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Death Takes a Holiday   Chapter 5

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

 

This story is rated M.

Eric was primed! They were in bed and the blood lust had him! His fangs were aching and he wanted more! She was moaning his name and this time he was between her thighs, the smell and the pounding from her femoral artery had him in its grip! She was beginning to thrash around, calling out to him.

“Eric,” she was pleading.

She was not scared. He could hear it in here voice. She was filled with want! Gently he laid his head on her thigh and kissed her as her heart rate slowed and her body became still. “Sookie,” he was up from between her thighs. “Sookie!” he shouted at her as her eyes lost their spark and fixed in the open position! Opening his vein, he put it in her mouth and with his force of will pushed his blood in and down her throat. “Pump you fucker,” he yelled at her heart and with his mind, he squeezed her heart…and then again, until it began beating on its own.

Within a few precious seconds, he felt life returning to her. “Sookie,” he was holding her face. “Sookie,” when her eyes fluttered open, she gave him a small smile.

“What happened?” she asked him.

“I…you…died,” his eyes were searching her face.

“You sure about that? I don’t feel any different,” she ran her fingers down his cheek. “You need to feed,” she patted her thigh. “All those love nips were erotic, but I don’t think you got all that you needed. Go ahead. I think I am ready for that.”

“I don’t think I am,” he brought her hand to his mouth for a kiss. Giving her a small smile, with worry in his heart, he licked her wrist, nuzzling it several times, carefully watching her pulse. “Just holding you, this will do me for now.

There was no room for argument or second thoughts, he was spending the night and with the dawn would sleep under her bed. But for now, he was monitoring her. Pillows were piled up and he was leaning back, with her on his chest.

“I forced the blood down your throat,” he said gently. “I held you heart in my mind and I squeezed with my force of will, Sookie, until it began beating on its own.”

Kissing his chest, she looked up at him. “That might be,” she stroked his face, “but I feel fine now.”

“I want you to drink, again,” he held her close as he opened a vein in his wrist.

“Okay,” she took his wrist. “But really Eric…”

“Please,” he said, his eyes the biggest and bluest she had ever seen them. With a few tentative licks, she kissed his fang marks and then began to feed.

“You are to rest, today,” he kissed the top of her head as she dozed in and out. “I mean it. You take it easy. Read to Flea-butt, sit out on the porch swing, take your vitamins, drink lots of fluids. Call Tara and Lafayette and have them come over and play Scrabble or watch Buffy with you or whatever.”

“I will,” she nodded. “I promise.”

“I am going to want to know how your day went,” he pulled her closer.

Raising her head she pulled him down for a kiss. “I will tell any and all. You will be so bored after I am finished, your ears will bleed.”

“I mean it, stay in the house or on the porch if you need some fresh air. If I feel something is not right, I will be able to get to you.”

“Eric…”

“Promise me, lover.”

“I promise,” she sighed as she snuggled in and went to sleep.

“You has his La La fineness,” came the sleepy voice.

“Lafayette, this is Eric Northman.”

“Oh shit, I knews there were too many zeros on that check. Good thangs I has not cashed it.”

“No, the ten thousand is for you being so mindful of Sookie. I am regrettably busy today and something is not right about her. She says it is nothing. But if you or Tara or both are not busy, I would appreciate you just coming over and being with her so I would not worry.”

“She faint?” Lafayette asked.

“Well,” Eric thought about that. Time for a small lie. Lafayette would be very upset if he said she had died. “Yes.”

“Could bes she’s expectin’. Should I bring along some baby momma foods? She is gonna watch her little blonde Buff-ette kick vampire ass or other such villains. She likes them Cheetos while she is watchin’.”

“Yes, please. Something a little healthier. Better yet, I’ll call and have food delivered during the day. How late can you stay?”

“I gots to work startin’ the noon times. I starts preppin’ for dinner at three so I’ll be gones by half-past the two.”

“Perfect, and if Tara would like to join you, the more the merrier.”

“How soon?” Lafayette asked as he sat up and surveyed his domain.

Eric was factoring in sunup. “Seven thirty, no later than eight.”

