When I’d left my office to find Sookie, after hanging up on Pam, I was still so full of doubts about everything, but the one thing that kept my feet moving was the undeniable truth that I didn’t want to let her go. It felt crazy to feel that way after only knowing her for a few days, that I could remember anyway, but it was true. Whatever spell I was under had to have been a powerful one because the thought of being without her, even now, wasn’t…ideal? Preferable?
Who was I fucking kidding? If she walked out now it would have to be with me attached to her leg, kicking and screaming for her to stay.
Yes, nothing made sense where Sookie was concerned. Black was white; up was down and, if necessary, I was inexplicably willing to beg a woman, a pregnant woman, to stay with me.
Welcome to the Twilight Zone.
That word and all of its possible meanings were still swirling through my mind, even as I slowly sought her out. I had no doubt that I would’ve fucked her, drunk or not, on our wedding night. For all I knew we could’ve continued drinking well on into the night and that was why I couldn’t remember anything. Pam was right; shit happens. Even if we had used a condom, it could’ve broken and while I wanted to believe Sookie wouldn’t try to dupe me into believing the baby was mine, I was afraid. Not only afraid of being a father, but afraid of becoming attached to the idea of it being mine only to find out later that it wasn’t. If it had been any other woman claiming I’d made them pregnant, I would’ve had no problems living my life exactly as I had been until a paternity test forced me to write a check every month. Any kid would be better off without me in their life, so it would’ve been easier to stay detached, but I was already so attached to Sookie, the idea of finding out it wasn’t mine later on had the potential to devastate me.
Fucking Twilight Zone.
I found her thrashing in the sheets on her bed and went straight to her, climbing in beside her to save her from herself and hoped like hell for her sake the kid took after me when it slept or else her abdomen would be black and blue. Her body immediately settled against mine and I smiled to myself, glad that it was yet another way I could take care of her and, with my body wrapped around hers, it wasn’t until I was drifting off to sleep that I realized I really did hope the baby was mine.
Despite the turmoil of finding out Sookie was pregnant, I was able to sleep, ironically, like a baby and had only just barely woken up when I felt her stir in my arms. She was, understandably, still mad at me, but even as she angrily asked if I believed I was the father, I couldn’t honestly say yes, so I deflected by mentioning Pam’s asinine request (it would be a cold day in hell before there was a Pamela Northman walking around). I didn’t want to lie to her; I couldn’t afford to, knowing it would lead to nothing good, so everything I told her was the truth.
I was sorry; she wasn’t like my mother; I was like my father and while I certainly hadn’t planned on attacking her as soon as we woke up, I couldn’t help myself. Even with bed head and swollen red rimmed eyes from crying the night before, she was still more beautiful to me than anyone else and I reacted on instinct. I needed her like I’d never needed anything and if I’d thought the sex we’d had on the patio the night before was amazing, it paled in comparison to that morning. Something had shifted within me overnight; doubt about ‘us’ had changed into acceptance. I accepted now that Sookie was a part of my life, memories or not, if only because the thought of being without her turned me into an emo bitch, and while I didn’t know if what I felt for her was love, it was damn close. With all of those emotions swirling through me, seeing her come undone on top of me was nothing short of spectacular and as we attempted to catch our breath, with her on top of me, I knew no matter what, this was right. We were right and, baby or no baby, I’d do whatever I had to, to keep her.
She eventually shifted to lie next to me, but I still kept her pressed against my side, unwilling to let her go just yet and she smirked, pulling the sheet over both of us and saying, “I can’t think straight when you’re naked.”
I grinned back her and said, “Ditto beautiful.” She really was and, unbelievably, Eric Junior started stirring with me wanting her again.
Sookie rolled her eyes in disbelief saying, “Puh-leez…I’m sure I look like shit right now, but you Mr. Sexiest Man Alive, not once; not twice, but five times, wake up looking like you’re in the middle of a photo shoot. It’s not fair.”
And I found that title ridiculous all five times, so I looked back at her before rolling my own eyes, replying facetiously, “Yep. Every single day, I wake up and look in the mirror and think, ‘Five times, mother fucker. Five times.”
She just laughed at me saying, “Well…you didn’t wake up every day, but don’t worry. I thought it for you while you were out.”
A joking happy Sookie was so much better than a crying unhappy Sookie, so I pulled her back on top of me making Eric Junior happy, asking, “Do you think I’m sexy Sookie?”
She kept giggling as she asked, “Do I need to sing to you again? Because if I do, then you’re gonna have to let me go pee first or else we might have a situation.”
Remembering her singing from the day before, I wasn’t sure if I might actually prefer a golden shower instead, but I loosened my grip and watched her bound into the bathroom, thankful we weren’t that married that she kept the door open while doing her business.
