It’s amazing how impatient you can get once you’ve decided to move forward on something, whether you mean to or not. I didn’t intend to cry in the bathroom when I got my period, but I did; and then I cried because I shouldn’t be crying. I knew that both Amelia and Eric’s friend Nicole, who we’d been to dinner with recently, had been trying so much longer, and I felt like a horrible person for being upset after only three months. I knew that it could go on for a long time, years even, and we still may never be successful. I seriously needed to get my shit together.
Thankfully, Alcide was the only person in the house when it happened, and I could be a crazy hormonal bitch to him. He wouldn’t think anything of it.
It was also amazing that once Eric and I decided to try to get pregnant, there were babies and expectant mothers everywhere. A receptionist at work, my Starbucks girl, the neighbor, every random stranger in Los Angeles that I would have never noticed before but couldn’t tear my eyes away from now. They were everywhere. I was heading to Rachel’s baby shower in Colorado for the weekend, and I felt like I was beginning to lose my mind.
Eric didn’t really seem to notice my decreasing sanity or he wasn’t letting on, but he was one hundred percent on board with operation fuck like rabbits during Sookie’s most fertile time and most of the rest of the month for good measure. He was working on a movie, having wrapped the season of Bloodlust and was talking about squeezing in another one if he could at the end of the summer.
I had considered cancelling my trip to avoid being immersed in baby happiness for the weekend, but there was no reason, or excuse, that would go over without questions from every member of the Northman family. Not to mention not going would be downright selfish, and that just wasn’t me. At least since I was just finishing my period, I knew for sure I wasn’t pregnant and wouldn’t be worried about having a cocktail with Zee. I was going to need one.
Eric took me to the airport and I laughed at his tense shoulders; he didn’t mind that I was going, he just didn’t want me to leave him, even for just a few days. It wasn’t jealousy; it was the insane connection that we shared. Being apart when he went to Europe had stirred up all sorts of crap. I’d thought that he was becoming a jealous freak, but he had just been overcome by how much he was going to miss me. Some girls would have been irritated by that or thought he was being über needy, but I saw it for what it was. Being apart from each other left us feeling incomplete, a piece missing. I wondered if we would always be like that because it certainly seemed a little unhealthy or worthy of a cheesy romance novel.
I caught my flight, thankful that Elsa and Jens flew out a few days earlier so I didn’t need to worry about traveling with them or her specifically. She’d been great since the wedding, not pressing too much about babies and trips to visit them over the phone, but when she saw me in person she would sense my weakness immediately. I was going to have to come up with some sort of explanation or she’d jump to the conclusion we were getting divorced or something.
I had a message from Zee when I checked in to the hotel. She wanted to grab a drink and talk before we met Rachel’s parents and the Northmans for dinner. I got the impression that things between Zee and Chris had gotten pretty serious, and I knew that she wouldn’t discuss that in front of his mother.
I freshened up and met her at the hotel bar. She was sitting in a corner booth, sipping a cosmo. A waitress came over and took my drink order, quickly returning with a gin and tonic. Zee and I had exchanged greetings, but when my drink came she sighed and smiled.
“So,” I responded. “How are you?”
She smiled. “I’m good. You?”
I nodded. “Good.”
Then we both started laughing and talking at almost the same time.
“How are things with Chris?”
“You first,” I laughed. “How are you two? I’ve heard some gossip through the brotherly grapevine, but what’s the real news?”
She raised an eyebrow. Oh, those Northmans and the brow raising; Chris had infected her, too. “I’m interested in the gossip, but the news is that I’m moving in to Chris’s place when my lease runs out.”
“Really?” I grinned. “That’s exciting! Do you think? I mean, before you move in?”
She knew what I was talking about. I could tell from the sparkle in her eye. “God, I hope so.” She sighed. “It could be a long engagement if he’s not ready to get married right away, just as long as I know that’s what he wants in the long run. Have you heard anything?”