“We’ll be there,” her life long friend replied.

Lafayette and Tara arrived at the same time as the catering van from The Harvest Table.

“I don’t want to get the spare key with those folks here,” Tara said as they got out of the car.

“Easy fix, La La says. You call and I’ll go to her window.

Miss Sooks,” he went around and yelled through her bedroom window, “time to wakey wakey and eat.”

They heard the shower running as the staff set up in the kitchen.

“That check was not a mistake?” Tara said, awe in her voice. “So we can cash it?”

“That is what the Big Blonds done and said.”

“Damn,” Tara laughed. “Though I feel bad about it, since he is now family and all. But I sure could use that money.”

“Selfs as well,” Lafayette nodded as he watched Sookie’s kitchen being converted into a mini food hall. “Here comes our girl, now. I could eats. Now,” he addressed Sookie, his body language saying do not be mo’ fo’n shown me your attitude! “Mr. Erics done said you needed to be nourished. Had a bit of the spells last night did you?”

“No, I’m not pregnant,” Sookie said fixing her plate as she eyed them both.   “Eric is runnin’ a bit scared. I told him I don’t need for you to waste your time with me, but, damn, would you look at those crepes,” happiness in her voice.

“But Mr. Erics said you done and passed out for a bits. Sounds like the spells’ to me. His La La fineness knows the spells.”

“Yes,” Tara nodded in agreement. “You had a spell, sounds like you did not hit the floor, though.”

“Just got a little light-headed,” she smiled. “I don’t think I ate anything yesterday. Just maybe some juice at breakfast. Eric caught me.”

“Mrs. Northman,” her name-tag said Rachel, “this is breakfast set out. We will be back at lunchtime. You can just leave this. We will clean up and cover whatever is left and put it in your refrigerator.”

“Lunch…” they all three said.

“How late you stayin’?” Sookie asked her friends.

“We both have to leave at two-ish. I’m workin’ the bar for Sam and La La is preppin’.”

“Well, ya’ll just swing on back by here tomorrow and we’ll do this again. Won’t be as nice, cause my old china does not look this good. Or fancy silver, or pressed linen napkins,” she chuckled. “But I think out in the Jeep are some paper napkins left over from the Tasty-Freeze.

Eric knew he was dreaming. It did not matter if he thought he was awake or not. No colors were this sharp and clear. Especially to his vampire eyesight. He missed nothing, but somehow, either his eyes or these colors had been enhanced. Looking down at his body, he could see blue light coming from every pore. He was going to super nova, fill the sky with his light as he became something more. He was going to give birth, he knew that, to a new spectacular, wonderful something that would rip the soul from his body.

Looking down there was a child at what could only be his feet. Picking it up he held it to his breast and the baby girl began to nurse.

“What?” he woke with a start. It was not sundown, not even close. “I must still be dreaming,” he reasoned when he picked up his phone and checked the time. It was three. Hitting one on his speed dial he said, “Sookie?”

“Eric,” he could hear the panic in her voice. “Is every thing okay? It is the middle of the day and you are awake.”

“So, I am not dreaming?”

“No,” she replied, worry in her voice. “No. Now go back to sleep before you get the bleeds.”

“Sookie, please come and check under your bed. Make sure I really am here.”

“What?” now there was panic.

“I was someplace and I gave birth and was nursing a child. My daughter. Please, come and check on me.

Entering her bedroom, she began a mental checklist. “Black out curtains are in place and taped down. No light coming in. Door is closed with a towel at the bottom. Okay Eric,” she said, getting down on the floor, “this is me, shinning my cell light under the bed.”

“This is me,” he smiled back at her and he made his way to her and then was up and had both of them on the bed.

“What ever you are, the kind of supe,” he began, “I think you were born of light. I just experienced that. And when you died last night, I think that was you experiencing the birth of my vampire self. Truly, I think we are experiencing what the other, is.”

“So why would I not dream of that myself?” she asked.

“Because I do not think that you would believe it,” he answered. “I live with magic so I am more accepting. And I had to experience it for myself just as you needed to know what it was like to be born of vampire.”

“To what end?” she asked.