Some things were better left a mystery.
She laughed at the disappointed look on my face when she came back into the room wearing a robe and with a toothbrush in her mouth, so I gave her my serious look, saying, “Who said you could get dressed?” Dressed was bad. Naked was good.
She disappeared back into the bathroom to rinse out her mouth and came back into the room with a smile replying, “Whatever Captain Caveman. We can’t stay in bed all day.”
“Why in the hell not?” I asked. It sounded like a plan to me; a really fucking good one.
Sookie pulled another disappearing act, only this time into the closet, and came back out a few minutes later completely dressed. Before I could protest, she held her hand up saying, “You have a doctor’s appointment and we have all week to get…reacquainted before I start work on Monday.”
I went from chomping at the bit, thinking about an entire week of playing with Naked Sookie, to having a sudden realization. She’d accepted the teaching job in Compton knowing she was pregnant. Granted, I still couldn’t fully accept that it was my baby growing inside of her, but she was legally my wife and it felt like she was my Sookie, so since her and the baby came as a set now I felt like I should have a say in where they both went.
“How could you be so fucking stupid?” I asked. Unfortunately, my mouth and my brain weren’t fully functioning as a team yet. I blamed the lack of coffee.
Her flirty smirk disappeared in an instant and visions of a weeklong play date with Naked Sookie evaporated like a cartoon cloud of smoke as her eyes narrowed back at me when she said, “I’m sorry, you must be speaking Swahili again because I don’t think I understood you.”
I still wondered where in the hell she got the idea that I could speak Swahili, but I ignored that line of thought for now and asked, “Why would you accept a job in fucking Compton knowing that you’re pregnant?”
Understanding filtered into her expression and she smiled while faking a gag saying, “Please don’t say ‘fucking’ and ‘Compton’ to me in the same sentence. I vomit easily these days.”
That cocksucker still had a lot to answer for, as far as I was concerned, but I refused to allow her to deflect our conversation and said, “I mean it Sookie. You’re NOT working there.” There were so many things that could go wrong. Kids were rowdy; she could get bumped into too hard; she could get elbowed in her stomach; she could get knocked down a flight of stairs. She was small enough to fit inside one of the lockers and if someone stuck her in one, it would take forever to find her.
There were a lot of fucking lockers in that school.
Seemingly unaffected that she could possibly suffocate or starve to death inside of a locker, she defiantly declared, “I AM working there. We’ve already discussed this.”
“I wasn’t fully informed when we discussed this and now that I am, I’ve changed my mind. You’re not working there. End. Of. Discussion.”
Had we been discussing anything else, I would’ve laughed at how comical it was to see her facial expressions change so dramatically. Even pissed off she was a sight to behold, which only made me mourn the loss of Naked Sookie all the more, but I’d need my mobility back to fully enjoy having angry sex with her. I could tell she was building up a full head of steam and, remembering what she’d said the night before, I decided to test her. Just as she opened her mouth to let loose on me, I sat up in bed, with the sheet falling down to my waist, and leaned back on my hands with my bare chest on display. I even flexed once or twice for good measure and tossed my head back to get my hair out of my face while biting back the smile that threatened to emerge when she did nothing but gape at me and sputter incoherently. When she finally threw her hands up in the air and stomped out of the room with a frustrated yell I couldn’t help laughing out loud at my small victory.
Yep. Five times, mother fucker. Five times…
I pulled myself out of bed when I heard her stomp her way downstairs, not bothering to get dressed as I went into my room to take a shower. I’d foolishly hoped she would walk in on me and we’d have another round of morning sex, but my hopes were dashed and I later found her in the kitchen putting a stack of freshly made waffles onto a plate. Even though I felt like I was right, I didn’t like the thought of her being mad at me, so when she didn’t even turn around at the sound of me entering the room, I came up to stand right behind her. I leaned my body against her back, kissing the top of her head, and chuckled when she reached behind herself with her hands patting my body to make sure I was dressed before she sighed, saying, “I get that you’re worried, but I’ll be fine.”
“You don’t know that,” I mumbled into the top of her head. “What if something happens? You don’t need to work.”
“You can’t protect me from everything Eric and I do need to work,” she sighed. I was about to protest, but she spun around and put her fingertips to my lips to stop me as she said, “I need to work for me. I worked really hard to get through school so that I could be a teacher and now that I finally have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, I can’t throw it all away.”
Why did she have to be so fucking rational when I felt anything but rational where she was concerned? She was standing too close for me to pull my shirt off, so I hoped a little bit of charm would work just as well and truthfully admitted, “You’ve already made a difference in my life. Doesn’t that count for something?”