“Not specifically. Those boys are pretty good at keeping secrets but I did hear a joke about Sven and Chris racing to the altar.”
“Oh my god, really? Does that mean Sven and Rachel, too?”
“I guess. He gave her that promise ring, but only because she refused to get engaged while pregnant.”
“Yeah, I guess I understand,” she laughed. “Those Northmans get pretty righteous about doing the right thing. She just wants to be sure it’s what he wants, not just what he thinks he should do.”
“Have you seen them together? It’s what he wants. Eric said he knew when Sven got a job that required real shoes.”
We laughed and talked for another half hour before heading out to meet everyone at the restaurant, and it was nice to relax and get out of my own head for a while. I knew that I’d confide in her by the end of the weekend, I just needed to be in control for a bit longer. It was kind of a nice change.
Dinner was at the Denver Chop House and I was excited to try their Buffalo tenderloin, although I convinced Jens to share a little of his Limoncello chicken with me, too. Jens asked if I was going to write anything up about the meal, and I assured him that I would mention it on the blog. Sven told everyone the story about Chris wanting veto power over the pictures of him that I put online. Everyone got along well, and a number of conversations went on around the table at once. Rachel’s parents were sweet. I think the promise ring had made a huge difference with them, but I wasn’t bringing it up.
Rachel had ordered a Gorgonzola chicken salad, earning an eyebrow raise from Jens, and she laughed, understanding that she should have been ordering red meat at a Chop House, but she explained that it wasn’t sitting well with the baby and she’d had a craving for salad. Elsa and Rachel’s mother, Melissa, began comparing notes on their pregnancy cravings, and I ordered another cocktail, which I’m certain didn’t go unnoticed by Zee and Rachel. Our meals were delicious, and I made sure to save room for bourbon peach cheesecake and ice wine for dessert. I thought about the Key lime pie in honor of Eric, but I couldn’t pass up the cheesecake. I hadn’t had a peach bourbon version of it before, and it was intriguing, and as it turned out, excellent.
I met Zee for breakfast in the morning, hitting a coffee shop across from the hotel. We got our muffins and coffees and sat down next to the fireplace, relaxing into the worn leather seats. We sipped our drinks, and she smiled at me over her mug.
“Are you going to tell me what has you so stressed out?”
I groaned as I plunked my drink down onto the side table. “I knew you could tell.”
She waved her hand at me to continue.
“I’m not pregnant.”
“And, I want to be.”
“You know how ridiculous that is, right? You’ve been trying for what, four months?” She chuckled.
“Three,” I said quietly.
“Sookie! Come on. You know it can take months, even years!” She laughed with understanding in her eyes.
“I know! Ugh. I just feel like, now that I’m ready, I don’t want to wait.”
“Stressing out like that isn’t going to help you, and if you’re not careful you’ll get all obsessed.”
I sighed. “I know. I started reading about things like charting my discharges and taking my basal temperature every morning. Who wants to do that? I can’t even believe I just said the word discharge to you!”
“Sookie.” She shook her head and chuckled.
“I know!” I laughed. “It’s unrealistic. I know, but I want to be pregnant already, and now there are pregnant women and babies everywhere!”
“And Rachel got pregnant when she wasn’t trying,” she said quietly.
“I didn’t say that,” I said defensively. We looked at each other for a minute, and I felt my shoulders sag again. “But yeah. She didn’t even try.”
She put a hand over mine. “I’m sorry. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling, but this is really just the beginning. How does Eric feel?”
I snorted. “He’s completely oblivious to my neurosis.”
She raised that damn eyebrow.
“Okay, well, he’s not oblivious, but he has no idea why I’m acting like this.” I took another sip of coffee. “I’m actually kind of glad you said something. I haven’t really had anyone to talk to about this. I mean, Amelia has been trying to get pregnant off and on for two years, but they can’t afford the Invitro, so they just keep trying, and I’m pretty sure Daph is pregnant but not telling anyone yet, so I can’t say anything to her. Although, she’d probably totally understand.” I sighed.