Shrugging Eric replied. “I think so we can understand each other and the life that is ours to create.”

“What?” she backed away from him. “What life?” she said turning on the bedside lamp.

“Our daughter,” he smiled.

“You mean Pamela,” she countered.

“No,” he smiled at her, “I mean our daughter.”

“No,” she shook her head. “I meant it Eric, what I have, I would not wish this off on a child. My life was horrible. No. And then having to worry about her and some one wanting to do to her what Sophie-Anne wants to do to me. No,” she was shaking her head and tears were falling. “No, I would not do that to someone I love. No,” she was sobbing. “You do not know all the awful things I heard. No child should…” her heart was breaking as the pain poured from her. “No child should,” was all she was able to get out before the storm of emotions over took her.

He was sitting on the bed, with his arms around her while she wept and she told him of the monster that was her uncle.

When she fell asleep, he continued to hold her as the sun slipped slowly from the sky. When the sun went down, she woke. “Sorry,” she said as she kissed his chest, then his shoulder and was working her way up to his face.

“Ouch, lover,” she could hear the laughter in Eric’s voice. “Watch the teeth.”

“Ouch,” she said herself as she cut her tongue. “Er-r-ic, I tink, I’ve got fwangs,” she lisped out.

“What?” he asked, a light blue light coming from his hand as he held it up. Then “What?” they both yelped as the light vanished.

“We seem to be sharing each other’s powers,” Eric was thoughtful as he peered at his hand and then her mouth.

“Maybe, but I shure as hell don’t bweed bwuew fire,” Sookie responded, her lisp still pronounced. “And how do you tawk wit dese things? I have bwood goin’ everywhere.”

“Yes to the blue fire, lover. You do. I experienced it. We both just saw it. You just don’t admit it to yourself, therefore you don’t manifest it.”

“Eric, fwruck that. Rwight now, I have fwangs and de inside of my mouth is a mess. I could us a wittwe help and maybe some ruwes and guidewines.

And oh, tanks for de food and for sendin’ over Tara and Lawayette. That was reawwy kwind.”

“Tell me,” he smiled, “everything that happened to day.”

“Weww…” she began…and as her story progressed, her lisp became better and her fangs retreated.

“…and then they left and you called me. Nothing odd or strange and I felt really good all day,” she said crossing her eyes and pushing around on her top teeth.

“Good,” he smiled. “But now you have little tiny cute fangs,” he tickled her under the chin until she giggled and they popped down. “I need to talk to Samuel.”

“Your Jewish brother,” she smiled.

“Yes, he will have answers or know someone, or have in his possession an ancient text, or pray it down from the heavens. I have seen him do all of the above,” he chuckled.

“A Jewish vampire,” Sookie was thoughtful. “Did he know Moses?”

“I believe he did,” was Eric’s answer. “When you meet him, you can ask him yourself.”

On the phone with Samuel, Eric was brief and to the point. Hanging up, he tossed his phone up into the air a couple of times and then smiled. “I could use a shower.”

With a grin, Sookie raced him to the bathroom.

“It’s nice to have a shower buddy,” Sookie sighed as she closed her eyes and felt Eric finish drying her off with his tongue.

“M-m-m-m,” was the only response she got from him as the smile spread across her face as she hung onto the best towel in the universe.

They were in the kitchen and Sookie was heating up leftovers when Eric’s phone buzzed.   It was not Samuel.

“Cedric,” Eric’s tone was jovial as he addressed the King of Eire.

“Eric, to the point. Things are a bit iffy, here. What is going on in your part of the world?”

“Cedric,” Eric’s whole demeanor changed. “Iffy? What is going on?”

“I just hung up with British Isle. Ian says he is being…being watched. Myself as well. Vlad says the same. I have tried calling Wombat but he does not pick up. Siegfried says there is someone shadowing him. I mean who has the balls to have old Siggy watched?”

“The same ones who could corner Willy. Wombat is dead, unnaturally so. I just got back from cleaning up that mess. Check the Ebola outbreak in the South West corner of Texas.”

“Looking at that now…someone did that to Wombat?”

“Yes…and it was just ugly.”

