“Pamela! What the hell?” Eric yelled out at a far higher volume than necessary for his progeny to overhear.
“Yes, Master?” she answered in an instant, holding a bowl of hair dye and a precision brush in hand as she had now moved onto Stage two of highlighting much to Niall’s discontent who thought he was already done.
“What did you do?” he glared with heated eyes between the oversized Jacuzzi tub and the vampire in question.
She feigned an innocent shrug that lost its believability well over a century ago.
“Pamela!” he growled out as he held a clumped clot of spaghetti intermingled with blond and grey hairs in his rubber-gloved hand.
“Niall likes me and his spaghetti warm,” she informed in her eternally bored tone.
“No spaghetti in the tub!” Fortunately Pam had anticipated the accompanying angry throw of the offending mass and she casually sidestepped its projection course causing it to splat distastefully on the wall behind her.
“Will that be all, Master?” she mocked with sweet appeasement and a submissiveness she never possessed.
“That will be all,” Eric gritted out through his clenched jaw as he feared if Pam remained a moment longer in his presence she would be a matching stain on the wall.
“Here,” Willa offered the angered vampire softly while handing over a bottle of drain cleaner.
Eric inspected the bottle suspiciously while he read over the instructions. “This works?”
“Of course,” she answered indulgently. “It smells a little strong. Just leave it overnight.”
“I do not like all these chemicals around Sookie and the babies,” Eric frowned. “Perhaps I should call the plumber.”
“He’ll use the same stuff at ten times the cost,” Sookie informed him when she appeared by the bathroom door wondering what the commotion with Pam had been about. “I’d really like to be able to take a bath in the morning.”
“You can use one of the bathrooms upstairs,” Eric said sternly as he took in all the warning labels that seemed to spell out the end of humanity if he loosened the cap. He missed out on the crestfallen look on Sookie’s face while he continued to struggle with the clogged drain and a tool he had no idea how to use. A wrench. He was pretty sure it was a wrench.
“Eric,” Willa hissed sensitively trying to get his attention surreptitiously as Sookie slouched towards their shared bed. “She can’t use any of the upstairs tubs.”
“What?” he returned testily. His mood stood to improve little while he distractedly wiped away errant hairs from his forehead with the back of his gloved hand, smearing it with congealed pasta sauce in the process. “For fuck’s sake!” He dropped everything in the tub with a loud clang as he made his way to the sink to relieve himself of the foul odour.
In his absence, Willa had taken the appropriate tools and gloves to expertly clear the drain of further muck. Eric regarded her carefully as she used the plumber’s snake that came along with the draining kit. “Where did you learn to do this?”
“You have to learn to fend for yourself when you’re on your own,” she replied her eyes unwavering from her task. “Working a few night shifts at Bellefleur’s really doesn’t afford you a plumber or a place to live where the landlord actually maintains the failing pipes.”
Eric gave a brief nod as shame overcame him again; he hadn’t realised how dire Willa’s existence had been until confronted with the meagre accommodations she once shared with Tara. The light proofing was makeshift and there was no security to speak of, leaving her completely at the mercy of her loud and rude neighbours. It had taken Sookie’s continued insistence that she live with them that finally made her give in to Eric’s concerns for her wellbeing now that she was officially under his care once more.
“Why can’t Sookie use the bathrooms upstairs?” he asked falling back to her earlier statement that was interrupted by a smear of sauce.
“The tubs upstairs aren’t exactly ample,” Willa spoke carefully. She heaved a sigh when Eric’s confused face refused to become enlightened. “She won’t fit in any of the tubs upstairs, at least not comfortably. By the look on her face, you haven’t exactly been acknowledging that change in her body.”
“She’s more beautiful than ever!” Eric scoffed.
“Tell her that,” his youngest returned, “By the look on her face when she left, I’d hazard Sookie’s not exactly feeling that from you.”
Eric checked the bond and smelled the salty tears that were quietly being shed in the room next door. Guilt compounded him again with the horror of it going unnoticed, the emotion stricken all over his face.
“Go,” Willa admonished. “Use my room in the guest house tonight. I’m used to the chemical fumes. I’ll make sure Sookie can take her bath in the morning.”
He gave a brief nod. “You remind me so much of Nora,” Eric confessed as he lingered by the door for a moment longer. “A little too much. Perhaps that was why I had difficulty facing you after she died.”
“I know you loved her very much,” she offered in condolence.
“Like a sister,” her Maker confirmed.
