Returning home from their month and a half travels, both had to admit for all the wonderful things they had done and seen, it was truly good to be home. Jessica had kindly sent Hoyt to the grocery store to fill the fridge with essentials; milk, orange juice, TruBlood, eggs and coffee. Leaving a note telling them she’d visit the next night after they’d had time to deal with jet lag. As much as they’d both wanted to see Jess and Hoyt, they were grateful for her foresight.
Sookie felt as if her feet were made of lead and her whole body felt as if she had brain damage. It was as if her body had some kind of delay in what she wanted it to do. Bill had carried all the luggage upstairs already and came down the stairs, his face broke into a wide grin as he reached her and said, “You are absolutely gobsmacked aren’t you?”
“Shut up.” She tried to glare at him but even that seemed to be working in slow motion, as did trying to laugh because of him using her favorite word newly learned on the trip.
He simply scooped her up and the next thing she knew she was in one of Bill’s t-shirts being tucked into bed. Bill slipped in beside her ran his fingers lightly down her cheek to her jaw. “I love you sweetheart, you are my life.”
He brushed his lips to hers and as she fell into the softness of sleep she murmured, “I do too…”
“What?” He was in his office.
“The garbage disposal isn’t working.”
“Be right there.”
Sookie sighed and finished scraping the food scraps into the sink from the cookout they’d had. Then she put the last of the dishes in the dishwasher and started it. It had become ‘A welcome home’ party of sorts, with Hoyt letting everyone know they were home it wasn’t surprising and it had been so much fun just laughing and talking with Arlene, Terry, Sam, Hoyt and Jess. At least they’d been nice enough to bring the food and Lafayette had insisted on doing the cooking, so Bill graciously let him! Sookie was relaxed and pretty content until the disposal wouldn’t work. She was just about to call out to Bill again only to find he stood beside her. “Dammit Bill!”
He laughed, grabbed her in his arms, and dipped her for a tango-style kiss that left her breathless, yet giggling. Meanwhile, he reached over and flipped the toggle up and down a few times. He saw Sookie cross her arms and shake her head from the corner of his eye.
“What?” he said as he turned to face her.
Sookie said drily, “Why didn’t I think of that? Or is that purely the only way a guy can figure out it’s really not working? You know, like, even after you’ve been told exactly that?”
Without missing a beat Bill said, “Sorry darling, it’s in the manual.”
This confused her and her brows knit quickly together. “You looked it up in the manual? I didn’t even know we still had the manual!”
Bill turned very solemnly to his wife and said, “No. The manual I refer to is the one all men receive around the age of thirteen or so… it’s very clear…” He ducked away from Sookie who was trying to smack him with the dish towel by grabbing her in his arms and peppering her face and neck with kisses. Though they’d been home nearly a week now, Bill was still quite exuberant in his affections and Sookie loved it.
“Bill…” she whined, squirming to get away despite grinning ear from ear.
He released her with a squeeze and said, “I’ll go check the breaker. There was a power surge during the storm last night.” He gave her bottom a light slap and danced away from her snapping dish towel as he headed to the basement.
A moment later she heard his muffled yell, “Try it!” She flipped the switch and whirred to life so she turned the water on as it began to grind away. An instant later, Bill was holding her from behind and there was little doubt as to what was on his mind. His hand roamed over her collarbones and breasts and he gently rolled her hardening nipples through her thin tank top. She flipped the disposer off and leaned her head back against his shoulder as he nibbled, licked and kissed his was up her throat before taking her earlobe between his teeth. Her sharp intake of breath when he applied pressure was all the invitation he needed… so he was shocked when she suddenly and quite firmly said, “No.”
He released her and she turned, undid the button and zipper of her shorts and let them shimmy down her legs whereupon she hooked one edge with her foot, tossed them across the kitchen floor and said, “I just got those… now where were we?” He quickly got them naked and they almost made it out of the kitchen. But the night was young and Bill was in the mood for some migratory sex.