She ate some of her muffin top and smiled. “My one sister got pregnant within a month of going off the pill. The other tried everything for two years. She did Natural Family Planning, you know charting the discharge and temperatures to know when she was ovulating and most fertile but nothing. Then she did fertility treatments, and eventually it took three rounds of Invitro before she got pregnant and carried a baby to term. I know all sorts of statistics about fertility. You really need to relax and let nature do its thing a little longer before you worry about it.”
I had so many fears, and she was the first person that I’d opened up to. I thought for a second about how to put into words everything that I had been feeling. It wasn’t so much that I wasn’t pregnant yet, but I was afraid it would never happen. I looked down at my coffee for a second, and then just asked her, “What if I can’t get pregnant at all? What if I’m too old, or something?”
“You’re what, twenty-nine? You’re not too old. Well, I don’t know for sure, but, you know. If you’re really worried you should talk to your doctor.”
I bit my lip, thinking about some of the horrible things that Bill had said to me over the years and especially through the course of our divorce when the lawyers were awarding me a large portion of his savings. I felt tears prick my eyes. That was the other weight that was absolutely crushing me. “What if I’m not supposed to be a mom?”
She threw her head back and laughed, leaving me looking at her in shock. “Sookie, if you’re not supposed to be a mom, then the universe wouldn’t have put you with Eric Northman. You know full well that if you can’t conceive on your own, by whatever means necessary, that man will adopt an African village of children with you.”
I snorted. “He would. Wouldn’t he?”
She grinned. “It will be fine, Sookie.” Then suddenly she looked deadly serious. “But you need to get it together before we go to the shower; you know that woman can smell blood in the water.”
Elsa. She was so right. “Is it too early to drink?”
The shower was fun and had a surfing theme that they were also using in the baby Connor’s room. They had decided on naming him Connor Jens. Rachel got to pick the first name, and because he was the first male grandchild, Sven insisted on using his dad’s name as the middle name. I don’t think there was ever any question as to the fact the child’s last name would be Northman. Unless Rachel had some strong genes in her family it would be undeniable anyway; all of the Northman males looked alike.
We played party games, estimating how long of a ribbon you would need to go around Rachel’s pregnant belly, searching a bowl full of rice for tiny safety pins while blindfolded, and guessing which favorite things had been Sven’s or Rachel’s growing up. We had typical shower food and a marble sheet cake decorated with a baby on a blue surf board. I managed to avoid Elsa for most of the party, but she cornered me with a forkful of cake in my mouth.
“Sookie, is everything alright? You seem…out of sorts this weekend.”
“Really?” I tried to laugh. “No. I’m fine. I’ve just been busy with work.”
She eyed me suspiciously. “There’s nothing wrong is there? You’re just busy?”
“Yes. Just busy. Thanks for your concern, though.” I knew I hadn’t really told her anything and waited for her to press on.
“Well, you know you can talk to me if you ever need to.”
Oh, yeah. Right. So not happening. “Thanks so much, Elsa, but I’m fine.”
“Alright. Well, you be sure to take care of yourself.”
She smiled at me sweetly, but I knew what she really meant. She meant my body would be the vessel for her next grandchild so I had better take care of it. Or perhaps she meant something a little nicer, and I was being a hormonal wreck again. What the hell was I going to be like when I actually did get pregnant?
Rachel came around the corner and saw us. I must have looked bad, like my head was going to explode or I was about to commit a homicide, because she immediately grabbed my elbow and told Elsa there was someone she wanted me to meet.
She drew me into a crowd of her cousins, making introductions quickly. When everyone returned to talking she spoke quietly in my ear, “You were alone with her over there for too long. I wanted to check on you, and it looked like your head was about to spin. Everything okay?”
“I’ll be fine, just tired and stressed. Thank you for rescuing me.”
She smiled sweetly. “No problem.”