“You sense anyone watching you?” Cedric asked.

“You mean, short of Sophie-Anne dragging her ass into my club every night wanting to see me?”

“Well, I guess you are as well. What the fuck, Eric? We were seven, now we are down to six. Is it just a game of opportunity or is there some bigger motive?”

Eric’s fangs snicked down. “I am going to kill them all,” he hissed. “If they think to target my friends they are going to be in for a very nasty surprise. I will talk to Samuel. Can you all shelter in one place until you come to me?”

“Yes, I believe we can do that.”

“Good, I will ask Samuel if he can spare a few guards. His people will not mind guarding those of The Résistance.”

“Fuck it, game changer,” Eric hissed as he hung up and called his brother. When Samuel picked up, Eric explained what was going on. “Consider them protected, my brother. I need four hours. With this information, the other things I am learning seem ominous.   Then I am back to you.”

When Eric’s phone chimed he was greeted by Samuel’s face. “I have located the texts you require,” Samuel said to him.

“Brother, thank you for granting me the favor. The Rabid four,” his voice caught, “thank you as well.”

“Of course,” Samuel’s gave a wave off with his hand as his look penetrated the screen. “What is going on?”

“Someone in New Orleans pulled the trigger on Willy. Infected him with something and turned him loose. They are watching the four, now as well. Ian, Cedric, Vlad and Siggy are gathering on British Isle, awaiting your guards.”

“That’s interesting,” Samuel’s eyes were glowing. “You could not sneak up on William the Conqueror. An easy death for our friend?”

“No, gawd no,” Eric shuddered.

“I see,” Samuel’s voice was low. “There is a conspiracy, here, my brother, of the finest sort. Everything about recordings of the earliest vampires has been pulled. Even from The Vatican and the Antiquities Room in the The Library of Congress and a few other choice, hard to access places, secret room, unknown places. Of course, since I have been collecting the longest,” he smiled, his fangs down, “they could not help themselves to my library.”

“Who?” Eric asked.

“Someone from the New World. And the only reason this is known is because a phone number was given to authorize the texts being released to them so they could walk them out of the library.   Has a New Orleans area code. Which made me want to ask even more questions. All the old texts about Lilith have disappeared, as well. Which made me ask even more questions. So I put out a few feelers and several humans who were drunk on The Green Fairy, Absinthe, and went fishing in the shallow waters of Germany.

Fred the Earl, as in the Lower Duchy of Fredrick, told his oldest and dearest friend, Mente, that he is all enthralled about Lilith’s Book of Blood Truths that has come to light. Her memories and desires for vampire that she recorded after she walked with God. Gag,” Samuel stuck his finger down his throat. “That her name and my God should appear in the same thought,” he hissed.

“Fred quoted to Mente: His firm vampire maleflesh was made rigid by the blood of the plump assed female human who tickled his balls and did deep squats on his face so that he might eat from the source. Lilith says this is good and right and all human females shall have tantalizing plump asses. That ring any bells for you?”

“What?” Eric chuckled. “You don’t mean our boys’ night out?”

“Yes, I do. Earl Fred, he looks forward to when vampires shall rule as is our right and having never-ending plump asses.”

“What?” Eric stood up. “Rule the humans? That sounds like Salome back in the late 1600’s.”

“Yes. And this magical prose of our god Lilith,” Samuel snickered. “Seems to me there were seven drunk vampires who had been drinking down blood swimming with Absinthe when six of you concocted that story and I wrote it down.”

“Oh lower than were shit,” Eirc hissed out. “New Orleans is going to use Lilith as their fever pitch point. Come out, let the humans adjust and declare a holy war. One vampire like Willy set loose on the masses in each major city. Within nights they could even out the population to their liking.”

“Looks that way does it not,” Samuel’s fangs had gotten longer. “Now, the rabid four are safe enough by day. And by night if they stay put.

And New Orleans is keeping tabs on you.   Or so they think.

Now,” he chuckled at Eric, “My plane is fueled and ready to go. The texts are being loaded as we speak.

I very much look forward to meeting your blessed to continue Miss Sookie.”