The next morning, Sookie gingerly made her way downstairs. Her entire body, inside and out was giving her little zaps and twinges as she walked. But the smile on her face would easily be there for the entire day. The coffee was still hot even though she’d slept in, it was a little strong and slightly bitter but that was okay, she needed it. Plus she’d kind of gotten used to European coffee, so much so she’d brought some home with them. As she walked toward the front door mug in hand she was surprised to see one of the couches was tipped over, “Hmm…” she thought to herself, “when did we do that?” Sookie loved migratory sex and she was pretty certain the only places they hadn’t made it to was her office and the downstairs powder room.
But she laughed out loud when she glanced into Bill’s office. There were papers everywhere and his desktop was bare… then Sookie noticed the smudge and really began to laugh. As she opened the front door to go drink her coffee on the big porch she thought, “Note to self: Polish your butt print off Bill’s desk when the coffee’s gone.”
Sookie had to admit, Bill had been 100% right when he talked her into their six week trip to Europe, being in Venice gliding around in the moonlit canals, the evenings sailing in Marseille on Mr. Garth’s yacht had been magical, but her personal favorite was Verona, Italy. The city was amazing, Bill took her to the Opera and she’d enjoyed it tremendously. As nearly everything else in the ancient city, the building itself was stunning, its ages-old architecture was breathtaking and it blended quite nicely with the contemporary shops and coffee houses right next to this marvel of old and new, in fact that was where she’d bought the coffee.
Maybe that was why she felt almost a kinship of Verona. It was; for all intents and purposes, a perfect combination of old and new melding together just fine. It reminded her of Bill and herself. He was just under a decade away from 200 now. Even the things she had done during the days there without Bill had been incredible. Sookie had realized within the first 24 hours just how desperately she had needed the peace and relaxation. More so, how much she and Bill needed to become one again. It was almost like starting over and that shocked her. She’d not realized how complacent their relationship had become. Granted, it took a couple of weeks. She’d always loved Bill and would do anything for him. But she hadn’t felt so vibrantly in love with her husband in too long a time, and it took their trip to find that way back to themselves.
A few hours later, Sookie was sitting on the porch swing balancing her checkbook (which she admitted would be a lot easier if she didn’t keep forgetting to deduct the things she bought with her debit card) When she heard a car turn off of the paved road and onto their driveway. It didn’t sound like a delivery vehicle so she set her things aside and stood as the car came into view. When she recognized who it was her face lit up and she bounded down the porch steps and threw herself into her guests’ arms…
“Oh child, I have missed you terribly!” Mr. Garth said as he hugged Sookie tight. “I hope you will forgive my complete lack of manners by not letting you know I was coming.” He gently put Sookie’s feet on the ground and was rewarded with a brilliant smile.
“Of course I don’t mind! Would you like some coffee? I can make fresh or would you rather have iced tea?” Sookie had all she could do to keep from bouncing as they walked toward the house. She hadn’t realized how much she’d been missing Bob too until she saw him.
“Could I trouble you for a glass of your special sweet tea my dear?”
“Of course, do you want to come in or…” she let the sentence hang and Bob answered quickly.
“I would love to sit on the porch in one of your big rockers, it just lends such a relaxing feel to the visit, don’t you agree?”
She smiled up at him and said, “make yourself comfortable and I’ll be right back!”
They talked for hours, about everything and everyone. Bob told her that Joe was very pleased with Tara’s performance and that made Sookie very happy. Soon it was nearing dinner time. Sookie asked him to stay and he graciously accepted. He helped her in the kitchen as she made grilled chicken Caesar salads, along with a plate of cheese, crackers and cut fresh fruit. As they ate, Mr. Garth told her about a new business venture he was considering and he wondered if it would be an inconvenience to wait until Bill got up as he’d like his opinion on the matter.
Sookie was thrilled to know he was staying and knew Bill would love to see Mr. Garth too. After the dishes were cleared and a new pitcher of sweet tea ready to serve, Sookie and Bob sat in the living room talking. Thank God she’d righted the couch and straightened Bill’s office out earlier, she thought to herself. As the sun began to sink, Sookie excused herself to warm a TruBlood for Bill and refresh Bob’s tea. No sooner had the microwave dinged when Bill came downstairs, kissed Sookie, took his TruBlood and greeted Bob warmly.
