**A/N: What can I say – Eric’s been whispering in my ear…**
Should you wish to listen as you read, click (it is NOT supposed to auto-start):
As he stood at the door to Willa’s suite, the centuries of being on guard ingrained in his psyche made Eric listen closely instead of impatiently knocking or even just going on in as any ordinary mortal would do in that situation. He knew that his progeny would not have risen yet, not at her young age, but a cursory listening with his enhanced vampire hearing didn’t detect any of the noises associated with human movement, either. Focusing even more intently, however, he did hear two heartbeats, one slowed as though asleep, the other, much, much fainter.
That second tiny heartbeat made his chest feel odd.
Knowing that it would be past full dark until his progeny rose, with a shake of his head Eric used his master code to let himself into the cool, still suite. He couldn’t force himself to wait another moment.
Once inside the main living area, the full power of Sookie’s pregnancy-enhanced scent hit him hard. His body already primed for action by anticipation and the need for vengeance, his reaction was immediate, and he took a long moment to subdue his fangs and the primal urges surging through his system.
Finally able to think with a cooler head while valiantly ignoring his swelling need – it had been far too long since he had inhaled her luscious scent – and warming heart, he found his feet leading him unerringly to the room where she apparently slept peacefully.
En route, he paused here and there to turn on some lamps to illuminate the large tastefully decorated living room. For some inane reason he didn’t like the idea of Sookie waking to darkness.
When he reached the half-open door to her bedroom, he paused. He knew that if he had still been human, his heart would be jumping out of his chest and his palms would undoubtedly be a sweaty mess. Ruefully he decided that he was handling this worse than a teenage boy.
For so long, far too long, he had imagined the different ways the Fates would bring her back into his unlife had they an ounce of kindness amongst them. Perhaps he would accidentally run into her at a store somewhere, or maybe she would just call him up unexpectedly and tell him that she missed him.
He mentally chuckled at the sad absurdity of that one.
Maybe she would come to visit him and tell him that she’d made a mistake, that living a “normal life” had not been what she really wanted after all.
No matter how badly he wanted to mock that dream, he still couldn’t, not even when standing outside her door.
Maybe one night in among the bills, statements, and charity requests there would be a letter from her in his mail…
He sighed as he crammed his hands in his pockets.
Never would he have thought that she would come back into his life pregnant and with an abusive soon-to-be-dead ex-fiancé.
But it didn’t matter, not really. He would take her any way she would have him.
His ego felt like it should protest this knowledge, but it didn’t even bother. While in the past she had been unreasoning and quite unable to see beyond the minute scope of her raising and the expectations ingrained on her from an early age – not to mention being understandably unable to fight off the foul, malignant effects of fucking Compton’s blood, he knew that in the past his own prideful ways and inability to effectively ‘communicate’, as Pam called it, had caused much of his own downfall.
Pride goeth before a fall, and I’m a tall motherfucker, he thought sardonically. He bid a mocking adieu to whatever remained of his heart.
With a hand that trembled only slightly, he pushed the door open wider and, finally, he saw the curled up form of his sleeping beauty.
Her back was to the door as she rested atop the covers on the large bed, her long blonde hair flowing across the pillow. She had covered herself with a throw which, judging by how she was curled up into herself, wasn’t quite warm enough.
Knowing that the Were housekeeping service he employed for the top two floors of this hotel would store like items in the same places in all the apartments, he silently walked over to the linen storage cabinet in the mid-sized room that was the closet and withdrew a soft blanket.
He turned around toward her bed, and beheld his first look at her lovely face in far too many years. It was all he could do to stifle the automatic hiss when he saw her injuries and his semi-retracted fangs erupted once more. His stomach clenched in fury at the damage to her eye and lip, their swelling and bruised coloring an abomination next to the beauty of her face. A growl too low for a human to hear escaped no matter how hard he tried to subdue it.
It took everything in him to keep from nicking his finger and… The thought was much too tempting for him to risk further contemplation. His gaze then fell to her swollen abdomen, clearly detectable beneath the thin throw, and a confusing storm of emotions overtook his poor heart at the sight.
Resolutely raising his eyes back to her face, he lightly ghosted the covering over her, then drew a nearby chair closer to the bed. As he sat down and stretched his long legs out before him, he noticed that Willa’s scent was strong in the chair. A powerful image of his progeny keeping vigil over the sleeping woman in the bed floated through his mind.
