. We’ll support you while you go through this.”
Exhausted after spending the day, the grandmothers left for Bon Temps, Bobby arrived with several carts full of nursery items from Pottery Barn. He explained that since Eric and Sookie had planned to go shopping before Celia arrived, he realized that they probably would no longer want to leave her so he met with the store manager and brought the store to them as much as he could. Both Sookie and Eric smiled and nodded their approval. Each cart was a nursery theme and Sookie and Eric perused them right where Bobby had them lined up in the hall. The decision was made for them. Celia liked the bright blue and purple set – or it appeared she did with the arm flailing and bubble chatter she did when they came to that cart. They selected a coordinating wall vinyl that Sookie couldn’t resist as well. When Eric asked about the wall vinyl, Sookie explained that Bobby initially ordered the vinyls since his cousin owned the company but she had to admit she fell in love with them since they could be personalized. She’d already ordered a new one for Johanna’s new room at home.
Bobby left their selection at Ludwig’s and repacked the rest to be returned to the store. “I’ll put Celia’s nursery together tomorrow. Sookie, you have a home visit this Thursday, 2PM. I can be there if you like.”
“Thank you Bobby. I would appreciate it if you could be there.”
Sookie’s friend Maria walked in with her son and Sookie was confused. “Maria, we talked earlier – Eric and I aren’t going out. Remember?”
“I do, but Hunter had been looking forward to time with Dylan and since I was working today I haven’t gotten a chance to get my hands on that baby!”
Everyone laughed at her as she walked in with her arms out. After the usual comments about how beautiful Celia was, Maria asked Hunter about having a little sister. “So what do you think of Celia?”
“She’s cool. Not a crier like she could be. She likes to grab for toys so she’s easy to keep happy. Though I don’t know why it’s so interesting to everyone to watch her sleep.”
Maria laughed at Hunter’s comments. “Someday you’ll understand.”
“Whatever.” He snarked. Eric didn’t like that comment or the tone since it was to an adult so he took Hunter quietly to the side and spoke to him about respect. With his head down, the boy begrudgingly apologized to Doc Maria and the incident was over. Sookie was actually relieved. Part of her worried that Eric enjoyed having fun with the kids too much to also discipline them: His actions blew that concern away.
The rest of the evening was filled with Hunter and Dylan play time led by Eric, baths for the kids after Maria and Dylan left and story reading just as Eric had done the night before. Hunter had selected Goodnight Moon and Eric was in the middle of reading it when Sookie sensed a vampire very close. “That’s Boudewijn, right?”
“Yes, to meet everyone as we discussed.”
A tall man with wavy brown hair appeared in the doorway. “Good evening.”
Sookie smiled and approached him. “Welcome, please come in. I’m Sookie Stackhouse.”
“A pleasure to meet you Miss. Stackhouse. I’m Boudewijn van Bracken.”
“Please call me Sookie. May I introduce my friends and family?” Sookie moved around the room and Boudewijn greeted everyone cordially. He ended standing near Eric, who had finished the book while his new COO was meeting Johanna and family.
“Eric, I can meet you outside if you want to finish up here?”
“I’m ready; Sookie will give Celia her last bottle since I take nighttime feedings.”
“I know you told me all this but seeing is truly amazing.”
“Having a family is amazing Boudewijn.”
He handed Celia to Sookie and gave everyone a goodnight kiss before he headed out to continue his work on transferring the daily operations of Viking Industries to his friend. Indira walked in to serve as a guard and she smiled widely at Sookie with Celia. “May I hold her?”
“You bet Indira.”
Indira surprised Sookie by opening up and chatting about her personal desires to have a family, how she’d been turned after she was married but before she ever had a child. Indira had always been chatty and would discuss history or current events, but these personal ‘confessions’ floored Sookie. “Maybe you can adopt or rather Phillip can.”
“Eric’s family has me considering that for the first time ever. Rather – Phillip and I are both considering it.”
“I’m glad for you Indira.”
“Can I ask about babies, learn about being a modern mother?”
“Sure. Right now, Celia needs a diaper and outfit change before I give her a goodnight bottle. Do you want to help?”
“I’d love to.”
After changing Celia together, Sookie settled Indira into the rocking chair with her since she’d expressed an interest; giving Mommy some much needed alone time with Hunter. Jealousy could easily spring up about Celia, but so far Hunter was maintaining a good outlook.
By 10PM Hunter needed to go to bed. He really wanted to keep increasing his awake time but Sookie reminded him that he was still dealing with his illness and medications and it would take a while to adjust his sleep. She found that magic time where he was getting tired – but not too tired to get him asleep and then only made it another hour herself. The day had been satisfying and hard at the same time. The possible therapy for Johanna was good news but, and Sookie admitted she was a bit selfish, she just couldn’t get over the joy of finally starting to work with the fairy doctor and healing her son.
Eric had felt her joy and wanted to call but by the time he could get a break, he also felt she’d gone to sleep. No matter, in another hour he’d be done with Boudewijn and could be with them all. Boudewijn caught him in down time and laughed. “What are you thinking about?”
“What do you mean? I was just in downtime.”
“And you always go into down time with your arm rubbing your chest while you rock yourself in your office chair?”
Eric took in his friend’s words, looked down at his arm and realized he had been rocking. He just shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “Busted.”
Sigh – I ALMOST want another baby so I can do a nursery with this pattern – but then I regain my sanity and decide it’s not worth it. Plus, the eggs are out of date. REALLY out of date.