She smiled saying, “More than you can imagine.” I thought perhaps Sookie was coming around to my way of thinking, but she followed up with, “But I need to do this for me.” There was no hiding my disappointment. I was still opposed to the idea of her working there, but it seemed my desire to give her what she wanted outweighed everything else and when my shoulders sagged in defeat I was rewarded with a kiss. Not just a sweet ‘thank you’ kiss, but the kind that grew into ‘I’d toss you onto the counter and fuck you into a coma if it weren’t for my broken leg and ribs’ kind of kiss. Now that I knew what it was like to have sex with her, I’d totally believe that could be the cause of my two week hospital stay.
I begrudgingly pulled away from her when she mentioned we had to leave for my doctor’s appointment soon and we ate our breakfast quickly so we could get there on time. When we pulled up to the gate to leave I wondered if someone had leaked the news of the appointment because there seemed to be twice as many paparazzi as usual waiting for us. Sookie’s whole body tensed up as she pulled through the gate, attempting to maneuver through the crowd and onto the main street, so I put my hand on her leg and gave her thigh a gentle squeeze saying, “I’m sorry about the crowd.”
Her eyebrows furrowed as she glanced over at me asking, “Why are you apologizing? It’s not your fault they get paid to stalk you. If anything, I should be apologizing to you.”
“Why would you need to apologize?” I asked.
She chewed on her lip, which I’d come to understand was her ‘tell’ for when she was about to admit to something, and blushed slightly as she admitted, “Well, I’ve been known to read a gossip magazine or two because you were in it.”
“Really?” I asked. It seemed so unlike her. She’d made it clear she didn’t want my money since she refused to even let me pay for her grandmother’s new mattress and she didn’t seem to care about being famous either since she hadn’t even bothered wanting to see the pictures from the GQ photo shoot, so it didn’t make sense that she’d want to read some asinine article on where I happened to have lunch.
“Why?” I wondered out loud. When all she did was shrug her shoulders in response, I squeezed her thigh again saying, “Tell me.”
She refused to look at me and finally huffed out, “I kinda sorta had a crush on you growing up.”
A huge smile lit up on my face and when she chanced a peek in my direction, she rolled her eyes asking, “Should I open a window? The sunroof perhaps?”
“Why?” I asked. “Are you gassy?” If she wouldn’t pee with the bathroom door open, I doubted we were we that married yet.
“No,” she laughed,” but your ego might need the extra room. I wouldn’t want to suffocate from your big head.”
My hand crept farther up her leg as I said, “From what I could tell, my big head didn’t appear to suffocate you at all last night.”
Best. Blow job. Ever.
“Eric Northman!” she gasped, blushing and smacking my hand away.
“Even my name is a mouthful,” I chuckled. “Just moan ‘Eric’ instead.” I fucking loved hearing her moan and my hand went right back to her leg, hoping to get her to make that sound again.
It would seem I’d overplayed my hand because hers moved lightning quick and dove into the waistband of my shorts, stroking me until my head fell back onto the headrest and I ended up moaning out her name instead. I didn’t even realize the car had come to a stop until her hand disappeared and as soon as my eyes could focus I saw the smirk on her face as she said, “Come on. We don’t want to be late for your appointment.”
I looked around seeing we were in the parking lot in front of the medical center and only half jokingly glared back at her saying, “So. Wrong.”
She just shrugged her shoulders smiling and said, “You started it. It’s not my fault you waited and didn’t give yourself enough time to finish.”
As she got out of the car I tried to imagine every disgusting thing I could think of to will my hard on away so there wouldn’t be pictures of me looking like Big Ben at high noon on the cover of every magazine next week, but the only thing I could think of was Sookie in various stages of undress. It clearly wasn’t helping and she laughed at me again when she stood next to my open door with my crutches next to her waiting for me to get out. Seeing her wasn’t helping my not-so-little problem either, but what I heard next did.
A woman walked by our car, on her way into the medical center, and the screaming newborn baby she was holding took me by surprise, just like Sookie’s confession had the night before. The reality of what we were facing hit us both and I felt a little better seeing Sookie looked just as overwhelmed as I felt.
She wouldn’t look that way if she’d planned it, right?
The paparazzi were starting to swarm by then and since Eric Junior had made himself scarce after hearing the baby cry, I was able to get out of the car without looking like a pervert and we slowly made our way inside. I normally did my best to ignore them, no matter how much they annoyed me, but one cameraman in particular got a little too close and ended up knocking into Sookie. My instincts to protect her rose up like volcano and I dropped one of my crutches to catch her. As soon as she had her footing again, I reached out and shoved the offender as hard as I could, knocking him onto his ass, and barked out, “Stay the fuck away from her!” I spun around, tucking her behind me as best as I could, and started yelling at all of them, saying, “Isn’t it bad enough you already nearly killed her? Just leave us the fuck alone!”
