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…
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
My apologies for being so long between chapters... life has a way of flying by without realizing it!
I hope you enjoy this and I'm well on my way to Chapter Three and I promise it won't take so long to post! ;)
Exciting things are happening to our favorite couple!
Sookie nor Bill had any idea how long they had lain in the big bed discussing every detail of their discussion with Mr. Garth. They lay side by side facing each other, the lights were low and the sound of the surf whispered around them. With their heads resting on their arms, it suddenly dawned on Sookie that her voice was rather hoarse and Bill had blood running from his ear. Which gave Sookie an idea, she reached across gently and wiped a drop of blood as it ran down his neck. She saw his eyes widen when she licked it from her finger.
“Baby, you’ve got the bleeds, if I ask you to do something will you?” Her eyes told him that this question was not an attempt for something coy or playful but rather something quite earnest. As well as what he felt through their blood bond, but her eyes were so… needful. He could not refuse her.
“What do you want me to do my darling” As his fingertips traced slowly down her jawline.
“I want you to bite me, but…” she caught her bottom lip with her teeth before releasing it to say, “don’t drink ‘til I tell you to okay?”
Bill nodded, his eyes shining pools of blue as his fangs dropped and felt, as well as heard, the tiny change in her heartbeat when they did. She exposed her throat to him and smiled. He kissed her lips and throat gently then swiftly lanced his fangs into her artery and held himself back.
“Now baby, now.” Her voice whispered almost silently a few seconds later.
Bill pulled on the tiny wounds and the blood surged through his body like lightning strike. He was dwarfed by the enormity of her emotions as they swirled within him, he’d always had an engulfing sense of Sookie’s love and devotion when he drank from her but this was even more than the night he’d taken her virginity and bit her for the first time. Tears flooded his eyes, and he began to shake with emotion that washed through him like a fire through dry grass. It took everything, every last conscious thought he still possessed to finally stop and release her.
He held himself above her with quaking arms, drops of blood, from his tears or his fangs, landing on her cheek when she whispered, “Did you feel it, sweetheart? Did you feel it too?”
His arms could no longer sustain him and he sank to the mattress beside her as she held his face in her hands. Once again laying side by side and face to face. It was by sheer habit that he pricked his fingertip and healed her wounds before cupping his hand around the back of her head, moving her gently toward him until they rested, foreheads together, eyes only millimeters apart.
“Sookie, what… what did you do to me?” He found himself gasping, not for air of course, but trying to rein in this volcanic feeling that still threatened to overwhelm him.
“It’s what I feel, it’s… this indescribable feeling at the thought of bearing not only a child, but your child!” Tears streamed from her eyes as well as his own and he pulled her to him and they wrapped themselves around each other in an almost cocoon-like way. Each one crying, each one murmuring loving words, touching, stroking and sharing the moment together, on one level, one moment that had never before been shared between them.
Mr. Garth was sitting in one of his opulent offices within the demon realm, sharing a drink with Mekahoomblek and another nearly full-blooded demon by the name of Rioslaskalak. He was the doctor that would be preparing Bill’s DNA as well as implanting the embryo. At the moment, they were discussing how exactly to proceed.
“I feel it will be of your daughter’s best interest to have the procedure performed within this realm, Great Temragobeshib. It will serve best for two reasons, should the embryo not implant correctly we will know instantly and can immediately perform another.” Rioslaskalak said gently.
Mr. Garth frowned slightly at that and said, “I was under the impression that the embryo not implanting was not an issue. Was I wrong?”
Rioslaskalak held his huge olive green hand up in a placating gesture, “No, it’s a rarity, one in a half-million but if we do it in her world, she’ll have to wait, not to mention all that nasty hormone level therapy business. Here, she will not have to be concerned with anything other than normal hormonal changes as the pregnancy progresses.”
Mekahoomblek laughed and said, “Yes, I wonder if Compton is prepared for that!”
All three demons chuckled, demon pregnancies were legendary for violence, intense volcanic emotional eruptions and ever-changing mood swings that had injured many a demon foolish enough to not pay proper attention. Then Mekahoomblek added, “It wouldn’t have more to do with you disliking having to disguise yourself, now would it?”
The doctor waved away the others’ words, “No. Besides, being so near full-blooded you know there is very little I can do to disguise myself completely, if not for Mrs. Compton’s being the Great Temragobeshib’s child, there would be no way for her to look upon me at all. Everything would have to be done with her sedated.
“And that is not going to happen! Sookie and young William will be together during the implantation procedure, it is of great emotional importance to them both, sedation is not acceptable.” Garth’s eyebrow’s knitted together a bit before he casually added, “There is no chance of her being in or feeling any pain is there?”
“None. Most of the females, including the humans, described it as a ‘pinch’ but none have classified it as any kind of pain.”
Garth sat for a moment looking at the glass in his massive hand, deep in thought. Finally, he raised it to his lips and drained the deep purple fluid and turned his eyes to the doctor.
“If you hurt her…” His face was a mask of such terrifying wrath that even Mekahoomblek shuddered. “I promise you it will take centuries for you to die at my hands.”
Rioslaskalak was only able to look at Garth’s face for a split second before rising from his chair, and moving immediately to kneel before Garth, his forehead pressed to the floor as he said haltingly, “She will feel no pain Great Temragobeshib. She will not be harmed in any way. I so swear to you this day.”
Garth rose, stepping over the prone demon as Mekahoomblek stood and together they left the office. It was a few moments before the doctor was finally able to stand and once he did his hand still shook when he reached for the doorknob. He needed to get back to his lab and ensure everything ready for Mrs. Compton’s appointment tomorrow. Even deep in his preparations, it took nearly two hours for the random tremors that shot through him to stop completely because of Garth’s ominous words.
Bill and Sookie were at the big table along with Joe, Rose and Mekahoomblek after a sumptuous meal they were enjoying Sookie’s favorite chocolate and raspberry dessert and coffee that was utter bliss. Sookie took a sip of her coffee and as she placed her cup down she asked, “But what about the light and not breathing and all that?”
Mr. Garth frowned deeply and said rather crossly, not to mention loudly, “When, and more to the point, who transported you through a demon hole?!”
Sookie stammered, “Uh… well it was John b-but…”
“It was how we got her to safety when Alan kidnapped her.” Joe stated quickly. “She was badly injured and it was the fastest way.” He gave a slight shrug of his shoulders.
Garth calmed in an instant and smiled at Sookie, “Forgive me child, usually transporting a human through a demon hole is forbidden.”
Sookie relaxed and took a sip her coffee, just as Rose added, “Oh yes, John would have been in for some very painful disciplining if he’d done so without permission.”
Sookie’s cup rattled against the saucer when she put it down and Bill casually took her hand in his giving it a slight squeeze before holding it gently, yet firmly. Sookie was understandably a little nervous as the time for ‘IVF Demon-style’ as she referred to it, got closer. The reanimation of Bill’s DNA had been categorically successful to such a degree that if tested by human doctors they would have absolutely no idea the DNA they tested was a vampires’.
Bill cleared his throat lightly and said, “Just how long will we need to remain in the demon realm?”
Joe fielded that one, “The longest would be thirty-six hours but more than likely you’ll both be back after twelve or so, probably your own bed in under twenty-four.”
Rose gave Sookie a huge smile and added, “Happily pregnant and well, subject to some immediate symptoms I’m afraid.” The smile turned sympathetic and said, “Well, in actuality it will be more from the change of realms but you might find yourself a little… queasy.”
This time Sookie gave Bill’s hand a squeeze and said, “Think you’re ready for that… Dad?”
Bill brought her hand to his lips, kissed it tenderly and said, “More than you can imagine.” In that moment it was just the two of them in the room, in three weeks Sookie would be carrying Bill’s child and within that instant as he held her hand, that tiny moment among friends that was the only thing that mattered.
The next week or so was a whirlwind of long, deep meaningful discussions and wild, uninhibited and frequent love-making. Both were done with great frequency, especially the making love part… Bill and Sookie had always been very sensuous and expressive sexual beings so they were kind of ‘stocking up’. In order to be implanted in the other realm, Sookie was not allowed any female anatomy stimulation whatsoever for seven days prior. So while Sookie pouted a little that he couldn’t even get her going with just kisses and some love nips, Bill was also affected in that he was not able to feed on so much as a drop of her blood and because it was such an integral part of their love making, he didn’t dare even bite. Neither of them liked feeling those selfish little moments, but the reward of having a lifetime with a child of their very own was worth every potential sexually frustrated moment. As it so happened, they didn’t even give it a thought once it began, they were too busy arguing over baby names.
Sookie was lying next to the pool as Bill alternately swam and or hung on the side of the pool discussing the whys and wherefores of the reason the names they’d picked out more than a year ago no longer being adequate. At the moment, Bill was squabbling with her about why the boy’s name (Michael Jonas Compton) they’d agreed upon when they’d first began the journey to having a child was no longer a suitable choice. Sookie’s sole point, therefore making it complete and total logic, was that the first attempts had failed and since this was going to work the name should be new. Bill finally concurred, not wishing to upset Sookie unnecessarily. Secretly he found it slightly endearing even if a little dramatic but he understood her reasoning… for once.
To say that Sookie was nervous was, quite frankly, the understatement of the millennia. They were at Bob’s penthouse and after spending hours trying to find solace in the garden she gave it up and came inside and much to Bill’s dismay, began pacing. He finally sat on one of the sumptuous sofas and welcomed Sookie when she sat beside him, gently stroking her hair to help soothe her, planting chaste kisses on the top of her head, his long fingers lightly caressing her neck and jawline, smiling whenever he caught her eyes… but it didn’t last long before she jumped to her feet and was once again off to pace. When he knew she couldn’t see him he’d dashed to call John, telling him that Sookie was edging closer and closer to panic mode.
She’d made a number of circuits when she suddenly dropped beside him and began to cry as if her heart was breaking. His pain was nearly as unbearable as hers, he held her to comfort her and began to have serious doubts about the whole idea when they became aware at the same moment that Garth stood before them.
His massive form gently reached forward and in an instant he held Sookie in his massive arms, cooing to her to calm her tears and quiet her mind. “Oh dear sweet child, there are no reasons for your tears.” He gently kissed the crown of her head as he rocked slightly, holding her as if comforting a small child. He sat lightly on the edge of the other sofa, pulling out a snowy white handkerchief to wipe away her tears and gesturing for her to use it.
He sat back, moving Sookie with him smoothly. She melted herself into him and in doing so, relaxed Bill completely. He could feel her mind and chaotic contemplations beginning to subside and Bill was grateful to Bob and his abilities to bring Sookie down from her ‘ledge’ as some situations warranted. Once she was in control, her tears stopped and her breathing almost normal, Mr. Garth spoke softly, “Sookie, you seem worried beyond measure and so I must ask… do you really want to do this? Or are you doing this only because of young William here and you think you should as his wife?”
Sookie’s eyes cut to Bill’s but before she could answer, Bill knew instinctively that this was a conversation he was best not to participate in. He stood, smiled and said, “I’ll be in the garden.” He reached to kiss Sookie where she sat and as she began to protest, he simply kissed her again and left the room. While Bill had no doubt that she wanted this, truly wanted it, she couldn’t speak freely about anything that might be bothersome if he was sitting across from her.
He stepped into the night and breathed deep as the door behind him closed and his mind processed the succulent scents, flowers, fragrant shrubbery and under it all, the city of Shreveport, the hot smell of the roads, the restaurants, the refuse and oddly enough the humans all around him. As an apex predatory, humans had always been the first thing he scented. Now, he barely noticed them at all. He walked to his favorite bench in the garden sat down and took another deep breath, this one full of night blooming jasmine and the tree chippings that served as mulch. It seemed like everyone familiar with Garth’s rooftop haven had a favorite space and Bill’s had been chosen because of the statuary.