He sat on the sofa next to Sookie and was a little surprised when Mr. Garth cleared his throat and said, “Sookie my dear, I must confess… there is no doubt that I came here to see you because it’s been far too long but,” He looked down for a moment and seemed to be deciding whether or not to continue.
“Sookie, my beloved, sweet child… I am about to be very blunt.”
Sookie frowned and looked at Bill, his eyes seemed as wary as her own. Slowly she turned her face back to Bob’s, her confusion stamped plainly in her features.
“I believe I can give you what you so dearly desire.” He paused then as Sookie’s eyes searched the depths of his, he stood and took her tiny hands into his and said as gently as the beat of a butterfly’s wing, “I can give you a child. A child you will carry to term and deliver safely.”
Bill could see, and more importantly, feel the utter shock that was rolling through her. But Bob’s next words stunned him to his very core…
“And we can do it with Bill’s DNA.”
Sookie and Bill were thunderstruck. And after what seemed like hours but in reality had been mere moments it was Sookie who found her voice first.
“You’re telling me, that I can have a baby. Bill’s baby. But I can’t… do it. I’ve failed in all my attempts! How can you say that I can actually carry to term! This is… I mean, how do you… what… oh... really?” Sookie’s words became whispers before they abandoned her because her mind was so overloaded with the very idea of having her actual, vampire husband’s child.
Bill regained his composure and looked Bob full in the face, eye to eye and asked the question that he had to know.
“You can do this? You can give my wife a child that is of my blood and her pregnancy will go full term? Could she be damaged physically? Could she die? ”
“Yes, she can carry your baby to term, and no, the risk is substantially less than the methods you’ve tried thus far. All we need to begin is her medical records.”
“Dear God…” Bill whispered as his mind raced through the implications of Bob’s words.
Sookie suddenly moaned lightly before bending forward to put her head between her knees. Bill knelt beside her in a nanosecond, “Dearheart, what do you need? Water?”
Mr. Garth sat down beside her and gently rubbed her back lightly, cursing at himself silently. Sometimes he forgot that his version of blunt to a human was often way beyond blunt in their world! He glanced at Bill and apologized with eyes and a slight shrug of his massive shoulders. Bill gave a small nod and returned all his attention to his wife, his own mind struggling to absorb the shocking information of the last few moments.
Sookie began to sit up, murmuring she was fine now. She sank back into the couch cushions, beads of sweat stood out on her very, very pale face and her eyes remained closed. She took a few deep breaths and said quietly, “Bill, do we have any brandy in the house?”
Surprised he stammered, “Ah, yes…” He was waiting for her to open her eyes but they didn’t, but his widened in disbelief when she asked him to get her a couple shots over ice. In a split second he got her drink and sat down on the coffee table in front of her, relieved when she finally opened her eyes and took the glass.
Sookie took a fairly big sip and actually relished the slow burn down her throat and the heat that blossomed somewhat pleasantly in her belly.
“Please, please forgive me my darling one… I…” Mr. Garth began but stopped speaking the moment she held her hand up to silence him.
Sookie took another drink and this one went down even better. Bill was shocked but also began to grin just a little, he had to admit this was a rare occurrence for his wife. Sookie took one more sip, then stood and walked across the room without saying a word. She just paced to and fro while Bill and Bob watched and neither of them was sure if they should speak to her.
Just as Bill was about to speak, Sookie looked at the two men as if they’d suddenly just appeared out of nowhere. She walked forward, set her half full glass on the coffee table and said, “Hang on.” She walked out and returned a moment later with a binder that Bill recognized instantly. It held every fact; the incredibly detailed explanations of various IVF procedures, including all the fertility options and probably most importantly, Sookie’s medical information.
She picked up her drink, and sat down next to Bob handing him the book and with a huge smile on her face said. “How fast can you read?”
To be continued…