Rachel and I hadn’t really had a lot of opportunities to spend time together, seeing that she’d been pregnant since the day I met her, but she seemed like a wonderful girl, and I understood why Sven had fallen for her.
“Another month?” I asked, amazed at the giant round belly that stuck out from her small frame.
“Twenty-four days. Not that I’m counting.”
“Are you two ready?”
She laughed. “I don’t know if you can ever be ready. You might want to tell Eric to screen his calls. I have a feeling Sven is about to start panicking.”
“Aw. He’ll be fine. You’re going to be great parents.”
“So will you, Sookie,” she said quietly.
I swallowed hard and smiled back at her. I had no idea how she knew we were trying or that it was even on my mind. Maybe Zee said something to her. Maybe it was obvious. “Thanks. I hope so.”
She leaned forward and gave me a hug, as much as she could with her baby belly between us. “I need to go sit down. My feet and back are killing me.”
“Right. Of course.” She wandered away, and I spent the rest of the shower chatting with Zee and a couple of Rachel’s aunts who wanted to talk about my blog.
Zee and I grabbed a cab back to the hotel, and after sitting in my room and talking for a bit, we decided to grab an early dinner at one of the restaurants I wanted to check out and then spend the night lounging in the hotel hot tub.
I checked out and took a shuttle to the airport in the morning, anxious to get home and get started on project get pregnant and be happy while trying.
When I deplaned in LAX, I headed straight for the baggage area to find Alcide. Eric had an interview with someone from Entertainment Weekly, and since he had insisted on dropping me off, I needed someone to pick me up. I was sure that Alcide had thrown a hissy fit, but Eric assured me he would be there.
I looked up, trying to find Alcide’s unruly dark hair, but instead my eyes found a surprise. Eric. Wearing the chauffeurs’ hat and a smile. Well, he was in black jeans and a v-neck t-shirt too, but all I cared about was the look on his face. He was smiling at me, smirking really, proud of himself for surprising me. He held a little sign that read “Mrs. Northman,” and I had to laugh to myself at his possessiveness. He’d been a wreck about being apart when he went to Europe, I should have known that he wouldn’t take this weekend trip well, but he swore that he was okay. That he understood that this was a girls weekend. His dad hadn’t even gone to the shower but had stayed at the apartment with Sven.
I stopped in front of him, doing my best to keep a straight face, stood my suitcase beside him and started walking again, expecting him to follow me. I heard his loud laughter behind me and let my smile escape. I slowed down so he could pass me, and he looked down with a raised eyebrow.
“Mrs. Northman.” He nodded a little greeting and led me out to the car. He’d brought out the Sting Ray. I felt my heart speed up just looking at it. “I’m sorry, ma’am. You’ll have to ride in the front with me.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be sure to tell my husband that you borrowed his favorite car.”
There was a rumble, a low growl, in his chest, and I wanted to throw myself at him. Before he closed my car door, he cleared his throat and managed to say, “Yes, ma’am.”
I watched him in the mirror as he walked around the back of the car, discreetly adjusting himself in his pants. When he climbed into the driver’s seat, I saw him close his eyes for a second before turning towards me. “Straight home, ma’am?”
“Sookie, please. And yes. My husband should be at home waiting for me.”
“As you wish,” he said, trying to continue the charade but quoting one of my favorite movies.
I snorted and laughed, unable to hold it in anymore.
“Shit.” He laughed for a few seconds and then looked at me, grinning. “That was impressive and really hot.”
“I know, right?” I giggled. “Get us home already, would ya?”
We talked a little on the drive, and he explained that his interview had been rescheduled for later in the week. I told him about the shower and that Rachel thought Sven was getting nervous. He laughed because ultimately he was going to have to call Sven for advice when we had kids. It would be an interesting role reversal for them.