His pride as her Maker increased exponentially as did his vow to do even better by the lady who was more honest and caring than he’d realized. While Pam and Willa were both loyal, Pam’s strength rested in her ability to think and act with her mind; Willa’s strength came from her ability to think and act with her heart.
The barely-detectable sigh from his gravid angel as she relaxed into the new warmth he had provided softened his gaze even if the sight of her injuries pierced his heart.
He once again thanked the deities for Willa… He would reward his youngest progeny a thousand times over. Had she not been there…
Said progeny silently rose for the night at that moment, and immediately identified both Sookie and Eric’s scents, and was curious as to why she didn’t feel angry about her Maker letting himself into her suite. Well, I did call him, and he is my Maker, she thought. She refused to admit that she felt immensely better knowing that he was there.
Figuring that she would deal with it later, she immediately went into the kitchen and warmed herself two bags of donor blood, and not very begrudgingly warmed Eric a bag, too. Sookie’s scent was tasty on a good night, but now that she was pregnant, her scent was mouthwatering to an extreme, almost painful, degree. Willa wasn’t taking any chances.
After quickly downing her two bags and setting out two more, she quietly approached Sookie’s room and without looking at him, gave Eric the other warmed bag. While she no longer hated the vampire who had Turned her, especially since she had willingly chosen to be Changed, she wasn’t sure she especially liked him, either. Well, she did, but then again, she didn’t. It was so confusing.
But she did respect him, and freely acknowledged that he was trying to make up for the mistakes he’d made with her…and that she was willing to let him.
Eric was surprised when his child had handed him a warmed bag of blood. He’d of course heard her rise and go immediately to the kitchen to feed – a precaution he heartily approved of considering Sookie’s enhanced scent and Willa’s youth – but had not expected the courtesy of a bag for himself.
He drained the bag quickly, and made a mental note to start restocking his own kitchens with donor bags. If he was going to be spending any amount of time in Sookie’s presence, and he refused to consider doing otherwise, then he would need the additional satiation provided by human blood.
New Blood was good, he had to admit, by far better than True Blood had ever tried to be, but it provided no real satisfaction, no true feeling of fullness.
At least the real Sarah Cure had made worrying about infection irrelevant – he’d made sure that Willa had been inoculated as well as a few others in his retinue. Pam, naturally, had seen to her own survival.
Maker and child remained quiet as they silently regarded the woman sleeping atop the bed. Willa wondered at the expression on Eric’s normally inscrutable face. She’d known of course of his fascination with the fairy hybrid, but didn’t really know their story. The few times she’d tried to broach the subject with Sookie, she had been very kindly shut down while the conversation had remained on more general stories about her Maker.
Well, maybe now they can get it sorted out, she thought to herself. Maybe all they really need is just some time and conversation.
Awkwardly but with comfort in mind, she patted Eric’s shoulder twice, took the empty bag from his hand, and went back to the kitchen.
Grateful for the privacy, Eric withdrew his phone, turned the ringer off, then put it back in his pocket. While he didn’t know much at all about pregnant women from his human days, he did know that they needed rest, and he didn’t want his phone to wake her, especially since this was the first time he had been able to simply watch her as she slept. Well, this was the first time that he was in his right mind when he did so.
As he gazed at her face, he considered what else she might need. He knew that breeding females also needed red meat and lots of other foods, and that they sometimes ate strange things. His eyes fell to the now less-discernable bulge of her stomach, and he thought about how very uncomfortable carrying that around must be.
She probably waddles, he thought with a sad smile.
He wished he could have been there when she first realized that she was with child. He would have loved to have seen the expression of wonder and amazement on her face as she realized that she was carrying a new life within the safety of her own body.
When he had initially been notified of her pregnancy, his first instinct had been to go and buy every book he could find about it…nay, his eyes narrowed as he corrected his own thinking.
His first instinct had been to painfully end the man responsible, take her into his care and protection, and then go and buy all the books he could find.
His fists clenched. He knew he should have listened to his first instincts.
A little more than an hour later she started to fidget in her sleep, then with a whimper she stretched out more fully. He watched with an adoring gaze as she rubbed her cheek over her pillow then had a real stretch.
When she slowly opened her eyes, her gaze seemed to immediately find him, and her eyes grew huge in surprise. She blinked a few times, then a beatific smile brightened her entire face.
“Am I dreaming again, or are you real this time?”
**A/N: Thoughts? And let me know if you find the “suggested music” annoying. I won’t do it very often at all – out of all my stories this is the 2nd time – the first time was on Ch. 1, fwiw.**