It reminded him of Sookie, the tilt of her head, the guileless manner the face held reminded him of how Sookie viewed the world and the people in it… always ready to believe there was good in people, even now after spending a lifetime of learning otherwise, she never gave up that one, precious hope. As he sat there his mind drifted through various memories. The first time he saw her at Merlotte’s, the first time she came to him, running… her feet and the bottom of her night gown wet from the dewy grass. And the evening Jason brought her to him on his arm, radiant, gorgeous beyond belief, her eyes shiny with unshed tears and the feeling of becoming complete as they said their vows.
He closed his eyes and thought about how she’d found a way to make him feel what this meant to her, what it meant for him and what life would become for them as their world expanded. He stood when he heard the click of the door as Sookie stepped out. He went to her and she wrapped him in her arms and he kissed the crown of her golden head with a gentle touch so as not to be tempted to deepen a real kiss to one of urgent need. She pulled back just enough to look into his eyes overflowing with love to whisper, “I’m ready… let’s go.”
Sookie had to admit, just walking through the hidden door in Mr. Garth’s office beat the hell out of using a demon hole. But she squinted at the brightness and Garth quickly handed her a pair of sunglasses. “I’m sorry my dear, I forgot to give them to you before we left.”
She put them on and gave him a big smile and Bill took her hand in his. They had opened the door and stepped directly into the gleaming white hallway that led to where the procedure was to take place. They’d been there the day before to meet with the doctor and receive detailed information as to how the procedure was performed.
They’d met Dr. Rioslaskalak or Dr. Rios, as he’d asked them to call him much to Sookie’s relief… (some demon names were damn hard to pronounce!) and were a bit stunned to learn that the procedure was going to involve an incision but even more so when they were shown exactly how it would be done. They had not realized they were going to be seeing the procedure on an actual patient, that was in fact already prepped. Sookie kept reminding herself in her head that the woman was NOT a guinea pig, but once they met the young woman and learned it was indeed a scheduled appointment; and more so that she was thrilled for them to watch. Sookie caught just a flash of thought from her and the bottom line was that this woman was proud to be able to help the Great Temragobeshib’s daughter. It made Sookie happy and also made her so very grateful of the day Mr. Garth had walked into her life. Without him, she would have never have had her husband’s child, nor would her husband be safe to sit in the sun beside her.
The technology was amazing at any rate. There was a tiny blue line on the woman’s abdomen, but no blood or no burning smell because it wasn’t a laser or bovie knife. Somehow it simply separated the tissue on a molecular level, essentially it was like pushing your hand through smoke. In mere moments, they slipped a tiny probe about the same size as a humming bird’s beak, removed it, wiped the already disappearing incision and the procedure was over. They explained to Sookie and Bill that the lush mattress the young woman lay upon was for her utmost comfort because Sookie would have to lie motionlessly for a minimum of four hours, she would then be tested (they both declined learning exactly how it was done, seeing as they had no idea of what was being described thus far anyway) and if Sookie wished they could be home sometime within the following eight to twelve hours depending on how Sookie felt.
Not surprisingly, Bob had insisted that once Bill and Sookie left the demon realm they would be his guests for at least a day. Sookie had agreed as soon as Bob had brought it up so Bill just acquiesced gratefully. Mr. Garth had fully briefed Dr. Rios and his staff beforehand to prepare them about Sookie’s fears of trouble with the pregnancy so they all knew she was hyper-vigilant when it came to the possibility of miscarriage.
Now as she, Bill and Mr. Garth made their way down the corridor Sookie became aware of some sort of undercurrent she’d not felt the day before. It was an odd feeling and one Sookie couldn’t decipher but she dismissed it as nerves. A moment or two later they entered the beautifully appointed waiting area before she would be taken to prep and once everything was ready, Bill would join her in the room where the procedure would be performed.
Dr. Rios greeted them warmly and Sookie realized she was shaking and her belly felt full of butterflies. Garth took her hands in his, leaning down he kissed both of her cheeks and gave her a massive bear hug. He could feel her trembling as he held her and as he took a step back he cupped her chin to tilt her head to look into her eyes, “Relax my beloved, your heart will soon be bursting with happiness! In a few hours you will be carrying your husband’s child and it will be the start of a new and enchanting adventure in your life.”
Sookie’s eyes shone with unshed tears and she was too choked up to speak but words weren’t necessary, he knew the emotions that filled her and with one final kiss on her forehead he turned over to the doctor.
Dr. Rios smiled and gestured to a large white door held open by an assistant. Another stood ready to escort Bill to his changing area, with a quick kiss they separated and entered their respective doors. Sookie, followed Dr. Rios until they came to a door, he smiled his shark-like smile and said he’d see her in a few moments. Sookie followed the nurse to a dressing area, where Sookie asked the woman what her name was. The nurse, whose eyes never met Sookie’s, seemed shocked and stuttered a bit before telling Sookie her name was Gwendolyn. Sookie gave her a big smile and asked if she could call her Gwen. The nurse smiled and told her that would be fine and then showed Sookie where to hang her things and asked if there any questions she could answer for Sookie.
Sookie just smiled and murmured no, before she stepped into the changing room to undress. Sookie’s hands were shaking so badly she could barely unbutton her blouse. She froze suddenly, her mind going into overdrive in an almost flight or fight response kind of feeling. Why was this happening? She wanted this, sure she’d been nervous before that other IVF procedures but this was more than that. She felt her legs go a little rubbery and she sank into a beautifully upholstered chair and put her head between her knees. Once the dizziness passed she concentrated on her breathing until she felt herself calming. What was her problem?
Taking in a deep breath, she slowly blew it out and began undressing. This was silly and she knew it, this was so much more than either she or Bill had anticipated when they decided to have a child she was hard-pressed to explain her anxiety. Then she heard the click of the door and Bill said softly, “Sookie, may I come in?”
“Yes, please!” and she ran to his arms in only her bra and panties, he held her tenderly and could feel her heart beating hard in her chest.
“Sweetheart, we don’t have to do this. If you’re feeling unsure, well, perhaps we shouldn’t.” He looked deeply into her sweet chocolate eyes, concern etched on his face. She took one look at the worry on his face and thought, ‘ah yes, the joy of blood bonds’ but smiled as she cupped the side of his face with her palm, and in that one moment, all she saw was her question answered.
“I’m okay, just a little nervous I guess. Bill?”
“Even if this wouldn’t be possible I would still love you more than life itself.”
Bill relaxed and took her hand from his face, kissing the center of her palm before pressing it against his heart. “I love you the same my darling wife,” he whispered, “Now finish getting ready so we can make a baby.” He kissed her forehead and stepped back. Sookie couldn’t help but give a light-hearted laugh when she realized she was standing there in her underwear. Then she turned back to finish changing, her heart unburdened and her spirit soaring.
Sookie was more than a little shaken when she followed Gwen into the procedure room, mostly because the second the door opened the three people present dropped to their knees and placed their foreheads on the floor. With a frown Sookie said, “Why are they doing that?”
Even Dr. Rios seemed quite surprised at her question, “You are the Great Temragobeshib’s child, if they did not show you respect or worse so much as looked upon you they will be severely punished of course.”
This was one of the things Sookie hated most about the ‘rules’ in other realms and for that matter, various other supernatural codes of conduct. It could have been her nerves or maybe just a coping mechanism at that moment but she said, “I will NOT have anyone bowing down to me in fear of punishment!” With that she said, “All of you, please stand up and go about your preparations.” Slowly they rose but none would look at her. In contrast, Dr. Rios and Gwen looked like she’d hit them with a stick. With a slightly smug grin at Bill, Sookie stepped onto the footstool and sat down on the procedure-recovery bed and Sookie thought that she almost wished she could have a mattress like this at home. She’d never felt one so comfortable!
One of the people quickly covered Sookie with a warm blanket, careful not to make eye contact but Sookie saw just a ghost of a smile on her face, especially when Sookie said thank you. Sookie lay back and looked at Bill who just grinned at her, shaking his head all the while certain that Sookie’s odd ways would be the talk of the town, so to speak, tonight in this demon realm.
Bill was lying on his side with his arms around Sookie and she was nestled in close, her breathing deep and steady. It was still a wonder to him as he held the ultrasound picture in his hand. He couldn’t stop looking at the image. Even though it was the tiniest of white blurs in what seemed a mass of them, it was their blur and Bill continued to marvel over it. Because of various factors in the demon realm, once Sookie had reached the time limit for staying still, the ultrasound showed a fetus that was roughly at a healthy ten-week stage. Had they chosen to, Sookie could have simply stayed there and the entire pregnancy would have lasted just about four months.
They’d rejected the idea mainly because they wanted to experience a more normal growth rate and all that went with it, but also because it would be difficult to explain to others. This way they could just tell others they hadn’t told anyone they were giving IVF one last chance until Sookie had passed the ‘danger’ of miscarriage. None of their loved ones would give that explanation a moment’s thought having suffered through the other failed attempts and the toll it took on the couple.
Sookie began to stir and when her eyes fluttered open she saw his blue eyes so filled with love and tenderness she smiled back broadly and murmured, “Hello daddy.”
He kissed the tip of her nose and said, “Hello mama.” Then she shifted against him and began to sit up, “Are you alright dearheart?” As expected, she’d gotten sick when they returned to Garth’s penthouse.
Sookie slid to the side of the bed and said, “Yup, just experiencing one of the new joys of pregnancy.” She stood to make sure she wasn’t dizzy and smiled. “Potty time!”
Bill couldn’t hold back his laugh and begged her forgiveness but she herself was all smiles and didn’t mind in the least. Well, for the moment. When she was done washing her hands she stepped back into the bedroom and Bill was happy to see her smile was still wide as she said laughingly, “looks like a second joy is making itself known, I’m starving!”
Bill got off the bed and scooped her off her feet, “Dr. Rios said for you to take it easy for the first few days so…” and then they were in the kitchen with Bill setting her gently on one of the chairs.
Smiling Sookie said, “Bill, I think walking to the kitchen probably wouldn’t be considered “not” taking it easy!”
“Maybe, maybe not but for at least the next couple days I get to decide what is and isn’t.” Sookie rolled her eyes and shook her head at him but her smile never changed. “Now… what do you want?”
“Truth be told, I’d kill for lasagna but seeing as it’s no fun for you or me for that matter, to do without garlic bread how about grilling something?”
Not surprisingly and because Bob knew how much they enjoyed grilling out, there was a state-of-the-art grill in the garden, not to mention a refrigerator packed to the hilt.
Bill opened the fridge and said, “Carnivore or herbivore?”
“Oh, carnivore for sure!”
“Well, there are three cuts of steak, thick-cut pork chops, lamb chops, ground sirloin, venison steaks, chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks, rainbow trout, catfish and wait,” He reached into the fridge and moved something before adding, “shark steak, tiger prawns and tilapia fillets.” He turned and looked at her awaiting her decision.
“Ooo… how about pork chops with baby red parsley potatoes, steamed carrots and cinnamon grilled apples?” Sookie knew Bob would have made certain any companion side imaginable would be stocked too and he did know her favorites.
“Your wish is my command.”
Sookie gave a snort of a laugh and said, “Yeah, that’ll wear off quick enough! Oh wait! Maybe lamb chops… wait! How about both!” As Bill put a few carrots and a peeler in front of her, hiding his smile as he went out to start the grill. He decided he’d also grill up a chicken breast and a tilapia fillet just to be on the safe side. Sookie peeled the carrots, eating two of them before she was done. Technically, she was farther along in her pregnancy than she’d ever been before and it was exciting.
She had heard Arlene and Anne talking about how ravenous they got and Sookie had wondered if she would be the same way. She knew now they weren’t kidding, she felt like she hadn’t eaten in days! She wondered what her ‘weird’ craving would end up being. Jason told her once that he knew Annie was pregnant with Chase before she did because she’d done the shopping and had bought six cans of salmon!