From the first moment Samuel appeared at the farmhouse, Sookie was enchanted. The short vampire with curly black hair and the intense green eyes had an accent she thought she should recognize.

Samuel was just as enchanted with her.

“Eric my brother,” Samuel hugged Eric each time he said it, “what a mate you have chosen!   She is priceless!”

Eric would grin and hug him back. “Thank you my brother she is indeed worth more than gold or jewels!”

The first hour was spent catching up and talking of old friends. They both made a toast to Wombat Willy. “To William the Conqueror,” they both said as they raised a glass of blood.

Sookie sat quietly as the two men sat and stared at the fire.

“How Eric?” Samuel finally asked the question. “How did they manage to get Willy?”

“I don’t know, Samuel. You know how he was, cautious. Quiet.   Went his own way and did not tread on the political scene. He learned those sharp-knifed political lessons as human and carried them over to vampire. He met with no one in back allies or abandoned buildings.

When we found him, he was a raging mess,” Eric’s voice caught. “Begging me to stake him.”

“So you are taking the fight to them,” Samuel nodded in agreement. “I will stand at your side.”

“Thank you,” Eric clasped his hand. “Yes, once Compton makes his move on Sookie, then we will be in New Orleans.”

“Then my brother, with knowledge and prayer, let us prepare you for this next phase of your life.” Samuel opened a wooden crate in the living room. “We’ll spread out and see where the words take us.

This,” Samuel picked up an old leather-bound book, “has the complete text that was copied from a wall in a passage tomb in the foothills of Mt. Ararat. It was recorded with early photographs. That being said, the old black and white photos are exquisite. Art-worthy of themselves. It is written in Sumerian. Fortunately, it is very early Sumerian, which is a bastardized form of ancient Hebrew, the first written language. Everyone borrowed,” he cleared his throat, “from us. This text started out as linear and then went more of the cuneiform route. But there is still enough of the beauty of the original Hebrew to be able to be translated. The lexical level of the Hebrew shines through. So, let us began, shall we.”

There is a story about a being that fell to earth. His metal,” Samuel paused as he ran his finger over the markings.

Yes, his metal, metal here is used to indicate not human, not blood flesh,” he said thinking out loud.

“His form sizzled blue as he fell and upon the solid of his new home,

“They are referencing the ground here. See. Rocks, water, grass.”  

The night sky cooled his bones and brought flesh to his form.   He loved the dark and could not abide the day.

His aloneness sat heavy on his bones. While he had danced in the sky, the sun was often his companion, and he missed their esprit de corps.

Yes,” he mused, “that is correct. They entwined their hearts with their pride in adorning the sky. I think I can use esprit de corps, there.”  

So from himself, he pushed out an aspect of his being. She was his warrior, his counterpart. She called him Act, and he called her Act’yed. Meaning of myself. During the day, she protected him while he slept. Her senses keen, her eyes those of a hawk on the hunt and with her mind, she could hear the coming of their enemies. With blue flame, she smote those with a rod of power and might, causing water to sizzle and the sky to twitch and belch the ashes of her slain.

When he rose with the stars, he protected her when she became less, as she drew her energy from the sun. They fed each other their love and desire so that she would have his courage and strength and he would have her heart and tenderness. With her by his side, he knew her soul and she feed him grapes and honeycomb by the pool.

“He could eat food. Grapes and honeycomb,” Samuel’s voice caught. “Here, in the sunlight, she is feeding him.”

Eric put his hand on top of Samuel’s. “We always wondered,” his voice was soft.

Nodding, Samuel went on.

Each night she died in his arms and he roused her to life with his blood. Drinking until she was whole and it pulsed in her womb.

She feed him the blood of his veins and she gave suckle to his children. His daughters were his delight and he sold his sons into slavery.

“What?” Eric and Sookie both said.

“Slavery? Sold them to whom?” Sookie’s shocked voice asked.

“Does not say,” Samuel countered, looking at the photograph. “But yes, the sons, they were forbidden freedom, is the literal translation. See here. Their hands and feet are bound and they are being led off. They went to serve those not of their house and Act became rich in…in…that word could either be slaves or wives. Or maybe just humans because this next section says,”

When man and woman walked among them he looked with longing upon their soft forms and they,

meaning Act and Act’yed, see, here are their symbols,”

diminished.