I felt Sookie’s arms wrap around me from behind with her face pressed against my back as she urged, “Come on, just ignore them.” She moved around to stand in front me, facing me, and handed me the crutch I’d dropped while the photographers continued to snap away and yell out questions as we finally made our way inside. My chest was still heaving in anger, but once we were out of their sight Sookie stopped walking to hug me again. I could feel her heartbeat pounding away in her chest and it made me calm down, if only so she would calm down with me hearing Pam’s warning in my head about the stress not being good for her and the pregnancy.
“Are you okay?” I asked when I could finally speak calmly.
“Yeah,” she snickered into my chest. “I’m just worried about your blood pressure reading when you get into the examination room. They might not let me take you home with me if it’s through the roof.”
I took another deep breath figuring it couldn’t hurt and knowing she was right. I needed to calm down if only so I’d be there to take care of her, but we both tensed up hearing another baby cry a few feet from where we were standing. We broke apart simultaneously and looked down the hallway to see a woman digging frantically inside of a diaper bag while her baby screamed from the stroller. My doctor’s office was a few doors down from where she stood and Sookie and I slowly made our way towards her when she finally found what she’d been looking for and she shoved a pacifier into its mouth, with the screaming immediately ceasing and a look of relief coming into her eyes. When she looked up at us, recognition lit up her face and she said, “Oh my God! I love your show!” I smiled and thanked her while she dug in her bag again, asking, “Would you mind posing for a picture and maybe giving me an autograph? My friends are never going to believe I ran into you!”
My eyes were glued to the little human swaddled in blankets that seemed too small to be real, but I always tried to be nice to my fans, the normal ones at least, and seeing Sookie smile understandingly, I didn’t hesitate to agree. I was, however, totally thrown for a fucking loop when the next thing I knew this seemingly normal woman shoved her newborn baby into my arms (me; a total fucking stranger) and smiled like a loon at Sookie who was holding the woman’s cell phone to take the picture. I’d held footballs that were larger than the baby in my arm and I couldn’t seem to not look at it, imagining if I’d be just as fucking freaked out when I was holding another baby in a few months time. The baby’s eyes didn’t really seem to focus on me, but when it pushed the pacifier out of its mouth and it started to wail again, I froze.
Yep. Definitely freaking the fuck out.
“Eric?” I heard Sookie’s voice and eventually managed to tear my eyes away from the screaming bundle of blankets in my arm to look at her. She tried to smile at me, I supposed at first, to reassure me that everything would be alright, but when she moved her fingers up to her mouth to pull her lips into an exaggerated smile I realized she was trying to get me to pose for the picture. I tried to wipe the ‘oh shit’ look from my face and smile, but I know it was back when, as the flash went off, I felt, more than heard, a percussion against my hand worthy of giving the Boston Pops Orchestra a run for their money on the 4th of July.
I tried to shove the kid back at its mother as fast as I could, saying, “Uh…here.” She didn’t take it though, back to digging in her ginormous bag, saying, “I need to find something for you to write on.” A second later, my hand was hit with another barrage, but there was no smell to go along with it.
Did diapers contain the shit smell as well as the shit itself?
Sookie moved to stand next to me and looked down whispering, “It’s so small.”
Another twenty-one gun salute went off in my hand and Sookie snickered when I looked back at her with my eyebrow raised, saying, “I believe there’s a situation going on.”
The crying hadn’t stopped, but the mother was either oblivious to the sound or fucking deaf because she continued digging into her bag, so Sookie leaned in and said, “Talk to it to try and calm it down.”
“What the fff… should I say?” I asked, filtering my language. “Would you please stop crying and pooping into my hand?”
Sookie smoothed the baby’s hair and giggled, “It doesn’t matter.” She looked up at me and smirked, “It probably all sounds like Swahili to it anyway.”
I was just about to ask her again where she came up with the ridiculous idea that I could speak fucking Swahili when the mother thrust a pen and diaper at me saying, “This is all I can find.” I’d signed some weird things in my lifetime, but it was the first time I’d ever been asked to sign a diaper and seeing as how she might be a fucking nut case, I was just thankful it was an unused one. I handed her, her bowels-filled baby, and restrained myself from adding ‘You’re the shit’ to my signature before she thanked us and we were able to move on.
When we got into the doctor’s office, Sookie signed me in as I took a seat in the waiting area only to discover there were three more babies in attendance. I’d never really noticed kids before unless they were being a nuisance and as Sookie took a seat next to me, I couldn’t help but look at her abdomen now that I knew what was growing inside.
Was it really mine?
Could I really be a father?
Would it fire off rounds in its diaper like the opening sequence to Saving Private Ryan?
Was it a boy or a girl?
Whatever it was, it didn’t really matter because right now it was just freaking me the fuck out.