Bill came back in and asked her if she wanted barbeque sauce on her chops which she debated for a minute before saying yes but not a lot. She got up to put the carrots in the steamer and washed the potatoes before setting them to boil. Bill came in and wrapped his arms around Sookie from behind and she leaned her head back against him and kissed his jaw.
“Baby, do you really not care if it’s a boy or girl?” As she rocked slightly from foot to foot. They’d had the option of knowing but they’d decided to be surprised.
Bill began planting soft kisses just below her ear and lower and Sookie felt a surge of pure sexual heat flare up so demandingly it surprised the hell out of her. “Whoa!”
“Sook…?” then he felt it and it took him so by surprise that his fangs snicked into place before he thought about it consciously.
Sookie moaned and said rather petulantly, “Great and we’re not supposed to do anything for at least seven days.”
Bill chuckled and said, “Oh but just think about how wonderful it will be when we can.”
“Yeah, yeah,” she said as she stepped away from him to snip some fresh parsley from the countertop herb garden to wash and chop. “By that time I’ll either spontaneously combust or be completely insane from my wanton desires. These potatoes won’t take a lot longer, go make my meat, husband of mine.”
Unfortunately, Sookie stopped worrying about her sexual desires when she got her first lesson in pregnancy foibles… the barbeque sauce she’d eaten her entire life, gave her an absolutely awful case of heartburn and the fear that she’d never be able to eat anything made with it ever again. It also hadn’t helped that in addition to a pork and a lamb chop she’d also had a bite or two of the chicken and tilapia. She’d just been so damn hungry! Now she was miserable and trying to decide if she was going to barf and if it doing that might make her feel better.
It was one of the rare times that Bill wished he was capable glamouring Sookie. She was utterly miserable and he couldn’t do a thing to make her feel better. It made him a little nervous about what was to come but he was sure they’d get through it well enough.
On the drive from Shreveport they’d decided they would give it a week before letting others that she was indeed pregnant. Bill could tell that Sookie was a little nervous about the announcement because of the other failed pregnancies but he kept that to himself. Sookie was truly in the driver’s seat when it came to all things ‘baby’.
They’d been home for a good week when Bill woke mid-morning to a feeling of despair emanating from his wife. He discovered her sitting on the ottoman in the dressing closest, fat tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Darling what’s wrong?” He knelt beside her and cradled her face in his hands using his thumbs to wipe away her tears.
She looked at him her eyes overflowing and cried, “I’m gonna get fat! My new shorts won’t even button!”
It was Bill’s initiation to fun-filled pregnancy game called “Name That Raging Hormone”. Bill comforted his wife without cracking a smile, a fact that he was quite proud of, and after he assured her it would only be a temporary thing. She was inconsolable for about an hour but slowly relaxed with Bill’s cooing over her.
He had picked her up and carried her to their bed and while snuggling her close explained that she was beautiful and the fact that she was carrying his child was a miracle that would negate any thought on her part as to how her body would change. They lay intertwined on the bed, his fingers tracing little circles on her back and she was so still that Bill thought she’d fallen asleep. He kissed the top of her head gently, then surprised him when she spoke.
“Let’s go to Halé Nohea.”
“Alright, do you want me to call Greg now?” He wanted to ask her why but thought better of it, he didn’t want to upset her now that she calmed down.
“No, I’ll call him tomorrow, maybe leave tomorrow night?”
“That sounds fine, so… tell me what you did today?”
“Barfed. Peed a million times then got depressed when I discovered my clothes are already starting to not fit.”
Bill kissed her lightly and pulled her closer to him. This, he thought, is going to take some real diplomacy.
On the flight to Hawaii, Sookie spent a large part of it asleep in their bed on the plane. But not before explaining why she wanted to go so badly. He understood her wanting to go there a little better now although he could tell there was another reason she just didn’t want to say yet or didn’t realize she wanted to say yet. It was harder for her to stay up for more than a few hours at night and it was much better to adjust his schedule to half days and nights at Halé Nohea. During an emotional moment, just one of many to come, Sookie tearfully explained that now that she was sleeping so much, he was missing out on the most important part of her pregnancy.
Bill wasn’t exactly sure this was the ‘best’ part but he had to admit, he had begun feeling a little lonely without her awake when he was. It reminded him of the days in the beginning of their relationship when he slept under his house or hers and often times was roused from his rest with her sometimes explosive moods. The times when her daily life was taken up by long hours at the bar, too many bills with too little pay and of course a boyfriend that could only be up after sundown. Just then, Greg advised him they would be landing in about twenty minutes. Bill decided to let Sookie sleep but he did get into bed with her and wrap her in his arms in case touchdown was bumpy.
Once the jet taxied to their hanger, he carried her off the plane and into the car, she barely stirred when he put her to bed. He was glad she was sleeping so soundly and a little surprised she hadn’t needed the bathroom thus far. Because it had been a sudden decision to come he checked the fridge and was relieved to see the fridge fully stocked, he knew she’d be ravenous when she woke. That done, he went back to the master suite set the alarm and crawled into bed beside her. She rolled to be closer to him and he drew her near, smiling at the thought of getting some sun tomorrow.
After a brief hissy-fit the next morning at finding most of her shorts tight, there was a moment of utter joy, when he suggested she just wear one of her swimsuits, Sookie did and when she stood up Bill was nearly overwhelmed with emotion. Sookie’s bikini revealed perfectly the small bulge that was their baby. Bill walked over to her slowly and placed his hand upon her tummy, sliding it across the already firm feeling bump so perfectly framed by her suit. It was a heady moment indeed, though he’d been with her day and night since returning from the realm after the procedure, somehow this just made his blood sing and his heart melt.
He kneeled before her, putting his hands on her hips and kissed the belly that held their own little miracle. He was so glad their seven days was up because he untied her swimsuit and took his wife back to their bed so he could worship her body completely.
They were stretched out on beach chairs, their hair and skin warmed by the sun when Sookie suddenly said, “I know why I really wanted to come here.”
If there was one thing Bill had learned thus far in his wife’s pregnancy was that random comments such as this were becoming more frequent. “Why is that, dearheart?”
Bill pondered this for a moment, it wasn’t like Sookie not to elaborate and he weighed the pros and cons of whether or not to ask for more information. Sookie could often be much like coming upon a hand grenade with the pin pulled. You didn’t know if you had time to get away before it blew. He decided a non-answer was likely the best course of action, so he simply said, “Hm.”
It was a good call as she finally added some clarification, she also rose part way turned toward him and propped her chin on her hand, “I mean, if you think about it, Bob has done some downright phenomenal stuff for us. Like the dome, you can be in the sun with me and this house itself, the jet and the cherry on top of the sundae is quite obviously our baby… think about it Bill… our baby, mine and yours! It’s unbelievable I still feel like pinching myself at times.” She sank back down onto the chaise and sighed happily, “You know, never in my wildest dreams could I envision our life without Bob in it. Halé Nohea is a big part of the start of our life together as parents too. If we didn’t have this we wouldn’t get to share time together,” she reached out for his hand and he took it, “I don’t want to stay here the entire pregnancy but it seemed important to come, kinda because without my beloved demon dad, who knows where we’d be?”
Bill chuckled at that, “yes he has been amazing to us, but that’s all on you Sookie my love, you won his heart.” He brought her hand to his mouth and kissed the back of it gently. He realized that coming to spend more time together was only part of it for her, she felt blessed here, in the world Garth had provided for them, a world where it didn’t matter that he was vampire and she was human. It made so much more sense to him now, Sookie wanted to be where they could truly be as one or three as the case may be.
He heard her sigh yet again and he tried hard to mask his smile, she released his hand and he stood up with her. She caught the glimpse of his amusement though and said with barely concealed annoyance, “You wouldn’t think it was so funny if you had a baby dancing on your bladder!”
To which he snapped her into his arms, and zoomed her into the house, depositing her in the bathroom before asking her if she wanted anything to drink. She reached out to smack him but he dodged away and he heard her little giggle as she closed the door and he headed toward the kitchen for a TruBlood. Bill was thinking about Bob more and more. Sookie was right, they would most likely be struggling in one way or another to work their way through a standard vamp/human relationship. As he removed the heated TruBlood from the microwave, Bill had an idea but for the time being he didn’t want to share it with his wife. He had some hard thinking to do because he had to be sure of the proper protocol. He heard Sookie coming down the hall and knowing she was already following a sort of routine… he opened the fridge, handing her a bowl of freshly cut fruit and a fork. Then hand in hand they sat poolside debating names, listening to her telling him how great the fruit was and then debating whether or not they were both ready for a nap.
To be continued...
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
So happy to be back!
Sookie was lying on top of Bill, his arms around them with his hands splayed across the still tiny swelling of her belly. They moved gently in the ebb and flow of the ocean and the new moon accentuated the brilliance of the stars even more. As they floated Sookie asked, "I'm not sure where I like stargazing more, here or at home."
"Well," her husband replied, "there are pros and cons to both. Not only are there less bugs here, the rocking usually puts you to sleep."
"Mm-hm. But there aren't any sharks at home."
"True but there are gators. Neither of which I might add ever bother us." He moved his head just enough to kiss her ear shell before nipping her lobe lightly.
She giggled and said, "This is also true, but when it comes down to it, this view, being in this body of water, seeing the vastness of the sky above us… it's pretty. You know I don't remember a lot about my Gramps but I remember him once telling Jason, "You're thinking too highly of yourself boy, just take a good look at God's night sky. It'll put you in your place." It was right before he died and Jason was being a real handful at the time. But it sure is true, isn't it?"
He was silent for a beat before pressing his hands ever so gently on her abdomen and whispered, "Are you saying we're insignificant? You're carrying our child, dearheart, compared to that everything else is insignificant."
Sookie smiled and then sighed, "Let's go back in, I feel like having a fire and some of that mango-banana yogurt you made me."
They gently rolled over and allowed the waves to move them towards shore, Bill making certain Sookie was always above and before him. On many occasions, they'd seen sharks, even aggressive bull sharks did astounding U-turns in the water the second they scented Bill but he never took the chance and always kept Sookie away from any avenue of potential attack.
In moments, they reached the surf and as they walked to the rinse shower, Sookie heaved a heavy sigh, she ducked her head beneath the shower head and Bill handed her a big, fluffy towel before rinsing off himself. Sookie was already walking up the stairs before saying, "You know one thing I really love?"
Bill, beside her now asked, "What my darling wife?"
"That feeling when you get out and your body still feels that movement, like your insides haven't caught up with the fact you're not in the ocean anymore. I can't help but wonder if that floaty feeling is like what the baby feels."
He picked her up and zipped up the rest of the stairs, settling her on the soft and comfortable oversized pillows on their private balcony and began making a fire. He asked her if she wanted to take a shower and get dressed for bed first and she decided she did. He zipped them inside and they took a quick shower and once back outside, Bill combed Sookie's hair as she reclined against him slightly. When her hair was tangle-free, they slid down further on the cushions and she pushed her boxer shorts down and her t-shirt up and Bill rubbed sweet smelling cocoa and shea butter onto her skin, caressing the bump gently.
Sookie sighed contentedly and Bill put the jar aside. "You know… there is a big part of me that would feel completely satisfied staying here."
Snuggling closer to one another and getting comfy Bill said, "We don't have to leave tomorrow, I'm sure another week or two wouldn't make much difference one way or the other. I wouldn't mind as long as I can rub lotion on my, 'baby mama' twice a day I'm fine!"
Sookie giggled at that, muttering, "baby mama" under her breath before sighing again and glancing at his face. "That makes staying tempting but the fact is I'm really getting anxious to start telling people."
Sookie had told Tara and Annie before they left for Halé Nohea, only after swearing both to strict secrecy. Both women understood Sookie's reasoning, believing the chance of miscarriage was her reason for keeping it under wraps. They were all too well aware of what Sookie had gone through previously.