“So they stopped being a couple, he started lusting for any and all and it all went to hell,” Sookie said.

“Sounds like it does it not,” Samuel said. “Unfaithfulness. It does not allow one to abide. Is that helpful? I have a couple of clay tablets that say something very similar. This first one says he split into two and lived in the night and she embraced the day. One tablet says that their children died in The Flood and in their sorrow, they took flight and returned to the sky.

Another says that they lived on the ark and Noah’s sons’ wives gave birth to the hero warriors.”

“But it all says vampire to you correct?” Eric asked.

“Yes, this is what our mythos is based upon. That the father of vampire fell from the night sky and his wife gave birth to vampire. That she gave birth to the blood born vampire.”

Eric was holding Sookie’s hand and then pulled her into his lap.

“What has happened, Eric?” Samuel asked. “You both look very uncomfortable.   I am here to help. Tell me what I need to know.”

Samuel listened as they told the story.

“She was dead, Samuel,” Eric’s voice cracked. “By my force of will, I pushed my blood down her throat and made her heart pump until it started on its own.”

Samuel looked back at the photographs. “These symbols, now that you told me the story, yes, that is what this four chamber glyph is…a heart. And this loop, or lasso, around these two figures, that is the blood pumping through both of them.

If the pieces were fit together, I would say Sookie is descended from Act’yed. One of Sookie’s ancestors was a blood born vampire. That explains her telepathy and her natural stance around vampires. Perfectly accepting. The two of you feeding in a continuous circuit woke up your blood, Eric. One of your ancestors was probably a blood born vampire as well.   You both have the same hair color. Looks to be exactly the same. Light skin tones. Strong in mind and heart.

So my brother,” Samuel was watching him, “what else can you do? It most be momentous. I can tell you have not yet told Sookie.”

“Outside,” Eric motioned with his head toward the door. “And I will show you.

Vette,” he said and the car started up. “Come to me.” They all heard the car shift into reverse and the back up lights came on. There was a low rumble as the car began to back out. “Park,” he said and the car settled into its spot and shut off.

“My brother,” Samuel’s voice held awe and humor, “I have seen you do some remarkable things, but nothing like that.”

Eric just looked at Sookie and grinned and shrugged his shoulders.

“And I am fast Samuel. I feel like I inherited the years of all the makers in my line.”

“Let’s give it a try,” Samuel said. “Let’s go to the lake and back.”

“Impressive,” Samuel nodded when they re-appeared and walked back up onto the porch. “So Miss Sookie,” Samuel bowed his head to her, “what are your warrior skills?”

“I…I…I don’t know. I don’t feel any different.”

“Act’yed feed off the sun and diminished at night,” Eric was thoughtful. “Now may not be the best time.”

“What was that bit about feeding him grapes and honeycomb in the sunlight?” Sookie asked, as they went back inside.  “Samuel, do you have a super power?”

“Actually, yes,” he gave her a small grin. “I can eat plant-based foods that I knew from my time as human, and I can day walk on my God’s holy days.”

“No foolin’,” Sookie leaned in to take a better look at him.

“No foolin’” Samuel responded.

“You know anythin’ about this blue fire that sparks out of us?” She asked. “Eric seems to think I should be able to do that. I am just not feelin’ it.”

“It is referenced in a few other texts,” he smiled as he took her hand. “Let’s pull those and see what it has to say.”

They spent the night talking, reading, pushing out reasons, hypothesis, and what they thought they knew to be fact.

“Act’yed, this relationship she had with Act, this is what modern vampire tries to replicate with their bonded,” Sookie’s voice was soft as her finger traced about the tablets. “You vampires are missing this aspect of yourself and your try to reproduce this…with a human.”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded. “The older ones are familiar with the text. The concept. And since the first vampire had a part of himself in human form, we try to imitate this as well. The bonded guards him during the day, the vampire protects her during the night. They feed from each other, hoping that this is what is meant in the text.”

