Seething, snarling, and towering over the table, Eric couldn’t believe what his own Child had just suggested – how dare she! Sookie was his!
Fuck if he was going to let her…
There was no way in hell he was letting another vampire get their blood into his Sookie.
Even through the pounding of his fangs and the tensing of his muscles aching to spring at the threat to the sanctity of his fairy-hybrid’s blood, he still detected a niggling sense of betrayal that his own progeny would even think of doing such a thing. It could be excused, even lauded, if Sookie’s injuries had been life-threatening and he wasn’t around, but not only were her injuries technically minor, but he was standing right there!
Not being one to cower even from a vampire well over a thousand years older than herself, Willa had automatically risen from her seat at the inherent threat from Eric – her vampire instincts and the innate bravery carried over from her human days had demanded it. She wasn’t even aware that she was snarling or that her own fangs had descended – all her attention was focused on the furious Viking seconds away from removing her head.
With a livid, growling, fang-bearing Eric on one side of her and a reactive snarling fang-bearing Willa on the other, Sookie did the only thing she could to ease the sudden tension filling the kitchen.
She didn’t cry. She wasn’t worried. She wasn’t even afraid.
Sookie was pissed.
As a slight case of pregnancy rage overtook her already-taxed emotions, she stood up and slammed her palms down on the table so hard it made her hands sting.
“Enough! Damn! This is too crazy for words! Eric, put your fangs up and sit your ass down. And stop with the growling! Willa, honey, you do the same. Y’all are family and it’s high time you started acting like it, and growling and snarling at each other is not the way to do it, either!”
Shocked at her outburst, Eric relaxed his stance and sheathed his fangs, but remained standing at attention. He resented Sookie’s tone and words, but did appreciate not having to attack his own Child. He settled on staring hard at the blonde telepath instead as he ground his teeth.
It ate at him that his resolve to remain unemotionally involved with her had lasted all of, what, maybe an hour at the most?
He couldn’t believe himself. Raising a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose, he had to wonder if he was destined to always be this pathetic over her. Maybe Pam was right all along about Sookie being his elemental weakness, the Achilles’ heel to his existence. It was starting to look that way.
But then again, that resolution had been made before he’d received the update… Exactly how was he supposed to pretend that he didn’t worry about the keeper of his heart, the one whose existence ensured his own?
Willa gladly took the chance to retake her seat, both chagrined and proud of her instinctive behavior; although she was very relieved to not be attacked by her Maker. She knew she wouldn’t have any chance in hell of winning, but she’d certainly try her best. She might be a Burrell, but she was her mama’s daughter, too.
She was also very glad to see Sookie’s temper finally coming back. “Defeated” Sookie was made of sterner stuff than that and needed to go.
“Now then, that’s better at least. I am not a bone and I do not appreciate being made to feel like one. Eric, what would it matter to you if Willa did heal me with her blood? You’ve acted like we were all-but strangers since I woke up this evening…then that happened. I was thrilled to see you when I first woke up, but…never mind. I don’t know what’s going on, but I really don’t see the big deal with the blood. Willa, I appreciate your offer, but honestly, I’m fine. Besides, we need to get some pictures of my face as it is just in case there’s a trial, don’t we? We’ll have to use your phone, though. My battery’s dead and I don’t have my charger.”
Willa nodded and grabbed her phone quickly. Her nerves were still unsettled with little “damn, that was close” tingles still running up and down her spine, and she was glad to have something normal to do – well, if “normal” included taking pictures of the results of domestic violence…
She highly suspected that Eric would be giving the telepath his blood before the night’s end regardless of what she’d said, especially given the way he had narrowed his eyes at her words. Privately, she was rather proud of her friend for calling out her Maker for blowing hot and cold, even if she couldn’t quite blame him, either. Apparently things between them had been even more complicated than she’d thought.
“Good idea, Sook. Come over here and stand against this wall. It’s plain so it’d make a good background.”
When Sookie moved, she felt the baby start to move, too, but went over to the wall and leaned back against it anyway to get the proof pictures taken. As they worked, she couldn’t help but notice that every time Willa had her tilt her head a different way for yet another shot, Eric’s face would harden just a bit more until he finally looked away.
What is going on with him, she wondered as she excused herself to go to the bathroom now that she was fairly sure they wouldn’t kill each other in her absence. That was really odd. Why would he care if Willa gave me her blood? At least she offered… Well, he did offer to call a doctor for me, so I can’t complain. But hell, he’s been acting strange ever since I woke up.
Figuring she had hidden out in the bathroom as long as she could, she continued her inner monologue as she washed and dried her hands and slowly waddled back toward the kitchen.
It’s been years since I saw him last, so I guess he could have changed, and maybe he has, but in a way it doesn’t really feel like he has. But…still. He acts like he doesn’t care, not really, but then he does. Maybe he does still care, but doesn’t want me to know? But why? It’s not like he ever returned…
Suddenly she stopped near the table and gasped as a kick broke her train of thought. She grabbed her abdomen instinctively and started rubbing the scene of the internal soccer move.
“Sookie?” Eric spoke for the first time since the incident, his voice somehow managing to sound both clipped and concerned. He was by her side in an instant.
“It’s nothing. The baby’s kicking is all…oof!” Her words ended on a slight gasp as she felt another kick follow the first one, this one especially hard.
Before she could even blink, Eric had one arm about her waist holding her steady as he grabbed a chair and pulled it over with his other. He helped her to sit down and then knelt by her side. The worry evident on his face gave her more hope than anything else had that evening.
“Wow she’s active tonight,” she said with a wince. “I think she’s trying to swim in there.” The kid had no respect for internal spaces.
“She? It…it’s a girl child?” Eric’s face and voice reflected his awe as he asked the question.
Sookie nodded, a shy smile gracing her face as she gazed over into his surprisingly happy blue eyes and unguarded expression. There was the Eric she knew…and loved.
“I’d asked not to be told the sex of the baby since I wanted it to be a surprise, but I know she’s a girl. I just…know. Maybe it’s a fairy thing,” she trailed off with a shrug. She truly couldn’t explain how she knew; she just did.
The baby chose that moment to stretch, and, feeling very brave, Sookie grabbed Eric’s hand and placed it over the moving lump.
He held himself stiff for a moment, then, with a strange lack of defiance he let the rest of his resolve melt away into the enigma that was Sookie, and slowly, gently, stroked his long fingers over the mobile bulge in her abdomen.
A moment later he lowered his ear toward her baby bump, and sighed as Sookie placed her hand on his hair and lightly eased his head onto her stomach.
When she started threading her fingers through his hair, he closed his eyes against the almost painful prick of the tears he did not wish to fall. Between the comforting sound of the child’s rapid heartbeat and the feeling of his Sookie stroking her fingers through his hair…he could have stayed in exactly that position for at least a century.
With the comfort of his nearness and the heart-warming sight of his handsome face looking up at her as he pressed his ear against her stomach, Sookie allowed the peace of the moment to give her the courage to finally ask a question she had been dying to ask for years now.
“Eric, why didn’t you ever call me back?”
**A/N: Ok, so…you know how I said the drama/angsty part wouldn’t last very long? There ya go – better now? What’d ja think?**