"Sweetheart, even a few more days wouldn't be such an outrageous thing, we can certainly stay longer." He gently kissed her temple. She lifted her face and he brushed her lips with a kiss as well.
"I know," she moved slightly to lay her head on his chest and watch the flames. "but I think it's time for me to stop being so selfish."
Bill barked a soft laugh and squeezed her closer, "Sookie, you are the least selfish person I know, well except with coffee, you hate sharing coffee."
"I do not!" She smacked him playfully on the chest and he laughed again, "okay, maybe sometimes but c'mon! You know what I'm like when I'm tired and need coffee!"
"True and who knows, maybe you won't be so attached to it by the time you're done breastfeeding and the ban on caffeine is over."
Sookie sighed, this time heavily and said, "Who are you kidding? I plan to have a double-shot expresso when I go into labor just to help move things along!"
"Whatever you say my love," he kissed her hair and murmured, "should I add another log?"
Sookie grinned wickedly and asked, "Do you plan to have me under the stars?"
Bill had a new log on the fire and her top off before answering, "Absolutely my darling, absolutely."
"I still want yogurt before we go to sleep."
"Anything…" Bill murmured as he kissed the instep of her foot, then nibbled on her toes.
It was almost noon before Bill was in his pod and Ali drove them to the airport, Greg took over in the private hanger and Ali smile broadly giving Sookie another bear hug.
"You'll let me know how things are going?" Ali asked her brows knitting together with worry.
"Don't be silly! Of course, I will!"
"It's just weird to think you won't be back for so long…"
"I can't say we won't come back for sure before I'm due but yeah, it could be a while. Flying with an infant is a delicate thing." She gave Ali one last hug and then boarded the plane. She knew Bill was likely asleep in his pod and she was feeling a little bit sad so she buckled herself in and took her novel out of her bag. She read for a while and dozed off and on, before getting up to use the rest room and then checked on Bill.
She was surprised to find him lying in bed, completely out, he must have left the pod and come out to the cabin while she'd been napping. She kicked off her sandals and crawled into bed beside him. She wasn't against going home exactly, but she knew that life there was going to be a worlds difference compared to Hawaii. There, being with Bill on his readjusted schedule had been easy, it wouldn't be at home. For them to keep the rhythm of new sleep patterns, she would need to be in the bedroom a lot. That wasn't going to be easy but she was willing, actually more than willing! She wanted Bill to share in this pregnancy every step of the way and that meant a lot of time in the light tight bedroom.
She'd given some thought to having Hoyt do some remodeling one or two light tight spaces downstairs but that had drawbacks too. Mainly because it would change the layout of the house and Bill was quite proud of their fully restored home. It really was magnificent and vampire or not, she didn't want to see it altered either.
Bill woke just enough to lie on his side, kiss her forehead and pull her closer and whisper, "stop worrying dearheart, we'll be fine." Within a few moments, they were both sound asleep.
Neither was the least bit surprised to find a vampire friendly town-car waiting for them in the hanger, even though night had already fallen. But most especially when they found John smiling the biggest smile possible standing beside it with the door already opened.
"John!" Sookie cried out and quickly stepped into his open arms. She hugged him fiercely and his face held pure bliss.
"May I?" he asked tenderly and Sookie's smile shone like a lighthouse as she stepped back a bit.
John almost reverently placed one of his hands on Sookie's abdomen and when he did it brought tears to both their eyes. She placed her hands on his, pressing it against her belly and he sighed happily. Then they both stepped back as Bill stood beside them smiling.
"John," he said as he extended his hand to shake. Over the years, Bill had become accustomed to handshakes, a practice other vampires couldn't quite understand.
"Welcome back," John replied, "and congratulations!" Bill grinned widely.
John moved to the door and Sookie and Bill slipped inside. John got behind the wheel and in moments they were headed to Bon Temps, they chatted off and on and Sookie carefully hid the smile that appeared each time she heard John taking in a deep breath in order to enjoy the 'scent' of her pregnancy.
Demons, full or partial, loved how moms-to-be, babies and children smelled and brought pure joy to their hearts. It was why some of the world's best OB-GYNS and pediatricians out there had demon bloodlines. Contrary to conventional beliefs of most humans, the lives and well-beings of mothers and their children were the first and only priorities to any and all demon-heritage doctors.
Sookie had once asked Rose about it and she told Sookie that demons got a bad rap in the 'old-times' not as stealers of babies' souls but rather trying to protect them from worse monsters. Sookie wasn't allowed to know exactly what that species had been, content in knowing it was of no danger any longer anyway.
As they turned into the long drive and neared the house, Sookie had a little frown on her face and said, "Bill what's on our windows?"
Bill, who had been checking emails on his phone glanced up and for a moment a small frown creased his brow, "It looks like…"
Before he could finish his thought, they saw movement in one of the large rockers on the porch, leaving no doubt that Mr. Garth had been waiting for them to arrive home. It took just a few moments before Sookie was engulfed in his embrace, Bill joined them on the porch and Bob shook Bill's hand without letting Sookie go.
After which, Sookie stepped back and looked at the windows more closely, "Why are there big ribbons and bows on our windows?"
Bob kissed both her cheeks and said, "Well darling child, I ah, well had some changes made in your absence… hopefully it will meet with your approval."
Bill had opened the front door and the three of them walked inside. Sookie's brow was still a little furrowed but she had been schooled well by Gran, "Can I get you something to drink?"
Mr. Garth shook his head and took her hands and also looked at Bill when he said, "no, I'm fine dear one, now about the gift…" Sookie looked at him with great curiosity when he said, "I got the idea after Rose told me of her visit in Hawaii and I want you to be very happy and content. I don't want you to feel, let's say, 'restricted'. So, I had all the windows replaced with vampire safe glass. Bill will be able to be anywhere in the house during the day without fear of exposure to the sun. More to the point, other people won't know it's special glass. It is completely free of any tinting. It's something new we discovered and developed into a usable product."
Sookie's mouth dropped open in shock and said, "You mean to say the entire house is light tight?!"
"Every inch child," he was absolutely beaming and added, "Rose said you have made adjustments to sleep schedules because of the baby and I felt it would be a good idea if you weren't limited to your bedroom."
"Oh, my goodness! Thank you SO much!" Sookie cried as she threw her arms around the demon and now his face was now glowing with happiness, not to mention the joy as he took a deep breath inhaling her scent. Happy tears flowed down Sookie's face and when she stepped back he gently wiped them away with a crisp, blindingly white handkerchief.
Holding his hand tightly she led him into the living room and they sat down and the Great Temragobeshib sat beside her, "tell me child, how are you doing, more importantly, feeling?" His face showed concern and she assured him the worst of the morning sickness had passed and she excitedly told him about all the things that had transpired in Hawaii.
Bob sat beside her, listening intently, a smile never leaving his face. Bill watched the interaction between Sookie and Bob and an idea formed in his mind. He couldn't wait to tell his lovely wife what he had in mind.
Life fell into a comfortable routine a few days after they returned home. The fact that Bill was able to move about freely was pretty much a dream come true. A few months later, he was stirring a pot of barbeque sauce while Sookie was working on the granite island counter slicing cooked potatoes for potato salad. The timer dinged and Bill motioned for her to stay put as he opened the oven to remove the pecan pie, he checked for its doneness and placed it on the cooling rack beside the other already cooling there.
"I can hardly wait until tomorrow night," Sookie said while reaching for a bowl of peeled, hardboiled eggs to slice. "You talked to Pam and Gustav, right?"
Sookie had been very happy to hear that the two had become a couple once again, so much so that Pam had once shared a thought that they were considering their own Joining Ceremony. Bill and Sookie had talked about it one evening out in the gazebo and Bill said he had never before in his long life known a vampire to change as much as Pam had. Getting Eric out of their lives was nothing compared to him being gone from Pam's.
"Yes, they're coming as are Steve, Alex, their current girlfriends, one vampire and a human girl, as well as Anna and Henry. And of course, some of your former protectors." Bill grimaced a bit adding, "even Doug."
At that Sookie laughed out loud and Bill couldn't keep the corners of his mouth from turning up at least a little bit. Doug's favorite shift was a Rottweiler and Bill had a love-hate relationship with the dog. Doug loved to annoy Bill and Bill hated the fact that he couldn't accidently kill the mutt. But Bill knew Doug's presence made Sookie happy so he didn't voice his displeasure. Well, not a lot anyway.
"Babe, could you grab me the sauce?" Sookie asked popping a slice of egg in her mouth. Bill opened the fridge, took out the covered bowl and set it before Sookie. She expertly folded it into the big bowl filled with potatoes, eggs and other fixings. Once it was well-mixed, she deftly covered the bowl with sticky wrap and put it in the fridge.
She walked up to her husband and slipped her arms around him and asked, "how's it taste?" he held out the large spoon and she dipped a cautious fingertip into a bit of it and licked it from her finger.
"Mm… that's going to be even better by tomorrow! Turn off the heat and let it cool."
Bill did as she said and turned so he was face to face with Sookie, he kissed her forehead lightly and said, "I've been thinking we should do some stargazing."
"Well, what are you waiting for?"
Bill lay on his back with Sookie snugged up tight against him on her side, her head on his arm as they looked up at the glittering stars of the night sky. Her fingers traced the contours of his chest through is well-worn henley.
"Penny for your thoughts," Sookie said softly.
Bill turned his head and kissed the crown of his wife's head and answered, "I've been thinking about doing something for Bob."
Sookie propped herself up to look at Bill's face, "Really? What?" she asked intrigued.
Bill knew the way she was leaning wouldn't be comfortable for long so he sat up and pulled her onto his lap. She immediately straddled him and put her arms around his neck with a smile.
"Well…" seeing that Sookie was about to ask a question held up a finger to stop her. She refrained and he continued. "After you teasingly suggested we name the baby after him, I began to think that we really must do something to show him how much he means to us and how thankful we are for all that he's done for us through the years."
"I couldn't agree more." She said happily.
"So, I did a little research, I had Rose help too, turns out, there is a ritual which would in effect acknowledge him as a de facto father."
At this Sookie grew serious, Bill could feel her slight confusion so he quickly continued, "In the world of the supernatural, it's basically like naming him godfather in human terms."
"Oh!" Sookie exclaimed the smiled widely, "Oh Bill that would be perfect! Do you think he'd want to?"
Bill chuckled slightly and said, "Sookie he named you his daughter for all intents and purposes in front of some of the highest ranking supes out there, I doubt he'd hesitate to accept this."
Bill could see the wheels turning in Sookie's head, so he wasn't surprised when she began asking questions.
"Okay, I get that but what does it really mean, I mean in your world, in his?"
"It does have one thing I don't know if you'll be completely comfortable with, no, that's not the best way to say it…" her large chocolate eyes never left his as she waited for him to go on. "If something were to ever happen to us, if we were unable to care for the child, he would take over. It would be his… ah… right, to raise the child as his own."
Bill hadn't been sure just how Sookie would react to this nugget of information. The fact that she was remaining utterly silent wasn't one of the things he'd expected. He was very surprised when she moved off of him and stood up.
"Let's go back to the house." Bill helped her gather things up, when he went to lift her she added, "No, let's just walk."
They walked hand in hand back towards their home, Sookie's silence roaring in Bill's mind. They went inside and Sookie went to use the bathroom while Bill put their bottles in the recycling bin. He heard her behind him and she walked over to him and he opened his arms and they stood hugging each other in the kitchen, swaying slightly.
She said, "let's go to bed, but first let's have a bath and talk."
Sookie sat in the sweet-smelling water, her back to Bill's chest, his hands slowly moving up and down on her belly, feeling the firmness of the small protrusion there. The numerous candles flickered and soft piano music was drifting from the hidden speakers. After what seemed like an eternity to Bill she finally began to speak.
"I've never given any thought about what would happen to our child if both of us were gone."
"Darling, noth…" he began.
"Hang on please,"
Bill stopped speaking.