“Who was your maker, Samuel, if I am not being too forward.”

“I don’t know,” he smiled at her. “But you can see, I have many of the same aspects. I suspect that maybe she was female and perhaps descended from a blood born, as well.”

“So,” her words were cautious, “you think Eric will be able to day walk and eat certain foods?”

“Yes, I believe that to be possible,” Samuel countered.

“And you think I will be able to manipulate this blue fire, given time?”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded again.

“And children…” her voice stopped.

Eric’s eyes were tracking her every move.

“Perhaps, perhaps not,” Samuel shrugged. “There is no way of knowing how far you are from the genetic and magical source of Act and Act’yed.

“It is the not knowin’…,” she shifted in her seat. “But if it is possible for us to have a child, I guess we need to use some type of birth control.”

Eric was concentrating on a scroll when she looked over at him.

“Eric and I have had this discussion. I am wanted by vampires because of my telepathy. I would not wish that on a child. And being able to hear other people’s thoughts… no,” she said, shaking her head.

“I am sure Eric understands your position, Miss Sookie,” Samuel’s voice was gentle. “But even I know birth control is not one hundred percent effective.  But if this bothers you, the thought of a child,” Samuel’s voice was very soft, “and if you should be so blessed, I could raise the baby for you.”

“What?” her head jerked up. “What do you mean?”

“I believe I was very clear,” Samuel’s voice continued on quietly. “You expressed your fears for one born to you such as yourself. With me, the child would be safe.”

“Safe,” she echoed back. “You have guards with guns…”

“Yes,” he nodded. “They are devoted to me. I would be a good father.”

“Day walkin’ only on holy days,” she mumbled. “A child needs a full-time parentin’,” to her own ears she sounded a little snippy. “There are everyday things that have to be tended. And the excuse, ‘Daddy can’t take this meetin’ with your teacher until Passover or the sun goes down,’” would get old in a hurry.” Her eyes were blazing at him. “What do you do if somethin’ happens at school? Or she gets scared and starts cryin’ for you? You would trust some one besides yourself while you are down during the day?

I don’t think so,” and now Sookie thought she sounded maybe just a bit self-righteous.

“Well,” she stood, looking over at Eric who was busy writing down what he was translating.   “Why would she not be safe with us? I mean,” she walked over to the fireplace, stared at it and then turned back around. “I mean, if I can see to Eric during the day, being his warrior, I think I could take care of a baby. And when he rises, he should be able to keep both of us safe. He has super powers now. He is so fast that…that…he is here, there, and everywhere. Besides, I have this deadly blue fire somewhere,” her voice was soft but full of fury. “That I am going to learn to use. And I would never hand over my child. Never!” she was towering above Samuel. “How dare you suggest such a thing?”

“I suggest it Sookie, because you worry…”

“Well yes I do,” she got in his face. “I also worry about global warming, paying my bills on time and feeding my no-good brother when he comes around but I certainly do not shirk my responsibilities. If we have a child, I think Eric and I will be able to figure it out,” she said, glaring at him. “And with Eric’s blood, maybe she won’t hear what other’s are thinkin’.”

There was a look of hope on Eric’s face as he looked up from his work. Small tears as he smiled at her and she felt herself melt and then smiled at him.

Then her concentration was back on Samuel. “Oh,” she took a step back. “I see,” she was frowning at Samuel, then her face softened. “And when Uncle Samuel comes to visit, he shall spoil her rotten,” she ended with a small grin, “then hand her back once he teaches her to say no loudly and repeatedly with a great big grin on her face.

I guess it is not as scary as I thought it would be,” she leaned in and kissed Samuel on the forehead.

“No,” he smiled at her. “Sookie, there are always options. Sometimes, because we are so close, we cannot see them. But if you step back, often times you begin to see your worries and fears unravel because of the hole you have punched,” he stressed, “into your version of your own personal hell. Obviously, you do not need me to raise your child. The two of you are most capable. But please note, I am always available for whatever is needed. I am most good at spoiling. I believe I excel at it.

Now, there are a couple of more references to the blue fire. If you and Eric would like to retire, I shall be more than happy to continue on with the work.”