“Do you love me?” A timid tremble graced her whispered request.
“Like a daughter.”
“Thank you,” she smiled carefully, one that hinted at the expression Godric often carried.
He returned a warm smile of his own before setting off to find Sookie, wondering if the children who would soon be born would resemble any familial traces. His heart nearly beat with the thought that his children might evoke the memory of his parents and his sister. While finally ending Russell had given him some satisfaction at the time, he knew that the sweetest revenge would be the return of a family. The crown his father wore was never the thing he aspired to have returned to him. No, it was the warm nest into which he was born that was cruelly ripped away and there on their shared bed snivelling into her pillow lay the miracle who would return that to him. No death, no glory, just ordinary magic.
“Sookie,” he whispered apologetically when he came to rest beside her, hands grazing at the relatively compact capsule of promised life that was her belly and the reason she was feeling less than herself. “I’m sorry if I disregarded you earlier.”
“Eric-” she whimpered as she sought his eyes wishing to apologise for her insecurities. Further words were stalled when he put a gentle finger to her lips.
“You’re beautiful beyond compare,” he declared as her tears of sadness turned in their emotion. “I can barely contain myself from ravishing you at every glimpse. You; ripe with our children, you must realise that is the most enticing sight I have come across in my many ages.”
“You’re not repulsed by the sight of me?”
“Furthest thing from my mind,” he responded before softly kissing her lips.
“You mean it?” she smiled back.
“Yes! You stubborn fairy!”
“Fairy hybrid,” she corrected with a giggle.
“My fairy hybrid,” Eric growled as he picked her up carefully, pregnancy pillow and all. “Always proclaiming to be more. Don’t you know you’re unendingly more to me?”
She shrieked his name repeatedly as he whisked her away with a wide grin to the guesthouse where Willa normally resided. In between crisp white linens Sookie was taught the worship and devotion Eric Northman held for her, whispering away all the fears and insecurities she continued to hold while his body proclaimed the same in action.
The Fae in her would point out that the self-doubt was all the fault of the human side, though Eric knew better. It was that which bound the two intrinsically close and made her seek approval of others. Somehow only he got her to see the worth she carried. Not just to him and the future lives she carried, but to all that surrounded her. Perhaps not Pam, but even she was coming around to the complete Sookie Stackhouse charm.
Sookie sighed contentedly in Eric’s grasp as she woke moments before sunrise. Before falling to his day rest, he had assured her many times over what she meant to him only closing his eyes when he was convinced her smile was brighter and wider than the night before.
After she relieved her bladder, one glance at the small tub in Willa’s adjoining bathroom had Sookie huddling herself in a warm bathrobe and waddling over to the main house. The house had already fallen to the silence that surrounded vampires during the daytime hours. She made sure to close all the doors behind her as she returned to the bathroom to resume her favourite activity of relaxing in Eric’s giant tub. Finding her way through the darkness, with the ridiculous notion not to disturb sleeping vampires, she finally located the light switch for the master bathroom.
A scream tore from her throat that would have woken Eric from his day rest even without a blood bond. Wetness gushed from between her thighs flooding the floor below her towards the sight that had caused her so much anguish. Eric didn’t hesitate for a second, knowing he would have no issue healing from the small exposure to the sun between his position and the main house.
Eric supported Sookie’s frightened form as he took in the walls, the floor, and the Jacuzzi. All were splattered in the distinguishable crimson colour of blood. Niall’s head hung limply from the edge of the tub, a set of fang marks on full display. Neither Eric nor Sookie dared speak a word until Pam sauntered in from the adjoining walk-in wardrobe wearing one of Eric’s luxurious silk robes.
“What?” Pam intoned as she wiped away remnants of blood from the corner of her mouth with a pristine white handkerchief carrying the embroidered initials NB on the corner. “You said not to use spaghetti?”
A/N: Dun – Dun – Duuuun! Yep I’m leaving you all right there… have a nice weekend everyone! Oh right is this a bad time to inform you I will be away next week? Look Eric got some Sookie Nookie… put the pitchfork down. Don’t worry I’m not leaving till the end of next week you’ll hardly miss me or this story…
Thanks to msbuffy for her precious betaing skills again. Don’t bother trying to bribe her she doesn’t have the next chapters yet I hope to get them to her soon and we have come to the conclusion that we are both unbribable although I am looking for a pasta maker for Niall 😉
6 Months to Live Chapter 16 is here