"I mean, all I've ever thought about is how you'll be with our child it's whole life through and their families through generations to come. Now I can't stop thinking about the 'what if'." If we were both human, Jason and Annie would of course be my choice as parents… I guess, truth be told, I have given it a thought once or twice in the past, before we met, probably because of what happened to our parents. But since we decided to have a baby I've never thought about you not being here, not once."
She put her hands over Bill's under the bathwater and gently lifted them. He let go his hold on her and she moved away from him to face him in the tub. Her face was serious and it worried Bill, he hadn't meant to upset her, quite the opposite, he'd hoped she would be happy. Pregnancy, it seemed had once again thrown a curve ball. She looked at him and gave him a slight smile and it held enough warmth that he began to believe perhaps the situation wasn't as dire as he'd been thinking.
She put her feet on the top of his legs and said, "Foot massage please."
Those three words relaxed Bill tremendously.
"If we did this, and if Jason and Annie were willing, could the child still go to live with them? Or wouldn't that be allowed?"
"Yes, I'm sure that it would be done. I doubt very highly that Garth would ever cause undue stress to any of our family."
Sookie smiled broadly when her husband spoke those words, it made her thankful and happy. She thought of all the things that her life had been since Bill walked into Merlotte's that fateful night. Bill had gone from lonely vampire to a man with more 'family' than he'd ever imagined. Then again, so had Sookie… the world wasn't as limited in scope as it had once been. Bill had changed her life in too many ways to count.
"Okay, that brings me to question number two, if the worst happened and Bob would be responsible for caring for our baby and or child, would it still live in the human realm? I mean, I'm not sure how I'd feel about our child being raised… elsewhere." She nipped her lower lip between her teeth for a second, frown lines visible between her eyebrows.
"Sweetheart, come here," he pulled her onto his lap tucked her head beneath his chin and wrapped his arms around her, "first of all, it's something that is all up for discussion later but more importantly, nothing that has to be set in stone tonight."
"True, besides… demons are all about pregnancy and babies and kids… so I can't imagine it would be a bad thing." She added thoughtfully.
"And since you brought it up, if something were to happen to me after you're gone; well then Bob will still be able to remain with our children and grandchildren and so on. From infant on, we will make certain that Bob and Rose and Joe, even John are a major part of their lives. We have an opportunity few other parents have."
Sookie moved from his embrace, repositioning herself so that she straddled Bill's lap, a small smile present on her face. She leaned forward and placed soft, tender kisses on his forehead, his eyes and along his jaw before reaching his lips. She kissed him lightly before deepening the kiss. Her tongue lightly flicking the sensitive spots just behind his fangs which made them snick into place.
He moaned and as he too began returning the kiss, pulling his mouth away, alternately kissing and licking her throat, his hands were on her bottom where he moved her over his quickly rigid length. Her heart accelerated and her breath was a tiny gasp when he slipped inside her and held her frozen in place. He dropped his mouth to her breasts and lightly nipped at her hardened nipples… once again he marveled at how her body was changing, her breasts becoming fuller, her nipples more responsive.
He instantly felt her body reacting to his tender mouth upon her. Her silken walls grew hot and moist around him, her blood pulsed strongly against lips as they trailed over her throat.
"My love," he whispered as they began to move together, gently at first but their passion grew intensely and it didn't take long before nothing but the pleasure coursing through their bodies was their only focus.
Bill could tell Sookie's climax was near and he sucked her neck slightly, curbing his desire to bite, knowing it would push her over that golden edge but almost painfully aware that he really shouldn't do it so he was startled when she whispered the words he so wanted to hear.
"Bite me baby… please!" Her words a whisper, a desire, a need and a command that he could not resist. His fangs pierced her throat and at the first slight taste of her luscious blood she detonated around him and while he was able to resist drinking from her tiny wounds, he couldn't stop himself from joining her in ecstasy.
They rose at noon and Sookie went into 'guest-mode' as Bill called it and launched herself into dusting and vacuuming and glass cleaning that didn't actually need to be done. But he had long ago learned not to make such observations and instead busied himself in the kitchen preparing new drink recipes. TruBlood had been the largest synthetic blood manufacturer for many years but since it was first introduced, many had followed in its wake.
There were now numerous brands and more specifically more than just blood types, there were flavors! Bill was in the middle of preparing a summer ice tea batch, had completed a lemonade stand-in and also had four different types of 'blood beers'. Sookie had handed the task over to him a while ago, not because she didn't want to do it but rather because she had to constantly call him in for his opinion anyway. Besides which, occasionally the smell of blood substitutes made Sookie queasy. Sam had helped him and had even gone so far as to have a couple of Bill's creations available at the bar.
He finished it up and cleaned up after himself well. He thought there was likely enough dishes loaded to warrant washing a load, but mood swings had taught him to only do it with Sookie's approval. As annoying as it could be, he still smiled as he drank a glass of his freshly made 'ice tea'. He gazed out the large windows of the kitchen, once again marveling at Bob's incredible thoughtfulness. Bill was able to stand before the glass, the sunshine glowing warmly upon him and was as safe as he was under the dome at Halé Nohea. He heard the vacuum stop and went to join his wife in the living room.
She was sitting on the edge of one of the wingback chairs winding the cord and he said, "Let me do that sweetheart."
She smiled and allowed him to do it and he mentioned the dishwasher and she said she'd check it. He put away her cleaning things then sat before her and picking up one of her feet, began a foot massage. She smiled, closed her eyes and moaned ever so slightly and Bill thought if there was one thing any man with a pregnant wife could use to distract her, it was treating her feet like spoiled little princesses!
"Honey, what do you think about Tara knowing?" she asked quietly.
Pam and Jessica knew the baby was Bill's but all others concerned believed the baby she carried was technically her DNA alone. Sookie had been a little conflicted from the beginning for two reasons. The main one being that in all likelihood the only way to let Tara in on the secret would require her learning the truth about the lineage of the people she worked for. The other reason was she felt slightly guilty about not clueing her best friend in on the realities of her pregnancy.
Bill, sitting on the floor with Sookie's foot in his hands said, "Well, you've already asked Bob and he did say it was all right with him if you thought Tara could know about their existence. Correct?"
"Well yeah but there's so much other stuff to consider." She wasn't exactly being whiney but clearly it had once again become forefront in her mind.
"Such as?" Bill asked rather cautiously, this was where a rousing game of "Name-that-raging-hormone" could be easily initiated depending upon the subject at hand.
"You want to know what worries me the most?"
Bill looked up mildly startled, hearing the tearful emotions in Sookie's tone. "What dearheart? What worries you so?" He stood and gathered her in his arms, moved to the sofa grabbing a box of tissues along the way. He sat and held her close, dropping kisses on the golden crown of her head. He had hoped it wouldn't progress, but it did and within seconds Sookie was sobbing as if her heart was breaking.
"Shh now Sookie, shh… shh… shh." he whispered softly as he held her waiting for her tears to subside.
Finally abating, he handed her tissues and she wiped her face and nose then heaved a loud sigh.
"If I tell her about the baby I have to tell her it's yours and tell her about Bob and, and…"
"Sweetheart, setting all that aside, what is the one thought that upsets you most?"
Her voice was small and tearful, a near whisper, "That she'll never forgive me for not telling her from the very beginning."
Bill chuckled very slightly and said, "Sookie my love, this is to be expected. Your relationship with Tara has always been, shall we say, volatile from time to time? That said, you still love each other more than life itself. You've surmounted past issues; you will get past this!" He held his wife away slightly so he could see her face and added, "If it even is an issue to begin with… personally I believe that your happiness is all she will be concerned with."
"Maybe, but she's really liable to flip out when she finds out what Bob and the others are." She wiped her upper lip with a limp tissue.
Bill's forehead showed his small frown for a moment before meeting Sookie's eyes, "Yes, I could see that being a problem, but she'll adjust."
"You mean she'll flip the fuck out." Sookie said as she nestled herself back onto Bill's chest.
He gave a short laugh and said, "I can't rule that out as a possible reaction, no."
They sat like that a moment or two more, comfortable in the silence. Sookie asked him how his blood beers had turned out and they talked easily for a while, just enjoying the sweet joy of being where they were, at home, sitting in the sunshine, debating the finer points of concocting the finest blends of blood beer.
The party was in full swing and Sookie was having the time of her life. The Cajun-flavored band, 'Mud Bugs with Gumbo' kept the music lively and the food and drink were plentiful. The vampires present were thrilled by Sookie's creations for them in the way of snacks and Bill's blood beer was a huge success. The dancefloor that had been set up in the yard always had someone dancing away and the conversations, the laughter… Sookie was relaxed in a way she didn't know she was capable of achieving.
At first, she was a little surprised at how many people wanted to touch 'the baby bump' but after a while it just made her feel very loved and happy. She also couldn't help but smile to herself as Rose, Joe, John and others with demon heritage tended to drift so they were just steps away from her. Of course, between Bob and Bill, she never worried about a dance partner, someone to talk to or introduce new people to her. As there had been changes in girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives and Sookie was sure she'd never keep them all straight.
She had made her way to the back deck and was chatting with Lafayette as he used a stiff wire brush on the grills. It had been a long time since she'd had a chance to talk to him without a lot of people around.
"Ya' know hooker that you're just puttin' me all to shame here tonight with all your 'baby-lish-i-ness' all up in here!" He gave her one of his classic looks and a smile and Sookie realized she missed Lafayette a lot and made a mental note to get together with him more often. Sookie just gave him a wide grin and popped a piece of grilled tomato in her mouth.
Happy with the grill's cleanliness he picked up his drink and leaned against the rail next to where Sookie sat. "How you really doin' baby? You doin' really okay?" He gestured to her abdomen his eyes serious and concerned.
"It's really good Lafayette, I'm good," she placed her hand on her constantly growing bump and added, "We're good. Especially Bill, he's gonna be a good dad."
"But y'all past that danger stage, right? It'll be stayin' up in there where it's supposed to be?" Sookie felt a wave of concern in his thoughts and she teared up, afraid her voice would betray her emotions, she just nodded and smiled.
"Then I's real happy for ya' sugar and y'all better make sure I know when your baby shower's gonna be because we're definitely gonna have to start this baby's fashion sense at an early age fo' sure!"
Sookie laughed and said, "There's no way I'd let you miss out on that! Between you and Pam this baby should be the most fashionable baby in all of Bon Temps history!"
Lafayette put his arms around her shoulder and hugged her closer to him. "Justs so ya' knows, you and Bill gonna be 'bout the best Mama and Daddy babys a kid could ever wish fo'!"
Sookie felt another arm slip around her waist and knew that it was Bill, he kissed her ear and told Lafayette thanks before mentioning to Sookie that some of the guests were leaving. Sookie gave Lafayette a hug and kissed his cheek and promised they'd talk again soon.
The alarm chimed and Bill quickly silenced it, Sookie was still sound asleep and he wanted it to stay that way. The night before had been a smashing success and everyone had had a wonderful time but Sookie was so tired that by the time the last guests said goodnight, she was all but asleep. He'd carefully carried her upstairs and undressed her. He washed her feet and lower legs first, then rubbed them with lotion. Since he'd slipped one of his t-shirts over her head, he lifted the hem of it and gently rubbed the cocoa and shea butter onto her growing tummy. He wondered how long it would be before the baby would kick hard enough for him to feel it. Sookie had told him she was feeling 'flutters' a few weeks ago and they knew from Dr. Rio that the kicks would begin soon.
He pulled her t-shirt down and rubbed the remainder of the cream into her hands, then lay beside her watching her breathe… he was a little surprised at the depth of the sudden wave of emotions that rose over him. He was a little glad she was so sound asleep as tears flooded his eyes. He could only marvel at the love he felt for this woman seconded only by the love he felt for the child she carried. Whenever he thought of it he always pictured a miniature Sookie, shiny blond hair, luminous dark eyes… he knew all parents thought their babies were beautiful, but Bill had no doubts as long as the child looked like her mother.