We made it home, and though I thought we wouldn’t make it into the house, we were in the kitchen before he started to take my clothes off. Eventually we were naked, making out against the breakfast bar, and somehow I had ended up wearing the chauffeurs’ hat. He lifted me to the counter top and took his time kissing his way down my body before focusing on where I wanted his attention most. With my feet on the bar stools for leverage, I arched my hips into his face as his tongue and fingers did amazing things to my center. I was panting and crying out, telling him how close I was, when he stopped and lifted his head.
“Oh, god,” I groaned. “Don’t stop. I’m so close.” I needed to finish, for him to do something. Kiss me, lick me, anything. “Please,” I managed, and when I met his eyes I knew that was all he was waiting for.
He held my eyes as he lowered his head again, taking my swollen clit between his lips and pressing hard with his tongue. I came undone as he pushed two fingers inside of me, hitting the perfect spot without even trying. My walls were still tight on his fingers when he pulled them out and quickly replaced them with one deep thrust of his hips.
“Fuck.” I dropped my head back and pushed my chest out, riding out the amazing sensations as he filled me repeatedly.
One of his hands held my hip while the other made its way to my breasts, kneading them and pinching my nipples. I raised my head to look at him, and his eyes were focused on our joined bodies moving together. I moaned and bit my lip, overwhelmed by the look of awe and love on his face. His eyes jerked up to mine at the sound, his hand tightening on my hip. Then he tensed and made a couple of hard strokes before pressing his pelvis tightly against mine, cumming with a groan.
When he finished, I sat up, wrapping my arms around his shoulders and held him close. His head fell on my shoulder and we rested, catching our breath. After a minute, he started placing gentle kisses along my neck and jaw.
He whispered, “I love you, Sookie. I can’t believe how much I miss you when you’re gone.”
“I love you, too,” I murmured, my hands finding their way into his hair. “I don’t really like being away from you either, but we seem to have this reunion sex bit down pretty well.”
He laughed. “We made it in the house this time.”
“And we didn’t set off any of the car alarms.”
We both laughed, remembering rocking the Rover so hard that he’d had to scramble to find the keys and disarm the rather loud anti-theft mechanism we’d tripped.
He exhaled loudly and stepped back, leaving me feeling cold. He smirked, knowing exactly what I was thinking as he handed me his shirt and made his way to the refrigerator for water without putting anything on himself. I slipped down off the counter and made a quick trip to the bathroom before coming to join him on the couch where he’d stretched out after pulling on his underwear.
“Scoot,” I said, trying to lay down with him.
“Mm hm,” he murmured, rolling to his side and pulling me back against his chest.
We stayed like that, quietly soaking in each other’s presence, and I couldn’t have been happier. I was just on the verge of falling asleep when his voice interrupted those plans.
“Sookie, I have to ask you something strange.”
I felt myself tense a little. “Okay. Try me.”
“Did Bill ever do any work on your teeth?”
He laughed. “I don’t mean have you had your teeth worked on. I mean literally, was Bill the dentist you saw or did he ever work on your teeth?”
“Oddly,” I chuckled. “Bill would not work on my teeth. He had a thing about not working on anyone who might think they could get something free.” I felt Eric’s body relax behind me, and I hadn’t even realized he was tense. Why the hell would talking about Bill and my teeth make him worry? “Eric, what’s going on?”
“I need to show you something.” He sat up and went down the hallway, then came back with a manila folder. “You don’t want to know where Pam got these, but I think with what you just said we can stop them from being distributed.”
He handed me a sheaf of advertisements. They all contained my smiling face, a Beverly Hills address and the tag line, “William Compton, DDS – The Man Behind Mrs. Northman’s Smile.”
“You’re kidding me, right?” He had to be kidding. These couldn’t be real. Bill was moving to Los Angeles? And trying to use me as advertisement? Oh, hell no.
“I’m sorry, Lover. They are. We’ll take care of it, though. I promise.”
Bill! What are you thinking? And Sook – get a grip! LOL (I didn’t forget Eric, he’s his usual swoonworthy self.)
As always, thanks so much for reading. Leave me a little review lovin’ if you want. It always makes me smile.