He kissed her softly and turned off the light, Sookie murmured his name and turned on her side. He tucked her baby pillow under her and then moved to hold her close and the last thing he heard was her barely audible whisper… "love you babe."
After being certain Sookie would not wake anytime soon, Bill showered and dressed. He kissed Sookie lightly, gently touched her tummy, left the bedroom and made his way downstairs. Even though they'd had a lot of helping hands to clean up there was still a lot to do. He started the dishwasher before he'd taken Sookie to bed so he now emptied and refilled it. Once that was done, he began removing the many bowls and plates of leftovers from the fridge. Sookie had bought special dishes that had dividers and covers and he began portioning meals in them and putting them in the freezer.
He knew this would come in handy in the early days of having the baby in the house so Sookie wouldn't have to be cooking. After he got everything squared away, he emptied the recycle and trash bins and almost walked outside. Realizing that it was the afternoon made him chuckle, he'd become so used to being in the sunshine inside everyday he'd forgotten.
By that time the dishwasher was done, so he emptied it and refilled it for the last time. He warmed up a TruBlood and made his way to his office to pay bills and check out a couple of websites Steve had told him about catering to new-vampire-dads-to-be. As Bill waited for the page to load he found himself thinking of his first children… they'd both died relatively young, a common occurrence in the times they'd been raised in. Now he was going to have a child that he could openly love and watch grow and if things went the best way possible he would know them for generations to come.
He smiled to himself and glanced up at the open page, one article caught his eye and he began reading it. "Disposable or cloth? Which diapers will make a better tomorrow for your heirs?"
Weeks later, Sookie had taken to having Bill read to her while she relaxed. They'd gotten the information from Dr. Rio about what to expect for the birth. Bill was explaining how there would be a complete account of her labor and delivery in Monroe even though they'd be in the demon realm. Mid-sentence Sookie suddenly stiffened then grabbed Bill's hand. Confused, Bill was about to speak but before he could, she flattened her hand over his and held it on her bulging belly. Just then he felt his child move beneath their hands. And he was utterly speechless, tears filled his eyes and Sookie twisted around and put her other hand on his face and whispered.
"Hello Daddy." Then she reached up and caught one of his tears and in a flurry of movement too fast to track Bill held his wife on his lap, tears of joy sliding down his cheeks as she peppered his face with kisses.
The bathroom was a little steamy, smelled like lavender and candles burned on every surface. Sookie was snuggled up against Bill and she sighed.
"I am turning into a raisin." Sookie said as she looked at her fingertips. Bill took her hand in his and kissed her fingertips, one by one.
"I daresay that once the baby comes this kind of luxury will be a thing of the past. At least from a time standpoint."
Sookie frowned a little and said, "For how long do you think?"
"Oh, it'll probably only be eighteen or nineteen years."
Sookie giggled and pushed away from him so she could turn and face him as she sat on his lap. She slid her arms around his neck and they kissed, long and deeply. Sookie never had a lack of energy or desire when it came to her husband but the last few weeks had been especially… needful. Before long their kiss became much more passionate, her breathing a little faster and she moaned low and pulled her face back to look at his.
A slow smile spread across her face and she couldn't stop herself from looking down at her husband's lap. "Yeah?" she asked, her voice husky.
His reply was simply to lift her upwards, spin her so her back was to him and slowly guide himself inside her. They began to move and Sookie gripped the edge of the tub as he moved very slowly and very, very deeply within her. His hand skimmed across her belly and slipped upwards to caress her swollen breasts. He gently drew circles around her stone hard nipples and she moaned in response.
She let her head fall back against his shoulder and his lips and tongue nibbled her neck and earlobe, he laid his palms flat against her breasts and just the pressing of them shot spikes of desire through Sookie, she began to gasp and Bill could feel her silken walls shivering as her orgasm grew nearer. She was so close and she grabbed the back of his head pulling it forward as she bared her throat to him.
"Bill, I want you to!" her words were a plea, a longing… begging him for the one thing he knew would instantly bring her to climax. But he did not give in, he continued to work her, getting her closer and closer. She was almost whimpering, beseeching him to allow her to fall so he let her. He held her on him tightly as he pierced her throat, tasted just a drop, then reveled in her cry as she detonated around him, matched only by his moan as he followed her.
After a quick shower, Bill carried the now sleepy Sookie to their bed. Tucked in and snugged up close to one another, Sookie murmured, "I think I'm gonna miss pregnant sex."
Bill chuckled and answered, "Well, I guess we'll have to get you with child quite a bit then." Sookie moved closer and as she drifted off, Bill felt his baby moving against him and he smiled even after he'd dropped off.
To be continued…
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Old dangers arise as time grows near...
Bill was enjoying a rare evening alone. Sookie was at Merlotte's for her baby shower and Bill was kicked back with his bare feet on the arm of the sofa and the latest spy thriller in his hands. It wasn't that it was impossible for him to indulge in reading what he wanted, it was just something he didn't get to do often as he loved indulging his wife more. It was also a chance to listen to the throat singing monks CD that Sookie refused to let him play if she could hear it. He couldn't blame her; it was an acquired taste for most.
A few hours later he was about halfway through his novel when he heard the car slow and turn into their driveway. He marked his place and got up heading for the door. It wasn't long before the headlights swept across the lawn and the car pulled up in front. He met Sookie as she was getting out of the car and Bill couldn't keep the smile from his face. Her baby bump had turned the corner into a full-fledged baby bulk, something she didn't like to be reminded of so he did not try to assist her as she wiggled and scooted her way out of the driver's seat. It didn't matter because her happiness washed over him as she chattered excitedly and loaded his waiting arms with gift bags and boxes.
Bill answered when he could, smiled, nodded and 'mm-hm'ed' his way into the house all the while thinking about all the things left in the car. Sookie opened the door for him and instructed him to come right back out. As he zipped up the stairs to the nursery and unloaded his burden he couldn't help but marvel at the fact that there had even been anything left to buy for this child. He and Sookie had bought everything imaginable, not to mention the gifts that showed up regularly from Bob, Rose and Joe and even John had sent or shown up with gifts.
Back at the car the final packages were loaded into his waiting arms and taken inside. Once his arms were free Bill took his wife in his arms and kissed her soundly. Breathless, her deep chocolate brown eyes wide she broke into a grin.
"Now what was that for?"
"I missed you." She tilted her head and gave him a look he recognized well. "Must I supply you with a reason in the form of a list?"
He grabbed her again, dipped her slightly and once again kissed her; a long, sweet, slow kiss that made her heart race and her pulse pound.
"What has gotten into you!?"she squeaked.
Bill carefully let her go and said, as he gestured to the pile of gifts in a heap, "Well, I am happy you are home and clearly you've had a wonderful evening but what are we going to do with all this stuff!"
She just giggled a little and then explained some things could be put away now but the baby clothes, blankets and other fabric things would have to be washed first but he could help her find a place for the other things. Thus, they began the task of finding room and as they did Bill was more and more certain that he was going to have to build the baby another bookshelf and likely a dresser as well. As he took one item out of the box and looked it over he looked up at his wife with his brows knitting together.
"Sweetheart, why do we need a baby wipe warmer?" Bill might have been your usual tech-savvy, know-everything-from-centuries-of-all-things-new-and-shiny vampire, after all his abilities to predict stock market trends were what kept them highly comfortable. This was something he didn't quite understand.
"Bill! What would it feel like if it's the middle of the night if your wet diaper was taken off to be changed and suddenly your tushy was being wiped with an ice-cold baby wipe?" She had her hand on her hip and her look pretty much said she couldn't fathom his question.
Bill gazed back at her and said evenly, "Am I really supposed to answer that question?"
A slow grin spread across her face and she answered cheekily, "Not if you're smart."
They spent about a half hour putting things away, the whole time Sookie gave him the play by play of the shower. He loved seeing her so happy and relaxed. Once they were through, he scooped her up in his arms and carried her to their bedroom. If there was one thing that hadn't slowed as the pregnancy progressed was either of their sex drives and they made love often.
The changes to Sookie's body was quite amazing to Bill, she felt different and while they'd always been responsive to one another, it seemed that both their pleasure was enhanced. Bill had insisted they check with Dr. Rios first and he assured them it was perfectly safe and absolutely healthy for them to continue their lovemaking. It usually started with a warm rain shower and then massaging lotion on Sookie's belly. It was slow and sensual and afterward they lay in each other's arms talking quietly. As was their current custom, Sookie was snugged up against him with her back to his chest. He slowly rubbed his hand in soft circles on the baby bump.
Sookie almost purred when she said quietly, "I think you're obsessed with my belly."
"Oh, I don't know if I'd call it obsess…" his words trailed off as she stilled his hand and they felt the baby shift and turn.
Sookie chuckled lightly, "Looks like we've reached that time of night." She carefully turned over so their abdomens were touching and even though he knew what she meant, he had to ask.
"What time is that again?" as her belly bulged slightly and they watched as the baby perhaps rolled over as well.
"It's time to kick Daddy out of bed what else?"
They slowly drifted off, Bill feeling most all of the baby's movements and marveling yet again about how incredible this gift truly was.
Bill was in the basement sanding the new baby dresser when Sookie slowly made her way down the stairs. Bill had carried down one of the rockers from the front porch and added comfortable cushions and she settled herself into it along with her latest favorite, black raspberry, mango, kiwi, vanilla yogurt, ground pecan smoothie. Bill smiled to himself a little and wondered if this one would last until the end of her pregnancy. She'd concocted quite a few over the past few months declaring each her favorite.
Sookie made herself comfortable, put her feet up on the ottoman Bill had made her, took a long pull on her smoothie then asked, "So tell me more about this thing we want to ask Bob to do for our baby."
Bill set the sanding block aside and took a swig of his blood beer, he leaned back against the workbench and wiped his hands on a piece of toweling. "It's simple in many ways, we have to file a petition with the Lord High Minister of the Vampire Ruling Class and The Authority first."
Sookie frowned slightly, "But it's not going to be all formal and all that jazz like the Joining was, is it?"
"Not at all, it's more like, well the same as the christening we'll have in our church, except there is a different group assembled, mostly friends of the more paranormal society with one small moment, so to speak where it will be a little, uh, formal." Bill had seemingly found something quite interesting on his hands and all his attention was focused on them.
Sookie sighed and said, "Babe, just tell me already! What's the big, bad thing you think I'm going to freak out over?"
Bill turned his gaze to his wife's and said calmly, "There's a small bit of a blood exchange that happens."
Bill had been expecting an eruption of epic proportions but Sookie just caught her bottom lip with her teeth, furrowed her brows a bit and said calmly, "Mine or the baby's?"
"Actually, it would be all three of us and, well we would also accept a token from Bob and he, uh makes a small mark on the baby… tiny really."
Silence. A full minute passed. Something deep inside Bill told him to not attempt to breach her lack of a response and to just let her come to her own conclusions.
Very quietly she said, "Will it hurt the baby? The blood, the mark?"
Bill was having a small problem gathering his thoughts, he had prepared himself for a much more volatile conversation over the ceremony details and he was a little unprepared for her calm responses thus far.
"Well, the baby won't react like they do when they have blood drawn or a shot… uh, well it'll be like it was for us, it's over so fast the babe likely won't even feel it." Bill watched his wife carefully and he mentally chastised himself. He'd been expecting her to go ballistic about the blood and he realized he'd needed to give Sookie more credit. This very subdued response made him become truly conscious of how very much Sookie wanted to do this for Garth.
Her voice did hold concern when she said, "But, it's not like a 'cut' cut or bite, right?"
He smiled warmly, "No dearheart, it's a pinprick, for all of us, then then we touch our fingertips to signify the bond and we're healed. To be honest I have viewed a ceremony and I've seen many more unhappy responses to babies having baptismal water poured onto their heads."
That made Sookie laugh loudly and she knew Bill was thinking about Colton's baptism too. He'd screamed bloody murder which had more than one guest chuckling over Colton's more than sufficient lung capacity.
Sookie sipped her smoothie and said, "I would imagine there's paperwork we need to start." Bill nodded before he came over and lifted her feet off the footstool and he began rubbing her feet eliciting a low moan and a long pull on her straw.
"So, what is the mark Bob will make? Something permanent? It's not like a tattoo or a scar or anything, is it?"
"No, it will just a tiny symbol at the base of the baby's neck that will look like nothing more than a tiny birthmark to anyone human." Sookie's brow was furrowed so he added. "By tiny I mean, really tiny, the size of a period on a letter, tiny."
"How is it made then? If it's not a tattoo?"
"It will be a response to Garth's blood." Sookie took a deep breath and Bill saw clearly now that she was about to blow up and he raised his hands to try and prevent the detonation if possible. "Sweetheart, it will be a reaction between all our blood mingling into one. Bob will touch the baby and the mark will form. The baby won't feel a thing."
Sookie's face still held a worried look and she asked, "Well, if it's so small and so undetectable why does it have to be done at all?"
Bill released her feet and took her hands as he explained, "Humans won't see it for what it is but to the supernatural, well it will be obvious…" he hesitated for a second knowing what his words would elicit and then said, "In the supernatural community the baby will be regarded as, well… royalty."
And Bill got the explosion he'd known was going to come eventually.
Bill ground his teeth together and prayed for patience. Sookie was stomping around the house grumbling, yelling and generally making him sorry he hadn't left the house and slept out in the dirt when he had the chance. Something crashed in the kitchen and it didn't sound like anything broke but as much as he didn't want to, he knew he'd better check things out.
As expected, Sookie must have decided she wanted to make something as there were numerous pans on the floor. Pans she was having difficulty reaching, "Let me dearheart…" he said softly and as he reached out but she slapped his hand away and yelled that she would do it.
At that, Bill straightened and thought hard for a good solid moment before adding, "I'm going out." And he zoomed out of the house and into the night air. He stopped about halfway to Merlotte's and thought about it. It was hard to believe that his wife was the same woman at times like this… she'd been crabby all day and got progressively worse as evening neared.
If Bill had known that they had been under surveillance for weeks now, he would never have left Sookie there alone.
The watcher saw Bill zip out and was glad he'd changed places, if he hadn't, Compton would have met him nearly head-on. Just to be cautious he climbed up a couple more limbs of the huge magnolia tree. In actuality, he'd been more than lucky on a few occasions now. He'd been preparing to enter the house one early morning when he spied Bill coming down the stairs and a moment later Sookie followed him in the direction of the kitchen.
Truth be told, he was stunned especially because none of the windows were shuttered, nor were they made of the material used to provide Bill beach access during the day. The only thing he could assume was that there was a new development in vampire friendly window glass. Most likely a gift from Garth. He hated how Garth doted on this human and her vampire husband! It was disgraceful and distasteful, and Garth was making a fool of himself but of course, no one would imagine for a moment telling him that. Then again, most, humans, vampires, demons or well pretty much anything else disliked the idea of being torn limb from limb.
Bill stepped into Merlotte's just as Lafayette was giving Arlene grief over a special order, both stopped arguing long enough to say, "Hey!" to Bill and resume where they'd left off. Sam was behind the bar and he gave Bill a smile, "Usual?"
Bill nodded and Sam put a TruBlood in the microwave. They exchanged pleasantries, right before Arlene came over and said, with a wide smile, "You come here and hug my neck!"
Bill hugged her and even gave her a kiss on the cheek. She stepped back and her smile changed from a wide smile to a, been-there-done-that look.
"Sookie drivin' ya to drink?" Sam poured Bill's drink into a warm glass. He too, was grinning.
Bill just shrugged and Arlene laughed, "Don't worry honey, we all get crazy when it gets this close to the end. Give her an hour, she'll be all settled down." She patted his arm and went over to one of her tables.
"This seems a little busier than normal tonight," Bill said, "what's up?"
"Surprise party for one of the guys down at the plant, but don't see how it'll be much of a surprise… none of them hid their cars."
It was Bill's turn to grin and Sam's just shook his head with a chuckle, "So how is Sookie doing? Or shouldn't I ask?"
Bill swallowed a sip and looked at his watch, "Oh, her next mood swing will be in a couple more minutes and it will probably be okay to go back home."
Sam laughed and said, "Well, I hadn't seen her for a couple weeks and when they had her shower here? Whoa… that is one big baby belly on somebody as small as Sookie! She's got what? Another month to go yet?"
"Three weeks and she'd be more than happy if it would be tomorrow. Can't blame her for being touchy, she's getting pretty uncomfortable. She about tore the doctor's head off at the last checkup when he reminded her not all first baby's show up on their due dates, sometimes it goes longer."
Sam laughed and just then a group of people near the pool tables yelled, 'Surprise!' and Bill chuckled to himself, unless the guy was a first-rate actor, he really did seem completely surprised. Bill picked up his glass as Lafayette waved him over by the pass-through to converse about his uncomfortable wife.
Sookie was in her chair reading when she heard the back door open. She flipped her book upside down on her belly and said loudly, "Bill?" she frowned slightly. "Why are you using the back door?"
She wasn't sure what to make of it when he didn't respond, she sighed and said, "Honey, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so nasty," annoyed that she still had not gotten a response added, "are you not speaking to me?"
Sookie sighed and was just about to set her book aside when a man stepped out from the shadows of the hall that led from the kitchen. Her breath caught and she felt a flash of fear, "What are you doing here?!"
Bill felt Sookie's spike of confusion and fear and was then stunned when all feeling of her disappeared in an instant. Bill caught Lafayette’s eyes and was gone in a blink, Lafayette yelled after him, "Later hookah!" He flipped a burger onto a waiting plate, took Bill's glass and dumped it out while yelling, "Arlene! Order up!"
Bill's heart sank when he heard the alarm blaring and saw the front door standing wide open. He didn't bother silencing the alarm as he raced through the house looking for his wife, propelled by the fact that it was the panic alarm that was sounding which meant Sookie had triggered it. Ensuring that she wasn't anywhere inside, meant only one thing. Bill silenced the alarm as he sped dialed his phone. When Garth answered, all he said was, "Someone took Sookie."
By the time, Bill silenced the alarm, Garth, Joe, Rose and John were standing beside him having come through a demon portal. He quickly told them what he'd felt through the blood bond and how fast it had occurred. Just then Mekahoomblek arrived and with one sniff said, "Part-demon, he used a demon hole on her."
"That makes sense then." Bill said. It not only answered the question as to why it had happened so fast but also why Bill could scent no real trail. John and Mekahoomblek walked outside to see if they could pick up anything else and Garth fired questions at Bill and issued orders to Rose and Joe, both whom were talking rapidly into their phones relaying information and instructions as fast as Garth issued them.
Bill was beside himself with complete and utter terror and he struggled to keep himself in control. Not feeling Sookie's blood bond left a chasm so deep within him, it made him feel soulless. The feelings of hopelessness and exasperation pounded his mind relentlessly. How had he allowed this to happen? He berated himself because he had foolishly left the mother of his unborn child in danger because he was tired of dealing with her hormonally fueled snit. Just then John and Mekahoomblek walked back inside and Bill was shocked to see how pale John's face was.
John looked at Garth and said quietly, "We know who has her."
Sookie sat on the floor quietly trying to keep her feelings under control. Her hands were bound securely in front of her and she was blindfolded as well. She was fairly certain she was alone in the room and there were either no lights or the blindfold was completely blinding. Her mind raced and she debated with herself. If she really was alone, would confirming that reality unnerve her even more than she already was? At the same time if he was there, she wanted to ask him why. She cleared her throat and quietly said, "Are you there?"
There was a beat of silence and he answered just as quietly, "Yes."
"Why are you doing this, Frank?"
She felt the air move near her and then the blindfold was removed. There was just a pale, soft light coming from another source and it gave the room an early evening twilight effect to their surroundings.
Frank sat opposite her on the floor and shrugged, "To be honest? I wanted to kill you. I wanted Mr. Garth to feel the pain I have felt."
Sookie blanched at the calm, flat sound of his voice and her heart lurched in her chest at his words. He gave a rueful grin and said, "Don't worry. I can't hurt you or your child. The way you smell, the way you glow… as a demon I am drawn in wanting more than anything else to be as close to you as I can be. In fact, I've got all I can do to keep from holding you and caressing your belly."
Sookie thought she would gag. "Why? I don't understand this! Why do you want to hurt me? Hurt him? It makes no sense!"
Frank exploded from his place and charged her, pining her to the wall she sat against and shook at the venom in his voice.
"WHY? Why do you think? You wronged me in every way possible!"
"I asked Bob to spare you!" she fired back as her fear was momentarily replaced with anger.
"Exactly! After the mistakes, I made in England with Alianna I should have been ripped to shreds! It would have been honorable! It was deserved! It was the way to pay for my mistake! But no! Sweet little human girl Sookie had to beg for Garth to be merciful, to be kind… do you know what that did? It made me a pariah! An outcast of the worst kind!"
"Do you know when others of my kind see me they spit on me? They strike me, kick me, wound me? And I am forbidden to strike back! I am forbidden to protect myself! I must take all they choose to inflict and you know what little Miss Human Girl? Others of my kind aren't content to just ignore me or stop with one insult or blow! They like to draw blood and see it flow freely!"
Frank's face was nearly purple as he screamed the words in her face and tears flowed down her cheeks as his spittle sprayed her face and she was so frightened she could barely draw breath, she turned her head and closed her eyes tightly as sobs wracked her body and just that quickly, he sprang away from her. His breathing labored, his hands shaking with rage.
Sookie brought her arms up against her chest and sobbed, gasping for air and shaking uncontrollably as her mind whirled in fear. She drew herself as close to the wall as she could, turning herself sideways by instinct to protect her unborn child. She furiously wiped at the tears that streamed down her face and tried to rein in her fear but she was on complete overload and all she could do was crouch away from the threat beside her.
There was a sudden flash of blinding light and a roar that blotted out all thought. Frank had left her by way of a demon hole and Sookie slid down the wall, curled into herself as much as was possible. She realized the odd, thin sound that still assaulted her ears was her own keening wail.
Then, there was pain.
Frank transported just outside the small building he was holding Sookie in. He slammed his fists over and over again into the concrete wall, causing pieces of concrete to fly in all directions. Finally, he pulled back as he felt the bones in his hands snap and twist. He slowly got his ragged breathing under control, then pulled his fingers and knuckles to realign the bones as they began to heal. Sweat poured off him and his screams were low and ragged through his tightly clamped lips.
His entire body shook as the rage ebbed away held fast by the excruciating pain of the bones knitting together filled its space. He'd completely lost control and was both stunned and also relieved that he hadn't killed her. He'd wanted to without doubt, he still didn't quite believe he had come so close. It was the child that had stopped him of course. That sweet life-force, so pure and special, that had held his rage at bay just enough to spare its mother's life. He sighed deeply and groaned in pain, in frustration and perhaps most of all, relief.
He stood and gingerly stretched his aching hands, shook his head and took a few long, deep breaths. He moved to the door and entered. It was time to end this thing.
Bill was suddenly flooded with Sookie's emotions to the point that it staggered him. All present turned and flew out the door to the porch to face Frank as he stood in the yard holding a moaning Sookie in his arms.
In a nanosecond, she was in Bill's arms and Mekahoomblek pinned Frank in an iron grip and drove him to his knees. Bill could smell the blood and a small strangled cry escaped his lips, Rose was beside him as was Dr. Rios who had arrived just a minute before and they all stepped quickly into the open demon portal before them and disappeared.
Garth stood for a split second before Frank and said in a low and terrifying voice, "You will take centuries to die."
Frank merely bowed his head and whispered, "Yes Great Temragobeshib." A small smile played at the corners of his mouth just before they winked out of sight.
In mere seconds, Sookie was undressed and being examined. Dr. Rios calmly looked up at her and said gently. "Sookie we will have to do an emergency C-section." He turned slightly and gave the nurses standing next to him instructions.
Sookie moaned and gasped, "No!" grabbing Bill's hand, "it's too early!"
Dr. Rios gave her a warm smile and took hold of her other hand, "I know this isn't how you wanted it to be but just now there is no fetal distress and we must keep it so, you've gone into premature labor and the placenta has likely detached, we need to do this now to prevent any potential problems from escalating."
A contraction began and Sookie moaned and drew her knees up slightly, clutching at Bill, "I won't be asleep, right? Bill will… ugh… be, there, right?"
Dr. Rios nodded at the surgical personnel and they began to move Sookie's bed toward the O.R. doors, "Yes, Chandra get Mr. Compton changed, Sookie? I'll see you in just a moment okay?" As they moved quickly down the short hall, Mr. Garth appeared beside the bed and took Sookie's hand in his massive hand.
Tears slipped from her eyes and into her ears as she clung to his hand in desperation, "I'm so scared!" she whispered to him.
He wiped away her tears and said, "There's no need to be sweet child, all will be well very shortly." He dropped a quick kiss onto her forehead and the nurses pushed her through the doors were the rest of the medical staff awaited her.
Within bare moments, Sookie was transferred to the operating table and the staff quickly had her prepped and ready, Bill stood smiling, dressed in hospital scrubs and a surgical gown at her right shoulder. He was given a stool to be seated on as the scrub nurse adjusted the draping that would prevent he and Sookie from seeing anything graphic during the procedure.
The anesthesiologist smiled brightly at her and lowered a mask toward her face, "I just need you to take a few deep breaths dear,"
"No! I want to be awake! Bill!" she was a little panicked and she held tightly to Bill's hand.
"You will be wide awake Mrs. Compton, we just need to relax you a bit before we start." He placed the mask over her nose and mouth and continued, "please just breathe in slowly and exhale, no need to hold it in, that's it, just relax and breathe normally, there you go…" he said in a gentle, soothing voice.
Sookie was a little surprised because she instantly lost all feeling in her lower half. There was no more pain or cramping, yet she did not feel the slightest bit drugged. He gave her a big smile and said, "There, better?" She nodded as he removed the mask and carefully replaced it with a nasal cannula.
"Comfortable?" She nodded again and Dr. Rios entered and came to look at the two of them over the draping.
"Ready Sookie? Bill?" behind his mask his wide smile was evident and she just nodded and then glanced up at Bill. He answered yes quietly and Dr. Rios took his place.
As he started to work, Sookie asked, "Why can't I feel anything? You haven't drugged me." Bill smoothed her hair from her forehead and looked at the doctor as he worked.
"Well, it's one of the plus sides of a C-section being performed here, you'll feel nothing and will be wide awake the entire time. You know, you won't even have a scar," he looked over the drape "I'll close it like I did your fertilization procedure, no one will ever know unless you tell them!"
He said something low to his nurse and surgical tech before speaking loud enough for Bill and Sookie to hear, "Okay folks, here we go. Start the clock," he murmured to the tech.
"What clock? Why are you…" Sookie stammered.
"It's the clock that shows us the time from when we start, it's just a normal safety procedure for the baby Sookie, I promise."
Bill looked at her and nodded and she finally nodded too. Bill continued stroking her forehead and placing light kisses there and Sookie felt an odd sensation in her abdomen. If felt almost like a small pull and then the doctor said, "Ready,"
Bill held Sookie's eyes with his as the doctor worked. He thought about peeking over the drape but then decided against it. He wasn't sure he'd be able to stand to see his wife so devastated and damaged… especially because of it being his child. His child, Bill hummed softly, placing kisses on his wife's forehead, eyes and lips as his mind expanded with wonderment… his wife, his child. His! The marvel of it washed over him like the surf on the shore. To once again have a chance to know and love his own flesh and blood was a miracle of epic proportions!
"Sookie my love?" he said softly as he held his face inches from hers, her soft chocolate eyes searching his. He slowly traced his fingers down the side of her face and whispered. "You are the most magnificent woman I have ever known and I want to tell you how much I love you and thank you for the amazing thing you have done by bearing my child."
"I love you too Bill, I always will!" He kissed her gently and rested his forehead on hers. Both of them reveling in the moment.
As the doctor worked he said, "Now just so you know, we will give you a quick look as soon as the babe arrives and then we'll take it to the NICU. If everything is stable, we'll bring the child right back to your arms."
"Oh no!" Sookie cried and Bill's head snapped toward the doctor. He had not expected this either.
"Have no worries my dear, it is merely a precaution as well as protocol in the event of any premature birth. You're far enough along that the baby's lungs are likely well-formed but we can't just assume, that would be a bad decision on my part, no?" Dr. Rios paused for just a moment to peer over the drape and smile.
"Trust me Sookie…"
Bill wiped away a tear from his wife's face and smiled at her, kissing the back of the hand he held in his, "It will be fine dearheart, you know it will." She nodded and gave him a small smile.
"Okay, it's time!" A split second later, the odd, faint little cry of a newborn was heard, "Congratulations! It's a boy!"
A quick sob escaped Sookie and Bill's eyes overflowed with joyful tears and then the OB and NICU nurses wrapped their rather quietly squalling infant up in a warm blanket, and showed him to his ecstatic parents, before whisking him away.
Dr. Rios could feel Sookie's sobs and quietly said, "He looked fine and healthy and I'm sure… oh, nevermind."
The nurse walked back into the room and said to the tiny bundle, "Look! There's mommy and daddy!"
She walked to the top of the table and laid him in Sookie's arms. "Oh, my stars Bill! He's so beautiful!" They kissed each other, they kissed their son and for that moment in time there were only three beings present in their world.
A little while later, Sookie was showered and lounging in a comfortable bed, the head slightly raised and lying on her side, her son in her arms and Bill stretched out beside her marveling at the perfect, tiny human cradled between them.
"He's perfect," Sookie whispered. Her finger lightly tracing the side of her child's face. They had been relieved and extremely grateful when Dr. Rios assured them that even though he was a preemie, his lungs were completely formed and fine, he did not need to be in an incubator as he was having no difficulties breathing room air and other than his weight being just a little more than five pounds he was pretty much considered to be a full-term baby. He would have to remain in the hospital for at least a few days but barring any problems, of which the doctor expected none, they would all be home soon.
One of the nurses came in, bowed and said, "The Great Temragobeshib has requested a visit."
Sookie gave Bill a radiant smile and said, "Oh Bill, should we ask him now?"
He nodded and said to the waiting nurse, "By all means, ask him to come in."
A moment later, Garth stepped into the room and Sookie was overcome with emotion, tears began to slip down her face as she shakily said, "Come meet your grandson..."
Garth's eyes grew wide and he walked closer slowly, tears forming as he did. He sat carefully in the chair next to the bed and Sookie added quietly, "You will agree to be his Lord Protector too, won't you?"
A sigh escaped his lips and he reached out slowly and Sookie handed him the tiny bundle that was their firstborn son. Cradled in Garth's huge arms, the babe looked even tinier and one of Garth's tears fell on his blanket.
Sookie slid closer to where he sat putting her arms around his neck and hugged him as she shed happy tears. Bill walked around the side of the bed and placed his hand on Garth's shoulder as a crimson tear rolled down his cheek.
"You," Bill had to clear his throat to continue. "You have given us a gift that we can never hope to repay, what you've done for Sookie and I, well, we are so grateful, so blessed by all you've done…" his words faded away and Sookie was holding tightly onto his hand, the other squeezing Garth's arm, the baby sound asleep in Garth's tender embrace.
"Bob, this child is here because you have acknowledged me as your daughter, we are your family and you are the only one that deserves to be his Lord Protector as well as his Grandpa! And he will grow and flourish and he will know you as the best Grandpa a boy could ever have! It's the smallest thing we can do to share our joy and happiness with you! Please, will you do this for us?
With his voice choked with emotion he answered them quietly.
"I would be honored to be this sweet child's Lord Protector thank you."
Sookie scrambled out from the covers and hugged him with all her might, her smile broad and bright her voice shaking as she said, "He's a gift from heaven and his life will be as blessed because he will have such a wonderful, beautiful being in it. I love you so much… we love you so much!"
Garth held the child easily in his arm and then pulled Sookie and Bill into an emotional embrace with the other. They laughed and talked for what seemed like forever… they marveled at the size of his fingers, his black hair and his sweet face… and the baby slept through it all. Eventually, they were joined by Joe, Rose and John and more happy tears flowed when Sookie asked John to hold the child. It was precious family time and both Sookie and Bill reveled in the love and good wishes.
Bob, Rose, Joe and John had said their good-byes before they had transferred to the Monroe hospital where all the staff had, according to plan, been glamoured into believing Sookie had given birth there. By the time, they were comfortably ensconced in their room there, Jason and Tara had been called and had spread the word to others.
"I can't believe he's here… he's just so…" Sookie's words trailed off and Bill pulled his wife and son closer to him and kissed her lightly.
She giggled a little and said, "yes, perfect." She dropped a kiss on the top of his tiny beanie hat. "Absolutely." Bill also touched his baby, still marveling on his son's angelic face. He hadn't stopped smiling since the birth.
"I think he looks like you," Sookie said quietly, "I can't believe he has all that dark hair!"
Their son had weighed in at 5lbs. 2oz. was 19" long and had been born with a full head of thick, black hair and clear blue eyes much like his father's. He'd been born a Monday's child and he was a little 'downy' because he was early but other than being a bit smaller and not quite so 'full-looking' he was utterly divine.
There was a soft knock and the door opened a bit and was instantly filled with a bunch of blue and silver balloons before Tara's beaming face appeared.
Bill got up and carefully picked up the baby and Sookie carefully sat up and hugged Tara as more emotion fueled tears flowed, within seconds Tara sat on the bed beside Sookie, holding her tiny godson-to-be in her arms, chattering excitedly with the new parents.
"I can't believe y'all didn't call as soon as you got here!"
Bill quickly fielded the statement, "Well, things happened in such a rush…"
"There was just no waiting," Sookie added, "It could have been bad for both of us."
Tara frowned and said quickly, "But he's okay, right? Bein' early and all?"
"He's fine, he's um, ah, perfect." Sookie said sheepishly.
Tara looked at Bill then Sookie and asked, "What?"
"Well, I think we need to find a thesaurus because we seem to be a little stuck on the word perfect."
Tara laughed, gazed at the baby and said, "Naw! He is perfect! Even if he is a little teeny, ain't ya' little man?"
Just then baby began to squeak and Tara was quick to hand him to Sookie.
"Uh-uh, I don't do the cryin' ones!"
As Sookie was trying to figure out if he needed to fed or changed the door opened halfway and Jason stuck his head around it, "Sook?" he asked quietly.
Just then the newborn let out a pretty healthy wail and Jason's face lit up like a spotlight, "Oh, I remember that! Somebody needs a feed and a change!"
Bill took the babe and laid him in the hospital bassinet to change him as Jason walked into the room and set the biggest toy dump truck Sookie had ever seen on the floor. He came to Sookie's bedside and gently leaned down, his eyes shining brightly and kissed his sister's forehead.
"Congratulations, sis." He nodded and smiled at Bill as Sookie threw her arms around him and hugged him tight. "You okay?" he asked then sat down next to her on the bed, Bill wrapped his son up and presented him to his uncle. Jason took him carefully and beamed, "Well will ya' look at all that hair! Congrats Bill! You've got a fine son here! Aw, he's great Sook! The boys'll be so happy to have a boy cousin, what'd ya' name him?"
"William Thomas Compton Jr. but we'll call him Thomas."
To be continued…